Category Archives: Awards

Nov. 27: BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG: Books of Wonder Launch of Maulik Pancholy’s NIKHIL OUT LOUD with Jesse Tyler Ferguson will air on FIOS 34, RCN 83, and Spectrum 56/1996

Lia Chang, co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, has launched her latest venture, BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, an Arts and Entertainment program produced weekly at the studios of MNN.org.

Lia Chang and Maulik Pancholy at the Books of Wonder Book Launch of his new middle grade novel, NIKHIL OUT LOUD in New York on October 11, 2022.

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an award-winning filmmaker, and a photo activist and documentarian, who lifts up and amplifies BIPOC communities and artists and the institutions that support them. Bev’s Girl Films collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

The twelfth episode of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, executive produced and hosted by Lia, will air on November 27 at 6:30 pm (EST) on FIOS 34, RCN 83, and Spectrum 56/1996. If you miss the episode, it will be archived on my youtube channel.

Books of Wonder in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

On this edition of Backstage Pass with Lia Chang, I observed “National Coming Out Day” at Books of Wonder in New York with the launch of Nikhil Out Loud, the sophomore offering by Award winning actor and author Maulik Pancholy, that tells the story of a gay Indian American boy who learns the power of using his voice.

Maulik Pancholy at the New York Book Launch of his new middle grade novel, NIKHIL OUT LOUD, at Books of Wonder on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Maulik was joined by his friend and colleague, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, best known for his role as Mitchell on “Modern Family,” who received the 2022 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out, and can been seen in the remounted Broadway revival at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre through February 5, 2023. They chatted about Maulik’s inspiration for writing the book, the power of representation and so much more.

Maulik Pancholy and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Maulik’s husband, Ryan Corvaia,  Founder & Owner, Dish Food & Events, surprised him with these adorable Nikhil Out Loud cookies.

Ryan Corvaia surprised his husband, Maulik Pancholy with NIKHIL OUT LOUD cookies. Photo by Lia Chang
Ryan Corvaia surprised his husband, Maulik Pancholy with NIKHIL OUT LOUD cookies. Photo by Lia Chang
Ryan Corvaia surprised his husband, Maulik Pancholy with NIKHIL OUT LOUD cookies. Photo by Lia Chang

The crowd who came for the book launch filled Books of Wonder to capacity and included his mom, his in-laws, cousins, friends and fans.

Maulik Pancholy with his mom at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy with his mom, husband, Ryan Corvaia and in-laws at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy with his HarperCollins Team at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Maulik was signing books for a line that spanned the length of the store when I left early to make my 8:00pm curtain for the Broadway revival of the Tanya Richardson Jackson helmed The Piano Lesson starring Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington, Danielle Brooks, Michael Potts and more.

The packed house at Books of Wonder for Maulik Pancholy’s Book Talk with Jesse Tyler Ferguson in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy signing a copy of NIKHIL OUT LOUD at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Since the launch in New York, Maulik has been on a book tour across the country. Tonight, Maulik will discuss and sign his new middle grade novel Nikhil Out Loud with Linda Hurtado Bond at 6:30 p.m. at the Oxford Exchange, 420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. Click here for Tickets – $5 for admission or $17.99 for admission and a copy of the book.

Click here to purchase the book.

Maulik’s debut middle grade novel, The Best At It, is a Stonewall Honor Award winner and is in development for television at HBO Max.

About the book:
Thirteen-year-old Nikhil Shah is the beloved voice actor for Raj Reddy on the hit animated series Raj Reddy in Outer Space. But being a star on TV doesn’t mean you have everything figured out behind the scenes. . . .

When his mom temporarily moves them to the small town in Ohio where she grew up to take care of Nikhil’s sick grandfather, Nikhil feels as out of orbit as his character.

Nikhil’s fame lands him the lead in the school musical, but he’s terrified that everyone will realize he’s a fraud once they find out he has stage fright. And when a group of conservative parents start to protest, making it clear they’re not happy with an openly gay TV star being in the starring role, Nikhil feels like his life would be easier if only he could be Raj Reddy full-time.

Then Nikhil wakes up one morning and hears a crack in his voice, which means his job playing Raj will have to come to an end. Life on earth is way more complicated than life on television. And some mysteries—like new friendships or a sick grandparent or finding the courage to speak out about what’s right—don’t wrap up neatly between commercial breaks.

Maulik Pancholy is an award-winning actor whose career has spanned hit television shows, animated series, the Broadway stage, and films.

