Tag Archives: Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

2019 Urban Action Showcase & Expo Lineup – November 8-9; THE LAST DRAGON Anniversary Celebration Screening on November 9

Lia Chang and Taimak. Photo by Lia Chang

I made my feature film debut as a martial arts student in Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon and am looking forward to experiencing it on the big screen on Saturday, November 9 during The Last Dragon 35th Anniversary Celebration at AMC Empire 25 Theaters as part of Urban Action Showcase and Expo (UASE).

Taimak in THE LAST DRAGON

From 10am to Midnight, The Last Dragon Tribute and Daetrix Productions is sponsoring The Last Dragon 35th Anniversary Celebration which will feature a day-long celebration of Cosplay, Photo Experiences, a screening of The Last Dragon at 8pm, and a Fan meet and greet with Taimak Guarriello, star of The Last Dragon.

Grab your TLD 35th VIP Fan Experience pass and join Taimak aka Bruce Leroy, screenwriter Luis Venosta,  Rudy C. Jones and other cast members for autographs, photo ops, VR Photo and Video experiences, an exclusive TLD 35th Swag Bag and more!

  • Preferred Seating for the TLD 35th Screening
  • Special TLD 35th Anniversary Swag Bag
  • 1 Autograph of the special TLD 35th Poster
  • 1 Selfie Photo with Taimak The Last Dragon
  • ​All Festival and Showcase Films (1st Come 1st Served) 
  • All  Free Action Panels (1st Come 1st Served)
  • All Free Action Seminars (1st Come 1st Served)
  • Urban Action Expo
  • ​VR Anniversary Photo Experience
  • ​UAS Afterparty
  • *Note You must Be On Time to get your Preferred Seat!
  • *Note You are allowed 1 VR Photo Experience per turn.
  • Get the Glow at https://www.urbanactionshowcase.com/eventpasses.html

uproxx.com: A Deeper Look Into How ‘The Last Dragon’ Became An ’80s Classic
grant land.com: ‘The Last Dragon’ 30 Years Later: A Glowing Glory of Kung Fu, Magic, and Progressive Racial Politics

Cinemax® is sponsoring the Urban Action Showcase and Expo (UASE) at the AMC Empire 25 Theaters (234 West 42nd Street Times Square in New York on Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9.  Click here for tickets and more information.

Warrington Hudlin, Lia Chang and Demetrius Angelo. Photo by Patrick Cashin

I had terrific time with my Big Trouble in Little China castmate Peter Kwong in 2016 when the UASE celebrated the 30th anniversary of the making of the film.

Peter Kwong and Lia Chang received the 2016 Martial Arts Cult Classic Cinema Award for Big Trouble in Little China’s 30th Anniversary at the 4th Annual Urban Action Showcase and Expo at the AMC Empire 25 Times Square in New York on November 12, 2016. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn

Inside the 2016 Urban Action Showcase and Expo with BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA’s Peter Kwong and Lia Chang; Full List of 2016 Honorees 

The UASE is the premier Action entertainment platform advocating diversity and honoring the multicultural achievements within the blockbuster Action genre bringing awareness and access to heroes of color. Showcasing Independent and Mainstream Action content in the multifaceted Action genre including Adventure, Fantasy, Grindhouse, Action Horror, Martial Arts, Sci-Fi, Supernatural and Urban Action content. The UASE is the only Action entertainment platform offering both fan and professional experiences through its International Action Film Festival, Action Expo and Action Film Awards platforms.By focusing on the thrill and excitement of the Action genre and recognizing the need for integration, the UASE sets itself apart from other festival platforms as the only one of its kind. The purpose of the UASE is to ultimately see an increase in ethnic heroic principal characters in film and television, increase the development of content and expand distribution platforms reflecting multicultural images and interests as it pertains to the multifaceted Action genre.

