To celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, Camera Ambassador and Subtitle are collaborating for a series of blog posts conducted by Subtitle's Alex Wen to highlight artists in Chicago making films, television, and other video work! We kick things off with Anand Bhatt, Touacha Her, and Tin Nguyen.

(The following interviews have been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.)


Anand Bhatt

AW: Tell us a bit about yourself!

AB: I am an Actor/Director/Cinematographer in Chicago. I work on everything from feature films to low budget music videos. Personally, I love all forms of content creation, whether it be commercial real estate film or online content. But if I had to choose, I personally love doing action films!

AW: What is your greatest source of inspiration?

AB: I think my greatest source of inspiration has to be movies and TV shows. I am just so mesmerized by the art of creating a film and releasing it, so that billions of people can enjoy that content and get away from their regular day-to-day life. Just the idea of taking an individual on a trip with the visual art and storytelling is very attractive to me.

AW: What has been your favorite project that you’ve worked on? What did you like about it?

AB: My favorite project has to be a horror film we shot during the COVID-19 lockdown. It was just a few of our friends and we were stuck in a hotel. And so we decided, let’s do something, we had the camera gear. So within a span of a few days I came up with a script, and shot the movie within the hotel we were stuck at.

AW: Anything else you would like to tell us?

AB: I am currently waiting for one of my Bollywood films to release, and finishing up the horror film. I am also trying to create more webseries and content to attract people and possibly get more funding so we can do creative work with less limitations in terms of budget.


Touacha Her

AW: Tell us a bit about yourself!

TH: My journey began very early in high school when I was introduced to Adobe 2.0 by my brother and using a good ol’ DV Tape HandyCam; I started recreating anime shows and even HBO’s Band of Brothers with my friends at high school who I could convince to act in them. It was a blast. Fast forward a couple years, I received formal training from the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago with a Bachelors, where I further developed my production company called Windstruck Production. I have two avenues of my business, which on the commercial side focuses on helping local businesses produce video content that would help them with advertisement. The other side focuses on narrative storytelling which is where the real passion comes in. I have written some successful short films, like Listen to Me, that have gone viral on my production’s YouTube Channel, produced a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund a pilot episode for a series called Spirit Beside Me, and am on track to create my first feature film in California.

AW: How has the pandemic affected your work?

TH: The pandemic was definitely an unexpected curveball that I would say has delayed the production of the series and productions I have had planned in 2020, but some good has also come out of it as well. I pivoted to improving the writing material and to also improve my processes to lay the groundwork necessary to execute production as better opportunities become available. I think this shift allowed me to grow as a filmmaker and a creator. We get so caught up on the hustle and grind that we sometimes forget to slow down and enjoy the process.

AW: What are some of your favorite directors and/or films?

TH: Definitely the greats such as Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Spike Lee and more, I just can’t decide. They all contributed so significantly to the filmmaking world and paving the way forward in storytelling that I can take snippets of inspiration and technique from, but oddly enough my all-time favorite film is Independence Day. Growing up, I would watch it over and over to see the fighter planes, spaceships, explosions, the Fourth of July speech, the multiple characters, and Will Smith.

AW: Anything else you would like to tell us?

TH: The feature film I’m working on debuting as a filmmaker excites me because it highlights the journey of an Asian American in a hilarious comedic fashion while touching on real experiences Asian Americans go through. I’m not making this film just because I don’t think there is enough representation, but also because there just isn’t enough stories like this that can be both enjoyable but also let people know that there is a wider spectrum of beauty that everyone can enjoy, not just targeted markets. I won’t reveal the title or log line of the film just yet, but you can follow me on my facebook page or Instagram @touachaher to keep up with what I’m up to!

Tin Nguyen

AW: Tell us a bit about yourself!

TN: I’m currently on track to being a Director of Photography, mainly working in the Camera Department and occasionally Gripping. As far as what I like to create, at this point in my career, I’m pretty much down to shoot anything I can in order to get those reps in. I want to make a living shooting narrative films, or TV but I’ve found myself also being attracted to documentary and commercial as well. I really like the variety of different projects but I would say style wise I gravitate toward a darker, contrasted look.

AW: What do you look to capture with your camera?

TN: I look to capture with my camera a technically beautiful image that hopefully creates a feeling in the viewer that coincides with whatever story is being told. As far as the story, I hope to collaborate with people who haven’t been able to tell stories through their perspective and I hope to capture their vision and story through my own perspective as well.

AW: What are some of your favorite directors and/or films?

TN: Such a hard question! I’d like to think that I have a lot of favorites and people that I admire. When I was starting out, I was influenced by the usual directors like David Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, Edgar Wright and the Coens who made some pretty influential films when I was growing up. Later as I started to hone in on what I really liked, I started to appreciate some lesser known directors like Adam McKay and Shane Black while my love for genre films really pushed me to explore directors like Park Chan Wook, Gareth Evans, and John Carpenter. There’s quite a mix of things that I love in film which usually ranges from your indie coming of age drama to your action packed martial arts films that have impressive stunts.

AW: Anything else you would like to tell us?

TN: Please give me a follow and message me on my instagram: @tinfamous. I really love connecting with people and just discussing the industry and film in general (usually over a cup of coffee or a beer). My website is so you can find some of my work there and as far as upcoming projects, my next big one is a short that a good friend, Ben Kurstin and I are producing called Yellow Polka Dot. I’ll actually be serving as the Director and he as the Director of Photography on this project and I’m excited to start making passion projects this year.

Due to scheduling, we aren't able to interview every artist & collaborator that we'd like. Nevertheless, check out the following AAPI artist & some of their work:

Mary Munez, Producer/UPM, on IG at @itsmarygolucky

Austin Vinas, Steadicam/Camera Op/DP, on IG at @ausnap

Victor Tan, DoP, on IG at @7ictortan

Katharin Mraz, Producer/Director/Writer/Production Designer/Costumes/Assistant Director, on IG at @Ladie_K & online at

If you're interested in being included in a upcoming edition of our collaboration with Subtitle Magazine, let us know!