Category Archives: Television

Katori Hall’s P-VALLEY Starring Brandee Evans, Nicco Annan, Shannon Thornton, Elarica Johnson, Skyler Joy, J. Alphonse Nicholson, Parker Sawyers, Harriett D. Foy, Tyler Lepley, and Dan J. Johnson, Renewed for Season 2 at Starz

After only three episodes airing, “P-Valley,” which currently has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, has been renewed for a second season at Starz. Season two will feature 10 episodes.

Katori Hall. Photo by Lia Chang

Down deep in the Mississippi Delta lies an oasis of grit and glitter in a rough patch of human existence where beauty can be hard to find. This southern-fried, hour-long drama tells the kaleidoscopic story of a little-strip-club-that-could and the big characters who come through its doors-the hopeful, the lost, the broken, the ballers, the beautiful, and the damned. Trap music meets film noir in this lyrical and atmospheric series that dares to ask what happens when small-town folk dream beyond the boundaries of the Piggly Wiggly and the pawnshop.

Based on her play Pussy Valley, creator Katori Hall (The Mountaintop, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical) serves as showrunner as well as executive producer. “I can’t tell you how proud I am to be bringing this passion project into living rooms all across America,” says Hall. “For too long, exotic dancers have been dismissed and shamed, while their culture has been appropriated by the mainstream. This project moves past the blue lights and haze of the main stage, where dancers take to the air like super-sheroes, to the locker room and beyond, where these women-inspired by the dozens of dancers I’ve interviewed-live their lives unapologetically.”

The series also features all-women directors, including award-winning music video director Karena Evans (Drake: Nice for What, SZA: Garden), who directed the premiere episode, as well as Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry), Millicent Shelton (“30 Rock”), Tamra Davis (“Single Ladies”), Geeta V. Patel (“Superstore”), Tasha Smith (“Black Lightning”), Sydney Freeland (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and Barbara Brown (“Scream Queens”).

“P-Valley” stars Brandee Evans (“The Bobby Brown Story”) as Mercedes, Nicco Annan (“This is Us”) as Uncle Clifford, Shannon Thornton (“Power”) as Miss Mississippi, Elarica Johnson (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) as Autumn Night, Skyler Joy (Ma) as Gidget, J. Alphonse Nicholson (“Chicago P.D.”) as Lil’ Murda, Parker Sawyers (Southside With You) as Andre, Harriett D. Foy (“Elementary”) as Pastor Woodbine, Tyler Lepley (“The Haves and the Have Nots”) as Diamond, and Dan J. Johnson (“Underemployed”) as Tyler. Chernin Entertainment also serves as Executive Producer.

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 Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 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: Yin & Yang, aka André De Shields and Garth Kravits, Cover “Bring It On Home To Me”

André De Shields and Garth Kravits

Bev’s Girl Films is presenting Yin & Yang, aka André De Shields and Garth Kravits, putting their own spin on the Sam Cooke R & B classic, “Bring It On Home To Me,” accompanied by Andrew Gutauskas on saxophone.

When asked what inspired the pair to collaborate virtually on this song, De Shields shared, “my ambition for collaborating with Garth on what will ultimately be a series of duets is to restore joy and love to a world that has lost its way.” Kravits said, “André and I very quickly agreed that the essence of this cover and the others that will follow, would be fun, pure and simple. Just to enjoy singing with one another so that the viewing and listening audience might share in what we’re laying down.”

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Tony Awards for best featured actor in a musical for his critically acclaimed performance as Hermes in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, honoring veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields recently received the 2020 Grammy Award for Musical Theater Album for Hadestown, an honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from Boston Conservatory at Berklee, the 2019 Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 SAGE Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award, The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre, and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young in August, 2019. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The WizAin’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty (Tony Nomination). In a career spanning fifty-one years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. De Shields can currently be seen on Netflix as the Algebra Tutor in “John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch” and on The CW as Chubby in “Katy Keene.” De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. andredeshields.com

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

Garth Kravits is an actor, a singer, a composer, and an award winning filmmaker.  He made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone and appeared most recently on Broadway in the original musical Gettin’ the Band Back Together.

Kravits has guest starred on CBS’s ‘Tommy,’ HBO’s ‘Divorce,’ Amazon Prime’s ‘The Hunters’ and ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,’ USA’s ‘Mr. Robot,’ SyFy’s ‘Happy’ over the last year, and has also appeared on NBC’s ’30 Rock,’ and ‘The Blacklist,’ The CW’s ‘Princess Diaries,’ Showtime’s ‘Nurse Jackie,’ and ‘Hostages.’

Kravits has written, directed and edited over 50 film projects and his films have been shown in film festivals around the world.www.garthkravits.com

Andrew Gutauskas is a Grammy Award winning Baritone Saxophonist, Composer and Arranger.  Andrew has recorded and performed on Broadway, television, movies and live around the world with a variety of artists ranging from rock to pop to jazz to Bollywood​ He is music director of Brass Against and is a member of several projects in New York City including; Charlie Rosen’s Broadway Big Band & 8-Bit Big Bands and the Skivvies.
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

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 Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 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

PARASITE Receives The Actor for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture; Complete list of winners

LOS ANGELES – The Screen Actors Guild Awards® presented its coveted Actor® statuettes for the outstanding motion picture and television performances of 2019 at the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®, held Sunday, Jan. 19 at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall.

Honored with individual awards were Joaquin Phoenix, Renée Zellweger, Brad Pitt and Laura Dern for performances in motion pictures, and Sam Rockwell, Michelle Williams, Peter Dinklage, Jennifer Aniston, Tony Shalhoub and Phoebe Waller-Bridge for performances in television. The Screen Actors Guild Awards originated awards for the outstanding performances by a motion picture cast and by television drama and comedy ensembles. The Actor® for a motion picture cast performance went this year to “Parasite,” while the Actors® for television drama and comedy ensemble performances went this year to “The Crown” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” This is the first time that the top prize has been awarded to a foreign-language film. Click below for the video of their acceptance speech.

