Randall Park on CONAN: Magical Kiss with James Franco + Baby Mentalist and Chinese Liver Pills

I’m really enjoying seeing Randall Park do the talk show rounds. Here he is on CONAN, talking about what it was like to kiss James Franco.

Also, check out clips of Randall talking about his daughter Ruby as Baby Mentalist and how his first acting job was for Chinese liver pills.

h/t: Team Coco

‘Twinsters’ to be released in theaters in July 2015; + L.A. premiere & afterparty info

8A-2015-07-10-TWINSTERS

We have been following the Twinsters story since last year when they were still crowdfunding for the film, and our some of our L.A. readers even got to see the film at the 2015 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF), but now the documentary directed by Samantha Futerman and Ryan Miyamoto is receiving a theatrical release:

THEATRICAL RELEASE:
July 17 – New York (Empire 25 Time Square)
July 24 – Los Angeles (Arclight Cinemas)
July 31 – Austin, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and additional cities across the US

ABOUT THE FILM:

In February 2013, Anaïs Bordier, a French fashion student living in London, stumbled upon a YouTube video featuring Samantha Futerman, an actress in Los Angeles, and was struck by their uncanny resemblance. After discovering they were born on the same day in Busan, Korea and both put up for adoption, Anaïs reached out to Samantha via Facebook. In Twinsters, we follow Samantha and Anaïs’ journey into sisterhood, witnessing everything from their first meeting, to their first trip back to Korea where their separation took place.

Twinsters explores the meaning of family and connection through a story that would have been impossible just 10 years ago without the creation of YouTube and Facebook.

TWINSTERS had its world premiere at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival, where it received a Special Jury Recognition Award for Editing. On its festival premiere, TWINSTERS screened at the beloved Stateside Theater. The venue was completely full. It was a must-see sold-out screening at the fest.

The Los Angeles premiere on Friday, July 24, 2015 at Arclight Cinemas – Hollywood will include a post-screening discussion following the 7:10pm show with directors Futerman and Miyamoto and additional cast & crew, along with special guests.

Following the film there will be a special reception, hosted by The Kindred Foundation.
TWINSTERS | LA Premiere After Party Event
FRI July 24, 2015; 6:30pm – 11:30pm
CONFESSION: 1666 McCadden Pl. Hollywood, CA 90028 (entrance on Hollywood Blvd)
Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

The evening will include a hosted Svedka Bar, Sounds by DJ John Lock, light tray pass and opportunity to speak with the cast and crew of the film!

“Honey” to return as a regular in Season 2 of ‘Fresh Off The Boat’

8A-2015-06-29-Deadline-ChelseyCrispDeadline reports that…

After recurring in Season 1, Chelsey Crisp (Reconcilation, The Harvesting) has been promoted to series regular for the second season of ABC comedy Fresh Off The Boat. She plays the Huangs’ neighbor Honey. Based on Eddie Huang’s memoir, the 1990s-set series revolves around a Chinese family that moves to suburban Orlando. It centers on hip-hop-loving Eddie Huang, raised by an immigrant father (Randall Park) who is obsessed with all things American and an immigrant mother (Constance Wu) who is often bewildered by white culture. Crisp is repped by 3 Arts and DSA.

New York Times “Modern Love” video: Breaching the Seawall

8A-2015-06-NYT-icon-modern-love-superJumboI’ve been digging the short “Modern Love” videos from the New York Times Style section.

This, called “Breaching the Seawall,” really resonated with me.

When Laurel Fantauzzo met a young woman and her bicycle in Manila, her relationship to the city was transformed.

The White House Summit on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: Historic Gathering of Almost 2,000 People

8A-2015-05-15-WHAAPI-SummitGraphic

This week, on May 12, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders hosted the first-ever White House Summit on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Washington, DC. Nearly 2,000 community members, federal officials, and guests from over 40 states and the Pacific Islands came together to connect with one other, share their experiences and stories, and gain tools to mobilize their communities to continue expanding opportunity for AAPIs everywhere.

President Obama sent a video message to the Summit participants:

Said Kiran Ahuja, the Executive Director of the Initiative:

Throughout this summit, we heard the same clear message across federal government: we are working hard to better reach and serve the dynamic and diverse needs of our nation’s growing AAPI community. That is precisely why WHIAAPI focuses on building bridges between government and advocacy groups, institutions, and local communities. To further these goals, we focused our plenaries, fireside chats with government leaders, nearly 25 panel discussions, and brown bag lunches – on highlighting and addressing issues that impact AAPI communities around the country. Topics discussed spanned the gamut, from bullying and harassment in schools to the power of immigrant and refugee voices to social entrepreneurship.

