Video Sneak Peek: CBS’s THE EQUALIZER Focuses on Asian American Hate; Perry Yung, Celia Au, Jo Yang, Henry Yuk and More Guest Star

Liza Lapira as Mel.
Photo: Michael Greenberg/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

In the “Chinatown” episode of The Equalizer, Robyn McCall (Queen Latifah) and Melody ‘Mel’ Bayani (Liza Lapira) along with a jaded ex-cop (Perry Yung) search for the killers of a beloved Chinatown baker (Jo Yang). The Asian American bakery owner was the victim of a hate crime masked to look like an accidental electrical fire.

GUEST CAST: Perry Yung (Ray Lai); Celia Au (Chloe San); Alex Breaux (Frank Mitchell); Spenser Granese (Trevor); Faron Salisbury (Eric); Jo Yang (Li Wong); Imani Lewis (Kisha Griffin); Henry Yuk (Eddie Cheung); Mike Massimino (Marshall); Brian Dole (Liam); Todd Antonio Biggerstaff (Employee).

This episode of The Equalizer is directed by Liz Friedlander and Christine Moore, and written by Zoe Robyn.

Celia Au as Chloe San in THE EQUALIZER
Pictured (L-R): Perry Yung as Ray Lai and Tory Kittles as Detective Marcus Dante.
Photo: Michael Greenberg/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Jo Yang as Li Wong in THE EQUALIZER
Pictured: Henry Yuk as Eddie Cheung. Photo: Michael Greenberg/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

New episodes of The Equalizer premiere on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. Episodes can also be streamed live or on demand on Paramount+.

EW.com: The Equalizer tackles Asian American hate in way star Liza Lapira says ‘could be the model for other shows’

tv.line.com: The Equalizer‘s Liza Lapira Previews Anti-Asian Hate Episode: ‘I Was Able to Give Voice to Real People’

cbsnews.com: Actress Liza Lapira shares personal experiences as “The Equalizer” tackles anti-Asian violence

parade.com: Liza Lapira’s Real-Life Experiences Take Center Stage as The Equalizer Tackles Asian American Hate

Watch Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” During a Southern California-Exclusive Limited Engagement at El Capitan Theatre Starting March 11

Disney and Pixar’s new animated feature “Turning Red” comes to the big screen at Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre as a Southern California exclusive during a limited one-week engagement March 11 through March 17.

©2022 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Guests can attend a “Turning Red” Opening Night Fan Event on March 11 at 7:00pm for $40. Each ticket includes a souvenir credential, reversible bucket cap, notebook and 64oz popcorn tub.

©2022 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

During each show throughout the week, guests are encouraged to arrive early and let loose at the Panda-Monium Dance Party inside the theatre. Audience members can dance and jam to some tunes at their seats with an upbeat, on-stage host while enjoying a fun mix of music.


Showtimes for “Turning Red” March 11 through 14 and March 17 are 10:00am, 1:00pm, 4:00pm, 7:00pm and 9:55pm. Showtimes March 15 and 16 are 10:00am and 1:00pm. Dates and times are subject to change. BFF Packs are also available for $75 each and include four reserved tickets, four 64oz popcorn tubs and one full day of parking at the Hollywood & Highland complex. Additional tickets can be added by calling 1-800-Disney-6 (347-6396). Tickets are now on sale at www.elcapitantickets.com and here. All seats are reserved. Friday through Sunday tickets are $18 for adults and $14 for children and seniors. Monday through Thursday tickets are $16 for adults and $12 for children and seniors. The El Capitan Theatre has taken enhanced health and safety measures for its guests and cast members.  All guests must follow posted instructions while visiting. For health and safety information including theatre policies and procedures visit https://elcapitantheatre.com/safetyinformation/

About Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red”:Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” introduces Mei Lee (voice of Rosalie Chiang), a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming (voice of Sandra Oh), is never far from her daughter—an unfortunate reality for the teenager. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she “poofs” into a giant red panda! Directed by Academy Award® winner Domee Shi (Pixar short “Bao”) and produced by Lindsey Collins. The screenplay is by Domee Shields and Julia Cho.

Sherry Cola, Tristan Allerick Chen, Ava Morse, Josh Levi, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Addie Chandler, Rosalie Chiang, Lily Sanfelippo, Hyein Park, Grayson Villanueva, Sandra Oh, Topher Ngo and Mia Tagano at the premiere screening of TURNING RED. Photo courtesy of Disney+ Facebook

The voice cast includes Ava Morse as Miriam, Mei’s best friend, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Priya, Hyein Park as Abby, Mei’s friend, Orion Lee  as Jin Lee, Wai Ching Ho as grandma, Tristan Allerick Chen as Tyler, Addie Chandler as Devon, Mei’s love interest. Jordan Fisher as Robaire, Josh Levi, Topher Ngo, Finneas O’Connell as Jesse, Grayson Villanueva, Anne Marie as Lauren, James Hong, Lori Tan Chinn, Lilian Lim, Mia Tagano, Sherry Cola, Sasha Roiz, and Lilly Sanfellippo round out the cast.

Ben Klein and Violet Columbus’ Documentary THE EXILES Wins 2022 Sundance U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary

Christine Choy in THE EXILES. Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute
Christine Choy in THE EXILES. Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute

Ben Klein and Violet Columbus’ The Exiles, which tracks down three exiled dissidents from the Tiananmen Square massacre, in order to find closure on an abandoned film Christine Choy began shooting with Renee Tajima-Peña in 1989, has won the 2022 Sundance U.S. Grand Jury Prize in the Documentary category. 

Brash and opinionated, Christine Choy is a documentarian, cinematographer, professor, and quintessential New Yorker whose films and teaching have influenced a generation of artists. In 1989 she and Renee Tajima-Peña started to film the leaders of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests who escaped to political exile following the June 4 massacre. Though they never finished that project, Choy now travels with the old footage to Taiwan, Maryland, and Paris in order to share it with the dissidents who have never been able to return home.

In their debut feature, directors Violet Columbus and Ben Klein follow Choy, deftly moving between her original footage of Chinese exiles in the immediate, traumatic aftermath of Tiananmen and the present day’s clear-eyed realization that the past 30-plus years have not fulfilled their hopes and dreams for their country and themselves. Driven by the iconoclastic voice of Choy and illuminated by the power of film to both traverse and destroy the experience of time, The Exiles brings modern history and the struggle for democracy to human scale by considering the individual costs of a life dedicated to self-expression.

Suzanne Joe Kai Nominated for 2022 Writers Guild Award for Documentary Screenplay for LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES

Suzanne Joe Kai. Photo by Steven Khan
Suzanne Joe Kai. Photo by Steven Khan

Suzanne Joe Kai, the producer, director and writer of the Award-winning documentary,  Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres, has been nominated for a 2022 Writers Guild Award for Documentary Screenplay. 

Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) and Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) recently announced nominations for outstanding achievement in screenwriting during 2021. Winners will be honored at a joint 2022 Writers Guild Awards virtual ceremony on Sunday, March 20, 2022. Click here for a list of all the nominations.

For director Suzanne, this is her third act in her life as a feature director, as she is now over 65 years+, and the film took over 10 years in the making.  The result is an incredible portrait of an Asian American journalist who was instrumental in the careers of many iconic music legends.  It was no secret that every rock/pop/soul music act of the 70’s yearned to be on the cover of the revolutionary Rolling Stone magazine and be interviewed by Ben Fong-Torres. Executive produced by Oscar® winning Freida Lee Mock, Oscar® nominated Bryn Mooser,  award winning Doug Blush and the late Tony Hsieh, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES shows us how the legendary Rolling Stone magazine writer and music editor, defined the cultural zeitgeist of the ’60s and ’70s. Featuring incredible archival footage and intimate interviews with Ben Fong-Torres, Cameron Crowe, Annie Leibovitz, Carlos Santana, Elton John, Steve Martin, Bob Weir, Quincy Jones, Marvin Gaye and more, this film brings us the personal story of this legendary journalist.

The current award tally includes the 2021 Newport Beach Film Festival Award for Best Music Documentary, the 2021 San Diego Asian Film Festival Audience Award for Best Feature Film and the 2021 Critics Choice Documentary Honor for Most Compelling Living Subject in a Documentary for Ben Fong-Torres.

About the Film

LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES

The lights, the crowds, the music! Ben Fong-Torres covered it all at Rolling Stone as its legendary writer and first music editor. Ben’s life is an epic sweep through the world of rock and roll. The American-born son of Chinese immigrants, Ben grew up in Chinatown with only a radio to the outside world. Driven by a passion for music and writing, his groundbreaking work helped define American culture. He became a voice of a generation which changed America forever.

““Like A Rolling Stone: The Life and Times of Ben Fong-Torres” is a must-see for every journalist, for any music fan, and for anyone who’s ever doubted their chances of success” -The Playlist

“If you don’t already know Ben Fong-Torres for his groundbreaking work in 1960s music journalism, buckle up.” -Town & Country

“What a masterpiece. Grade A+!”Jackie DeShannon – KLOS FM

“Not to be missed!”Vogue Magazine  

World Premiere – 2021 Tribeca Film Festival – Documentary Competition

Official Selection – 37th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Official Selection – 44th Mill Valley Film Festival

Official Selection – 30th Heartland International Film Festival Official Selection – 22nd Newport Beach Film Festival

Official Selection – 22nd San Diego Asian Film Festival  

Website: Likearollingstonemovie.com

Ben Fong-Torres at The Tribeca Film Festival at The Battery in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang
Ben Fong-Torres attends the afterparty for the World Premiere screening of Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

Suzanne Joe Kai received two Emmy® Award nominations and was named Best Woman News Reporter while a broadcast journalist at San Francisco’s NBC affiliate KRON-TV. She worked at KCBS Radio (CBS) and television stations KTVU (FOX), KGO (ABC), KGUN (ABC), and RottenTomatoes.com. Kai holds a master’s in documentary film from Stanford University.

Ben Fong-Torres attends the afterparty for the World Premiere screening of Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

Ben Fong-Torres was born in Alameda, California, in 1945, and raised in Oakland’s Chinatown, where his parents owned a restaurant. He attended San Francisco State College from 1962 through 1966, majored in Radio-TV-Film and served as a reporter and editor of the campus daily. He began writing for Rolling Stone magazine in 1968, in its eighth issue. He had a full-time job at another publication: Pacific Telephone’s employee magazine. By night, he was a volunteer editor at East West, a bilingual Chinatown newspaper. In May, 1969, Ben joined Rolling Stone as news editor. His interview subjects included Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Bonnie Raitt, the Jackson 5, Linda Ronstadt, Neil Diamond, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, the Grateful Dead, Ike & Tina Turner, Santana, Diane Keaton, and Steve Martin. The Ray Charles interview won the Deems Taylor Award for Magazine Writing in 1974.

Ben Fong-Torres attends the afterparty for the World Premiere screening of Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

Ben was also a weekend DJ on KSAN, a pioneer FM rock station, from 1970 to 1980. He wrote and narrated a syndicated radio special, San Francisco: What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been, which won a Billboard Award for Broadcast Excellence. He was the host of KQED-FM’s live, weekly arts show, Fog City Radio, and in 2016 created Moonalice Radio, an online station for the jam band. He programs the music and does a DJ show, 9 to 12 am and pm.

Dianne Fong-Torres and her husband, Ben Fong-Torres in a clip from the World Premiere screening of Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival at The Battery in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

Ben has co-anchored KTVU-TV’s coverage of the Chinese New Year parades since the Year of the Ox – or 1997. He and co-anchor Julie Haener have won five Emmys. Also on television, Ben did profiles on Evening Magazine in 1977, and, in 1982, went to China as scriptwriter for a special, Cycling Through China. His most unique TV credit was his 1993 appearance on “Wheel of Fortune”. Over three nights, he won some $99,000 in cash and fabulous prizes. He also appeared on the nationally syndicated “Your Big Break” in spring of 2000, doing an impersonation of Bob Dylan. Ben left Rolling Stone in 1981 and has since written for dozens of magazines, including Esquire, GQ (where he was pop music columnist for three years), Parade, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Travel & Leisure, American Film, TV Guide, Harper’s Bazaar, Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. He wrote the main biographies for People magazine’s tributes to Jerry Garcia and Frank Sinatra. In 1983, Fong-Torres joined the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was a feature writer and radio columnist until 1992, when he left to write his memoirs, The Rice Room: From Number Two Son to Rock and Roll, published in 1994 by Hyperion (and in softcover by Plume/Dutton), which reached the San Francisco Chronicle’s best-sellers list. Ben wrote the main text for The Motown Album: The Sound of Young America (St. Martin’s Press). In 1991, he published Hickory Wind: The Life and Times of Gram Parsons (Pocket/Simon & Schuster). The book was nominated for the Ralph J. Gleason Book Award, and St. Martin’s Press published an updated version of it in fall of 1998. In 1993, on completion of The Rice Room, Ben joined Gavin, the San Francisco-based trade weekly for the radio and recording industries, as managing editor. He vacated that post in late 1997 to work on The Hits Just Keep On Coming: The History of Top 40 Radio, which was published by Miller Freeman Books in fall of 1998. In 1999, Ben published Not Fade Away: A Backstage Pass to 20 Years of Rock & Roll, which was followed by a second collection, Becoming Almost Famous, in 2006. He wrote The Doors by the Doors (2007) and the Grateful Dead Scrapbook (2009). A book about the Eagles has been published in two editions. His 2013 book, Willin’: The Story of Little Feat, was released in an Audible version early in 2021, along with The Rice Room. Ben narrated both books. Fong-Torres is frequently called on to emcee community and fund-raising events, and to conduct on-stage interviews at events like South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, and at the Mill Valley Film Festival. He is also known for his impressions of, among others, Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. Both are featured in one song, “Rainy Day Bookstores,” on a CD entitled Stranger Than Fiction, featuring best-selling authors performing music. He is a real-life character in Almost Famous, the 2000 film by Cameron Crowe.  www.benfongtorres.com