26th SAG Awards Ambassador Logan Browning and SAG-AFTRA Foundation President Courtney B. Vance revealed the honorees for outstanding action performances during the official live pre-show PEOPLE, Entertainment Weekly & TNT Red Carpet Live: 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards. The stunt ensemble from “Avengers: End Game” was honored for film and the stunt ensemble from “Game of Thrones” was honored for television.

Leonardo DiCaprio presented Robert De Niro with the 56th Life Achievement Award. The SAG Awards continued its traditions of presenting a montage saluting the work of SAG-AFTRA members and a filmed “In Memoriam” tribute honoring the union’s members lost during 2019.

PEOPLE hosted the official Post-Awards Gala for the 24th year. This exclusive event, which was held immediately following the SAG Awards honors the charitable efforts of actors in their communities. In addition, Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), will make a $125,000 grant to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Assistance Programs which support actors who suffer from catastrophic illness or injury, including cancer, as well as emergency financial assistance.

Prior to the telecast, SAG-AFTRA Foundation President Courtney B. Vance announced that industry leaders and philanthropists Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg have pledged a $250,000 matching gift to the Foundation. Vance challenged the 250 attending nominees to donate $1,000 each to secure the match, adding $500,000 to the Foundation’s vital safety net for SAG-AFTRA artists.

Nominees chosen by their respective SAG Awards film and television nominating committees were announced on Dec. 11, 2019. Two nominating panels — one for television and one for film — each composed of 2,500 randomly selected union members from across the United States, chose this year’s nominees. Final voting information was open to 121,923 SAG-AFTRA members in good standing. Balloting closed at noon on Friday, Jan. 17. Integrity Voting Systems, the Awards’ official election firm, sealed the results until they were announced live during the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The complete list of recipients for the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®follows:

The 26th ANNUAL SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS® RECIPIENTS

The Motion Picture Recipients are:

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
JOAQUIN PHOENIX / Arthur Fleck – “JOKER”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
RENÉE ZELLWEGER / Judy Garland – “JUDY”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
BRAD PITT / Cliff Booth – “ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
LAURA DERN / Nora Fanshaw – “MARRIAGE STORY”

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
PARASITE
CHANG HYAE JIN / Chung Sook
CHO YEO JEONG / Yeon Kyo
CHOI WOO SHIK / Ki Woo
JUNG HYEON JUN / Da Song
JUNG ZISO / Da Hye
LEE JUNG EUN / Moon Gwang
LEE SUN KYUN / Dong Ik
PARK MYUNG HOON / Geun Se
PARK SO DAM / Ki Jung
SONG KANG HO / Ki Taek

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
AVENGERS: ENDGAME

The Television Recipients are:

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
SAM ROCKWELL / Bob Fosse – “FOSSE/VERDON”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
MICHELLE WILLIAMS / Gwen Verdon – “FOSSE/VERDON”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
PETER DINKLAGE / Tyrion Lannister – “GAME OF THRONES”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
JENNIFER ANISTON / Alex Levy – “THE MORNING SHOW”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
TONY SHALHOUB / Abe Weissman – “THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
PHOEBE WALLER-BRIDGE / Fleabag – “FLEABAG”

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
THE CROWN
MARION BAILEY / Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
HELENA BONHAM CARTER / Princess Margaret
OLIVIA COLMAN / Queen Elizabeth II
CHARLES DANCE / Lord Mountbatten
BEN DANIELS / Lord Snowdon
ERIN DOHERTY / Princess Anne
CHARLES EDWARDS / Martin Charteris
TOBIAS MENZIES / Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
JOSH O’CONNOR / Prince Charles
SAM PHILLIPS / Equerry
DAVID RINTOUL / Michael Adeane
JASON WATKINS / Harold Wilson

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL
CAROLINE AARON / Shirley Maisel
ALEX BORSTEIN / Susie Myerson
RACHEL BROSNAHAN / Midge Maisel
MARIN HINKLE / Rose Weissman
STEPHANIE HSU / Mei
JOEL JOHNSTONE / Archie Cleary
JANE LYNCH / Sophie Lennon
LEROY McCLAIN / Shy Baldwin
KEVIN POLLAK / Moishe Maisel
TONY SHALHOUB / Abe Weissman
MATILDA SZYDAGIS / Zelda
BRIAN TARANTINA / Jackie
MICHAEL ZEGEN / Joel Maisel

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series
GAME OF THRONES

The 56th Annual SAG Life Achievement Award
Robert De Niro

Ronny Chieng’s Netflix comedy special debut, Asian Comedian Destroys America!, Launches Tonight

Ronny Chieng’s Netflix comedy special debut, “Asian Comedian Destroys America!,” launches globally on December 17, 2019.


“Ronny Chieng: Asian Comedian Destroys America!” (Marcus Russell Price/Netflix)

Comedian, The Daily Show Correspondent, and Crazy Rich Asians actor Ronny Chieng makes his Netflix comedy special debut in Asian Comedian Destroys America! Born in Malaysia and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire,Singapore, and Australia, Chieng shares his unapologetic perspective about his journey to America thus far. From evaluating the effects of consumerism to theorizing how efficient the U.S. would be with an Asian-American President, Chieng shares what he thinks really makes America great in Ronny Chieng: Asian Comedian Destroys America! when it launches globally on Netflix on December 17, 2019.

Chieng is currently shooting Director Chen Xi Hao’s Chinatown noir thriller A Father’s Son, a short film/pilot based on the characters from Henry Chang’s NYPD Detective Jack Yu crime series novels,  which also stars Tzi Ma (Rush Hour, The Farewell, Mulan) and Perry Yung (“The Knick,” “Warrior,” Boogie) .  Set in the early ’90s when local street gangs terrorized Manhattan’s Chinatown, the story centers on Detective Jack Yu (Chieng) investigating the murder of a teenage boy involved in a turf war. Amidst the broad distrust and racial divide between the Chinatown community and NYPD, our lone lawman searches for a nondescript immigrant family to deliver a shattering message that also brings forth his own conflicted relationship with Jack’s father. Click here for more information.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by 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 and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 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

ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL directed by Steve James Receives Oscar® Nomination for Best Documentary Feature

January 23, 2018 – Los Angeles The FRONTLINE (PBS) documentary ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL directed by award-winning filmmaker Steve James (Life ItselfHoop Dreams) and produced by Mark Mitten (Life Itself) and Julie Goldman (Life Animated,  Buck), has been nominated for an Academy Award® in the Documentary Feature category.

