Category Archives: Film Festivals

Q & A with Lia Chang and Garth Kravits, Creators of HIDE AND SEEK; Southern California Premiere Screening at 12th Annual 2017 Huntington Beach SoCal Film Festival on Feb. 11

poster-2017My Bev’s Girl Films partner Garth Kravits and I are delighted to have our short film, Hide and Seek as an official selection of the 12th Annual 2017 Huntington Beach SoCal Film Festival.  Our Southern California Premiere screening is on Saturday, February 11, 2017, at the Huntington Beach Central Library Theater at 7111 Talbert Avenue, Huntington Beach, California 92648, at  3:00 pm.

The 12th Annual 2017 Huntington Beach SoCal Film Festival hosts 3 days of feature and short films, including comedies, dramas, documentaries, animated and international films, February 9th through 11th.

Program Lineup

The 2017 Huntington Beach SoCal Film Fest is featuring  the works of two Huntington Beach filmmakers: Russell Emanuel’s science fiction, feature film, OCCUPANTS, which opens the festival on Thursday, February 9th; and Brian Barsuglia’s feature film adaptation of THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, which is the Closing Night film on Saturday, February 11th.

The 3-day festival includes over 40 films chosen by the Huntington Beach SoCal Film Fest panel of distinguished jurors. This year’s roster includes films from 10 countries, 18 women filmmakers, 10 first-time or student filmmakers, and 10 Southern California filmmakers, giving a wide array of thought-provoking, entertaining and exquisite films.

Passes and individual tickets for the Huntington Beach SoCal Film Fest can be purchased here.

All Fest Pass: $30 adult/$15 senior/student
One Day Pass: $15 adult/$7.50 senior/student
Single Film or Block of Shorts: $7.50 adult/$3.75 senior/student

Lia Chang in HIDE AND SEEK
Lia Chang in HIDE AND SEEK

Lia Chang  (Big Trouble In Little ChinaNew Jack CityKing of New York) stars in Hide and Seek, a film she co-produced and co-wrote with Garth Kravits (The Drowsy Chaperone, “The Blacklist,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Hostages” ), who is also featured in the film. Hide and Seek addresses the topic of media images that validate beauty in contemporary America. Hide and Seek was named among the top ten films of the 2015 Asian American Film Lab‘s 72 Hour Shootout -Two Faces – Filmmaking Competition, and Chang received a Best Actress nomination for her starring role. Kravits shared camera operator duties with Evan Daves, composed the original score with Tyler Kent, directed and edited the film.

Bev's Girl Films producing partners Lia Chang and Garth Kravits.
Bev’s Girl Films producing partners Lia Chang and Garth Kravits.

Other films screening include Going to the Dentist (International), Monsters (Narrative), The Evans Girl (Narrative) and The Opera Singer (Narrative).

Q & A with Lia and Garth
What inspired you to tell this story?
Kravits: Our film was created as part of the Asian American Film Lab’s 11th 72 Hour Film Shootout filmmaking competition, where
filmmaking teams have just 72 hours to conceive, write, shoot, edit and submit a film based on a common theme. The winners were announced during the 38th Asian American International Film Festival in New York last July. The theme for 2015 was ‘Two Faces’ and was part of a larger more general theme of ‘Beauty’. It only took Lia and I about 30 minutes to come to an agreement on the basic concept and main character. Lia suggested that the ‘Two Faces’ be the two faces of one person. From there our ideas snowballed. The truth is, given the semi-controlled mayhem that is inherent with these kind of time constraints, we were so focused on the story telling and the shooting/editing that it really wasn’t until the screening and subsequent audience response that we realized the impact of the message we’d created. Of course, it was our intention all along to address the issues of beauty, the challenge women face et al, but we didn’t set out to make a ‘message-y’ film. That being said, we’re both very happy that our story has resonated with so many of the people that have seen it.

Chang: I began my career in the arts as a model, before adding my hats as an actress, a photographer, a journalist and now, filmmaker. I’ve seen and experienced it all. While the film is a work of fiction, I know many people, not just women, who have felt the way my character feels in the film, a certain kind of invisibility. I am grateful that my parents, Bev Umehara and Russell Chang, instilled a healthy sense of self-esteem in me from an early age.

My parents Russ and Bev on their wedding night in Las Vegas in 1963.
My parents Russ and Bev on their wedding night in Las Vegas in 1963.

What challenges did you face in making this film?
Kravits: Other than the challenges already mentioned, I think the biggest challenge was getting the story told without the help of dialogue. One of the first decisions I made, as the director of “Hide and Seek,” was that our film would be silent and use underscoring of original music that I was planning on composing. The decision was mostly predicated on knowing how time consuming the editing of dialogue can be and given the various locations we shot in, I didn’t want to worry about having to mix room tones in such a short amount of time. The challenge with this, however, is that the large part of the storytelling responsibility fell to our lead actress, and co-creator of the film, Lia Chang and her ability to convey the whole story with just her face, basically. I’m happy to say that not only did she succeed in this capacity, but it also earned her a Best Actress Nomination at the 72 Hour Shootout competition.