Documentaries eligible for a Writers Guild Award featured an onscreen writing credit and were exhibited theatrically in Los Angeles or New York for one week during the eligibility period of March 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021. Theatrical documentaries must have been produced under the jurisdiction of the WGA or an affiliate Guild to be eligible for awards consideration. Feature films and documentaries that had a theatrical exhibition scheduled during the eligibility period but had to pivot to a streaming release due to the COVID-19 pandemic were also eligible for WGA Awards consideration. The Writers Guild Awards honor outstanding writing in film, television, new media, news (broadcast and digital), radio/audio, and promotional categories. The 2022 Writers Guild Awards (74th Annual) will be held on Sunday, March 20, 2022. For more information about the 2022 Writers Guild Awards, please visit www.wga.org or www.wgaeast.org.

The Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) are labor unions representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media, and broadcast news. The Guilds negotiate and administer contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of their members; conduct programs, seminars, and events on issues of interest to writers; and present writers’ views to various bodies of government.

womenandhollywood.com: Tribeca 2021 Women Directors: Meet Suzanne Joe Kai – “Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres”

 
 
 
 
 
 
Lia Chang
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.
 
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com  

Full List of SAG Nominations include Squid Game’s Lee Jung-jae, Jung Ho-yeon, Ensemble and Stunt Ensemble, The Chair’s Sandra Oh, and the Stunt Ensemble of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”

Nominees for the 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® honoring outstanding individual, cast and ensemble performances for the past year were announced this morning by Rosario Dawson (Dopesick, Go-Big Show) and Vanessa Hudgens (tick, tick…BOOM!, The Princess Switch) via Instagram Live. The nominees for outstanding action performances by film and television stunt ensembles were announced by SAG Awards Committee Members Jason George and Elizabeth McLaughlin with an introduction by SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher. A replay of today’s announcement is available for viewing on instagram.com/sagawards.

Netflix’s Squid Game received four nominations including Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series for Lee Jung-jae, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for Jung Ho-yeon, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, and Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series. Sandra Oh was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series for The Chair. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is up for Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture.

The 28th SAG Awards® will be nationally simulcast LIVE on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT from The Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. Helen Mirren is this year Life Achievement Award honoree.

Congrats to all of the nominees!! Check out the full list below.

One of awards season’s premier events, the SAG Awards annually celebrates the outstanding motion picture and television performances from the previous calendar year (SAG Awards Eligibility Period: March 1 – December 31, 2021). Of the top industry honors presented to actors, only the SAG Awards are selected entirely by performers’ peers in SAG-AFTRA with 124,000 eligible voters. The SAG Awards was the first televised awards show to acknowledge the work of union members and the first to present awards to motion picture casts and television ensembles.

Television Awards
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Murray Bartlett, “The White Lotus”
Oscar Isaac, “Scenes From a Marriage”
Michael Keaton, “Dopesick”
Ewan McGregor, “Halston”
Evan Peters, “Mare of Easttown”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Jennifer Coolidge, “The White Lotus”
Cynthia Erivo, “Genius: Aretha”
Margaret Qualley, “Maid”
Jean Smart, “Mare of Easttown”
Kate Winslet, “Mare of Easttown”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Brian Cox, “Succession”
Billy Crudup, “The Morning Show”
Kieran Culkin, “Succession”
Lee Jung-jae, “Squid Game”
Jeremy Strong, “Succession”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show”
Jung Ho-yeon, “Squid Game”
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Sarah Snook, “Succession”
Reese Witherspoon, “The Morning Show”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”
Brett Goldstein, “Ted Lasso”
Steve Martin, “Only Murders in the Building”
Martin Short, “Only Murders in the Building”
Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Elle Fanning, “The Great”
Sandra Oh, “The Chair”
Jean Smart, “Hacks”
Juno Temple, “Ted Lasso”
Hannah Waddingham, “Ted Lasso”

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“The Morning Show”
“Squid Game”
“Succession”
“Yellowstone”

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
“The Great”
“Hacks”
“The Kominsky Method”
“Only Murders in the Building”
“Ted Lasso”

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series
“Cobra Kai”
“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”
“Loki”
“Mare of Easttown”
“Squid Game”

Motion Picture Awards

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem, “Being the Ricardos”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Power of the Dog”
Andrew Garfield, “Tick, Tick… Boom”
Will Smith, “King Richard”
Denzel Washington, “The Tragedy of Macbeth”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”
Olivia Colman, “The Lost Daughter”
Lady Gaga, “House of Gucci”
Jennifer Hudson, “Respect”
Nicole Kidman, “Being the Ricardos”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Ben Affleck, “The Tender Bar”
Bradley Cooper, “Licorice Pizza”
Troy Kotsur, “CODA”
Jared Leto, “House of Gucci”
Kodi Smit-McPhee, “The Power of the Dog”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Caitríona Balfe, “Belfast”
Cate Blanchett, “Nightmare Alley”
Ariana DeBose, “West Side Story”
Kirsten Dunst, “The Power of the Dog”
Ruth Negga, “Passing”Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
“Belfast”
“CODA”
“Don’t Look Up”
“House of Gucci”
“King Richard”Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
“Black Widow”
“Dune”
“The Matrix Resurrections”
“No Time to Die”
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”

Suzanne Joe Kai’s Award-Winning Documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES in a Limited One-Week Los Angeles Run at Laemmle Monica Film Center in Santa Monica through Dec. 2

Suzanne Joe Kai’s Award-winning documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES, is currently having a limited one-week Los Angeles run at  Laemmle Monica Film Center in Santa Monica (1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401) through Dec. 2. Click here for tickets.

On Sunday, November 28 at 4:20 pm., you can get free ticket for the Sunday show, including a Q&A with the producer-director, Suzanne Joe Kai, and exec. Producer Doug Blush (20 Feet from Stardom) by emailing David Magdael, co-producer, at dmagdael@tcdm-associates.com, and saying how many passes you want. First come first served until the freebies run out.

For director Suzanne, this is her third act in her life as a feature director, as she is now over 65 years+, and the film took over 10 years in the making.  The result is an incredible portrait of an Asian American journalist who was instrumental in the careers of many iconic music legends.  It was no secret that every rock/pop/soul music act of the 70’s yearned to be on the cover of the revolutionary Rolling Stone magazine and be interviewed by Ben Fong-Torres. 

