Twin Sisters Find Each Other Through YouTube, Turn Their Story Into A Film

Our generation is often criticized for the amount of social media we indulge in on a daily basis. We are told that we rely on it far too much. We are poked fun at because people think we are unable to go five minutes without looking at our phone. Even worse, we are told that our friendships and relationships are diluted thanks to social media.

It’s no secret that a handful of people have nothing but negative things to say when it comes to the topic of social media, but this is a story that will prove them otherwise.

Because we focus so much on the negative aspects of social media, we’ve overlooked how it has helped us: we’re able stay in touch with old friends and family members living overseas, long-distance relationships have a chance of surviving despite the difficult circumstances, and most importantly, we are able to meet people that may have never crossed our path.

Through social media we can meet our future best friend or love interest. In fact, we can meet some of the most unexpected people imaginable. For 27-year-old Samantha from Los Angeles, that’s exactly what happened.

In February 2013, Anaïs, a French fashion design student living in London, got her first glimpse of Samantha through a YouTube video featuring the aspiring American actress. Shocked by their similar appearances, Anaïs could not help but looking into Samantha’s background and finally sent her a message.

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The twins learned that they were both adoptees, both born in the same country and shared the same birthday.

Convinced that they were related, the two began visiting one another and even spent 10 days in Korea to find out where their separation took place.

The girls decided to document and turn their amazing story into a film. Now, a year later, we finally get our first glimpse of their incredible discovery.

 

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Get Ready To Cry With This Heartfelt Commercial

Looking for a good cry? We’ve got just the thing to pull at your heartstrings.

Chinese New Year, which is often referred to as “Lunar New Year,” is one of the most important traditional Chinese holidays. The holiday is even celebrated in countries with significant Chinese populations such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia.

A few days ago marked the beginning of the year of the horse. According to tradition, dinner on new year’s eve is the most important dinner of the entire year. Chinese New Year is a time for family to gather together, pass out red envelopes and (of course) eat to their heart’s desires.

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Aside from the traditions of fireworks, red packets, decorating and cleaning, it is extremely important that new year’s eve dinner as well as new year’s dinner is spent with family. This is meant to emphasize the importance of family by ending and starting the year together.

In modern times, especially with how busy everyone is, it may be easy for some to forget the importance of family. This commercial is here to remind you. Released in 2012, this “oldie-but-goodie” is sure to help us remember that family will always be there for you.

 

VIDEO OF THE DAY: “ONE” By Wong Fu Productions

Wong Fu Productions, the three-member Asian American filmmaking group considered to be one of YouTube’s elite, released another short film last week titled “ONE,” featuring Chinese American singer-songwriter Wang Leehom.

The six-and-a-half minute short, nearing the one million view count, opens on a young street musician (Leehom) performing on a cold winter’s day in New York City. Though he has raw talent, the musician is convinced that singing on the sidewalk is where he belongs; he might have been famous at one point, but in another life. Then he meets a stranger with dreams of her own, and his perspective changes for the better.

It’s a simple, sweet story that encourages others to see life as full of infinite possibilities; it’s up to you to choose what kind of life you want.

It’s also like most of Wong Fu’s other films: romantic, starring attractive twenty-somethings and geared towards Asian American youth. During Wong Fu’s college tour this year, more than a few students and campus organizations have voiced their criticism of the group, calling for less love stories and more videos that are representative of the country’s Asian American population and that cover social issues.

The men behind Wong Fu –– Philip Wang, Wesley Chan and Ted Fu haven’t addressed this critique formally.

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Jun Sung Ahn’s AMAZING ‘Frozen’ Violin Cover of “Let It Go”

You probably know Jun Sung Ahn through his violin & dance cover of EXO’s hit song “Growl.” With nearly 300,000 views on his video, Jun Sung Ahn was thrown into viral popularity and found himself performing at events at like KCON and Kollaboration.

The young artist, who claims his specialties are violin, dance, film, video, photography, producing, editing and performing, seems ready to keep his popularity going.

