Tag Archives: Center for Asian American Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yuh-Jung Youn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Website

Watch now in the USA on WORLD Channel

Watch now internationally on Witness – Al Jazeera

Below are selected Q & A’s.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb. 1: A-Doc: The Invisibility of Asian American Documentaries Panel with Debbie Lum (Try Harder!), Ursula Liang (Down a Dark Stairwell), PJ Raval (Call Her Ganda), Jannat Gargi (Vice Studios), and moderator Donald Young (CAAM)

In 2021, Debbie Lum’s “Try Harder!” is just the 4th Asian American-made feature documentary tackling an Asian American topic to premiere at Sundance in the past 10 years. Asian Americans are the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S., yet our stories continue to be chronically underrepresented in popular culture, with an even worse track record for documentaries. Generations of Asian American filmmakers have been told by gatekeepers that their particular American stories are too niche and not universal enough for the mainstream. Are festivals and distributors perpetuating a racial blind spot? How do Asian American doc-makers move their stories out of the margins and into the spotlight?

Join Debbie Lum (Try Harder!), Ursula Liang (Down a Dark Stairwell), PJ Raval (Call Her Ganda), Jannat Gargi (Vice Studios), and moderator Donald Young (CAAM) as they examine what it means to tell an American story on Monday, February 1, 2021 at 2:00 PST/5:00 p.m. EST. Click here to RSVP.

Co-presented with Brown Girls Doc Mafia, Center for Asian American Media, and Visual Communications.

ABOUT A-DOC

The Asian American Documentary Network is a national network of 800+ members working to increase the visibility and support of Asian Americans in the documentary field. A-Doc is committed to sharing ideas and resources, providing mutual support and mentorship, and advocating for equity and diversity in the production and distribution of non-fiction storytelling.

ABOUT OUR CO-PRESENTERS

Brown Girls Doc Mafia is an initiative advocating for over 4,500 women and non-binary people of color working in the documentary film industry around the world. We fight inequality by building community and sharing resources, nourishing our creative brilliance, demanding access and visibility in creative and professional environments, enriching our community with the knowledge to sustain ourselves financially, and by cutting through oppressive industry structures to advocate for 
our members.

The Center for Asian American Media is a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. We do this by funding, producing, distributing, and exhibiting works in film, television, and digital media. For 40 years, CAAM has exposed audiences to new voices and communities, advancing our collective understanding of the American experience through programs specifically designed to engage the Asian American community and the public at large. 

Visual Communications‘ mission is to develop and support the voices of Asian American & Pacific Islander filmmakers and media artists who empower communities and challenge perspectives. Founded in 1970 with the understanding that media and the arts are powerful forms of storytelling, Visual Communications creates cross cultural connections between peoples and generations.

Lia Chang

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2021 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

JAN. 29: CENTER FOR ASIAN AMERICAN MEDIA (CAAM) IN ASSOCIATION WITH MTV DOCUMENTARY FILMS PRESENTS A VIRTUAL Q/A WITH FINDING YINGYING DIRECTOR JIAYAN “JENNY” SHI, PRODUCERS DIANE QUON & BRENT E. HUFFMAN IN CONVERSATION WITH DON YOUNG MODERATED BY YUNG CHANG

Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) in association with MTV Documentary Films is presenting a virtual Q & A with Finding Yingying director Jiayan “Jenny” Chi, producers Diane Quon and Brent E. Huffman, CAAM’s Don Young moderated by Yung Chang on Friday, January 29 at 6:00 p.m. PST/9:00 p.m. EST.

Click here to RSVP, or via email FYY@TCDM-ASSOCIATES.COM.

About FINDING YINGYING
Yingying Zhang, a 26-year-old Chinese student, comes to the U.S. to study. In her detailed and beautiful diaries, the aspiring young scientist and teacher is full of optimism, hoping to also be married and a mother someday. Within weeks of her arrival, Yingying disappears from the campus. Through exclusive access to Yingying’s family and boyfriend, FINDING YINGYING closely follows their journey as they search to unravel the mystery of her disappearance and seek justice for their daughter while navigating a strange, foreign country. But most of all, FINDING YINGYING is the story of who Yingying was: a talented young woman loved by her family and friends.

About Director Jiayan “Jenny” Shi
Jiayan “Jenny” Shi is a Chicago-based documentary filmmaker and video journalist who is passionate about social justice issues regarding people of color. She shoots, edits and produces video stories and short documentaries about immigration, race and crime in Chicago for multiple outlets. She is also working on several projects as a researcher, digital content editor and translator including the ITVS co-produced web series Pulling The Thread and the 2020 Academy Award-winning Higher Ground Netflix film, American Factory. Jenny is a graduate of Kartemquin’s Diverse Voices In Docs program, a TFI Network alum, the winner of the Paley DocPitch Competition 2018 and a fellow of 2020-2021 Women at Sundance | Adobe Fellowship. Jenny is named one of the DOC NYC “40 Under 40” filmmakers.

