Category Archives: Entertainment

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. 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

Jodi Long wins 2021 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Daytime Fiction Program for ‘DASH & LILY’

Midori Francis and Jodi Long in DASH & LILY

Congratulations to Jodi Long who is the first Asian American actress to win the 2021 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Daytime Fiction Program for her turn as Ms. Basil E. in the Netflix Holiday Rom-Com DASH & LILY. 

Jodi Long. Photo by Lia Chang

Click here to see photos of Jodi on the Winners Walk. 

Jodi Long is a veteran of stage, film and television whose regular series work includes co-starring with Valerie Bertinelli in “Cafe American”; playing Margaret Cho’s mother in “All American Girl” and playing Alicia Silverstone’s secretary in “Miss Match” and Okcha in “Sullivan And Son.”  Long has had recurring parts on “The Cosby Show”, “Michael Hayes”, “Eli Stone” and “Law and Order: LA”. She is also known as Patty, “the power lesbian,” in an episode of “Sex in The City”. Long’s film work includes Beginnings, with Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer; Paul Schrader’s Patty Hearst; Mike Newell’s Sour SweetStriking Distance; RolloverThe Hot Chick; Striking Distance; and Rollover with Jane Fonda.  Ms. Long wrote and co-produced the award winning documentary Long Story Short about her vaudevillian parents. Her one woman show, Surfing My DNA, garnered her an Ovation Nomination for Best Solo Performance.

In 2006, Long’s one-woman play, Surfing DNA, was produced at East West Players in Los Angeles and garnered her an Ovation nomination for Best Solo Performance. She went on to write and co-produce a documentary about her vaudevillian parents, Long Story Short, was directed by Christine Choy. The film played numerous film festivals, including the 2008 Hawaii International Film Festival, and it won the 2008 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival’s Audience Award for Best Documentary. In 2008, Long Story Short was voted one of the top ten documentaries by UCLA’s Asia Institute. 

Long made her Broadway debut at age 7 in Nowhere To Go But Up, directed by Sidney Lumet, the first of five Broadway shows in which she would appear. As an adult, she has starred in Loose Ends, with Kevin Kline; The Bacchae, with Irene Papas; Stephen Sondheim’s Getting Away with Murder; and the recent revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song, a performance for which she won an Ovation Award at The Mark Taper in Los Angeles.

Numerous off-Broadway productions include Wendy Wasserstein’s Old Money (Lincoln Center), Red and The Wash (Manhattan Theater Club), David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child and Family Devotions (Public Theater); and The Tooth of Crime (LaMama). Long has also performed in the world tour of Phillip Glass and David Henry Hwang’s 90-minute solo piece 1000 Airplanes on The Roof.

NETFLIX’S Holiday Rom-Com Series “DASH & LILY” Receives 12 Daytime Emmy Nominations including Outstanding Actress for Midori Francis, Outstanding Supporting Actress for Jodi Long, Outstanding Young Adult Series, Writing, Directing and Cinematography 

10 minutes with Sullivan & Son’s Jodi Long, Award Winning Actor and Filmmaker

 

Jul. 25: DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival’s Closing Night Film is Mallorie Ortega’s THE GIRL WHO LEFT HOME Starring Haven Everly, Emy Coligado, Paolo Montalban, Lora Nicolas, Liz Casasola, Russwin Francisco, DonMike H. Mendoza, Toni Katano and Mitch Poulos; Streams On Demand Jul. 15-25

The Girl Who Left Home is the Official Closing Night Film of DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival. If you are in the DC area, the live in-person screening is Sunday, July 25th, 5:30pm at AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910. The Q&A will feature director Mallorie Ortega and cast members Emy Coligado, Haven Everly and Paolo Montalban. If you are not in the DC area, you can also stream the film online, from July 15 – 25th.

Stream online tickets

Closing Night Screening tickets

The Girl Who Left Home (formerly Nanay Ko) is a musical dramedy film about a Filipino-American who must put her dreams aside to keep her family restaurant from eviction. 

The cast features Haven Everly, Emy Coligado, Paolo Montalban, Liz Casasola, Lora Nicolas Olaes, Russwin Francisco, DonMike H. Mendoza, Toni Katano and Mitch Poulos.  