This nomination marks the first Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary Feature for Steve James; Mark Mitten’s first Academy Award® nomination; and Julie Goldman’s second Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary Feature. For the acclaimed PBS documentary series FRONTLINE produced out of WGBH/Boston, this is a first Academy Award® nomination.

Co-producer Fenell Doremus, Producer Mark Mitten, Jill Sung, Vera Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Heather Sung, Producer Julie Goldman, Director Steve James. Photo by Lia Chang
Co-producer Fenell Doremus, Producer Mark Mitten, Jill Sung, Vera Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Heather Sung, Producer Julie Goldman, Director Steve James. Photo by Lia Chang

ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL chronicles the Chinese-American Sung family’s fight to clear their names after their small bank in New York City’s Chinatown became the only U.S. bank indicted for mortgage fraud related to the 2008 financial crisis. The documentary follows how the bank’s indictment and subsequent trial forced the Sung family to defend themselves — and their bank’s legacy in the Chinatown community — over the course of a five-year legal battle.

Thomas Sung, Hwei Lin Sung, Heather Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Vera Sung and Jill Sung. Photo by Lia Chang
Thomas Sung, Hwei Lin Sung, Heather Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Vera Sung and Jill Sung. Photo by Lia Chang

“I’m so pleased and grateful. This is such a wonderful recognition for all of the ABACUS team, but especially for the Sung family. It has been a joy being able to follow their story,” said director James. 

Jill Sung, Vera Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Heather Sung and Director Steve James. Photo by Lia Chang
Jill Sung, Vera Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Heather Sung and Director Steve James. Photo by Lia Chang

One of 2017’s most critically-acclaimed documentaries, ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL was previously nominated for “Best Documentary” by both the National Board of Review and by The Chicago Film Critics Association, and was awarded “Best Political Documentary” by the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards last November. Steve James is a nominee for Best Director by the DGA for his work on ABACUS.

The New York Times called ABACUS “a classic underdog tale,” and The Hollywood Reporter called it “both an affirmation and an indictment of the American Dream.”

The 90th Academy Awards® nominations were announced today by the Academy. Also nominated in the Documentary Feature category was the POV documentary, Last Men in Aleppo. This year’s Oscars ceremony will take place Sunday, March 4, 2018.

ABOUT ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL 
ABACYS SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL is a Mitten Media, Motto Pictures, and Kartemquin Films Production for WGBH/FRONTLINE and Independent Television Service (ITVS). It is co-presented with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). The director is Steve James. The producers are Mark Mitten and Julie Goldman. The co-producers are Fenell Doremus and Nick Verbitsky. The executive producers are Gordon Quinn, Christopher Clements, Betsy Steinberg and Justine Nagan. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath. The executive producer of ITVS is Sally Jo Fifer.

Steve James, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and More Attend “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” Screening at Metrograph Cinema; Among 15 Documentary Features to Advance in 2017 OSCAR® RACE 

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Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Cats” and “School of Rock” Casts Perform Special Broadway Mashup on GMA

The casts of “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Cats” and “School of Rock,” all three of legendary composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals now running on Broadway, spread a little holiday cheer with a special live mashup  on “GMA,” on December 22, 2016.

It was a lovely reunion for Ali Ewoldt, currently starring as Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera,” and Olivia Chun, who recently joined the cast of “School of Rock” as Summer Hathaway. The pair are former castmates from the Tony Award-winning production of Lincoln Center Theater’s “The King and I”.

SCHOOL OF ROCK's Raghav Mehrotra, Eric Peterson and Olivia Chun with PHANTOM OF THE OPERA's Ali Ewoldt on GMA on December 22, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
SCHOOL OF ROCK’s Raghav Mehrotra, Eric Peterson and Olivia Chun with PHANTOM OF THE OPERA’s Ali Ewoldt on GMA on December 22, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay, Olivia Chun and Nehal Joshi at Broadway’s SCHOOL OF ROCK

PHANTOM, Starring James Barbour, Ali Ewoldt, and Jordan Donica, Celebrates 12,000 Performances on Broadway 

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

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

2016 Urban Action Showcase & Expo Featuring the Cinemax Max Action Short Film Competition on Nov. 11; 30th Anniversary Screening of BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA on Nov. 12

urban-action-showcase

The 4th Annual Urban Action Showcase and Expo will take place on November 11-12, 2016 at HBO, 1100 Avenue of The Americas and AMC Empire 25 Theaters, 234 West 42 St, Times Square NYC.

On Friday, November 11th, I’ll see you at the Cinemax® VIP Welcome Red Carpet Reception and UAS IAFF Awards at HBO in New York from 6p.m. – 10p.m. The evening is the kickoff for two action packed days and nights of the 2016 Urban Action Showcase & Expo. Get your Festival Passes Here: http://www.urbanactionshowcase.com/event-passes.html
*General Admission gets you All Films and the Expo
*V.I.P Gets you everything!

The Urban Action Showcase & Expo, founded by Demetrius Angelo, is the premier all-action experiential entertainment platform celebrating diversity and honoring the past, present and future multicultural achievements within the blockbuster Action genre including Adventure, Fantasy, Grindhouse, Action Horror, Sci-Fi, and Supernatural content. Cinemax® sponsors the Urban Action Showcase and Expo (UASE) in New York City.

Lia Chang and Donna Noguchi in John Carpenter’s BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986).
Lia Chang and Donna Noguchi in John Carpenter’s BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986).
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA stars Peter Kwong and Lia Chang. Photo by Marissa Chang-Flores
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA stars Peter Kwong and Lia Chang. Photo by Marissa Chang-Flores

The UASE will also pay homage to over 30 years of martial arts cult classics with anniversary screenings of John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China and Isaac Florentine’s WMAC Masters TV series.

