by Eddie Wong
Loni Ding died on Saturday, February 20, 2010 in Berkeley. She touched many people in different ways. As a teacher, she inspired first-time producers and veteran filmmakers with her unrelenting curiosity and deep commitment to telling difficult and disturbing social realities. As an activist, she had a tenacious determination to win social justice and put in the long hours needed behind the scenes. As a filmmaker, she showed us how the Asian American experience helped shape American history.
Among the many films Loni wrote, produced and directed was Island of Secret Memories, a short narrative that takes a young boy back in time to encounter his grandfather at the Angel Island Immigration Station. For thousands of school children, Loni's film was their first introduction to the hardships faced by Chinese immigrants.
We will miss Loni Ding not only for her gifts as a story-teller and truth-seeker, but for her irrepressible spirit, full of optimism and kindness as we make our way to a progressive future.
The funeral services will take place at the Green Street Mortuary, 649 Green Street, San Francisco on Sunday,March 14 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations made to the Center for Educational Telecommunications and sent to 1940 Hearst Ave., Berkeley, CA 94709. Funds will be used to complete Part III of Loni's film, Ancestors in the Americas.