What a trip! This past weekend, Mango Sticky Rice director Mallorie Ortega and I drove hundreds of miles north to check out the Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival (SAPFF). There, we immersed ourselves with Asian American talent from near and far, and the theme of diversity and Asian American voices in Hollywood was the hot topic of the weekend.
Stephen Chun moderated an empowering Rise and Represent panel discussion, featuring Hollywood stars and industry professionals: Hudson Yang (Fresh Off the Boat) and Albert Tsai (Dr. Ken), Peter Kwong (Big Trouble in Little China), digital entrepreneur Joz Wang (CEO, 8Asians.com), and Baldwin (Only Won) Chiu. Their discussion and Q&A addressed the past, present and future progress of Asian representation.
One of the biggest misconceptions about Asian Americans in Hollywood is that there just aren’t that many of us. The fact of that matter is, that’s not true. This weekend alone showcased a slew of amazing Asian American talent, on screen and behind the scenes, and it was an honor to have Mango Sticky Rice shown alongside them as an example of who we are and what we can achieve.
I spoke with Peter Kwong backstage about the current state of diversity in Hollywood, and we both agreed that though there is a long road ahead for us Asian Americans, it’s really an exciting time. With the aid of stars like John Cho and Constance Wu, and the power of social media, we have voices and we ARE being heard. There will be change, as long as we continue to stick together and be the best artists we can be.
The signature event of the Sacramento Asian Pacific Cultural Village, SAPFF serves alongside a continuum of events and programming in support of traditional and contemporary Asian and Pacific Islander artistic expression within the Sacramento Region. Since 2013, SAPFF has been a champion of independent films featuring the works of Asian Pacific Islanders in front of and behind the camera.
Follow them on:
Twitter: @SAPFF, www.twitter.com/sapff
Instagram: AsianPacific FilmFestival
YouTube: Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival, www.youtube.com/AsianPacificFilmFest
Flickr: sacramentoasianpacificfilmfest, www.flickr.com/photos/sapff