Entertainment Spotlight

Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’

Posted by Ben Fong-Torres - on Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’
By Ben Fong-Torres It’s short shrift time. I have a life that’s ripe (and slightly wrinkled) for blogs and tweeting; for facebooking and updating. I’m just no good at it. My last column here on AsianConnections was about the memorial in late July for my sister Shirley. My last posting on the authors’ site, Redroom, was about a radio promo tour I did (20 stops, all on the phone in my home office) for my Eagles book. On my own home page, the last thing was about hanging with...

Arts & Entertainment

Newport Beach Film Festival Goers Pack Screening of Director Ham Tran's Journey From the Fall

Posted by Stephen Rakower on Friday, 21 April 2006

Newport Beach Film Festival Goers Pack Screening of Director Ham Tran's Journey From the Fall

Newport Beach, CA

The big "OC" is rocking with movie premieres, filmmaker receptions and after-parties. The Newport Beach Film Festival is in full swing with day two of an eleven day festival showcasing more than 350 films from nearly 40 countries.

Orange County film festival goers packed the screening tonight of Journey from the Fall (Vuot Song) www.journeyfromthefall.com which also captured the hearts and minds of audiences at the Sundance Film Festival. If you missed tonight's screening, the Newport Beach Film Festival has a second showing on Sunday at 1pm (check official website for listing http://www.newportbeachfilmfest.com/). And if you can't get a ticket to Sunday's screening, Tran's film is also scheduled to be the opening night film at Visual Communications VC Film Fest 2006 - The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival May 4 - 11.

Journey from the Fall's director Ham Tran told AsianConnections he is very excited about the huge turn-out tonight in OC to screen his film. He didn't know his film would have the same popular response as it received at Sundance, but OC ticket holders were waiting two hours before the film opened just to get a good seat. At Sundance his film was so popular that it was officially screened four times to sold-out audiences, with even more screenings added to the schedule.

Stay tuned as AsianConnections provides more coverage of the Newport Beach Film Festival. Here movie-goers are treated to film screenings, many with the cast and filmmakers in attendance. Last year's festival featured the world premiere of Crash which won the Oscar for Best Movie of the Year.

For movie-goers and filmmakers alike, Newport Beach has definitely rolled out the red carpet in a very big way. In addition to the festival's ambitious offerings there are VIP receptions and parties, parties, and more parties taking...

Asian American Filmmakers Take Spotlight at 22nd Edition of the VC Film Fest 2006-The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

Posted by AC Team on Friday, 14 April 2006

Record Number of Asian American Feature Films Will Include L.A. Premieres of Ham Tran's "Journey From the Fall" and Eric Byler's "AMERICANese" to Bookend Eight Day Festival

The 22nd edition of VC FILMFEST: The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival presented by Honda will feature a record number of feature films from Asian American filmmakers during its eight-day film fest beginning May 4 - May 11 in Los Angeles. Visual Communications (VC), the nations pioneering premiere Asian American media arts resource and education center will present over 140 films, shorts and videos with an unprecedented 16 feature films from 18 Asian American artists.

"This is truly an historic number of feature films from our own artists," states VC executive director, Leslie Ito. "This years showcase of Asian American films underscores the fact that these filmmakers are not waiting for Hollywood to call and are doing it on their own. With Ang Lee being the first non-white director to win the Oscar for Best Director, we are hopeful that these emerging storytellers will also become future contenders. For VC, these artists and their stories illustrate the strength that our organization has in terms of developing, shaping and supporting their works."

The opening, centerpiece and closing night films of this years festival are from three Asian American filmmakers whose careers got their start with short films showcased at previous VC FILMFESTs. This year, the Festival is proud to present the Los Angeles Premiere screenings of the Sundance hit film "JOURNEY FROM THE FALL" from local filmmaker Ham Tran as the Opening Night feature on Thursday, May 4, 2006 at the Directors Guild of America (DGA); the centerpiece screening of Sundance award winner "EVE & THE FIRE HORSE" from Julia Kwan on Saturday, May 6 at the DGA; and Eric Bylers "AMERICANese" as the Closing Night film on Thursday, May 11, 2006 at the Aratani/Japan America Theatre in Little Tokyo.