What inspires you to create as an artist?
Chang: The importance of inclusion and gender parity. The lack of positive images of Asian Americans in mainstream media. All of the mediums that I create in – as an actress, a photographer, a journalist and a filmmaker – are all forms of storytelling. I consider myself fortunate that I am in the position to decide which is the most effective way to tell our stories. Seizing the reins by producing our own films and creating multi-dimensional characters as opposed to the many stereotypical roles that were offered me early in my career as an actress is what drives me. I have a very low boredom threshold.

Kravits: I think I can speak for Lia when I say that we both feel very strongly about telling stories from an individual’s perspective. We have each come from very different backgrounds and had vastly different experiences coming up in the ranks of this industry. But what we do share is a wealth of fantastic experiences with all of the characters we’ve met along the way. We are inspired daily by the people in our lives. Some stories we know well and some we learn as we go. Being able to shape and share these stories into new perspectives and new ideas is incredibly gratifying.

What’s your next project?
Kravits: We have several irons in the fire. We are developing a musical short film and a sci-fi fantasy film and a narrative film.

Chang: We formed Bev’s Girl Films to create films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. The narrative film we are working on is based on the story of my mother, Bev Umehara, for whom our film company, Bev’s Girl Films, is named after. It is a passion project that I have wanted to make since her unexpected passing in 1999. The film is about my mother’s calling which came late in life, at 47, when she made the sudden transformation from a humble hardworking secretary and mother of four, into a labor activist, a respected union leader, and a role model for rank-and-file workers, women of color, and for all Asian Pacific Americans. I can also be seen in NoMBe’s “Kemosabe” music video by Matthew Dillon Cohen.

BIOS
Garth Kravits is an actor, singer, musician and composer and award winning filmmaker. On television, Kravits has guest starred on “30 Rock,” “The Blacklist,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Hostages,” “Tin Man,” “Civil” and “The Carrie Diaries” and played opposite Keanu Reeves in the feature film Sweet November.

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

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek.  She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at lia@liachangphotography.com

 

 

 

Advertisements

Peter Kwong and Lia Chang to Attend 2016 UASE 30th Anniversary Screening of BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA at AMC Empire 25 Theaters, Times Square NYC on Nov. 12

Peter Kwong, Suzee Pai and Kim Cattrall in Big Trouble in Little China. (c) Twentieth Century Fox
Peter Kwong, Suzee Pai and Kim Cattrall in Big Trouble in Little China. (c) Twentieth Century Fox

Join me and my castmate Peter Kwong (Rain) at  the 30th anniversary screening of John Carpenter’s cult classic Big Trouble in Little China on Saturday, November 12, 2016 at the AMC Empire 25 Theaters, 234 West 42 St, Times Square NYC at 4:00P.M. in Theater #9, presented by the 4th Annual Urban Action Showcase and Expo.

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).

Peter and I will be on the Martial Arts Cult Classic Mania Panel, moderated by Martial Arts Historian Ric Meyers, and will be joined by WMAC Masters Christine Bannon Rodrigues, Willie “Bam” Johnson, Hakim Alston (Mortal Kombat) and Marco Da Answer Johnson.

Peter Kwong and Lia Chang
Peter Kwong and Lia Chang

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.

Opening night of the 2016 Urban Action Showcase and Expo at HBO in New York on November 11, 2016.
Opening night of the 2016 Urban Action Showcase and Expo at HBO in New York on November 11, 2016.

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

Emmanuel Brown, Taimak, Lia Chang, Peter Kwong. Photo by Garth Kravits
Emmanuel Brown, Taimak, Lia Chang, Peter Kwong. Photo by Garth Kravits

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

Oso Tayari Casel, Peter Kwong, Mike Hodge, Lia Chang and Fred "The Hammer" Williamson. Photo by Garth Kravits

  • Oso Tayari Casel, Peter Kwong, Mike Hodge, Lia Chang and Fred “The Hammer” Williamson. Photo by Garth Kravits

    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.

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

Up Close and Personal with Actor Peter Kwong 

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’

2016 UASE: Behind the Action featuring Marvel/Netflix ‘Luke Cage’ Cast: Action Stunt & Fight Choreographer Panel on Nov. 12 

2016 UASE: Call 2 Action Martial Arts Action Talent Competition and Branding Initiative with Willie “The Bam” Johnson on Nov. 12

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

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.

Ed Moy’s Documentary “Aviatrix: The Katherine Sui Fun Cheung Story” Screens in New York on 8/4, 8/7 and in Marina del Rey on 8/14

Ed Moy’s documentary short Aviatrix: The Katherine Sui Fun Cheung Story is an official selection of 2016 Long Beach International Film Festival and will have its East Coast premiere screening on Thursday, August 4, 2016,  at the newly remodeled Long Beach Cinema 4, 179 East Park Avenue, Long Beach, NY 11561, from 12:30-1:30pm preceded by Spirit of Iris.  

Spirit of isis and aviatrix

Spirit of Iris is the story of a trail blazing woman, who swam in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany and was in one of the earliest groups of women to ferry planes for the Air Transport Command in World War II.