Website: www.findingyingying.com

Watch: THE DONUT KING Q & A Panel and Screening with Director Alice Gu, Producer José Nuñez, Editor Carol Martori, and “Donut Princess LA” CEO & Founder Mayly Tao

CAPE, Center for Asian American Media, Cambodia Town Film Festival, Gold House and United Cambodian Community in Long Beach are highlighting the creative team Gold List nominee THE DONUT KING with a virtual conversation featuring Director Alice Gu, Producer José Nuñez, Editor Carol Martori, and “Donut Princess LA” CEO & Founder Mayly Tao, on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. EST.

Register via Eventbrite to get access to a screener: cape-donutking.eventbrite.com

THE DONUT KING premiered at SXSW 2020 and received a Special Jury Recognition for Achievement in Documentary Storytelling. THE DONUT KING follows the story of Cambodian-American businessman Ted Ngoy. Ted’s story is one of fate, love, survival, hard knocks, and redemption. It’s the rags to riches story of a refugee escaping Cambodia, arriving in America in 1975 and building an unlikely multi-million-dollar empire baking America’s favorite pastry, the donut. Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business. By 1979 he was living the American Dream. But, in life, great rise can come with great falls.

THE DONUT KING now in theaters and on virtual cinema. Click here to find tickets.

Watch: America Reframed Series Presents World TV Broadcast Premiere of Yi Chen’s Documentary FIRST VOTE

A co-production of C35 Films, the Center for Asian American Media, and WORLD Channel, America ReFramed’s FIRST VOTE offers unparalleled access to a diverse cross-section of politically engaged Chinese Americans. The film weaves their stories from the presidential election of 2016 to the 2018 midterms and explores the intersections between immigration, voting rights, and racial justice. Directed by Yi Chen, a Chinese immigrant and first-time voter herself, FIRST VOTE is a rare long-form look at the diverse Asian American electorate. Her thought-provoking journey into the Rust Belt and South captures four Chinese American voters’ ardent first time grassroots political participation ignited by the 2016 rise of “Chinese Americans for Trump.”  Until 1952, federal law prohibited immigrants of Asian descent from becoming U.S. citizens and voting. Today, Asian Americans are the fastest growing population in the United States. The film is a timely story exploring what it means to be American through personal stories of America’s fastest growing political constituency’s diverse experience at the polls in battleground states.

Yi Chen’s FIRST VOTE

The world premiere television broadcast date for FIRST VOTE is October 20, 2020 on the PBS World Channel at 8PM ET (CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS), as part of the channel’s AMERICA REFRAMED series.  The film will be repeated throughout the month leading to the November 3 presidential election and will be streaming now on PBS.ORG.

FIRST VOTE is also the anchor film for the PBS World Channel’s Your Vote 2020 (#YourVote2020) initiative – a multi platform initiative exploring racial diversity of voters in this 2020 election. This innovative program kicked off on September 28, 2020 with a virtual live screening for the film FIRST VOTE, hosted by WORLD Channel in partnership with several Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) film festivals. The screening was followed by a discussion of the film with filmmaker Yi Chen and film subjects Kaiser Kuo, host of Sinica Podcast, and Jennifer Ho, director of the Center for Humanities & the Arts at the University of Colorado Boulder.  The discussion was moderated by award-winning journalist and NBC/MSNBC news anchor Richard Lui.  Additionally, a panel discussion on voter participation featured Christine Chen, APIA Vote Executive Director, Janelle S. Wong, Professor of Asian American Studies, University of Maryland, Jerry Vattamala, Democracy Program Director, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Chavi Koneru, Executive Director, North Carolina Asian Americans Together, and Elaine Tso, CEO, Asian Services in Action, Inc.  The event and more about FIRST VOTE can be found here.  

Additional events will take place in the weeks leading up to Election Day in partnership with Latino Public Broadcasting, Pacific Islanders in Communication and Black Public Media.  More details will be announced as they become available here.  

For a complete list of original WORLD Channel programming, visit www.WORLDChannel.org  or follow WORLD Channel on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #YourVote2020 and subscribe to the YouTube channel. 

About FIRST VOTE 
A soon-to-be first-time voter, the filmmaker’s thought-provoking journey into the Rust Belt and South captures four Asian American voters’ ardent first time grassroots political participation ignited by the 2016 rise of “Chinese Americans for Trump.”

FIRST VOTE is a character driven cinema verité style film chronicling the democratic participation of four Asian American voters from 2016 through the 2018 midterm elections. In Montgomery County, Ohio, a first-time voter Lance Chen avidly mobilizes new Americans to vote republican through his Rush-Limbaugh-style podcast and political action committee. In Orange County, North Carolina, journalist Kaiser Kuo  returns to the U.S. after living in Beijing for 20 years and is unexpectedly confronted with the rise of Chinese American conservativism in the South, personified by a rags-to-riches business woman, Sue Googe, who after an unsuccessful first run for Congress, becomes a “tough Chinese cookie” for the Tea Party. At the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, critical race theory professor Jennifer Ho takes her activism to the classroom teaching about the complexities of race and racism in the American South. 

