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Everybody Loves Maako at Upcoming Film Exhibitions

Everybody Loves Maako documentary movie poster

Everybody Loves Maako is a 15-minute documentary about a classical violinist from Tokyo, Japan, who earned her master’s degree in Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. In the process, she learns to be an old-time music fiddler, mostly while she is secluded in her Boone cottage during the COVID-19 pandemic. The short film, produced and directed by Yndiana Montes Fogelquist, graduate student in Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University, will be featured at upcoming exhibitions in Virginia and North Carolina.


On Saturday February 24, Everybody Loves Maako will debut on the big screen at the Boone Doc Film Festival: “a collaborative project between the Appalachian Theatre and the Appalachian State University faculty with a shared goal of providing a creative platform for authentic stories about the beauty and complexity of Appalachian life and culture that extends beyond common stereotypes.” Festival organizer Beth Davison said, “the stories in these documentaries showcase exciting new voices from a diverse range of mountain communities.” You can buy tickets online through following the link:  https://www.apptheatre.org/events-and-tickets/2024-boone-docs


Everybody Loves Maako will also showcase at The Rural Film Festival hosted by Virginia Tech's Center for Rural Education and VT Engage. The festival takes place at Blacksburg, Virginia’s historic theater, The Lyric, and the short documentary will be shown on February 28 at 6:30 p.m. Dr. Amy Price Azano, Director of the Center for Rural Education said, “we were totally enamored by Maako’s story. It’s a powerful example of diversity and inclusion in our region.” 


In March, Everybody Loves Maako director Yndiana Montes Fogelquist and protagonist Maako Shiratori will be at the Appalachian Studies Association’s Annual Conference in Cullowhee, NC. Western Carolina University is hosting the conference this year and both Shiratori and Montes Fogelquist are presenting the panel discussion "Diversity in Appalachian Old Time Music and Bluegrass Music'' from 2:30 p.m to 3:30 p.m. Shiratori, who is currently enrolled at Duke University in the Ph.D. program in Ethnomusicology, is going to talk about other Japanese musicians in Appalachia (Jappalachia), and Montes Fogelquist will be showing her short documentary Everybody Loves Maako. They will both participate in the panel discussion. You can find more information about the conference at:


Appalachian State University's High Country Humanities is an initiative of the College of Arts and Sciences. With support from the Division of Academic Affairs, High Country Humanities will present Everybody Loves Maako at their event “Documentary Filmmakers on Interpreting Rural Life: From Appalachia to the World,” which will take place at the Appalachian Theatre on Friday, March 22 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. “I’m thrilled with this opportunity to interact with the other accomplished presenters and of being included in such a meaningful event,” says Montes Fogelquist. High Country Humanities will also showcase two very important documentaries: Professor Tom Hansell’s After Coal and Emeritus Professor of the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Dr. Kevin Kennedy’s Germans in Jamaica: War Spies and Camps. After parts of the documentaries are shown, there will be a Q&A moderated by Dr. Maria Pramaggiore, Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies at Appalachian State University. This is one of the events organized by the HCH through a $20,000 grant received to support a series of free public events relating to the theme of “Connecting Local and Global Rural Cultures.”


Artist Statement

Yndiana Montes during the filming of the documentary
Yndiana Montes will be the first Latina student to graduate from the Appalachian Studies MA program

"Diversity is important to me because I’m a naturalized American originally from Venezuela. As a result of my multicultural background, I have pursued a more inclusive approach to education at Appalachian State University. Even though Maako Shiratori and I are from very different cultural backgrounds and I am not a musician, I am in tune with her through our learned appreciation of Appalachian culture and its music. From the beginning, I admired not only her achievements but also her way of relating to all people, whether they are students, faculty, musicians in general, or regular folks."


"I think some stereotypes about Asians, Latinx or Latiné, Black Americans, women, LGBTQ people, etc, still exist and could create backlash due to the monster of radicalism. I hope that with this documentary, audiences get to know Maako more and understand better that for a “stranger” it is fundamental to love and respect the place that is giving you the opportunity to start over. What I have found is that even resistance from some can be overcome and cultural barriers can be broken by artistic expression in any of its forms."


Dates and Location

  • Boone Doc Film Fest- February 24 - 2:00-6:00 p.m. - Appalachian Theater on King Street

  • Rural Film Festival- February 28- 6:30 p.m.-  Blacksburg Virginia

  • Appalachian Studies Association Annual Conference- Friday, March 8- Cullowhee, NC, WCU

  • High Country Humanities: “Documentary Filmmakers on Interpreting Rural Life: From Appalachia to the World”- March 22- 4:30-6:30 p.m.- Appalachian Theatre



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