Executive produced by Oscar® winning Freida Lee Mock, Oscar® nominated Bryn Mooser,  award winning Doug Blush and the late Tony Hsieh, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES shows us how the legendary Rolling Stone magazine writer and music editor, defined the cultural zeitgeist of the ’60s and ’70s. Featuring incredible archival footage and intimate interviews with Ben Fong-Torres, Cameron Crowe, Annie Leibovitz, Carlos Santana, Elton John, Steve Martin, Bob Weir, Quincy Jones, Marvin Gaye and more, this film brings us the personal story of this legendary journalist.

The current award tally includes the 2021 Newport Beach Film Festival Award for Best Music Documentary, the 2021 San Diego Asian Film Festival Audience Award for Best Feature Film and the 2021 Critics Choice Documentary Honor for Most Compelling Living Subject in a Documentary for Ben Fong-Torres.

About the Film LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES
The lights, the crowds, the music! Ben Fong-Torres covered it all at Rolling Stone as its legendary writer and first music editor. Ben’s life is an epic sweep through the world of rock and roll. The American-born son of Chinese immigrants, Ben grew up in Chinatown with only a radio to the outside world. Driven by a passion for music and writing, his groundbreaking work helped define American culture. He became a voice of a generation which changed America forever.

 ““Like A Rolling Stone: The Life and Times of Ben Fong-Torres” is a must-see for every journalist,
for any music fan, and for anyone who’s ever doubted their chances of success”
-The Playlist

“If you don’t already know Ben Fong-Torres for his groundbreaking work in 1960s music journalism, buckle up.”
-Town & Country

“What a masterpiece.  Grade A+!”
Jackie DeShannon – KLOS FM

“Not to be missed!”
Vogue Magazine

 World Premiere – 2021 Tribeca Film Festival – Documentary Competition
Official Selection – 37th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Official Selection – 44th Mill Valley Film Festival
Official Selection – 30th Heartland International Film Festival
Official Selection – 22nd Newport Beach Film Festival
Official Selection – 22nd San Diego Asian Film Festival

 Website: Likearollingstonemovie.com

Ben Fong-Torres at The Tribeca Film Festival at The Battery in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang
Ben Fong-Torres attends the afterparty for the World Premiere screening of Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang
Suzanne Joe Kai. Photo by Steven Khan

Suzanne Joe Kai received two Emmy® Award nominations and was named Best Woman News Reporter while a broadcast journalist at San Francisco’s NBC affiliate KRON-TV. She worked at KCBS Radio (CBS) and television stations KTVU (FOX), KGO (ABC), KGUN (ABC), and RottenTomatoes.com. Kai holds a master’s in documentary film from Stanford University.

Ben Fong-Torres attends the afterparty for the World Premiere screening of Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

Ben Fong-Torres was born in Alameda, California, in 1945, and raised in Oakland’s Chinatown, where his parents owned a restaurant. He attended San Francisco State College from 1962 through 1966, majored in Radio-TV-Film and served as a reporter and editor of the campus daily.

He began writing for Rolling Stone magazine in 1968, in its eighth issue. He had a full-time job at another publication: Pacific Telephone’s employee magazine. By night, he was a volunteer editor at East West, a bilingual Chinatown newspaper. In May, 1969, Ben joined Rolling Stone as news editor. His interview subjects included Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Bonnie Raitt, the Jackson 5, Linda Ronstadt, Neil Diamond, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, the Grateful Dead, Ike & Tina Turner, Santana, Diane Keaton, and Steve Martin. The Ray Charles interview won the Deems Taylor Award for Magazine Writing in 1974.

Ben Fong-Torres attends the afterparty for the World Premiere screening of Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

Ben was also a weekend DJ on KSAN, a pioneer FM rock station, from 1970 to 1980. He wrote and narrated a syndicated radio special, San Francisco: What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been, which won a Billboard Award for Broadcast Excellence. He was the host of KQED-FM’s live, weekly arts show, Fog City Radio, and in 2016 created Moonalice Radio, an online station for the jam band. He programs the music and does a DJ show, 9 to 12 am and pm.

Dianne Fong-Torres and her husband, Ben Fong-Torres in a clip from the World Premiere screening of Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival at The Battery in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

Ben has co-anchored KTVU-TV’s coverage of the Chinese New Year parades since the Year of the Ox – or 1997. He and co-anchor Julie Haener have won five Emmys.

Also on television, Ben did profiles on Evening Magazine in 1977, and, in 1982, went to China as scriptwriter for a special, Cycling Through China. His most unique TV credit was his 1993 appearance on “Wheel of Fortune”. Over three nights, he won some $99,000 in cash and fabulous prizes. He also appeared on the nationally syndicated “Your Big Break” in spring of 2000, doing an impersonation of Bob Dylan.

Ben left Rolling Stone in 1981 and has since written for dozens of magazines, including Esquire, GQ (where he was pop music columnist for three years), Parade, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Travel & Leisure, American Film, TV Guide, Harper’s Bazaar, Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. He wrote the main biographies for People magazine’s tributes to Jerry Garcia and Frank Sinatra.

In 1983, Fong-Torres joined the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was a feature writer and radio columnist until 1992, when he left to write his memoirs, The Rice Room: From Number Two Son to Rock and Roll, published in 1994 by Hyperion (and in softcover by Plume/Dutton), which reached the San Francisco Chronicle’s best-sellers list.

Ben wrote the main text for The Motown Album: The Sound of Young America (St. Martin’s Press). In 1991, he published Hickory Wind: The Life and Times of Gram Parsons (Pocket/Simon & Schuster). The book was nominated for the Ralph J. Gleason Book Award, and St. Martin’s Press published an updated version of it in fall of 1998.

In 1993, on completion of The Rice Room, Ben joined Gavin, the San Francisco-based trade weekly for the radio and recording industries, as managing editor. He vacated that post in late 1997 to work on The Hits Just Keep On Coming: The History of Top 40 Radio, which was published by Miller Freeman Books in fall of 1998.

In 1999, Ben published Not Fade Away: A Backstage Pass to 20 Years of Rock & Roll, which was followed by a second collection, Becoming Almost Famous, in 2006. He wrote The Doors by the Doors (2007) and the Grateful Dead Scrapbook (2009). A book about the Eagles has been published in two editions. His 2013 book, Willin’: The Story of Little Feat, was released in an Audible version early in 2021, along with The Rice Room. Ben narrated both books.

Fong-Torres is frequently called on to emcee community and fund-raising events, and to conduct on-stage interviews at events like South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, and at the Mill Valley Film Festival. He is also known for his impressions of, among others, Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. Both are featured in one song, “Rainy Day Bookstores,” on a CD entitled Stranger Than Fiction, featuring best-selling authors performing music.

