Film on Japanese American incarceration and Black & Asian allyship lands Independent Arts & Media as fiscal sponsor

Contact: Kiyoka Rhodes

Phone: (240) 561-9288

Email: [email protected]

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, March 4, 2024—Desolate Dreams short film has partnered with Independent Arts & Media (IAM) to help reach the project’s fundraising finish line. The SAG signatory film is fiscally sponsored by IAM, a San Francisco based 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to building community through media and the arts.

Desolate Dreams centers on Black and Asian solidarity during the World War II Japanese American incarceration. The film’s director Kiyoka ‘Kex’ Rhodes of Kex Studios, explained,  “As a half-Japanese and African American filmmaker, I wanted to tell a story that not only looks at one Japanese American family’s experience with the impact of Pearl Harbor but also the African American community that advocated for justice alongside Japanese Americans.” Rhodes hopes the film pays homage to the Japanese Americans and those of Japanese ancestry who were incarcerated in the United States of America. “While some voices try to put the Asian and African American communities against each other, there is history of shared solidarity that deserves to be told.”

Desolate Dreams stars co-leads Deon Tillman and Brent Yoshida.  Set in 1942 downtown Los Angeles, the film follows African American journalist, Robert Parker (Deon Tillman), as he advocates for justice alongside his Japanese American friend, Kazu Sakamoto (Brent Yoshida), who is forced into Heart Mountain prison camp with his family after President FDR issued Executive Order 9066 following the events of Pearl Harbor.

To date, the film has $8,726 committed to the project from individual contributors and sponsors through the Desolate Dreams Sponsorship Package. Asian American Futures, Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, Masto Foundation, and Arena Stage are some of the film’s package-tier sponsors. Now, with the fiscal sponsorship of IAM, individuals and organizations can make tax-deductible contributions to the film through the film’s fundraising campaign web page. Desolate Dreams aims to reach its fundraising goal of $70,000 for pre-production and production over the next several months to film this year.

“This is a passion project that has been in the works since 2019,” says director Kiyoka “Kex” Rhodes. “Period pieces can take time and become costly. While the pandemic put the project on a two-year hiatus, I’m glad we can resume things with IAM as our fiscal sponsor. We are so ready to make Desolate Dreams happen, and I’m hopeful that we’ll finally get there this year!”

Contributions go towards period-piece props, set design, wardrobe, locations, and paying cast and crew. Interested sponsors and contributors can make tax-deductible contributions towards the project on the film’s website.

“Desolate Dreams” is fiscally sponsored by Independent Arts & Media, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to building community through media and the arts. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.