It was a beautiful night in San Francisco to celebrate the 30thAnnual San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. Presented by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), this event was a must to attend. My photographer Erilou and I had the pleasure of attending this star studded event. The Opening night was held at the Castro Theater and a Gala reception at the Asian Art Museum followed. The world premier of White Frog, directed by Quentin Lee was featured. White Frog is a drama film about a teen named Nick (Booboo Stewart) with Asperger’s Syndrome who has to cope with the death of his brother Chaz (Harry Shum, Jr.). With an amazing and talented cast, many of the actors who are in White Frog were present at the movie premiere. I had the pleasure of interviewing and meeting many of the actors such as Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf), Harry Shum Jr (Glee), Booboo Stewart (Twilight), and many other talents within the film industry. Read on to read interviews with BooBoo Stewart, Ellie Wen, Harry Shum, Jr. and more.
This Week’s Happenings 2.17-2.24
There’s a lot going on during the next couple of weeks as Audrey gears up for the release of our exciting spring issue! Purchase tickets now to the highly anticipated San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. Savor a one-night only collaborative dinner at LA’s The Tar Pit restaurant made by guest Chef Roy Choi. Asian American New Yorker artists: apply to be featured in the upcoming Locating the Sacred festival in Brooklyn. Be inspired to execute those brilliant ideas via a hot off the press book by a leading idea maker. For more, read on!
WHAT: Purchase tickets to the upcoming San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF)
The Center for Asian America Media (CAAM) presents the 30th annual largest and most prestigious showcase for new Asian American and Asian films, music, and digital and interactive media in North America.
The festival will kick off with a screening at Castro Theatre of White Frog starring Joan Chen, B.D. Wong, Harry Shum, Jr., and Booboo Stewart, followed by a decadent opening night party at the magnificent Asian Art Museum.
The line-up this year includes: Hawaiian love story, Knots, starring Michael Kang; indie horror film, I Am a Ghost, directed by H.P. Mendoza, starring Anna Ishida and Jeannie Barroga; a live audience participation Filipino musical, and films honoring those affected by the Japan tsunami and earthquake.
WHEN: March 8-18
WHERE: San Francisco, Berkeley, and San Jose, CA
HOW: Purchase tickets to your films and events of choice today!
We’ve talked about the incredible cast in the upcoming film, White Frog.
BD Wong, Joan Chen, Harry Shum, Jr., BooBoo Stewart...talk about star power!
Here’s the trailer for the film.
White Frog follows an Asian American family dealing with the death of Chaz Young (Shum), a brother, son and friend. The story centers around young Nick (Stewart) who also has Asberger’s.
What are your thoughts on the trailer?
Who is the White Frog?
I don’t know either, but coming this fall from Wentertainment Productions and Chris Lee Productions is the new indie feature White Frog directed by Quentin Lee (The People I’ve Slept With). Written by mother-daughter team Fabienne Wen and Ellie Wen with playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) as its script advisor, the film focuses on high school freshman Nick Young (The Twilight Saga‘s Booboo Stewart) who struggles with mild Asperger’s syndrome. The troubled and neglected teen idolizes his perfect older brother Chaz (Glee‘s Harry Shum Jr.), but his life takes a sharp turn and a leap after fate plays a hand in his brother’s life.
I’m a serious sucker for a movie based on a true story. I think it makes any film that much better, knowing that this actually happened and is not the result of some screenwriter’s creative machinations.
This holds true for Mao’s Last Dancer, the latest film from Samuel Goldwyn Films, out this Friday. Based on the best-selling autobiograpy of the same name, the film tells the story of Chinese ballet dancer Li Cunxin, plucked from his village and family in the ’70s to train at the prestigious Beijing Arts Academy.
Despite initial hardships (the scenes of the training the boys endure are pretty jaw-dropping), Li eventually excels at ballet and is given the opportunity to travel to America as an exchange student. Li eventually becomes an international ballet star, but not before almost losing his love, his family and even his country in an international scandal. With China now the second largest economy in the world and yet still reluctant to fully open its channels of communication with the world, it’s an eye-opening look into 1970s communist China.
The film doesn’t skimp on heavy hitters either. Academy Award® nominees, director Bruce Beresford (Tender Mercies, Driving Miss Daisy), producer Jane Scott (Shine) and screenwriter Jan Sardi (The Notebook, Shine), are behind the project, as well as actors Bruce Greenwood, Kyle MacLachlan, Joan Chen and Amanda Schull. Chi Cao, a gifted dancer and principal at the Birmingham Royal Ballet, carries the film as Li. (The dance scenes alone make the film.)
The film’s already garnered a host of awards, from the Toronto International Film Festival (Audience Award Runner Up) to the São Paulo International Film Festival (Audience Award Winner) to the Seattle International Film Festival (Best Film Golden Space Needle Runner Up).
Check out the trailer here:
Wanna see more? We have exclusive clips from the film for you to check out.
“Li is Chosen”
Did you know that up to 60% of API women experience intimate partner abuse or sexual abuse in their lifetime and are least likely to report it? That is an extraordinarily high percentage given that the national average is 33%.
Now, Asian American stars Sandra Oh, John Cho, Aaron Yoo, Lisa Ling, Leonardo Nam, Archie Kao, C.S. Lee, Joan Chen, Justin Chon, Far East Movement, Kaba Modern and more than 100 other members of the creative community will appear in a series of videos supporting the Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF), which provides a multi-lingual 24-hour call center, emergency shelter, transitional housing program, counseling services and various community outreach programs to address domestic violence. Hundreds of others contributed their time, experience and resources to produce the videos and help raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault.