Category Archives: Film

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

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

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

June 2: Queens Museum Presents Inside the Cutting room: A Conversation & Scenes from “when home is elsewhere” with Filmmaker Alvin Tsang

Queens Museum is presenting a virtual panel, Inside the Cutting room: A Conversation & Scenes from “when home is elsewhere” with Filmmaker Alvin Tsang.

Tsang takes an inside look into the creative development of his current work-in-progress, “when home is elsewhere” on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at 7:00 p.m in a virtual panel discussion. Click here to RSVP.

“when home is elsewhere” is sponsored by New York Foundation for the Arts and supported by Queens Council on the Arts.

Despite the COVID-19 disruption, Tsang pushed forward into post-production, taking this opportune moment of quarantine to further research and reflect on the colonial experiences of the past and today’s ongoing international displacement of people by wars and local xenophobic violence.

Tsang will share scenes and, with the film’s co-producer and artist Siyan Wong, discuss the making of a film that goes well beyond the experience of one man’s lifelong search for a home. Tsang’s 75-year-old father was a pre-teen orphan, a refugee from Vietnam to Hong Kong, an immigrant who moved his family to the United States, and a divorcee. By working with personal archives on this film, Tsang connects the more personal human experience to bigger issues of family, migration, community, and war that many from around the world experience today. His artistic goal for this film is to inspire reflections on the past and positive changes happening now, stimulating imagination for what the future could be.

Follow on FB/IG: @whenhomeiselsewhere @alvinwtsang

Filmmaker Ang Lee to be honoured with BAFTA Fellowship at the 74th EE British Academy Film Awards on April 11

Ang Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Ang Lee. Photo by Lia Chang

 The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) will honour multiple BAFTA award-winning filmmaker Ang Lee with the Fellowship at the 74th EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday, April 11 on BBC One.

Lee is one of the world’s most pioneering and revered contemporary filmmakers whose ground-breaking films are highly acclaimed spanning multiple genres throughout his producing, writing and directing career.

Awarded annually, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by BAFTA upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, games or television. Fellows previously honoured for their work in film include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Lee, Martin Scorsese, Alan Parker, Helen Mirren, Sidney Poitier, Mel Brooks, Sir Ridley Scott and Thelma Schoonmaker. Kathleen Kennedy received the Fellowship at last year’s Film Awards.

He first rose to prominence in the 1990s with his Taiwanese Father Knows Best comedy trilogy consisting of Pushing Hands, The Wedding Banquet and Eat Drink Man Woman, all of which he co-wrote, produced and directed.

These films received acclaim in the US and internationally, with The Wedding Banquet winning the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival as well as being nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars® and the latter leading to his first BAFTA nomination for Film Not in the English Language in 1995.

The following year, his first English language film, Sense and Sensibility starring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant received major accolades including his first BAFTA Film Award for Best Film and another Berlin Golden Bear.

In 2000, Lee produced and directed the martial arts action-adventure Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, one of his most critically acclaimed cinematic masterpieces. The film dazzled global audiences, grossing over $213 million worldwide and holds the record for the highest grossing foreign language film in US history. The film was nominated for 14 BAFTA Film Awards and 10 Oscars®, winning four at each ceremony including a BAFTA for Director and Film not in the English Language and an Oscar® for Foreign Language Film.

Five years later, Lee was back on the global stage with his ground-breaking LGBTQ+ love story Brokeback Mountain starring Jake Gyllenhaal the late Heath Ledger. The film struck a chord with critics and audiences alike and was a turning point for queer cinema breaking into the mainstream. The film garnered nine BAFTA nominations and won four: Best Film, Director, Adapted Screenplay and Actor in a Supporting Role. He also won Best Director at the Oscars®.

Lee once again broke new ground with the visually stunning 3D CGI epic Life of Pi, pushing the limits of technology and storytelling to deliver an emotionally resonant tale about a teenage boy lost at sea with a fearsome Bengal tiger. His most successful film to date, the film grossed over $600 million worldwide and garnered further awards recognition: nine BAFTA Film Award nominations and a Children’s BAFTA win for Feature Film in 2013 as well as another Oscar® for Best Director.