The production teams includes Mallorie Ortega (Director/ Writer/Producer/Lyricist), Angelo Santos, Russwin Francisco, Emy Coligado (Producers), Dylan Thai (Executive Producer), Cicero Oca (Co-producer), Matthew Halla (Director of Photography), Lindsay Armstrong, Katie Mcclellan (Editor), Alex Winkler (Composer), Steve Greist (Lyricist) and Diana Cha, Austin Sapp (Sound).

Life Imitates Art for Emy Coligado with Dream Role in Mallorie Ortega’s THE GIRL WHO LEFT HOME 

GirlWhoLeft.com Website

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. She is also the Executive Producer for The CactusThe Language LessonThe Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

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

Video: SESAME STREET: Proud of Your Eyes Song Featuring Alan Muraoka, Wes and Analyn – Part of “ABCs of Racial Literacy”

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, released new bilingual videos and resources today as part of an ongoing initiative to help families have open and honest conversations with young children around race, provide strategies to cope with racial trauma, and engage allies and advocates to become upstanders against racism as part of its Sesame Street in Communities initiative. The new “ABCs of Racial Literacy” Resources, which are free and available in English and Spanish, can be found at SesameWorkshop.org/ComingTogether.  

Alan Muraoka, Wes and Analyn. Photo: Sesame Street Workshop

“Children begin to observe and internalize messages of race at a young age, during a critical time for building one’s identity and sense of self,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President of US Social Impact, Sesame Workshop. “That’s why it’s important for families to feel equipped to have conversations about race and racism with their children. The new “ABCs of Racial Literacy” resources are designed to give children and caregivers additional tools to cope with the impact of racism and navigate difficult situations together as a family.” 

The resources feature 5-year-old Wes and his father Elijah, two Sesame Street Muppets first introduced in March to discuss skin (and fur!) color with Elmo. Wes and Elijah are back to help kids continue to talk about race and provide families of color with strategies to discuss the impact of racism. The new resources, which are part of Sesame Workshop’s Coming Together commitment to racial justice, include: 

 

Alan Muraoka and Wes support Analyn to feel strong and proud of who she is. They sing “Proud of Your Eyes” to help comfort Analyn after someone said something hurtful about her eyes/how she looks. Watch and sing along as we celebrate how our eyes and other features tell the story of ourselves and our families. Find out more about developing children’s positive racial, ethnic, and cultural identities at: https://www.SesameWorkshop.org/Coming…

– Breathe, Feel, Share: Wes, Abby, and Elijah discuss an incident that happened at school – Wes was teased about his lunch, curry chicken. Together, they practice a simple coping strategy. 

– Ongoing Video Series for families with new content featuring The Clutes, a Native family, exploring the different ways families can talk to their kids about race, culture, and allyship. 

– Articles and how-to guides for caring grown-ups, including The 4 S’s of Anti-Racist Parenting and Racial Trauma and Responding to Racism

– Printable Activities for children including Welcome to Sesame Street, Wes and Elijah! coloring pages, I Am Somebody cut-apart affirmation cards, and the Sing-Along to the “Giant” Song lyric sheet. 

– Professional development webinar and resources for community providers, such as educators, healthcare providers, and social workers (coming soon). 

– New materials and music to help families continue the conversation, including Let’s Stand Up for What is Right (Random House), a new book featuring Sesame Street Muppet friends uniting against racism, and a streaming Power of We (Warner Music Group’s Arts Music division) playlist of uplifting and inclusive Sesame songs. Coming Together, Change the World: A Sesame Street Guide to Standing Up for Racial Justice (Lerner Publishing Group) will publish in September. 

The “ABCs of Racial Literacy” resources are part of Sesame Workshop’s new Racial Justice educational framework and curriculum for young children. The new resources were developed in close consultation with expert advisors and will be implemented with committed partners, including Abriendo Puertas/Open Doors, the American Psychological Association, the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, and the National Black Child Development Institute. In addition to being freely available to families online, the resources will be distributed through national and community providers as part of Sesame Street in Communities

Sesame Workshop believes that talking to young children about race and racism is crucial. According to a recent study conducted by Sesame Workshop with children ages 6-11, children themselves have witnessed unfair treatment, and parents report close to half of these children (42%) have personally experienced discrimination of some kind, including nearly two-thirds (62%) of Black children.  