He is a real-life character in Almost Famous, the 2000 film by Cameron Crowe.  www.benfongtorres.com

womenandhollywood.com: Tribeca 2021 Women Directors: Meet Suzanne Joe Kai – “Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres”

Inside the Tribeca Film Festival’s World Premiere of Suzanne Joe Kai’s LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE & TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES

The Knockturnal: On The Scene: Ben Fong-Torres Attends “Like a Rolling Stone” TFF After Party the playlist.net: “Like A Rolling Stone: The Life & Times Of Ben Fong-Torres”: Is A Must-See For Music Lovers [Tribeca Review]

Rolling Stone: 16 Movies We Can’t Wait to See at Tribeca 2021

kron4.com: Rock ‘n’ roll royalty: Ben Fong-Torres reflects on his career

vogue: Here Are 4 Documentaries Not to Miss at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival

prnewswire.com: ‘Almost Famous’ Expanded Soundtrack In A Limited-Edition Uber Box Set Released July 9 Via UMe

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2021 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Oct. 9: Clarion Performing Arts Center’s Clarion Film Club Presents SEEKING HOME and EMPRESS YEE AND THE MAGICAL HISTORY OF CHINATOWN by Marc Pomerleau

Clarion Performing Arts Center is presenting an evening with filmmaker Marc Pomerleau and is screening two of his films, Seeking Home and Empress Yee and the Magical History of Chinatown on Saturday, October 9, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. PDT/ 7:00 p.m. EST.  at Clarion Performing Arts Center, 2 Waverly Place, San Francisco, Ca, 94108

Click here to purchase tickets.

About this event

Seeking Home, a short film by Marc Pomerleau and Austin Nguyen, follows Marc’s personal exploration of Asian identity, San Francisco Chinatown, the Asian American experience, and the desire that resides in all of us to discover who we are and what it means to be home.

Empress Yee and the Magical History of Chinatown is another film by Marc Pomerleau, co-produced with Awesome Theatre. It tells the story of Cynthia Yee, a burlesque dancer, entertainer, educator, tour guide, all-around mover and shaker and bender of traditional norms, born, raised, and still creating magic in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

You will experience a deep-dive into Chinatown and its history. We will help you explore the lives of those people who walked the streets of Chinatown in the 50’s and 60’s. 

About the Venue

Clarion Performing Arts Center is a hidden gem in the heart of Chinatown. Its intimate setting and cozy seating bring audience and performers together to create magic. It’s a space of respite from the bustling neighborhood. Discover Galeria Clarion and the Showgirl Magic Museum in the underground alcove. During the pandemic we’re open on Saturdays only during the music and film club. Face mask and proof of vaccination is required.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and an award-winning filmmaker. She is the co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, and The Last Dragon. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short indie films Hide and Seek (Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Best Actress Nomination), Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World Was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also a portrait and performing arts photographer and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia writes about arts and entertainment on her Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog. The Lia Chang theater portfolio collection, 1989-2011, is housed in the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) collection located in the Library of Congress’ Asian Reading Room and The Billy Rose Theatre Division of The New York Public Library. www.liachang.com

HIDE AND SEEK and WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG Currently Screening in Online Component of Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest (SVAPFF) through Oct. 10

Hide and Seek and When the World Was Young, two award-winning short films written and directed by Garth Kravits and executive produced by Lia Chang of Bev’s Girl Films, are official selections of the seventh annual Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest (SVAPFF) and are currently screening online through October 10. This year’s theme is Asian. American. Amazing! svapfilmfest.org

The Online component of Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest (SVAPFF) features an outstanding selection of 50+ Asian American films with category themes: Amazing Stories, Current Social Issues, Experimental/Avant Garde, Family Sacrifices, Friendships/Relationships, Fun Package, Healing, Interesting Shorts, PG+, and the feature, “try harder!”. I plan on trying to watch all of them in the next few days.

The festival is excited to bring the best films from Asian American filmmakers. There are two filmmakers who meet our high standards twice over– Lia Chang, who produced When the World Was Young and Hide and Seek, and Marc Pomerleau, who directed Seeking Home and Empress Yee and the Magical History of Chinatown.

Lia Chang and Garth Kravits in HIDE AND SEEK.
Lia Chang and Garth Kravits in HIDE AND SEEK.

Hide and Seek and When the World Was Young, two short films written and directed by Garth Kravits and executive produced by Lia Chang of Bev’s Girl Films, are official selections of the seventh annual Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest (SVAPFF) and will screen online.

Lia Chang in HIDE AND SEEK
Lia Chang in HIDE AND SEEK

Hide and Seek stars Lia Chang and Garth Kravits, is co-written by Lia Chang and Garth Kravits and executive produced by Lia Chang/Bev’s Girl Films. Hide and Seek is a short film that speaks to the societal challenge that women, and especially women of color, endure every day. To look in the mirror and to hope to see a face other than your own. One that is closer to what magazines, television and movies define as beautiful or even normal. What face do you see when you look in the mirror? Hide and Seek is in the Current Social Issues lineup. Click here for tickets.

Jason Ma, Lia Chang and Virginia Wing in When the World Was Young. Photo by Garth Kravits

When the World Was Young stars Virginia Wing, Jason Ma and Lia Chang. The cast also features Jo Yang, Daniel Dunlow, Michelle Miller and Mark York. When siblings Benjamin and Audrey return home to confront their Mother’s memory loss, they discover a hidden key to her past.

Jason Ma, Virginia Wing and Lia Chang in WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG. Photo by Garth Kravits

Written and directed by Garth Kravits, the film is Executive Produced by Bev’s Girl Films, with producers Garth Kravits of Cut & Dry Films and Eric Elizaga. When the World Was Young features original compositions by Kristen Rosenfeld. Hair and makeup by Dorothy Bhadra. When the World Was Young is in the Friendships/Relationships lineup. Click here to purchase tickets.

Jo Yang, Garth Kravits, Virginia Wing, Jason Ma and Lia Chang attend Asian American Night of CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND at Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on February 9, 2020. Photo by Alex Sanchez

To purchase tickets for the Online Festival, visit tinyurl.com/svapffvirtual and select your packages. Online tickets are $5.00 per package or $25 for a festival pass to see all the films.