His other directing credits include Lust, Caution, Taking Woodstock, Hulk, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and most recently, Gemini Man.

Marc Samuelson, Chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee said: “Ang Lee is a master of his craft.  He is an incredibly versatile, daring and exceptional filmmaker who effortlessly moves between genres.  His films have been truly ground-breaking both in terms of their technical expertise and for the subject matters he tackles. His pioneering work in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi and so many other titles not only showcase his technical ability and deep understanding of the filmmaking process, but also his ability to infuse every story – no matter how epic or simple – with humanizing characters we can all relate to on an emotional level through his exceptional work. We are thrilled to present him with BAFTA’s highest honour.” 

Ang Lee commented: “England has been particularly good to me in my career, especially with Sense and Sensibility, which was like a second film school for me. It’s a tremendous honour to receive the Bafta Academy Fellowship and be counted among such brilliant filmmakers.”

This year, the EE BAFTA Film Awards will be celebrated across the weekend of April 10-11.  Two shows, recognising the very best in film, will be broadcast virtually from London’s Royal Albert Hall. The first show, celebrating the craft of film, will be broadcast on Saturday, April 10 on BBC Two and BBC Two HD.  The show on Sunday, April 11 will be broadcast on BBC One and BBC One HD. Both programmes will be broadcast in all major territories around the world. 

About BAFTA

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For advice and inspiration from the best creative minds in working in film, games and television, visit www.bafta.org/guru. For more, visit www.bafta.org.

Garth Kravits’ WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG Receives 2021 DisOrient Audience Choice AWARD for Best Short Narrative; Full List of Winners Includes Mari Walker’s SEE YOU THEN, Akira Boch and Tadashi Nakamura’s ATOMIC CAFE: THE NOISIEST CORNER IN J-TOWN, Wayne Wang’s COMING HOME AGAIN, Hui Tong and Kelly Ng’s CURTAIN UP!, Allan Zhang Tran’s VALLEY, Jaime Sunwoo’s EQUALITY TEA, Anthony Banua-Simon’s CANE FIRE, Ben Phantom, Kaia Rose’s FUGETSU-DO and Hisonni Mustafa’s TAKE OUT GIRL

The DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon went digital this year with a 10-day program featuring 46 films, available for viewing to a North American audience. 

Now in its 16th year, DisOrient is the premiere Asian American independent film festival of Oregon, celebrating films with authentic Asian Pacific American voices, histories and stories. They highlight social justice themes that translate to universal human experiences. They promote representation, diversity and inclusion to broaden the narrative of who is American, and to strengthen and build community.

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

Our film, When the World Was Young, written and directed by Garth Kravits, won two awards including the 2021 DisOrient Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative  and a 2021 DisOrient Inspirational Artist Award for our star, Virginia Wing. The cast also features Lia Chang, Jason Ma, Jo Yang, Daniel Dunlow, Michelle Miller and Mark York.

Filmmakers Hui Tong and Kelly Ng’s documentary Curtain Up! won the 2021 DisOrient Best Feature Documentary Award and 2021 DisOrient Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Documentary. 

Synopsis: It’s show time at PS124, an elementary school in New York’s Chinatown, where students in the theater club are working on this season’s production of Frozen the Musical. Off stage, they navigate school, family expectations, and their own identities. As opening night and graduation loom, students find their voices through rehearsals and the continued support of teachers, family, and one another.

Pooya Mohseni and Lynn Chen in Mari Walker’s SEE YOU THEN

Mari Walker’s See You Then received the 2021 DisOrient Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Narrative. In See You ThenKris (Pooya Mohseni), a transgender computer programmer, and Naomi (Lynn Chen), an Asian-American performance artist, used to date in college (pre-transition). They haven’t seen each other for 15 years, since Kris left town without a word. Over the course of a one night encounter, they engage in a series of increasingly intimate and revealing conversations, before a shocking revelation sends everything spiraling out of control. See You Then focuses on the universal truth that no matter how much you change, a part of you will always stay the same.