A Q & A will follow the screenings. Click here to purchase tickets. View Map

On Sunday, Aug. 7th, the First Chinese Baptist Church is presenting a free screening of Aviatrix: The Katherine Sui Fun Cheung Story in the New York City premiere at 4:00P.M., followed by a Q&A session with the filmmaker, Ed Moy. The First Chinese Baptist Church is located at 21 Pell St. in New York.

On Sunday, Aug. 14th, a short version of the Aviatrix documentary  will screen in the 2016 Marina del Rey Film Festival at the Cinetransformer truck in the Marina at Jamaica Bay Inn during the festivals third shorts screening block, which begins at 4:00P.M. Director Ed Moy and Katherine’s daughter Dottie Leschenko will be in attendance for a Q&A after the end of the shorts film block. Limited to 90 seats. Tickets online.

aviatrixKatherine Sui Fun Cheung (1904-2003), was one of the nation’s first licensed Asian aviatrix and became a member of the “99 Club”, an exclusive club of women pilots that elected Amelia Earhart as president. Cheung was born in Enping, China and studied music at USC and LA Music Consevatory. After learning to fly, she participated in air shows and air races. But after an inexperienced pilot crashed her plane, she promised her dying father that she would give up flying. After World War II, she operated a flower shop with her husband. The Santa Monica Flying Museum honored her with a plaque in their Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame and she is recognized with a plaque along LAX Flight Path Walk of Fame as the first Chinese Aviatrix to earn a license to fly.  http://www.aviatrixmovie.org

Below is a Q & A with writer/producer Ed Moy.

Ninety-Nines Members Photo of Katherine Sui Fun Cheung with Ethel Sheehy courtesy of Dottie Leschenko.
Ninety-Nines Members Photo of Katherine Sui Fun Cheung with Ethel Sheehy courtesy of Dottie Leschenko.

Lia: Were Katherine Sui Fun Cheung’s accomplishments eclipsed by Amelia Earhart’s legend?
Ed: I would say that Amelia was obviously the most famous aviatrix of the 1930s. But what stands out about Katherine is she was a minority woman doing something that was seen as primarily a man’s sport at that time.

It should also be pointed out that Chinese women were still looked at as docile homemakers, who worked in the kitchen, raised kids, and took care of the house.

Katherine broke through all of those limiting traditional expectations during a period in history when gender equality and equal rights weren’t always given freely to minorities.

Daring young women such as Katherine and Bessie Coleman (the first female pilot of African American descent) were often seen as sideshow curiosities at air circuses and county fairs around the country.

In many ways, they are pioneers who deserve to be remembered for their roles in aviation history. Our goal is to share Katherine’s fun and adventurous story with a new generation that may not know about her accomplishments.

Katherine Sui Fun Cheung was not the only Chinese female to get her pilot license in the 1930s. There’s some confusion on who was the first though. The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum recognizes Katherine as the first Asian American aviatrix but others point to Hazel Ying Lee.

Although both Hazel and Katherine were licensed in 1932, according to various newspaper articles from that time period, Katherine got her license in March of 1932, whereas Hazel completed her training and got her license in October of 1932.

A number of other Chinese females also earned pilots license during the 1930s including Leah Hing, Rose Lok, Lee Ya-Ching and Hilda Yen.

There were also several Chinese women that learned to fly but were not licensed in the early years of aviation, including Anna Low in 1918 and Frances E. Lee, who died tragically falling from a plane in 1920.

We will feature a segment with Aviation historians and academics talking about these women and their accomplishments in our documentary and web series.

Biplane Katherine Sui Fun Cheung and Walter Chan with biplane photo courtesy of Dottie Leschenko.
Biplane
Katherine Sui Fun Cheung and Walter Chan with biplane photo courtesy of Dottie Leschenko.

Lia: In 1932, one percent of American pilots were female. What were some of the issues involved with Cheung being a pilot?
Ed: Around 1931, Katherine sought training through the Chinese Aeronautical School, which at that time had begun teaching young Chinese American men to become pilots so they could aid in the fight against Japanese invaders in China.

According to family and various news articles, Katherine was not allowed to train with them at first because she was a woman.

But she refused to take no for an answer and eventually paid for lessons from civilian instructors.

Once she got her license Katherine did participate in the local Chinese Flying club with the other men.

She was the only female member, although there was another young woman who came from a well-to-do family that helped finance the club’s activities.

Later, Katherine was invited to join the 99s, an exclusive all-women flying club, whose members included Amelia Earhart.

Lia: How did you discover Katherine’s story?
Ed: My first exposure to an Asian Aviatrix was actually in 2007.

I read about Hazel Ying Lee’s story at a Chinese History museum in Honolulu’s Chinatown.

I later wrote a piece for Asiance Magazine and 13 Minutes Magazine about Hazel after talking to filmmaker Alan H. Rosenberg, who had made a documentary about Hazel, entitled “A Brief Flight: Hazel Ying Lee and the women that flew pursuit.”

But it wasn’t until 2012, that I heard about Katherine’s story after East West Players created a Theatre for Youth production called “Taking Flight” written by Judy Soo Hoo.

I had written the original script for a short film about actor Keye Luke, which filmmaker Timothy Tau later turned into his award-winning short film, which spanned the 1930s-1940s film era.

