Tag Archives: Front Cover

Elizabeth Sung Guest Stars on NBC’s “The Night Shift” on June 15; talks THE UNBIDDEN, PALI ROAD, FRONT COVER and FOR IZZY

Elizabeth Sung. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Sung. Photo by Lia Chang

In the Season 3, episode 303 of NBC’s “The Night Shift,” entitled “The Way Back” which airs on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 10:00PM, Elizabeth Sung guest stars in the role of Sumei Zia.

“The Night Shift” focuses on a team of doctors and nurses at San Antonio Memorial’s emergency room that are anything but ordinary. The risks they take to save lives straddle the line between heroic and impulsive, but are always worth it.

updated: 6/16/16

The series stars Eoin Macken as T.C. Callahan, Jill Flint as Dr. Jordan Alexander, Ken Leung as Dr. Topher Zia, Brendan Fehr as Dr. Drew Alister, Robert Bailey Jr. as Dr. Paul Cummings, JR Lemon as Kenny, Tanaya Beatty as Dr. Shannon Rivera and Scott Wolf as Dr. Scott Clemmens.

(l-r) Ken Leung as Dr. Topher Zia, Elizabeth Sung as Sumei Zia and Eoin Macken as Dr. TC Callahan on NBC's "The Night Shift".
(l-r) Ken Leung as Dr. Topher Zia, Elizabeth Sung as Sumei Zia and
Eoin Macken as Dr. TC Callahan on NBC’s “The Night Shift”.

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In this episode, Drew returns from deployment in Afghanistan and can’t seem to shake off the stress of being back from overseas. Things get crazy right away as he, Jordan and Kenny treat a bride and her wedding party who have been injured during the festivities, as well as her father, whose presence is not making things easier. Meanwhile, TC helps Topher entertain his demanding mother, whose extended visit is putting stress on the family.

(l-r) Elizabeth Sung as Sumei Zia and Ken Leung as Topher Zia on NBC's "The Night Shift".
(l-r) Elizabeth Sung as Sumei Zia and Ken Leung as Topher Zia on NBC’s “The Night Shift”.

Click here to watch the episode. Ms. Sung returns to “The Night Shift” on July 13, 2016.

(l-r) Ken Leung as Topher Zia and Elizabeth Sung as Sumei Zia on NBC's "The Night Shift".
(l-r) Ken Leung as Topher Zia and Elizabeth Sung as Sumei Zia on NBC’s “The Night Shift”.

In Albuquerque, where “The Night Shift” is shot, Ms. Sung was delighted to be reunited with Ken Leung, having worked with him on “The Sopranos” as his mother and in Fay Ann Lee’s indie film “Falling for Grace”.

Ken Leung, Fay Ann Lee, Clem Cheung and Elizabeth Sung in FALLING FOR GRACE. Photo by Joe Tam
Ken Leung, Fay Ann Lee, Clem Cheung and Elizabeth Sung in FALLING FOR GRACE. Photo by Joe Tam

Elizabeth Sung was raised in Hong Kong and is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin. From 1994-96, she was a series regular in the 1st Asian American storyline on the daytime soap “The Young and the Restless” as Luan Volien Abbott, and is memorable as the second wife in Wayne Wang’s “The Joy Luck Club”.

Elizabeth Sung as Second Wife in "The Joy Luck Club"
Elizabeth Sung as Second Wife in “The Joy Luck Club”
Classic Soap Opera Digest Cover Date: January 31, 1995- Elizabeth Sung, Peter Bergman and Phillip Moon
Classic Soap Opera Digest Cover Date: January 31, 1995- Elizabeth Sung, Peter Bergman and Phillip Moon

Other roles on film include “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Lethal Weapon 4,”  “Pali Road”, “The Unbidden”, “Fallen Stars”, “Front Cover,” “Falling for Grace,” “Ping Pong Playa,” “The People I’ve Slept With,”” House Under Siege,” “Go for Sisters,” “ Tango and Cash,” “China Cry,” “Death Ring” and “Yes, And. ” Her television credits include “NYPD Blue,” “For the People,” “Crossing Jordan,” “House M.D.,” “E-Ring,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “The Sopranos,”  “The Forgotten,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “FlashForward,” “Bones,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “Awake,” “The Suite Life on Deck,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Mike & Molly,” “Shameless,” and “Elementary”.

Lucy Liu and Elizabeth Sung in "Elementary".
Lucy Liu and Elizabeth Sung in “Elementary”.

She has appeared in the short films “Godlike,” “Woman in Fragments,” “Nuptials of the Dead,” “The Boxer,” and the webisodes “Who’s in Charge,” “Miss Guidance” and “Meet the Kayak.”

PING PONG PLAYA, center: Roger Fan, Elizabeth Sung, 2007. ©IFC Films
PING PONG PLAYA, center: Roger Fan, Elizabeth Sung, 2007. ©IFC Films

Ms. Sung was in the Directing Workshop for Women at the American Film Institute where she made her first award winning film, “Requiem” (1995). Her graduate thesis film, “The Water Ghost” (1998), earned Sung an MFA in directing from the AFI. It was aired on Lifetime channel’s “Women Directors Series”. She garnered the 2013 Golden Angel Award for Best Supporting Actress at the 9th Annual Chinese American Film Festival, and the 2013 Asians on Film Festival for her mother’s role in Steve Myung’s “Anita Ho,” one of her favorite projects to date.

