Category Archives: Film Festivals

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

Congratulations to Hui Tong and Kelly Ng, who produced and directed Curtain Up!,  on their DisOrient 2021 Award for Best Feature Documentary, announced tonight at the closing night ceremony of the Festival.In America, every child of immigrants has an assimilation story, but not all of them include an opportunity to premiere the kids’ adaptation of hit musical “Frozen,” and the struggles with identity that come with it.

For over ten years now, the PS 124 theater club in New York’s Chinatown has been the only Asian-American team to compete at the renowned Junior Theater Festival, a gathering of young thespians from across the world. It even earned the privilege of being one of a select few schools nationally to premiere the kids production of Frozen. As the kids gear up for the much-anticipated show, Curtain Up! follows their lives behind the scenes and the challenges that have surfaced.

What can theater help these children uncover about who they are? Which cultural stereotypes does these kids prove, and which do they debunk? What unexpected turns will these kids be confronted with, as they present their final elementary school performance, before graduating into middle schools?

Through rehearsals and time behind the scenes, the experience of growing up and the heartbreaks that come with it, this charming documentary tackles deep questions of identity and transitions from a kids-eye view and will leave an audience provoked. This charming documentary will also underscore – amidst high-pitched voices and youthful exuberance – how much we can learn from these nine- and ten-year-olds.

You can purchase a ticket for Curtain Up! until 11:59pm PST/2:59am EST and you can watch it Click here to purchase a ticket to watch the film.

Hui Tong
Hui Tong

Hui Tong – Director/Producer

Hui Tong is a documentary filmmaker from Beijing and currently based in Beijing. Six years ago he came to the U.S. for college and developed a strong interest in the intersection of history, arts, and identity. He has been making narrative and documentary shorts since high school, and in writing covered Asian American identity issues. Curtain Up! is his first feature-length documentary.

He has just finished his first book on the issue of identity, through the lenses of Asian American, Chinese American, mainland Chinese and overseas Chinese students.

Kelly Ng
Kelly Ng

Kelly is a journalist and documentary filmmaker from Singapore, drawn particularly to stories on minority communities, education and mental health. Her video and written stories have been published on, The Atlantic, NBC, and South China Morning Post, among others. She spent most of her journalism life in print before venturing into documentaries. Curtain Up! Is her filmmaking debut.

Kelly continues to work on documentaries outside her full-time job as a correspondent at Singapore’s The Business Times.

Curtain Up! Website

 

DisOrient Asian American Film Festival: The role of Asian American filmmakers in supporting Black Lives Matter Panel Discussion Featuring Karen Ishizuka, Hisonni Mustafa, Ursula Liang, Daisy Truong and Tadashi Nakamura

(Left to Right) Karen Ishizuka, Hisonni Mustafa, Ursula Liang, Daisy Truong and Tadashi Nakamura

The DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon is  celebrating 16 years of uplifting Asian American and Pacific Islander stories and voices this year and is being held virtually from March 19-28, 2021. The curated program includes narrative and documentary films, livestreamed events and recorded Q&A’s to enrich your film experience.

(Left to Right) Karen Ishizuka, Tadashi Nakamura, Hisonni Mustafa, Ursula Liang, Daisy Truong

On Sunday, March 21 at 3pm PST/6pm EST, DisOrient is presenting a panel discussion on The role of Asian American filmmakers in supporting Black Lives Matter:  Moderated by DisOrient Founder Jason Mak. Panelists: Daisy Truong, Hisonni Mustafa, Karen Ishizuka, Tadashi Nakamura and Ursula Liang. Click here for tickets. Tickets required—“Pay what you can”.

Check out trailers of the films featured in the Festival below.

Check out the website for the full festival schedule, program, and film trailers. Facebook

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

Mar. 19-28: DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon Lineup 

Mar. 28: Disorient Asian American Film Festival Closing Night Film Q & A with Virginia Wing, Lia Chang, Jason Ma, Garth Kravits and Jo Yang for WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG, and Donald Young for COMING HOME AGAIN 

Mar. 28: Disorient Asian American Film Festival Closing Night Film Q & A with Virginia Wing, Lia Chang, Jason Ma, Garth Kravits and Jo Yang for WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG, and Donald Young for COMING HOME AGAIN

The Closing Night Film program of the 16th Annual DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon will feature the Pacific Northwest premieres of Garth Kravits’ short film When the World Was Young starring Lia Chang, Jason Ma, Virginia Wing and Jo Yang; and Wayne Wang’s Coming Home Again, based on a personal essay by Chang Rae Lee, and starring Justin Chon, Jackie Chung, and Christina July Kim.

The Festival is being held virtually this year from March 19-28, 2021. Click here to purchase tickets to view the films.

The Livestreamed Q&A on Sunday March 28 @ 4:00pm PST/7:00pm EST will feature Lia Chang, Jason Ma, Virginia Wing, Jo Yang and Garth Kravits for When The World Was Young and Donald Young for Coming Home AgainClick here for tickets.

Jason Ma, Virginia Wing and Lia Chang in WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG. Photo by Garth Kravits

In WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG, siblings Benjamin (Jason Ma) and Audrey (Lia Chang) return home to confront their Mother’s (Virginia Wing) memory loss and discover a hidden key to her past. The cast also features Daniel Dunlow, Michelle Simone Miller and Mark York.