On Saturday, November 12th, I’ll be at the 30th anniversary screening of Big Trouble in Little China with my co-star and pal Peter Kwong (Rain) at AMC Empire 25 Times Square at 4:00P.M, with a Q&A to follow.

Photos: Traveling through the mouth of the Dragon with BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA’s James Hong, Peter Kwong, Lia Chang, Gerald Okamura, George Cheung, Al Leong, Jeff Imada, James Lew, Gary Goldman, Eric Lee

Other showcase films will include a tribute to the Blaxploitation and Asian Action Cinema classics.

The UASE is the only Action entertainment platform offering both fan and professional experiences through its International Action Film Festival, Expo and Awards platforms.

By focusing on the thrill and excitement of the Action genre and recognizing the need for integration, the UASE sets itself apart from other festival platforms as the only one of its kind! The purpose of the UASE is to ultimately see an increase in ethnic heroic principal characters in film and television, increase the development of content and expand distribution platforms reflecting multicultural images and interests as it pertains to the multifaceted Action genre.
Check out the Celebrity talent attending the 2016 UASE celebration:

Warrington Hudlin, Lia Chang and Demetrius Angelo. Photo by Patrick Cashin
Warrington Hudlin, Lia Chang and Demetrius Angelo. Photo by Patrick Cashin
  • Warrington Hudlin (Boomerang, House Party)
  • Fred Williamson (Three the Hard Way, From Dusk til Dawn)
  • Peter Kwong (Big Trouble in Little ChinaUp Close and Personal with Actor Peter Kwong 
  • Lia Chang (Big Trouble in Little China, King of New York, New Jack City, The Last Dragon)
  • Taimak (The Last Dragon)
  • THE LAST DRAGON
    THE LAST DRAGON
  • Michael Chin (The Last Dragon)
  • Henry Yuk (The Last Dragon)
  • Ron Van Clief (The Black Dragon)
  • Don “The Dragon” Wilson (Scorpion King, Blood Fist)
  • Robert Samuels (Beast, Gambling Ghost)
  • Willie “Bam” Johnson & Marco Da Answer Johnson (WMAC Masters)
  • Christine Bannon Rodrigues (WMAC Masters)
  • Hakim Alston (WMAC Masters, Mortal Kombat)
  • Michael Woods (Tiger Cage, Cheetah on Fire)
  • R. Marcos Taylor (Straight Outta Compton, Luke Cage, Paying Mr. McGetty)
  • James Lew (Inception, Last Samurai, Luke Cage, Dare Devil)
  • Jose Hernandez Jr (Oz)
  • Masters of The Martial Arts (Grand Masters Michael DePasquale Jr., Oso Tayri Casel, Rico Guy, Hanshi Nikwan Murphy)
  • Jeremy Sample (Luke Cage, Gotham, Selma)
  • Emmanuel Brown (Luke Cage, Blind Spot)
  • Khalil Maasi (Luke Cage)
  • Jenel Stevens (Luke Cage)
  • Alyma Dorsey (Ghostbusters)

Check out the website for the full lineup of Urban Action Showcase Festival Films:
Saturday, November 12th, 10a.m. – 10p.m. at AMC Empire 25 Times Square

Screening of Features, Shorts and Showcase Films!

Showcase Features:

  •   Martial Arts Cult Classic Mania featuring: 30th Anniversary of Big Trouble in Little China and The Last Dragon
  •   Back 2 Black Action: 3 The Hard Way featuring special guest Fred “The Hammer” Williamson
  •   Festival Films: Featuring Official Selections of the UAS International Action Film FestivalUrban Action Expo:
    Saturday, November 12th, 10a.m. – 6p.m. at AMC Empire 25 Times Square Featuring Entertainment Industry Vendors, Comic Book Creators, CelebritySignings, Panels, Workshops, Master Classes and more!Featured Panels:
    •   Urban Fists of Legends Panel featuring the legends of Action cinema
    •   Angels of Action: Women in Action Panel
    •   Martial Arts Cult Classic Mania Panel (30th Anniversary of Big Trouble in Little China)
    •   Behind The Action: Luke Cage Stunt and Fight Choreographer Panel
    •   From Strip to Screen: Bringing Comic Content to the Screen
    • Urban Action Showcase Diversity in Action Celebration: Saturday, November 12th Red Carpet 7:00p.m. – 7:30p.m., Celebration Showcase 7:30p.m. – 9:30p.m.

BLACK SALT Premiere and UASE Diversity in Action Panel Discussion featuring Warrington Hudlin, Lia Chang, Taimak, Kinyumba Mutakabbir, Mike Hodge, Kelly Edwards, Bobby Samuels and Vincent Lyn 

BOOM! Studios Commemorates 30th Anniversary of the Release of BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA with the Publication of Two Books, “The Official Making Of Big Trouble In Little China” and “The Art of Big Trouble In Little China” 

Photos: Inside HorrorHound and Son of Monsterpalooza with ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ stars Peter Kwong, James Hong and James Pax 

Taimak Celebrates Release of Autobiography with National Tour of Book Signings and Screenings of ‘The Last Dragon’

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

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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

Daniel K. Isaac’s ‘According to My Mother’ Receives New York Television Festival Best Drama Pilot and Best Actor Awards

Daniel K. Isaac

The independent pilot “According to My Mother,” created by Daniel K. Isaac, Cathy Y. Yan, took home two NYTVF awards at the 12th annual New York Television Festival, including Best Drama and Best Actor for Isaac, in New York on October 29, 2016. “According to My Mother” is a comedic series about a young, gay Korean American actor and his disapproving, devout Christian mother who moves in with him and changes everything.

