Private Project


TYRUS is Pamela Tom's tour-de-force documentary about 105-year old Guangzhou-born, L.A. based visual artist, Tyrus Wong and his breathtaking scope of work across multiple artistic mediums and his personal and professional journey navigating racial bigotry in 20th century America.

The film makes meticulous use of Tyrus Wong's exquisite art, archival footage, illuminating interviews and commentary from Wong himself to document how his unique style, melding Chinese calligraphic and landscape influences with contemporary Western art, helped the Disney animated film, Bambi (1942) specifically, and early Hollywood in general establish their signature visual styles.

  • Pamela Tom
    American Primitive, The Story of Mothers & Daughters, Two Lies
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 17 minutes 44 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 1, 2015
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Telluride Film Festival
    Telluride, CO
    September 4, 2015
    North American Premiere
  • San Diego Asian Film Festival
    San Diego, CA
    November 7, 2015
    California Premiere
    Audience Award
  • Hawaii International Film Festival
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    November 20, 2015
    Audience Award
  • Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    April 23, 2016
    Jury Award
  • Newport Beach Film Festival
    Newport Beach
    United States
    April 26, 2016
    Audience Award
  • DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon
    United States
    April 29, 2016
    Best Feature Documentary
  • Cinetopia International Film Festival
    United States
    June 4, 2016
    Best Director's Award - Documentary
  • Sheffield Doc-Fest
    United Kingdom
    June 12, 2016
    World Premiere
  • Asian American International Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    July 24, 2016
    New York Premiere
  • Southern Circuit Independent Film Tour

    September 1, 2016
Director Biography - Pamela Tom

Pamela Tom is a writer, director and producer whose work includes documentary and narrative film and television. Tom served as a production executive at KCET and was the post-production producer on the BBC/PBS national series WW2: Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, The Nazis, and the West and the network producer on Wired Science, a PBS national primetime series produced in partnership with Wired magazine. She was also the field producer on the PBS pilot, Becoming the Buddha in Los Angeles.

Tom’s award-winning narrative short film Two Lies, about a divorced Chinese woman who has plastic surgery to make her eyes rounder, screened at hundreds of film festivals including the Sundance Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, the Smithsonian Institution, and aired on numerous PBS stations, including KCET, WNET and WGBH. Tom is the recipient of the Walt Disney Writing Fellowship, the Dorothy Arzner Award For Outstanding Woman Director, the Edna and Yu Shan Han Award, and the Asian Pacific Women’s Network Award. She has taught documentary film at UC Santa Barbara and Loyola Marymount University as well as film directing at UCLA Extension. She served as the Director of Diversity at Film Independent, where she was a leading spokesperson on issues related to diversity in the film industry. She received her BA with Honors from Brown University and an MFA in film from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television.

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