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Milwaukee's first minority film festival opens Friday with local focus

Posted: 7:26 PM, Sep 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-12 20:34:55-04

MILWAUKEE — On Friday, Milwaukee Film opens its inaugural Minority Health Film Festival with a Milwaukee-based movie.

It was April of last year when Dawn Yang saw the stage play "Save Me" at UW-Milwaukee. She knew it was a story that had to be told on the big screen.

"This is the prefect vehicle to bring it to life, from a play to a film so we can share it with everyone at large," said producer Dawn Yang.

The 61-minute film features a young Hmong girl faced to deal with the death of her mother in a car crash. The aftermath sends her into a tailspin of deep depression.

"You are taught from a young age first and foremost you do not express those feelings," said Yang. "If you are struggling with something, you keep it inside. Work it out, it's a sign of weakness.".

Many Hmong youth struggle with balancing their heritage with western culture.

According to the World Health Organization, suicide is the leading cause of death among Southeast Asian youth.

The motion picture - 'Save Me' was written, produced and performed by locals. Many like UWM student Adam Vang.

"I never thought it would get this big," said Vang.

Vang plays Sang - a ghost of the main character.

"He brings out the bright side of her in the whole film," said Vang.

Dawn Yang wants this film to be a catalyst of hope and healing. A message she believes is not exclusive to any one group of people.

"I am hoping this film is a conversation starter for families. You can discuss it. You can get help."