danielDaniel K. Isaac was born and raised in sunny Southern California. When he was in fifth grade, his mother heard a mortifying story about a preacher who went numb with stage fright and had to be escorted off the stage. Isaac was promptly signed up for Grace Korean Church’s theatre troupe and he’s been an actor ever since. After receiving his Bachelor’s in Theatre from the University of California – San Diego (UCSD), Isaac moved to not-always-sunny New York City where he’s been seen on large and small screens and stages. Some Film/TV Credits include: “Foshay” on The Jim Gaffigan Show (TV LAND), MONEY MONSTER (dir. Jodie Foster, with George Clooney and Julia Roberts), “Virgil” on Person of Interest (CBS, recurring), The Following (FOX), Believe (NBC, pilot), TOO BIG TO FAIL (HBO). Some upcoming projects include: Search Party (TBS), Crashing (HBO), Shades of Blue (NBC), Drew (CBS, pilot), and “Ben Kim” on SHOWTIME’s Billions (with Paul Giamatti and Damien Lewis). He is currently appearing in NAATCO’s production of MJ Kaufman’s Sagittarius Ponderosawww.danielkisaac.com

Daniel K. Isaac, Mia Katigbak, Glenn Kubota, Bex Kwan and Virginia Wing Set for NAATCO’s New York Premiere of MJ Kaufman’s SAGITTARIUS PONDEROSA through Nov. 19 

www.accordingtomymother.com

Congratulations to all of the 12th annual New York Television Festival award winners and network deals.

Best Animation
“Fired On Mars” created by Nick Vokey and Nate Sherman – Los Angeles, CA

Best Comedy
“Poor Todd” created by Liz Astrof (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Drama
“According to My Mother” created by Daniel K. Isaac, Cathy Y. Yan, and Devin Landin (Queens, NY)

Best Short-Form Comedy Series
“Textbook Adulthood” created by Madeline Walter and Paul Welsh (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Short-Form Drama Series
“Her Story” created by Jen Richards and Laura Zak (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Unscripted
“Comedy Digs” created by Shelly Gossman and Blythe Haaga (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Actor, Comedy
Keith Powell for “Keith Broke His Leg”

Best Actor, Drama
Daniel K. Isaac for “According to My Mother”

Best Actress, Comedy
Julia Mattison for “Brooklyn Sound”

Best Actress, Drama
Angelica Ross for “Her Story”

Best Writing
Adam Weinstock and Andy Jones for “On the Bright Side”

Best Directing (Tie)
Sonja O’Hara and Jaspal Binning for “Doomsday” and

D.W. Waterson for “That’s My DJ”

Best Editing
Drew Van Steenbergen for “Brooklyn Sound”

NYTVF Critics Award
“The Worst Husband” created by Steve Dildarian (Los Angeles, CA)

Best of the Fest – Independent Pilot Competition
“The Worst Husband” created by Steve Dildarian (Los Angeles, CA)

Best of the Fest – NYTVF Scripts
“Medium Well” written by Christina Brosman (Brooklyn, NY)

Development Deals and Network Award Winners
Bento Box Development Award
Tiffany So and Saba Saghafi for their project “Limited Space” (Los Angeles, CA)

Comedy Central Development Award
Julia Mattison and Noel Carey for their project “Brooklyn Sound” (Brooklyn, NY)

IFC Comedy Selects
“Door on the Left” created by Kati Skelton (Brooklyn, NY) and

“E. Coli High” created by Kevin Barker and Ben Miller (Brooklyn, NY)

OneX Pitch Deal
Chas Jackson (Los Angeles, CA)

Pop Pitch Deal
Madeline Walter and Paul Welsh (Los Angeles, CA)

Red Arrow Entertainment Development Award
Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman for their project “Yidlife Crisis” (Montreal, Quebec)

Seeso Development Award
Tynan Delong, Ryan Bennett and Ana Fabrega for their project “Jana and Shasta” (Brooklyn, NY)

Super Deluxe Pitch Deal
Meghan O’Neill (Brooklyn, NY)

truTV Greenlight Deal
Shelly Gossman and Blythe Haaga for their project “Comedy Digs” (Los Angeles, CA)

WEtv Pitch Deal
Joseph Gerbino and Erica Hart (West Palm Beach, FL)

About the NYTVF
Established in 2005, the NYTVF constructs new and innovative paths of development and talent identification, while simultaneously complementing the traditional television development model. By partnering directly with networks, studios, production companies, digital platforms and brands, the NYTVF provides its Industry Partners with a streamlined development model, leveraging its vast creative community of over 15,000 independent producers and production companies, to create content with specific partners in mind. During the annual New York Television Festival – held each fall in New York City – the NYTVF brings together its top artists and industry decision-makers for a series of events designed to foster networking, collaboration and education. The Festival also marks the culmination of the organization’s yearly development efforts and features screenings of top independent content, educational panels, fan events, red carpet premieres, and more.

For more information on the NYTVF and the annual Festival, visit www.nytvf.com, and to learn about opportunities to submit for its year-round competitions, visit http://www.nytvf.com/submit.html.

Elizabeth Sung Guest Stars on NBC’s “The Night Shift” on July 13

Elizabeth Sung, who was recently inducted into AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, continues her two episode guest starring arc as Sumei Zia, the mother of Dr. Topher Zia (Ken Leung), on the Season 3, episode 308 of NBC’s “The Night Shift,” entitled “All In” which airs on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 10:00PM.

THE NIGHT SHIFT -- "All In" Episode 308 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tina Huang as Janet, Elizabeth Sung as Sumei Zia, Ken Leung as Dr. Topher Zia, Eoin Macken as Dr. TC Callahan -- (Photo by: Ursula Coyote/NBC)
THE NIGHT SHIFT — “All In” Episode 308 — Pictured: (l-r) Tina Huang as Janet, Elizabeth Sung as Sumei Zia, Ken Leung as Dr. Topher Zia, Eoin Macken as Dr. TC Callahan — (Photo by: Ursula Coyote/NBC)

Ms Sung first appeared on “The Night Shift” in the episode entitled “The Way Back” which aired in June. Click here to watch “The Way Back”.

(l-r) Ken Leung as Dr. Topher Zia, Elizabeth Sung as Sumei Zia and Eoin Macken as Dr. TC Callahan on NBC's "The Night Shift".
(l-r) Ken Leung as Dr. Topher Zia, Elizabeth Sung as Sumei Zia and
Eoin Macken as Dr. TC Callahan on NBC’s “The Night Shift”.

“The Night Shift” focuses on a team of doctors and nurses at San Antonio Memorial’s emergency room that are anything but ordinary. The risks they take to save lives straddle the line between heroic and impulsive, but are always worth it.