HBO/Cinemax® VIP Red Carpet Reception and Awards:
Friday, November 8th, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. at AMC Empire 25 Theaters (234 West 42nd Street Times Square NYC)
• UAS International Action Film Festival Awards
• Diversity in Action Awards (Honoring the Past Present and Future Mainstream Achievements in the blockbuster Action genre)
• Behind the Action Awards (Honoring the Hidden Heroes in the Action genre)
Knighting of The Black Dragon

 

There is a new Dragon on the horizon. Michael Jai White will receive the mantle of The Black Dragon from Grand Master Ron Van Clief. This will happen during the Awards presentation on Friday November 9th at 8 pm.

Urban Action Showcase International Film Festival and UASE 14 Hour Cinema Mega-Thon: Saturday, November 9th, 10 a.m. – Midnight at AMC Empire 25 Times Square: Screening of Features, Shorts and Showcase Films.

Showcase Features:
Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater
Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks Feature Documentary Film and Panel (Special Guests: Cynthia Rothrock, Michael Jai White, Warrington Hudlin, Robert Samuels, Ron Van Clief, Ric Meyers)
Above The Law (Cynthia Lady Dragon Rothrock)
Blood Fist (Don The Dragon Wilson)
Blood and Bone 10th Anniversary (Michael Jai White)
Ninja Assassin 10th Anniversary
Street Fighter: Legend of Chung Li 10th Anniversary
Showcase Anniversary Screenings
The Warriors 40 Anniversary
• The Last Dragon 35 Anniversary

Back 2 Black Action Cinema
Black Dynamite 10th Anniversary
Black Belt Jones 45th Anniversary
That Man Bolt 46th Anniversary
Blood and Bone 10 Anniversary

Retro Action Cinema
Universal Soldier The Return 20th Anniversary
Avatar 10th Anniversary
G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra 10th Anniversary

Official Selections of the 2019 UAS International Action Film Festival Urban Action Expo:
Saturday, November 9th, 10 a.m. – 7p.m. at AMC Empire 25 Times Square
Featuring Entertainment Industry Exhibitors, Comic Book and Graphic Artists, Celebrity Guests, Panels, Seminars, Master Classes and more

Featured Seminars
Action Icon Experience (Master Classes with Cynthia Rothrock, Don The Dragon Wilson and Michael Jai White)
Blunt and Bladed Weapons 4 Film (Grand Master Felix Cortez)
Firearms 4 Film (Hanshi Nikwan Murphy)


JKD 4 Film (Guru Chris Moran JKD NYC)
Batman 30th Anniversary
Kickboxer 30 Anniversary
The Matrix 20th Anniversary
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace 20th Anniversary

Featured Panels:
• Urban Fists of Legends Panel featuring the legends of Action cinema
• Sheroes in Action: Women in Action Cinema Panel
The Warriors 40th Anniversary Panel
• Martial Arts in Cinema Panel
• Behind The Action: Stunt and Fight Choreographer Panel

Celebrity talent attending the 2019 UASE celebration:
• Nafessa Williams (Thunder of Black Lightning)

• Michael Jai White (Spawn, Universal Soldier, Black Dynamite, Triple Threat)
• Taimak (The Last Dragon)

• Cynthia Lady Dragon Rothrock (Lady Dragon, Sworn To Justice, Yes Madam)

• Don The Dragon Wilson (Blood Fist, Ring of Fire)

• Fred The Hammer Williamson (That Man Bolt, Three The Hard Way, From Dust to Dawn)

• Perry Yung (Father Jun in Cinemax’s “Warrior”)

• Henry Yuk (Long Zii of “Wu Assassins”)

• Celia Au (Ying Ying of “Wu Assassins”)

• Ron Van Clief (The Black Dragon’s Revenge)
• Robert Samuels (Made in China Town, Gambling Ghost)

• Vincent Lyn (Operation Condor)

• Ric Meyers (The Kung Fu Movie Movie, Martial Arts Film Historian)
• David Harris (Cochise in The Warriors)
• Brian Tyler (Snow in The Warriors)
• Dorsey Wright (Cleon in The Warriors)
• David Worth (Director of Kickboxer)


• Stuntman, Actors, Stunt Coordinators
• Other guest TBA

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

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Acquires Diane Paragas’ Award-Winning Independent Film YELLOW ROSE Starring Eva Noblezada, Lea Salonga, Princess Punzalan, Dale Watson, Gustavo Gomez, Libby Villari and Liam Booth

Eva Noblezada in YELLOW ROSE

Culver City, CA, October 24, 2019 – Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) announced today that it has acquired all worldwide rights, excluding the Philippines, to the film Yellow Rose, directed by Diane Paragas in her narrative feature debut.