Until 1952, federal law prohibited immigrants of Asian descent from becoming U.S. citizens and voting. Today, Asian Americans are the fastest growing population in the United States. FIRST VOTE is a timely story exploring what it means to be American through personal stories of America’s fastest growing political constituency’s diverse experience at the polls in battleground states.

About WORLD Channel

WORLD shares the best of public media in news, documentaries and fact-based informational programming that helps us understand conflicts, movements and cultures that may be distinct from our own. WORLD’s original content examines issues too often ignored by mainstream media by sharing stories from a diversity of voices. WORLD has won a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, a National News and Documentary Emmy Award and other national honors — including 1st and 2nd place Native Media Awards, an RTNDA Kaleidoscope Award, a Media for a Just Society Award, two Lesbian & Gay Journalist Awards, two Gracies and an Asian American Journalists Award. WORLD is a growing platform carried by 174 partner stations in markets representing more than 72% of US TV households. It is also available on WORLDChannel.org and social media platforms. Funding for WORLD Channel is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts and Artworks. WORLD Channel is curated by GBH in partnership with WNET and is distributed by American Public Television (APT).

Yi Chen

About Director Yi Chen
Yi is a 2019 Soros Equality Fellow and 2020 DC Arts and Humanities Fellow. She is currently in post-production with FIRST VOTE, a feature length documentary supported by the Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Center for Asian American Media, ITVS, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and Southern Documentary Fund. Her last film CHINATOWN, about three long-time residents’ activism for affordable housing in Washington, DC’s historic Chinatown neighborhood, aired on PBS station WHUT and won the IndieCapitol Awards Best Documentary Short. Yi previously worked at the UN Foundation, National Geographic, and Voice of America. She has also produced documentaries for Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, Investigative Reporting Workshop, WAMU 88.5, and Financial Times. Yi holds an MFA in Film and Media Arts from American University and has served as an adjunct professor at George Mason University. 

 

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

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

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

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

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

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

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

Balancing Act Facebook Page

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lia Chang in BALANCING ACT
Lia Chang in BALANCING ACT

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

 

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.

Justin Lin’s Short Film Contest for Asian American Filmmakers; David Henry Hwang Pens Script

Print

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.

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.”

INTERPRETATIONS Timeline & Website
With the kick-off being held at this year’s CAAMFest, the official call for entries begins March 31 and ends on June 17. 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.

Launch of Interpretations and YOMYOMF Presence at CAAMFest
Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) presents CAAMFest (formerly the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival) is the world’s largest showcase for new Asian American and Asian film, food and music programs, annually presenting over 100 works in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland. This year’s festival will be held from March 10 – 20, 2016.

YOMYOMF Presents: A Brave New Digital World
YOMYOMF will host a FREE panel discussion on Sunday, March 13, 1:30pm at Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. Here is a description of the panel:

With the success of digital platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, 2016 will see a record number of new digital services looking to fund/distribute content from and for diverse communities. This year has already seen or will see the launch of SVOD/AVOD/OTT platforms including NBC Seeso, CBS All Access, WatchABC, Comic Con, Warner Brothers TV, Verizon Go90, Fullscreen, YouTube Red, Seriously, Rated Red and others. In addition, filmmaker Justin Lin (FAST & FURIOUS franchise, upcoming STAR TREK BEYOND) and YOMYOMF will be launching Interpretations 2.0 with Comcast and NBCUniversal to discover the next wave of promising Asian Pacific American filmmakers. As traditional opportunities dry up for filmmakers, could digital become the new indie cinema? YOMYOMF talks to key players from the industry providing outlets for this new and sustainable content about the opportunities for Asian Pacific American content creators in the brave, new digital world.

Finalized industry panelists for this seminar are:

● Moderated by Anderson Le (Hawaii International Film Festival, YOMYOMF)

● Philip W Chung, Creative Director, YOMYOMF

● Karen Horne, Senior VP, Programming Talent Development & Inclusion, NBC Universal

● Pradeepa Jeeva, Development Director, Machinima

● Gary King, Jr, New Media content & Alternative Programming, Disney Digital

THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT 10th Anniversary Screening
Critically acclaimed for its eye-popping, testosterone-filled driving sequences, the third installment in THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS series is considered its biggest departure in theme and style. Troubled American teen Sean (Lucas Black) comes to Tokyo to live with his father and avoid punishment back home for his thrill-seeking ways. Sean befriends Twinkie (Shad Moss), who introduces him to Tokyo’s underground street racing scene and the dangerous world of drifting. Sean’s life becomes even more complicated as he learns how to master drifting from Han (Sung Kang) and challenges rival Takashi (Brian Tee) for the racing crown as he falls for Takashi’s girlfriend, Neela (Nathalie Kelley).

The 10th-anniversary celebration screening and Justin Lin’s return to CAAMFest, after showing BETTER LUCK TOMORROW in 2002, as part of the Interpretations Initiative kick-off and YOMYOMF is on on March 13, 9:30PM, at San Francisco’s new Alamo Drafthouse. Special guests from the film will be in attendance!

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

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, which will screen at The Women’s Film Festival 2016 in Philadelphia on March 13th and the Disorient Film Festival in Eugene Oregon in April. 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: © 2000-2016 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