The series stars Eoin Macken as T.C. Callahan, Jill Flint as Dr. Jordan Alexander, Ken Leung as Dr. Topher Zia, Brendan Fehr as Dr. Drew Alister, Robert Bailey Jr. as Dr. Paul Cummings, JR Lemon as Kenny, Tanaya Beatty as Dr. Shannon Rivera and Scott Wolf as Dr. Scott Clemmens.

(l-r) Ken Leung as Dr. Topher Zia and Elizabeth Sung as Sumei Zia on NBC's "The Night Shift".
(l-r) Ken Leung as Dr. Topher Zia and Elizabeth Sung as Sumei Zia on NBC’s “The Night Shift”.

In this episode, Topher’s (Ken Leung) mother arrives in the ER with life-threatening symptoms. As her condition deteriorates, the team works furiously to save her before it’s too late. Drew (Brendan Fehr) and Shannon (Tanaya Beatty) treat a gravely injured foster mom and while Drew bonds with the scared young foster daughter, the team discovers the mother has a secret. Meanwhile, Jordan (Jill Flint) and Scott (Scott Wolf) treat a patient with a rare condition and when an important piece of equipment needed for his treatment fails, Jordan must enlist the help of TC’s (Eoin Macken) new girlfriend Jessica (guest star AnnaLynne McCord, ‘Secrets and Lies’) whose company makes the machine. JR Lemon also stars.

Prior to her first appearance on “The Night Shift,” we had a moment to catch up. 

In Albuquerque, where “The Night Shift” is shot, Ms. Sung was delighted to be reunited with Ken Leung, having worked with him on “The Sopranos” as his mother and in Fay Ann Lee’s indie film “Falling for Grace”.

Ken Leung, Fay Ann Lee, Clem Cheung and Elizabeth Sung in FALLING FOR GRACE. Photo by Joe Tam
Ken Leung, Fay Ann Lee, Clem Cheung and Elizabeth Sung in FALLING FOR GRACE. Photo by Joe Tam

Lia: What was it like on the set of “The Night Shift”?
Elizabeth: My first day was a party scene. I really felt like I was being swept into a family. I found the cast and crew to be extremely welcoming. The episode was written by Janet Lin, who I worked with on “Bones.” It was wonderful to reconnect with Ken and Janet. The director, Tara Nicole Weyr, is great. I was very inspired  to see two women helming key positions. This says a lot about “The Night Shift” production, a female friendly set, with a lot of women on the crew.

Click here to read her complete interview.

ElizabethSung.com

The Academy Class of 2016 includes David Henry Hwang, James Hong, Daniel Dae Kim, Elizabeth Sung, Freida Pinto, Peter Pau, Deepa Mehta, Park Chan-wook, Poon Hang-Sang, Cary Joji Fukunaga, James Wan, Spencer Nakasako, Emiko Omori, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Jean Tsien, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jeff Imada, Mynette Louie and More 

Actors James Hong, Tzi Ma and Elizabeth Sung Talk Shop

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

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

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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

Elizabeth Sung Guest Stars on NBC’s “The Night Shift” on June 15; talks THE UNBIDDEN, PALI ROAD, FRONT COVER and FOR IZZY

Elizabeth Sung. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Sung. Photo by Lia Chang

In the Season 3, episode 303 of NBC’s “The Night Shift,” entitled “The Way Back” which airs on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 10:00PM, Elizabeth Sung guest stars in the role of Sumei Zia.

“The Night Shift” focuses on a team of doctors and nurses at San Antonio Memorial’s emergency room that are anything but ordinary. The risks they take to save lives straddle the line between heroic and impulsive, but are always worth it.

updated: 6/16/16

The series stars Eoin Macken as T.C. Callahan, Jill Flint as Dr. Jordan Alexander, Ken Leung as Dr. Topher Zia, Brendan Fehr as Dr. Drew Alister, Robert Bailey Jr. as Dr. Paul Cummings, JR Lemon as Kenny, Tanaya Beatty as Dr. Shannon Rivera and Scott Wolf as Dr. Scott Clemmens.

(l-r) Ken Leung as Dr. Topher Zia, Elizabeth Sung as Sumei Zia and Eoin Macken as Dr. TC Callahan on NBC's "The Night Shift".
(l-r) Ken Leung as Dr. Topher Zia, Elizabeth Sung as Sumei Zia and
Eoin Macken as Dr. TC Callahan on NBC’s “The Night Shift”.

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In this episode, Drew returns from deployment in Afghanistan and can’t seem to shake off the stress of being back from overseas. Things get crazy right away as he, Jordan and Kenny treat a bride and her wedding party who have been injured during the festivities, as well as her father, whose presence is not making things easier. Meanwhile, TC helps Topher entertain his demanding mother, whose extended visit is putting stress on the family.

(l-r) Elizabeth Sung as Sumei Zia and Ken Leung as Topher Zia on NBC's "The Night Shift".
(l-r) Elizabeth Sung as Sumei Zia and Ken Leung as Topher Zia on NBC’s “The Night Shift”.

Click here to watch the episode. Ms. Sung returns to “The Night Shift” on July 13, 2016.

(l-r) Ken Leung as Topher Zia and Elizabeth Sung as Sumei Zia on NBC's "The Night Shift".
(l-r) Ken Leung as Topher Zia and Elizabeth Sung as Sumei Zia on NBC’s “The Night Shift”.

In Albuquerque, where “The Night Shift” is shot, Ms. Sung was delighted to be reunited with Ken Leung, having worked with him on “The Sopranos” as his mother and in Fay Ann Lee’s indie film “Falling for Grace”.

Ken Leung, Fay Ann Lee, Clem Cheung and Elizabeth Sung in FALLING FOR GRACE. Photo by Joe Tam
Ken Leung, Fay Ann Lee, Clem Cheung and Elizabeth Sung in FALLING FOR GRACE. Photo by Joe Tam

Elizabeth Sung was raised in Hong Kong and is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin. From 1994-96, she was a series regular in the 1st Asian American storyline on the daytime soap “The Young and the Restless” as Luan Volien Abbott, and is memorable as the second wife in Wayne Wang’s “The Joy Luck Club”.