Eva Noblezada and Dale Watson in YELLOW ROSE

Yellow Rose is a timely story about a Filipino teen from a small Texas town who fights to pursue her dreams as a country music performer while facing the threat of deportation. The film stars two-time Tony Award Nominee Eva Noblezada (Hadestown, Miss Saigon) in her feature film debut, Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga (Once on this Island, Miss Saigon), Princess Punzalan (Mula Sa Puso), Dale Watson (Friday Night Lights), Gustavo Gomez (“The Walking Dead”), Libby Villari (Boyhood), and Liam Booth (Ghosts Never Sleep).

Eva Noblezada and Princess Punzalan in YELLOW ROSE

Eva Noblezada received her most recent Tony nomination for her portrayal of Eurydice in Hadestown, which won 8 Tony awards including Best Musical.  She  received her first nomination for portraying Kim in the revival of Miss Saigon.  Lea Salonga won the Tony Award for her portrayal of the same role in the original production of Miss Saigon.

Yellow Rose has been a labor of passion for over 15 years and I’m thrilled that we can now share this very relevant story with the world,” says Paragas. “We have the added honor of representing the real experiences of Filipino Americans, Asian Americans, and all immigrants seeking a better life in America.”

Karen Elizaga, Diane Paragas, Annie Howell, Cecilia R. Mejia, Kat Evasco, Loida Nicolas Lewis and Jeremiah Abraham. Photo by Lia Chang

Yellow Rose features original songs developed for the film, written and composed by Watson, Paragas, Noblezada, and Thia Megia. The film is written by Diane Paragas, Annie Howell, and Celena Cipriaso, based on a story written by Paragas and Andy Bienen. The film’s producers include Lead Producer Cecilia R. Mejia, Rey Cuerdo, Orian Williams and Paragas. Executive Producers include Carlo Katigbak, Olivia De Jesus, John D. Lazatin, and Juan Miguel Sevilla from ABS-CBN Global and Cinematografo Originals, Karen Elizaga, Gail Alvarez, Victor Alvarez, and Dale Watson. Co-Producers include Jeremiah Abraham, Courtney Jones, and Thea Kerman.

The film premiered at this year’s Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival where it received the Grand Jury Award and the Breakout Performance Award for Noblezada’s outstanding performance.

Already having won a total of five Grand Jury Awards, the film is the closing night selection of the Boston Asian American Film Festival on Sunday, October 27 at 6:00PM; a marquee presentation of the Austin Film Festival on Monday, October 28 at 7:40PM; an official selection of the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival on Friday, November 8 at 8:00PM; an official selection of the San Diego Asian Film Festival on Saturday, November 9 at 3:45PM; the closing night selection of the Vancouver Asian Film Festival on Sunday, November 10 at 7:30PM; the closing night selection of the Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival on November 15 at 7:00PM., an official selection of the Houston Cinema Arts Festival on November 15 at 7:30PM, and is an official selection of the Hawaii International Film Festival in Oahu on November 16 at  6:00PM and in Kauai on November 21 at 7:30 PM.

Leslie Lewis, Liam Booth, Producer Karen Elizaga, Co-producer Jeremiah Abraham, Director/Writer Diane Paragas, Lea Salonga, Princess Punzalan, Lead Producer Cecilia R. Mejia, Producer Orian Williams at 42nd Asian American International Film Festival's Opening Night screening of YELLOW ROSE at Asia Society in New York on July 25, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang
Leslie Lewis, Liam Booth, Producer Karen Elizaga, Co-producer Jeremiah Abraham, Director/Writer Diane Paragas, Lea Salonga, Princess Punzalan, Lead Producer Cecilia R. Mejia, Producer Orian Williams at 42nd Asian American International Film Festival’s Opening Night screening of YELLOW ROSE at Asia Society in New York on July 25, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Yellow Rose will be distributed in theaters in the Philippines by ABS-CBN.