Virginia Wing. Photo by Lia Chang

Virginia Wing (Virginia) is a Chinese-American actress whose ancestors came to the “Gold Mountain” from Canton (now Guangdong) in the mid-1800s, lured  by the Gold Rush and the building of the railroads. She is currently writing about growing up Southern in the Mississippi Delta, where she was born and raised. Professionally, she has run the gamut from opera, theatre, cabaret, TV, film, playwriting, directing and producing to script analysis. She modeled in her youth and is in the Breck Girl Hall of Fame. She was the model in the Mitsouko by Guerlain ad in the 60s, which won awards internationally. She was a nominee for Best Actress in the Hollywood NAACP Image Awards. She is most proud of this film because the characters did not have to have Chinese accents, did not have to speak Chinese or refer to themselves as being Chinese. They were not written as Exotic or Other, but as Americans who happen to be Chinese, caught up in a universal story. At last! Click on the  Performing Arts Legacy Website for more about Virginia Wing.

Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

Jason Ma (Benjamin) is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award for his work as a composer/lyricist. Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters and many international venues. Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and an award-winning filmmaker. She is the co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, and The Last Dragon. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short indie films Hide and Seek (Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Best Actress Nomination), Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World Was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also a portrait and performing arts photographer and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia writes about arts and entertainment on her Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog. The Lia Chang theater portfolio collection, 1989-2011, is housed in the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) collection located in the Library of Congress’ Asian Reading Room and The Billy Rose Theatre Division of The New York Public Library. www.liachang.com

Jo Yang

Jo Yang (Amah) began her professional stage acting career in the Pacific Northwest and now lives and works in New York City. Recently she appeared as Sook Ja in New York Theatre Workshop’s production of “Endlings” before it was abruptly shut down by the pandemic in Mar 2020. She is grateful that the play had its world premiere and a full run at The American Repertory Theatre the year prior. Less than six degrees of separation bring Virginia Wing and Jo together on this project as they also worked with each other at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Festival. As well as theatre, Jo’s credits extend across the board, in film, tv, radio, commercials and print. She has recurring roles on “The Affair” and  “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, speaking Mandarin. Her Film/TV credits are listed here.

Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang
Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits is an actor, singer, musician, composer and award winning filmmaker, director and editor. Garth is currently in rehearsal for the new Off-Broadway musical, A Turtle on the Fence Post. He made his Broadway debut in the Tony award winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone and originated the role of Ritchie in the Broadway show Gettin’ the Band Back Together’. His Off-Broadway credits include Old Jews Telling Jokes, Toxic Audio and Smart Blonde. He has appeared regionally in Gettin’ The Band Back Together, Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play, and It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, (Bucks County Playhouse) Kravits has appeared on TV in “Mr. Robot,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” HBO’s “Divorce,” “30 Rock,” “The Blacklist,” “Nurse Jackie,” “The Carrie Diaries,” “Hostages” and in the new TV shows “The Hunters” (Amazon Prime) and “Tommy” (CBS).

Through the darkness of the pandemic and the current divisive hatred, a new sense of self-awareness, purpose and determination has emerged. Everyday heroes have taken the lead to bridge relations, cultures, histories and stories for better understanding, enlightenment, and compassion. They join the many unsung heroes throughout the history of the AAPI in America, whose contributions and cultural additions to society have largely gone unnoticed. The SVAPFF wishes to tell these stories and pay tribute to those Amazing Asian Americans and the next generation of innovators, creators, and contributors. We are Asian. We are American. We are Amazing!

Facebook: SVAPFilmFest

Instagram: svapfilmfest

Twitter: SVAPFilmFest

The Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest (formerly, San Jose J-Town FilmFest) is a celebration of the multi-ethnic community and rich history of Silicon Valley. An all volunteer-run effort by a diverse team of community members, the film festival showcases independent films primarily by Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) filmmakers and offers quality programming, giving the community a chance to interact with the creative talents behind these films.

The film festival is a project Contemporary Asian Theater Scene, fondly know as CATS. Founded over 20 years by three visionaries who realized that Asian American artists needed a voice. Dr. Jerry Hiura, Steve Yamaguma, Miki Hirabayashi created CATS with the dream of supporting, mentoring and, ultimately, presenting Asian American artists and cultural disciplines to the south bay.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2021 Lia Chang Multimedia, unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

 

Oct. 1: Bao Tran’s THE PAPER TIGERS to Screen as the 2021 Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest Opening Night Film; Highlights of the Hybrid Festival

The seventh annual Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest (SVAPFF) is being presented as a hybrid festival of in-person and virtual events with a selection of films screening live at the new AMC Dine-In Sunnyvale 12 on Friday, Oct. 1 and Saturday, Oct. 2. Sunnyvale 12 is located at 150 E. McKinley Ave, Sunnyvale, CA.

This year’s theme is Asian. American. Amazing! svapfilmfest.org

The SVAPFF Opening Night Fundraiser will feature a screening of The Paper Tigers at AMC Dine-In Sunnyvale 12 at 6:30pm, and will include a Q&A with the Director Bao Tran and Producer Al’n Duong, a bento dinner, and meet and greet. Sunnyvale 12 is located at 150 E. McKinley Ave, Sunnyvale, CA. Price is $65.  Click here for tickets.

The Paper Tigers – Three childhood kung fu prodigies have grown into washed-up, middle-aged men—now one kick away from pulling their hamstrings. But when their master is murdered, they must juggle their dead-end jobs, dad duties, and overcome old grudges to avenge his death. The cast features Alain Uy, Ron Yuan, Mykel Shannon Jenkins, Jae Suh Park, Joziah Lagonoy, Matthew Page, Ken Quitugua and Raymond Ma.

event_description_image_25519_1630857178_9145f.png Bao Tran (writer/director) Mentored early on by master action director Corey Yuen, Bao was instilled with an approach to action that doesn’t rely solely on spectacle, but also draws on story and character. Screen Anarchy praised his written-and-directed short BOOKIE for its “flawlessly realized world populated by entirely fleshed out and believable characters, driven by a compelling narrative and brought to sumptuous life.” His editing credits include CHO LON, one of Southeast Asia’s highest-budgeted action blockbusters, and JACKPOT, a heartfelt comedy selected as Vietnam’s official entry to the 2016 Oscars for Best Foreign Film. His first directorial feature THE PAPER TIGERS garnered praise from Collider as “an impressive feature debut with confident command of the narrative and action alike, it’s an absolutely lovely time at the movies.” Rotten Tomatoes ranked it both as the #1 Action Comedy of all time and one of the Top Ten Asian American Movies of all time with a Certified Fresh rating.

event_description_image_25519_1630857106_b4036.png Al’n Duong (Producer) is a Seattle based producer & consultant working in the film and gaming industry, currently developing documentary films in the worlds of politics, fashion, and professional sports. He harbored great passion for martial arts films and NBA basketball from a young age. After reaching the staggering height of 5 foot 7 inches, Al’n put all his energy into making backyard Kung Fu films in high school using home video cameras. He continued his education in Seattle at the University of Washington, focusing on postmodern cinema and martial arts films. Having started out in the camera department before transitioning to producing, Al’n brings a holistic knowledge in creative problem-solving and film set management – ensuring a productive, positive, and safe environment.

