Tag Archives: Sundance Film Festival

Jan. 29: Asia Society at 2021 Sundance Film Festival: Janet Yang Moderates Virtual Panel Discussion Featuring Amy Tan, Miya Cech, Sushmit Ghosh, Debbie Lum, Leonardo Nam, Baz Poonpiriya, Rintu Thomas, and Christopher Yogi

For the third consecutive year, Asia Society Northern California will host conversations honoring Asian filmmakers and talent at the virtual 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

Academy Governor-at-Large and executive producer of The Joy Luck Club Janet Yang will moderate this virtual program. Speakers include Amy Tan, Miya Cech, Sushmit Ghosh, Debbie Lum, Leonardo Nam, Baz Poonpiriya, Rintu Thomas, and Christopher Yogi. 

Closing remarks by Kevin Rudd, Asia Society CEO & President, 26th Prime Minister of Australia.

Find the Asia Society page on the 2021 Sundance Film Festival website here. This event will be complimentary and open to the global community.

AGENDA

Friday, January 29, 2021 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. PST/8:30 p.m. EST

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. PST   Main Program

  • 5:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. – Documentary Features with Amy Tan, subject of Unintended Memoir, Debbie Lum, director of Try Harder!, Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas, co-directors of Writing with Fire
     
  • 6:15 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Narrative Features with Miya Cech and Leonardo Nam, stars of Marvelous and the Black Hole, Christopher Yogi, writer/director of I Was a Simple Man, Baz Poonpiriya, writer/director of One for the Road

7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Pacific    VIP Reception

VIP Reception to follow the program for Groundbreaker and Innovator Members with Direct Access to Speakers

Click here to RSVP.

Please continuing checking the event website for updated speaker information.

Link to join virtually via Zoom will be emailed the day before and an hour before the program is scheduled to begin by Rexille Uy, Director of Programs (ruy@asiasociety.org).  This will be a webinar program; attendees will not appear on camera and will participate via the Q&A box.

Amy Tan
Amy Tan

Born in the U.S. to immigrant parents from China, Amy Tan grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in a succession of twelve homes by the time she graduated from high school. In 1985, Amy began writing fiction as an incentive to cut back on her heavy freelance workload.  She attended her first workshop at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and then joined a writers group led by writer and creative writing teacher Molly Giles.  In 1987, Amy went to China for the first time, accompanied by her mother.  When she returned home, she learned that she had received  three offers for a book of short stories, of which only three had been written.  The resulting book, The Joy Luck Club, was hailed as a novel and became a surprise bestseller, spending over forty weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.  

Amy  served as Co-producer and Co-screenwriter with Ron Bass for the film adaptation of The Joy Luck Club, for which they received WGA and BAFTA nominations.   She was the Creative Consultant for Sagwa, the Emmy nominated PBS television series for children, which has aired worldwide, including in the UK, Latin America, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and Singapore.  Her story in The New Yorker, Immortal Heart, was performed on stages throughout the U.S. and in France. Her essays and stories are found in hundreds of anthologies and textbooks, and they are assigned as required reading in many high schools and universities.  Amy Tan has been nominated for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the International Orange Prize, and has won many awards including the Commonwealth Gold Award.

Miya Cech
Miya Cech

Ingénue rising starlet Miya Cech is making her mark in Hollywood. Born in Japan, Cech was adopted as a baby and raised with her three siblings in Northern California. She broke into the entertainment industry as a model at just four years old. In 2015, Cech made her television debut as a guest star on the CBS drama Hawaii Five-0. Shortly after, she appeared on several other series including: Nickelodeon’s The Thundermans, season six of FX’s American Horror Story: Roanoke, and the ABC comedy American Housewife.

She currently stars as ‘Samantha Sawyer-Wei,’ a young girl who is a part of a group of kids that are accidentally launched into space, in Nickelodeon’s newest series The Astronauts. She also stars as ‘Sammy Ko’ in the film Marvelous & The Black Hole, which was accepted into the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. The coming-of-age comedy touches on unlikely friendships, grief, and finding hope in the darkest of moments.

