Regarded as a modern-day adaptation of My Fair Lady and Pygmalion, Selfie follows the story of Eliza Dooley, a narcissistic social media-obsessed ditz, who enlists the help of Henry Higenbottam, a marketing genius, after her online reputation gets smeared by a humiliating viral video.
Asian American women have been steadily rising in the world of entertainment over the past few years, whether it’s been through landing leading roles on television or performing at live music festivals. But what about the Asian American women in executive roles?
Directed by South Korean director Bong Joon-ho, post-apocalyptic sci-fi flick Snowpiercer breaks away from the traditional Hollywood distribution route and becomes available for online downloading and Video on Demand – just two weeks after its first U.S. theatrical release.
While it’s been a great year for Asian American talents in television with the orders of ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ and ‘Selfie,’ AA actors have also been landing some breakout roles in Hollywood blockbusters thanks to young adult novels.
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) is once again leading the celebrations with another year of great films. Presented by Visual Communications, the LAAPFF is celebrating its 30th year anniversary with a variety of special events including panels, seminars, and of course, Asian Pacific American and Asian international films.
On Thursday, May 1st, the festival started off strong with its opening night’s film To Be Takei, a documentary that “follows noted actor and activist George Takei and his husband Brad as they prepare for Takei’s dream project, Allegiance, a musical based on his harrowing childhood experiences inside a Japanese American internment camp during World War II.”
Directed by Jennifer M. Kroot, the film offers a unique glimpse into Takei’s rise to stardom, advocacy for marriage equality, and also features interviews with Star Trek‘s William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, and more. Opening night was definitely a star-studded one with George and Brad Takei present along with their family and friends. There were also many special guest appearances on the red carpet including John Cho, Justin Chon, and Jodi Long.
Other special feature-length presentations include How to Fight in Six Inch Heels, a rom com directed by Ham Tram that follows the story of a junior New York fashion designer who flies to Vietnam to uncover the truth about her fiance’s suspected affair with a supermodel. The film will be featured as this year’s Festival Saturday Evening Showcase on May 3rd.
The Festival Centerpiece Presentation, Farah Goes Bang, a coming-of-age road trip film directed by Meera Menon, will be presented on Sunday, May 4th. The film follows a young woman in her twenties who attempts to lose her virginity while on the road campaigning for presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004.
Closing out the festival on Thursday, May 8th will be Final Recipe, a Pan-Asian culinary melodrama directed by Gina Kim, which will be shown at CGV Cinemas. Final Recipe tells the tale of Mark (Henry Lau of Super Junior-M), a prodigy chef who secretly enters a prestigious culinary competition in Shanghai to save his grandfather’s restaurant. After Mark wins round after round, Julia (Michelle Yeoh), the contest producer, slowly realizes that the young chef resembles her husband.
There are many, many other special features I recommend you checking out, as the films mentioned are only a small fraction of what the festival has to offer. Whether it’s documentaries, features, shorts, panels, or parties you seek, LAAPFF has a bit of everything.
To learn more about the festival and/or buy tickets, please visit the LAAPFF website. Hope to see you there!
“When words fail, actions speak. I don’t want to hate; I want to speak love.”
Jubilee Project recently joined forces with Houston Rockets basketball player Jeremy Lin to create “Lost For Words” – a story about showing acts of love and service to those around us and paying it forward.
Written and directed by Jason Lee, “Lost for Words” starts with a new student at school, Ka Nyaw (Klo Lay Pla), and his struggle to adjust to his new life at school. He is later helped by his mentor (Jeremy Lin), who meets with him after school to read The Giver. Although Ka Nyaw at first does not interact with him much, Lin continues to dedicate his time and effort to help him.
According to the YouTube description, the short film was actually inspired by a true story, where a young Burmese refugee conquers challenges in his life with the help of a mentor. He eventually goes on to help somebody else in need as well. Jubilee Project decided to produce “Lost for Words” to support the Jeremy Lin Foundation as well as PAIR Houston, an organization that works with refugee youth and the winner of last year’s Making A Difference campaign.
This is truly one of the most heartwarming videos I have seen in recent memory. If you would like to join the Acts of Love Campaign, please go to the Jeremy Lin Foundation website and use the hastag #ActsofLove.
AJ Rafael makes his debut as cupid in his latest music video “Matchmaker,” which recently premiered on ISAtv’s YouTube Channel.
The official movie trailer to the latest book-to-film adaptation has been released! Written by James Dashner and directed by Wes Ball, the Maze Runner trailer was recently shown on MTV during an episode of Teen Wolf.
The two-minute clip shows the main character Thomas, portrayed by Dylan O’Brien (who’s also in Teen Wolf), first appearing in what seems to be a caged elevator. He is lifted to “the maze,” where he meets dozens of other boys, including Minho, played by a familiar face – Ki Hong Lee! Their mission, it would seem, is to get out of the maze… before time runs out.
Several weeks ago on February 1, I had the pleasure of attending and volunteering at the akaDAN Documentary Premiere, held at the JapaneseAmericanNationalMuseum in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.
You might be thinking, “What’s akaDAN, and what is it about?” It is an incredible story documenting the reunion of a Korean-American adoptee, Dan Matthews (better known as Los Angeles-based musician DANakaDAN), and his biological family in Korea, including a twin brother he never knew existed!
Dan and his production team had the opportunity to travel to Korea in the summer of 2013, during which he attended the International Korean Adoptee Association (IKAA) and underwent the process of being reunited with his family. The documentary follows Dan and his team through the whole process, highlighting the raw emotions of each scene. I had the chance to watch most of the film, and it is an incredible journey to follow. I can guarantee that one moment you’ll be laughing at and along with Dan, and the next you’ll have tears rolling down your cheeks without realizing it.