Growing up queer, working-class, and the child of Chinese-immigrants in an Asian/Latino ethnic enclave on Los Angeles' east-side, Steven has always felt like an outsider. As a kid, Steven had big dreams of getting out of his small town, but as he grew older, he realized the stories he wanted to tell were embedded in that very community all along. With a distinctively gritty, yet precise aesthetic, Steven has a penchant for exploring characters living on the fringe of society, and their resilient quest for identity, community, and freedom.
Steven's latest short film, AFUERA (2016), which features a predominately transgender-Latina cast, premiered at the LA Film Festival, before screening at Palm Springs ShortFest and NBC ShortFest. The film garnered distribution from Frameline Distribution (Tongues Untied), and is featured in Vice and Vibe Magazines. Steven's short film, COMING HOME (2015), screened at 30 international film festivals, including the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) and Outfest. The film made history as the first gay-themed project funded by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, and is distributed by the France-based Outplay Films (Week-End, Mosquita Y Mari). Previously, Steven's documentary short, A BETTER LIFE, about an undocumented restaurant worker aspiring to be a filmmaker, garnered the AbelCine Grant for excellence in non-fiction filmmaking. His music video, SUPER GIRL, featuring Taiwanese pop sensation, Dawen, grossed over 100k views on Youtube. His experimental video, CHINA BOWL, about the struggles of his restaurant worker parents, opened for Oscar-nominee, Christine Choy at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. His high school video diary, SEE ME, made in association with community organization, Reach LA, screened at Outfest and Outfest Fusion.
Steven is the recipient of many grants and fellowships, including a Fulbright Scholarship, a J. Paul Getty Grant, an Ahmanson Foundation Fellowship, and a Public Policy & International Affairs Fellowship. As an M.F.A. Candidate at UCLA Film School, Steven is the recipient of the prestigious Mary Pickford Award and the Carl David Memorial Fellowship.
Previously, Steven interned at Justin Lin's (Fast & Furious) Universal-based Barnstorm Pictures, and Participant Media (Spotlight, Beasts of No Nation). He started his entertainment career as an intern for Visual Communications, the nation's premier Asian American media arts center. Currently, he is Film Consultant at Pomona College, where he teaches a workshop on international documentary production. Steven serves on the nominating committee of the 75th Peabody Awards.
Steven holds a B.A. in Asian American Studies and Communication Studies from Pitzer College. He will complete his M.F.A. in Film/TV Directing from the UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television Summer of 2016. Steven is a proud alumnus of the California State Summer School for the Arts.
Steven has a cat named Zee.