“Having open conversations with children about race and racism is critical, not only for building understanding and empathy, but also for beginning the healing process for children who experience racism,” say Anita Gundanna and Vanessa Leung, Co-Executive Directors of Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF), who served as advisors on the new resources launching today. “The reality is that many children grow up experiencing racism, including Asian American children who for years have reported high levels of racial harassment—a number exacerbated by heightened xenophobia and scapegoating during the COVID-19 pandemic. With a long history of building trust with families, Sesame Workshop is the ideal organization to engage parents and caregivers in critical conversations with their little ones, help families cope with the harms of racism, and help build solidarity among communities.” 

The “ABCs of Racial Literacy” is part of Coming Together, Sesame Workshop’s ongoing commitment to racial justice. Content is released on a rolling basis and available to parents and caregivers at SesameWorkshop.org/ComingTogether

About Sesame Workshop  

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re present in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit www.sesameworkshop.org.  

SESAME STREET’S Jennifer Barnhart Nominated for 1st Daytime Emmy

Jennifer Barnhart and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

Congratulations to Jennifer Barnhart on her first Daytime Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Limited Performance in a Children’s Program for her work on Sesame Street as Zoe, Charlie’s Mom and Maggie Cadabby, She is competing against Derek Gaines, as Isaac Ice, Helpsters;  Lupita Nyong’o, as Self – Storyteller, Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices; Alicia Silverstone, as Elizabeth Thomas-Brewer, The Baby-Sitters Club; and Tom Wilson, as Doug Reynolds, Sydney to the Max

Jennifer Barnhart was an Original Broadway Company member (Outer Critics Circle Award) of the smash Tony Award-winning hit Avenue Q, and she remained with the show in the role she created for its entire six-year run on Broadway. As a puppeteer, Jennifer has performed on numerous children’s television shows, including the upcoming series “Helpsters for Apple+ TV,” as well as “Between the Lions,” “Bear in the Big Blue House,” “Johnny & the Sprites,” “Julie’s Greenroom” (with Julie Andrews, for Netflix), and “Sesame Street,” where she plays Zoe. Some favorite ‘human’ roles include: Lady Macbeth, Goneril and Veronica in God of Carnage (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), and Officer Randy in Superior Donuts (The Arden Theatre). She has also appeared on Law & Order: SVU (once as a puppeteer) and was the Speaker of the House on Season 5 of “House of Cards”. Most recently, Jennifer starred in All Hallows’ Eve, a wild, eclectic horror musical created by Martin P. Robinson (Little Shop of Horrors) Her voice can be heard on various educational apps, and as a narrator for the YA novel, “The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle” (Penguin/Random House). Website: www.jenniferbarnhart.com Follow on Instagram: #iamjenbarnhart

AVENUE Q/Sesame Street’s Jennifer Barnhart Sparkles in Cabaret Debut At The Laurie Beechman 

Click here for the full list of nominees.

The news was unveiled Monday by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences as part of its announcement on the nominations for the 48th annual Daytime Emmy Awards in the children’s & animation and lifestyle categories. The awards which will be presented in two live-streamed events on July 17 and 18 on the Emmy® OTT platform at 8:00 p.m. (The Daytime Emmy Awards in several other categories, including daytime drama series, talk show, game show and morning news program, were handed out Friday night.)

The Daytime Emmys are presented to individuals and programs broadcast between 2 a.m. and 6 p.m., as well as certain categories of digital and syndicated programming of similar content.

The Daytime Emmy Awards Children’s Programming and Animation ceremony will be presented in a stand-alone show streaming on the Emmy® OTT platform on Saturday, July 17, 2021 at 8p.m ET.

Awards for individual achievement in animation are selected by a juried panel of peers which selects winners in each of six craft areas without a nomination stage. Accordingly, these winners will be announced at the ceremony on July 17.