He played Alec Baldwin’s intrepid assistant Jonathan on the Emmy®, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award-winning NBC comedy 30 Rock; Sanjay on the Showtime hit series Weeds; and Neal on the NBC comedy Whitney. His numerous recurring and guest starring roles include Only Murders in the Building, The Good Fight, Dynasty, Star Trek: Discovery, Elementary, Friends from College, The Good Wife, Web Therapy, The Comeback, The Sopranos, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. For his work on television, he has been nominated for and won the Screen Actors Guild Award on multiple occasions.

Pancholy has entertained both children and adults as the voice of Baljeet on the Emmy® award-winning Disney animated series Phineas & Ferb, and as the title voice of Sanjay on Nickelodeon’s Sanjay & Craig. He is the voice of Ranjeet on Disney Junior’s Mira, Royal Detective and can be heard on the Netflix series Q-Force and the upcoming Netflix series Ghee Happy.

He has appeared in blockbuster films such as 27 Dresses and Hitch, and his many theater credits include starring on Broadway opposite Matthew Broderick and Martin Short in Terrence McNally’s It’s Only A Play, playing opposite Ed Harris in David Rabe’s Good For Otto, and starring in the Tony-nominated production of Bess Wohl’s Grand Horizons at the Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway. Most recently, he starred in J.C. Lee’s To My Girls at 2nd Stage Theater, directed by Stephen Brackett.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996.

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. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. 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. 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. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 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, unless otherwise indicated. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com.

Video: BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang – Interview with Drama Desk Nominated Actor and Playwright Daniel K. Isaac

Lia Chang, co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, has launched her latest venture,  BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, an Arts and Entertainment program produced weekly at the studios of MNN.org.

Lia Chang. Photo by Daniel K. Isaac

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an award-winning filmmaker, and a photo activist and documentarian, who lifts up and amplifies BIPOC communities and artists and the institutions that support them.

The fifth episode of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, executive produced and hosted by Lia, airs Sunday, October 2 at 6:30 pm (EST) on FIOS 34, RCN 83, and Spectrum 56/1996. If you miss the episode, it will be archived on my youtube channel. 

Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, David Shih, Daniel K. Isaac, Jillian Sun, Sonnie Brown, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang

On tonight’s episode of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, you’ll meet actor and playwright Daniel K. Isaac, who recently made his playwrighting debut with Ma-Yi Theater Company’s critically-acclaimed world premiere of ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME at the Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa.

Updated 10/3/22

Watch below:

Director Ralph B. Pena and Playwright Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Directed by Obie-winner Ralph B. Peña, Isaac’s epic new play, commissioned by Ma-Yi, mixes traditional Korean fables with the horror of Korean Wars.

Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel is currently in rehearsal for Roundabout Theatre Company’s  world premiere of You Will Get Sick, a new play by Noah Diaz directed by Tony Award nominee Sam Pinkleton. The cast also features Marinda Anderson, Linda Lavin, Nate Miller, and Dario Ladani Sanchez.

You Will Get Sick begins preview performances on Friday, October 14, 2022 and opens officially on Sunday, November 6, 2022 at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street). This is a limited engagement through Sunday, December 11, 2022.

Judy Hwang and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac is known for his role as ‘Ben Kim’ in Showtime’s “Billions”.  He received a Drama Desk nomination this Spring for his turn in the Off-Broadway production of Lloyd Suh’ s The Chinese Lady, a co-production of  Ma-Yi Theater Company and the Public Theater. His other Off-Broadway credits include: You Never Touched the Dirt (Clubbed Thumb), The Gentleman Caller (Abingdon), Sagittarius Ponderosa (NAATCO), Underland (59E59), La Divina Caricatura (La MaMa/St. Ann’s), Anna Nicole the Opera (BAM). His regional credits include The Chinese Lady (Barrington Stage), The Ballad of Little Jo (Two River), Miss Electricity (La Jolla Playhouse). His Film/TV credits include “The Other Two” (HBO Max); Dirty Rhetoric; Plan B; The Drummer; “The Expecting” (Quibi); “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”, “The Deuce”, “Crashing”, Too Big To Fail (HBO); Money Monster (dir. Jodie Foster); “The Jim Gaffigan Show” (TV LAND); “Person of Interest” (CBS). DanielKIsaac.com.

ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME is a funny and deeply moving analog for the experiences of the Korean American diaspora. Isaac deftly moves his characters through time, tracing the legacies of trauma that are passed from one generation to the next, and the various coping mechanisms each one uses to soldier on.

Alyssa K. Howard, Jon Norman Schneider, Sami Ma, Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, Teresa Avia Lim, Sonnie Brown, David Shih and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast for ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME includes Sonnie Brown, Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider, David Shih, and Jillian Sun with Daniel K. Isaac and Sami Ma serving as understudies.

The creative team for ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME includes Se Oh (scenic design), Phuong Nguyen (costume design), Oliver Wason (lighting design), Yee Eun Nam (projection design), Fabian Obispo (sound design), Alexander Wylie (props design), and Alyssa K. Howard (production stage manager).

TICKET INFORMATION:
Tickets for You Will Get Sick can be purchased by calling 212.719.1300, online at roundabouttheatre.org, in person at a Roundabout box office. Ticket prices range from $59-$99. For groups of 10 or more please call 212-719- 9393 x 365 or email groupsales@roundabouttheatre.org.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE: You Will Get Sick plays Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 7:30PM with Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2:00PM and Sunday matinees at 3:00PM.

Video: BroadwayCon: Erin Quill’s AAPI Panel – WRITING OUR WAY OUT: writing our own stories featuring Playwright Daniel K. Isaac, Director Ralph B. Pena and KPOP Composer/Lyricist Helen Park

Scenic Design by Se Oh. Photo by Lia Chang
David Lee Huynh and Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang
David Lee Huynh and Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang
Teresa Avia Lim, David Lee Huynh and Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang
Jillian Sun. Photo by Lia Chang
Jillian Sun. Photo by Lia Chang
David Lee Huynh, Jon Norman Schneider, Jillian Sun. Photo by Lia Chang
Teresa Avia Lim, David Lee Huynh and Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang
Teresa Avia Lim, David Lee Huynh and Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang
David Lee Huynh and Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang
Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider, Jillian Sun. Photo by Lia Chang
Teresa Avia Lim and Jillian Sun. Photo by Lia Chang
Jillian Sun and Sasha Diamond. Photo by Lia Chang
Teresa Avia Lim, David Shih, Sasha Diamond and Jillian Sun. Photo by Lia Chang
Teresa Avia Lim, Sonnie Brown, David Shih and Sasha Diamond. Photo by Lia Chang
Sonnie Brown and David Shih. Photo by Lia Chang
David Shih and Sasha Diamond. Photo by Lia Chang
David Shih and Sasha Diamond. Photo by Lia Chang
Teresa Avia Lim and David Shih. Photo by Lia Chang
Jillian Sun, Sasha Diamond, Teresa Avia Lim, and Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang
David Lee Huynh, Sasha Diamond and David Shih. Photo by Lia Chang
David Lee Huynh, Sasha Diamond. Photo by Lia Chang
Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh. Photo by Lia Chang
Jillian Sun, Sasha Diamond, Sonnie Brown. Photo by Lia Chang
Jillian Sun, David Lee Huynh, Sasha Diamond, David Shih and Teresa Avia Lim. Photo by Lia Chang
Jillian Sun, Sasha Diamond and Teresa Avia Lim. Photo by Lia Chang
Sasha Diamond, Teresa Avia Lim, Jillian Sun. Photo by Lia Chang
Sasha Diamond, Sonnie Brown and David Lee Huynh. Photo by Lia Chang
Projection Design by Yee Eun Nam. Photo by Lia Chang
Jillian Sun and Sonnie Brown. Photo by Lia Chang

Since its founding in 1989, Ma-Yi Theater Company has distinguished itself as one of the country’s leading incubators of new work shaping the national discourse about what it means to be Asian American today. Please visit www.ma-yitheatre.org for more information.

Late Night with Playwright Daniel K. Isaac – Opening Night of Ma-Yi’s World Premiere of ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME 

Lia Chang, Daniel K. Isaac, Judy Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996.

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. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. 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. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

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, unless otherwise indicated. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com

Video: BroadwayCon: Erin Quill’s AAPI Panel – WRITING OUR WAY OUT: writing our own stories featuring Playwright Daniel K. Isaac, Director Ralph B. Pena and KPOP Composer/Lyricist Helen Park

On July 9, Erin Quill moderated a terrific AAPI Writer’s panel at BroadwayCon called Writing Our Way Out: writing our own stories, in the New Yorker Hotel – Grammercy Park Suite.

