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An Evening with Della Chen: Unveiling SHE MARCHES IN CHINATOWN at San Juan Island Library

We are thrilled to announce an exclusive opportunity to delve deeper into the captivating narrative of SHE MARCHES IN CHINATOWN. Join us at the San Juan Island Library on Friday, March 8, at 7 PM for an enriching Q&A session with the director, Della Chen. This event follows the screening of her documentary, offering an intimate platform to explore the film's themes, insights, and the remarkable story behind the Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team. Don't miss this chance to engage with Della and uncover the layers of history, culture, and resilience embedded in this powerful film.

A large, multi-generational group of people is gathered on a street for a group photo. They are wearing coordinated outfits, with the majority in red shirts, and some in elaborate traditional golden costumes. Several are holding props that appear to be part of a cultural celebration or performance. There's a sense of community and pride emanating from the group, with all ages from children to the elderly represented.


In 1952, Asian American girls had no extra-curricular activities until Ruby Chow created the Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team, the only one of its kind in the world. Despite gentrification, Title IX, and a global pandemic, seventy years later the drill team continues to define, represent, and celebrate the evolving Asian American experience of its dedicated multigenerational participants.

About Della Chen, Director

a portrait of director Della Chen
Della Chen, Director

Working at the intersections of reckoning and resiliency, queerness, and film, Della is a Seattle native and a documentary photographer and filmmaker. She has been telling visual stories for weddings, families, commercial and non-profit, and editorial assignments for the last 19 years. She has been involved in multi-media projects about homeless advocacy and aging out of foster care. Since 2018, Della has been a teaching artist for Pablove Shutterbugs, a non-profit organization that teaches the art of photography to kids living with cancer. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Youth in Focus, a free after-school program in Seattle amplifying teen voices through photography and arts education. This is her first documentary film project and not her last.

Director Statement

When I was a teen in the 80’s I always wanted to be a part of the Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team but regretfully never did. Born and raised as a first-generation Seattleite, my family enthusiastically looked forward to the annual Seafair Torchlight Parade. Seeing The Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team perform gave our family this kind of Asian connection to an American tradition. These girls were badass. When my daughter turned 11, I suggested she consider joining the drill team so I could vicariously live through this experience. Her initial reaction was she realized she didn’t have many Asian friends in her school or neighborhood in North Seattle (besides her cousins). As a parent, I started learning more about the drill team’s background and history and as a visual artist, I was astounded that this story has never been told in a film. With the rise in anti-Asian hate and the climate of the world, I want this film to make an impact on this generation, to take better care of our blending cultures and community. Ruby Chow is my inspiration. An unintimidated, American-born Chinese woman who cared about her community and made a difference. She was badass.


This free event also includes the screening of THE LAST ACT with Director Amy Benson and subject Patsy Benson in attendance. No tickets or RSVP are required.

Thank you to our 2024 Best of the Fest Sponsors!

Presenting SponsorSaviBank

A white lighthouse with a red roof stands in the middle of a blue lake. The lighthouse has a black lantern room at the top, and windows with white frames. Trees line the shore of the lake in the background. Text at the top of the image reads "PRESENTING SPONSORS." Below that is a logo for KCTS 9 and a logo for SaviBank.

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