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

NETFLIX’S Holiday Rom-Com Series “DASH & LILY” Receives 12 Daytime Emmy Nominations including Outstanding Actress for Midori Francis, Outstanding Supporting Actress for Jodi Long, Outstanding Young Adult Series, Writing, Directing and Cinematography 

Midori Francis and Jodi Long in DASH & LILY

Updated: 6/29/21

NETFLIX’S Holiday Rom-Com Series “DASH & LILY” has received 12 Daytime Emmy nominations including Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in a Daytime Fiction Program for Midori Francis, Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Daytime Fiction Program for Jodi Long as Mrs. Basil E., Outstanding Young Adult Series, Outstanding Writing Team for a Daytime Fiction Program, Outstanding Directing Team for a Daytime Fiction Program, and  Outstanding Cinematography.

Liz Coakley, Jacqueline Bensaid and Rebecca Levine won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Makeup for a Drama or Daytime Fiction Program on June 25. Other previously announced nominations include Outstanding Casting for a Drama or Daytime Fiction Program, Outstanding Art Direction/Set Design for a Drama or Daytime Fiction Program, Outstanding Costume Design/STyling for a Drama or Daytime Fiction Program, Outstanding Hairstyling for a Drama or Daytime Fiction Program, Outstanding Music Direction and Composition for a Daytime Program.

The Holiday Romantic Comedy is Executive Produced by Shawn Levy and Josh Barry’s 21 Laps Entertainment (Stranger Things, Unsolved Mysteries) and Nick Jonas’ Image 32. Joe Tracz is the Series Creator, Showrunner and Executive Producer.

The cast features Austin Abrams ( Dash), Midori Francis (Lily), Dante Brown (Boomer), Troy Iwata  (Langston), Keana Marie (Sofia), James Saito (Arthur), Jodi Long  (Mrs. Basil E), Glenn McCuen (Edgar Thibaud), Michael Park (Gordon), Gideon Emery (Adam), Jennifer Ikeda (Grace) and Diego Guevara (Benny).

ABOUT DASH & LILY: A whirlwind Holiday romance builds as cynical Dash and optimistic Lily trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations all across New York City, finding they have more in common with each other than they would have expected. The series is based on the young adult book series Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares from the New York Times bestselling authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.

Click here for the full list of nominees.

The news was unveiled Monday by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences as part of its announcement on the nominations for the 48th annual Daytime Emmy Awards in the children’s & animation and lifestyle categories. The awards which will be presented in two live-streamed events on July 17 and 18 on the Emmy® OTT platform at 8:00 p.m. (The Daytime Emmy Awards in several other categories, including daytime drama series, talk show, game show and morning news program, were handed out Friday night.)

The Daytime Emmys are presented to individuals and programs broadcast between 2 a.m. and 6 p.m., as well as certain categories of digital and syndicated programming of similar content.

The Daytime Emmy Awards Children’s Programming and Animation ceremony will be presented in a stand-alone show streaming on the Emmy® OTT platform on Saturday, July 17, 2021 at 8p.m ET.

Awards for individual achievement in animation are selected by a juried panel of peers which selects winners in each of six craft areas without a nomination stage. Accordingly, these winners will be announced at the ceremony on July 17.

Inside the Tribeca Film Festival’s World Premiere of Suzanne Joe Kai’s LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE & TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES; Now Streaming through Jun. 23

The Tribeca Film Festival is streaming “Like A Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres” through June 23. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here. 

Last Sunday, my first film experience post-pandemic took place on a large scale, complete with temperature checks, oversized plastic lawn chairs set up in pods to adhere to social distancing rules, and a jumbo concert sized screen at The Battery in New York,  where I watched the Tribeca Film Festival’s World Premiere of “Like A Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres”. 

Swag in the hospitality tent at The Tribeca Film Festival at The Battery in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
The hospitality tent at The Tribeca Film Festival at The Battery in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

It was great to catch up with my friend, Ben Fong-Torres, the subject of the documentary directed, produced and written by Suzanne Joe Kai. The film features exclusive interviews with Elton John, Carlos Santana, Steve Martin, Quincy Jones, Bob Weir, Cameron Crowe, Annie Leibovitz, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist David Felton, Holly George-Warren, Sarah Lazin, Laurel Gonsalves, and so many more.

