Beatboxing, Dancing, and Music Galore at Kollaboration SF 5

The Conservatory of Music in San Francisco came alive with music, dance, beatboxing, and comedy during the evening of Saturday August 23, as the 5th Annual Kollaboration San Francisco came into full swing.   All the performances kept the audience actively engaged and entertained over the course of the three-hour event, and out of the six finalists, one went on to win Kollaboration SF 5 and the chance to perform at this fall’s Kollaboration Star.

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Interview with Gene Luen Yang on ‘The Shadow Hero’

The Green Turtle, the first Asian American superhero in comic book history, returns after nearly 70 years since its short-lived run in a new graphic novel, The Shadow Hero.  Written by Gene Luen Yang and illustrated by Sonny Liew, the graphic novel explores the origin story of the Green Turtle as Hank Chu from the streets of Chinatown in the fictional city of San Incendio.

Kollaboration recently chatted with Yang, who is best known for his acclaimed graphic novels American Born Chinese and Boxers & Saints as well as his work on Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender comics.  In the following interview, Yang talks about his motivations behind creating an origins story for the Green Turtle and his thoughts about bringing in an Asian American superhero to current times.

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Studio Ghibli Announces Hiatus

After nearly 30 years of enchanting audiences all over the world with breathtaking animation and groundbreaking films, Studio Ghibli’s animation department will be taking a hiatus from making future productions.

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Chin and Shaw Release “Star Wars” Parody with a Disney Twist

For the Star Wars purists out there who are worried about the franchise’s upcoming films becoming “disneyfied”, this fan-made Star Wars musical parody may be the manifestation of your worst nightmares.   For the rest of us, it’s comedy gold.

Originally released on YouTube on June 17th, Star Wars: The Musical retells the story of the first release of the epic saga A New Hope but in the form of a Disney musical.  Shot entirely on green screen with multi-plane, hand-painted backdrops in Disney’s traditional animation fashion, the musical parodies classic Disney songs from films including Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Peter Pan.

The spoof is a pop-culture overload with many Disney princess cameos (Mulan and Snow White played by Jane Lui and Sarah Ho respectively), Mickey Mouse ears, and inside Star Wars jokes; and it cheekily ends with the entire cast singing  “please buy more toys and DVDs, so Disney can make more movies for you and me.”

Star Wars: The Musical is a collaboration between director Jeffrey Gee Chin (Lil Tokyo Reporter) and executive producer/composer George Shaw (Agents of Secret Stuff, Hang Loose) who is a longtime supporter of Kollaboration and a former Kollaboration LA judge.  According to the film’s website, Star Wars: The Musical was a year and a half long project for Chin and Shaw with the purpose of creating “the ultimate love letter to their favorite fandoms.”

Be sure to watch “Star Wars: The Musical” and also check out the film’s official website for behind-the-scenes and updates on the upcoming musical episodes Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.  You can also check out and download the music from the film as well.

And may the Force be with you.

Discussing Baldies and Dystopia with Author Peter Tieryas Liu

In Peter Tieryas Liu’s debut novel, Bald New World, the world declines into a dystopia that leaves everyone mysteriously bald.  We’ve previously mentioned Liu as one of our 3 Asian American Authors on the Rise and recently got the chance to interview him via email about his new novel.

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3 Music Videos that Respectfully Depict Asian Culture

We’ve all seen the atrocities of Western appropriation of Asian culture in many music videos, such as Nicki Minaj’s “Your Love” and Gwen Stefani’s “Harajuku Girls.”  But what about music videos that exhibit Asian culture without degrading it to Oriental set dressing?

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Takashi Murakami’s Debut Film ‘Jellyfish Eyes’ Embarks on U.S. Tour

Globally acclaimed for his iconic, anime-inspired artworks, Takashi Murakami will be treating the U.S. to his latest venture, his debut feature film — Jellyfish Eyes.  Starting from this month to early June, the film will be touring in select art museums in eight U.S. cities. Continue reading “Takashi Murakami’s Debut Film ‘Jellyfish Eyes’ Embarks on U.S. Tour”

Kickstarter Campaign Launched for Inaugural Comedy Ninja Film Festival

The Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles will be playing host to a different kind of film festival when the inaugural Comedy Ninja Film and Screenplay Festival comes to town later this spring!  Originally founded by Quentin Lee (director of “White Frog” and “Shopping for Fangs”) and Chuck Parello, the three-day event is all about showcasing the most hilarious works of comedians, directors and writers from all over the world.  There will be feature and short films screenings, stand-up comedian performances, surprise guests and more.

A Kickstarter campaign has since been started as the film festival is being launched without the help of outside fundings.  While the submission fees and ticket sales will help, it is only to a small portion of the total amount needed.  Even though the event will be happening regardless of the amount raised, the extra funding is to help with not only covering costs for this year, but also to help with continuing the festival for years to come.

So if you are interested in supporting this film festival, then be sure to go on over to the Comedy Ninja Film Festival Kickstarter campaign for more details on how to contribute.  Be sure to also check out the film festival’s official website for more details on the event itself.

Harry Shum Jr. Launches Tenth+Fourth

Actor and dancer extraordinaire, Harry Shum Jr., has a new website in store, which was launched on April 7.  The website, Tenth+Fourth, is a collaborative effort between Shum and Digital Media Management.  Its goal is to showcase and feature content regarding technology, fashion, and culture.

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Kina Grannis Starts Prepping Fans for Sophomore Album

If you’re like me, you may find waiting for May 6th to be an agonizing task. That’s how long I, along with the rest of the Kinetics (the nickname for Kina Grannis fans), have to wait until her sophomore album “Elements” drops.

The Mondays of the past several months have been graced as Kina Mondays, when the 2009 Kollaboration LA competitor would upload a new video onto her YouTube channel covering a song of her choice. It wasn’t until Valentine’s Day when, after a week of dropping hints on her Instagram account, she announced the title of her new album and the release date.

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