Renee Tajima-Peña, professor of Asian American studies and director of the UCLA Center for EthnoCommunications, will receive the Past//Forward Award from Visual Communications, the nation's longest-running Asian Pacific American media arts center.

The Past//Forward Award recognizes a filmmaker or media artist that shares the Asian Pacific American experience in an empowering and meaningful way. Tajima-Peña is being honored for her work as “an artist, storyteller, and educator who has paved a path for herself and for others to follow.”

Tajima-Peña is an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker whose credits include the documentaries, “Calavera Highway,” “Skate Manzanar,” “Labor Women,” “My America...or Honk if You Love Buddha” and, most recently, “No Más Bebés.” Her films have premiered at the Cannes, Locarno, New Directors/New Films, San Francisco, Sundance and Toronto film festivals.

The award will be presented on May 12 at a gala that closes the organization’s Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. The gala is part of Visual Communications’ series of events to celebrate and advertise the organization’s upcoming 50th anniversary.