Justin Lin. Photo by Lia Chang

Justin Lin’s Short Film Contest for Asian American Filmmakers; David Henry Hwang Pens Script


YouoffendmeYouoffendmyfamily.com (YOMYOMF), the blog and entertainment website devoted to Asian American culture founded by Hollywood director Justin Lin (BETTER LUCK TOMORROW, FAST AND FURIOUS series, STAR TREK BEYOND) has launched the second edition of the highly successful INTERPRETATIONS Initiative that was previously held in 2010 to find the next generation of Asian American filmmakers. Comcast and NBCUniversal are lead sponsors of the initiative.

Click here for the contest details.

What is Interpretations?
INTERPRETATIONS is a way of encouraging aspiring filmmakers to develop their own original and unique voice. All participants will “interpret” a four line script, and can produce and shoot it any way they wish. The only caveat is that the lines are static and must be in that order and the actual film itself is no more than 3 minutes long. Therefore, everyone is shooting their films from the same material and leveling the playing field in a way that traditional filmmaking competitions cannot. Three shorts will be selected from the entries and these winning filmmakers will have an opportunity to produce a project for one of the Comcast or NBCUniversal platforms under the mentorship of Justin Lin and other industry professionals.

The first Interpretations Initiative kicked off in the spring of 2010 with nine commissioned shorts by the likes of YouTube stars Wong Fu ProductionsDanny Pudi (NBC’s COMMUNITY), Far East Movement, and other industry professionals, to showcase the varied interpretations of the same script. In the end, over 275 shorts were submitted online and was whittled down to five winners.

Justin Lin. Photo by Lia Chang
Justin Lin. Photo by Lia Chang

“The first Interpretations Initiative was such a success that I am very excited to be launching it again and with a stronger fortitude to really make this more than just a contest but an opportunity to actually incubate potential careers for budding filmmakers.” says YOMYOMF founder Justin Lin, who is currently in post-production on his latest tentpole film, STAR TREK BEYOND (coming out this July). “Interpretations 2016 is a part of the bigger picture of YOMYOMF 2.0, where we want to establish and nurture an Asian American creative community of content creators and enthusiasts where ideas and collaboration is exchanged regularly and we can see what projects we can develop with emerging talent. I never had something like YOMYOMF when I first started my career. It’s an exciting time to be an emerging filmmaker.”

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

For this edition of Interpretations, the 4-line script was written by Tony Award winning playwright and screenwriter David Henry Hwang  (M BUTTERFLY, CHINGLISH, Showtime’s THE AFFAIR). “It’s not as easy as one would think to just come up with 4 lines of dialogue.” says Hwang. “The script needs to be broad and fluid enough so that one director could craft a comedy from it, another a speculative fiction story, another an action film, another an experimental work of animation, and so on.”

Here’s this year’s four-line script:
Don’t do that.
Of course.
I have my doubts.
What is it?

As lead sponsors for this year’s Interpretations Initiative, Comcast and NBCUniversal intend to support new talent and discover new opportunities for various elements of Comcast and NBCUniversal.

“We are always looking out for new talent and Interpretations is a fun and unique way to find these voices.” says Karen Horne, Senior Vice President of Programming Talent Development & Inclusion at NBCUniversal Television.” I am also honored to have Interpretations bookmarked with the launch at CAAMFest and ending in October at the NBCUniversal Short Film Festival, where we will present the final winning shorts.”

“Interpretations is a great way to form a community of Asian American content creators and filmmakers. We look forward to providing a platform that highlights this community by showcasing the short films on Xfinity Asia and Xfinity On Demand,” says Javier Garcia, Vice President and General Manager for Multicultural Consumer Services at Comcast.

“I am honored to be partnering with Comcast and NBCUniversal,” says Justin Lin. “We have the same like-minded goal to make Interpretations a scalable program that will help us identify emerging talent and work with them in sustainable way.”

INTERPRETATIONS Timeline & Website
With the kick-off being held at this year’s CAAMFest, the official call for entries begins March 31 and ends on June 17. Judging will commence in July and August with the announcement of the Top 15 on September 6, with online voting kicking off that day through October 6. The final 3 winners will be announced online on October 10 and they will be invited to attend the NBCUniversal Short Film Festival on October 19 at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. Participants must be a resident of the United States of America and at least 13 years old.

Launch of Interpretations and YOMYOMF Presence at CAAMFest
Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) presents CAAMFest (formerly the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival) is the world’s largest showcase for new Asian American and Asian film, food and music programs, annually presenting over 100 works in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland. This year’s festival will be held from March 10 – 20, 2016.

YOMYOMF Presents: A Brave New Digital World
YOMYOMF will host a FREE panel discussion on Sunday, March 13, 1:30pm at Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. Here is a description of the panel:

With the success of digital platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, 2016 will see a record number of new digital services looking to fund/distribute content from and for diverse communities. This year has already seen or will see the launch of SVOD/AVOD/OTT platforms including NBC Seeso, CBS All Access, WatchABC, Comic Con, Warner Brothers TV, Verizon Go90, Fullscreen, YouTube Red, Seriously, Rated Red and others. In addition, filmmaker Justin Lin (FAST & FURIOUS franchise, upcoming STAR TREK BEYOND) and YOMYOMF will be launching Interpretations 2.0 with Comcast and NBCUniversal to discover the next wave of promising Asian Pacific American filmmakers. As traditional opportunities dry up for filmmakers, could digital become the new indie cinema? YOMYOMF talks to key players from the industry providing outlets for this new and sustainable content about the opportunities for Asian Pacific American content creators in the brave, new digital world.

Finalized industry panelists for this seminar are:

● Moderated by Anderson Le (Hawaii International Film Festival, YOMYOMF)

● Philip W Chung, Creative Director, YOMYOMF

● Karen Horne, Senior VP, Programming Talent Development & Inclusion, NBC Universal

● Pradeepa Jeeva, Development Director, Machinima

● Gary King, Jr, New Media content & Alternative Programming, Disney Digital

THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT 10th Anniversary Screening
Critically acclaimed for its eye-popping, testosterone-filled driving sequences, the third installment in THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS series is considered its biggest departure in theme and style. Troubled American teen Sean (Lucas Black) comes to Tokyo to live with his father and avoid punishment back home for his thrill-seeking ways. Sean befriends Twinkie (Shad Moss), who introduces him to Tokyo’s underground street racing scene and the dangerous world of drifting. Sean’s life becomes even more complicated as he learns how to master drifting from Han (Sung Kang) and challenges rival Takashi (Brian Tee) for the racing crown as he falls for Takashi’s girlfriend, Neela (Nathalie Kelley).

The 10th-anniversary celebration screening and Justin Lin’s return to CAAMFest, after showing BETTER LUCK TOMORROW in 2002, as part of the Interpretations Initiative kick-off and YOMYOMF is on on March 13, 9:30PM, at San Francisco’s new Alamo Drafthouse. Special guests from the film will be in attendance!

And check out the winners and highlights from Interpretations 1.0 here. And if you want a refresher:

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

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. 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 and Hide and Seek, which will screen at The Women’s Film Festival 2016 in Philadelphia on March 13th and the Disorient Film Festival in Eugene Oregon in April. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2016 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 lia@liachangphotography.com

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