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

Chris Tashima's Day of Independence

Posted by Lia Chang on Thursday, 04 May 2006

Chris Tashima's Day of Independence inspired by True Story of a Japanese American Familys Internment Camp Experience

Helmed by actor/director Chris Tashima, Day of Independence takes place in a Japanese American internment camp and tells the story of one familys experience and reveals the courage, determination, and sacrifices they and many other people of Japanese descent faced during World War II. This short narrative film premieres on PBS this May as part of the Center for Asian American Media's lineup of films for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. (Check local listings.)

In 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which made possible the forcible removal of more than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast of the United States to various internment camps located in remote areas, surrounded by barbed wire and guard towers. Their stories remain relevant, especially in light of todays post-9/11 racial profiling of people of Arab descent.

Day of Independence is based on the experience of Tim Toyamas grandparents who were forced to leave their home and live in a relocation camp during World War II. They returned to Japan on a prisoner exchange ship. Toyama is one of the screenwriters for the film. The poignant story of Zips and his family shows the challenges that families faced and the quiet dignity which enabled them to survive the experience of being unjustly imprisoned. At the end of the film, viewers are told that the people who were interned never received a trial and none were ever convicted of sabotage or espionagea sobering reminder of how easily ones civil liberties can be violated.

The Center for Asian American Media (formerly known as the National Asian American Telecommunications Association) has a new director. A fond farewell to Eddie Wong and a hearty welcome to Stephen Gong. Gong, 53, joins the Center after working for 18 years at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum...

TYPHOON at the Newport Beach Film Festival

Posted by Stephen Rakower on Saturday, 22 April 2006

Check out TYPHOON at the Newport Beach Film Festival on Tuesday, April 25, 2006.

Check out TYPHOON in the Korean spotlight at the Newport Beach Film Festival on Tuesday, April 25, 2006.

Synopsis: Sin has lived his entire life with one goal. Twenty years ago, his family tried to defect to South Korea, only to be sent back to the North as the South Korean government turned its back on his family due to concerns over its relationship with China. In the process of being handed over to the North Korean military, Sin witnessed the execution of his family, followed by the separation from his only sister, Choi Myung-ju. Betrayed by both Koreas, Sin fosters deep-rooted hatred and plots to vent his fury on the Korean peninsula...When a vessel carrying nuclear missile guidance kits is attacked by pirates 220km northeast of Ji Long Port, Taiwan, the National Intelligence Service learns that the vessel was stolen by Sin. Secret agent Naval Lieutenant Kang Se-jong is dispatched and catches up with Sin in Russia. Kang Se-jong meets Sin\'s elder sister Choi Myung-ju, now a prostitute in Russia, and learns of the family\'s troubled history. During his pursuit, Kang Se-jong begins to feel compassion toward Sin, but this does not hinder his determination to apprehend him...With the missile guidance kits in his possession, Sin attempts to execute his plan.

2005, 125 min, Color
In Korean with English subtitles

Directed By: Kyung-Taek Kwak
Executive Producer: Miky Lee
Producers: Seong-Keon Park, Joong-Kyueng Yang
Screenwriter: Kyung-taek Kwak
Editor: Simon Kwang-il Park
Director of Photography: Kyeng-pyo Hong
Music Director: Hyung-suk Kim
Cast: David McInnis, Don-Kun Jang, Jung-Jae Lee, Mi-Yeon Lee, David No, Chatthapong Pantanaunkul

Screening & Post-Party
After the screening, attend the special reception honoring the film at Anthropologie in Fashion Island.
Price: $40
Dress:...

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

SANTA MONICA, CA

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...