Tag Archives: ASIAN-AMERICAN ACTORS

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?

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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.

HIDE AND SEEK Starring Lia Chang and Garth Kravits Among 14 Short Films Competing in 2016 Katra Film Series – 2nd Round in New York on July 16; Facebook Live Interviews with Finalists

Hide and Seek postcard

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 $1600 in prizes sponsored by Pond5, Moviemaker Magazine,  CreatorUp, Goze Zone, Socially Relevant Film Festival.

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.

LINEUP (not in order):

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

UP IN THE CLOUDS to have International Premiere Screening at 2016 Cayfilm Cayman International Film Festival on July 3

Up in the Clouds
Up in the Clouds, a delightful animated short written and directed by Ed Moy, and featuring the voices of Katherine Park (Red Dress) and Raymond Ma (The Muppets, Horrible Bosses 2, and Lethal Weapon 4), is an Official Selection of the 2016 Cayfilm Cayman International Film Festival. Up in the Clouds will have its International Premiere screening during the Animated Film block Sunday, July 3, 2016, from 10:00am – 11:15am in the Ritz-Carlton Ballroom 1 at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Up in the Clouds is an Asians on Film Festival Summer Quarter 2015 Winner for Best Animation.

Q & A with Ed Moy, Filmmaker of AVIATRIX: THE KATHERINE SUI FUN CHEUNG STORY and UP IN THE CLOUDS; both films screen at the 2016 Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival on May 27 

Katherine Sui Fun Cheung in pilot's gear kickstarting propeller c1930's. Photo courtesy of Dottie
Katherine Sui Fun Cheung in pilot’s gear kickstarting propeller c1930’s. Photo courtesy of Dottie Leschenko.

Produced by Ed Moy and Timothy Tau, the inspiration for Up in the Clouds is Chinese aviatrix Katherine Sui Fun Cheung, who became one of the first Chinese women pilots to earn a license to fly in the United States.

Cheung is honored with a plaque at LAX’s Flight Path as the first licensed Asian Aviatrix in the United States, recognized with a plaque at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, Disney’s Soarin’ over California and in the Smithsonian.

Up in the Clouds. Illustrated by Ruby Chen
Up in the Clouds. Illustrated by Ruby Chen

Up in the Clouds was originally conceived as black and white animatic style sketches illustrating Katherine’s story of falling in love with flying while learning to drive a car with her dad next to a dusty airfield in Los Angeles.

Up in the Clouds. Illustrated by Ruby Chen
Up in the Clouds. Illustrated by Ruby Chen

Ruby Chen’s hand drawn illustrations features 1920’s period cars and planes in a cartoon style meets modern anime caricature, which visual effects editor Chris Trinh animated with motion and movement.

Up in the Clouds. Illustrated by Ruby Chen
Up in the Clouds. Illustrated by Ruby Chen

Additional production credits include David Cu (sound and music editor), Nicole Echegoyen (graphic artist) and Birdie Sawyer (trailer video editor). Additional funding was provided by executive producer Tau for the color illustrations, and by Moy for the colorized cartoon.

Up in the Clouds. Illustrated by Ruby Chen
Up in the Clouds. Illustrated by Ruby Chen

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.

Moy is currently working on an Aviatrix documentary film and web series project about Chinese women aviators of the 1930s, which will screen at the 2016 Long Beach Indie International Film, Media, and Music Festival (August 31-September 4, 2016) in Long Beach, CA. He was also 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. http://www.aviatrixmovie.org

Katherine Park (daughter)
Born in Framingham Massachusetts, Katherine Park is an actor, alternative singer-songwriter, photographer, cosplay cover model, and teacher.  Like Katherine Sui Fun Chung, she grew up studying music at the conservatory level. She was lead vocalist for indie rock darlings The Jumblies before impressing San Francisco casting director Nina Henninger, and director Evan Cecil, who casted her as comic book heroine Giselle Grey in Image Comic’s comic book series Carbon Grey.  She has also appeared on HBO, Investigation Discovery, The Biography Channel, Hulu, My TV New England, and Amazon. Park performs at music festivals in San Francisco, including ULUV 2013, and the Annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration. She will portray the young Katherine Sui Fun Chung in the upcoming documentary film and web series: Aviatrix. www.katherinepark.com  @katherinepark

Raymond Ma (father)
Raymond Ma On House, M.D. Raymond Ma portrayed Nicole’s biological father Wu Zheng in the Season 5 episode “Birthmarks.”
Ma has had featured roles in Dharma & Greg, Old School, Starsky & Hutch, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Boston Legal, Crash and The Muppets.  He will portray Katherine Sui Fun Cheung’s father Harry Cheung in the upcoming Aviatrix documentary film and web series.