Diane Paragas is managed by LBI Entertainment and is represented by Morris Yorn Barnes & Levine.

ABOUT SONY PICTURES WORLDWIDE ACQUISITIONS
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. www.sonypictures.com

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions

Diane Paragas’ Multiple Award-Winning Film YELLOW ROSE, Starring Eva Noblezada, Dale Watson, Princess Punzalan and Lea Salonga, to Screen in Boston, Austin, Philadelphia, San Diego, Vancouver, Toronto, Oahu and Kauai

Lea Salonga, Princess Punzalan, Jose Llana and More Celebrate at 42nd Asian American International Film Festival’s Opening Night screening of Diane Paragas’ YELLOW ROSE at Asia Society

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

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Fundraiser for A FATHER’S SON Kickstarter at Asia Roma on October 14

Director Chen Xi Hao and Crime Mystery author Henry Chang are holding a Kickstarter alternative meet and greet fundraiser for their film campaign for A Father’s Son,  on Monday, October 14 at Asia Roma, 40 Mulberry Street in New York Chinatown from 6:00PM – 9:00PM.

Chen Xi Hao and Henry Chang. Photo by Adam Lim © 2019 Navajo Productions

Due to navigational glitches on the kickstarter campaign for A Father’s Son, this fundraising party is an opportunity to contribute in person via cash/check, make a pledge and choose your rewards.  All proceeds will be deposited to the kickstarter campaign.

Tzi Ma and Perry Yung

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

Chen Xi Hao. Photo by Adam Lim © 2019 Navajo Productions

Director’s Statement
“Since 2006, Henry Chang’s posters of his crime drama book series, Chinatown Beat, Year of The Dog, Red Jade, and Death Money were displayed at my two favorite NYC Chinatown restaurants: 69 Bayard and Wo Hop City. The posters caught my attention for years until I purchased his first book titled Chinatown Beat.

After reading the first installment, I became enamored with the fictional character Jack Yu, a NYPD Detective torn between justice and the injustice to his community. He was a born-and-bred New Yorker with a New Yawk accent trying to do good. It was the first time reading about a Chinese-American protagonist who wasn’t an American stereotype. Jack wasn’t a cook, waiter, deliveryman, an herbalist, railroad worker, opioid dealer, martial artist, monk or Manchu.

Positive Asian-American role models were invisible unless it was Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li, or another martial art figure. Only little known-actor Dennis Gong Dun came close portraying a Chinese-American protagonist in Year of the Dragon as Herbert Kwong, and as Wang Chi in Big Trouble in Little China. But that was only around 1980s.

Today, thanks to organizations like Gold House and box-office hits like Crazy Rich Asians, there’s a genuine opportunity for good stories with tangible Asian-American characters. It’s been 13 years since the release of Chinatown Beat and I felt this was the right time to bring Jack Yu to light in our story, A Father’s Son.

I grew up watching Hong Kong ’90s films. The three films I wrote and directed, Love Express, Confucius Plaza, and The Last Tip were inspired by Hong Kong’s cinematic style and natural realism — which have been showcased at the Museum of Chinese in America and Comcast’s Xfinity Lunar New Year collection.

With A Father’s Son, I want to direct it as a film noir with reference to Johnnie To’s PTU (2003) and Election (2005). I want to exhibit the grittiness of New York’s Chinatown with the Cantonese essence that will simulate 1994.”

Henry Chang. Photo by Adam Lim © 2019 Navajo Productions

Sentiments from Crime Mystery Author and Executive Producer Henry Chang “Collaborating with friends can be a nightmare fraught with personality clashes, creative differences, conflicting agendas, etc. THIS collaboration fortunately is fully compatible. Filmmaker Patrick Chen (Love Express, Underneath The Grey, The Last Tip) is a smooth operator with a hand-picked team who’s everything media-savvy that I’m NOT. I am old-school clinging onto the edge of social media, Facebook -LOL.