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

Written and directed by Garth Kravits, the film is Executive Produced by Lia Chang’s production company Bev’s Girl Films, with producers Garth Kravits of Cut & Dry Films and Eric Elizaga. The film was shot on location in New York.

The production team includes 1st A.D. Eric Elizaga, 2nd A.D. Anastasia Shulgina, Key Hair and Make-up by Dorothy Bhadra; Kristen Lee Rosenfeld on Piano, Emma Svetvilas on Cello, Garth Kravits on Guitar recorded live at Yes It Is Productions.

Watch the trailer for WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG below:

Virginia Wing. Photo by Lia Chang

Virginia Wing (Virginia) is a Chinese-American actress whose ancestors came to the “Gold Mountain” from Canton (now Guangdong) in the mid-1800s, lured  by the Gold Rush and the building of the railroads. She is currently writing about growing up Southern in the Mississippi Delta, where she was born and raised. Professionally, she has run the gamut from opera, theatre, cabaret, TV, film, playwriting, directing and producing to script analysis. She modeled in her youth and is in the Breck Girl Hall of Fame. She was the model in the Mitsouko by Guerlain ad in the 60s, which won awards internationally. She was a nominee for Best Actress in the Hollywood NAACP Image Awards. She is most proud of this film because the characters did not have to have Chinese accents, did not have to speak Chinese or refer to themselves as being Chinese. They were not written as Exotic or Other, but as Americans who happen to be Chinese, caught up in a universal story. At last! She can be seen in NYTW’s production of Three Sisters in the Spring of 2020. Click on the  Performing Arts Legacy Website for more about Virginia Wing.

Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

Jason Ma (Benjamin) is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award for his work as a composer/lyricist. Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters and many international venues. Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang (Audrey) is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman, Balancing Act, Belongingness, When the World was Young and Hide and Seek.

Jo Yang

Jo Yang (Amah) began her professional stage acting career in the Pacific Northwest and now lives and works in New York City. Recently she appeared as Sook Ja in New York Theatre Workshop’s production of “Endlings” before it was abruptly shut down by the pandemic in Mar 2020. She is grateful that the play had its world premiere and a full run at The American Repertory Theatre the year prior. Less than six degrees of separation bring Virginia Wing and Jo together on this project as they also worked with each other at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Festival. As well as theatre, Jo’s credits extend across the board, in film, tv, radio, commercials and print. She has recurring roles on “The Affair” and  “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, speaking Mandarin. Her Film/TV credits are listed here.

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

Garth Kravits is an actor, singer, musician, composer and award winning filmmaker, director and editor. He made his Broadway debut in the Tony award winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone and originated the role of Ritchie in the Broadway show Gettin’ the Band Back Together’. His Off-Broadway credits include Old Jews Telling Jokes, Toxic Audio and Smart Blonde. He has appeared regionally in Gettin’ The Band Back Together, Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play, and It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, (Bucks County Playhouse) Kravits has appeared on TV in “Mr. Robot,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” HBO’s “Divorce,” “30 Rock,” “The Blacklist,” “Nurse Jackie,” “The Carrie Diaries,” “Hostages” and in the new TV shows “The Hunters” (Amazon Prime) and “Tommy” (CBS). Bev’s Girl Films’ Hide and Seek and Rom-Com Gone Wrong have also been official selections of Disorient. DisOrient is the premiere Asian American independent film festival of Oregon, celebrating films with authentic Asian Pacific American voices, histories and stories. They highlight social justice themes that translate to universal human experiences. They promote representation, diversity and inclusion to broaden the narrative of who is American, and to strengthen and build community.

All-access passes ($48) and single tickets ($9) for all films may be purchased online at www.disorientfilm.org. Check out the website for the full festival schedule, program, and film trailers.

Garth Kravits’ Short Film WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG Starring Virginia Wing, Jason Ma, Lia Chang and Jo Yang is an Official Selection of The 16th Annual DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon

Broadwayworld: WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG Set For Virtual World Premiere At The New York Shorts International Film Festival

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

Mar. 19-28: DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon Lineup

The DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon is  celebrating 16 years of uplifting Asian American and Pacific Islander stories and voices this year and will be a held virtually from March 19-28, 2021. The curated program includes narrative and documentary films, livestreamed events and recorded Q&A’s to enrich your film experience. Check out the trailers below.

(Left to Right) Karen Ishizuka, Tadashi Nakamura, Hisonni Mustafa, Ursula Liang, Daisy Truong

The role of Asian American filmmakers in supporting Black Lives Matter: Saturday, March 21 @ 3:00pm PST. Tickets required—“Pay what you can”. Moderated by DisOrient Founder Jason Mak. Panelists: Daisy Truong, Hisonni Mustafa, Karen Ishizuka, Tadashi Nakamura and Ursula Liang. Click here for tickets.

2021 Filmmakers
2021 Filmmakers

Film Highlights: Opening Night film: The Girl Who Left Home: A live-action, musical feature film by writer/director/lyricist/producer Mallorie Ortega, and producer Angelo Santos. The film will be followed by two short films, Anna Anaka’s  Looking Back, and Joella Cabalu’s Ode to a Seafaring People. Livestreamed Q&A on Saturday, March 20 @ 4:00pm PST/7:00pm EST featuring Mallorie Ortega, Haven Everly, Emy Coligado, Paolo Montalban, Joella Cabalu and Anna Anaka.

Click here for tickets.