Ben Fong-Torres and Publicist David Magdael at The Tribeca Film Festival at The Battery in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

The idea for the documentary was birthed over 10 years ago. Suzanne and Ben were having dinner one night when Suzanne mused, “You’re in everybody else’s documentary. Why isn’t there one about you?”

Kai shared, “I approached it as a rock and roll documentary, which it still is. Being a journalist myself, I blocked myself away from the world of books and movies. I didn’t want to get influenced. I went straight to the sources like the great Rolling Stone‘s people here- Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Felton. He gave me incredible insight as did so many others. I was very lucky.”
Dian-Aziza Ooka, Laurel Gonsalves, Ben Fong-Torres, and David Felton at 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 atThe Battery in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

“I started this 10-12 years ago, so I could get the early sources that worked alongside Ben. I blocked out all of that, and I focused in on the sources. Then I started to look at books, film and everywhere else. To my shock, Ben’s story was really missing. There’s a lot about Ben out there, but in terms of Ben’s real true life story, I felt it was missing. Then, that became a mission of mine to tell the true story of Ben.”

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

Rolling Stone music editor and journalist Ben Fong-Torres. Photo: Fred Morales, Jr.

Cara Cusumano, Festival Director and Vice President for Programming for The Tribeca Film Festival writes, “Soon after graduating from San Francisco State College, Ben Fong-Torres started writing for Rolling Stone in 1968. The next year, he was hired as an editor and writer. Fong-Torres’s cover stories on Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, and Jefferson Airplane helped to shape the way a country understood its counterculture, while Rolling Stone, under Fong-Torres’s guidance as a senior editor, became Rolling Stone.

Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary is much more than a time capsule of an era: it’s a portrait of someone who can’t be reduced to a profession. Fong-Torres walks us through his upbringing as the child of Chinese immigrants in the 1950s, his earliest interest in rock and soul as a way of belonging, and the remarkable career that followed. Through conversations with colleagues and friends like Annie Leibovitz, Cameron Crowe, and Steve Martin, as well as authentic recordings from Fong-Torres’s archives—including Elton John—we understand why Fong-Torres was the interviewer that most bands actually requested: he treated each musician with a deep admiration for their craft, and saw them as people rather than icons.”

Ben Fong-Torres at The Tribeca Film Festival at The Battery in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

The Playlist’s Andrew Bundy writes, “Ben Fong-Torres is one of the essential music journalists in history. The man behind key cover stories on seminal counterculture figures at the height of a creative revolution (i.e., Bob Dylan, Jefferson Airplane, and Marvin Gaye), Fong-Torres, was the writer whom musical icons sought out. Growing up a Chinese immigrant in the 50s, rock ‘n roll and soul represented the sound of being heard for the future Rolling Stones editor, and, in the hands of director Suzanne Joe Kai, “Like A Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres,” looks to be one of the most impassioned docs of the fest. Talking to contemporaries such as Cameron Crowe and Steve Martin, ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ explores art as an expression of everyday values, not simply a means to a stack of greenbacks.”

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

It was a lovefest for Ben on the jumbo screen, and at the afterparty at The Diageo Cocktail Garden held at The View in Battery Park, sponsored by Don Julio Tequila. Below are highlights of the Q & A from Ben.

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
Q: Anything in particular really stand out for you?
Ben: I’m exhausted from all the hugging. That was a setup from Suzanne. She wanted a lot of hugging friendship. It was pre-pandemic so it was okay.
 
Surprises, yes. My associates and some of the musicians with whom I dealt, I really did not know. Cynthia Bowman said, “He probably doesn’t know about his power.” I did not. It was probably better that way. Just do your job and not worry about anything else.
 
Q: What advice do you have for budding music journalists for in conducting a great interview?
Ben: #1- find another field of work. I’m being your parent now. This will pay you nothing. But if you want to pursue it, in both music journalism and journalism in general, in conducting an interview, the first thing of course to do is research. There are so many more ways to do research now. Go out and find out about your subject. In that way, you’re showing her or him respect. That really breaks down some barriers that might exist between you, as a journalist, and them, as a story subject. Of course, preplan your questions, and then ignore them if the conversation takes you in a new and more interesting direction. Don’t be beholden to your research even though you are well equipped with it. Make it as much of a conversation as possible. Get all the details. What they are wearing. How they look. Look around the room, or the field or backstage area and take copious notes. There you are. You’ve begun a good interview situation.
 