David Cu (editor, sound editor)
David Cu is a  composer, sound designer, and editor for film, television, games, and more. He studied at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco for Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media.

Up in the Clouds on Facebook

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.

Justin Lin’s Interpretations Short Film Contest for Asian American Filmmakers Extends Submission Deadline to July 15

By popular demand, the deadline to submit a short film to Interpretations and a chance to direct a project produced by STAR TREK BEYOND director Justin Lin has been extended to July 15, 2016.

Interpretations-Banner-01-1024x239

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.

Click here for the contest details.

The official call for entries began March 31st at CAAMFest and the deadline has been extended until July 15th at 11:59 PM PST. 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.

“We are always looking out for new talent and Interpretations is a fun and unique way to find these voices.” says Karen Horne, Senior Vice President of Programming Talent Development & Inclusion at NBCUniversal Television.” I am also honored to have Interpretations bookmarked with the launch at CAAMFest and ending in October at the NBCUniversal Short Film Festival, where we will present the final winning shorts.”

“Interpretations is a great way to form a community of Asian American content creators and filmmakers. We look forward to providing a platform that highlights this community by showcasing the short films on Xfinity Asia and Xfinity On Demand,” says Javier Garcia, Vice President and General Manager for Multicultural Consumer Services at Comcast.

“I am honored to be partnering with Comcast and NBCUniversal,” says Justin Lin. “We have the same like-minded goal to make Interpretations a scalable program that will help us identify emerging talent and work with them in sustainable way.”

And check out the winners and highlights from Interpretations 1.0 here. And if you want a refresher:

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.

Photos: Maulik Pancholy, Peter Gadiot, André De Shields, Telly Leung, Oliver Thornton and More in Ed Sylvanus Iskandar Helmed THE TAMING OF THE SHREW at Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC)

Peter Gadiot and Maulik Pancholy. Photo by Scott Suchman
Peter Gadiot and Maulik Pancholy. Photo by Scott Suchman

Stage and screen actors Maulik Pancholy (Broadway: It’s Only A Play“Weeds,” “30 Rock”) and Peter Gadiot (“Once Upon a Time in Wonderland”) lead the cast as Katherina and Petruchio respectively in Ed Sylvanus Iskandar’s bold new interpretation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC). Iskandar, known for his striking and immersive directorial style, completes STC’s 2015–2016 season with this production, playing in Sidney Harman Hall from May 17 to June 26, 2016.

André De Shields and Tom Story. Photo by Scott Suchman
André De Shields and Tom Story. Photo by Scott Suchman

The Taming of the Shrew began preview performances on May 17,  and celebrates Opening Night on Tuesday, May 24.  Performances continue through June 26 at STC’s Sidney Harman Hall (610 F Street NW). To purchase tickets or to learn more, patrons can call the box office at 202.547.1122 or visit ShakespeareTheatre.org.

Tom Story, André De Shields, Bernard White and Telly Leung. Photo by Scott Suchman
Tom Story, André De Shields, Bernard White and Telly Leung. Photo by Scott Suchman
Oliver Thorton and Telly Leung. Photo by Scott Suchman
Oliver Thorton and Telly Leung. Photo by Scott Suchman