Haven Everly, Emy Coligado and Paolo Montalban in Mallorie Ortega’s THE GIRL WHO LEFT HOME.

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

Centerpiece film: Cane Fire: Pacific NW Premiere; Feature Documentary. Merging film history with the personal and political, filmmaker Anthony Banua-Simon offers an eye-opening look at the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. The film will be preceded by two short films, Where Smoke Rises and The Pākalā Kids. Livestreamed Q&A on Friday, March 26 @  6:30pm PST/9:30pm EST. Click here for tickets.

Closing Night Film: Coming Home AgainPNW Premiere. Feature film by Wayne Wang, based on a personal essay by Chang Rae Lee, and starring Justin Chon, Jackie Chung, and Christina July Kim.

Our film, When the World Was Young, directed by Garth Kravits and starring Virginia Wing, Jason Ma, Lia Chang and Jo Yang, will screen before Coming Home Again. Livestreamed Q&A on Sunday March 28 @ 4:00pm PST/7:00pm EST. Click here for tickets.

Other film highlights include: Water Like Fire: Mainland US premiere. Lovely, poetic, Hawaii-made indie film. Sansei Granddaughters’ Journey 5 artists honor their ancestors and the 120,000 people ofJapanese ancestry who were unjustly incarcerated during WWII. See You ThenFeature Narrative by award-winning filmmaker Mari Walker. After 15 years, Kris is finally ready to explain her transgender journey to college girlfriend Naomi (Lynn Chen). Screening with Kaye: This Life Around, the artistic journey of a musician rediscovering her music. Take Out GirlFeature film by award-winning director Hisonni Mustafa, with an Asian American hip-hop soundtrack; screening with the world premiere of Blue Lanterns. 4 shorts programs: Emerging Voices, Japanese American Voices Past and Present, Voices of Family, Raising Our Voices All-access passes ($48) and tickets for all films may be purchased online at www.disorientfilm.org. Check out the website for the full festival schedule, program, and film trailers. Facebook

Video: #NYCITFF2021 Q & A with RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON’s Qui Nguyen and Marc Schultz

New Ohio Theatre, located in Manhattan’s West Village, is presenting the 2021 NYC Indie Theatre Film Festival, showcasing over 30 shorts, features and web series episodes, running March 10 – 14.

The NYC Indie Theatre Film Festival presents work from New York City independent theatre artists defying labels and branching out into digital media and film. For 2021 they’re taking the festival online and opening it up to include indie theatre artists from across the United States. They’re excited to take advantage of the internet’s wide reach to meet a new, national community of fellow theatre artists and showcase new perspectives and voices from across the country. North and South. Coast to coast. This time, it’s national.

The NYC Indie Theatre Film Festival celebrated Opening Night of its 2021 edition on March 10 with a free, online interview and Q&A with playwright and screenwriter Qui Nguyen, co-writer of the new Disney film, Raya and the Last Dragon. The talk was moderated by Festival Co-Producer Marc Stuart Weitz, who says, “Qui has a wonderful perspective on being an artist in New York City and in Hollywood, and I know our audiences will be fascinated by his experience.”

Qui Nguyen is a playwright, TV/Film writer, and Co-Founder of the OBIE Award-winning Vampire Cowboys. For the screen, he’s written for AMC’s “Dispatches from Elsewhere,” Netflix’s “The Society,” Syfy’s “Incorporated,” PBS’s “Peg+Cat,” and Marvel Studios. He’s currently a screenwriter for Walt Disney Animation Studios where he penned the recent Raya and the Last Dragon starring Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina. Past awards include a 2016 Daytime Emmy Award, a 2016 Steinberg Award for his play Vietgone, and GLAAD nominations for his plays She Kills Monsters and Soul Samurai.

New Ohio Theatre’s Artistic Director Robert Lyons says, “I’ve known Qui for a long time now. Including the good fortune of co-writing a piece with him. He’s a singular talent and that’s why we invited Vampire Cowboys into our Archive Residency program, where they premiered Six Rounds of Vengeance in 2015. He is perfect as our Guest Artist for this festival as a quintessential indie theatre guy who’s making good in LA.”

“I’m so thrilled to partner on this year’s edition of the festival to help broaden its reach to a wider audience,” says Festival Co-Producer Allyson Morgan. “As a longtime partner of the festival with F*It Club’s annual Film Race, I am excited to bring both my theatre and film festival experience together to celebrate a nationwide community of artists in 2021.”

Festival passes are $35 and include admission to all screenings, Q&As and panels during the festival. To purchase, view screenings and events, and for more info go to https://nycitff2021.eventive.org.

A complete list and schedule of films and events, along with prices for individual tickets and blocks, will be announced at the end of February.

New Ohio Theatre is a two-time Obie Award-winning theatre under the leadership of Robert Lyons, Artistic Director, and Jaclyn Biskup, Creative Director. The New Ohio serves New York’s most adventurous theatre audiences by developing and presenting bold work from today’s vast independent theatre community. They believe the best of this community, the small artist-driven ensembles and the daring producing companies who operate without a permanent theatrical home, are actively expanding the boundaries of where American theatre is right now and where it’s going. From their home in the West Village’s historic Archive Building, the New Ohio provides a high-profile platform for downtown’s most mature, ridiculous, engaged, irreverent, gut-wrenching, frivolous, sophisticated, foolish and profound theatrical endeavors. For info visit http://NewOhioTheatre.org.