"Anita Ho" 2013 Chinese American Film Festival Golden Angel Award for - Best Comedy - director, writer, actor / Steve Myung, producer, writer, actress / Lina So Golden Angel Award - Best Actress in a Supporting Role / Elizabeth Sung.
“Anita Ho” 2013 Chinese American Film Festival Golden Angel Award for – Best Comedy – director, writer, actor / Steve Myung, producer, writer, actress / Lina So Golden Angel Award – Best Actress in a Supporting Role / Elizabeth Sung.

Sung also has a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School and was a member of The Alvin Ailey Repertory Dance Company. Her current projects include the pilot “Lees of LA,” and the indie feature “For Izzy”.

In the wake of her whirlwind schedule, we had a moment to chat by phone about “The Night Shift” and her latest film projects.  

Lia: What was it like on the set of “The Night Shift”?
Elizabeth: My first day was a party scene. I really felt like I was being swept into a family. I found the cast and crew to be extremely welcoming. The episode was written by Janet Lin, who I worked with on “Bones.” It was wonderful to reconnect with Ken and Janet. The director, Tara Nicole Weyr, is great. I was very inspired  to see two women helming key positions. This says a lot about “The Night Shift” production, a female friendly set, with a lot of women on the crew.

Lia: What are you working on?
Elizabeth: I am currently shooting “For Izzy,” with an Asian American indie director/writer named Alex Chu. We worked together on his indie debut, “Yes, And. Our cast features “Fear the Walking Dead” star Michelle Ang (we worked together on “Fallen Stars), Jim Lau (we worked together on “Ping Pong Playa” and “Yes, Andand Jenny Soo (we worked together on “Yes, And,” and “Godlike”). It’s fun to be working with friends.

From the set of FOR IZZY (l-r) Elizabeth Sung, Michelle Ang, Alex Chu, Jenny Soo and Jim Lau. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Sung
From the set of FOR IZZY (l-r) Elizabeth Sung, Michelle Ang, Alex Chu, Jenny Soo and Jim Lau. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Sung

Alex is a very creative director, a risk taker, and is interested in tackling subjects that are important issues. The film is about addiction, family, autism, but, most of all, second chances. He’s written a story for Asian American characters – two sets of dysfunctional families.

From the set of FOR IZZY (l-r) Director of Photography Irvin Liu, Michelle Ang, Elizabeth Sung, production manager Tash Ann, Jenny Soo, director/writer/producer Alex Chu and Jim Lau. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Sung
From the set of FOR IZZY (l-r) Director of Photography Irvin Liu, Michelle Ang, Elizabeth Sung, production manager Tash Ann, Jenny Soo, director/writer/producer Alex Chu and Jim Lau. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Sung

I play the mother of a recovering drug addict photojournalist, from Hong Kong. I’ve left my job as a banker in Hong Kong to come help my daughter in LA clean up her act. We move next to a family with a single father who has a 28 year old high functioning autistic daughter. As time passes they can’t help but influence each other’s lives, giving and getting a second chance!

Elizabeth Sung in "For Izzy"
Elizabeth Sung in “For Izzy”

“For Izzy” Facebook Page

6da6dfb33058562e7e725fb65460eed3Lia: What are your favorite projects? 
Elizabeth:  “The Night Shift” and my work on indie films has instilled in me the belief that by committing to each role, making them personal and truthful, I grow as an actor in my ability to portray three dimensional characters that have compelling and universal stories. It is also heart warming to see there are an increasing number of budding Asian American filmmakers, making ground breaking stories. What I can contribute is my experience through acting. For me, it has always been challenging and rewarding to work on independent project, where the script comes to you and it’s not quite complete. The filmmakers that I choose to work with are open-minded enough to welcome input. The smart ones will listen, consider, then implement at least some of the ideas. Then you see your character and the script evolve into a fuller and more complete story.

Other indie films that I enjoyed working on were “Pali Road,” (currently in theaters), “Go For Sister,” “ Front Cover ,” (in film festivals and will be released in August) “The Unbidden,” (will be released in June) , “Fallen Stars,” (will be released in September) And currently, “For Izzy”.

PALI ROAD by Jonathan Lim
Jonathan Lim’s powerful drama Pali Road starring Michelle Chen, Sung Kang, Tzi Ma, Henry Ian Cusick, Jackson Rathbone and Ms. Sung was the closing feature at the LAAPFF and is currently in selected theaters across country. Click here to see where it is playing in a city near you.

Pali RoadPali Road is a mesmerizing and chilling journey into the mystery of the human psyche and the power of love. Lily (Chen), a young doctor, wakes up from a car accident to discover she is now married to her boyfriend’s affluent rival, Dr. Mitch Kayne (Kang), has a five-year-old-son, and an established life she has no recollection of.

