Watching TV With the Red Chinese is an independent film produced by Nataya Anbar and Shimon Dotan that illustrates the difficult and complex process of assimilation into American culture. The movie specifically follows three Chinese students who visit New York to study system science and observe western society, but somehow end up as guinea pigs for a film documentary on foreign perception of American society. In the midst of trying to fit in, the Chinese students find themselves challenged by three elements of western urban culture: street violence, race discrimination, and casual dating.
The film discusses the negative outcomes of social injustice through one of the three Chinese students, Chen, played by Korean Australian actor Leonardo Nam (known for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants). When Chen encounters a bloody beating from street criminals that causes him to live in paranoia and purchase a gun, his friends are forced into reflection. This movie is basically a crazy mix of foreign frenzy where friends become enemies, lovers become killers, and violence become answers.
The film hits theaters today. Watch the trailer here:
CAPE, the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment’s holiday party felt a little like a company shindig-that is, if your co-workers were James Kyson Lee, Archie Kao or Carrie Anne Inaba. Oh yea, and if the party was held at the swanky Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles. Celebs, awards, schmoozers and free-flowing alcohol was all here as the esteemed organization recognized two movers and shakers in the industry, actor/comedian Ken Jeong took home the prestigious New Horizons Award and industry exec Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, won the Visionary Award. Here are 10 Things that I mused about the soiree.
1) Lots of peer love going around.
Forget the whole stigma that actors are always catty and competitive with each other. If anything, CAPE is an organization that demonstrates exactly how much Asians are supporting one another in the industry. As one of my good friends once said, “when one of us gets an opportunity like a part in a movie or show, it just moves us as an entire race, forward.”
2. I can get starstruck.
My gig as assistant editor of Audrey Magazine is pretty sweet. I get to talk to celebrities on a regular basis through interviews and parties like this. So it’s been a while since I got starstruck. But the fan-girl in me totally came out when I saw Keiko Agena on the red carpet. Gilmore Girls is forever my favorite show and I told her so the first chance I got. I think I scared her a little. Yea, having a 5’9″ asian girl in a flowery cocktail dress come up to you exclaiming, “I love your work and your show and your character and YOU” is a little scary, I suppose.
3. There is no classy way to eat chicken wings.
I tried. I really did. You just can’t make eating chicken wings at a soiree look classy. But they sure were delicious.
4. Pageant queens are a hit at parties.
As part of the Miss LA Chinatown court this year, I got to relish the attention at parties and gatherings when I’m in my crown and sash like no other. Apparently, looking like royalty is quite the conversation starter. CAPE was smart in including on their guest list two sets of pageant girls; former Miss California USAs were on hand (right) as well as the current Miss LA Chinatown court. (I’m not in my royal attire because I just wanted to be a normal civilian for one night!)
5. A church is a cool place to get down.
The Vibiana in Downtown LA is such a sweet place to throw a party! The sound system is a little tough to bear but with the classic interior and great lighting, it’s definitely a spot I’d frequent again.
6. And the outdoors is not bad either!
7. Ken Jeong is DA MAN.
He can joke, he can act, he can dance, he can make the best acceptance speeches. If I had an award to give out, I’d give it to Jeong too. (Congrats on winning the New Horizons Award!)
8. I swear I’m not an alcoholic.
But free-flowing booze like the sake shown above definitely made it easier to enjoy the evening. (Not that I wasn’t enjoying it already.)
9. Photobooth is fun!
10. People with a whole lotta heart made this event possible.
It’s to a group of very dedicated individuals that have made CAPE as successful as it is today. So cheers to you, Jennifer Sanderson, Ken Choy and company!
Thanks to CAPE Press and Carmen Chan for providing all the photos and making me look like a photo hog.
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.