 

Mar. 28: Disorient Film Festival Closing Night Film Q & A with Virginia Wing, Jason Ma, Lia Chang, Garth Kravits and Jo Yang for WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG, and Donald Young for COMING HOME AGAIN

The Closing Night Film program of the 16th Annual DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon will feature the Pacific Northwest premieres of Garth Kravits’ short film When the World Was Young starring Lia Chang, Jason Ma, Virginia Wing and Jo Yang; and Wayne Wang’s Coming Home Again, based on a personal essay by Chang Rae Lee, and starring Justin Chon, Jackie Chung, and Christina July Kim.

The Festival will be held virtually this year from March 19-28, 2021. Click here to purchase tickets to view the film.

Jo Yang, Garth Kravits, Virginia Wing, Jason Ma and Lia Chang attend Asian American Night of CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND at Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on February 9, 2020. Photo by Alex Sanchez

The Livestreamed Q&A on Sunday March 28 @ 4:00pm PST/7:00pm EST will feature Lia Chang, Jason Ma, Virginia Wing, Jo Yang and Garth Kravits for When The World Was Young and Donald Young for Coming Home AgainClick here for tickets.

Jason Ma, Virginia Wing and Lia Chang in WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG. Photo by Garth Kravits

In WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG, siblings Benjamin (Jason Ma) and Audrey (Lia Chang) return home to confront their Mother’s (Virginia Wing) memory loss and discover a hidden key to her past. The cast also features Daniel Dunlow, Michelle Simone Miller and Mark York.

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

Written and directed by Garth Kravits, the film is Executive Produced by Lia Chang’s production company Bev’s Girl Films, with producers Garth Kravits of Cut & Dry Films and Eric Elizaga. The film was shot on location in New York. The production team includes 1st A.D. Eric Elizaga, 2nd A.D. Anastasia Shulgina, Key Hair and Make-up by Dorothy Bhadra; Kristen Lee Rosenfeld on Piano, Emma Svetvilas on Cello, Garth Kravits on Guitar recorded live at Yes It Is Productions.

Watch the trailer for WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG below:

Virginia Wing. Photo by Lia Chang

Virginia Wing (Virginia) is a Chinese-American actress whose ancestors came to the “Gold Mountain” from Canton (now Guangdong) in the mid-1800s, lured  by the Gold Rush and the building of the railroads. She is currently writing about growing up Southern in the Mississippi Delta, where she was born and raised. Professionally, she has run the gamut from opera, theatre, cabaret, TV, film, playwriting, directing and producing to script analysis. She modeled in her youth and is in the Breck Girl Hall of Fame. She was the model in the Mitsouko by Guerlain ad in the 60s, which won awards internationally. She was a nominee for Best Actress in the Hollywood NAACP Image Awards. She is most proud of this film because the characters did not have to have Chinese accents, did not have to speak Chinese or refer to themselves as being Chinese. They were not written as Exotic or Other, but as Americans who happen to be Chinese, caught up in a universal story. At last! She can be seen in NYTW’s production of Three Sisters in the Spring of 2020. Click on the  Performing Arts Legacy Website for more about Virginia Wing.

Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

Jason Ma (Benjamin) is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award for his work as a composer/lyricist. Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters and many international venues. Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang (Audrey) is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman, Balancing Act, Belongingness, When the World was Young and Hide and Seek.

Jo Yang

Jo Yang (Amah) began her professional stage acting career in the Pacific Northwest and now lives and works in New York City. Recently she appeared as Sook Ja in New York Theatre Workshop’s production of “Endlings” before it was abruptly shut down by the pandemic in Mar 2020. She is grateful that the play had its world premiere and a full run at The American Repertory Theatre the year prior. Less than six degrees of separation bring Virginia Wing and Jo together on this project as they also worked with each other at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Festival. As well as theatre, Jo’s credits extend across the board, in film, tv, radio, commercials and print. She has recurring roles on “The Affair” and  “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, speaking Mandarin. Her Film/TV credits are listed here.

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

Garth Kravits is an actor, singer, musician, composer and award winning filmmaker, director and editor. He made his Broadway debut in the Tony award winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone and originated the role of Ritchie in the Broadway show Gettin’ the Band Back Together’. His Off-Broadway credits include Old Jews Telling Jokes, Toxic Audio and Smart Blonde. He has appeared regionally in Gettin’ The Band Back Together, Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play, and It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, (Bucks County Playhouse) Kravits has appeared on TV in “Mr. Robot,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” HBO’s “Divorce,” “30 Rock,” “The Blacklist,” “Nurse Jackie,” “The Carrie Diaries,” “Hostages” and in the new TV shows “The Hunters” (Amazon Prime) and “Tommy” (CBS). Bev’s Girl Films’ Hide and Seek and Rom-Com Gone Wrong have also been official selections of Disorient. DisOrient is the premiere Asian American independent film festival of Oregon, celebrating films with authentic Asian Pacific American voices, histories and stories. They highlight social justice themes that translate to universal human experiences. They promote representation, diversity and inclusion to broaden the narrative of who is American, and to strengthen and build community.

All-access passes ($48) and tickets for all films may be purchased online at www.disorientfilm.org. Check out the website for the full festival schedule, program, and film trailers.