Elizabeth Sung and Tzi Ma in "Pali Road".
Elizabeth Sung and Tzi Ma in “Pali Road”.
Tzi Ma and Elizabeth Sung. Photo by Steven Lam
Tzi Ma and Elizabeth Sung. Photo by Steven Lam

Everyone around her, including her parents (Elizabeth Sung and Tzi Ma), deny that her boyfriend, Neil (Rathbone), ever existed, sending her on a desperate search for the truth. Determined to reclaim a life everyone insists is nothing more than an illusion, Lily eventually begins to doubt her own sanity. Struggling to overcome her seemingly hopeless situation, Lily endures a series of unexplainable and haunting incidents while bravely making her way to an ultimate mind-bending truth about the power of true love.

“Pali Road” Facebook Page

Pali Road starring Michelle Chen, Sung Kang, Elizabeth Sung, Tzi Ma, Henry Ian Cusick and Jackson Rathbone, closes 2016 LAAPFF on April 28 

THE UNBIDDEN by Quentin Lee

Julia Nickson, Amy Hill, Tamlyn Tomita and Elizabeth Sung in THE UNBIDDEN
Julia Nickson, Amy Hill, Tamlyn Tomita and Elizabeth Sung in THE UNBIDDEN

“The Unbidden,” Quentin Lee’s female driven supernatural thriller starring Tamlyn Tomita (“Teen Wolf,”” The Joy Luck Club”), Julia Nickson (“Rambo,” “Double Dragon”), Amy Hill (“50 First Dates,” “Lilo & Stitch”), Elizabeth Sung (“The Joy Luck Club”) and Michelle Krusiec (“Saving Face,” “The Invitation”), Jason Yee, Karin Anna Cheung, Kimberley Rose-Wolter, Akemi Look and Hayden Szeto, had the world premiere screening at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in April.

“The Unbidden” is directed by Quentin Lee (“White Frog,” “The People I’ve Slept With”) with a screenplay by NaRhee Ahn (“Purity”). North American distribution rights were acquired by genre visionaries Viva Pictures and international rights were acquired by Korea’s hers Entertainment.

THE UNBIDDEN- Elizabeth Sung (Left) plays Anna comforting her best friend Lauren played by Tamlyn Tomita (Right).
THE UNBIDDEN- Elizabeth Sung (Left) plays Anna comforting her best friend Lauren played by Tamlyn Tomita (Right).

Synopsis: Mystery novelist Lauren Lee (Tomita) is haunted by the ghost of a tortured, bloodied man. She tries to forget the apparition’s terrifying warnings and her unstable mental state by hosting dinner with her best friends (Nickson, Sung, and Hill). Each of the women has her own idea and opinion to make Lauren feel better. In the midst of a séance that Rachel believes will exorcise Lauren’s demons, a mysterious young man (Szeto) arrives brandishing a gun. He holds the women hostage in order to get to the truth of the whereabouts of his missing father.

Elizabeth: I’ve known Quentin since 1996. Working on” The Unbidden” was a fun journey and a chance for me to work with friends over 12 days that I don’t have many opportunities to work with.

 “The Unbidden” Facebook Page

FRONT COVER by Ray Yeung


Ray Yeung’s “Front Cover” starring Jake Choi and James Chen has been having great success on the film festival circuit and is slated for
national distribution by Strand in August.  The film also features  Ms. Sung, Ming Lee, Jennifer Neala Page, Sonia Villani, Li Jun Li, Benjamin Thys, Rachel Lu, Kristen Hung, Wayne Chang, Peter Benson, Ben Baur, Tom Ligon, Brian Knoebel, Shennell Edmonds, Chris Kies and John Cramer.

“Front Cover” tells the story of Ryan Fu, a gay Chinese American who detests his Asian heritage and through talent and hard work, has attained his dream job as a celebrity fashion stylist.

One day Ryan’s boss assigns him to style Ning, an actor who has just arrived from Beijing for a top magazine photo shoot. Ning dismisses Ryan’s initial Western styling and demands Ryan creates an image for him which represents the power of the new China. Their egos and opinions clash resulting in a strained and difficult working relationship.

Over the following days, they slowly discover that they have a lot in common, and a mutual attraction begins to develop. As they become closer, Ryan reveals that he rejects his Chinese heritage because he is ashamed of his impoverished upbringing. Ning opens up and confesses that he is in the closet.

After a night out on the town together, a Chinese tabloid magazine exposes Ning as gay. Terrified of the impact it will have on his career, Ning implores Ryan to help him deny the story. Ryan must now decide to help Ning or stay true to himself.

Elizabeth: I play Yen Fu, the mother of Jake Choi’s character, Ryan. I was recommended to the director by associate producer, Min Ding, and shot in New York over a five day period. I got on board this film, because I believe it is important to support people, whatever their sexual preference. Love has no borders.

“Front Cover” Facebook Page

Tune in NBC to see Elizabeth and Ken on ” The Night Shift” on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 10:00PM ET. (Check your local listings).


Actors James Hong, Tzi Ma and Elizabeth Sung Talk Shop

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.


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

Lia Chang and Garth Kravits in HIDE AND SEEK.
Lia Chang and Garth Kravits in HIDE AND SEEK.

Lia Chang and Garth Kravits’ Hide and Seek is an official selection of the 2016 Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival, and will screen on Saturday, May 28, 2016 in the Drama/Foreign lineup of films from 12:45 PM ­ 4:55 PM.