Check out the Flickr photoset from the day: https://flic.kr/ps/UJEah

About the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Continue reading “The White House Summit on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: Historic Gathering of Almost 2,000 People”

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month on PBS

8A-2015-05-14-PBS-APAHM

Submitted by Ruel Gaviola:

PBS has a full schedule of programming for Asian Pacific Heritage Month, including over two dozen films streaming online.

“Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May and every day with a special PBS collection of stories that explores the history, traditions and culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.”

Among the titles to keep an eye out for:
Soul of a Banquet
Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry
Ana May Wong: In Her Own Words
Mulberry Child
Fallen City
Road to the Globe, Pacific Heartbeat
9-Man
A Winning Girl
Cambodian Son

“Career Arc: Manny Pacquiao” on Grantland

2015-04-30-CareerArcMannyPacquiao-Cover

Submitted by Ruel Gaviola:

Check out the excellent biographical piece on Manny Pacquiao in Grantland by Rafe Bartholomew, author of the fantastic basketball book, Pacific Rims: Beermen Ballin’ in Flip-Flops and the Philippines’ Unlikely Love Affair with Basketball.

Manny Pacquiao of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world is Filipino and the Filipino, Filipino American, and Asian American communities are excited about his fight against Floyd Mayweather this Saturday night.

Excerpt:

When most Americans first heard of Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino boxer’s life was presented as a fable. This is true whether they came across Pacquiao in the early 2000s, when he burst into the boxing mainstream with upsets of Lehlo Ledwaba and Marco Antonio Barrera, or whether they learned of him in 2008, when he invaded the actual mainstream with another upset, this time over Oscar De La Hoya. Even now, after years of being one of the highest-paid athletes in the world and just days away from facing Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the biggest fight of his career, Pacquiao will be introduced to casual fans as a boy who was born into intractable poverty in the southern Philippines, who started fighting professionally at age 16 to help support his mother and siblings, and who somehow slugged his way to the top of the sport.

LAAPFF 2015: ‘Love Arcadia’

8A-2015-04-LAAPFF-LA 05_Playground8Asians is proud to be a community co-presenter of Love Arcadia at the 2015 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF). As a reader of 8Asians, please enjoy a discount to this and other films using the code: 8ASIANS15

Screenings
Monday, April 27 at 7:00 PM (Downtown Independent, DTLA)

Wednesday, April 29 at 9:15 PM (Japanese American National Museum, Little Tokyo)

Happy-go-lucky Jake Chen (Anthony Ma) puts both heart and soul into perfecting his signature blends of sweet, creamy, and chewy goodness at his parents’ modest boba tea shop located in a sleepy corner plaza of sunny and suburban Arcadia, CA in the heart of the “626” (an area code symbolic of the material home of recent highly educated and solidly middle class Chinese immigrants from Taiwan and the Mainland). This influx of high rolling investors and consumers as new additions to the Chinese diaspora in the U.S. and specifically here in the West Coast, plays a central critical role in the plot of this big hearted, Taiwanese American romantic comedy-drama. As home-grown as it comes, director Lawrence Gan and screenwriter Theresa Chiu concoct this affable micro indie as both love letter to celebrate the continued, strong bonds of family and friendship in the contemporary Chinese American community and as a signpost of the burgeoning powerhouse, immigrant community planting roots and asserting economic and cultural influences in CA and the U.S.

Jake’s family business faces extinction when Joanna Lee (Michelle Huang), the precocious, no holds barred, uptight daughter of a Taiwanese real estate developer, steps into his shop to avail herself of wi-fi and simultaneously, sweeps him off his feet by her candor and confidence. Her presence sets off a chain reaction in Jake’s daily life forcing him to question his own direction. Should he go off to college like his peers and/or pursue his dream of becoming a chef? His contented attachment to home and hearth, his kind, supportive BFFs, Louie (Arvin Lee) and Samantha (Lana McKissack), and his little patch in the Shire may not be enough anymore. Can love conquer his Hobbit-like ways and teach him a thing or two about growing up and realizing his full potential?

The sugar rush comes to a head at Louie’s big brother’s wedding, where we get served cake, Shakespearian dramatics of a best man’s speech, and resolutions to long-standing family and community grievances. Transformation, reconciliation, “Arcadian Sunrise,” and maybe, a “Phoenix Surprise” await you. It is truly sweets to the sweet.