Garth Kravits’ Short Film WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG Starring Virginia Wing, Jason Ma, Lia Chang and Jo Yang is an Official Selection of The 16th Annual DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon

Broadwayworld: WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG Set For Virtual World Premiere At The New York Shorts International Film Festival

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

Save the Date for CAAMFest 2021: May 13-23, 2021

The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) is pleased to announce that CAAMFest 2021 will take place May 13-23, 2021. CAAM will continue to create cultural connections for these times through a mostly online festival of film, food, and music with drive-in programs. Entering its 39th year, CAAMFest will continue to be an anchor event celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Stay tuned to their websiteFacebookInstagram, and Twitter for announcements about CAAMFest highlighted films, Opening Night and Closing Night programs, and more.

Watch the Q&As and other highlights from CAAMFest FORWARD and CAAMFest Online: Heritage at Home on their YouTube Channel.***

CAAMFest Call for Entries Last Deadline is February 26 – Submit Today

The final CAAMFest 2021 Call for Entries deadline is Friday, February 26. Submit your project at FilmFreeway for the chance to be part of the nation’s premier festival launching point for Asian American independent filmmakers. Noted CAAMFest alumni include Alice Wu, Grace Lee, Gurinder Chadha, Justin Chon, and Wayne Wang. For questions or more information about the Call for Entries, visit our website and FilmFreeway page, or email the Festival team at festival@caamedia.org.

CAAM Seeks Applicants for CAAMFest 2021 Job Openings – Learn More and Apply TodayCAAM is seeking applicants for several roles that will support the production and execution of our annual film, music, and food festival, CAAMFest. The available positions include: Festival Operations Manager, Digital Graphic Designer and Video Editor, Guest Services Coordinator, Marketing Assistant, and Box Office Associate. For more information and to apply, visit our website or email jobs@caamedia.org.

CAAM Seeks Applicants for Development Intern (or Volunteer) – Apply by February 26

CAAM seeks a motivated and outgoing Development Intern (or volunteer) who is passionate about the Asian American community and media arts to assist CAAM’s Development team. The Membership and Fundraising Projects Intern (or volunteer) will help with CAAM’s member outreach efforts and fundraising activities. To apply, email a resume and cover letter to Jennifer Chu at jobs@caamedia.org with “Development Intern – Membership & Fundraising Projects” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until February 26, 2021. Learn more here.

Apply for Funding from CAAM’s Documentary Fund by March 15
CAAM’s Documentary Fund is accepting submissions for documentary projects until March 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. PST. With support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), CAAM provides production funding to independent producers creating documentary films that illuminate the Asian American experience for a national audience via public television. Documentaries are eligible for production or post-production funding and must be intended for public media. Awards typically range between $10,000 and $50,000. Learn more and apply here.

Yuh-Jung Youn

Learn More about Veteran Korean Actor Yuh-Jung Youn and Her Work in Minari
Veteran Korean actor Yuh-Jung Youn plays the character of Grandma Soonja in director Lee Isaac Chung’s groundbreaking new film Minari. Learn more about Youn and her extraordinary work on the film, including how she and Lee Isaac Chung created the Grandma Soonja character together, in Paula Young Lee’s interview with Youn on our blogMinari is in select theaters now and on demand February 26. Purchase screening tickets at the A24 Virtual Screening Room.

Meet the Six Filmmakers Selected for the Inaugural The Sauce Fellowship
CAAM is proud to partner with NOVAC to support the professional development of next generation Asian American filmmakers in the American South through The Sauce Fellowship. We have selected Nash Consing, Melanie Ho, Kei Matsumoto, Bree Nieves, Sana Saif, and Sarah Tang for the inaugural cohort of this program. During the nine-month program the fellows will receive resources, networking opportunities, workshops, mentorship, and connection to the distribution platforms of public media. This program is made possible by the generous support of the Ford Foundation.

Meet the Filmmakers Selected by CAAM, Firelight Media, and Reel South for the Hindsight Project
CAAM, Firelight Media, and Reel South have selected the following filmmakers for the Hindsight Project: Amman Abbasi, Anissa Latham, Arleen Cruz-Alicea, Dilsey Davis, Kiyoko McCrae, and Zac Manuel. They will create short films for a new digital series exploring the lived experiences of communities of color in the American South and in Puerto Rico that reflect the migrations and movements throughout the complicated history of these regions. Learn more about the filmmakers and the project on our blog.

San Francisco Symphony Presents Chinese New Year Virtual Celebration on February 20
The San Francisco (SF) Symphony is proud to present the Chinese New Year Virtual Celebration: Year of the Ox, a digital concert event featuring host Joan Chen, SF Symphony musicians, and special guests. This event highlights themes of prosperity, unity, and growth in a program celebrating China’s vibrant musical traditions, past and present. This Chinese New Year Virtual Celebration will be available for free on SFSymphony+ and broadcast on NBC Bay Area at 4 p.m. on February 20; the program will rebroadcast February 27 at 4 p.m. on NBC Bay Area and February 21 and 27 at 3:30 p.m. on KTSF 26. Explore SFSymphony+ here.

Submit Your Short Film to HBO’s 2021 APA Visionaries Short Film Competition by April 1
HBO is seeking entries for its 2021 Asian Pacific American (APA) Visionaries Short Film Competition. Inspired by the theme “Taking the Lead,” films should portray Asian Pacific Americans as being at the forefront of a given narrative, embracing the spirits of trailblazers, heroes, and luminaries through a unique lens. Submissions will be accepted at FilmFreeway until April 1, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Learn more and submit your work here.

