March 30, 2013
Updates - CAAMFest winners announced:
DEAD DAD is the winner of the Comcast Narrative Competition.
SEEKING ASIAN FEMALE is the winner of the Documentary Conpetition.
Aggie Ebrahii Bazaz received the Loni Ding Award
The Emerging Filmmaker Award recipient is Ernesto Foronda of SUNSET STORIES.
CAAM (The Center for Asian American Media) offers programs all year round.
Visit CAAM's website at CAAMedia.org, and support its mission by becoming a member.
March 17, 2013
CAAMFest is in full swing!
The Center for Asian American Media has launched CAAMFest, an exciting new festival March 14-24, 2013. Formerly called the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, the 31st annual event not only has a brand new name CAAMFest, and a brand new website CAAMFEST.com, the festival has branched out into food, music and digital media.
As CAAM's Executive Director Stephen Gong says, CAAMFest aims to present a world-class festival of Asian and Asian American film, music, food and digital media.
Judging from what I saw in the first few days, CAAMFest's ambitious plans have succeeded.
I counted at least 100 films and events representing more than twenty countries, held in ten venues mostly in San Francisco, with some events and film screenings at the Oakland Museum of California and Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive Theater.
There's still time to take in a screening or an event.
Click here to CAAMFest's schedule of events.
Linsanity, Evan Jackson Leong's documentary about NBA player Jeremy Lin was CAAMFest's opening night film Linsanity, Evan Jackson Leong's inspiring documentary about Jeremy Lin was the opening night film to an enthusiastic sold-out audience. Linsanity has received rave reviews at the 2013...
New York CityClick the title link above for the full story. Photo by Lia Chang: Thom Sesma (The Times They Are A-Changin’, Man of La Mancha, Nick & Nora), Diane Phelan (Prospect’s Honor), Wilson Bridges (Signs of Life), Ryan Bauer-Walsh (Billy Elliot), Meghan McGeary (The Blue Flowerwith Prospect Theater Company, A.R.T. and Second Stage, Prospect’sThe Rockae), Hannah Jane McMurray (The Hidden Sky), and Peter Saide (Jersey Boys) are currently featured in Prospect Theater Company’s inaugural “Prototype Production” with public performances of DEATH FOR FIVE VOICES, an original musical drama inspired by true events in the life of infamous Renaissance composer – and murderer – Carlo Gesualdo.
Featuring a book by Prospect’s founding artists Peter Mills and Cara Reichel, music and lyrics by Mills and direction by Reichel, DEATH FOR FIVE VOICES began performances on March 6, 2013 at the West End Theatre in the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, 263 West 86th Street in New York, and will continue through March 17, 2013.
A talkback with Mills and Reichel and other members of the production team will be held on Saturday, March 16th at 5:30pm and is free and open to the public.
Set amid the political intrigue, religious conflict and artistic vibrancy of the late Renaissance, DEATH FOR FIVE VOICESinvestigates the dark harmonies of Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa – who is remembered for his unusually complex...
February 26, 2013
What?!! An Asian American male star in a Hollywood movie that isn't a Kung Fu film?
Justin Chon ("Twilight"), steps into the spotlight as the lead character in the comedy 21 and Over, opening in theaters nationwide March 1.
Chon, 31, was born in Garden Grove in Orange County, California, and was raised in Irvine, California. He attended business school at the University of Southern California. At age 20, Chon began taking acting lessons, inspired by growing up watching his father in black and white films. His father is a former child actor from South Korea.
AsianConnections' Suzanne Joe Kai chatted with Justin about his new role, breaking stereotypes, and what's next in his fast-rising career. (For the full interview transcript click on the blue headline link above.)
Justin: Hey Suzanne, thank you.
Suzanne: You’re right from Orange County, California!
Justin: Yeah, Irvine. Yeah, born and raised. I was born in Garden Grove Hospital.
Suzanne: Can you describe your role in your new film 21 and Over coming out in theaters March 1, 2013?
Justin: Yeah. I play a character named Jeff Chang. It's his 21st birthday and my two friends come up to celebrate with me but I have a medical school interview the next day. They convinced me to have one beer and obviously that beer turns into absolute chaos. My character's just an average kid. He's actually not that smart, he's like failing out of school.
Suzanne: What made you jump on board this film?
Justin: Well, the guys who wrote it wrote The Hangover and they’re great writers. I just read the script and I loved it. I’m an Asian American actor and it’s a three-dimensional part so it’s great to see somebody who wrote such a great part for an Asian American so I just had to do...
February 24, 2013
Ang Lee won the Oscar for Best Director at the 85th Academy Awards for his film "Life of Pi," the adaptation of the bestselling novel by Yann Martel about a boy shipwrecked and stranded in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.
The film took Lee four and a half years to complete. He has said it was the hardest fim he has ever made. (Click the top headline for the full story and a peek at Ang holding his new Oscar in one hand, and with his other hand enjoying an In-N-Out burger. This great photo was posted on Twitter by Vanity Fair's publisher Edward Menicheschi!
This is Ang Lee's second Oscar win. His first Academy Award was in 2006 for directing "Brokeback Mountain."
Lee's 2000 Chinese-language film "Crouching Dragon, Hidden Tiger," won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Lee, 58, thanked his wife of 30 years, Jane Lin, a microbiologist, his two sons Haan and Mason, and the 3,000 people involved in the making of his film. He also thanked Taiwan, and Taichung City in central Taiwan where 80 per cent of the film was shot, and his Canadian and Indian partners.
Other Oscar contenders for the Best Director award were Steven Spielberg for "Lincoln," David O. Russell for "Silver Linings Playbook," Michael Haneke for "Amour" which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Fim and the prestigious Palm d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, and Benh Zeitlin with "Beasts of the Southern Wild."
And we couldn't help but admire Ang Lee for being so down to earth even on his big night at the Oscars. We know - those burgers are good! This image was posted on Twitter by Vanity Fair magazine's publisher Edward Menicheschi.
February 22, 2013
Happy Birthday James Hong!
Our favorite actor James Hong celebrated his birthday February 22!
All of us at AsianConnections.com wish you a very Happy Birthday!
Here are our favorite interviews we have done with Mr. Hong over the years.
Click on the blue headline title to the full story.
Part 1 of 3: AsianConnections' interview with James Hong:
On APAs in Hollywood - Urges Cooperation and Support of organizations like CAPEUSA.org.
Part 2 of 3: AsianConnections' interview with James Hong:
James Hong shares his famous lines from his role as Mr. Ping in Kung Fu Panda
Part 3 of 3: AsianConnections' interview with James Hong and daughter April Hong:
James Hong sighting! Mr. Hong attended a CAPE event with Film Independent in Los Angeles February 1, 2012. I had a chance to visit with him and personally wish him Happy Birthday, in advance of his real birthday today!
He was born February 22, 1929 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He studied civil engineering at the University of Southern California. As a road engineer for Los Angeles County for 7-1/2 years, he would act during his vacations and sick days, eventually quitting to go full time as an actor.
Mr. Hong has played in more than 500 television and film roles, including his award-winning role as "Mr. Ping" in Kung Fu Panda, and Kung Fu Panda 2.
- Suzanne Joe Kai, Publisher/Editor AsianConnections.com