Lia Chang and Garth Kravits at the 2016 Katra Film Series in New York on May 14, 2016.
Lia Chang and Garth Kravits at the 2016 Katra Film Series in New York on May 14, 2016.

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.

Examiner.com: Q&A with ‘Hide and Seek’ filmmakers Lia Chang and Garth Kravits

Someone Else (72 min)
Hide and Seek (4 min)
Frank and Kass (7 min)
The Sweetening (20 min)
Special Presentation: Persona Non Grata (139 min)

The 2016 Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival runs May 27 – 28, 2016 at The Guild Theater, 2828 35th St, Sacramento, CA 95817, and will screen 30 films.  Ticket purchasers may buy either a Full Festival Pass for access both days; all day Friday (3PM – 10:30PM); all day Saturday (11AM – 10:30AM); Half-Day Saturday day (11AM-4:30PM), or Half-Day Saturday evening (5PM -10:30PM). Click here purchase a full festival pass or tickets.

Access all Screenings, both Festival days!
Fri 5/27 3PM – 10:30PM
Sat 5/28 11AM – 10:30PM

Full Festival Pass, Advance Price (ends 5/20)
General FFP: $40 ($50 after 5/20)
Students/Seniors FFP: $21 ($25 after 5/20)
Students may be requested to provide a valid student ID. Seniors are 62 year young and up.

Check out the full lineup below.

FRIDAY: Comedy | Documentary | Open Submissions

3:00 – 5:50 PM


USA / 2016 / Narrative, Sci-Fi / 12 min

Directed by Geoffrey Haack
Geoffrey Haack is a S.F.-based freelance photographer and art director. He began at Publicis & Hal Riney in 2011 as Art Director and left in 2014.

Synopsis: A lone traveller enters an uncharted world in search for life.

Up in the Clouds

USA / 2015 / Animation / 2 min

Directed by Ed Moy
Ed Moy is an actor, filmmaker and journalist. He is also the co-writer of the award-winning short film Keye Luke about the life of pioneering Asian American actor Keye Luke, who portrayed Master Po on the “Kung Fu” television series in the 1970s, as well as playing the role of Number One Son in the 1930s-40s Charlie Chan films and appearing as the first Kato in the Green Hornet film serials of the 1940s. His documentary about pioneering Chinese Aviatrix Katherine Sui Fun Cheung, is also screening at the festival.

Synopsis: A teenager falls in love with flying while learning to drive a car with her dad.

LA Dreamers

USA / 2016 / Documentary / 5 min

Directed by Dani Fortuny
Dani Fortuny studied at prestigious Spanish film school of ESCAC. Born in Barcelona, Dani has been involved in documentaries, music videos and commercials. With strong cinematographic style his projects has been all around the world.

Synopsis: Five Japanese girls meet in Los Angeles. They are far from home but they have same goal, chase the dream of becoming hip hop dancers.

The Detached

USA / 2014 / Experimental / 13 min

Directed by Tatsu Aoki
Tatsu Aoki (director and filmmaker) is a prolific artist, a filmmaker, composer, musician, educator, and a consummate bassist and shamisen lute player. Based in Chicago, Aoki works in a wide range of musical genres, ranging from traditional Japanese music, jazz, experimental, and creative music and producing experimental films. He is now adjunct associate professor in the Film, Video, and New Media Department, teaching film production and history. He has produced more than 30 experimental films and is one of the most in-demand performers of bass, shamisen, and taiko, appearing in over 90 recording projects. http://tatsuaoki.com/

Synopsis: Director / filmmaker Tatsu Aoki’s collaboration with producer / choreographer Lenora Lee was filmed on Angel Island. It features Lenora Lee Dance performing in the East Garrison hospital, which was used as a US military processing station from 1900 to 1941.

Avenue X

USA / 2014 / Drama / 21 min

Directed by Benjamin To
Benjamin To is a Southern California based writer, director, and producer who founded The BAND WITH NO NAME Film Company. His work has been featured in numerous publications, such as The Huffington Post, NBC News, and the Los Angeles Times, for creating artistic discussions about race relations, diversity in media, and gender equality. Benjamin recently received his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the California State University, Fullerton. He continues to create content that raises awareness and sparks dialogue about the Asian American experience, as well as other communities of color, to provide a platform for their voices to be heard.

Synopsis: Avenue X, a gritty film noir which features a cast entirely of color, follows a battle-worn detective in search of a missing child from his past during the harsh times of 1940s Los Angeles.

Small Potatoes

USA / 2016 / Drama / 6 min

Directed by Elaine Wong
Born in Hong Kong and immigrated to San Francisco when she was in high school, Elaine graduated from UC Irvine in 2010, and held a Bachelor of Art degree in Literary Journalism. A 2nd year MFA candidate in Film and Television Production at USC, Elaine has worked with Scott Hamilton Kennedy, an Academy Award nominated documentary filmmaker, and now works in project development with Janet Yang, a prominent China-Hollywood Producer. Before she developed an interest in filmmaking, Elaine worked as a reporter at Sing Tao Daily. She is also a USC Annenberg California Endowment Health Journalism Fellow. As a writer director, Wong enjoys telling coming-of-age, romance, and Asian American experience stories.

