• Robin Williams RIP 1951-2014

    Posted by Suzanne Kai

    Robin Williams RIP 1951-2014
    August 11, 2014 Sad and shocking news about Robin Williams dying today. What a brilliant talent, gone too soon. Here's a shot from our onstage interview at the Mill Valley Film Festival, celebrating his career as an actor as well as a comedian. Thanks, Robin, for all the laughs and your good heart.  - Ben Fong-Torres 

Featured Articles

  • Forbidden City, USA: Chinese American Nightclubs, 1936-1970 Exhibition

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    San Francisco

    Filmmaker Arthur Dong has a new book and exhibition featuring items from his collection of nightclub memorabilia which he began to collect in 1985 for his research on his award-winning documentary "Forbidden City USA" about San Francisco's fabled Chinatown nightclub. 

    A series of events in San Francisco are scheduled:

    APRIL 12: 5:00-7:00 pm: "Forbidden City Happy Hour with Arthur Dong." Special guest Ben Fong-Torres is confirmed as a special guest to introduce filmmaker, author and curator Arthur Dong at a cocktail reception at the CHSA Museum to celebrate Arthur's new book and exhibit. Chinese Historical Society Museum, 965 Clay Street, San Francisco CA 94108. FREE. Info & RSVP:

    APRIL 13: 1:00 pm Opening Program: Meet curator and author Arthur Dong, with entertainment by former nightclub performers, the Grant Avenue Follies and Jimmy "Jay" Borges. Main Library, Koret auditorium. Arthur's new book will be available.

    MAY 6: 6:00 pm "Author Talk and Book Signing" with Arthur Dong, Main Library, Koret Auditorium. Arthur will discuss his new book "Forbidden City U.S.A.: Chinese American Nightclubs, 1936-1970."

    MAY 10: 11:00 am Chinatown Walking Tour with City Guides. RSVP required. Email:

    JUNE 12: 6:30 pm "Open Books" with Lisa See discussing her new book "China Dolls," Main Library, Koret Auditorium. See's novel is set in Chinese American nightclubs in the 1930s and 40s.







  • Remembering Filipino Farm Workers role as Cesar Chavez - the movie opens today nationwide

    Posted by: AC Team

    March 28, 2014

    The movie, Cesar Chavez, directed by Diego Luna hits theaters nationwide today. It focuses on the early years of the United Farm Workers Union and Cesar Chavez, one of the most influential Mexican American civil rights leaders. 89.3 KPCC Southern California public radio reporter Dorian Merina reports that one largely overlooked aspect of the story of the farm workers struggle is the Filipino farm workers' pivotal role in launching the 1965 grape strike in Delano that led to the birth of the United Farm Workers Union. 

    For the full story by KPCC's Dorian Merina.

    Journalist Leezel Tanglao, now an editor-writer based in New York City wrote about Filipinos' important contribution to the founding of the United Farm Workers in an article she wrote for The Press-Enterprise in 2005, originally published September 4, 2005 excerpted below.

    For the full story by Leezel Tanglao 

    '65 strike set stage for farm labor cause by Leezel Tanglao  

    Many of them died unmarried, childless and alone. And when they were buried, they took with them a labor legacy that was scratched out of the vineyards of the Coachella Valley. They were the Filipino grape pickers who 40 years ago called a strike against vineyard owners that spread north to Delano and helped spark the national farm-labor movement. "They set the stage for everything." said Paul Chavez, son of the late Cesar Chavez, founder of what became the United Farm Workers. "Nobody showed the kind of conviction these men did."

    Yet their story is fading into history's background and is rarely remembered during national observances such as Labor Day. This is happening for two reasons: Labor historians focus on the larger and later strike led by Chavez that lasted five years and captured national headlines. 

    For the full story by Leezel Tanglao 



  • State Senator Leland Yee indicted on corruption charges and arms trafficking

    Posted by: AC Team

    San Francisco

    Update March 27, 2014

    State Senator Leland Yee drops out of race for California Secretary of State.


    Los Angeles Times


    March 26, 2014

    State Senator Leland Yee has been charged with conspiring to traffic in firearms and public corruption as part of a major FBI operation. Yee, (D-San Francisco) and Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, an alleged Chinatown gangster were among the targets of the early-morning raids today.

