R.I.P. LONI DING
Damn, first Gina Hotta, now Loni?
I can't even try to guess how many documentarians Loni trained at Berkeley during her many years there; it's safe to say however that she's been one of the giants in the field, a pioneer in every sense of the word.
I first met Loni in the '90s and what first struck me was how brusque her attitude was. She was a real "I don't give a shit/I suffer no fools" force of nature with her work and politics and could care less about being diplomatic or playing someone else's game. In that sense, Loni really carried over from the era of the Asian American Movement without ever feeling like she had to compromise in order to adjust with the changing political times. She was hardly lost in the past but rather, she had her lane and ran it like few other filmmakers I can think of. But her, Bob Nakamura, Renee Tajima, Christine Choy, and Curtis Choy (among others) literally helped forge a nascent Asian American identity and community through their work.
She will be sorely missed but I trust that her legacy is eternal.
More on her work here.