Helen Park and Erin Quill. Photo by Lia Chang

The panel featured Playwright Daniel K. Isaac (ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME),  Director Ralph B. Peña and Composer/Lyricist Helen Park (KPOP, Over the Moon), who discussed writing pieces for those who do not fall into the traditional categories of how America sees leading roles.

Erin Quill shared, “These people, all three of them, have taken it upon themselves to incorporate into their work not only social justice, but stories for people to tell that are not White America.”

Click on the link below to watch the panel and a trailer for Ma-Yi Theater’s World Premiere of Daniel K. Isaac’s ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME, currently having a limited run at La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre through September 18.

Ralph B. Peña, Daniel K. Isaac, Helen Park and Erin Quill. Photo by Lia Chang
Ralph B. Peña, Daniel K. Isaac, Helen Park and Erin Quill. Photo by Lia Chang
Ralph B. Peña, Daniel K. Isaac, Helen Park and Erin Quill. Photo by Lia Chang

Playwright Daniel K. Isaac is an alumnus of SPACE on Ryder Farm, Page73’s Interstate 73, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood, and a Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow. His play, Once Upon a (korean) Time opened on August 31 at La MaMa, produced by the Ma Yi Theater Company, and has a limited run through September 18. Click here for tickets.

Daniel K. Isaac and Helen Park. Photo by Lia Chang

As an actor, Isaac’s credits include The Chinese Lady (Ma-Yi/The Public/Barrington Stage), You Never Touched the Dirt (Clubbed Thumb), The Gentleman Caller (Abingdon), Sagittarius Ponderosa (NAATCO), Underland (59E59), La Divina Caricatura (La MaMa & St. Ann’s Warehouse), Anna Nicole the Opera (BAM). Regional: The Ballad of Little Jo (Two River), Miss Electricity (La Jolla Playhouse). Film/TV: Six seasons as ‘Ben Kim’ on “Billions” (Showtime); The Drummer (opposite Danny Glover); “The Expecting” (Quibi); “The Deuce;” “Crashing;” Too Big To Fail (HBO); Money Monster (dir. Jodie Foster); “The Jim Gaffigan Show” (TV LAND); “Person of Interest” (CBS); and ‘Jeremy’ on “The Other Two” (Comedy Central). Training: USCD, BADA. www.danielkisaac.com

Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, David Shih, Daniel K. Isaac, Jillian Sun, Sonnie Brown, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider at the opening night curtain call of ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME at La MaMa in New York on August 31, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Late Night with Playwright Daniel K. Isaac – Opening Night of Ma-Yi’s World Premiere of ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME

Sneak Peek: Sonnie Brown, Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider, David Shih, and Jillian Sun in Ma-Yi’s World Premiere of Daniel K. Isaac’s ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME at LaMaMa

Helen Park. Photo by Lia Chang

Helen Park is a three-time Drama Desk nominee and recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical and the Richard Rodgers Award. Her music has been described as “perversely addictive” (New York Times) and “infectious” (Hollywood Reporter).

Helen Park and Erin Quill. Photo by Lia Chang

Park wrote music and lyrics as well as orchestrated the score for the upcoming Broadway musical KPOP, which begins previews at Circle in the Square on October 13. The initial Off-Broadway production of the show received a sold-out, extended run at Ars Nova, and was the most nominated show of the 2017-2018 season. Other notable work include Over the Moon, an Oscar-nominated Netflix Original Animated Feature musical film directed by Academy Award winner Glen Keane, for which she wrote songs. Park recently debuted a song she wrote for Sesame Street the Musical at her 54 Below concert, and the show is set to open this fall. Park also wrote music for the one-act musical Baked Goods for which she won the 2018 Samuel French Short Playwriting Contest. Park is an alumnus of NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and the BMI Lehman Engel Advanced Musical Theater Workshop, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Helen Park. Photo by Lia Chang
Helen Park and Erin Quill. Photo by Lia Chang

54 Below Presented Helen Park: Light the Night with Special Guests Zachary Noah Piser, Luna, Julia Abueva, Toren Nakamura, Jiho Kang, Amy Keum, Lina Rose Lee, Abraham Lim, Kate Mina Lin

Ralph B. Peña. Photo by Lia Chang

Ralph B. Peña is a Playwright and a Director whose list of accomplishments in both is vast. He is an advocate as well as the Producing Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company, which holds OBIE and Drama Desk Awards to their credit. Recent directing projects include Lloyd Suh’s The Chinese Lady at The Public Theater, Felix Starro, Among The Dead, ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME (at La MaMa through Sept. 18), and the short film Vancouver. His work has been seen on the stages of The Public Theater, Long Wharf Theater, Ensemble Studio Theater, Victory Gardens, La Jolla Playhouse, Laguna Playhouse, and The Children’s Theater Company, among others. He is the recipient of an Obie Award for his work on The Romance of Magno Rubio. As a playwright he wrote FLIPZOIDS, This End Up, and Loose Leaf Bindings.