Saturday’s screenings will start at 10:00 am. Films include Try Harder, The Donut King, Reparations, and Amazing Local Filmmaker Shorts.

Shorts Program

There will also be live performances from the Grant Ave Follies Show and Asian Drag Queens Rice Rockettes. Saturday’s price per show is $20. Visit www.tinyurl.com/svapffLive

Grant Avenue Follies

Asian drag queens, Rice Rockettes

In addition, the Dr. Jerry Hiura Inspiration Award recipients will be shown in between screenings in their artistic interpretation of “What it Means to be AAPI”.

The online Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest will run from Oct. 1 – 10.

The Online film festival also features an outstanding selection of 50+ Asian American films with category themes: Amazing Stories, Current Social Issues, Experimental/Avant Garde, Family Sacrifices, Friendships/Relationships, Fun Package, Healing, Interesting Shorts, PG+, and the feature, “try harder!”

The festival is excited to bring the best films from Asian American filmmakers. There are two filmmakers who meet our high standards twice over– Lia Chang, who produced When the World Was Young and Hide and Seek, and Marc Pomerleau, who directed Seeking Home and Empress Yee and the Magical History of Chinatown.

Hide and Seek and When the World Was Young, two short films written and directed by Garth Kravits and executive produced by Lia Chang of Bev’s Girl Films, are official selections of the seventh annual Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest (SVAPFF) and will screen online.

Lia Chang and Garth Kravits in HIDE AND SEEK.
Lia Chang and Garth Kravits in HIDE AND SEEK.

Hide and Seek stars Lia Chang and Garth Kravits, is co-written by Lia Chang and Garth Kravits and executive produced by Lia Chang/Bev’s Girl Films. Hide and Seek is a short film that speaks to the societal challenge that women, and especially women of color, endure every day. To look in the mirror and to hope to see a face other than your own. One that is closer to what magazines, television and movies define as beautiful or even normal. What face do you see when you look in the mirror? Hide and Seek is in the Current Social Issues lineup. Click here for tickets.

Lia Chang in HIDE AND SEEK
Lia Chang in HIDE AND SEEK

When the World Was Young stars Virginia Wing, Jason Ma and Lia Chang. The cast also features Jo Yang, Daniel Dunlow, Michelle Miller and Mark York. When siblings Benjamin and Audrey return home to confront their Mother’s memory loss, they discover a hidden key to her past.

Jason Ma, Lia Chang and Virginia Wing in When the World Was Young. Photo by Garth Kravits

Written and directed by Garth Kravits, the film is Executive Produced by Bev’s Girl Films, with producers Garth Kravits of Cut & Dry Films and Eric Elizaga. Hair and makeup by Dorothy Bhadra. When the World Was Young is in the Friendships/Relationships lineup. Click here to purchase tickets.

Jason Ma, Virginia Wing and Lia Chang in WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG. Photo by Garth Kravits

To purchase tickets for the Online Festival, visit tinyurl.com/svapffvirtual and select your packages. Online tickets are $5.00 per package or $25 for a festival pass to see all the films.

Jo Yang, Garth Kravits, Virginia Wing, Jason Ma and Lia Chang attend Asian American Night of CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND at Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on February 9, 2020. Photo by Alex Sanchez

HIDE AND SEEK and WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG are Official Selections of the 2021 Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest; Will Screen Online Oct. 1-10 

Through the darkness of the pandemic and the current divisive hatred, a new sense of self-awareness, purpose and determination has emerged. Everyday heroes have taken the lead to bridge relations, cultures, histories and stories for better understanding, enlightenment, and compassion. They join the many unsung heroes throughout the history of the AAPI in America, whose contributions and cultural additions to society have largely gone unnoticed. The SVAPFF wishes to tell these stories and pay tribute to those Amazing Asian Americans and the next generation of innovators, creators, and contributors. We are Asian. We are American. We are Amazing!

Covid requirements of the CDC, State of California, Santa Clara County and the AMC will be followed. Please plan to provide proof of Covid 10 vaccination at the time of registration or at check in at the theater.

Facebook: SVAPFilmFest

Instagram: svapfilmfest

Twitter: SVAPFilmFest

The Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest (formerly, San Jose J-Town FilmFest) is a celebration of the multi-ethnic community and rich history of Silicon Valley. An all volunteer-run effort by a diverse team of community members, the film festival showcases independent films primarily by Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) filmmakers and offers quality programming, giving the community a chance to interact with the creative talents behind these films.

The film festival is a project Contemporary Asian Theater Scene, fondly know as CATS. Founded over 20 years by three visionaries who realized that Asian American artists needed a voice. Dr. Jerry Hiura, Steve Yamaguma, Miki Hirabayashi created CATS with the dream of supporting, mentoring and, ultimately, presenting Asian American artists and cultural disciplines to the south bay.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and an award-winning filmmaker. She is the co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, and The Last Dragon. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short indie films Hide and Seek (Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Best Actress Nomination), Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World Was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also a portrait and performing arts photographer and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia writes about arts and entertainment on her Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog. The Lia Chang theater portfolio collection, 1989-2011, is housed in the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) collection located in the Library of Congress’ Asian Reading Room.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2021 Lia Chang Multimedia, unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

HIDE AND SEEK and WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG are Official Selections of the 2021 Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest; Will Screen Online Oct. 1-10


The seventh annual Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest (SVAPFF) is being presented as a hybrid festival of in-person and virtual events with a selection of films screening live at the new AMC Dine-In Sunnyvale Theatre on Friday, Oct. 1 and Saturday, Oct. 2. The Online festival will run from Oct. 1 – 10. This year’s theme is Asian. American. Amazing! svapfilmfest.org

The Online film festival also features an outstanding selection of 50+ Asian American films with category themes: Amazing Stories, Current Social Issues, Experimental/Avant Garde, Family Sacrifices, Friendships/Relationships, Fun Package, Healing, Interesting Shorts, PG+, and the feature, “try harder!”.

The festival is excited to bring the best films from Asian American filmmakers. There are two filmmakers who meet our high standards twice over– Lia Chang, who produced When the World Was Young and Hide and Seek, and Marc Pomerleau, who directed Seeking Home and Empress Yee and the Magical History of Chinatown.

Lia Chang and Garth Kravits in HIDE AND SEEK.
Lia Chang and Garth Kravits in HIDE AND SEEK.

Hide and Seek and When the World Was Young, two short films written and directed by Garth Kravits and executive produced by Lia Chang of Bev’s Girl Films, are official selections of the seventh annual Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest (SVAPFF) and will screen online.