Elizabeth Sung as Second Wife in "The Joy Luck Club"
Elizabeth Sung as Second Wife in “The Joy Luck Club”
Classic Soap Opera Digest Cover Date: January 31, 1995- Elizabeth Sung, Peter Bergman and Phillip Moon
Classic Soap Opera Digest Cover Date: January 31, 1995- Elizabeth Sung, Peter Bergman and Phillip Moon

Other roles on film include “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Lethal Weapon 4,”  “Pali Road”, “The Unbidden”, “Fallen Stars”, “Front Cover,” “Falling for Grace,” “Ping Pong Playa,” “The People I’ve Slept With,”” House Under Siege,” “Go for Sisters,” “ Tango and Cash,” “China Cry,” “Death Ring” and “Yes, And. ” Her television credits include “NYPD Blue,” “For the People,” “Crossing Jordan,” “House M.D.,” “E-Ring,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “The Sopranos,”  “The Forgotten,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “FlashForward,” “Bones,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “Awake,” “The Suite Life on Deck,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Mike & Molly,” “Shameless,” and “Elementary”.

Lucy Liu and Elizabeth Sung in "Elementary".
Lucy Liu and Elizabeth Sung in “Elementary”.

She has appeared in the short films “Godlike,” “Woman in Fragments,” “Nuptials of the Dead,” “The Boxer,” and the webisodes “Who’s in Charge,” “Miss Guidance” and “Meet the Kayak.”

PING PONG PLAYA, center: Roger Fan, Elizabeth Sung, 2007. ©IFC Films
PING PONG PLAYA, center: Roger Fan, Elizabeth Sung, 2007. ©IFC Films

Ms. Sung was in the Directing Workshop for Women at the American Film Institute where she made her first award winning film, “Requiem” (1995). Her graduate thesis film, “The Water Ghost” (1998), earned Sung an MFA in directing from the AFI. It was aired on Lifetime channel’s “Women Directors Series”. She garnered the 2013 Golden Angel Award for Best Supporting Actress at the 9th Annual Chinese American Film Festival, and the 2013 Asians on Film Festival for her mother’s role in Steve Myung’s “Anita Ho,” one of her favorite projects to date.

"Anita Ho" 2013 Chinese American Film Festival Golden Angel Award for - Best Comedy - director, writer, actor / Steve Myung, producer, writer, actress / Lina So Golden Angel Award - Best Actress in a Supporting Role / Elizabeth Sung.
“Anita Ho” 2013 Chinese American Film Festival Golden Angel Award for – Best Comedy – director, writer, actor / Steve Myung, producer, writer, actress / Lina So Golden Angel Award – Best Actress in a Supporting Role / Elizabeth Sung.

Sung also has a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School and was a member of The Alvin Ailey Repertory Dance Company. Her current projects include the pilot “Lees of LA,” and the indie feature “For Izzy”.

In the wake of her whirlwind schedule, we had a moment to chat by phone about “The Night Shift” and her latest film projects.  

Lia: What was it like on the set of “The Night Shift”?
Elizabeth: My first day was a party scene. I really felt like I was being swept into a family. I found the cast and crew to be extremely welcoming. The episode was written by Janet Lin, who I worked with on “Bones.” It was wonderful to reconnect with Ken and Janet. The director, Tara Nicole Weyr, is great. I was very inspired  to see two women helming key positions. This says a lot about “The Night Shift” production, a female friendly set, with a lot of women on the crew.

Lia: What are you working on?
Elizabeth: I am currently shooting “For Izzy,” with an Asian American indie director/writer named Alex Chu. We worked together on his indie debut, “Yes, And. Our cast features “Fear the Walking Dead” star Michelle Ang (we worked together on “Fallen Stars), Jim Lau (we worked together on “Ping Pong Playa” and “Yes, Andand Jenny Soo (we worked together on “Yes, And,” and “Godlike”). It’s fun to be working with friends.

From the set of FOR IZZY (l-r) Elizabeth Sung, Michelle Ang, Alex Chu, Jenny Soo and Jim Lau. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Sung
From the set of FOR IZZY (l-r) Elizabeth Sung, Michelle Ang, Alex Chu, Jenny Soo and Jim Lau. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Sung

Alex is a very creative director, a risk taker, and is interested in tackling subjects that are important issues. The film is about addiction, family, autism, but, most of all, second chances. He’s written a story for Asian American characters – two sets of dysfunctional families.

From the set of FOR IZZY (l-r) Director of Photography Irvin Liu, Michelle Ang, Elizabeth Sung, production manager Tash Ann, Jenny Soo, director/writer/producer Alex Chu and Jim Lau. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Sung
From the set of FOR IZZY (l-r) Director of Photography Irvin Liu, Michelle Ang, Elizabeth Sung, production manager Tash Ann, Jenny Soo, director/writer/producer Alex Chu and Jim Lau. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Sung

I play the mother of a recovering drug addict photojournalist, from Hong Kong. I’ve left my job as a banker in Hong Kong to come help my daughter in LA clean up her act. We move next to a family with a single father who has a 28 year old high functioning autistic daughter. As time passes they can’t help but influence each other’s lives, giving and getting a second chance!

Elizabeth Sung in "For Izzy"
Elizabeth Sung in “For Izzy”

“For Izzy” Facebook Page

6da6dfb33058562e7e725fb65460eed3Lia: What are your favorite projects? 
Elizabeth:  “The Night Shift” and my work on indie films has instilled in me the belief that by committing to each role, making them personal and truthful, I grow as an actor in my ability to portray three dimensional characters that have compelling and universal stories. It is also heart warming to see there are an increasing number of budding Asian American filmmakers, making ground breaking stories. What I can contribute is my experience through acting. For me, it has always been challenging and rewarding to work on independent project, where the script comes to you and it’s not quite complete. The filmmakers that I choose to work with are open-minded enough to welcome input. The smart ones will listen, consider, then implement at least some of the ideas. Then you see your character and the script evolve into a fuller and more complete story.