Debbie Lum
Debbie Lum

Debbie Lum is an award-winning independent filmmaker based in San Francisco. Her projects give voice to the Asian American experience and other unsung stories. Lum’s award-winning Seeking Asian Female (SXSW Film Festival, Best of Fest‚ AFI Discovery Channel/Silverdocs Film Festival, PBS’ Independent Lens May 2013) was her feature-length directing debut. For years she worked as a documentary editor; credits include A.K.A Don Bonus (winner national Emmy), Kelly Loves Tony (nominated for Best Documentary by the IDA), which she also co-produced, and To You Sweetheart Aloha (Audience award LAAPFF). She has also written several short comedies, Chinese Beauty, A Great Deal!, and One April Morning. She has a B.A. from Brown University, an M.F.A. from San Francisco State University and completed the CPB Producer’s Academy at WGBH. 

Leonardo Nam
Leonardo Nam

Born in Argentina to Korean immigrant parents and raised in Sydney, Australia, Nam attended Sydney Technical High School and studied architecture at the University of New South Wales, before deciding to move to New York City to pursue his dream of becoming an actor.  Whilst in New York, he studied drama with theatre legend Uta Hagen at the critically acclaimed HB Studio and worked with the New York Public Theater/Shakespeare in the Park company, as well as Sigourney Weaver and Jim Simpson’s The Bat Theater Company.  His breakout role came in the Paramount Pictures comedy The Perfect Score, starring Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, and Erika Christensen.  Since then, he has gone on to star in a string of movies, namely The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 1 and 2, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Vantage Point, He’s Just Not That Into You, and One for the Money.

Leonardo Nam can currently be seen reprising his fan-favorite role as Felix Lutz for season three of the critically acclaimed, award-winning HBO series Westworld.  The series, based off the 1973 Michael Crichton movie of the same name, takes place in Westworld, a futuristic amusement park intended for rich vacationers and looked after by robotic “hosts.”  Since the show’s breakout debut in 2016, the series has garnered over 150 award nominations, 47 wins and counting.  Season 3 is currently available to stream across HBO platforms.

Janet Yang (moderator)
Janet Yang (moderator)

Academy Governor-at-Large and a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning Hollywood producer with deep roots in China, Janet Yang has worked with some of the most formidable directors and actors in the world. She came to prominence through her collaboration with Steven Spielberg on Empire of the Sun (Warner Bros).  That was followed by a long partnership with multiple Academy Award-winner Oliver Stone—where she served as Executive Producer on the iconic The Joy Luck Club (Disney), and as a Producer on the Golden Globe-winning The People vs. Larry Flynt (Columbia Pictures). Her most recent project, Over The Moon (Netflix), is an animated feature based on her original story inspired by the Chinese moon goddess. Iconic animator Glen Keane directs the movie.

Among her many other credits are: the Sundance award-winning Dark Matter with Meryl Streep and Chinese star, Liu Ye; The Weight of Water (Lionsgate) directed by Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow; Fox’s High Crimes with Morgan Freeman; a Chinese adaptation of the acclaimed Disney franchise High School Musical; and cult favorites Zero Effect, by Jake Kasdan, and Shanghai Calling with China Film Group.  Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Yang holds a B.A. from Brown University in Chinese studies and an M.B.A. from Columbia University. She is currently a visiting scholar at the University of Southern California.

Christopher Yogi
Christopher Yogi

Christopher Makoto Yogi is from Honolulu, Hawai’i. His debut feature film, August at Akiko’s, had its world premiere at International Film Festival Rotterdam and was listed in Richard Brody’s “The Best Movies of 2019” in the New Yorker. Yogi has participated in the Sundance Directors and Screenwriters Lab, Catalyst, IFP Film Week, Film Independent Fast Track, New York Film Festival Artist Academy, and Berlin International Film Festival Talents.

Kevin Rudd
Kevin Rudd

The Honorable Kevin Rudd is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Asia Society, as of January 1st, 2021 and President of the Asia Society Policy Institute. He served as Australia’s 26th Prime Minister (2007-2010, 2013) and as Foreign Minister (2010-2012). He is also a leading international authority on China. He began his career as a China scholar, serving as an Australian diplomat in Beijing before entering Australian politics.

