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

TV Drama writer Thomas Wong receives Writers Guild Honor

Posted by AC Team on Thursday, 04 April 2013

TV Drama writer Thomas Wong receives Writers Guild Honor

April 5, 2013

Hollywood

Thomas Wong is the recipient of the Writers Guild of America, West's 2013 Writer Access Project (WAP) honor. The Writers Guild will showcase Wong's work in drama to industry decision-makers.

Wong joins nine other honorees who were selected for outstanding talent in the areas of drama and comedy.

The winners were selected from the results of judges scores who read written entries and judged on a blind submission basis.

Writers Guild members with extensive showrunning and writer-producer experience served as judges, including award-winning screenwriter, producer and director Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal and screenwriter of The Princess Diaries.

A reading of selections of the honorees' original pilots will be held this month to industry representatives.

Photo credit: Michael Jones, WGA.org  
2013 WAP Honorees, Standing (L-R): Thomas Wong, Michael DiGaetano, Dawn Comer Jefferson, Joey Manderino, Joseph Neustein, Leslie Valdes. Seated (L-R): Sherry Carnes, Geetika Lizardi, Lena Waithe, Margaux Froley Wong's bio states that he always dreamed of becoming a television writer, but, "as the first-born son in a traditional Chinese family, such fanciful notions were downright un-American." Wong earned a degree in English at Williams College, then attended NYU School of Law, "like any good child shouldering the weight of his family’s expectations would."

After several years immersed in labor and employment, divorce, immigration, and criminal defense, Thomas gave up law for a stint selling luxury real estate to Manhattan's rich and famous before finally moving to Los Angeles to pursue his childhood dream.

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GIRL RISING - in Select Regal Theaters April 19-26 Frieda Pinto, Priyanka Chopra, Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Selena Gomez, and others narrate

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Wednesday, 03 April 2013

GIRL RISING to screen nationwide in select Regal Cinemas April 19-26, 2013 Photo credit: GIRL RISING

GIRL RISING to screen nationwide in select Regal Cinemas April 19-26, 2013 Photo credit: GIRL RISING

Sokha is one of nine girls featured in GIRL RISING. She was a Cambodian child of the dump, orphaned and forced to pick through garbage to survive. Through a series of miracles she finds her way to a school and has risen to become a star student with a promising future. Photo credit: GIRL RISING


April 19-26, 2013 GIRL RISING is screening nationwide in selected Regal Cinemas.

“No one is more vulnerable than an uneducated girl, and this film is a wake-up call to the world that it’s time to educate girls,” actress Freida Pinto said in a statement to India-Times.com. “Right now, 66 million girls are not in school, and 14 million girls under 18 will be married this year — that’s 38,000 girls married today, and 13 girls married in the last 30 seconds."

Freida Pinto joined other actresses Priyanka Chopra, Anne Hathaway, Alicia Keys, Meryl Streep, Selena Gomez, Kerry Washington, Salma Hayek, and Cate Blanchett to narrate GIRL RISING which recently premiered in Los Angeles and screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.


Sometimes it only takes a single person to start a revolution. This time, its a documentary film. GIRL RISING is the centerpiece of a campaign for girls' education. The film's message: "Educate Girls and you will change the world." A simple notion, yes, but in reality - not so simple.

Millions of girls in developing countries face barriers to education that boys do not encounter.

The film's campaign reports that 66 million school-age girls are not in school, 496 million girls over age 15 cannot read or write, and there are 33 million fewer girls than boys in primary school worldwide.

They grow up in extreme poverty, they are subject to early and arranged marriages, they are child-slaves, they are victims of war, gender violence and discrimination, and much more.  

The film is directed by Academy Award nominee director Richard E. Robbins, with...

First Summit on Asian Stereotypes Urges Empowerment to Make Change

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Sunday, 24 March 2013

Jeff Yang writer of

Jeff Yang writer of "Tao Jones" column for the Wall Street Journal

Little Tokyo - Los Angeles

March 23, 2013

More than 200 people attended a summit yesterday in Los Angeles, provocatively titled "Beyond the Bad and the Ugly." The meeting was appropriately named as it took aim at the continued use of offensive images, ethnic slurs and stereotypical caricatures of Asian Americans in American media, and its impact on just about every aspect of American culture, politics, education and society.

AsianConnections.com applauds Jeff Yang, Wall Street Journal Online writer of the "Tao Jones" column for organizing this first summit devoted to the problem, and enlisting public dialogue and empowerment. Yang brought together activisits, bloggers and others to examine the issues and encouraged people to take action against the negative stereotypes and portrayals of Asian Americans in the media. 

Stereotypical images of Asian Americans in the media have negatively impacted the lives of Asian Americans for more than a century.

Yang told LA Times writer Anh Do the event is "the culmination of a dream, seeing people not only talking about these issues - but doing something about it," "The point is to empower everyone, telling them, "Change is happening, and it's happening inside - with us." 

The March 23, 2013 summit officially kicks off Jeff Yang's new book he co-edited with Parry Shen, Keith Chow and Jerry Ma, Shattered: the Asian American Comics Anthology (Secret Identities). SHATTERED’s 2013 tour, will take Yang and his co-editors Parry Shen, Keith Chow and Jerry Ma to select cities and college campuses in the East, West and Midwest (contacts are listed below if you wish to book a SHATTERED tour event). 

Click here for the story at the LA Times by writer Anh Do. 

Featured sessions at the "Beyond the Bad and the Ugly" Los Angeles...

Christine Lin, Henry Godinez and Liz Griffiths Receive Halcyon Theatre’s 2013 Iris Awards

Posted by Lia Chang on Wednesday, 20 March 2013

On Friday, March 8, 2013, the Halcyon Theatre Company honored actor Christine Lin; Henry Godinez, resident artistic associate at Goodman Theatre and the curator of the Latino Theatre Festival; and Liz Griffiths, immediate past Director of North River Commission’s (NRC) two economic development affiliates, the Lawrence Avenue Development Corporation (LADCOR) and the Albany Park Chamber of Commerce, with The Iris Award for connecting Chicago’s communities and arts, at Night of Flight, Halcyon Theatre’s first major fundraiser at Architectural Artifacts in Chicago, Il.

Christine Lin was presented with The Iris Award for connecting Chicago’s communities and arts by Halcyon Theatre co-founders Jenn and Tony Adams, who is also the Artistic Director, at Night of Flight, Halcyon Theatre’s first major fundraiser at Architectural Artifacts in Chicago, Il, on March 8, 2013. Photo by Kan Chou

Christine Lin, an actor, improvisor and engineering consultant, grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and began her affiliation with Halcyon in 2008 as an Artistic Associate, appearing in the Company’s productions of Caridad Svich’sIphigenia…(a rave fable), Tony Adam’s Trickster, and Salman Rushdie’sHaroun and the Sea of Stories. She also directed Astrid Saalbach’s The Blessed Child in 2009′s Alcyone Festival. She has been a company and board member since 2011.

Eric Lin and his daughter Christine Lin, who was presented with The Iris Award for connecting Chicago’s communities, at Night of Flight, Halcyon Theatre’s first...

Awards announced - San Francisco's CAAMFEST Celebrates Asian and Asian American Film, Food and Music

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Linsanity by filmmaker Evan Jackson Leong was the opening night film at CAAMFEST

Linsanity by filmmaker Evan Jackson Leong was the opening night film at CAAMFEST

March 30, 2013

San Francisco

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

San Francisco

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...