The list of...

Grey's Anatomy Receives TV Land Future Classic Award

Posted by AC Team on Tuesday, 21 March 2006

Grey's Anatomy Receives TV Land Future Classic Award


ABC's critically-acclaimed hit drama, Grey's Anatomy, was awarded this year's TV Land Future Classic Award at the TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV in Santa Monica, CA on March 20, 2006. Creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes, along with the cast of Grey's Anatomy, accepted the honor on behalf of the show. The award -- which TV Land unveiled in 1998 and is presented annually -- recognizes the one new show from the past calendar year which best exemplifies the qualities of an emerging television phenomenon that will endure for years to come. The TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV will air on TV Land and simulcasts on Nick at Nite on Wednesday, March 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

"Grey's Anatomy embodies the qualities of a true television classic," states Larry W. Jones, President, TV Land and Nick at Nite. "The show's complex and emotional storyline, as well as its amazing cast has made it one of the most important television shows to come along in years. TV Land would like to thank ABC, Shonda Rhimes and the entire cast and crew for making every episode of this series a weekly event we look forward to with anticipation. Of all of 2005's freshmen shows, TV Land is thrilled to present Grey's Anatomy with the 2005 TV Land Future Classic Award."

"We are honored that TV Land has chosen Grey's Anatomy as their Future Classic Award recipient," states Shonda Rhimes, creator and executive producer of the series. "TV Land has quickly established itself as a great home for the most loved series to air on television. As we continue to build upon a great start to Grey's Anatomy, we are thrilled to be honored by this institution and look forward to one day joining their elite line up of fantastic television shows."

Grey's Anatomy is a primetime, hour-long drama centering around a group of new surgical interns battling the job, each other and life in...

The Year of the Dog: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac

Posted by AC Team on Tuesday, 07 February 2006

The Year of the Dog: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac

2006 is The Year of the Dog! Oliver Chin's new book The Year of the Dog: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac , follows a puppy named Daniel, born on New Year's Day, who explores the world with Lin, the little girl next door, and how he learns to become "man's best friend.

Growing up is full of confusions, as Daniel and Lin soon share colorful surprises, adventures and misadventures, too. Being a good dog takes practice, as Daniel realizes when he barks up the wrong tree! Can Daniel prove his loyalty and dependability by helping Lin when she needs him the most?

Daniels rollicking journey to discover his true nature will delight children and adults alikeespecially new parents, those interested in Asian culture, as well as dog lovers of all ages.

ISBN: 1-59702-002-8, $15.95, hardcover

Ang Lee Named Filmmaker of the Year

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Sunday, 29 January 2006

Ang Lee named Filmmaker of the Year by the Director's Guild of America

Ang Lee was named filmmaker of the year, adding the Director's Guild of America's Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for "Brokeback Mountain" to his awards treasure trove.

The DGA's Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film puts Lee in a prime position to win the best director Oscar, as this particular award has traditionally served as a near-perfect barometer for the Academy Award for Best Director.

Only six times since the DGA Award's inception in 1949 has the winner not gone on to receive the Academy Award for Best Director. In 2000, Lee won the guild prize in 2000 for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," but Stephen Soderbergh took home the best director Oscar for "Traffic."

This year, Lee was honored by his peers over fellow guild nominees Steven Spielberg ("Munich"), Paul Haggis ("Crash"), Bennett Miller ("Capote") and George Clooney ("Good Night, and Good Luck").

Based on a short story by E. Annie Proulx, "Brokeback" stars Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as roughneck sheepherding pals who conceal their homosexual relationship from their families.

The DGA awards, presented at the Hyatt Century Plaza Hotel, honored directorial achievements in 10 categories. Veteran director Clint Eastwood was presented with the guild's lifetime achievement award.