I’ll handle the books end of the endeavor though, and do a video and print promotions, sure! Now, it’s super cool to have my O.G. homie Tzi Ma back in da ‘hood where he shines. I’m also keen to have Perry Yung  on board, supporting us as fiercely as we supported him in Chinatown, New York City. Not to forget familiar faces of Alvin Tsang, Adam Lim, Shannon Ko and David Bettencourt who helped made our Kickstarter campaign video cool and copacetic. So far it’s a Dream Team…

Long overdue with REPRESENTATION with the Crazy Rich Asians success, is upon us. It’s hot times now and movies and platforms like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon are allegedly searching for diverse creative content. If so, the trickle-down hasn’t reached US yet so we’re very grateful for homegrown, and Chinatown, and American-Chinese support, who know that we are determined to tell OUR stories, by any means necessary. REPRESENT!! Because we got history here…

Most of all we love our supporters; the ones who make it work. Your faithful contributions to our campaign enable us. In the latest wave of post Crazy Rich Asians’ Gold Openings, it’s great to see people of color to come together and fill theater seats for movies like The Farewell and Lucky Grandma or Ms. Purple, but it’s especially important to support American-Asian stories that are underrepresented and unfunded, so that OUR stories can see the light of day. Our Backers (you) make this possible, from inception to the Screen. WE are nothing but dreamers without YOU!”

@DetectiveJackYuOfficial

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

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Diane Paragas’ Multiple Award-Winning Film YELLOW ROSE, Starring Eva Noblezada, Dale Watson, Princess Punzalan and Lea Salonga, to Screen in Boston, Austin, Philadelphia, San Diego, Vancouver, Toronto, Houston, Oahu and Kauai

Eva Noblezada and Dale Watson in YELLOW ROSE

Diane Paragas’ multiple award-winning film YELLOW ROSE  is the closing night selection of the Boston Asian American Film Festival on Sunday, October 27 at 6:00PM; a marquee presentation of the Austin Film Festival on Monday, October 28 at 7:40PM; an official selection of the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival on Friday, November 8 at 8:00PM; an official selection of the San Diego Asian Film Festival on Saturday, November 9 at 3:45PM; the closing night selection of the Vancouver Asian Film Festival on Sunday, November 10 at 7:30PM; the closing night selection of the Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival on November 15 at 7:00PM., an official selection of the Houston Cinema Arts Festival on November 15 at 7:30PM, and is an official selection of the Hawaii International Film Festival in Oahu on November 16 at  6:00PM and in Kauai on November 21 at 7:30 PM.

The poster for Diane Paragas’ YELLOW ROSE starring Eva Noblezada, Lea Salonga, Princess Punzalan and Dale Watson.

YELLOW ROSE is the deeply personal narrative feature debut from Filipina American writer and director Diane Paragas. Rose, played by Two-time Tony Nominee Eva Noblezada (Hadestown, Miss Saigon), an undocumented Filipina, dreams of one day leaving her small Texas town to pursue her country music dreams. Her world is shattered when her mom (Princess Punzalan) is suddenly detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Rose, facing this new realty, is forced to flee the scene, leaving behind the only life she knows, and embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she searches for a new home in the honky-tonk world of Austin, Texas.

Eva Noblezada and Princess Punzalan in YELLOW ROSE

Also featured in the film are Lea Salonga, country music star Dale Watson (“Friday Night Lights”), Gustavo Gomez (The Walking Dead), Libby Villari (Boyhood), and Liam Booth. Set to a poignant soundtrack featuring original songs by Paragas, Noblezada, Watson and the cast, this coming-of-age story brings forth the power of music and art to provide strength in the face of the harsh plight confronting countless immigrant families across the country.

Eva Noblezada in YELLOW ROSE

Yellow Rose won the Best Narrative Feature Award (U.S. Cinema) and the Audience Award for Best Feature at the 23rd Annual Urbanworld Film Festival, the Special Jury Prize at the 2019 Asian American International Film Festival, the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at the 2019 Bentonville Film Festival, 2019 CAAMFest and the 2019 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, with Eva Noblezada taking Best Breakout Actor.

