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About Us

Chonk Moonhunter has been serving the Asian American community since 1976. The words in the name are derived from "chonk," a term created by poets Curtis Choy and George Leong in San Francisco in 1970 to self-define (in the manner of Chicano) that which was "Chinese-American," and to escape an imposed hyphenation and definition by the lackeys, compradors, and apologists of the power structure; and "Moonhunter," a component of Iron Moonhunter, the legendary Chinaman-built railroad created from stolen Central Pacific Railroad parts that would take them home to China. This is a story unearthed and promulgated by author Frank Chin, and relayed as oral history until Kathleen Chang's interpretation in book form (The Iron Moonhunter, 1974).
We have produced segments for the Dupont Guy radio show on KPFA and KFRC, aided in the construction of a radio studio at Chinese for Affirmative Action, and produced the first Asian American Film Festival, "Screaming Yellow Hordes," in 1977. Curtis Choy designed and built a sound recording and film editing facility in Oakland to service Chonk Moonhunter projects, but also took in commercial clients. Dupont Guy: The Schiz of Grant Avenue received the documentary award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (yeah, that Academy).

The Fall of The I-Hotel has won numerous festival prizes when released, including first prize at the Atlanta, Palo Alto, and National Housing festivals; Best of Festival at Big Muddy; and honorable mention at the San Francisco Festival. But its lasting legacy is its continuous use in Asian American Studies classes. Unfortunately, to this present day, banks and private investors do not see these themes as sufficiently universal to produce revenue, and thus, do not make the monetary commitments necessary to produce the work.

As always, the real work is done ad hoc and guerilla-style. Chonk Moonhunter, after completing The Fall of The I-Hotel, was obliged to go on a 20-year hiatus from its own work, while eking a livelihood by serving commercial documentary and feature projects. In the craft of location sound recording, Curtis Choy has continued to aid other Asian American projects (Chan is Missing, The Joy Luck Club, Three Seasons, Better Luck Tomorrow, American Fusion, and Finishing The Game). For a ridiculous list of things Choy has been involved with, visit his profile on IMDB.

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