A few days ago, the talented artist released a violin cover of “Let it go” from Disney’s popular animated film Frozen. Although its only been a few days, the cover has already generated nearly 150,000 views and for good reason!

Among the hundreds of “Let it go” covers, Jun Sung Ahn powerful and shiver-inducing version clearly stands out. As the video makes its way around social media, many are claiming that this is the best instrumental cover of the song.

Hear it for yourself and check out his violin & dance cover of EXO’s “Growl” below.

Calling All EXO Fans: This Dubstep Dance Practice Video Will Make Your Day

It’s quite an understatement to say that EXO took over 2013. They took the #1 spot on M! Countdown New Year’s special, won “Song of The Year” at the 2013 KBS Music Festival and sold over a million copies of their album in a single year. This is an accomplishment that no other kpop group has been able to achieve in twelve years.

Let’s not forget that the dance video to their hit song “Growl” has over 23,000,000 views.

So what’s the secret behind their overwhelming success? Is it the fact that there are 12 members? Is it because there are Korean and Chinese members? Is it their good looks, charming personalities and talented voices? We’re gonna go ahead and say that it’s probably all of these reasons combined.

According to allkpop, EXO responded to all their success in 2013 by saying, “We sincerely thank everyone who helped us break the valuable record of being a million seller. 2013 has become an unforgettable year for us as we received a lot of love from many people and received good results. In order to return the love, we will become an EXO who will continue to work hard next year.”

EXO is certainly living up to their word and are already turning heads in 2014. At the KBS Music Festival, EXO performed a squeal-worthy “Dubstep Intro.” Today, they released the dance practice video to the performance.

Although the video is only a little over a minute long, it will certainly be your favorite minute of the day.

 

Still can’t tell the 12 members apart? Click here for the Ultimate Guide to EXO and be sure to check out more of their dance skills with their other practice video below:

 

The Best Minute & Twenty Seconds You’ll Spend Today

There are few things in this world which put automatic smiles on our faces. One of those happens to be Yerin Park and her baby sister Yeseo.

Among the adorable Asian babies who have become viral sensations, Yerin Park has topped our list since her baby days. Now a toddler, the popular girl proves she’s just as cute as ever.

Her father first began videotaping Yerin to try and show her grandparents how she was growing. As it turns out, he opened the door for his daughter to become an internet sensation.

 

Last month, we couldn’t look away from the video of Yerin eaitng, but now, we have something much better.

The chemistry between Yerin and her baby sister Yeseo is squeal-worthy. As it turns out, Yeseo is just as much a fan of smiling and laughing as her sister. So if you need a pick-me-up today, don’t worry. This short video of the giggly girls will surely put a smile on your face.

 

More adorable (gif-worthy) moments from the sisters:

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Men Get A Taste Of Their Own Medicine In This Powerful Indian Ad

Many women have experienced the uncomfortable leer of a male stranger. Many of us have had to endure as a stranger inspects our body from top to bottom and we force ourselves not to think about what he’s imagining. We’ve scowled, we’ve yelled, we’ve rolled our eyes, we’ve ignored, we’ve been sarcastic, and we’ve been scared and yet the leering continues. The worst part about all this is just how common this is.

It is no secret that the mistreatment of women is a large and serious issue faced by India. A little over a year ago, the infamous New Delhi Gang Rape horrified the world. A 23-year-old woman was on a private bus when six men, including the driver, beat and raped her.  The woman suffered serious injuries to her abdomen, intestines and genitals due to the assault.

According to Huffington Post, a doctor at Safdarjung Hospital where the woman was being treated claimed, “It appears to be that a rod was inserted into her and it was pulled out with so much force that the act brought out her intestines… That is probably the only thing that explains such severe damage to her intestines.”

Though she survived the attack, the woman died thirteen days later while undergoing emergency treatment. The horrifying case shook the country and widespread protests ensued.