Synopsis: Trista, a young ABC girl, has to come to terms with her own identity when Faye, her newcomer cousin from China, comes to live with her in America.

watch trailer

Aviatrix: The Katherine Sui Fun Cheung Story

USA / 2015 / Animation, Documentary / 35 min

Directed by Ed Moy
Ed Moy is an award-winning journalist. He was recipient of the Leukemia & Lymphoma National Print Media Award in 2000. His animated short film Up in the Clouds premiered at the Catalina Film Festival and has screened at numerous film festivals. He covers Asian Pacific Entertainment on Examiner.com

Synopsis: Documentary about pioneering Asian Aviatrix Katherine Sui Fun Cheung, a Chinese immigrant who defied racial and gender bias to become a daredevil stunt pilot during the Golden Age of Aviation in the 1930s.

watch trailer

Chinese Couplets

USA / 2015 / Documentary / 57 min

Directed by Felicia Lowe
Felicia Lowe is an award winning independent television producer, director, and writer with more than 35 years of production experience. “Chinese Couplets” is her latest work. Lowe received an EMMY for Best Cultural Documentary for “Chinatown.” “Carved in Silence,” a documentary about Angel Island Immigration Station has become a classic in educational circles and “China: Land of My Father,” a personal journey to China in 1979 to meet her paternal grandmother have garnered numerous awards and have been broadcast on PBS. Lowe was one of the first Asian broadcast journalist at KGO-TV. She has also taught film at SFSU and Stanford University and was a leader in the preservation of Angel Island Immigration Station.

Synopsis: “Chinese Couplets” is an intimate family story that reveals the impact of the Chinese Exclusion Acts on one family, over two centuries in three countries, on four generations of women. 

FRIDAY: Comedy | Documentary | Open Submissions

6:00 – 10:30 PM

Irene Tu

Comedy Set / 10 min

Irene Tu is a stand-up comedian, writer, and actor. She was named one of the “Bay Area’s 11 Best Standup Comedians” in 2016 by the SFist and has been featured in numerous comedy festivals including SF Sketchfest, Limestone Comedy Festival, and Crom Comedy Festival. Irene hosts several popular shows in the Bay Area including Laugh Function, Man Haters, and Hysteria. She is also a co-producer of The Mission Position in San Francisco. You can follow her on Twitter @irene_tu or vist her website: www.irenetu.com

watch trailer

I Hate the Color Red

USA / 2015 / Drama, Comedy, LGBTQ / 19 min

Directed by Jazmin Jamias
Jazmin Jamias recently graduated from SFSU with a degree in Cinema with an emphasis in fictional filmmaking. Her last film, a short documentary entitled, The Altered Lives of LaVonne Salleé won two audience awards and two documentary awards and is currently part of the “Frameline Voices” program. She is interested in telling stories from a Filipino-American perspective. She is currently writing her next untitled project. She lives and works in the Bay Area.

Synopsis: A comedy about a sister and brother who inherit a video store who soon realize that because of “red boxes” and “red envelopes” that their store will soon become obsolete. They both deal with the demise of the store in their own way.

Sam Choy’s Poke to the Max

USA / 2016 / Documentary / 40 min

Directed by Terrence Santos
A Seattle based independent filmmaker, Terrence has collaborated on multiple projects including Narrative, Commercial and especially Documentary work. He was honored to find himself as a co-producer and cinematographer of the 2013 best of SIFF documentary THE OTHERSIDE. This project documented the rising hip hop music industry in the Seattle area from 2009-2011. Amongst those included in the film were the Blue Scholars, The Physics and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Terrence also held the position of Director of Content Development and Video Production for the University of Washington Athletics Marketing Department. This combined work experience has allowed him to further explore and raise his standards as a filmmaker

Synopsis: Godfather of Poké, Chef Sam Choy, was a major factor in Poké’s rise in popularity and now his Hawaiian food trucks have arrived in Seattle. Chef Choy shares how Poké is a true taste of Hawaii and how this distinctly Hawaiian dish has spread the Spirit of Aloha from the islands to around the world.


USA / 2015 / Drama, Comedy / 14 min

Directed by Linder Pak; Christian Oh
Linder Pak is a writer and producer from the DMV. Her creative aspirations started in music, when she went to the Catholic University of America to study voice performance. She later realized that her love was not in music, but rather in storytelling. That’s when she turned her focus to screenwriting. Her feature-length script, Wedding Fever, has won an award for Best Screenplay for Romantic Comedy at the NOVA Film Festival, and placed third in the Cash Pot Screenplays. Her first film, Rendezvous, has been accepted to several film festivals. She also penned the webcomic, Dramatic Neutral. Linder is gearing up for another short film called, Pipe Dream, produced under her company, Cranky Peanut Productions.

Synopsis: A bumbling, middle-aged man goes on a dinner date with a woman half his age, but cultural misunderstandings keep him from connecting with her.

Right of Passage

USA / 2014 / Documentary / 98 min

Directed by Janice D. Tanaka
A producer, director and television execwith 30 years of experience in film and TV, Tanaka brings a wide range of experience to her work including recent productions “Right of Passage,” “REBEL WITH A CAUSE: The Life of Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga and “Act of Faith” the story of a Baptist minister in Seattle who dedicated his life to serving Japanese Americans. Tanaka continues to work as a script evaluator and producer of videos for clients such as the Japanese American National Museum.

