Oscar-nominated alumnus returns to campus this week

Bing Liu holding film camera on “Minding the Gap" set.
UIC graduate Bing Liu was nominated for an Academy Award for his coming-of-age documentary film, “Minding the Gap,” which is set in his home town of Rockford. (Photo credit: Hulu)


UIC students and employees can learn from Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker and UIC alumnus Bing Liu during on-campus events April 4.

“Up Close and Personal with Bing Liu: Story Outlining Workshop,” a filmmaking and story crafting workshop with Liu, takes place from noon to 1:45 p.m. in 1050 University Hall.  For more information or to RSVP, email karensu@uic.edu.

A screening of his Oscar-nominated documentary “Minding the Gap” begins at 4 p.m. in Room 1-470 Daley Library, and a Q&A with Liu follows. The film was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at this year’s Academy Awards.

“It’s a film that is relevant for our times as it showcases the ways in which communities respond to economic inequality and how the youth cope with its consequences and build community with one another,” said Anna Guevarra, director of the UIC Global Asian Studies program. “It also tries to get us to think about the intersections of race, class, and masculinity by using skateboarding culture as the backdrop for narrating multiple intertwined stories.”

Liu graduated from UIC in the spring of 2011. As a student, Liu majored in Englis, but also took some Asian American studies classes, as well as worked on a few projects funded by the AANAPISI (Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution) Initiative.

“In some ways, it’s like a homecoming for him,” Guevarra said. “It’s great to see that we can mentor and support students who can make an impact in the world.”

This event is open to all and sponsored by the Global Asian Studies Program and the AANAPISI initiative. Co-sponsors include Anthropology, English, Moving Image Arts, Social Justice Initiative, the Institute for the Humanities, and Gender and Women’s studies.

Launched in 2010 as the Asian American Studies Program and later configured as the Global Asian Studies Program in 2016, this program was created in response to “the struggles of Asian American communities to have an academic program that speaks to their history,” Guevarra said.

GLAS provides opportunities to students through interdisciplinary academics, community engagement initiatives, events and more. The AANAPISI initiative supports the recruitment, retention, and graduation of Asian American and Pacific Islander students at UIC and has designated the campus as a Minority Serving Institution since 2010. For more information, visit https://glas.uic.edu

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