Lia Chang in HIDE AND SEEK
Lia Chang in HIDE AND SEEK

Hide and Seek stars Lia Chang and Garth Kravits, is co-written by Lia Chang and Garth Kravits and executive produced by Lia Chang/Bev’s Girl Films. Hide and Seek is a short film that speaks to the societal challenge that women, and especially women of color, endure every day. To look in the mirror and to hope to see a face other than your own. One that is closer to what magazines, television and movies define as beautiful or even normal. What face do you see when you look in the mirror? Hide and Seek is in the Current Social Issues lineup. Click here for tickets.

Jason Ma, Lia Chang and Virginia Wing in When the World Was Young. Photo by Garth Kravits

When the World Was Young stars Virginia Wing, Jason Ma and Lia Chang. The cast also features Jo Yang, Daniel Dunlow, Michelle Miller and Mark York. When siblings Benjamin and Audrey return home to confront their Mother’s memory loss, they discover a hidden key to her past.

Jason Ma, Virginia Wing and Lia Chang in WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG. Photo by Garth Kravits

Written and directed by Garth Kravits, the film is Executive Produced by Bev’s Girl Films, with producers Garth Kravits of Cut & Dry Films and Eric Elizaga. When the World Was Young features original compositions by Kristen Rosenfeld. Hair and makeup by Dorothy Bhadra. When the World Was Young is in the Friendships/Relationships lineup. Click here to purchase tickets.

Jo Yang, Garth Kravits, Virginia Wing, Jason Ma and Lia Chang attend Asian American Night of CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND at Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on February 9, 2020. Photo by Alex Sanchez

To purchase tickets for the Online Festival, visit tinyurl.com/svapffvirtual and select your packages. Online tickets are $5.00 per package or $25 for a festival pass to see all the films.

Virginia Wing. Photo by Lia Chang

Virginia Wing (Virginia) is a Chinese-American actress whose ancestors came to the “Gold Mountain” from Canton (now Guangdong) in the mid-1800s, lured  by the Gold Rush and the building of the railroads. She is currently writing about growing up Southern in the Mississippi Delta, where she was born and raised. Professionally, she has run the gamut from opera, theatre, cabaret, TV, film, playwriting, directing and producing to script analysis. She modeled in her youth and is in the Breck Girl Hall of Fame. She was the model in the Mitsouko by Guerlain ad in the 60s, which won awards internationally. She was a nominee for Best Actress in the Hollywood NAACP Image Awards. She is most proud of this film because the characters did not have to have Chinese accents, did not have to speak Chinese or refer to themselves as being Chinese. They were not written as Exotic or Other, but as Americans who happen to be Chinese, caught up in a universal story. At last! Click on the  Performing Arts Legacy Website for more about Virginia Wing.

Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

Jason Ma (Benjamin) is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award for his work as a composer/lyricist. Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters and many international venues. Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and an award-winning filmmaker. She is the co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, and The Last Dragon. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short indie films Hide and Seek (Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Best Actress Nomination), Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World Was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also a portrait and performing arts photographer and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia writes about arts and entertainment on her Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog. The Lia Chang theater portfolio collection, 1989-2011, is housed in the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) collection located in the Library of Congress’ Asian Reading Room.

Jo Yang

Jo Yang (Amah) began her professional stage acting career in the Pacific Northwest and now lives and works in New York City. Recently she appeared as Sook Ja in New York Theatre Workshop’s production of “Endlings” before it was abruptly shut down by the pandemic in Mar 2020. She is grateful that the play had its world premiere and a full run at The American Repertory Theatre the year prior. Less than six degrees of separation bring Virginia Wing and Jo together on this project as they also worked with each other at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Festival. As well as theatre, Jo’s credits extend across the board, in film, tv, radio, commercials and print. She has recurring roles on “The Affair” and  “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, speaking Mandarin. Her Film/TV credits are listed here.

Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang
Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits is an actor, singer, musician, composer and award winning filmmaker, director and editor. Garth is currently in rehearsal for the new Off-Broadway musical, A Turtle on the Fence Post. He made his Broadway debut in the Tony award winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone and originated the role of Ritchie in the Broadway show Gettin’ the Band Back Together’. His Off-Broadway credits include Old Jews Telling Jokes, Toxic Audio and Smart Blonde. He has appeared regionally in Gettin’ The Band Back Together, Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play, and It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, (Bucks County Playhouse) Kravits has appeared on TV in “Mr. Robot,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” HBO’s “Divorce,” “30 Rock,” “The Blacklist,” “Nurse Jackie,” “The Carrie Diaries,” “Hostages” and in the new TV shows “The Hunters” (Amazon Prime) and “Tommy” (CBS).

The SVAPFF Opening Night Fundraiser will feature a screening of The Paper Tigers at AMC Dine-In Sunnyvale 12 at 6:30pm, and will include a Q&A with the Director Bao Tran and Producer Al’n Duong, a bento dinner, and meet and greet. Sunnyvale 12 is located at 150 E. McKinley Ave, Sunnyvale, CA. Price is $65.  Click here for tickets.

Shorts Program

Saturday’s screenings will start at 10:00 am. Films include Try Harder, The Donut King, Reparations, and Amazing Local Filmmaker Shorts.

Grant Avenue Follies

There will also be live performances from the Grant Ave Follies Show and Asian drag queens, Rice Rockettes. Saturday’s price per show is $20. Visit www.tinyurl.com/svapffLive

Asian drag queens, Rice Rockettes

In addition, the Dr. Jerry Hiura Inspiration Award recipients will be shown in between screenings in their artistic interpretation of “What it Means to be AAPI”.

Through the darkness of the pandemic and the current divisive hatred, a new sense of self-awareness, purpose and determination has emerged. Everyday heroes have taken the lead to bridge relations, cultures, histories and stories for better understanding, enlightenment, and compassion. They join the many unsung heroes throughout the history of the AAPI in America, whose contributions and cultural additions to society have largely gone unnoticed. The SVAPFF wishes to tell these stories and pay tribute to those Amazing Asian Americans and the next generation of innovators, creators, and contributors. We are Asian. We are American. We are Amazing!

Covid requirements of the CDC, State of California, Santa Clara County and the AMC will be followed. Please plan to provide proof of Covid 10 vaccination at the time of registration or at check in at the theater.

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The Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest (formerly, San Jose J-Town FilmFest) is a celebration of the multi-ethnic community and rich history of Silicon Valley. An all volunteer-run effort by a diverse team of community members, the film festival showcases independent films primarily by Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) filmmakers and offers quality programming, giving the community a chance to interact with the creative talents behind these films.

The film festival is a project Contemporary Asian Theater Scene, fondly know as CATS. Founded over 20 years by three visionaries who realized that Asian American artists needed a voice. Dr. Jerry Hiura, Steve Yamaguma, Miki Hirabayashi created CATS with the dream of supporting, mentoring and, ultimately, presenting Asian American artists and cultural disciplines to the south bay.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2021 Lia Chang Multimedia, unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com