Other indie films that I enjoyed working on were “Pali Road,” (currently in theaters), “Go For Sister,” “ Front Cover ,” (in film festivals and will be released in August) “The Unbidden,” (will be released in June) , “Fallen Stars,” (will be released in September) And currently, “For Izzy”.

PALI ROAD by Jonathan Lim
Jonathan Lim’s powerful drama Pali Road starring Michelle Chen, Sung Kang, Tzi Ma, Henry Ian Cusick, Jackson Rathbone and Ms. Sung was the closing feature at the LAAPFF and is currently in selected theaters across country. Click here to see where it is playing in a city near you.

Pali RoadPali Road is a mesmerizing and chilling journey into the mystery of the human psyche and the power of love. Lily (Chen), a young doctor, wakes up from a car accident to discover she is now married to her boyfriend’s affluent rival, Dr. Mitch Kayne (Kang), has a five-year-old-son, and an established life she has no recollection of.

Elizabeth Sung and Tzi Ma in "Pali Road".
Elizabeth Sung and Tzi Ma in “Pali Road”.
Tzi Ma and Elizabeth Sung. Photo by Steven Lam
Tzi Ma and Elizabeth Sung. Photo by Steven Lam

Everyone around her, including her parents (Elizabeth Sung and Tzi Ma), deny that her boyfriend, Neil (Rathbone), ever existed, sending her on a desperate search for the truth. Determined to reclaim a life everyone insists is nothing more than an illusion, Lily eventually begins to doubt her own sanity. Struggling to overcome her seemingly hopeless situation, Lily endures a series of unexplainable and haunting incidents while bravely making her way to an ultimate mind-bending truth about the power of true love.

“Pali Road” Facebook Page

Pali Road starring Michelle Chen, Sung Kang, Elizabeth Sung, Tzi Ma, Henry Ian Cusick and Jackson Rathbone, closes 2016 LAAPFF on April 28 

THE UNBIDDEN by Quentin Lee

Julia Nickson, Amy Hill, Tamlyn Tomita and Elizabeth Sung in THE UNBIDDEN
Julia Nickson, Amy Hill, Tamlyn Tomita and Elizabeth Sung in THE UNBIDDEN

“The Unbidden,” Quentin Lee’s female driven supernatural thriller starring Tamlyn Tomita (“Teen Wolf,”” The Joy Luck Club”), Julia Nickson (“Rambo,” “Double Dragon”), Amy Hill (“50 First Dates,” “Lilo & Stitch”), Elizabeth Sung (“The Joy Luck Club”) and Michelle Krusiec (“Saving Face,” “The Invitation”), Jason Yee, Karin Anna Cheung, Kimberley Rose-Wolter, Akemi Look and Hayden Szeto, had the world premiere screening at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in April.

“The Unbidden” is directed by Quentin Lee (“White Frog,” “The People I’ve Slept With”) with a screenplay by NaRhee Ahn (“Purity”). North American distribution rights were acquired by genre visionaries Viva Pictures and international rights were acquired by Korea’s hers Entertainment.

THE UNBIDDEN- Elizabeth Sung (Left) plays Anna comforting her best friend Lauren played by Tamlyn Tomita (Right).
THE UNBIDDEN- Elizabeth Sung (Left) plays Anna comforting her best friend Lauren played by Tamlyn Tomita (Right).

Synopsis: Mystery novelist Lauren Lee (Tomita) is haunted by the ghost of a tortured, bloodied man. She tries to forget the apparition’s terrifying warnings and her unstable mental state by hosting dinner with her best friends (Nickson, Sung, and Hill). Each of the women has her own idea and opinion to make Lauren feel better. In the midst of a séance that Rachel believes will exorcise Lauren’s demons, a mysterious young man (Szeto) arrives brandishing a gun. He holds the women hostage in order to get to the truth of the whereabouts of his missing father.

Elizabeth: I’ve known Quentin since 1996. Working on” The Unbidden” was a fun journey and a chance for me to work with friends over 12 days that I don’t have many opportunities to work with.

 “The Unbidden” Facebook Page

FRONT COVER by Ray Yeung

FRONT COVER
FRONT COVER

Ray Yeung’s “Front Cover” starring Jake Choi and James Chen has been having great success on the film festival circuit and is slated for
national distribution by Strand in August.  The film also features  Ms. Sung, Ming Lee, Jennifer Neala Page, Sonia Villani, Li Jun Li, Benjamin Thys, Rachel Lu, Kristen Hung, Wayne Chang, Peter Benson, Ben Baur, Tom Ligon, Brian Knoebel, Shennell Edmonds, Chris Kies and John Cramer.

“Front Cover” tells the story of Ryan Fu, a gay Chinese American who detests his Asian heritage and through talent and hard work, has attained his dream job as a celebrity fashion stylist.

One day Ryan’s boss assigns him to style Ning, an actor who has just arrived from Beijing for a top magazine photo shoot. Ning dismisses Ryan’s initial Western styling and demands Ryan creates an image for him which represents the power of the new China. Their egos and opinions clash resulting in a strained and difficult working relationship.

Over the following days, they slowly discover that they have a lot in common, and a mutual attraction begins to develop. As they become closer, Ryan reveals that he rejects his Chinese heritage because he is ashamed of his impoverished upbringing. Ning opens up and confesses that he is in the closet.

After a night out on the town together, a Chinese tabloid magazine exposes Ning as gay. Terrified of the impact it will have on his career, Ning implores Ryan to help him deny the story. Ryan must now decide to help Ning or stay true to himself.

Elizabeth: I play Yen Fu, the mother of Jake Choi’s character, Ryan. I was recommended to the director by associate producer, Min Ding, and shot in New York over a five day period. I got on board this film, because I believe it is important to support people, whatever their sexual preference. Love has no borders.

“Front Cover” Facebook Page

Tune in NBC to see Elizabeth and Ken on ” The Night Shift” on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 10:00PM ET. (Check your local listings).

ElizabethSung.com

Actors James Hong, Tzi Ma and Elizabeth Sung Talk Shop

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

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

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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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