Having developed an interest in that 1930s time period, when I heard about the “Taking Flight” production, it piqued my interest in Katherine’s story.

But I did not follow up again until October 2013 when I was tossing around ideas for a project with actress Katherine Park, who I originally had cast to play the young Katherine Sui Fun Cheung in dramatization scenes for the documentary.

Those dramatization scenes were later shelved in favor of turning it into the animated short film Up in the Clouds.

Lia: In 2004, Lucy Liu attempted to pitch a Katherine Sui Fun Cheung project to HBO with the family. How will yours finally tell Cheung’s story?
Ed: At a charity luncheon in 2004, Lucy Liu did have a brief meeting with family members.

According to grandson Alan Wong who was in attendance, Lucy spoke with Katherine’s granddaughter Judy Wong about pitching Katherine’s story to HBO.

However, no project was ever funded and Lucy moved onto other projects. Judy unfortunately passed away last year from cancer.

This was not the first attempt by filmmakers to tell Katherine’s story. Chinese actresses Luo Yan and Josephine Chien also attempted to create projects.

Hazel Ying Lee documentary filmmaker Alan H. Rosenberg had also proposed making a film about Katherine and several other Asian Aviatrix of that same era.

Lia: What’s the goal of your documentary?
Ed: Our primary project goal is to share Katherine’s story in a fun and entertaining way.

Our half-hour documentary film version will premiere at the 2016 Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival, and a longer form web series in the works.

I also plan to add additional footage and interviews to create a one-hour television broadcast version to submit for PBS and/or online content providers, along with making a limited edition DVD with bonus material, as well as a companion photo book with biographical information.

The end goal is to reach out to schools and museums with the web series and DVD in hopes that new audiences will find Katherine’s story an informative, inspiring and entertaining piece of Asian American history.

Katherine was a visionary who pursued her dreams with a passion and we want to honor that with a project that reflects her legacy as a pioneering aviatrix.

Edmund Moy (director, producer, writer)

Ed Moy is an award-winning journalist. His series of feature news articles about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training fundraising programs helped raise awareness for their mission while touching the lives of thousands of readers and earned him their National Print Media Award for Excellence in Journalism.

In addition to working on the Aviatrix documentary film and web series project about Chinese women aviators of the 1930, Moy  was co-writer on director Timothy Tau’s award-winning short film Keye Luke about the life of pioneering Asian American actor Keye Luke. It won an Audience Award at the 2014 Hollyshorts Film Festival and was nominated for Best Short Film at the 2013 Dragon*Con Short Film Fest.

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.

Tim Savage’s “Under The Blood Red Sun” Named Best US Feature Film at 2016 Love International Film Festival Awards; Chris Tashima Receives Best Actor in a Supporting Role Award

Bai Ling presented UNDER THE BLOOD RED SUN director Tim Savage and cast members with the Best US Feature Film Award at the Love International Film Festival Awards Gala at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles on July 16, 2016. Photo by Kalene Sakamoto
Bai Ling presented UNDER THE BLOOD RED SUN director Tim Savage and cast members with the Best US Feature Film Award at the Love International Film Festival Awards Gala at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles on July 16, 2016. Photo by Kalene Sakamoto

Updated: 7/18/16

Congratulations to Tim Savage’s Under The Blood Red Sun, starring Academy Award winner Chris Tashima, Kyler Sakamoto, Kalama Epstein, Dann Seki, Autumn Ogawa, Will Kahele and Mina Kohara, which was named Best US Feature Film at the 2016 Love International Film Festival Awards Gala, held at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles last night.

UNDER THE BLOOD RED SUN director Tim Savage and cast members accept the Best US Feature Film Award at the Love International Film Festival Awards Gala at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles on July 16, 2016. Photo by Cathi Perez
UNDER THE BLOOD RED SUN director Tim Savage and cast members accept the Best US Feature Film Award at the Love International Film Festival Awards Gala at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles on July 16, 2016. Photo by Cathi Perez

Chris Tashima won for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

Chris Tashima receives 2016 LIFF Best Supporting Actor Award at the Love International Film Festival Awards Gala at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles on July 16, 2016. Photo by Cathi Perez
Chris Tashima receives 2016 LIFF Best Supporting Actor Award at the Love International Film Festival Awards Gala at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles on July 16, 2016. Photo by Cathi Perez

Other nominations included a Best Youth Actor nod for Kyler Sakamoto and a Best Youth Actor in a Supporting Role nod for Kalama Epstein.

Tim Savage, Kyler Sakamoto, Kalama Epstein and Chris Tashima on the red carpet at the Love International Film Festival Awards Gala at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles on July 16, 2016. Photo by Kalene Sakamoto.
Tim Savage, Kyler Sakamoto, Kalama Epstein and Chris Tashima on the red carpet at the Love International Film Festival Awards Gala at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles on July 16, 2016. Photo by Kalene Sakamoto.
Kyler Sakamoto, Tim Savage, Chris Tashima Kalama Epstein at the Love International Film Festival Awards Gala at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles on July 16, 2016. Photo by Kalene Sakamoto.
Kyler Sakamoto, Tim Savage, Chris Tashima Kalama Epstein at the Love International Film Festival Awards Gala at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles on July 16, 2016. Photo by Kalene Sakamoto.