Atomic Cafe: the Noisiest Corner in J-Town, directed by Akira Boch and Tadashi Nakamura, received the 2021 DisOrient Audience Choice Award for Best Short Documentary.  In the late 1970’s, a Japanese American, family-owned diner in Los Angeles’ J-Town became a lively gathering space for the L.A Punk Rock scene. Sansei “Atomic Nancy” took over her parents’ restaurant and cranked up the jukebox. From Japanese American locals to the biggest rock stars of the day, the Atomic Cafe became an important part of L.A.’s punk rock history.

Below are the previously announced winners, special mentions and nominees.

Best Feature Narrative: Coming Home Again; Filmmaker Wayne Wang

Synopsis: Based on a personal essay by first-generation Korean American author, Chang-rae Lee (Justin Chon) returns to San Francisco to care for his terminally ill mother. In this intimate snapshot set over the course of a single day, Chang-rae tends to his mother (Jackie Chung) and tries to recreate her Korean New Year’s dinner, while he grapples with family expectations and the pain of watching a loved one slip away.

 

Nominees: Coming Home Again,  See You ThenThe Girl Who Left Home

 

 

Best Feature Documentary: Curtain Up!; Filmmakers Hui Tong and Kelly Ng

Synopsis: It’s show time at PS124, an elementary school in New York’s Chinatown, where students in the theater club are working on this season’s production of Frozen the Musical. Off stage, they navigate school, family expectations, and their own identities. As opening night and graduation loom, students find their voices through rehearsals and the continued support of teachers, family, and one another.

Hui Tong and Kelly Ng’s CURTAIN UP! Wins DisOrient 2021 Award for Best Feature Documentary 

Nominees: Cane Fire, Ghost Mountain, and Curtain Up!

Best Short Narrative: Valley; Filmmaker Allan Zhang Tran

Synopsis: Two friends growing up in the San Gabriel Valley ditch school and spend the day together, at a time when their lives are starting to take them down different paths.

 

Nominees: ValleyUnpotHello From TaiwanBlue LanternsRefrigerate After Opening, I Sound Asian

 

Equality Tea

Best Short Documentary: Equality Tea; Filmmaker Jaime Sunwoo

Synopsis: It’s time to take off the white gloves and spill the tea, that liberty and justice were not for all…

Throughout America, women organized tea parties for meetings and fundraisers to support the suffrage movement. The Woman’s Suffrage Party sold ceylon, young hyson, gunpowder, and oolong tea under their charitable brand “Equality Tea.” Yet the history of tea is steeped in inequality, driven by colonialism, war, and appropriation. In her short film, Equality Tea, Sunwoo brews tea while drawing parallels between the fraught histories of the tea trade and the suffrage movement.

Original score by Matt Chilton, based on a 1895 suffragist anthem by Augusta Gray Gunn. Commissioned by Park Avenue Armory and The Laundromat Project for 100 Years | 100 Women.

Nominees: Fugetsu-DoAn Object of MeritEquality TeaAtomic CaféKAYE: Next Life AroundKeep Saray Home

Jason D. Mak Award for Social Justice: Cane Fire; Filmmaker Anthony Banua-Simon

Synopsis: This documentary takes an expansive look at the history and present day reality of the Hawaiian island, Kauai. Contrasting Hollywood’s depiction of Hawaii as tropical paradise and a prime tourist destination with the realities of indigenous and working class residents, this is an eye-opening look at the forces that shaped Kauai through generations of colonialism, capitalism, and activism. 

Nominees: Cane FireEquality TeaTake Out GirlKeep Saray HomeSee You Then

DisOrient Inspirational Artist Award: Virginia Wing (When The World Was Young)

Synopsis: Returning home to care for their mother whose memory is deteriorating, two siblings find more of her past than they knew was there.

Virginia Wing. Photo by Lia Chang

Virginia Wing 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 can be seen in NYTW’s production of Three Sisters in 2021. Click on the  Performing Arts Legacy Website for more about Virginia Wing.

