Aviatrix: The Katherine Sui Fun Cheung Story

Documentary about pioneering Asian Aviatrix Katherine Sui Fun Cheung, a Chinese immigrant who defied racial and gender bias to become a daredevil stunt pilot during the Golden Age of Aviation in the 1930s.

  • Ed Moy
    Director
    Up in the Clouds
  • Ed Moy
    Writer
    Up in the Clouds
  • Ed Moy
    Producer
    Up in the Clouds
  • Timothy Tau
    Producer
    Keye Luke, Up in the Clouds
  • Jasmine Shih
    Producer
  • Raymond Ma
    Producer
  • Katherine Park
    Producer
  • Dottie Leschenko
    Key Cast
  • Brandon Wong
    Key Cast
  • Judy Yung
    Key Cast
  • Judy Chu
    Key Cast
  • Barbara Beck
    Key Cast
  • Karen Huie
    Key Cast
  • Leslie Ishii
    Key Cast
  • Judy Soo Hoo
    Key Cast
  • Barbara Schultz
    Key Cast
  • Ethel Pattison
    Key Cast
  • May Sun
    Key Cast
  • Marilyn Tokuda
    Key Cast
  • Meng Ling
    Key Cast
  • David Cu
    Music
    Up in the Clouds
  • Howard Ho
    Music
  • Mattia Cupelli
    Music
  • Dorel Mihaila
    Editors
  • David Cu
    Editors
  • Ed Moy
    Editors
  • Wen Ren
    Videography
  • Ed Moy
    Videography
  • Ekmund Yong
    Videography
  • From the Heart Productions
    Fiscal Sponsor
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Genres:
    Biographical, Historical, Documentary, Asian American, Women, Aviation
  • Runtime:
    40 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 5, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival
    Sacramento, California
    United States
    May 27, 2016
    Northern California Premiere
  • Long Beach International Film Festival
    Long Beach, New York
    United States
    August 4, 2016
    East Coast Premiere
  • Marina del Rey Film Festival
    Marina del Rey, California
    United States
    August 14, 2016
    Southern California Premiere
    Audience Award for Short Film
  • Long Beach Indie Film, Media, and Music Festival
    Long Beach, California
    United States
    September 1, 2016
    Nominated Best Documentary Short
  • Culver City Film Festival
    Culver City, California
    United States
    December 6, 2016
    Most Inspirational Short Film Award
Distribution Information
  • Amazon Video
    Country: United States
    Rights: Video on Demand
    Country: United Kingdom
    Rights: Video on Demand
Director Biography - Ed Moy

Ed Moy is an award-winning journalist. He was recipient of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's National Print Media Award in 2000 for his series of articles about their Team in Training programs.

He directed the award-winning animated short film "Up in the Clouds" which premiered at the Catalina Film Festival and has played in festivals around the world.

His documentary short film Aviatrix: The Katherine Sui Fun Cheung Story won the Audience Award for Short at the Marina del Rey Film Festival and received the Most Inspirational Short Film Award at the Culver City Film Festival. It was also nominated for Best Documentary Short Film at the Long Beach Indie Film Festival and won Best Documentary in the Asia Web Awards.

In March 2017, Aviatrix: The Katherine Sui Fun Cheung Story received a Certificate of Congressional Recognition in honor of the film's historical significance in educating the world about Katherine Sui Fun Cheung, who was recognized as the first Chinese woman pilot to earn a pilot's license in America. The award was presented by Congresswoman Judy Chu during a Women's History Month screening at the Monterey Park Library in Southern California.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

In November 2013, I was lucky enough to meet with Katherine Sui Fun Cheung's daughter Dottie Leschenko.

Associate Producer Katherine Park and I wanted to get permission to make a short film based on Katherine's story. That initial short film project would later become Up in the Clouds, which has screened in over a dozen film festivals worldwide.

However, we also found out that three prior attempts were made by separate filmmakers to create a documentary film about Katherine, but none of them were able to complete their projects.

Katherine's family had also discussed making a movie based on her life story with actress Lucy Liu, but no deal was ever made and they never developed the story into a script.

After meeting with her family members, I began recording preliminary interviews, gathered archival photos, videos and documents then began researching more about her life story.

As it turned out, we found that Katherine's story had inspired many Asian American artists and performers over the past four decades.

Her story has been the inspiration for short films, stage performances, visual art pieces, and even a comic strip.

A number of Asian American artists agreed to be interviewed for the documentary, including a playwright, several actresses, and a film director.

Additional interviews include Judy Chu, the first Chinese-American woman elected to Congress and Chinese historian Judy Yung, author of "Chinese Women of America: A Pictorial History."

Katherine Sui Fun Cheung was one of only a handful of Chinese women pilots to earn a pilot's license in America during the 1930s when less than 1% of all pilots were women.

This documentary features archival newsreel from a 1935 women's air show in Long Beach where Katherine performed stunts with her biplane for the crowd, along with a group of 99s members (an organization consisting of women pilots led by Amelia Earhart).

It is my goal to shine a spotlight on her accomplishments and pay tribute to her as a pioneering Chinese woman in American aviation history.