Watch videos of three panels hosted by Asia Society at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival featuring Daniel Dae KimBenedict WongNina Yang BongioviJanet Yang, and more. Watch video from the Asia Society program at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival featuring Lulu WangRichie MehtaJustin Chon, and Anita Gou.

Major Film Festivals Across the World Join with YouTube For We Are One: A Global Film Festival Starting May 29

NEW YORK, NY– April 27, 2020 – Tribeca Enterprises and YouTube jointly announced today We Are One: A Global Film Festival, an unprecedented 10-day digital film festival exclusively on YouTube, bringing together an international community of storytellers to present festival programming for free to audiences around the world. Set to begin on May 29 on YouTube.com/WeAreOne, the festival will feature programming curated by the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Guadalajara International Film Festival, International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM), Jerusalem Film Festival, Mumbai Film Festival, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Marrakech International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, San Sebastian International Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Tokyo International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, and more, immersing audiences in stories from around the world and providing a voice for filmmakers on a global stage

Core to the DNA of film festivals is the belief that artists and creators have the power to bring people together and create meaningful connections during a time when the world needs it most. Through We Are One: A Global Film Festival , audiences will not only get a peek into different cultures through a new lens, they’ll be able to support local communities by directly donating to organizations helping the relief efforts for those affected by COVID-19. The festival will benefit the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as local relief partners in each region.

“We often talk about film’s uniquely powerful role in inspiring and uniting people across borders and differences to help heal the world. All of the world needs healing right now,” said Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival Co-Founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal. “We Are One: A Global Film Festival unites curators, artists and storytellers to entertain and provide relief to audiences worldwide. In working with our extraordinary festival partners and YouTube we hope that everyone gets a taste of what makes each festival so unique and appreciates the art and power of film.”

“One of the most unique and inspiring aspects of the world staying home is our ability to come together and experience an event as one, and We Are One: A Global Film Festival is just that,” said Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer, YouTube. “Along with Tribeca Enterprises and our incredible partners, we are bringing fans the opportunity to experience the curated programming each of these festivals provides as part of our ten-day long event. It’s an event that’s never been done before and we’re proud to be the home for this fantastic content that is free to fans around the world.”

“We are proud to join with our partner festivals to spotlight truly extraordinary films and talent, allowing audiences to experience both the nuances of storytelling from around the world and the artistic personalities of each festival,” said Pierre Lescure, President of the Cannes Film Festival, and Thierry Fr é maux, Cannes Film Festival General Delegate.

We Are One: A Global Film Festival will run from May 29 – June 7 on YouTube.com/WeAreOne. Programming will be available for free, and will include films, shorts, documentaries, music, comedy, and conversations. A full schedule will be available closer to the festival start date.

About Tribeca Enterprises
Tribeca Enterprises is a multi-platform storytelling company, established in 2003 by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal. Tribeca provides artists with unique platforms to expand the audience for their work and broadens consumer access to experience storytelling, independent film, and media. The company operates a network of entertainment businesses including the Tribeca Film Festival; the Tribeca TV Festival; and its branded entertainment production arm, Tribeca Studios.

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 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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 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

Jennifer Phang’s ADVANTAGEOUS nominated for John Cassavetes Award; Full List of 2016 Film Independent Spirit Award Nominees

Director Jennifer Phang at a screening of Advantageous at Cinema Village in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia ChangDirector Jennifer Phang at a screening of Advantageous at Cinema Village in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

The 31st Film Independent Spirit Award nominations have been announced and Jennifer Phang’s critically lauded sci-fi film Advantageous, winner of a Sundance Film Festival Jury Award for Collaborative Vision, has been been nominated for the John Cassavetes Award, given to the best feature made for under $500,000.