DisOrient Special Recognition for Outstanding Music Video: Ben Phantom (Saigon)

A son journeys to Vietnam with his father, 42 years after his father escaped as a refugee.

DisOrient Heritage Award: Fugetsu-Do; Filmmaker Kaia Rose

Synopsis: For over 115 years, this Japanese confectionary in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo has served 5 generations of customers and is a testament to the resilience of its Japanese American owners. The beautiful cinematography and Brian Kito’s engaging storytelling are imbued with the spirit of this sweet shop.

DisOrient 2021: Raising Our Voices Award: Take Out Girl; Filmmaker Hisonni Mustafa

Synopsis: Tera Wong works in her family’s Chinese restaurant, located in an LA project called the “Low Bottoms.” When Tera delivers food to a local drug kingpin, she sees an opportunity that could pull her family and the restaurant out of financial turmoil. But as she’s pulled in deeper and the stakes get higher, she sees these dreams begin to crumble and learns that she might not be the only one keeping secrets.

Broadwayworld: WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG Wins Audience Choice Award For Best Short Narrative At 16th DisOrient Asian American Film Festival

WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG Star Virginia Wing Wins 2021 DisOrient Inspirational Artist Award; Full List of 2021 DisOrient Award Winners Includes COMING HOME AGAIN, CURTAIN UP!, VALLEY, EQUALITY TEA, CANE FIRE, Ben Phantom, FUGETSU-DO and TAKEOUT GIRL 

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, Balancing Act, Belongingness, When the World was Young and Hide and Seek.

 

WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG Star Virginia Wing Wins 2021 DisOrient Inspirational Artist Award; Full List of 2021 DisOrient Award Winners Includes COMING HOME AGAIN, CURTAIN UP!, VALLEY, EQUALITY TEA, CANE FIRE, Ben Phantom, FUGETSU-DO and TAKEOUT GIRL

Thank you to the DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon for honoring Virginia Wing, our star of When the World Was Young, with the DisOrient Inspirational Artist Award.  It fed my soul to have a virtual reunion during the closing night program of the Festival with writer/director Garth Kravits, and my castmates Virginia Wing, Jason Ma and Jo Yang. 

The Q & A also featured Donald Young, the producer of Wayne Wang’s Coming Home Again, which won Best Feature Narrative.

Ben Phantom performed three songs before the awards ceremony and received the 2021 DisOrient Special Recognition for Outstanding Music Video for Saigon.

Because the festival was virtual this year due to the pandemic, I had the opportunity to watch almost all of DisOrient’s terrific lineup of 46 films and learned so much more from the Q & A’s with the filmmakers.

Britt Hua, Lia Chang, Widya Mak, Susan Hirata, Pamela Quan, Virginia Wing, Jason Mak, Trish Quan and Jason Ma

A special thanks to DisOrient Executive Director Pamela Quan and Program Director Susan Hirata, DisOrient founder Jason Mak and his wife, Widya Mak, Britt Hua, Trish Quan and Ron Miyaguchi.

Below are the winners, special mentions and nominees.

Best Feature Narrative: Coming Home Again; Filmmaker Wayne Wang

Synopsis: Based on a personal essay by first-generation Korean American author, Chang-rae Lee (Justin Chon) returns to San Francisco to care for his terminally ill mother. In this intimate snapshot set over the course of a single day, Chang-rae tends to his mother (Jackie Chung) and tries to recreate her Korean New Year’s dinner, while he grapples with family expectations and the pain of watching a loved one slip away. 

Nominees: Coming Home Again,  See You ThenThe Girl Who Left Home

Best Feature Documentary: Curtain Up!; Filmmakers Hui Tong and Kelly Ng

Synopsis: It’s show time at PS124, an elementary school in New York’s Chinatown, where students in the theater club are working on this season’s production of Frozen the Musical. Off stage, they navigate school, family expectations, and their own identities. As opening night and graduation loom, students find their voices through rehearsals and the continued support of teachers, family, and one another.