Leslie Lewis, Liam Booth, Producer Karen Elizaga, Co-producer Jeremiah Abraham, Director/Writer Diane Paragas, Lea Salonga, Princess Punzalan, Lead Producer Cecilia R. Mejia, Producer Orian Williams at 42nd Asian American International Film Festival's Opening Night screening of YELLOW ROSE at Asia Society in New York on July 25, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang
Leslie Lewis, Liam Booth, Producer Karen Elizaga, Co-producer Jeremiah Abraham, Director/Writer Diane Paragas, Lea Salonga, Princess Punzalan, Lead Producer Cecilia R. Mejia, Producer Orian Williams at 42nd Asian American International Film Festival’s Opening Night screening of YELLOW ROSE at Asia Society in New York on July 25, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

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

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Diane Paragas’ YELLOW ROSE Starring Eva Noblezada Wins Best Narrative Feature Grand Jury Award and the Audience Award for Best Feature at 23rd Annual Urbanworld Film Festival

Filipina American writer and director Diane Paragas’ deeply personal narrative feature debut YELLOW ROSE won the Best Narrative Feature Award (U.S. Cinema) and the Audience Award for Best Feature at the 23rd Annual Urbanworld Film Festival on September 22, 2019.

Diane Paragas’ YELLOW ROSE won the Best Narrative Feature Award (U.S. Cinema) and the Audience Award for Best Feature at the 23rd Annual 2019 Urbanworld Film Festival.
Diane Paragas’ YELLOW ROSE won the Best Narrative Feature Award (U.S. Cinema) and the Audience Award for Best Feature at the 23rd Annual 2019 Urbanworld Film Festival.

Rose, played by Two-time Tony Nominee Eva Noblezada (Hadestown, Miss Saigon), an undocumented Filipina, dreams of one day leaving her small Texas town to pursue her country music dreams. Her world is shattered when her mom (Princess Punzalan) is suddenly detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Rose, facing this new realty, is forced to flee the scene, leaving behind the only life she knows, and embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she searches for a new home in the honky-tonk world of Austin, Texas.

The poster for Diane Paragas’ YELLOW ROSE starring Eva Noblezada, Lea Salonga, Princess Punzalan and Dale Watson.

Also featured in the film are Lea Salonga, country music star Dale Watson (“Friday Night Lights”), Gustavo Gomez (The Walking Dead), Libby Villari (Boyhood), and Liam Booth. Set to a poignant soundtrack featuring original songs by Paragas, Noblezada, Watson and the cast, this coming-of-age story brings forth the power of music and art to provide strength in the face of the harsh plight confronting countless immigrant families across the country.

Eva Noblezada and Dale Watson in YELLOW ROSE

Yellow Rose won the Special Jury Prize at the 2019 Asian American International Film Festival, the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at the 2019 Bentonville Film Festival, 2019 CAAMFest and the 2019 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, with Eva Noblezada taking Best Breakout Actor.

Eva Noblezada and Princess Punzalan in YELLOW ROSE

The film’s producers include Cecilia Mejia, Rey Cuerdo, Orian Williams, Diane Paragas, Co-Producer Jeremiah Abraham, and Executive Producers Olivia de Jesus, John D. Lazatin, Miguel Sevilla, and Karen Elizaga.  www.yellowrosefilm.com

Karen Elizaga, Diane Paragas, Cecilia R. Mejia, Jeremiah Abraham and Annie Howell. Photo by Lia Chang
Cecilia R. Mejia, Karen Elizaga, Diane Paragas, Jeremiah Abraham and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Karen Elizaga, Diane Paragas, Annie Howell, Cecilia R. Mejia, Kat Evasco, Loida Nicolas Lewis and Jeremiah Abraham. Photo by Lia Chang
Urbanworld Film Festival at AMC Empire 25 in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Moderator Kat Evasco and Director Diane Paragas. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Diane Paragas. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Diane Paragas, Cecilia R. Mejia and Kat Evasco. Photo by Lia Chang
Director/Writer Diane Paragas with her co-writer Annie Howell. photo by Lia Chang
Cecilia R. Mejia and Loida Nicolas Lewis. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Karen Elizaga, Director/Writer Diane Paragas and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Publicist Jeremiah Abraham, Producer Karen Elizaga, Director/Writer Diane Paragas and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Eric Elizaga and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

The 2019 slate of 78 official selections and 7 spotlight selections represent inclusion in the broadest sense, highlighting content from around the globe by creators of color and women. The annual showcase of diverse culture took place in Manhattan, September 18-22, 2019 at AMC Empire 25 on 234 West 42nd Street.