Under The Blood Red Sun is based on the bestselling novel of the same title by Graham Salisbury, and details the life of Tomi––a Japanese American boy whose family was sent to the internment camp during World War II.

Photo by Chris Tashima
Photo by Chris Tashima

Under the Blood Red Sun Website

LIFF’s 2016 festival was held July 9th through the 16th in Los Angeles, California.

The 2016 Love International Film Festival (LIFF) focuses on bringing films and filmmakers from the international community whose work they feel brings the world closer together and promotes love and healing through cinema. All proceeds for the 2016 LIFF will be given to the Lotus Light Children’s Charity. https://loveinternationalchildrenfilmfestival.com

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.

Filmmaker Ed Moy on “Aviatrix: The Katherine Sui Fun Cheung Story,” an Official Selection of the 2016 Long Beach International Film Festival Screening on August 4

Ed Moy’s documentary short Aviatrix: The Katherine Sui Fun Cheung Story is an official selection of 2016 Long Beach International Film Festival and will have its East Coast premiere screening on Thursday, August 4, 2016,  at the newly remodeled Long Beach Cinema 4, 179 East Park Avenue, Long Beach, NY 11561, from 12:30-1:30pm preceded by Spirit of Iris.  

Spirit of isis and aviatrix

Spirit of Iris is the story of a trail blazing woman, who swam in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany and was in one of the earliest groups of women to ferry planes for the Air Transport Command in World War II.

A Q & A will follow the screenings. Click here to purchase tickets. View Map

aviatrixKatherine Sui Fun Cheung (1904-2003), was one of the nation’s first licensed Asian aviatrix and became a member of the “99 Club”, an exclusive club of women pilots that elected Amelia Earhart as president. Cheung was born in Enping, China and studied music at USC and LA Music Consevatory. After learning to fly, she participated in air shows and air races. But after an inexperienced pilot crashed her plane, she promised her dying father that she would give up flying. After World War II, she operated a flower shop with her husband. The Santa Monica Flying Museum honored her with a plaque in their Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame and she is recognized with a plaque along LAX Flight Path Walk of Fame as the first Chinese Aviatrix to earn a license to fly.  http://www.aviatrixmovie.org

Below is a Q & A with writer/producer Ed Moy.

Ninety-Nines Members Photo of Katherine Sui Fun Cheung with Ethel Sheehy courtesy of Dottie Leschenko.
Ninety-Nines Members Photo of Katherine Sui Fun Cheung with Ethel Sheehy courtesy of Dottie Leschenko.

Lia: Were Katherine Sui Fun Cheung’s accomplishments eclipsed by Amelia Earhart’s legend?
Ed: I would say that Amelia was obviously the most famous aviatrix of the 1930s. But what stands out about Katherine is she was a minority woman doing something that was seen as primarily a man’s sport at that time.

It should also be pointed out that Chinese women were still looked at as docile homemakers, who worked in the kitchen, raised kids, and took care of the house.

Katherine broke through all of those limiting traditional expectations during a period in history when gender equality and equal rights weren’t always given freely to minorities.

Daring young women such as Katherine and Bessie Coleman (the first female pilot of African American descent) were often seen as sideshow curiosities at air circuses and county fairs around the country.

In many ways, they are pioneers who deserve to be remembered for their roles in aviation history. Our goal is to share Katherine’s fun and adventurous story with a new generation that may not know about her accomplishments.

Katherine Sui Fun Cheung was not the only Chinese female to get her pilot license in the 1930s. There’s some confusion on who was the first though. The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum recognizes Katherine as the first Asian American aviatrix but others point to Hazel Ying Lee.

Although both Hazel and Katherine were licensed in 1932, according to various newspaper articles from that time period, Katherine got her license in March of 1932, whereas Hazel completed her training and got her license in October of 1932.

A number of other Chinese females also earned pilots license during the 1930s including Leah Hing, Rose Lok, Lee Ya-Ching and Hilda Yen.

There were also several Chinese women that learned to fly but were not licensed in the early years of aviation, including Anna Low in 1918 and Frances E. Lee, who died tragically falling from a plane in 1920.

We will feature a segment with Aviation historians and academics talking about these women and their accomplishments in our documentary and web series.

Biplane Katherine Sui Fun Cheung and Walter Chan with biplane photo courtesy of Dottie Leschenko.
Biplane
Katherine Sui Fun Cheung and Walter Chan with biplane photo courtesy of Dottie Leschenko.

Lia: In 1932, one percent of American pilots were female. What were some of the issues involved with Cheung being a pilot?
Ed: Around 1931, Katherine sought training through the Chinese Aeronautical School, which at that time had begun teaching young Chinese American men to become pilots so they could aid in the fight against Japanese invaders in China.

According to family and various news articles, Katherine was not allowed to train with them at first because she was a woman.

But she refused to take no for an answer and eventually paid for lessons from civilian instructors.

Once she got her license Katherine did participate in the local Chinese Flying club with the other men.

She was the only female member, although there was another young woman who came from a well-to-do family that helped finance the club’s activities.

