Public Media Features Filipina-Founded Rock Band During Asian American Pacific Islander Native Hawaiian Heritage Month

May 2, 2023


Fanny bassist Jean Millington, drummer Brie Darling and lead guitarist June Millington, at the photo shoot for the album cover of their new album, 'Fanny Walked the Earth.' Photo courtesy of Marita Madeloni.

A documentary telling the story of Filipina sisters who started the first all-female rock band to release an LP with a major record label is a highlight of public media programming Asian American, Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian (AAPINH) Heritage Month.

Fanny: The Right to Rock, directed by Bobbi Jo Hart, premieres on May 22 on PBS, and on the PBS app. Its debut follows a special screening of the film on May 16 at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles and a 50th anniversary reunion concert May 17 at the Whisky A Go-Go nightclub on the Sunset Strip. The band -- June and Jean Millington, Brie Darling, Alice de Buhr and Patti Quatro -- will also perform a free concert in San Francisco on May 20 as part of CAAMFest. CAAMFest is organized by the CPB-supported Center for Asian American Media.

Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV | Official Trailer | American Masters | PBS

Also premiering on PBS in May is Nam June Paik: Moon is the Oldest TV, a biography of the visionary artist known as the father of video art and the coiner of the term “electronic superhighway.” It premieres May 16 on PBS’ American Masters.

PBS has curated a collection of documentaries and short films celebrating the diversity of AAPINH communities streaming that are steaming for free on demand throughout May. The collection will include the premiering titles, recent broadcast, encore, and digital original programs, including:

  • A People’s History of Asian America, a digital series from the Center for Asian American Media and PBS Digital Studios, that tells the history of Asian Americans through the microaggressions and stereotypes this community faces. A centerpiece episode from 2021 titled “Are You ‘AAPI’ or ‘Asian American’? It’s Complicated” explores issues of different terms and identities with hosts Dolly Li and Adrian De Leon. They hear from South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islanders to explore the pros and cons of disaggregating Asian American as a statistical category.
  • Free Chol Soo Lee is an award-winning documentary about a Korean immigrant who is wrongly convicted of murder and became a cause celebre uniting Asian Americans. “Free Chol Soo Lee” premiered on “Independent Lens” on April 24 and streams for free on and on the PBS app through July 24.
  • Growing Up Asian: Stories From the Stage, a half-hour episode of the WORLD Channel storytelling series, features three Asian Americans telling stories that defined for them what it means to be Asian American.
  • A Celebration of the AA and the NHPI Community: Highlighting Our Diverse Tapestry is an hourlong celebration from 2021 hosted by PBS NewsHour co-anchor Amna Nawaz and features messages from President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
  • Great Performances: Lea Salonga in Concert features the Tony winner in concert at the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
  • Relish, a local program presented by Twin Cities PBS, features chef Yia Vang of Union Hmong Kitchen visiting home kitchens in the Twin Cities as local chefs serve dishes that have personal and cultural meaning.
  • Family Ingredients, a series from the CPB-supported Pacific Islanders in Communications, features chef Ed Kenney exploring food memories and family tales in Hawaii and across the Pacific.


Amplifying the diverse identities in the Asian diaspora, WORLD, the multicultural documentary hub, offers a viewer’s guide to May programming on the public television multicast channel available in three-quarters of TV households, as well as online on, YouTube and the PBS app. Its premieres include:

Blurring the Color Line / America ReFramed
  • In Blurring the Color Line, filmmaker Crystal Kwok explores the history behind her grandmother’s family as neighborhood grocery store owners in the Black community of Augusta, GA, during the Jim Crow era. The film airs on “America ReFramed” on May 11.
  • Ganden: A Joyful Land looks at the lives and memories of the remaining generation of monks to have studied at Ganden, the monastery in Tibet where the Dalai Lama’s lineage began. The “Doc World” program airs May 14.
  • The Accused: Damned or Devoted? follows the rise to power of Pakistani cleric Khadim Rizvi, who is running for the country’s highest office and has one mission: to preserve blasphemy laws that prescribe a death sentence for disrespecting the Prophet Muhammad. The "Doc World" film airs May 21.
  • Asian American Stories of Resilience and Beyond showcases true stories of perseverance from emerging AAPI filmmakers through an ongoing partnership with the Asian American Documentary Network (A-Doc) and Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). The short films air on “Local USA” on May 22 and May 29.

Also Online:  

  • Pacific Islanders in Communications has changed its YouTube channel name from Pacific Heartbeat to picpacific. It features trailers from the Pacific Heartbeat television series, short films from the Pacific Pulse digital series, producer interviews and resources.
  • StoryCorps offers Celebrating AAPI Voices, and an online collection of StoryCorps conversations, including father and son artists Willie and Vince Ito. Willie describes how his dream of being a Disney animator was interrupted in 1942 when his family was sent to a Japanese American internment camp in Topaz, Utah.

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