Synopsis: American concentration camps. 120,000 victims, mostly US Citizens. their dramatic 45-year quest for justice.

Painted Nails

USA / 2015 / Documentary / 57 min

Directed by Erica Jordan and Dianne Griffin
Erica Jordan (co-producer) is an award-winning independent filmmaker whose documentary In Plain Sight premiered at 2014 Mill Valley Film Festival and won the 2016 Impact Docs Award. Jordan’s feature film Walls of Sand won Honorable Mention at Slamdance Film Festival and In the Wake, was selected by Film Threat as one of the best independent feature films of 2001. Dianne Griffin’s (co-producer) feature documentary White Hotel premiered at at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Film Society of Lincoln Center and was distributed worldwide by Jane Balfour Films LTD, London, England. Griffin enters unfamiliar territory, creating intimate connections and telling stories of dignity, suffering and compassion, which move us to act.

Synopsis: This timely film follows a Vietnamese immigrant’s life-changing journey from her vibrant nail salon to the steps of Congress, becoming the first person to testify for safe cosmetics in over 30 years.



11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

To Die or To Dream

USA / 2015 / Drama / 3 min

Directed by Peilin Kuo
Peilin Kuo is an award-winning writer/director born in Taiwan and based in New York. After graduating with a drama degree from her homeland, she worked for a production company in Taipei which made music videos, commercials, and television programs. She relocated to New York in 2002 and started to pursue her career as an independent filmmaker. Since 2004, Peilin has been making short films that have been screened in film festivals and winning awards. Peilin’s upcoming film “A Thousand Deaths” is a feature length biopic of legendary Asian American actress Anna May Wong (1905-1961).

Synopsis: Chinese American actress, Anna May Wong, is caught in a dark alternate celluloid reality. She relives her cinematic past over and over while deciding how she wants to be portrayed as an actress.

Mango Sticky Rice

USA / 2016 / Comedy, Musical / 15 min

Directed by Mallorie Ortega
Mallorie Ortega is a director, production designer, and food lover. More often than not, she will break out into song or make up a tune to her everyday living. She will be graduating from the USC School of Cinematic Arts earning her MFA in Film and TV Production. She enjoys designing highly imaginative worlds like scary basements, futuristic humanoid robots, and lightbulb growing trees. Most recently, she production designed a short film called When Pigs Fly, starring Glenn Howerton from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Fargo. Mallorie has been awarded Best Comedy, Best Ensemble, and Best Director at the Asians on Film Festival 2016. She was the only female to be nominated for Best Director at the First Look Film Festival 2016.

Synopsis: Katie, a food lover and very comfortable with her single life, is pressured by her friends and family to try online dating. Chris, a waiter at her favorite restaurant, doesn’t have the courage to talk to her, and watches her meet ups on the sidelines.


USA / 2015 / Drama, Thriller / 15 min

Directed by James Kwon Lee
James is an LA-based writer-director who was born in England, lived in South Korea, and moved around the US, residing in 12 different cities across three continents. He graduated Duke University with a degree in biology. James has an MFA at USC Film School. He won the Thomas B. Bush Award for excellence in Cinematography and the Entertainment Partners Award for excellence in Producing. In 2015, former NatGeo CEO Howard Owens hired James to be a development producer at Propagate Content. James has since directed award winning shorts, commercials, and special projects, including an action previs sequence for an upcoming Kevin Hart and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson film.

Synopsis: Two robbers, posing as locksmiths, unknowingly break into the home of a killer who is in the middle of hiding his latest victim. The inevitable encounter leads to a series of terrifying incidents that culminates in a heart-rending reveal of the killer’s motive.


USA / 2015 / Comedy, LGBTQ / 10 min

Directed by Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith is a filmmaker and reality producer based in Los Angeles. She’s written for The Young & The Restless where she and her team won a WGA award for outstanding scripted daytime drama in 2013. She was also a writers’ assistant for the Emmy winning writing team of As the World Turns (2002, 2004, 2005), where she was invited to participate in the 2004 and 2005 Procter and Gamble writers’ workshop. In addition to her writing and producing work, Sarah edited the feature films Saint Janet and Armless, (an official selection to the NEXT category of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival). Sarah is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Synopsis: D.Asian is the story of a child seeking to clarify who he is in relation to those he identifies with most. It’s a timeless tale of that period in our lives when we crave the acceptance of our peers but regardless take a stand and for the first time say “no, THIS is who I am.”


France, Switzerland / 2014 / Drama, Foreign / 19 min

Directed by François Yang
François Yang is a Swiss-French director born in Fribourg (Switzerland), of Chinese descent. He graduated from ECAL (University of Art and Design, Lausanne), cinema department in 2003, and completed his education at la Fémis (French national film school) He directed several documentaries and award winning fictions exploring both cross-cultural and cross generational themes.

Synopsis: Alex is reluctant to celebrate the moon festival with his family, and would rather spend the evening with his French girlfriend. His heart is torn, however, when he rekindles his friendship with a childhood family friend.