Samantha Kim and Jacqueline Kim in Advantagous
Samantha Kim and Jacqueline Kim in Advantagous

The cast features Jacqueline Kim, Samantha Kim, Ken Jeong, James Urbaniak, Jennifer Ehle, Freya Adams, Jennifer Ikeda, Olivia Horton, Sameerah Luqmann-Harris, Rex Lee, Troi Zee, Theresa Navarro, Mercedes Griffeth, Jeanne Sakata and Matthew Kim.

Independent Spirit award nominated actress Jacqueline Kim co-wrote the script of Advantageous with Phang, and stars as Gwen, the company spokesperson for a radical technology allowing people to overcome their natural disadvantages and begin life anew in a dystopian society that favors appearances over experience. When Gwen finds herself out of a job due to the inevitable march of time and the future of her only child Jules (Samantha Kim) in crisis, Gwen ponders undergoing the procedure herself.  Her compromised partnership with her former boss Fisher (James Urbaniak) threatens any means of her returning to work; while a past indiscretion with her sister’s husband (an almost unrecognizable, dramatic turn for comic actor Ken Jeong) foregrounds her estrangement from her own family. In this world, Advantageous riffs on the destructive contrast between soaring opulence vs. economic hardship, and the compromises that people like Gwen are willing to go through for that better situation.

Jacqueline Kim and James Urbaniak in Advantageous.
Jacqueline Kim and James Urbaniak in Advantageous.

ADVANTAGEOUS stars Jennifer Ikeda, Matthew Kim and Ken Jeong at the Sundance Film Festival premiere on January 26, 2015 in Park City, Utah. Photo courtesy Michael Kim
ADVANTAGEOUS stars Jennifer Ikeda, Matthew Kim and Ken Jeong at the Sundance Film Festival premiere on January 26, 2015 in Park City, Utah. Photo courtesy Michael Kim

Phang has developed a dual affinity for science fiction and wry commentary as her storytelling stock-in-trade. Her latest effort, Advantageous (an expansive revisit of her 2003 Festival Golden Reel Award-winning short subject) largely eschews the commentary for a incisively-observed story of a career woman, played by veteran actress Jacqueline Kim, who goes to great lengths to insure a future for her only child. Originally commissioned in 2012 as part of the groundbreaking Independent Television Service series, “Future States,” Advantageous sparingly lays on the sci-fi while amping up the interpersonal tension and drama. The result is more French New Wave (Chris Marker’s classic La Jetee comes to mind) than anything else, and demonstrates Phang’s increasing mastery of the sci-fi storytelling form — even more impressively than in her well-lauded Half-Life (2008).

Source: Abraham Ferrer

Lia Chang with cast members Jeanne Sakata, Freya Adams and Director Jennifer Phang at the opening night screening of Advantageous at Cinema Village in New York on June 26, 2015.
Lia Chang with cast members Jeanne Sakata, Freya Adams and Director Jennifer Phang at the opening night screening of Advantageous at Cinema Village in New York on June 26, 2015.

What the critics are saying about Advantageous:

The past looks a lot like the present in Advantageous, a science-fiction fantasy in a deliberately subtle key. Manohla Dargis New York Times

As in a lot of good sci-fi, the movie is set in a particular world, but driven by the characters that inhabit it. Jesse Hassenger· A.V. Club

Advantageous presents an offbeat, intimate dystopian vision that is strongly intriguing for a while. Dennis Harvey·Variety

‘Advantageous’ is set in an almost unrecognizable New York, where unemployment and violence have amplified. Jordan Hoffman·New York Daily News

grist.com: In “Advantageous,” society has failed women in a big way
polygon.com: ADVANTAGEOUS REVIEW: DO IT FOR HER
io9.com: Advantageous Is An Insanely Good Movie That Everyone Should Watch
wired.com: ADVANTAGEOUS: A DYSTOPIAN FILM THAT’S PACKED WITH HOPE
businessinsider.com: The best sci-fi movie of the year is here — and it’s not Mad Max
avclub.com: Advantageous finds eerie plausibility in science fiction
mercurynews.com: On screen: Oakland’s Jennifer Phang scores with award-winning ‘Advantageous’
salon.com: Gather around, screwed millennials: You must see this
america.aljazeera.com: The dark future of ‘Advantageous’