Later, Katherine was invited to join the 99s, an exclusive all-women flying club, whose members included Amelia Earhart.

Lia: How did you discover Katherine’s story?
Ed: My first exposure to an Asian Aviatrix was actually in 2007.

I read about Hazel Ying Lee’s story at a Chinese History museum in Honolulu’s Chinatown.

I later wrote a piece for Asiance Magazine and 13 Minutes Magazine about Hazel after talking to filmmaker Alan H. Rosenberg, who had made a documentary about Hazel, entitled “A Brief Flight: Hazel Ying Lee and the women that flew pursuit.”

But it wasn’t until 2012, that I heard about Katherine’s story after East West Players created a Theatre for Youth production called “Taking Flight” written by Judy Soo Hoo.

I had written the original script for a short film about actor Keye Luke, which filmmaker Timothy Tau later turned into his award-winning short film, which spanned the 1930s-1940s film era.

Having developed an interest in that 1930s time period, when I heard about the “Taking Flight” production, it piqued my interest in Katherine’s story.

But I did not follow up again until October 2013 when I was tossing around ideas for a project with actress Katherine Park, who I originally had cast to play the young Katherine Sui Fun Cheung in dramatization scenes for the documentary.

Those dramatization scenes were later shelved in favor of turning it into the animated short film Up in the Clouds.

Lia: In 2004, Lucy Liu attempted to pitch a Katherine Sui Fun Cheung project to HBO with the family. How will yours finally tell Cheung’s story?
Ed: At a charity luncheon in 2004, Lucy Liu did have a brief meeting with family members.

According to grandson Alan Wong who was in attendance, Lucy spoke with Katherine’s granddaughter Judy Wong about pitching Katherine’s story to HBO.

However, no project was ever funded and Lucy moved onto other projects. Judy unfortunately passed away last year from cancer.

This was not the first attempt by filmmakers to tell Katherine’s story. Chinese actresses Luo Yan and Josephine Chien also attempted to create projects.

Hazel Ying Lee documentary filmmaker Alan H. Rosenberg had also proposed making a film about Katherine and several other Asian Aviatrix of that same era.

Lia: What’s the goal of your documentary?
Ed: Our primary project goal is to share Katherine’s story in a fun and entertaining way.

Our half-hour documentary film version will premiere at the 2016 Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival, and a longer form web series in the works.

I also plan to add additional footage and interviews to create a one-hour television broadcast version to submit for PBS and/or online content providers, along with making a limited edition DVD with bonus material, as well as a companion photo book with biographical information.

The end goal is to reach out to schools and museums with the web series and DVD in hopes that new audiences will find Katherine’s story an informative, inspiring and entertaining piece of Asian American history.

Katherine was a visionary who pursued her dreams with a passion and we want to honor that with a project that reflects her legacy as a pioneering aviatrix.

Edmund Moy (director, producer, writer)

Ed Moy is an award-winning journalist. His series of feature news articles about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training fundraising programs helped raise awareness for their mission while touching the lives of thousands of readers and earned him their National Print Media Award for Excellence in Journalism.

In addition to working on the Aviatrix documentary film and web series project about Chinese women aviators of the 1930, Moy  was co-writer on director Timothy Tau’s award-winning short film Keye Luke about the life of pioneering Asian American actor Keye Luke. It won an Audience Award at the 2014 Hollyshorts Film Festival and was nominated for Best Short Film at the 2013 Dragon*Con Short Film Fest.

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.

Bev’s Girl Films Produces BALANCING ACT Starring Lia Chang and Liam Quill Kong, for Justin Lin’s 2016 INTERPRETATIONS 2.0 Short Film Initiative

Lia Chang and Garth Kravits during Facebook live interview. Photo by Geoffrey Guerrero
Lia Chang and Garth Kravits during Facebook live interview. Photo by Geoffrey Guerrero

It’s a wrap for Balancing Act, a new short film by Bev’s Girl Films team Lia Chang and Garth Kravits, created for Justin Lin’s Interpretations Short Film Contest for Asian American Filmmakers.

Lia Chang (Big Trouble In Little ChinaNew Jack CityKing of New York) stars in Balancing Act, a film she co-produced, co-wrote and co-directed with Garth Kravits (The Drowsy Chaperone, “The Blacklist,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Hostages,” “Civil”). The cast also features Liam Quill Kong, Pamela Bob, Dave T. Koenig, Laura Hall and Virginia Wing.Balancing Act Poster Final copy

SYNOPSIS – How does a single mother balance her life, work and child?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Balancing Act is the second short film created by Bev’s Girl Films, dedicated to making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. We wanted to show, not only the struggle that working, single mothers face each day, but also show the joy and love that is often taken for granted.

Liam Quill Kong in BALANCING ACT. Photo by Lia Chang
Liam Quill Kong in BALANCING ACT. Photo by Lia Chang

You can check out Balancing Act at www.yomyomf.com, click on Interpretations and choose all entries.

Balancing Act Facebook Page

Fun in the sun with mom and sister Tami in Lake Tahoe in 1970. Photo by Russell Chang
Fun in the sun with mom and sister Tami in Lake Tahoe in 1970. Photo by Russell Chang

Bev’s Girl Films is named after Lia’s mother, Bev Umehara, and this film was created to honor her, her father, Russell Chang, and all the single parents navigating their own ‘Balancing Act’.