Now, a year later, this ad is released as a reminder the world to not forget that these acts still happen. The video’s description says,

WOMEN EMPOWERMENT” is the need of the hour. On 16th December 2012, the horrific incident of Nirbhaya’s Rape Case not only shattered Nirbhaya’s family but every single Indian. This incident did trigger a sense of solidarity to stand up, fight against and do our best to eradicate such atrocities & gender inequality. At Cinema100, 2013, a WWI Initiative to commemorate the completion of 100 years of Indian Cinema, we commissioned our Alumni Ketan Rana to make an ad on Woman Empowerment. Watch the video & Spread the awareness to Think, Reflect & Act!

 

According to Jezebel, the lyrics of the song say, “Look how you look when you’re looking at me,” in Hindi. The video shows men getting a taste of their own medicine. Sure enough, they are all equally uncomfortable with being leering at. They are physically forced to look at themselves and reflect on their actions. Watch the powerful ad below.

AUDREY’S WOMEN OF INFLUENCE | Laura Lee, Director of Entertainment East Partnership at YouTube

Story by Teena Apeles. Photo by Conan Thai.

Overseeing more than 150 television, film, new media and original entertainment partnerships for YouTube is no small feat, especially when they involve striking deals with networks as big as NBC Universal, as cutting edge as Vice, and as treasured as the Discovery Networks. Welcome to Laura Lee’s world. As head of YouTube’s Entertainment East Partnerships since 2007, 38-year-old Lee is the highest-ranking Asian American woman at YouTube and is one of the highest-ranking Asian American female executives across all of Google. And, she will tell you, her job is certainly no cakewalk, but it is thrilling.

“No day is typical for me,” says the New York-based Lee by phone, whose territory includes the East Coast and all of Canada. Not only does she work with TV networks, she also advises top magazine publishers, like Time, Inc. (Time, Sports Illustrated, People) and Condé Nast (Vogue, Vanity Fair), on what kinds of video to produce for their channels.

One day Lee could be meeting with Jimmy Fallon and his production team, brainstorming about how to expand his YouTube audience en route to becoming the king of late night. (She notes that his channel hit a million subscribers recently.) Another day she could be working on an initiative like Ignite New York (ignitenyc.org), which Lee and her team conceived to make sure that all local creators — whether in news, music, education or sports — understand how to fully utilize YouTube. As a native New Yorker, she is particularly passionate about this project. “What we are trying to do with Ignite is not just for film or TV, but for any kind of creator … to let them know that through YouTube they have a platform to become a global brand.”

Lee says that one rewarding aspect of her job is helping a brand “give birth” on YouTube and then charting “their progress to adolescence.” Lee points to the hipster magazine Vice as an especially inspiring success story, which went from print to a “multiplatform creative juggernaut.”

“Some brands have made the transition effortlessly, but some of them, they need a little bit more handholding. But that is part of what I do,” says Lee. “It is really talking to all these different brands and making sure that we are getting the best of their creativity [so] that we can broadcast that to the world.”

A quick review of her enviable résumé reveals that Lee is good at getting original content to the masses. She was vice president of business development and operations at MTV, has produced an original series for VH-1, and oversaw the development of sports projects at Spike. The interesting thing is, Lee first started her career as an investment banker — while spending nights performing at nightclubs with her R&B group.

“I think that I always walked that fine line between being the subdued Asian daughter, but on the other hand wanting to make sure that I always engaged and nurtured my passion,” she explains. “My problem was, do I really take the big leap and try to do the singing thing 100 percent, or do I go to business school? And my parents said, ‘You are going to business school.’”

Lee did finish business school, albeit without a job because she couldn’t let go of her desire for a more creative endeavor. But look at her today. No longer the “subdued Asian girl,” Lee says that not a lot of people expect to encounter an assertive Asian female in the workplace. It’s something Lee and her Asian American friends in the industry are quite cognizant of. “We joke around about that bamboo ceiling and that we are experiencing breakthroughs,” she says. “But we would like to see more, and we hope that it is our generation that does it.

