Private Project

Made In USA

After getting abruptly fired from her job of over 20 years, a dutiful Chinese-American casino host turns her home into a birth hotel to regain control of her life.

  • Desdemona Chiang
  • Desdemona Chiang
  • Selena Leoni
    All I Ever Wanted, Eid Mubarak, The Bond
  • Tara Austin
    Ringing Rocks, Dog Lover
  • Yin Yin Liow
    Key Cast
  • Maria Zhang
    Key Cast
    "Ming Ming"
    Avatar: The Last Airbender, All I Ever Wanted
  • Ron Yuan
    Key Cast
    Sons of Anarchy, Prison Break, Golden Boy, CSI: NY
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Dark Comedy, Comedy, Dramedy
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    October 1, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, Mandarin Chinese
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Desdemona Chiang

DESDEMONA CHIANG is a Taiwan-born American stage director and writer based in Seattle, WA and Ashland, OR. She works in a variety of genres, including new plays, Shakespeare, and musicals. Chiang is known for her visceral, no-nonsense approach to theatre, with her distinct point of view as an immigrant and Asian American woman, and an interest in using storytelling to spark social discourse. Her directing credits include The 5th Avenue Theatre (Seattle, WA), Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis), Alley Theatre (Houston), Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR), South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa, CA), Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Studio Theatre (Washington DC), Long Wharf Theatre (New Haven, CT), Seattle Children’s Theatre, and ACT Theatre (Seattle). Her stage adaptation of Amy Tan’s novel THE BONESETTER'S DAUGHTER received its world premiere in the summer of 2022.

Chiang was awarded the Sundance Institute Asian American Fellowship, which aims to improve AAPI representation in the film and television industries over the long-term by cultivating AAPI talent and elevating their stories. Her TV pilot MADE IN USA been developed with the Sundance Episodic Virtual Intensive, The Orchard Project, the Writers Lab, and was a winner of the WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Lab.

Most recently, Chiang was accepted in the AFI DWW+ class of 2024, where she directed a short film adaptation of MADE IN USA in July 2023.

Awards/Affiliations: Princess Grace Award, Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Theatre, SDC John Gielgud Directing Fellowship, Drama League Film/TV Fellowship. MFA Directing: University of Washington School of Drama.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

MADE IN USA was inspired by a friend who was a former Chinese marketing executive at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. She had been working there for decades, and was abruptly fired during a company merger that left her lost and utterly devastated. In order to make ends meet, she started running a birth hotel out of her home by hosting wealthy pregnant women from China in her spare bedrooms. What started as a series of casual sublets eventually turned into a grey economy home business that ended up earning her tens of thousands of dollars a month. And she was the happiest and most empowered she had ever been in her life.

This film is my imagining of what her origin story is– how a person who has devoted decades to a specific way of life can lose everything in a moment, and makes a radical pivot to begin another way of life. (It’s not unlike what many of us experienced during the pandemic.)

Birth tourism is an open secret in certain communities of Los Angeles, where wealthy women from overseas are known to spend exorbitant amounts of money for “all inclusive packages” that cater to their needs and whims as they prepare to have their babies in America. As an immigrant myself, I find the issue both repugnant and beguiling, a bizarre intersection of wealth and opportunity. And I wanted to explore a different side of the immigrant narrative, one that wasn’t about idealism and suffering. And it’s bright and funny and a little ridiculous. Think WEEDS meets CRAZY RICH ASIANS.

The character of Penny and the world of MADE IN USA is also a dedication to the “well-behaved” Chinese women in my life—my mother, my aunts, and my friend “Penny,” a former Vegas casino host who is the inspiration for this script. I want to see these people portrayed in flawed and interesting ways, the ways that I know them.