Lia Chang, Marissa Chang-Flores, Russell Chang, Asia Flores, Tami Chang and Carlos Flores at the 2016 FIDM Graduation at the STAPLES Center in LA on June 20, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang, Marissa Chang-Flores, Russell Chang, Asia Flores, Tami Chang and Carlos Flores at the 2016 FIDM Graduation at the STAPLES Center in LA on June 20, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia received a Best Actress nomination for her debut short, Hide and Seek, a top ten film in the Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition. She is also a photographer and an award-winning multi-platform journalist who writes about Arts and Entertainment and Asian American issues on her Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.

Edited by: Garth Kravits
Screenplay: David Henry Hwang
Director of Photography: Christopher Plunkett
Original Score – Scott CHOPS Jung

Special thanks to Joan Leviton Kagan, Erin Quill and Chil Kong.

Erin Quill and her son, Liam Quill Kong, on the set of BALANCING ACT. Photo by Lia Chang
Erin Quill and her son, Liam Quill Kong, on the set of BALANCING ACT. Photo by Lia Chang

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

Judging will commence in July and August with the announcement of the Top 15 on September 6, with online voting kicking off that day through October 6. The final 3 winners will be announced online on October 10 and they will be invited to attend the NBCUniversal Short Film Festival on October 19 at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. Participants must be a resident of the United States of America and at least 13 years old.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lia Chang in BALANCING ACT
Lia Chang in BALANCING ACT

Facebook Live Interviews: 2016 Katra Film Series – 2nd Round Finalists; 14 Films Compete for $2000 in Prizes on July 16
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

 

Facebook Live Interviews: 2016 Katra Film Series – 2nd Round Finalists; 14 Films Compete for $2000 in Prizes on July 16

Lia Chang and Garth Kravits during Facebook live interview. Photo by Geoffrey Guerrero
Lia Chang and Garth Kravits during Facebook live interview. Photo by Geoffrey Guerrero

Bev’s Girl Films’ is thrilled that our debut short, HIDE AND SEEK, starring Lia Chang and Garth Kravits, is among the top 14 shorts which have screened since January in the Katra Film Series, to compete in the 2016 Katra Film Series – 2nd Round event on Saturday, July 16, 2016, for $2000 in prizes sponsored by Pond5, Moviemaker Magazine,  CreatorUp, Goze Zone, Socially Relevant Film Festival. Everyone who attends will be eligible for a $250 free headshot session with a photographer from City Headshots.

The Katra Film Series is NYC’s premier film series dedicated to the exhibition and promotion of quality independent cinema and innovative short-form videos. The winners of the 2nd Round – chosen by pair of industry judges and audience vote – advances to the 5th Annual Grand Finale Series in January 2017. Katra is located at 217 Bowery btw. Rivington and Prince St. in New York. The evening begins at 5pm. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.

The 2nd round includes an international lineup of filmmakers from Israel, Japan, Georgia, Moldova, Ecuador and Greece, with diverse topics ranging from the Syrian Refugee crisis to the lives of plantation workers in Liberia to the inhumane treatment of animals and nature. The lineup also includes shorts with cast members from hit TV shows The Blacklist, The Americans, and Orange is the New Black.

Katra Founder and filmmaker Geoffrey Guerrero chatted with many of the filmmakers via Facebook Live. Check out the lineup and interviews below.

Screening Order:
6pm
People of Nowhere – directed by Lior Sperandeo
A short doc about the Syrian refugee crisis in Lesvos, Greece.

Hide and Seek – directed by Garth Kravits
A short film starring Lia Chang and Garth Kravits, that speaks to the societal challenge that women, and especially women of color, endure every day. Check out our Facebook Live interview with Geoffrey Guerrero, filmmaker and founder of Katra Film Series.

The Promise – directed by Alex Leu
When his fiancée is abducted by an evil warlord, a lone soldier struggles to save her before she is turned to the dark side.

The Bear – directed by Avtandil Chachibaia
A moral fable about a revenge-seeking bear who nobly forgives the humans for their wrongdoings.

Notes from Liberia – directed by Judd Ehrlich & Ryo Murakami
Tracing the journey of the late Japanese cinematographer Ryo Murakami to the Firestone Tire and Rubber Plantation in Liberia.

7pm
Emma Inspired – directed by Nicole Machon
Emma is a recent college grad, unsure of her next move in life.

The Exam – directed by William Speruzzi
A psychological thriller about a man whose promotion hinges on him taking a medical exam.

The Skull – directed by Graceann Dorse
It’s moving day, and the Gorden family must deal with a long forgotten family heirloom that has re-surfaced.

Other People’s People – directed by James Fauvell
An ensemble comedy about the intersecting and competing loves, lies and indiscretions of three couples in Brooklyn, NY.

8pm
White Privilege Frankenstein – directed by Chris Carfizzi & Ken Dashow
When an angry mob comes for Frankenstein’s Monster, Victor Frankenstein must find a way to get him off the hook.