CAAM Likes
▪ Sentient.Art.Film presents My Sight is Lined With Visions: 1990s Asian American Film & Video, until January 25, 2022. Now in its second year, the program spotlights rare, hard to watch, underground, and transgressive work. Learn more and buy tickets here.

▪ Working Films is accepting applications to its Impact Kickstart program until March 22. The program helps underrepresented filmmakers create strategic goals for impact and specific plans to engage future partners, funders, and audiences in meaningful ways. Two films will be selected for Impact Kickstart in 2021. Learn more and apply here.

▪ If you missed Susan Lieu’s presentation of her solo show 140 Lbs during CAAMFest 37, you can watch a virtual screening of it and its sequel Over 140 Lbs until February 21. Learn more and buy tickets on Susan Lieu’s website.

▪ UCLA Asian American Studies Center, in partnership with UCLA Film & Television Archive, presents its 2021 Film Festival. Over two weekends (February 19-21 and February 26-28), you can watch online programming featuring powerful imagery and poignant commentary about meaningful issues facing Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Register for free tickets here.

Mar. 19-28: 16th Anniversary Disorient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon Lineup; Sneak Preview in February

The DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon is  celebrating 16 years of uplifting Asian American and Pacific Islander stories and voices this year and will be a held virtually from March 19-28, 2021. The curated program includes narrative and documentary films, livestreamed events and recorded Q&A’s to enrich your film experience.

DisOrient 2021 Sneak Preview

Down a Dark Stairwell

Down A Dark StairwellScreening February 27-28, 2021; Tickets required, $9. Click here for tickets. Livestreamed Q&A: Sunday, February 28 @ 3:00 PST. Moderated by DisOrient founder Jason Mak; with Director Ursula Liang and Documentarian and film editor JM Harper. Panel Discussion–Livestream. This content can only be viewed in authorized regions:Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii.

(Left to Right) Karen Ishizuka, Tadashi Nakamura, Hisonni Mustafa, Ursula Liang, Daisy Truong

The role of Asian American filmmakers in supporting Black Lives Matter: Saturday, March 21 @ 3:00pm PST. Tickets required—“Pay what you can”. Moderated by DisOrient Founder Jason Mak. Panelists: Daisy Truong, Hisonni Mustafa, Karen Ishizuka, Tadashi Nakamura and Ursula Liang. Click here for tickets.

Haven Everly, Emy Coligado and Paolo Montalban in Mallorie Ortega’s THE GIRL WHO LEFT HOME.

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

Film Highlights: Opening Night film: The Girl Who Left Home: A live-action, musical feature film by writer/director/lyricist/producer Mallorie Ortega, and producer Angelo Santos. The film will be followed by  two short films, Looking Back, and Ode to a Seafaring People. Livestreamed Q&A on Saturday, March 20 @ 4:00pm PST/7:00pm EST. Click here for tickets.

Centerpiece film: Cane Fire: Pacific NW Premiere; Feature Documentary. Merging film history with the personal and political, filmmaker Anthony Banua-Simon offers an eye-opening look at the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. The film will be preceded by two short films, Where Smoke Rises and The Pākalā Kids. Livestreamed Q&A on Friday, March 26 @  6:30pm PST/9:30pm EST. Click here for tickets.
Closing Night Film: Coming Home AgainPNW Premiere. Feature film by Wayne Wang, based on a personal essay by Chang Rae Lee, and starring Justin Chon, Jackie Chung, and Christina July Kim.

Our film, When the World Was Young, directed by Garth Kravits and starring Virginia Wing, Jason Ma, Lia Chang and Jo Yang, will screen before Coming Home Again. Livestreamed Q&A on Sunday March 28 @ 4:00pm PST/7:00pm EST. Click here for tickets.

Garth Kravits’ Short Film WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG Starring Virginia Wing, Jason Ma, Lia Chang and Jo Yang is an Official Selection of The 16th Annual DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon

Other film highlights include:

Water Like Fire: Mainland US premiere. Lovely, poetic, Hawaii-made indie film.

Sansei Granddaughters’ Journey 5 artists honor their ancestors and the 120,000 people ofJapanese ancestry who were unjustly incarcerated during WWII.

See You ThenFeature Narrative by award-winning filmmaker Mari Walker. After 15 years, Kris is finally ready to explain her transgender journey to college girlfriend Naomi (Lynn Chen). Screening with Kaye: This Life Around, the artistic journey of a musician rediscovering her music.

Take Out GirlFeature film by award-winning director Hisonni Mustafa, with an Asian American hip-hop soundtrack; screening with the world premiere of Blue Lanterns.

4 shorts programs: Emerging Voices, Japanese American Voices Past and Present, Voices of Family, Raising Our Voices

All-access passes ($48) and tickets for all films may be purchased online at www.disorientfilm.org. Check out the website for the full festival schedule, program, and film trailers.

 Website 

Facebook

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

Emy Coligado. Photo by Dana Patrick

In 2018, Emy Coligado landed her dream role as Mary Santos in Mallorie Ortega’s The Girl Who Left Home (formerly Nanay Ko), a musical dramedy film about a Filipino-American who must put her dreams aside to keep her family restaurant from eviction.

The Girl Who Left Home also stars Haven Everly, Paolo Montalban, Liz Casasola, Lora Nicolas Olaes, Russwin Francisco, DonMike H. Mendoza, Toni Katano and Mitch Poulos.