The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare’s notorious comedy about courtship, marriage and individuality, last seen on STC stages in the 2007–2008 Season, also includes two-time Tony nominee André De Shields (Broadway: Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Wiz, The Full Monty, Play On!, STC’s Ghosts) as Gremio/Curtis/Vincentio; Oliver Thornton (West End: Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the 40th anniversary production of The Rocky Horror Show, Children of EdenRentThe Phantom of the OperaLes Miserables and Chicago) as Bianca; Drew Foster (Broadway: Doctor Zhivago,  National tour of West Side Story) as Biondello; Rick Hammerly (a participant in STC’s 2015–2016 Directors’ Studio and last seen in Volpone) as Widow; Telly Leung (Broadway: AllegianceGodspellRentPacific Overture and Flower Drum Song) as Lucentio; Gregory Linington (STC’s OthelloThe Tempest and Tartuffeas Grumio; Matthew Russell as Tranio; STC Affiliated Artist Tom Story who has appeared in numerous STC productions, most recently in the Free For All remount of The Winter’s Tale as HortensioBernard White as Baptista; with James CrichtonStephen Elrod (STC’s Othello), Jamison ForemanJackson Knight Pierce (STC’s Othello), Brian Reisman (STC’s Othello) and Nicholas Yenson rounding out the Ensemble.

The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman
The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman

Spilling from the stage into the lobbies and the street, director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar’s production presents a provocative new approach to The Taming of the Shrew and an utterly unique audience experience. Iskandar will use an all-male cast to examine the fluidity of identity, the authenticity of self-performance and the economics of love in one of Shakespeare’s most notorious texts. Set in the arena of high fashion with influences from both Renaissance and 1950s Italy, Iskandar is working to craft a spectacular world for STC audiences.

Oliver Thorton and Maulik Pancholy. Photo by Scott Suchman
Oliver Thorton and Maulik Pancholy. Photo by Scott Suchman

Founding Artistic Director of the theatre collective Exit, Pursued by a Bear and an emerging artist noted for his innovative interpretation of classic texts, Iskandar creates performances that shift beyond the proscenium, reconnecting audiences and artists and working to establish a thriving social community within the theatre. Iskandar’s previous projects include the 2014 Drama Desk Award-winners The Golden Dragon and The Mysteries—a collaboration with 50 playwrights that reimagined the stories of The Bible over six hours—as well as These Seven Sicknesses, a five-hour adaptation of all seven of Sophocles’ plays, and Restoration Comedy, both Drama Desk Award-nominated.

André De Shields. Photo by Scott Suchman
André De Shields. Photo by Scott Suchman

Speaking about his concept for Shrew, Iskandar explains, “Shakespeare’s central narrative is about Kate, an ‘other’ who chooses to transform and rejoin society on her own terms. I want to create a world in which otherness can manifest in as visible a way as possible. I am interested in using a widely diverse canvas to express universality: the world will be specific, but the story no less universal.” Regarding his all-male cast, Iskandar continues, “With an all-male cast, we are attempting to shift the focus from the war of the sexes to the war within the self. The Public Theater has just announced an all-female production of Shrew in the Park with exactly the same running date as ours, which I can’t wait to see.” He concludes, “It seems a single-gender cast allows us to unlock this play in an important new way.”

The Taming of the Shrew company. Photo by Scott Suchman
The Taming of the Shrew company. Photo by Scott Suchman

Noted for his epic and immersive style, Iskandar will extend the world of the production beyond the stage, creating a deeply engaging experience for audience members. In line with this vision, STC will invoke the atmosphere of an Italian piazza (the Piazza d’Amore) in the Harman lobbies and will offer audience and community members the opportunity to engage with the performers of The Taming of the Shrew off-stage. Supporting Iskandar’s desire to create a community with theatre, STC has also invited local artists, makers and restaurants to lead a series of make-and-take workshops, life-hack seminars and tastings and demonstrations in STC lobbies during the run of the show. The workshop series, called The Padua Finishing School, is open to the public and can serve as a standalone event or can accompany a ticket to The Taming of the Shrew. Workshop fees range from $12–$65.

Rick Hammerly, Peter Gadiot, Maulik Pancholy and Oliver Thorton. Photo by Scott Suchman
Rick Hammerly, Peter Gadiot, Maulik Pancholy and Oliver Thorton. Photo by Scott Suchman

The exciting off-stage elements of this production echo Iskandar’s distinctive artistic approach to Shakespeare’s comedy. This production includes a musical intermezzo and will incorporate movement and contemporary pop music to complete the world. “I use three major elements to tell the story, of which text is the primary one;” Iskandar explains, “music and dance will also play major roles to create a richer world where each character in the show is treated as an individual with a full dramatic arc.”