USA / 2015 / Drama, Horror, Thriller / 10 min

Directed by Elaine Xia
Elaine Xia was born in Hong Kong but raised in mainland China. She is influenced by the two vastly different cultures and has always dreamed of traveling in time back to the 90’s Hong Kong. With her first independent short, “Metamorphosis”, she has achieved that dream. After graduating from high school, she entered New York Film Academy in Los Angeles in 2010 to study filmmaking. After working as an editor for several years, she decided to combine her interests in a new way. Inspired by her mother’s strength, Elaine has dedicated herself to creating horror and dramatic movies that showcase the darker sides of humanity, finding the beauty within in the process.

Synopsis: A woman in 1990s Hong Kong accidentally kills her alcoholic husband in self-defense, and finds a unique way to dispose of the evidence.

Finding Cleveland

USA / 2015 / Documentary / 10 min

Directed by Larissa Lam
Larissa is an award winning singer/songwriter born and raised in LA. Her single “I Feel Alive” won the 2015 Hollywood Music in Media Award and Akademia Music Award for Best Dance Song. She was named November 2015 Best Vocalist of the Month by SingerUniverse Magazine. After over a decade of starring in music videos, acting, and TV hosting, Larissa makes her directorial debut in this award winning documentary.

Synopsis: Finding Cleveland is a documentary short film that follows Charles Chiu and his family on an emotional journey as they take a trip to Cleveland, Mississippi to visit the gravesite of Charles’ father, KC Lou. In less than 48 hours, Charles has many surprising encounters with the local townspeople, who help fill in some blanks about the father he never knew. He also learns of the Chinese Exclusion Act, a discriminatory law against Chinese immigrants and the struggles his father faced in a pre-civil rights era.


12:45 – 4:55 PM

Asian Representation In Film and Media

Industry Panel / 50 min

Join hosts Stephen Chun and Christina Lee with special guests Peter Kwong (Big Trouble In Little China), Hudson Yang (Fresh Off The Boat), Albert Tsai (Dr. Ken), Joz Wang (8Asians.com), and Baldwin Chiu (Finding Cleveland) for an open discussion on Asian representation in film, TV, and mainstream media.

Someone Else

USA / 2015 / Drama / 72 min

Directed by Nelson Kim
Nelson Kim received his MFA in Film from Columbia University. His short films have screened at Urbanworld, Anthology Film Archives, Palm Springs Shortfest, Asia Society, CAAMFest, and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. His feature screenplay CONFIDENCE MAN was a semi-finalist for the Netflix/Film Independent Find Your Voice Competition and a quarter-finalist for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Nicholl Fellowship. In addition to his work as a filmmaker, Kim is also a film critic, journalist, and teacher. He writes articles and reviews for Hammer To Nail, Senses of Cinema, and other websites, and teaches film as an adjunct professor at Columbia and Fordham. SOMEONE ELSE is his first feature film.

Synopsis: A shy young Korean American law student, hungry for a more vivid, risk-taking existence, visits his playboy cousin in New York City. In his quest to emulate his cousin, the law student sheds his old identity and journeys into the dark side of his own nature.

Hide and Seek

USA / 2015 / Drama / 4 min

Directed by Garth Kravits
Garth Kravits is a Broadway 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 and The Carrie Diaries and played opposite Keanu Reeves in the feature film Sweet November.

Synopsis: Hide and Seek is a short film that speaks to the societal challenge that women, and especially women of color, endure every day. To look in the mirror and to hope to see a face other than your own. One that is closer to what magazines, television and movies define as beautiful or even normal.

Frank and Kass

USA / 2015 / Drama / 7 min

Directed by Norbert Shieh
Norbert Shieh is a Taiwanese-American filmmaker exploring new perspectives on the everyday through delicate and formal observations. Based in Los Angeles, his films and collaborations as a cinematographer have screened internationally in festivals and venues, including Sundance, Rotterdam, New York Film Festival, Ann Arbor, LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, CAAMFest and LACMA. Shieh is recipient of a 2012 Creative Capital Film/Video grant was a 2015 Visual Communication’s Armed With a Camera fellow. He holds both a BA in Visual Arts from UCSD and a MFA in Film/Video from CalArts.

Synopsis: Frank treks back home to his parents after recently being laid off with his young daughter Kass in tow. With their lives packed in a pickup truck, they drive across the California desert, hoping to make it to their destination in one piece.

The Sweetening

USA / 2015 / Drama, Sci-Fi / 20 min

Directed by Grace Rowe
After graduating UCLA studying Theater and Film, Grace started making films after adapting her one-woman show into an award-winning feature screenplay, “American Seoul.” She wrote, produced, and starred in the short film version which played at over a dozen film festivals worldwide. Grace then went on to write, star in, produce and edit the award-winning feature film, “I Am That Girl,” under her production company, Idylwild Pictures. “The Sweetening” is her directorial debut and is based off a feature film script she also wrote and is currently developing as a series. As an actress, you can see her on such hit t.v. series as “Black-ish,” “Modern Family,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Synopsis: A lonely and isolated woman falls for an avatar in a virtual reality program and it completely upends her life.