Ralph B. Peña and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Erin Quill, Helen Park, Daniel K. Isaac and Ralph B. Peña. Photo by Lia Chang
Erin Quill. Photo by Lia Chang

Erin Quill is a graduate of CMU. She is an original Broadway cast member of Avenue Q. She has also been seen in the 50th Anniversary Production of Flower Drum Song as Madame Rita Liang and on tour in The King and I as Lady Thiang. She was in the Arena Stage production of DAVE, directed by Tina Landau. Her TV credits include: “John Mulaney and the Sacklunch Bunch,” “The Blacklist,” “The Other Two,” “Nurse Jackie,” “NYPD Blue,” and many more. As a writer, she is best known for her blog, The Fairy Princess Diaries, which champions inclusion and challenges theatrical norms. Check out all of Erin’s programming at BroadwayCon here.

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.  BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, executive produced and hosted by Lia, will air on Sundays at 3:30 pm (PST)/6:30 pm (EST) on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996 and MNN 2 .

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. 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 backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com.

Apply for NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre Finishing Grants Through Nov. 1

Lia Chang

The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) and the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) have just announced that applications are open for the fourth round of grants for the NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre. Qualified applicants can apply for $2 million in finishing grants through November 1, 2022 at http://www.nyfa.org/nycwomensfund.

Since its launch in 2018, the NYC Women’s Fund grant program has awarded $5.5 million to 246 film, theatre, and music projects, with NYFA acting as the grant administrator. The NYC Women’s Fund is a signature initiative launched to address the underrepresentation of women in the entertainment industry.

“Women’s perspectives in the arts, media, and entertainment industries are crucial to telling the rich and diverse stories of our city,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “This additional $2 million in city funding to the NYC Women’s Fund will provide a tremendous leap toward leveling the playing field and ensuring all creatives, regardless of their gender, are given the platform they deserve. I look forward to seeing the incredible work this fourth round of applications brings to audiences throughout the city and around the world.”

“We are proud to extend our commitment to the NYC Women’s Fund to offer a fourth cycle of grants, ensuring that more women-led creative projects are given the support needed to reach wide audiences,” said Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Anne del Castillo. “Now, more than ever, it is critical that we continue to elevate women’s voices and perspectives in order to advance gender equity and women leadership in the creative industries and beyond.”

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and to support the work of women-identifying creatives through the NYC Women’s Fund,” said Michael Royce, Executive Director, New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). “We are proud to help media, music, and theatre-makers realize projects that add new depth to New York City’s vibrant media and entertainment landscape,” he added.

Recent success for NYC Women’s Fund program participants is a testament to the quality of applications received and the appetite for their entertainment projects. Film projects from previous grant recipients have been collectively seen by over 339,000 viewers, while film, theatre, and music releases have been featured at 99 premieres. Highlights of past award recipients include:

My Love Affair with Marriage: This animated Fiction Feature by Cycle 2 recipient and Brooklyn resident Signe Baumane tells a coming-of-age story about love and rebellion. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this year and will go on to screen at Annecy International Film Festival in France and Guadalajara International Film Festival in Mexico.

Hidden Kingdom: Cycle 2 recipients, Sunny Facer and Jacqueline Davis, who both call Brooklyn home, created this Documentary Web Series to showcase five diverse dancers in NYC and their surreal and personal stories. The series has screened at SXSW, Slamdance Film Festival, Falcon Film Festival-UK, & Big Apple Film Festival.

Intimate Strangers: Cycle 2 Classical/Experimental/Jazz/New Music recipient Sara Serpa Santos’ album on the history of Portuguese colonialism in Africa, was featured in the NY Times’ list of Best Jazz Albums of 2021 and The Nation’s list of Best Albums of 2021. Santos resides in Manhattan.

The Nosebleed: Brooklyn’s Cycle 1 recipient Aya Ogawa co-presented with the Chocolate Factory Theater, with staged performances at The Japan Society in 2021 and currently at Lincoln Center.