Director Jennifer Phang at a screening of Advantageous at Cinema Village in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Jennifer Phang at a screening of Advantageous at Cinema Village in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

LAAPFF alumni Jennifer Phang received the Best Director for her film Advantageous, and the film scored prizes in 3 other categories including Best Music Score (Timo Chen), Best Editing (Sean Gillane and Jennifer Phang), and the special inaugural Linda Mabalot Renaissance Award for actress/writer Jacqueline Kim for her work as the lead actress and co-writer of Advantageous. This award recognizes a multi talented artist who exemplifies the spirit and fierceness of the late executive director of the LAAPFF and Visual Communications, Linda Mabalot.  Mabalot died in 2003 just after the festival ended.

THE TEAM FROM ADVANTAGEOUS, WINNER OF MULTIPLE AWARDS AT THE 2015 LAAPFF, CELEBRATES ON CLOSING NIGHT AT THE DGA. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: ACTRESS JACQUELINE KIM; DIRECTOR JENNIFER PHANG; COMPOSER TIMO CHEN. (PHOTO: STEVEN LAM)
THE TEAM FROM ADVANTAGEOUS, WINNER OF MULTIPLE AWARDS AT THE 2015 LAAPFF, CELEBRATES ON CLOSING NIGHT AT THE DGA. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: ACTRESS JACQUELINE KIM; DIRECTOR JENNIFER PHANG; COMPOSER TIMO CHEN. (PHOTO: STEVEN LAM)

The cast and creative team of Jennifer Phang's ADVANTAGEOUS at the Los Angeles premiere at the Aratani Theatre on August 24, 2015. Photo courtesy of Ed Moy/Facebook
The cast and creative team of Jennifer Phang’s ADVANTAGEOUS at the Los Angeles premiere at the Aratani Theatre on August 24, 2015. Photo courtesy of Ed Moy/Facebook

The cast and creative team of ADVANTAGEOUS at the Sundance Film Festival premiere on January 26, 2015 in Park City, Utah. Photo courtesy of Jeanne Sakata
The cast and creative team of ADVANTAGEOUS at the Sundance Film Festival premiere on January 26, 2015 in Park City, Utah. Photo courtesy of Jeanne Sakata

Director Jennifer Phang at a screening of Advantageous at Cinema Village in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Jennifer Phang at a screening of Advantageous at Cinema Village in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Filmmaker’s Bio
Jennifer Phang’s sophomore feature Advantageous won the US Dramatic Competition Special Jury Prize in Collaborative Vision at Sundance 2015.  Her award-winning debut feature Half-Life premiered in 2008 at the Tokyo International and Sundance film festivals. It screened at SXSW and was distributed by Sundance Channel. She was invited to Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab and was awarded a SFFS FilmHouse Residency and Sundance Institute Feature Film Grants in support of Advantageous. Phang was originally commissioned to create Advantageous as a short film for the ITVS Futurestates Program. Phang is one of three inaugural recipients of the San Francisco Film Society’s (SFFS) Women Filmmaker Fellowships. A Berkeley-born daughter of a Chinese-Malaysian father and Vietnamese mother, Phang graduated from the MFA directing program at the American Film Institute.

Advantageous is produced by Robert Chang, Theresa Navarro, Moon Molson, Ken Jeong and Jacqueline Kim. With cinematography by Richard Wong, editing by Sean Gillane and Gena Bleir, production design by Dara Wishingrad and Aiyana Trotter, VFX animation by Catherine Tate, Ricardo Marmolej and Jean Elston, original score composed by Timo Chen.

Film Independent Members (and members of IFP) vote to determine the winners of the annual Film Independent Spirit Awards. Become a Film Independent Member, by visiting filmindependent.org/membership. All Members must be paid and current as of December 4, 2015 to be eligible to vote. Click here to cast your vote.

The 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards will be broadcast exclusively on IFC on February 27, 2016, LIVE at 2:00 pm PT / 5:00 pm ET. Congrats to all of nominees. 

Below is the full list of nominations.

