The 30th episode of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, executive produced and hosted by Lia, airs on April 16 and 23 at 1:30pm and 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, and Spectrum 56/1996, and streams on MNN2. If you miss the episode, it is archived on my youtube channel.
My mentor, National Geographic Photographer Michael Yamashita has captured some of the world’s most awe-inspiring photos for four decades, combining his dual passions of photography and travel.
On this edition of Backstage Pass with Lia Chang, you’ll get to see highlights of “East Meets West”, a nine part docuseries, produced by Emmy award winning journalist Farland Chang, which brings epic chapters of history to life as this legendary photographer shares his lifetime of secrets.
“East Meets West” is based on Mike’s award-winning stories, books & films: Marco Polo: The China Mystery Revealed; Marco Polo: A Photographer’s Journey; Ghost Fleet: The Adventures of China’s Zheng He; The Great Wall: From Beginning to End; Shangri-La: Along the Tea Road to Lhasa; and New York: Flying High.
I met Mike and Farland in 1993, when I attended my first Asian American Journalists Association convention in LA.
Mike is known for epic stories that retrace the paths of famous travelers, like Marco Polo, the Japanese poet Basho, and the Chinese explorer Zheng He. After graduating from Wesleyan University with a degree in Asian studies, he spent seven years in Asia, which became his area of specialty. Returning to the United States fluent in Japanese, he began shooting for National Geographic as well as many other U.S. and international clients. His feature documentary, The Ghost Fleet, won the Best Historical Documentary prize at the New York International Independent Film Festival. His National Geographic Channel documentary, Marco Polo: The China Mystery Revealed, received two Asian Television and Film Awards and was also included in the top 20 most popular NG Channel documentaries of the decade.
Sharing a vision of Bridging East and West. It has been invaluable to be part of an organization of Asian American storytellers, educators, and journalists working towards accurate and fair coverage of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islanders and AANHPI issues.
Episodes 1 & 2 of East Meets West are currently streaming worldwide. Episodes 3, 4, and 5 will launch this summer. www.eastmeetswestfilm.com.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist, documentarian, corporate photographer and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, an Arts and Entertainment and Lifestyle program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996, and streams on MNN2.
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. Her short film, When the World Was Young garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. 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. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.
Lia is the recipient of the 2022 Prospect Muse Award, 2000 OCA Chinese American Journalist Award, the 2001 AAJA National Award for New Media. Lia is an AAJA Executive Leadership Graduate (2000), a Western Knight Fellow at USC’s Annenberg College of Communications for Specialized Journalism on Entertainment Journalism in the Digital Age (2000), a National Press Photographers Association Visual Edge/Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute for New Media (2001), a Scripps Howard New Media Fellow at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism (2002), and a National Tropical Botanical Garden Environmental Journalism Fellow (2003). She was a syndicated columnist for KYODO News, writing about arts and entertainment in her “What’s Hot in New York” column.
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