The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman
The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman

Iskandar joins STC as the first director in the Clarice Smith Series: New Directors for the Classics, having been invited by STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn after Kahn saw Iskandar’s production of The Mysteries (The Flea, NYC). “I found his style appealing, profound and very moving,” Kahn explains. “His artistic choices, paired with STC’s engagement and outreach activities, will further humanize the characters on stage for our audiences—and I also believe his choices will create a dialogue about authenticity and identity, something which is particularly relevant in our times.”

The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman
The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman
Maulik Pancholy. Photo by Scott Suchman
Maulik Pancholy. Photo by Scott Suchman

Maulik Pancholy (Katherina) makes makes his STC debut, having recently starred opposite Martin Short and Matthew Broderick in the Broadway hit It’s Only a Play, directed by Jack O’Brien. Pancholy is best known for playing Jonathan on the Golden Globe® and Screen Actors Guild® Award-winning NBC comedy 30 Rock and for playing Sanjay on Showtime’s award-winning dramedy Weeds, in addition to many other voiceover, television, film and theatre credits.

Peter Gadiot and company. Photo by Scott Suchman
Peter Gadiot and company. Photo by Scott Suchman

Peter Gadiot (Petruchio) has appeared in the films The Forbidden GirlNight Wolf and 13 Hours. He plays Cyrus on television show Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, and has also appeared in many other television and stage productions. Gadiot will soon star in the highly-anticipated new television show USA Network’s Queen of the South, set to air in the summer of 2016.

The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman
The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman

Ed Sylvanus Iskandar (Director) joins STC as the first in the Clarice Smith Series: New Directors for the Classics. Iskandar’s previous projects include the 2014 Drama Desk Award-winner The Mysteries, a collaboration with over 50 playwrights that reimagined the stories of The Bible over six hours. The Founding Artistic Director of theatre collective Exit, Pursued by a Bear, Iskandar has also hosted a series of labs and salons in his New York loft, featuring intimate performances and meals cooked by Iskandar himself. Combining theatre with food and community, Exit, Pursued by a Bear has become the talk of the New York theatre scene, utilizing a performance model as old as Homer and as radical as anything on stage today. While in New York, he has directed shows at myriad theatres including the Playwrights Realm, the National Asian American Theatre Company, The Flea Theater and The Play Company, as well as at his own collective. He is the winner of multiple awards including the Drama Desk Special Award for conception and direction of The Mysteries at The Flea Theater (in collaboration with 50+ playwrights) and The Golden Dragon at The Play Company, the National Theatre Conservatory Emerging Professional Award, the New York Theatre Workshop Emerging Artist Fellowship and the Drama League Directing Fellowship.

The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman
The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman

THE DESIGNERS
Iskandar brings a new and talented creative team to STC with Scenic Designer Jason Sherwood, Costume Designer Loren Shaw, Lighting Designer Seth Reiser, Sound Designer Jeremy S. Bloom, Choreography by Chase Brock, Music Supervisor/Arranger David Dabbon and Music Director Jody Schum.

The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman
The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman

Duncan Sheik is best known as the composer of the 2006 Broadway musical Spring Awakening, as well as a pop songwriter and performer. His recordings include Legerdemain (2015), Covers 80s (Sneaky Records, 2011), Whisper House (Sony, 2009), White Limousine (Rounder, 2006), Daylight (Atlantic Records, 2002), Phantom Moon (Nonesuch, 2001), Humming (Atlantic Records, 1998) and Duncan Sheik (RIAA Certified Gold, Atlantic Records, 1996). For his work on Spring Awakening, Sheik won Tony Awards® for Best Original Score and Orchestrations and a Grammy Award® for Best Musical Theater Album. His self-titled album Duncan Sheik also earned him a Grammy® nomination for Best Male Vocal.

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THE ARTISTIC TEAM
The production team also includes Associate Costume Designer Dana Burkart and Assistant Lighting Designer Jimmy Lawlor. Iskandar is supported by Voice and Text Coaches Gary Logan and Ellen O’Brien, and assisted by Production Stage Manager Joseph Smelser and Assistant Stage Manager Robyn M. Zalewski. Craig Baldwin serves as Immersive Designer and Iskandar’s Assistant Director.