Cast & Crew
Executive Producer: Theresa Chiu, Matt Dau, Josh Owen
Producer: Lawrence Gan, Dave Grabarek
Director: Lawrence Gan
Assistant Director: Roxy Shih
Writer: Theresa Chiu
Director of Photography: Daniel Cotroneo
Associate Producer: Arthur Wu
Production Designer: Arthur Wu
Music Composer: Kiran Gupta
Editor: Lawrence Gan
Cast: Garrett Bales, Lee Chen, Lon Fiala, James Gan, Michelle Huang, Clint Jung, George Kerr, Cici Lau, Arvin Lee, Hong Lei, Anthony Ma, Lana McKissack, Richard Ouyang, Bryan Truong, Vladimir Velasco, Dominic Zhai
Costume Designer: Pei-Lynn Juang
Visual Effects: James Brady
Sound: Andy Edelman, John Rhoads

LAAPFF 2015: ‘KTown Cowboys’

https://youtu.be/pl_JJIuZzVY

8A-2015-04-LAAPFF-KTCB_ProductionStill_56568Asians is proud to be a community co-presenter of KTown Cowboys at the 2015 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF). As a reader of 8Asians, please enjoy a discount to this film using the code: KC15 or other films with 8ASIANS15

Screenings
Saturday, April 25 at 8:00 PM (Aratani Theatre, Little Tokyo)
Wednesday, April 29 at 9:15 PM (CGV Cinemas 1, KTown)

What a difference five years makes: back in 2010, music video director and online content developer Daniel Park brought his brilliantly rude, crass, and homemade web series KTOWN COWBOYS to the Film Festival as a self-contained featurette, with one crucial detail — he stitched together all but the last of eight episodes to create a work that would deliver to him the Festival’s Special Jury Award for Best First Feature, and compelled viewers to visit the film’s website to discover how the whole story ended. A brilliant example of transmedia, certainly, but an experience that screamed out for a fuller, more complete story. So, working with many of the principals from the web series, director Park returned to K-Town, so to speak, and revisited much of the same terrain covered in that earlier, heralded work. The result, also named KTOWN COWBOYS, should not be confused with the earlier feature: taking place months before the events of the web series, this new iteration of the adventures of Jason (Shane Yoon), Sunny (Sunn Wee), Peter (Peter Jae), Danny (Danny Cho), and Robby (Bobby Choy, aka folk guitarist Big Phony) is even more of a comedy caper than the earlier effort, and renders obsolete Chris Chan Lee’s classic YELLOW (Festival 1997), acknowledged as the progenitor of modern Korean American cinema.

Jason, a reluctant heir and caretaker to the family-run business, is in trouble as this new story opens: no thanks to an embezzlement scheme perpetrated by a mid-level manager (a deliciously twisted cameo by comedian Steve Byrne), the company teeters on the brink of collapse. As Jason’s straight-laced uncle and v-e-r-y loopy and self-absorbed cousin Mindy (Angie Kim) fly in from Seoul to confront Jason, his buddies confront problems of their own. Sunny, an aspiring entrepreneur, chafes at the prospect of inheriting the family-owned liquor store. Hot-headed macho-man Peter toils by day at the Fashion Institute, where none of his fellow buddies can see his nascent talents as a dress designer. Danny, a struggling comic, wonders if his big break will ever come. And Robby, a Korean adoptee ensconced in a mind-numbingly suburban reality, begins to get in touch with his Koreanness and contemplates a return to the motherland to find his roots. Together, the five join forces with Mindy to seek out a solution to Jason’s problems — a trek that will take them through Koreatown’s designer hotels, noraebangs, K-BBQ hangouts, afterhours drinking spots, and lounges.

If the aforementioned YELLOW served as a travelogue through Los Angeles’ Koreatown for the uninitiated, then KTOWN COWBOYS uses a roadmap that can’t be found in any MapQuest or Google Earth app. Indeed, today’s K-Town, a “vertical city” that mimics South Korea’s own high-rise profile, is cosmopolitan, urbane, and trendy in its own right. And with such sharply-dress denizens as Jason and crew, not to mention a soundtrack inspired by state-of-the-art K-Pop, who’s to say that KTOWN COWBOYS isn’t a case of the hallyu wave breaking back across the Pacific, to where it all started? Director Park has updated and contemporized the K-Town story while — with a huge assist from screenwriters Danny Cho and Brian Chung — judiciously makes sure not to throw everything and the kitchen sink into the whole mix. Gotta save something for the next story, you know…