A fan favorite on the Film Festival circuit last year, The Girl Who Left Home received the 2020 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Emerging Filmmaker Award and  the 2020 CAAMfest FOWARD Narrative Audience Award. GWLH will stream in 3 more film festivals this year:

March 4-14:  Seattle Asian American Film Festival  

Click here for tickets to watch nationwide.

March 19-28: Disorient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon

Click here for tickets to watch nationwide.

TBA

GirlWhoLeft.com Website

Emy Coligado got her start in the business in New York in musical theater and performed on Broadway in Miss Saigon. Coligado later discovered her love for comedy while in sketch comedy shows at Caroline’s Comedy Club and The Duplex. She moved to  LA to pursue tv/film, and is best known to television audiences from her recurring roles in the critically acclaimed FOX show, “Malcolm in the Middle” where she played Piama, the wife of the oldest son, Francis; and as Emmy on “Crossing Jordan.”

Emy Coligado and Christopher Masterson in “Malcolm in the Middle”. (FOX)

Other notable tv credits include “Claws,” “Fresh Off The Boat,” and “Shameless.” She has had a number of series regular roles on ABC and NBC pilots. Her films included The Three Stooges and Miss Congeniality 2 to name a few, and she has worked with directors such as the Farrelly Brothers, Wim Wenders & Howard Deutch.

In addition to GWLH, Coligado saw the release of two other films in 2020, Matthew Ya-Hsiung Balzer’s The Catch and Gina O’Brien’s First One In (on Amazon Prime), within a 2 month time span due to COVID.  Her latest guest starring roles include the new TV series Run The World (Starz) and Netflix’s Archive 81 series,  based on the supernatural horror podcast produced by James Wan’s Atomic Monster.

Emy’s performance in The Girl Who Left Home resonated with me, and she agreed to answer a few questions via email about her slate of indie releases.

Lia: How were you cast for each of the films released in 2020?

Emy: I booked The Catch through my manager and shot my scenes over nine days in Massachusetts in 2018. The Catch was challenging for me because my character, Lily McManus, didn’t have a ton of lines but her presence was very important to the story. Filling up the spaces is really left to the actor’s imagination and the director/cinematographer’s vision. Being comfortable with simplicity and quiet was something new for me.

First One In was exciting because it was a largely female cast with women of different backgrounds, body types, and ages. Having to play tennis and being the weakest player on the team was not a reach for me at all. It was fun because I didn’t have the pressure of having to look skilled. I could still concentrate on trying my best at keeping my eye on the ball and know that my natural lack of talent would come through. Haha! It was also wonderful to shoot in NYC (Long Island specifically) for the first time. I shot over a  ten day span in 2019.

I learned about The Girl Who Left Home (GWLH) through Backstage. I later found out that my tape was set aside because I wasn’t the right age range they were looking for. My friend Eymard Cabling knew the writer/director Mallorie Ortega. He recommended me and so they went back into their archives and found my audition.

Haven Everly, Emy Coligado and Paolo Montalban in Mallorie Ortega’s THE GIRL WHO LEFT HOME.

Emy Coligado

GWLH was special to me in many ways. I started my career in musical theater. I stopped singing for something like 15 years and concentrated on my tv/film career in LA. Then 2 years ago, I returned to NY in hopes of doing musical theatre again. GWLH is a musical film. So doing both wasn’t something I planned but was a happy melding of the two. It’s also a Filipino American story. I remember while I was shooting I had a whole new level of happiness. And what I realized was that my happiness was because I finally felt free. I was finally playing a role that was specifically Filipina and a lead role. I had never really had that opportunity in my 25 years of performing. So I guess you could say it was a dream come true that I didn’t dream of. My shooting schedule for GWLH was three weeks in Maryland.

Lia: Was there one particular film that resonated with you more? 

Emy: Most definitely GWLH. In the film, Mary loses her husband. The role is particularly special to me because my Dad had just passed away from pancreatic cancer. I moved out of LA and in with my mom to keep her company for 6 months. I had witnessed my own mom mourn her partner of more than 50 years. So loss was very much a part of my life during shooting. Art was imitating life or life was imitating art so to speak. The film is in dedication to Dad and an homage to Mom.

Lia: What was it like to pivot to virtual press and screenings?

Emy: I actually don’t have much experience with independent film to compare it to. But I will say, I enjoy doing interviews online. Getting ready is much easier. You only have to worry about the top half looking good. Commuting in traffic is out the window which I welcome any day. I do wish, however, that we could’ve done physical screenings. I was looking forward to GWLH especially because the cast and crew became so close. I haven’t attended a film festival with one of my own films yet so I hope that will be in my future.

GirlWhoLeft.com Website

Lia: How have you been managing through the pandemic?

Emy: Business-wise, not knowing when or if you’ll work again is something I have always dealt with. So that part of the pandemic, while not fun is also not new. Thank god for online readings. No, they aren’t the same but it is still a creative outlet & an opportunity to exercise my muscle. Personally, at this very moment I’m anxious. Life again is teaching me (and the world) that health is wealth. I’m not so much worried for my own but for some close people in my life. So I’m sending out good juju to them & anyone who needs it out there. I am so ready for 2021 & am just hoping for a year that is less “exciting.”