Fortress – directed by Amir Arison
April and Kalev meet at an Italian restaurant after agreeing to go on their first on-line date.

47 Secrets to a Younger You – directed by Ryan Blackwell
A comedic webseries about working moms, everyday disasters and middle-aging not so gracefully.

Chocolate Cake – Benjamin Shweky
A nostalgic tale about a boy who doesn’t quite fit in. Instead, he finds all the company he needs in his mother’s delicious chocolate cake.

The Small Time – Created by Jack Canfora & Andrew Rein
A struggling literary agent, Ben Bernstein, tries to find the one writer who can be the next big thing.

Do you have a short film, web series, short doc, music video you’d like to submit? Katra is looking for short content of any genre/form no longer than 45 minutes in length. Visual art, experimental, animations are welcome! Submit via Film Freeway.

Geoffrey Guerrero, Lia Chang and Garth Kravits
Geoffrey Guerrero, Lia Chang and Garth Kravits

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.

AAIFF’16: BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA 30th Anniversary Tribute Screening at Flushing Town Hall on July 28

From the set of Big Trouble in Little China. (1986) (c) Twentieth Century Fox.
From the set of Big Trouble in Little China. (1986) (c) Twentieth Century Fox.

On Thursday, July 28th, the American International Film Festival (AAIFF’16) is presenting a free tribute screening of John Carpenter’s 1986 cult classic Big Trouble in Little China,  marking  the 30th anniversary of the release, at Flushing Town Hall, 13735 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354. Showtime: 8:00 PM. The film will be preceded by a 7:00 PM live performance by Eric G. Click here for more information on The Festival.

Kim Cattrall, Kurt Russell, Dennis Dun and Suzee Pai in Big Trouble in Little China (1986) (c) Twentieth Century Fox
Kim Cattrall, Kurt Russell, Dennis Dun and Suzee Pai in Big Trouble in Little China (1986) (c) Twentieth Century Fox

I appeared in the film as a Wing Kong guard and will be attending two screenings this year.

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 Cast Reunion featured in BLACK BELT MAGAZINE August/September 2015 

Peter Kwong, Suzee Pai and Kim Cattrall in Big Trouble in Little China. (c) Twentieth Century Fox
Peter Kwong, Suzee Pai and Kim Cattrall in Big Trouble in Little China. (c) Twentieth Century Fox

Big Trouble in Little China featured Kurt Russell as Jack Burton, Kim Cattrall as Gracie Law, Dennis Dun as Wang Chi, James Hong as David Lo Pan, Victor Wong as Egg Shen, Kate Burton as Margo, Donald Li as Eddie Lee, Carter Wong as Thunder, Peter Kwong as Rain, James Pax as Lightning and Suzee Pai as Miao Yin.

James Hong as Lo Pan in Big Trouble in Little China (1986) (c) Twentieth Century Fox
James Hong as Lo Pan in Big Trouble in Little China (1986) (c) Twentieth Century Fox

The action-adventure film stars Kurt Russell as truck driver Jack Burton, who helps his friend Wang Chi (Dennis Dun) rescue Wang’s green-eyed fiancee (Suzee Pai) from bandits in San Francisco’s Chinatown. They go into the mysterious underworld beneath Chinatown, where they face an ancient sorcerer named David Lo Pan (James Hong).

On November 12th, the Urban Action Showcase and Expo (UASE) will continues it’s Diversity in Action initiative of honing the past, present and future multicultural achievements in the genre of Heroes, by celebrating Big Trouble in Little China. Click here for more information.

In addition, there are two books by Tara Bennett and Paul Terry, “The Official Making Of Big Trouble In Little China” (August) and “The Art of Big Trouble In Little China,” (November) and a  “Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York” comic book crossover, written by Greg Pak (Totally Awesome HulkAction Comics) with art by Russ Manning Award nominee Daniel Bayliss (October), due out from BOOM!; and many screenings happening around the world for fans to celebrate and commemorate.

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”

Related Articles
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 
ew.com: See exclusive behind-the-scenes photos from The Official Making of Big Trouble in Little China
ew.com: The Official Art of Big Trouble in Little China to be published this November — exclusive excerpt
philly.com: John Carpenter plays his themes from imaginary westerns and real horror films
uproxx.com: It Was Originally A Western, And Other Facts About ‘Big Trouble In Little China’
denofgeek.com: Big Trouble In Little China: From Flop To Phenomenon
yahoo.com: Summer of ’86: The Wild, Wacko Genre Mashup of ‘Big Trouble in Little China’
Actors James Hong, Tzi Ma and Elizabeth Sung Talk Shop 
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA Cast Reunion featured in BLACK BELT MAGAZINE August/September 2015 
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
Rafu.com: A ‘LITTLE CHINA’ REUNION, Cast members of 1986 film gather at JANM.
Up Close and Personal with Actor Peter Kwong
lookitseugeneabano.wordpress.com: Big Trouble in Little China Revisited- Picture Heavy
Funko to Release Big Trouble in Little China Pop! and ReAction Figures
Lia Chang, James Hong, Peter Kwong, George Cheung, Al Leong, Gerald Okamura, Jeff Imada, James Lew and Gary Goldman to attend BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA Screening at JANM on April 8

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.