Cast & Crew
Executive Producer: Sam Chi, Ken Jeong
Producer: Gregory Bishop, Brian Chung, Daniel Sollinger
Director: Daniel Park
Writer: Danny Cho
Cast: Steve Byrne, Danny Cho, Bobby Choy, Peter Jae, Young Chul Kim, Daniel Dae Kim, Simon Rhee, Eric Roberts, Sunn Wee, Shane Yoon

Giveaway: ‘Twinsters’ at LAAPFF 2015 + McDonald’s Arch Card

8A-2015-04-TwinstersFilmStill_036_13261_18Asians is working with McDonald’s to give away free tickets for you and a guest to watch the highly anticipated documentary Twinsters at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival on April 25, 2015, AND reconnect over a shared meal at McDonald’s.

In February 2013, Anaïs Bordier, a French fashion student living in London, stumbled upon a YouTube video featuring Samantha Futerman, an actress in Los Angeles, and was struck by their uncanny resemblance. After discovering they were born on the same day in Busan, Korea and both put up for adoption, Anaïs reached out to Samantha via Facebook. In Twinsters, we follow Samantha and Anaïs’ journey into sisterhood, witnessing everything from their first meeting, to their first trip back to Korea where their separation took place.

Twinsters explores the meaning of family and connection through a story that would have been impossible just 10 years ago without the creation of YouTube and Facebook.

Movie Details:
Twinsters at LAAPFF 2015
Date/Time: April 25, 2015 @5PM
Location: Aratani Theater, 244 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

PLUS:
Winners will be provided with a “Lovin’ Meal on Us” (via a $15 value Arch Card) to share a meal with a loved one at McDonald’s. If you cannot attend the screening, you can have a still win a “Lovin’ Meal on Us” at McDonald’s.

For more information, check out the Official Rules. This giveaway closes soon, so hurry up!

Ok, ok… you want a chance to win? Read on!

Continue reading “Giveaway: ‘Twinsters’ at LAAPFF 2015 + McDonald’s Arch Card”

LAAPFF 2015: ‘Everything Before Us’ by Wong Fu Productions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMV_1qRWAtE

8A-2015-04-LAAPFF-EBU_BenSara_trees8Asians is proud to be a community co-presenter of Everything Before Us at the 2015 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF). As a reader of 8Asians, please enjoy a discount using the following codes: Opening VIP Discount Code: OPENINGVIP15, Opening Discount Code: OPENING15, all films 8ASIANS15

Screenings
Thursday, April 23 at 5:30 PM (Aratani Theatre, Little Tokyo)

Thursday, April 23 at 7:00 PM (Aratani Theatre, Little Tokyo)

Many exciting and wondrous things have happened to Wesley Chan, Ted Fu, and Philip Wang in the decade since they produced the cheeky comedy short YELLOW FEVER — the trio formed an independent production company, Wong Fu Productions; established a beachhead on the then-nascent streaming web destination YouTube; formed, with hip-hop/electropop artists Far East Movement the International Secret Agents (ISA) as a means of bringing together Asian American talents from the online universe and their adoring audiences; and built an ongoing legacy as pioneers (and game-changers) in Asian Pacific American cinema. As their latest endeavor, EVERYTHING BEFORE US, makes clear, the guys still feel they have things to prove. Having cornered the market in the online cinema realm, the trio (recently augmented to include producer Christine Chen and screenwriter/actor Christopher Dinh Nguyen) had always set their sights on producing a proper feature-length theatrical narrative. Not that they haven’t accomplished even that lofty goal: their 2006 A MOMENT WITH YOU, completed as their informal graduation thesis from UC San Diego, helped jump-start the trio’s online subscriber base as it was taken to college campuses throughout the country. These days, though, Wesley, Ted and Philip downplay the film’s impact, insisting that their growth as artists and filmmakers have set the stage for the “proper” creation of a full-length feature. Developed and incubated through Visual Communications’ VC Film Development Fund and augmented by a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign, EVERYTHING BEFORE US finds Wong Fu, and indeed its very own legion of fans and supporters, at an important artistic crossroads.