Best Feature
Award given to the Producer; Executive Producers are not awarded.
Anomalisa
Beasts of No Nation
Carol
Spotlight
Tangerine

Best Director
Cary Joji Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, Anomalisa
David Robert Mitchell, It Follows
Sean Baker, Tangerine
Todd Haynes, Carol
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Best Screenplay
Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa
Donald Margulies, The End of the Tour
Phyllis Nagy, Carol
S. Craig Zahler, Bone Tomahawk
Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer, Spotlight

Best First Screenplay
Emma Donoghue, Room
Jesse Andrews, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
John Magary, Russell Harbaugh, Myna Joseph, The Mend
Jonas Carpignano, Mediterranea
Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Best First Feature
Award given to the director and producer.
James White
Manos Sucias
Mediterranea
Songs My Brothers Taught Me
The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Best Female Lead
Bel Powley, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Brie Larson, Room
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Tangerine
Rooney Mara, Carol

Best Male Lead
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind
Christopher Abbott, James White
Jason Segal, The End of the Tour
Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea

Best Supporting Female
Cynthia Nixon, James White
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anomalisa
Marin Ireland, Glass Chin
Mya Taylor, Tangerine
Robin Bartlett, H.

Best Supporting Male
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Kevin Corrigan, Results
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk

Best Documentary
(T)error
Best of Enemies
Heat of a Dog
Meru
The Look of Silence
The Russian Woodpecker

Best Cinematography
Cary Joji Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
Ed Lachman, Carol
Joshua James Richards, Songs My Brothers Taught Me
Michael Gioulakis, It Follows
Reed Morano, Meadowland

Best Editing
Julo C. Perez IV, It Follows
Kristan Sprague, Manos Sucias
Nathan Nugent, Room
Ronald Bronstein and Benny Safdie, Heaven Knows What
Tom McArdle, Spotlight

Best International Film
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
Embrace of the Serpent
Girlhood
Mustang
Son of Saul

John Cassavetes Award
Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. Award given to the writer, director and producer; Executive Producers are not awarded.
Advantageous
Christmas, Again
Heaven Knows What
Krisha
Out of My Hand

Robert Altman Award
Spotlight

Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award
The 22nd annual Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehl’s Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851.
Chloe Zhao, Songs My Brothers Taught Me
Felix Thompson, King Jack
Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck, God Bless the Child

Piaget Producers Award
The 19th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.
Darren Dean
Mel Eslyn
Rebecca Green & Laura D. Smith

Truer Than Fiction
The 21st annual Truer Than Fiction Award, sponsored by LensCrafters is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by LensCrafters.
Alex Sichel and Elizabeth Giamatti, A Woman Like Me
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Incorruptible
Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi, Among the Believers

 

 

 

ABOUT THE FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS
Now in its 31st year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers whose films embody independence and originality. The Spirit Awards recognizes the achievements of American independent filmmakers and promotes the finest independent films of the year to a wider audience.

The winners of the Spirit Awards are voted upon by Film Independent and IFP Members. Awards are given in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Director, Best Screenplay, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best International Film and Best Documentary. The Filmmaker Grants include the Piaget Producers Award, the Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award and the Truer Than Fiction Award. The Film Independent Spirit Awards are sponsored by Premier Sponsors Piaget, Bank of America, Heineken, American Airlines, Jaguar and IFC. FIJI Water is the Official Water of the 2016 Spirit Awards. WireImage is the Official Photographer of Film Independent.

ABOUT FILM INDEPENDENT
Film Independent is a nonprofit arts organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent’s Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff and constituents is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a Member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional or a film lover.

In addition to producing the Spirit Awards, Film Independent produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.

With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent’s Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round networking opportunities. Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry.

For more information or to become a Member, visit filmindependent.org/membership.

ABOUT IFC
IFC is the home of offbeat, unexpected comedies. Series like Portlandia, Documentary Now!, Maron and Comedy Bang! Bang! air alongside fan-favorite movies and comedic cult TV shows. IFC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., and available across multiple platforms. IFC is Always On Slightly Off.

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 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@liachang.com