Q: What do you think about the power of music right now in terms of critical politics?
Ben: Music has always been powerful, since before Rock and Roll. Even before the Folk movement. I think it goes back to church and other forms of music. In the 60’s, it became synonymous with protests and social activism. That has not changed. It is cyclical. it dips. it comes back. it dips. and now it’s actually more fierce than ever combining Rock and Roll, Hip Hop and other forms of music. Those early protest singers are still there and they still have a message for you. That will never die.
 
Q: People who read Rolling Stone back in the 60’s and 70’s, maybe their heart still remains in the music of that era. How difficult is it for you to stay up to date or current? You mentioned Hip Hop.
Ben: I’m basically retired from that gig. It’s not important for me to stay current except when I was writing a radio column, I’d flip up and down the dial and encounter all the contemporary as well as classic music. That reminded me of how vital the music stays. You don’t have to be a big fan of all forms of music but you can still appreciate the importance of music among all people of all ages.
 
Q: Who was your favorite person to mentor? Was it Cameron Crowe or another writer?
Ben: Wow. Favorite person to mentor. I never thought of myself as a mentor, first of all. I was his first editor and we have maintained our friendship obviously. No, he didn’t need me to teach him more than what any editor would have done, probably. He’s such a bright…, he’s still a kid really. He’s such a bright young man.
 
I’m always happy to talk to groups of journalism students and impart some of the lessons I’ve accumulated over several decades. No, I don’t have a single mentee and I never had a mentor of my own. Just role models and inspirations.
 
Check out my photo coverage of the afterparty below:
The View at Battery Park in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Diageo tequila brand Don Julio celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a campaign supporting bar and restaurant workers that includes giveaways of vouchers and charitable donations.

I collected a few “Don Julio Cincos,” from the “Automated Tequila Machine” at the afterparty.  

Don Julio Tequila was a sponsor of the afterparty for LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES in The Diageo Cocktail Garden at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021.  Photo by Lia Chang

Valued at $5, the vouchers have a QR code and PIN to redeem with payment app Venmo and the brand is urging people to spend at a bar or restaurant.

Lia Chang and the Automated Tequila Machine provided by Don Julio Tequila, a sponsor of the afterparty for LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES in The Diageo Cocktail Garden at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021.

And noshed on fish tacos, chicken sliders, beef sliders, flan and macarons.

David Felton, Laurel Gonsalves, Dian-Aziza Ooka, Ben Fong-Torres, Suzanne Joe Kai and Sarah Lazin attend 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 in The Diageo Cocktail Garden at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang
David Felton, Ben Fong-Torres and Joshua Feigenbaum attend 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 in The Diageo Cocktail Garden at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang
Sarah Lazin, Ben Fong-Torres and Holly George-Warren. Photo by Lia Chang
Karen Thorsen, Ben Fong-Torres and Douglas K. Dempsey attend 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 in The Diageo Cocktail Garden at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang
Yayoi Sakurai, Ben Fong-Torres and Joshua Feigenbaum attend the afterparty for the World Premiere screening of Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival in The Diageo Cocktail Garden at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021.  Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang and Ben Fong-Torres attend 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 in The Diageo Cocktail Garden at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021.
Marilynn K. Yee, Ben Fong-Torres and David Magdael.
Marilynn K. Yee, Ben Fong-Torres and David Magdael.
Suzanne Joe Kai. Photo by Steven Khan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lia Chang attends the afterparty for the World Premiere screening of 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.

