The Closing Night Film program of the 16th Annual DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon will feature the Pacific Northwest premieres of Garth Kravits’ short film When the World Was Young starring Lia Chang, Jason Ma, Virginia Wing and Jo Yang; and Wayne Wang’s Coming Home Again, based on a personal essay by Chang Rae Lee, and starring Justin Chon, Jackie Chung, and Christina July Kim.
The Festival is being held virtually this year from March 19-28, 2021. Click here to purchase tickets to view the films.
The Livestreamed Q&A on Sunday March 28 @ 4:00pm PST/7:00pm EST will feature Lia Chang, Jason Ma, Virginia Wing, Jo Yang and Garth Kravits for When The World Was Young and Donald Young for Coming Home Again. Click here for tickets.
In WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG, siblings Benjamin (Jason Ma) and Audrey (Lia Chang) return home to confront their Mother’s (Virginia Wing) memory loss and discover a hidden key to her past. The cast also features Daniel Dunlow, Michelle Simone Miller and Mark York.
Written and directed by Garth Kravits, the film is Executive Produced by Lia Chang’s production company Bev’s Girl Films, with producers Garth Kravits of Cut & Dry Films and Eric Elizaga. The film was shot on location in New York.
The production team includes 1st A.D. Eric Elizaga, 2nd A.D. Anastasia Shulgina, Key Hair and Make-up by Dorothy Bhadra; Kristen Lee Rosenfeld on Piano, Emma Svetvilas on Cello, Garth Kravits on Guitar recorded live at Yes It Is Productions.
Watch the trailer for WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG below:
Virginia Wing (Virginia) is a Chinese-American actress whose ancestors came to the “Gold Mountain” from Canton (now Guangdong) in the mid-1800s, lured by the Gold Rush and the building of the railroads. She is currently writing about growing up Southern in the Mississippi Delta, where she was born and raised. Professionally, she has run the gamut from opera, theatre, cabaret, TV, film, playwriting, directing and producing to script analysis. She modeled in her youth and is in the Breck Girl Hall of Fame. She was the model in the Mitsouko by Guerlain ad in the 60s, which won awards internationally. She was a nominee for Best Actress in the Hollywood NAACP Image Awards. She is most proud of this film because the characters did not have to have Chinese accents, did not have to speak Chinese or refer to themselves as being Chinese. They were not written as Exotic or Other, but as Americans who happen to be Chinese, caught up in a universal story. At last! She can be seen in NYTW’s production of Three Sisters in the Spring of 2020. Click on the Performing Arts Legacy Website for more about Virginia Wing.
Jason Ma (Benjamin) is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award for his work as a composer/lyricist. Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters and many international venues. Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com
Lia Chang (Audrey) is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman, Balancing Act, Belongingness, When the World was Young and Hide and Seek.
Jo Yang (Amah) began her professional stage acting career in the Pacific Northwest and now lives and works in New York City. Recently she appeared as Sook Ja in New York Theatre Workshop’s production of “Endlings” before it was abruptly shut down by the pandemic in Mar 2020. She is grateful that the play had its world premiere and a full run at The American Repertory Theatre the year prior. Less than six degrees of separation bring Virginia Wing and Jo together on this project as they also worked with each other at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Festival. As well as theatre, Jo’s credits extend across the board, in film, tv, radio, commercials and print. She has recurring roles on “The Affair” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, speaking Mandarin. Her Film/TV credits are listed here.
Garth Kravits is an actor, singer, musician, composer and award winning filmmaker, director and editor. He made his Broadway debut in the Tony award winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone and originated the role of Ritchie in the Broadway show Gettin’ the Band Back Together’. His Off-Broadway credits include Old Jews Telling Jokes, Toxic Audio and Smart Blonde. He has appeared regionally in Gettin’ The Band Back Together, Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play, and It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, (Bucks County Playhouse) Kravits has appeared on TV in “Mr. Robot,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” HBO’s “Divorce,” “30 Rock,” “The Blacklist,” “Nurse Jackie,” “The Carrie Diaries,” “Hostages” and in the new TV shows “The Hunters” (Amazon Prime) and “Tommy” (CBS). Bev’s Girl Films’ Hide and Seek and Rom-Com Gone Wrong have also been official selections of Disorient. DisOrient is the premiere Asian American independent film festival of Oregon, celebrating films with authentic Asian Pacific American voices, histories and stories. They highlight social justice themes that translate to universal human experiences. They promote representation, diversity and inclusion to broaden the narrative of who is American, and to strengthen and build community.
All-access passes ($48) and single tickets ($9) for all films may be purchased online at www.disorientfilm.org. Check out the website for the full festival schedule, program, and film trailers.