My Tiger Mom

Concerned about where her young daughters might go to college one day, award-winning filmmaker Debbie Lum sets out to discover whether being a "tiger mother" will turn her kids into "the model minority."

Nina and Irene
Funding Initiative
Diversity Development Fund

Debbie Lum

Debbie Lum explored cultural stereotypes in My Tiger Mom and Seeking Asian Female. She made two short docs for Wayne Wang about his films Chan Is Missing and Dim Sum, co-produced and edited Kelly Loves Tony (PBS's POV), and edited To You Sweetheart, Aloha and the Emmy-winning a.k.a. Don Bonus (POV). Lum wrote and directed fictional films Chinese Beauty, A Great Deal! and One April Morning.

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The Film

My Tiger Mom is a feature-length documentary about Asian American mothers and daughters relentlessly pursuing their greatest aspiration: getting into an elite American university. Speaking with mothers, parents, educators, counselors, and others in the educational achievement industry, the film is a captivating personal documentary about the role of parents in their children’s success. Set in the competitive high schools of the San Francisco Bay Area, it follows a recent immigrant mom from China along with other so-called "Tiger Mothers" and their daughters through a grueling college application journey that ends in either admission or rejection by the school of their dreams. Through the lens of race, culture, and motherhood, this intimate story asks: what price must we pay in our obsessive rush toward success and achievement today?