High schoolers Seth (Brandon Soo Hoo) and Haley (Victoria Park) are a happy, loving couple, but with the two headed to different colleges, the strain of a long-distance relationship is beginning to show in an increasing series of petty arguments and misunderstandings. Meanwhile, thirty-something professionals Ben (Aaron Yoo) and Sara (Brittany Ishibashi) are already a former couple who want nothing more to do with each other. Their opposing career paths — Ben, an artist, seeks employment at a design firm; Sara, a barista, dreams of opening her own coffee shop — have left them no time for each other. Yet the travails of both couples do not go unobserved. Their relationship activities are documented and monitored by the Department of Emotional Integrity (DEI), a DMV-styled agency that issues a relationship score to keep individuals accountable for their relationship activity and choices. The score is public for all to see, and affects various aspects of their daily lives. As the changing relationship dynamics of the two couples are monitored by a world-weary DEI case worker (Randall Park), a series of occurrences and the emergence of darker secrets threaten to unsettle the lives that both couples have attempted to build with, and apart from, each other. Can they conduct their lives in accordance with the DEI? Or will the restrictive nature of the agency undermine their aspirations?

EVERYTHING BEFORE US has much to say about today’s society as well as the legion of netizens who follow Chan, Fu, and Wang. The film — co-written with Nguyen — comments the very social network that have greatly benefitted Wong Fu and provided them an audience. That network, in the guise of the emotional integrity score, promotes classism, favoritism, a touch of racism, and even…state terrorism? That’s pretty disturbing stuff coming from a trio best known for extolling the virtues of “(f)unemployment,” among other things. EVERYTHING BEFORE US finds Wesley, Ted, and Philip a full decade removed from frivolous endeavors as YELLOW FEVER. The three have adult things on their minds. And so too, we suspect, do their audience.

Cast & Crew
Producer: Wesley Chan, Christine Chen, Chris Dinh, Ted Fu, Clay Reed, Philip Wang
Director: Wesley Chan, Philip Wang
Screenplay: Wesley Chan, Chris Dinh, Philip Wang
Cinematographer: Wesley Chan, Ted Chung
Editor: Taylor Chan, Philip Wang
Cast: Stephen A. Chang, Parvesh Cheena, Brittany Ishibashi, Ki Hong Lee, Victoria Park, Randall Park, Chris Riedell, Katie Savoy, Brandon Soo Hoo, Joanna Sotomura, Aaron Yoo

Watch online: ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ (Episode 12: “Dribbling Tiger, Bounce Pass Dragon”)

IAN CHEN, HUDSON YANG, FORREST WHEELER, CONSTANCE WU

Season 1 of Fresh Off the Boat is almost over. Here we are at Episode 12 (out of 13). (Catch up online: Episodes 1 and 2, Episodes 3 and 4, Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 7, Episode 8, Episode 9, Episode 10, Episode 11.)

Remember, aside from the ratings (which are most important), the network is also tracking legal downloads/streaming, as well as social media (Hashtag: #FreshOffTheBoat). So if you want to show the network your support, definitely watch, download, and tweet/post about it.

Multiple episodes are currently available for streaming using the “WATCH ABC” app for iOS. As of now, these downloads and streams are only legit available in the U.S./North America. Sorry to all our overseas readers that we can’t necessarily provide you links; you’ll just have to catch it on satellite for now.

EPISODE 12: “Dribbling Tiger, Bounce Pass Dragon” (S1E12)

Fresh Off the Boat: Dribbling Tiger, Bounce Pass Dragon (4/14)
JESSICA AND LOUIS GET PRESSURED INTO VOLUNTEERING AT THE KIDS’ SCHOOL, ON “FRESH OFF THE BOAT” ON ABC

“Dribbling Tiger, Bounce Pass Dragon” – Louis and Jessica get pressured into volunteering at the kids’ schools because of budget cuts. Eddie sees a whole other side of his dad when Louis – a former semi-pro basketball player back in Taiwan — coaches the basketball team, while Emery and Evan see a side of Jessica they wish they hadn’t when she grudgingly takes on producing their school play, and puts her own spin on it, on “Fresh Off the Boat,” TUESDAY, APRIL 14 (8:00-8:30 p.m. ET)on the ABC Television Network.

“Fresh Off the Boat” stars Randall Park as Louis, Constance Wu as Jessica, Hudson Yang as Eddie, Forrest Wheeler as Emery and Ian Chen as Evan. Eddie Huang provides the voice over narration.

Guest starring are Lucille Soong as Grandma Huang, Amanda Lund as Vanessa, Maria Bamford as Principal Thomas, Connor Rosen as Bed-Wetter Doug, Trevor Larcom as Trent, Prophet Bolden as Walter, Evan Hanneman as Barefoot Dave and Walter Schrass as Dmitri.

“Dribbling Tiger, Bounce Pass Dragon” was written by Rich Blomquist. Rob Cohen directed.

FRESH OFF THE BOAT: SEASON 1