B.D. Wong and John Cho among 774 invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Posted by Suzanne Kai

B.D. Wong and John Cho among 774 invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
June 28, 2017 Los Angeles The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released its 2017 list of invitees. Asian American actors B.D. Wong and John Cho were included on the 2017 list of 774 people invited by the Academy.  Other actors invited include Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed (The Night Of, The Reluctant Fundamentalist), Priyanka Chopra, Irffan Khan, Maggie Cheung and Tony...

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DOGS LIE - Starring Samrat Chakrabarti, Frank Boyd and Ewa Da Cruz, Wins Best Film (USA) and Feature Film Audience Award at 2011 ITN Distribution Film and New Media Festival

Posted by Lia Chang on Monday, 19 December 2011

DOGS LIE - Starring Samrat Chakrabarti, Frank Boyd and Ewa Da Cruz, Wins Best Film (USA) and Feature Film Audience Award at 2011 ITN Distribution Film and New Media Festival


Dogs Lie, Richard Atkinson’s latest indie feature starring Samrat Chakrabarti (Elle Magazine Top 100 Talents to watch), Frank Boyd and Ewa Da Cruz, scored two awards, for “Best Film” (USA) and the “Feature Film Audience Award,” at the 2011 ITN Distribution Film and New Media Festival in New York.

“It was a great thrill for all involved to receive recognition,” said director Richard Atkinson. “The movie will be released in 2012 and will highlight a cast of rapidly rising acting talent……I’m sure we will be seeing a lot more of Samrat Chakrabarti, Frank Boyd and Ewa Da Cruz… they have all been involved in multiple movie and TV projects since we shot Dogs Lie….they are exceptional …TNA World Wrestling Champion, Ken Anderson, has a feature role as Yuri a Russian mobster. It all makes for great entertainment with unexpected twists and turns.”

Dogs Lie won “Honorable Mention” at the Los Angeles Movie Awards 2011 and was an “Official Selection” at The Big Apple Film Festival (BAFF) in NY, the La Femme International Film Festival in LA, and the Filmi SE Asian Film Festival in Toronto, where it was the “showcase feature.”

Samrat Chakrabarti plays Iqbal Khani, a likeable, conscientious...

Chinglish is Named in TIME Magazine’s Top 10 of the Year - Meet the Cast after Select Performances

Posted by Lia Chang on Monday, 12 December 2011

Kathryn Layng, producer Lily Fan, playwright David Henry Hwang, and director Leigh Silverman backstage at the Longacre Theatre before the opening night of Chinglish Oct 27, 2011. Photo by Lia Chang


Time Magazine has named David Henry Hwang’s sexy and hilarious new play Chinglish the number three show out of the Top 10 Broadway shows of the year. Chinglish will feature special audience post-show talkbacks with the cast and creative team members at the Longacre Theatre in New York.

Beginning Wednesday, December 14th after the evening show, the cast will come out to answer audience questions. The mostly bi-lingual and multi-cultural cast will also be answering questions in Mandarin and maybe give a lesson or two. In addition to the 14th, talkbacks will be held after the show on December 20th, 21st, 22nd, 27th, 28th, 29th.

After the post-show talkbacks, head to the front of the orchestra and you’ll have the opportunity to meet the cast members.

Chinglish is a new comedy about the misadventures of miscommunication. It is the story of an American businessman desperate to launch a new enterprise in China. There are only three things standing in his way: He can’t speak the language. He can’t learn the customs. And he’s falling in love with the one woman he absolutely can’t have.


The Chinglish cast features Jennifer Lim, Gary Wilmes, Angela Lin, Christine Lin, Stephen Pucci, Johnny Wu and Larry Lei Zhang.

The play is directed by Leigh Silverman, who directed Lisa Kron’s Well on Broadway and won a 2011 OBIE for directing both Go Back To Where You Are and In The...

New Reality TV Show Pilot Features Asian Pacific Males - That's right! by Suzanne Joe Kai

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Friday, 09 December 2011

New Reality TV Show Pilot Features Asian Pacific Males - That's right!  by Suzanne Joe Kai

While it appears that acting opportunities are improving for Asian Pacific Americans in Hollywood, it is still a rare sighting to find a handsome, sexy Asian American male in a non-stereotypical role in mainstream television and movies. Unless you are one of the lucky ones cast in the TV series Hawaii Five-0, Asian American male actors are more often cast in roles as thugs, geeks, martial arts experts, or as tourists or characters with a funny foreign accent.