Persona Non Grata

Japan / 2015 / Drama / 139 min

Directed by Cellin Gluck
Cellin Gluck is a director known for Persona Non Grata (2015), Oba The Last Samurai (2011), Sideways – aka Saidoweizu (2009) and Lorelei (2005). As an assistant director/production manager he is known for Godzilla (2014), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), Transformers (2007), Remember the Titans (2000) and Contact (1997) among others. Born and spending his ‘formative years’ in Japan and Iran, he believes his multi-cultural upbringing and his own diverse ‘composition’ provides an innate sensibility for things both Eastern and Western, allowing him to bridge cultures visually, viscerally and artistically as well as emotionally.

Synopsis: Against his country’s orders, Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara issues visas to refugees, saving over 6,000 Jewish lives at the outbreak of World War II.

SATURDAY: Documentary

6:00 – 7:50 PM

Racial Facial

USA / 2016 / Documentary / 9 min

Directed by Jeff Adachi
Jeff Adachi is the writer, director and co-producer of “Racial Facial.” He has been a social justice advocate and filmmaker, writing and directing two PBS award winning films, “The Slanted Screen: Asian Men in Film & Television” and “You Don’t Know Jack Soo”.  Between 1995-1999, Jeff produced the Asian American Arts Foundation’s Golden Ring Awards. Jeff also serves as the elected Public Defender of San Francisco. His office provides legal representation to over 20,000 people each year, mostly of color. Through his legal work and activism, Jeff has always been a strong advocate for the civil rights of all Americans.

Synopsis: America Needs a Racial Facial is a short, 8minute film about race in America. It provides a blur of fascinating images and video – historical and contemporary – depicting both the division and blending that has characterized the history and treatment of people of color in this country.

Breathin’: the Eddy Zheng Story

USA / 2016 / Documentary / 61 min

Directed by Ben Wang
Ben Wang (Director/Producer) is a documentary filmmaker whose previous films include AOKI (Co-Directed with Mike Cheng, 2009 feature documentary film, which screened at SF Int’l Asian American Film Festival, Black Panther Party Film Festival, Chicago Asian American Showcase, LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival, Vancouver Asian Film Festival, and Boston Asian American Film Festival) and MAMORI (Director, 2013 short documentary film that screened at CAAMFest). Wang also co-edited “Other: an API Prisoners’ Anthology,” the first anthology of writings and artwork featuring API prisoners.

Synopsis: Arrested at 16 and tried as an adult for kidnapping and robbery, Eddy Zheng served over 20 years in prison. Ben Wang’s BREATHIN’: THE EDDY ZHENG STORY paints an intimate portrait of Eddy — the prisoner, the immigrant, the son, the activist — on his journey to freedom, rehabilitation and redemption.

My America…Or Honk if You Love Buddha

USA / 1997 / Documentary / 35 min

Directed by Renee Tajima-Peña
Renee Tajima-Peña is an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker whose directing credits include the nationally televised documentaries, Calavera Highway (PBS), “The Mexico Story” of The New Americans series (PBS), My Journey Home (PBS), Labor Women (PBS), My America…or Honk if You Love Buddha (PBS), The Last Beat Movie (Sundance Channel), The Best Hotel on Skid Row (HBO), and Who Killed Vincent Chin? (PBS). Her films have premiered at festivals around the world including Cannes, San Francisco, Sundance, Toronto, and the Whitney Biennial. Tajima-Peña is a USA Broad Fellow in media arts, and a professor and graduate director of the social documentation program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Synopsis: In a rollicking ride across the changing terrain of American culture, Tajima-Peña recalls her childhood, back in the days when her vacationing family crossed five state lines without ever seeing another Asian face, and hits the road again to explore just how much the racial and cultural landscape of America has changed. Driving coast-to-coast, she seeks out what it means to be Asian American in our rapidly-changing society and comes across an ecclectic group of offbeat and distinctive people.


8:00 – 10:30 PM

Queer Vietnameseness

USA / 2015 / Documentary, LGBTQ / 51 min

Directed by Quyên Nguyen-Le
Quyên Nguyen-Le is a queer Vietnamese-American writer and filmmaker from Los Angeles. Recently, Quyên directed a film for James Franco’s The Labyrinth anthology and is a recipient of the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival’s 2016 directing fellowship for emerging media artists. Their first documentary, “Queer Vietnameseness” is a deeply personal project that began as a love poem.

Synopsis: “Queer Vietnameseness” follows the lives of three queer 2nd generation Vietnamese American women whose lives tell quintessential stories about the Vietnamese community in the U.S. challenging several dominant tropes in the mainstream Vietnamese refugee experience.

Front Cover

USA / 2015 / Comedy, Drama, LGBTQ, Romance / 87 min

Directed by Ray Yeung
Ray Yeung’s first feature film, CUT SLEEVE BOYS premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and won Best Feature at the Outfest Fusion Festival in Los Angeles. He has written and directed eight short films, including YELLOW FEVER, which won Best Short at the Madrid Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. A BRIDGE TO THE PAST was commissioned by the London Arts Council and recently PAPER WRAP FIRE won Best Short at the New Hampshire Film Festival. Ray has directed two plays, BANANA SKIN and THE THIRD SEX, which were staged in London and Hong Kong. As director and art director for Television commercials, he has worked for clients including 7 Eleven, Coca Cola, MacDonalds and HSBC.

Synopsis: A mature, nuanced drama that explores the relationship between two Asian men as they battle the cultural norms that keep them from living an honest, authentic life.


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

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

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

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.