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

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

HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME CLASS OF 2022 Includes James Hong, Ming-Na Wen, Black Eyed Peas, Jason Momoa, Carrie Fisher, Salma Hayek, Michael B. Jordan, Regina King, Tessa Thompson, Patti Lupone, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. and More

James Hong. Photo by Lia Chang
James Hong. Photo by Lia Chang

HOLLYWOOD, CA. June 17, 2021 —A new group of entertainment professionals in the categories of Motion Pictures, Television, Live Theatre/Live Performance, Radio, Recording and the newest category Sports Entertainment have been selected to receive stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame by the Walk of Fame Selection Panel of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. These honorees were chosen from among hundreds of nominations to the committee at a meeting held on June 14, 2021 and ratified by the Hollywood Chamber’s Board of Directors on June 16, 2021.  Ellen K, Chair of the Walk of Fame Selection Panel and Radio personality, announced the new honorees on www.walkoffame.com The Hollywood Walk of Fame Class of 2022 are:

In the category of MOTION PICTURES: Francis Ford Coppola, Macaulay Culkin, Willem Dafoe, Salma Hayek, James Hong, Helen Hunt, Michael B. Jordan, Regina King, Ray Liotta, Ewan McGregor, Adam McKay, Jason Momoa, Tessa Thompson and Carrie Fisher (posthumous).

Last year, Daniel Dae Kim launched a successful fundraiser to nominate James Hong for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In the category of TELEVISION: Byron Allen, Greg Berlanti, Ricky Gervais, Peter Krause, Bob Odenkirk, Holly Robinson-Peete, Norman Reedus, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jean Smart, Ming-Na Wen and Kenan Thompson. In the category of RECORDING: Black Eyed Peas, George E. Clinton Jr., Ashanti Douglas, DJ Khaled, Avril Lavigne, Los Huracanes Del Norte, Martha Reeves and Ermias “Nipsey Hussle” Asghedom (posthumous). In the category of LIVE THEATRE/LIVE PERFORMANCE:Patti Lupone, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. and Angelica Vale In the category of RADIO:  Richard Blade In the category or Sports Entertainment: Michael Strahan

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and its Walk of Fame Selection Panel congratulate all the honorees. Dates have not been scheduled for these star ceremonies. Recipients have two years to schedule star ceremonies from the date of selection before they expire. Upcoming star ceremonies are usually announced ten days prior to dedication on the official website www.walkoffame.com

Jun. 13: LIKE A ROLLING STONE, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES, Directed by Suzanne Joe Kai, to Premiere at The Tribeca Film Festival

Rolling Stone music editor and journalist Ben Fong-Torres. Photo: Fred Morales, Jr.

I am thrilled to be attending the World Premiere of LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE & TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES, a documentary directed, produced and written by Suzanne Joe Kai, when it screens on Sunday, June 13 at 1:00pm at The Tribeca Film Festival at The Battery in New York.

The film will also stream beginning Monday, June 14 at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 and the film will be available on demand through June 23. Click here to purchase tickets for the stream.

Even if the name “Ben Fong-Torres” doesn’t ring a bell, you’ve probably read his work. Soon after graduating from San Francisco State College, he started writing for Rolling Stone in 1968. The next year, he was hired as an editor and writer. Fong-Torres’s cover stories on Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, and Jefferson Airplane helped to shape the way a country understood its counterculture, while Rolling Stone, under Fong-Torres’s guidance as a senior editor, became Rolling Stone.

Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary is much more than a time capsule of an era: it’s a portrait of someone who can’t be reduced to a profession. Fong-Torres walks us through his upbringing as the child of Chinese immigrants in the 1950s, his earliest interest in rock and soul as a way of belonging, and the remarkable career that followed. Through conversations with colleagues and friends like Annie Leibovitz, Cameron Crowe, and Steve Martin, as well as authentic recordings from Fong-Torres’s archives—including Elton John—we understand why Fong-Torres was the interviewer that most bands actually requested: he treated each musician with a deep admiration for their craft, and saw them as people rather than icons.
—Cara Cusumano

Cast: Ben Fong-Torres, Elton John, Carlos Santana, Steve Martin, Quincy Jones, Bob Weir, Cameron Crowe, Annie Leibovitz and many more.

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 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 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.

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

Credits

Director, Producer, Screenwriter: Suzanne Joe Kai

Additional Executive Producers: Andy Hsieh, Kathryn Everett

Cinematographer: Hiroshi Hara, Jason Joseffer, Fraser Bradshaw

Editor: Doug Blush, Dan Lawrence, Greg Byers, William Gilmore

Executive Producer: Freida Lee Mock, Doug Blush, Tony Hsieh, Bryn Mooser

Associate Producer: Justin Lacob

Co-Producer: Greg Byers

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

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

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

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