Nareth Chuon and Jason Peers, two young professionals in Los Angeles are on a mission to make a difference.

First, they spent their weekends and nights after their day jobs producing a health and fitness style calendar called the 2010 Asian Pacific Male (APM) Calendar featuring handsome and sexy Asian American men to raise funds for charity, with renowned photographer Jeff Sheng, one of the three original creators with Chuon and Peers. The calendar and the charity fundraising was a hit. 

Now, Chuon and Peers want to take their calendar and charity fundraising concept to television. They have just completed filming a reality TV pilot based on their experiences co-producing the calendar project, with hope that the episodes will begin production in Spring, 2012. 

Peers said the original project was a success because "people had never seen anything like this before." Before the 2010 Asian Pacific Male Calendar Asian American men were usually photographed on "rafts or holding a bamboo fan," he quipped. The 2010 APM calendar models were photographed doing activities such as surfing, mountain climbing and riding motorcycles.

Chuon and Peers partnered their calendar project with the Asian Pacific Health Care Venture raising awareness and funds for the non-profit community-based health care organization which provides medical and wellness services in at least fourteen languages.

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8 year old Awonder Liang of Wisconsin Wins World Chess Championship

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Friday, 09 December 2011

8 year old Awonder Liang of Wisconsin Wins World Chess Championship

8 year old USA Team member Awonder Liang of Madison, Wisconsin is the best chess player in the world for his age group. He won the gold medal at the World Youth Championship in Brazil in the Under 8 Open, November 26, 2011. 

This year's coach and World Chess Federation Senior Trainer (FIDE - Fédération Internationale des Échecs) was Michael Khodarkovsky. 


Photo (Left): USA Team member 8 year old Awonder Liang wins Gold Medal at World Youth Chess Championship in Brazil.

Photo by permission Andrea Rosen



 Here's a sample of the rankings from the American team competing at the World Youth Championship in Caldas, Novas Brazil this year:

Awonder Liang of Wisconsin earned a gold medal in the Under 8 Open with 7.5/9

Ruifeng Li of Texas earned a silver medal in the Under 10 Open with 7/9.

Sarah Chiang of Texas earned 4th place in the Girls Under 14Jeffrey Xiong of Texas earned 5th in the Open Under 12.

David Peng of Northbrook, Illinois earned 7th in the Under 8 Open.

Albert Lu of Southern California placed 12th in the Under 10 Open.

Kevin Wang of Maryland placed 15th in the Under 14 Open. 

Varun Krishnan of La Jolla, California placed 14th in the Under 14 Open. 

Click here for the story from NPR here for the story in the New York Times and
here to the U.S. Chess organization. 



Finally - a major Asian hotel chain steps up to the plate - Effective January 1, 2012. Shark Fins off the menu

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Today, January 1, 2012 marks the day that a major hotel chain, The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited (HSH), owner of the Peninsula Hotels finally made it official - no more shark fins will be served. We hope many more hotels, restaurants, and fishermen will also stop killing the millions of sharks for their fins for soup.  

Let's make 2012 a year that you also take measures in your own hands to help our world become a better place. 

This is one of the most important stories of our lives, our Earth.

Not only is banning shark fins from menus one tiny step forward (and not ordering shark fins if it is still on other menus), eating fish, particularly the larger fish is not necessarily healthy.

Dr. Sylvia Earle, 75, scientist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence has been studying our oceans for more than 50 years. Dr. Earle urges everyone, "We have the power to make a difference and its time that we use that power positively not just for the dolphins, not just for the whales and the fish. It all comes back to us. We all share space on this little Blue Planet."

Earle told AsianConnections' Steven Joe at a Greenbuild Conference for GreenPlanet.TV "What we are doing to the oceans, we are doing to ourselves." She told Steven Joe in a video interview that it is a myth that eating all fish is healthy. She warns that eating larger fish-eating fish is not healthy at all. She says the larger fish such as swordfish, tuna, and marlin have the highest concentrations in their bodies of heavy metals and toxins including mercury, fire retardants, pesticides and other poisonous substances that are dumped into the oceans and fall from the sky from coal and other industrial processes. 

She advises to "eat...

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