Specially Processed American Me: In 2022, Cycle 2 recipient and Brooklyn resident Jaime Sunwoo staged her piece at Dixon Place.

English: Manhattan’s Roundabout Theatre Company partnered with the Atlantic Theater Company in 2022 to stage this play written by Cycle 2 Theatre recipient Sanaz Toossi from Brooklyn.

The Workers’ Studio: This Documentary Webseries from Queens resident Sol Aramendi, detailing how immigrant women cooperate to lead change in their communities, was exhibited at the Queens Museum and the BRIC House Stoop.

Looking at You: A techno music theater work, from the Bronx’s Kamala Sankaram, mixes electronic dance music, crime jazz and lyric operatic arias to explore the impact of modern technology on privacy.

A series of online informational sessions will be available to all those interested in applying at http://www.nyfa.org/nycwomensfund:

-August 3 – Pre-recorded overview video of NYC Women’s Fund

-August 17, 2:00pm – LIVE online info session for Music category

-September 7, 2:00pm – LIVE online info session for Media category

-September 28, 2:00pm – LIVE online info session for Theatre category

-October 12, 5:00pm – LIVE online info session for application budgets and timeline

Film, theatre, music, and web productions are eligible for finishing funds in the following categories (amounts listed are the maximum potential grant):

-Fiction Feature (running time of 60 minutes or more) – $50,000

-Fiction Short (running time of 59 minutes or less) – $25,000

-Fiction Webisode/Webseries (all forms) – $20,000

-Documentary Feature (running time of 60 minutes or more) – $50,000

-Documentary Short (running time of 59 minutes or less) – $25,000

-Documentary Webisodes/Webseries (all lengths and forms) – $20,000

-Music – $20,000

-Theatre Production – grant amounts up to $50,000

GRANT TIMELINE

Applications open: Tuesday July 26, 2022 at 10:00 AM EDT
Applications close: November 1, 2022 at 5:00 PM EDT
Recipients notified: March, 2023
Funded Project completion: March 31, 2024

Film, theatre, and webisode/webseries projects are eligible if they feature a woman’s perspective prominently, and/or include a woman director, and/or include a meaningful woman producer credit, and/or prominently include a woman’s perspective or writing credit, and/or include a woman protagonist(s).

Eligible projects for music grants will include new EPs, albums, and videos for yet-to-be released works from all genres. Projects must significantly include a woman as a writing credit, producer credit, engineering credit, and/or musical lead. NYC-based producers, composers, engineers, solo musicians, ensemble bands, and orchestras that are not currently signed to a major label can apply. Applicants must also show evidence of a growing fan base and have played multiple live shows.

All recipients must be residents of NYC. Anyone can apply and be awarded a grant regardless of actual or perceived sex, gender, gender identity or gender expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, creed, partnership status, marital status, disability, race, color, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, military status, or any other class protected by City, State, or Federal law.

Applications and eligibility requirements are available at http://www.nyfa.org/nycwomensfund. To sign up for updates on the Fund, please visit MOME’s website. You can use hashtag #NYCWomensFund to participate in the conversation.

About New York Foundation for the Arts
The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) was established in 1971 to empower artists at critical stages in their creative lives. Today, the nonprofit organization’s programs and services are far-reaching and are rooted in a wealth of physical and online resources. Each year, NYFA awards more than $3 million in cash grants to individual visual, performing, and literary artists throughout the United States. NYFA’s Fiscal Sponsorship program, one of the oldest and most reputable in the country, helps national artists and arts organizations raise and manage an average of $4 million annually. NYFA’s Learning programs, including its Artist as Entrepreneur and Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program, provide thousands of artists, creatives, and arts administrators with professional development training and support. NYFA’s website, NYFA.org, is used by more than 1 million people and features more than 20,000 opportunities and resources available to artists in all disciplines.

About the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment
The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment’s mission is to support and strengthen New York City’s creative economy and make it accessible to all. In 2019, the creative industries accounted for more than 500,000 local jobs and have an economic impact of $150 billion annually. MOME comprises five divisions: The Film Office, which coordinates on location production throughout the five boroughs; NYC Media, the City’s official broadcast network and production group; the Office of Nightlife, which supports the city’s nighttime economy; the Press Credentials Office, which issues press cards; and Programs and Initiatives to advance industry and workforce development across NYC’s creative sectors.

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”

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.

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