Hui Tong and Kelly Ng’s CURTAIN UP! Wins DisOrient 2021 Award for Best Feature Documentary 

Nominees: Cane Fire, Ghost Mountain, and Curtain Up!

Best Short Narrative: Valley; Filmmaker Allan Zhang Tran

Synopsis: Two friends growing up in the San Gabriel Valley ditch school and spend the day together, at a time when their lives are starting to take them down different paths.

Nominees: ValleyUnpotHello From TaiwanBlue LanternsRefrigerate After Opening, I Sound Asian

Equality Tea

Best Short Documentary: Equality Tea; Filmmaker Jaime Sunwoo

Synopsis: It’s time to take off the white gloves and spill the tea, that liberty and justice were not for all…

Throughout America, women organized tea parties for meetings and fundraisers to support the suffrage movement. The Woman’s Suffrage Party sold ceylon, young hyson, gunpowder, and oolong tea under their charitable brand “Equality Tea.” Yet the history of tea is steeped in inequality, driven by colonialism, war, and appropriation. In her short film, Equality Tea, Sunwoo brews tea while drawing parallels between the fraught histories of the tea trade and the suffrage movement.

Original score by Matt Chilton, based on a 1895 suffragist anthem by Augusta Gray Gunn. Commissioned by Park Avenue Armory and The Laundromat Project for 100 Years | 100 Women.

Nominees: Fugetsu-DoAn Object of MeritEquality TeaAtomic CaféKAYE: Next Life AroundKeep Saray Home

Jason D. Mak Award for Social Justice: Cane Fire; Filmmaker Anthony Banua-Simon

Synopsis: This documentary takes an expansive look at the history and present day reality of the Hawaiian island, Kauai. Contrasting Hollywood’s depiction of Hawaii as tropical paradise and a prime tourist destination with the realities of indigenous and working class residents, this is an eye-opening look at the forces that shaped Kauai through generations of colonialism, capitalism, and activism. 

Nominees: Cane FireEquality TeaTake Out GirlKeep Saray HomeSee You Then

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

DisOrient Inspirational Artist Award: Virginia Wing (When The World Was Young)

Synopsis: Returning home to care for their mother whose memory is deteriorating, two siblings find more of her past than they knew was there.

Virginia Wing. Photo by Lia Chang

Virginia Wing 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! She can be seen in NYTW’s production of Three Sisters in the Spring of 2020. Click on the  Performing Arts Legacy Website for more about Virginia Wing.

DisOrient Special Recognition for Outstanding Music Video: Ben Phantom (Saigon)

A son journeys to Vietnam with his father, 42 years after his father escaped as a refugee.

DisOrient Heritage Award: Fugetsu-Do; Filmmaker Kaia Rose

Synopsis: For over 115 years, this Japanese confectionary in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo has served 5 generations of customers and is a testament to the resilience of its Japanese American owners. The beautiful cinematography and Brian Kito’s engaging storytelling are imbued with the spirit of this sweet shop.

DisOrient 2021: Raising Our Voices Award: Take Out Girl; Filmmaker Hisonni Mustafa

Synopsis: Tera Wong works in her family’s Chinese restaurant, located in an LA project called the “Low Bottoms.” When Tera delivers food to a local drug kingpin, she sees an opportunity that could pull her family and the restaurant out of financial turmoil. But as she’s pulled in deeper and the stakes get higher, she sees these dreams begin to crumble and learns that she might not be the only one keeping secrets.

TBA: Audience Choice Feature Documentary Award, Audience Choice Feature Narrative Award, Audience Choice Short Documentary Award, and the Audience Choice Short Narrative Award

DisOrient is the premiere Asian American independent film festival of Oregon, celebrating films with authentic Asian Pacific American voices, histories and stories. We highlight social justice themes that translate to universal human experiences. We promote representation, diversity and inclusion to broaden the narrative of who is American, and to strengthen and build community.

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, Balancing Act, Belongingness, When the World was Young and Hide and Seek.