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Drinks with a Director: Grave of the Fireflies

Date & Time

Aug. 4, 2020
7:00pm – 7:30pm ET


Described by the late movie critic Roger Ebert as “one of the greatest war films ever made,” Grave of the Fireflies tells the story of two orphans struggling to survive in Japan during the last several months of World War II. Produced by Studio Ghibli, the 1988 film is based on writer Akiyuki Nosaka’s personal experiences of the devastation of war. Director Isao Takahata also drew from his own memories of the bombings of Okayama City to create what the New York Times has called “one of the most startling and moving animated films ever.

Join us for an after-hours discussion with two Washington-based film industry insiders, as part of the Asia Program’s series of events in assessing the legacy of the Pacific War during the month of August. This will also be the inaugural discussion for our Drinks with a Director series.

Grave of the Fireflies can be streamed via Hulu, and is available for rent on Vudu and Apple TV. We encourage audiences to watch the film on their own prior to the event to be ready to join in the discussion.

About the Speakers

Christian Oh has been a pillar of the local film-making community. As former chair of the board for the DC Shorts International Film Festival  (, he has produced and directed many award-winning shorts, music videos, commercials, and public service announcements. He received his film background education from George Washington University Documentary Center, internships with Adobe at both the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals and on-hands experience with Sundance and Tribeca.  Christian is currently the President/Executive Director of the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival (, he loves production of all types of events and projects and has lots of experiences with expos, conventions, festivals, galas, and large-scale events.   Prior to that, he was the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Kollaboration DC, an Asian American Talent competition here in the DC metro area. Christian has also been a consultant for many different events pertaining to Asian Festivals, KPop, Music, Entertainment, and Film. Christian was a former adjunct faculty for the Asian American Studies program at University of Maryland where he taught ethnic studies in film, video, and social media. He has lived and worked in the DMV area for over 25 years.

Mary Ratliff is a D.C. based screenwriter, producer, director, and podcaster.  She earned her MFA at American University and a BA from Hollins University.  She is a former journalist and photographer who currently works for the Wilson Center's Asia Program as a social media and editorial specialist.  She currently serves as the editor for the program's blog, Asia Dispatches


Christian Oh

President of the Board, DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival
A photo of Mary Ratliff

Mary Ratliff

Communications Specialist

Hosted By

Asia Program

The Asia Program promotes policy debate and intellectual discussions on U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific as well as political, economic, security, and social issues relating to the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region.   Read more

Thank you for your interest in this event. Please send any feedback or questions to our Events staff.