ABOUT THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY
Recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award®, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) is the nation’s leading premier classical theatre company. Today, STC is synonymous with artistic excellence and making classical theatre more accessible to audiences in and around the nation’s capital.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Kahn and Executive Director Chris Jennings, STC’s innovative productions inspire dialogue that connects classic works to the modern human experience. The Company focuses on works with profound themes, complex characters and poetic language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and the playwrights he influenced in order to preserve and promote classic theatre—ambitious, enduring plays with universal themes—for all audiences.

A leader in arts education, STC has a stable of initiatives that teach and excite learners of all ages, from school programs and adult acting classes to accessible community programming like play-relevant discussion series and the Free For All. For the past 25 years the Free For All program has offered an annual remount of a popular production completely free of charge to all audience members.

Located in downtown Washington, D.C., STC performs in two theatres, the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre and the 774-seat Sidney Harman Hall. In addition to STC productions appearing year-round, these spaces also accommodate presentations from outstanding local performing arts groups and nationally renowned organizations. The Company has been a fixture in the vibrant Penn Quarter neighborhood since 1992.

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.

2016 SAPFF: Peter Kwong, Hudson Yang, Albert Tsai, Joz Wang and Baldwin Chiu set for “Rise and Represent” Panel on May 28

On Saturday, May 28th, join Hollywood stars and industry professionals Peter Kwong (Big Trouble in Little China), Hudson Yang (Fresh off the Boat) and Albert Tsai (Dr. Ken), digital entrepreneur Joz Wang (CEO, 8Asians.com), and Baldwin (Only Won) Chiu (Finding Cleveland) in discussing the past, present and future progress of Asian American representation, at the “Rise and Represent” panel at the 2016 Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival, co-presented by Asian American Journalists Association – Sacramento Chapter. The panel will be held at The Guild Theater, 2828 35th St, Sacramento, CA 95817 at 5:00pm.

sapffOver 30 films will be featured at The 2016 Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival, which runs May 27 – 28, 2016. Click below for the full lineup.

2016 Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival Lineup, May 27-28; HIDE AND SEEK starring Lia Chang and Garth Kravits screens on May 28

Included with the Full Festival Pass, attend the Rise and Represent panel, along with all Special Presentations, and all Official Selections.

 

Ticket purchasers may buy either a Full Festival Pass for access both days; all day Friday (3PM – 10:30PM); all day Saturday (11AM – 10:30AM); Half-Day Saturday day (11AM-4:30PM), or Half-Day Saturday evening (5PM -10:30PM). Click here purchase a full festival pass or tickets.

General FFP: $50
Students/Seniors FFP: $25
Students may be requested to provide a valid student ID. Seniors are 62 years young and up.

Visit www.SAPFF.org for tickets and complete 2016 Festival Schedule! Learn more about AAJA Sacramento at aajasacramento.org.

BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA screens at Crest Theatre in Sacramento on May 27; with Special Guest Peter Kwong

Q & A with Ed Moy, Filmmaker of AVIATRIX: THE KATHERINE SUI FUN CHEUNG STORY and UP IN THE CLOUDS; both films screen at the 2016 Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival on May 27

ABOUT SAPFF

The signature event of the Sacramento Asian Pacific Cultural Village, SAPFF serves alongside a continuum of events and programming in support of traditional and contemporary Asian and Pacific Islander artistic expression within the Sacramento Region.  Since 2013, SAPFF has been a champion of independent films featuring the works of Asian Pacific Islanders in front of and behind the camera.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AsianPacificFilmFest
Twitter: @SAPFF, www.twitter.com/sapff
Instagram: AsianPacific FilmFestival
YouTube: Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival, www.youtube.com/AsianPacificFilmFest
Flickr: sacramentoasianpacificfilmfest, www.flickr.com/photos/sapff

For more information about the Sacramento Asian Pacific Cultural Village, the Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival, or to see how you can get involved send an email to info@SAPFF.org, or call (916) 776-6036.

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.