The Catch is a Manchester Film Festival official selection. It is available to view online in the UK in March 2021. Visit maniff.com

Lia Chang

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

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

For Your Consideration for Best Documentary Short: World Channel and Al Jazeera Airs Yung Chang and Annie Katsura Rollins’ PANDEMIC19

PANDEMIC19, a new documentary short by Yung Chang and Annie Katsura Rollins, is a co-production of Pandemic19 Productions Inc, the  Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) and Tencent Video with Jean Tsien executive producing the film.

PANDEMIC19 captures the story of three doctors in the United States fighting COVID-19, told through their own voices while the chaos of the pandemic rages on outside the frame of their video confessions. In March 2020, as “shelter in place” orders began rolling out, the majority of the populace felt distanced from the opponent they were fighting…the virus was invisible and so was the frontline.

The film sidesteps the salacious news headlines by focusing on Dr. Virginia Brady, Dr. Brian Chang, and Dr. Pooja Aysola as they prepare for the “calm before the storm” and their direct experiences with COVID-19 patients. As the days unfold, the doctors record their changing impressions: fears, hopes, challenges, and triumphs – laying bare their emotional feelings. They are unfiltered and subjective.

PANDEMIC19 brings the doctors’ reflections to the forefront of this historic outbreak in order to awaken the American people to the stark realities of defeating an intangible virus.

PANDEMIC19 received the Matt DeCample Audience Choice Award Short Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival 2020, the Best Documentary Short Special Jury Mention Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival 2020 and the SPE Media Festival 2021 Best Multicultural Film Award.

Website

Watch now in the USA on WORLD Channel

Watch now internationally on Witness – Al Jazeera

Below are selected Q & A’s.

CAAM presented a special talkback featuring an introduction by Donald Young, CAAM’s Director of Programs, Directors Yung Chang and Annie Katsura Rollins in conversation with Dr. Pooja Aysola and Dr. Brian Chang, and moderated by S. Leo Chiang, (Our Time Machine)
VIEW HERE

Directors Yung Chang and Annie Katsura Rollins in conversation with Dr. Virginia Brady (Harvard) and filmmaker Jeff Reichert, and moderated by James Roosevelt III (DNC)
VIEW HERE

Directors Yung Chang and Annie Katsura Rollins in conversation with MSNBC Anchor and filmmaker Richard Lui (Sky Blossom).
VIEW HERE

Dr. Pooja Aysola, MD, is a practicing Emergency physician in Boston and an MBA Candidate and McGowan Fellow at MIT Sloan School of Management. She completed her medical training and residency at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, where she served as president and site chief resident for her institution. Her experiences with the single-payer system in Canada are instrumental in her desire to realign incentives in the U.S healthcare system and she is passionate about improving healthcare through innovation and technology.

Dr. Virginia Brady is currently faculty at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School. Originally from New York, Ginny received degrees in neuroscience and classics at Brown University before attending Tufts Medical School. At Tufts both her clinical performance and humanistic skills were recognized through induction into AOA, the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award and the Janet Glascow Memorial Achievement Citation. Brady went on to complete an internal medicine-pediatrics residency at Yale and was named chief resident in 2014–2015. She subsequently completed a pulmonary and critical care fellowship at Yale. Her passion for teaching was recognized through the Fellow of the Year Award at Yale in 2016. Since joining the faculty at BIDMC in 2018, Brady has continued to pursue her passion for medical education. She was quickly named the MICU clerkship and capstone director, as well as director of critical care education, through which she oversees the educational needs of residents, fellows and medical students. She has also been the co-director of the integration track for Harvard Medical Students and completed the Rabkin Fellowship in Medical Education in 2020. Most recently, she has been named the associate program director for the internal medicine residency program. Despite being a Boston transplant and working for the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox, Dr. Brady is a die-hard Yankee fan.

Dr. Brian Chang graduated from Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in 2018. He is a board certified emergency medicine physician in San Francisco, California and currently licensed to practice medicine in California. He is affiliated with UCSF Medical Center and Adventist Health Clear Lake and has a number of emergency medicine interests, includingInternational EM, critical care, and sports medicine.

Yung Chang is the director of Up the Yangtze (2007), China Heavyweight (2012), The Fruit Hunters (2012) and This Is Not a Movie (2019). He is currently completing a screenplay for his first dramatic feature, Eggplant, which was selected to participate in the prestigious Sundance Labs. Chang’s films have premiered at international film festivals, including Sundance, Berlin, Toronto and IDFA, and have played theatrically in cinemas around the world. Up the Yangtze was one of the top-grossing documentary releases in 2008. In 2013, China Heavyweight became the most widely screened social-issue documentary in Chinese history with an official release in 200 Mainland Chinese cinemas. His most recent feature, This Is Not a Movie, world premiered at the Toronto Int’l Film Festival in 2019 and is traveling to cinemas and festivals.  He is a member of the DGC, WGC, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science.

Annie Katsura Rollins is a researcher, artist and educator. Combining a BFA degree in performance from Carnegie Mellon University, an MFA in scenography from the University of Minnesota, and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from Montreal’s Concordia University, Rollins’ artistic work combines storytelling with deeply researched phenomena in modern society and cultures. She was named valedictorian for her Ph.D. dissertation (2019), which focused on the fragility of traditional performance forms in modern China. Rollins has received a Fulbright Fellowship, the Confucius Institute Joint Ph.D. Research Fellowship and a Canadian SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, among many other awards, for her research. Recent presentation venues include Toronto’s AGO, The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, Luther College, and Bucknell University. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut and has two book chapters forthcoming this year.