Arthur Chu defies what much of society expects from Asian-American men. The 11-time “Jeopardy!” winner was as famous for the incisive intelligence on display when he “broke” the popular trivia show, as he was for his on-air fights with host Alex Trebek. Not content to be as humble and docile as many wished he would be, Chu was unabashed in his pride. He has since used his celebrity to become a culture critic, admonishing sexism in “nerd” culture and fighting racism from those who wished he’d lose.
Now, Chu is the focus of a new documentary, “Who is Arthur Chu?” Its creators have taken to Indiegogo to fund the film’s production and release. The project, one of the Center for Asian American Media’s four 2015 Documentary Fund Awardees, chronicles Chu’s rise to fame and personal struggles as he travels to domestic conferences and visits Taiwan to reconnect with his estranged family. As the campaign’s Indiegogo page describes, Chu’s new-found celebrity and influence stood at odds with a somewhat troubled past:
As a teen, Arthur rebelled against his cultural background and his family. As an adult, Arthur attempts to heal the wounds of the past and make peace with a part of himself he wanted to erase. Our film follows Arthur’s journey of personal redemption, and explores the emotional toll of trying to better himself, while also putting everything on the line to keep doing what he loves.
The campaign, which has already met its goal of $15,000, is soliciting more funds over the next five days to fund digital animation and music scoring that will make Chu’s story even more compelling:
With $5,000 more, we can work with a great animator to create kinetic sequences of Arthur’s life on the Internet and his rich inner world. And with another $5,000, we can take our score onto another level by hiring professional musicians to make live recordings, as well as hire a veteran editor to consult on the almighty story.
While CAAM’s Documentary Fund helped the filmmakers finish production, the crowdfunded cash will cover licensing, editing, music and other related post-production costs.
Those who donate are elilgible to receive an official movie poster, other creative works from the film crew, tickets to premiere events across the country and more.
Click here to learn more about the campaign behind “Who is Arthur Chu?”