All week long, the San Francisco Bay Area has been playing host to the 2014 Center for Asian American Media Film Festival (CAAMFest). From the City by the Bay itself, Berkeley, and for the first time- Oakland, attendees have been able to discover a wide selection of Asian American and Asian diaspora films.
This year’s festival started off with the US premiere of the Ham Tran’s “How to Fight in Six Inch Heels” at the Castro Theatre which was followed by Opening Night Gala at the Asian Art Museum. For the festival’s closing feature, the honor will go to the New Parkway screening in Oakland of Marissa Aroy’s documentary, “Delano Manongs.”
Our favorite Korean-American hottie and actress, Jamie Chung, is doing big things! Jamie plays Channing on NBC’s newest sci-fi series, “Believe”–the love child of an incredible group of directors and producers that includes J.J. Abrams (“Star Trek” and “Lost”), Bryan Burk (“Lost” and “Fringe”) and Academy Award winner Alfonso Cuarón (“Gravity.”) “Believe” is about a young girl, Bo (Johnny Sequoyah), who is equipped with special powers like telekinesis and predicting the future, as well as a small group named the True Believers who must shield her from those who try to exploit her powers.
Today, March 18th, marks the air date for the 100th episode of the award-winning musical dramedy Glee. Since its 2009 debut, the show has not only been praised and noted for its popular covers and ability to tackle controversial topics, but also for its diverse casting.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Glee, there are two Asian-American characters on the show: Tina Cohen-Chang and Mike Chang. Tina (played by Jenna Ushkowitz) is introduced as a shy Goth girl with a fake stutter who has a beautiful singing voice, whereas Mike (played by Harry Shum Jr.) appears as a football player who dances like a boss.
Not your stereotypical geisha or model minority student, right?
When it comes to the portrayal of Asian-Americans in the media, visibility is not always positive or enriching to our community. At the risk of sounding like a broken record: I, being a male of Asian descent, am tired of being portrayed as the forever social outsider who will never be part of the crowd. Society tells me that what I lack in testosterone, I supposedly make up in intelligence. Or something.
Known as Harold from “Harold and Kumar” and the newest Hikaru Sulu in the “Star Trek” reboots by J.J. Abrams, Korean-American John Cho was recently cast as the second-lead in a new ABC comedy.
“Selfie,” will loosely follow the musical My Fair Lady as the show’s story centers around social-media addict Eliza Dooley (“Doctor Who’s” Karen Gillian) and her downfall after her split with her boyfriend goes viral. Now she gets “likes” and followers for all the wrong reasons and needs help rebranding her image.
Jetset LA’s Party and EDM guru Bryan Gosling shares his FAVE FIVE Asian-American DJs making waves in the EDM/House music scene:
1. Steve Aoki
The Crazy Japanese Jesus known for his insane live sets where he sprays champagne, throws cakes, and crowd surfs on a river raft. This elctro-house musician is also Grammy-nominated and produced under his own record label Dim Mak Studios.
(Singles to check out: “No Beef”, “Boneless”, “Light That Never Comes”)
Clara C just released the official video for her new song “Things Untold,” putting her enticing vocals and adorable personality on display once again for our viewing pleasure. The video is a montage of Clara’s blissful and heartwarming moments with her friends, which goes perfectly with the song’s message of making memories while feeling alive. She and her friends dance in a car. They play mini golf. They don’t care about the gloomy weather outside, and they certainly don’t need money, fame, or even sunshine to have a good time. To create lasting memories, all you need are friendship and positive vibes.
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.
You’ve been hiding under a rock if you haven’t heard about the extremely grand and extremely free Kpop concert that KBS is putting on next month. But just in case you really haven’t: KBS America is hosting a free Kpop concert featuring some of the hottest names in K-pop on April 12 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena! Yes, that’s right. F-R-E-E—a bold word that rarely hits the Kpop scene! But even though it’s free, attending the concert will still require a ticket. This information has not been announced yet, but you can stay informed by following LA Kpop Festival on Facebook.
Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Alex Dang is an aspiring poet who wowed us all with his performance of “What Kind of Asian Are You?” for the Portland Poetry Slam at the 2013 National Poetry Slam.
A strong voice full of passion and emotions, Alex delivered a powerful piece of poetry about Asian American stereotypes and the undying questions that are asked over and over to many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, questions like “What kind of Asian are you?” and my favorite, “Where are you REALLY from?”
Alex dissects the root of the question, starting out with sarcasm linking everything Asian to himself, because obviously everything Asian has to be connected in some way.