“Each company has a different rhythm,” she continues, “and to be successful in any company you have to be able to adapt and fall into that rhythm, hopefully without sacrificing your own personal style,” she says. Indeed, Lee went from wearing torn jeans at her first YouTube meeting (someone commented that she looked like a kid), to more grownup attire. “I love wearing dresses, and I love wearing heels,” she says. “I just feel more confident.”

So how many hours in a “no day is typical” workday does it take to break that bamboo ceiling and become the highest- ranking Asian American woman at YouTube? “I don’t want to scare people,” says Lee, laughing. “The honest answer is that I am a work in progress.”

This story was originally published in our Winter 2013-14 Issue. Get your copy here

MUST SEE: Filipino Pantene Commercial Calls Attention to Gender Labels in The Workplace

Now its time to applaud Pantene Philippines for its amazing commercial tackling gender discrimination.

We’re no stranger to gender labels. There have been many cases where women were perceived in a negative light while men were praised for doing the exact same thing. Many claim that such judgements are subconscious. Obviously, it would do us all well to question the disparity between these labels and why they exist.

Each scene portrays a man and a woman in the workplace environment. The commercial then highlights the double standards among men and women through labels. A man is simply being the “boss” while a woman in the same position is “bossy.” A man is “persuasive” while a woman is “pushy.” A man well-dressed for work is “neat” but a woman is “vain.” The man is “smooth” while the woman is a “show-off.”

The commercial successfully pulls our attention towards the unfair gender discrimination that often occurs in the workplace. It ends by stating, “Don’t let labels hold you back. Be strong and shine.”

Although this commercial doesn’t feature Pantene in the most obvious way, it certainly features glossy hair. Besides, we’re definitely a fan of the bigger issue that the commercial addresses.

The commercial was only uploaded onto youtube yesterday, but it has already gathered over 3 million views. Check it out for yourself.

Spotlight on Unforgettable’s Awardees | David Choi, Arts & Entertainment Award

David Choi is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter/music producer who first gained fame on YouTube for his original song “YouTube A Love Song” in 2006. Since then, he’s paved the way for independent artists who are building a fanbase and making a living themselves by mobilizing social media resources. Choi wrote and self-produced all three of his albums Only You, By My Side, and Forever and Ever, which debuted at #97 on the iTunes top album charts, his songs have used in both American and Korean television shows, and his YouTube channel boasts close to a million subscribers and over 117,000,000 total video views.

You talk a lot about a moment in high school, where you went from hating practicing your musical instruments to being obsessed with composing music. What happened?

David Choi: Well, I didn’t know you could create music. Learning an instrument is not being creative. It’s just practicing someone else’s music. You can’t be creative when somebody is telling you exactly what to do.

Once I realized I could be creative with music, something just grabbed me and made me want to do this forever. It was weird. Maybe it was me wanting to succeed? I don’t even think it was that. I just really loved it. It’s like when you fall in love with somebody, and you want to spend time with them every single day. That’s how I felt about music.

Do you find that your good songs come to you very quickly, or do you have to work hard to rewrite, analyze the lyrics or the structure, and rewrite again?

David Choi: Now that I’ve been doing it for so long, it feels more innate. I will write a song, and what matters to me is not necessarily whether it sounds good, cool, or unique, but whether it’s honest. That’s the first part. Then the second part is sitting on it after I record it, and later listening back and being more judgmental. Here, I’m putting on my producer’s hat and looking at song structure etc.

There are definitely songs that I rewrite constantly but if I keep having to do that, often I’ll just let it go. I feel like it loses something after too much revision. But that’s just the art side of me talking, not the practical side. It’s about balancing the two.

 

Check out David Choi on the cover of KoreAm Journal’s December 2013 issue. Buy a copy to read the full cover story.

For more information on 2013′s Unforgettable annual gala, click here.

For free tickets to our Unforgettable after party, click here. Hope to see you there!