After the screening, the creative team headed to nosh on fried chicken at Jollibee.

YELLOW ROSE noshes on Jollibee after screening at Urbanworld Film Festival. Photo by Lia Chang
YELLOW ROSE noshes on Jollibee after screening at Urbanworld Film Festival. Photo by Lia Chang

ABOUT URBANWORLD FILM FESTIVAL
Urbanworld Film Festival was launched in August 1997 by founder Stacy Spikes, co-founder of MoviePass and a former executive at Miramax and October Films. With estimated attendance reaching over 15,000, the five-day festival anchored in film showcases narrative features, documentaries, short films, spotlight screenings and live staged screenplay readings; the Urbanworld Digital track focuses on digital panels and workshops; and the Urbanworld Music franchise highlights emerging talent in live performances during festival events. For over two decades, Hollywood studios and indie film distributors, as well as established and emerging filmmakers, have consistently chosen Urbanworld to premiere box office and award-winning hits. The Urbanworld Film Festival is an initiative of the Urbanworld Foundation Inc. Gabrielle Glore serves as Festival Director & Head of Programming.

Broadwayworld: Photo Flash: YELLOW ROSE Starring Eva Noblezada Wins Big at 23rd Annual Urbanworld Film Festival
Lea Salonga, Princess Punzalan, Jose Llana and More Celebrate at 42nd Asian American International Film Festival’s Opening Night screening of Diane Paragas’ YELLOW ROSE at Asia Society

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

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Diane Paragas’ Award-Winning Film YELLOW ROSE Starring Eva Noblezada, Lea Salonga, Dale Watson and Princess Punzalan to Screen at Urbanworld® Film Festival on September 21

Eva Noblezada and Dale Watson in YELLOW ROSE

Diane Paragas’ award-winning film YELLOW ROSE  is an official selection of the 23rd Annual Urbanworld® Film Festival and will screen at the AMC 42nd Empire 25-Theater 12 on Saturday, September 21 at 3:45 PM. Click here for tickets and more information.

The poster for Diane Paragas’ YELLOW ROSE starring Eva Noblezada, Lea Salonga, Princess Punzalan and Dale Watson.

YELLOW ROSE is the deeply personal narrative feature debut from Filipina American writer and director Diane Paragas. Rose, played by Two-time Tony Nominee Eva Noblezada (Hadestown, Miss Saigon), an undocumented Filipina, dreams of one day leaving her small Texas town to pursue her country music dreams. Her world is shattered when her mom (Princess Punzalan) is suddenly detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Rose, facing this new realty, is forced to flee the scene, leaving behind the only life she knows, and embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she searches for a new home in the honky-tonk world of Austin, Texas.

Eva Noblezada and Princess Punzalan in YELLOW ROSE

Also featured in the film are Lea Salonga, country music star Dale Watson (“Friday Night Lights”), Gustavo Gomez (The Walking Dead), Libby Villari (Boyhood), and Liam Booth. Set to a poignant soundtrack featuring original songs by Paragas, Noblezada, Watson and the cast, this coming-of-age story brings forth the power of music and art to provide strength in the face of the harsh plight confronting countless immigrant families across the country.

Eva Noblezada in YELLOW ROSE

Yellow Rose won the Special Jury Prize at the 2019 Asian American International Film Festival, the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at the 2019 Bentonville Film Festival, 2019 CAAMFest and the 2019 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, with Eva Noblezada taking Best Breakout Actor.

Leslie Lewis, Liam Booth, Producer Karen Elizaga, Co-producer Jeremiah Abraham, Director/Writer Diane Paragas, Lea Salonga, Princess Punzalan, Lead Producer Cecilia R. Mejia, Producer Orian Williams at 42nd Asian American International Film Festival's Opening Night screening of YELLOW ROSE at Asia Society in New York on July 25, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang
Leslie Lewis, Liam Booth, Producer Karen Elizaga, Co-producer Jeremiah Abraham, Director/Writer Diane Paragas, Lea Salonga, Princess Punzalan, Lead Producer Cecilia R. Mejia, Producer Orian Williams at 42nd Asian American International Film Festival’s Opening Night screening of YELLOW ROSE at Asia Society in New York on July 25, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

The 2019 slate of 78 official selections and 7 spotlight selections represent inclusion in the broadest sense, highlighting content from around the globe by creators of color and women. The annual showcase of diverse culture will take place in Manhattan, September 18-22, 2019 at AMC Empire 25 on 234 West 42nd Street. Click here for tickets and more information.

Lea Salonga, Princess Punzalan, Jose Llana and More Celebrate at 42nd Asian American International Film Festival’s Opening Night screening of Diane Paragas’ YELLOW ROSE at Asia Society

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

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Tong War Drama Series WARRIOR, Based on the Writings of Martial Arts Legend Bruce Lee, Debuts April 5 on CINEMAX

The CINEMAX drama series WARRIOR begins its ten-episode season FRIDAY, APRIL 5 (10:00–11:00 p.m. ET/PT).  Filmed in Cape Town, South Africa, the show is based on writings of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, and created and executive produced by Jonathan Tropper (CINEMAX’s “Banshee”) under Tropper Ink Productions and Justin Lin on behalf of Perfect Storm Entertainment.

WARRIOR is a gritty, action-packed crime drama set during the brutal Tong Wars of San Francisco’s Chinatown in the second half of the 19th century. The series follows Ah Sahm, a martial arts prodigy who emigrates from China to San Francisco under mysterious circumstances and becomes a hatchet man for one of Chinatown’s most powerful tongs (Chinese organized crime family).

Led by Andrew Koji, who plays Ah Sahm, series regulars also include Kieran Bew, Olivia Cheng, Dianne Doan, Dean Jagger, Langley Kirkwood, Hoon Lee, Christian McKay, Joe Taslim, Jason Tobin, Joanna Vanderham, Tom Weston-Jones and Perry Yung.

WARRIOR is produced for CINEMAX by Perfect Storm Entertainment, Tropper Ink Productions and Bruce Lee Entertainment; created and executive produced by Jonathan Tropper. Justin Lin and Danielle Woodrow executive produce on behalf of Perfect Storm Entertainment. Shannon Lee executive produces for Bruce Lee Entertainment. Executive produced by Brad Kane and co-executive produced by Richard Sharkey. Pilot was executive produced by Assaf Bernstein.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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BLACK MIRROR Scores Two Emmys for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special, and Outstanding TV Movie

69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards – Show
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 17: Writer/producer Charlie Brooker (L) with cast and crew accept Outstanding Television Movie for ‘Black Mirror’ (episode ‘San Junipero’) onstage during the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Emmys.com: Video 69th Emmy Awards Backstage Live Team BLACK MIRROR – “SAN JUNIPERO”

Black Mirror wins Outstanding Television Movie Emmy

BLACK MIRROR Star Denise Burse and Peter Jay Fernandez Attend 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

Collider.com: ‘Black Mirror’: Charlie Brooker and Gugu Mbatha-Raw Talk “San Junipero” in Our Spoiler Interview

Emmys 2017: why San Junipero’s heartbreaking vision of Heaven will live forever

Q & A: Denise Burse talks ‘Anesthesia’, Netflix’s ‘Black Mirror’, and ‘Brownsville Song (B-Side for Tray)’

Denise Burse as Claretha Jenkins in House of Payne’s “Payneful Visit” 

MR ROBOT’S BD Wong Talks Emmy Nomination, MR. HOLLAND’S OPUS, JURASSIC WORLD, Academy Invite, #OscarsSoWhite and More 

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

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com

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

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

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

Program Lineup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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