    A 137-page criminal complaint charges 26 people with crimes including firearms trafficking, money laundering, murder-for-hire, drug distribution, trafficking in contraband cigarettes, and honest services fraud. Click here to the full story at by staff reporters Josh Richman, Howard MIntz, Jessica Calefati and Robert Salonga. 

    Yee ran for mayor of San Francisco in 2011 and now is a candidate for California Secretary of State.



  • Chinese government news editorial uses racist slur against outgoing US Ambassador Gary Locke

    Posted by: AC Team

    February 28, 2014

    A report that a major Chinese government news service has used a racist slur in an editorial slamming outgoing American ambassador to China Gary Locke has stirred up controversy.

    The outgoing ambassador left Beijing today after two and a half years as the first American ambassador of Chinese descent to the country. 

    Photos went viral in his early days as the American ambassador to China showing his lifestyle as a man who carries his own backpack, doesn't mind waiting in line at Starbucks, and takes economy class flights.

    Photos also showed Locke and his family arriving at a Chinese airport carrying their own bags.

    As U.S. ambassador to China, Locke was critical of China's human rights record and released air pollution data of Beijing's air pollution to the public. NPR's Anthony Kuhn has more on the editorial pubished by the Chinese state media outlet, China News.



    Associated Press

    South China Morning Post



  • Happy Birthday James Hong!

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    February 22, 2014

    Happy Birthday James Hong!

    Our favorite actor James Hong celebrated his 85th birthday February 22, 2014!

    All of us at wish you a very Happy Birthday!

    Here are our favorite interviews we have done with Mr. Hong over the years. 

    If you view this on our homepage, click on the blue headline title above to the full story and our interviews with him!

    or click here to our video interviews.

    Part 1 of 3: AsianConnections' interview with James Hong:On APAs in Hollywood - Urges Cooperation and Support of organizations like

    Part 2 of 3: AsianConnections' interview with James Hong: James Hong shares his famous lines from his role as Mr. Ping in Kung Fu Panda

    Part 3 of 3: AsianConnections' interview with James Hong and daughter April Hong

    James Hong sighting! Mr. Hong attended a CAPE event with Film Independent in Los Angeles back in February 1, 2012. I had a chance to visit with him and personally wish him Happy Birthday, in advance of his real birthday that month!  He was born February 22, 1929 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He studied civil engineering at the University of Southern California. As a road engineer for Los Angeles County for 7-1/2 years, he would act during his vacations and sick days, eventually quitting to go full time as an actor. Mr. Hong has played in more than 500 television and film roles, including his award-winning role as "Mr. Ping" in Kung Fu Panda, and Kung Fu Panda 2.  

    - Suzanne Joe Kai, Publisher/Editor 


  • Jackie Chan - Stop Illegal Trafficking Stop Killing our World - Animal products for cures is a Hoax

    Posted by: AC Team


    February 16, 2014

    Jackie Chan was in London as global leaders were attending the Illegal Wildlife Trade conference. Chan is on a mission to stop illegal wildlife trafficking and says that its just a myth to use animal parts for medicinal cures. He admitted to using some animal products in the past, but he said it never helped, and he discovered it was just a myth.

    Chan said, "We are already hurt enough, we destroy the earth - now we destroy the space. Stop. When you destroy the animals you destroy yourself." "When the buying stops, killing can too." Chan spoke with CNN's Max Foster in London about his mission to stop the killing. 

    Jackie Chan joins other celebrity supporters to stop the illegal wildlife trafficking. WildAid released two media messsages as part of its campaign to reduce the demand for endangered species products.

    A media campaign "Whole World" featuring Yao Ming, David Beckham and The Duke of Cambridge Prince William began airing globally with targeted outreach in China and Vietnam beginning in January, 2014 as part of's demand reduction campaign and the Royal Foundation's United for Wildlife Collaboration.

    Another WildAid message produced is called "Fatherhood" featuring conservation activists Prince William, David Beckham and Yao Ming.

    media campaign with Yao Ming has reportedly made an impact in lowering the slaughter of sharks for shark fin soup in China. 

    To learn more about this campaign and ongoing efforts visit or    


  • Its a wrap! for 2014 CAAMFEST

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    Grace Lee Boggs Photo credit: American Revolution: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

    San Francisco - Berkeley - Oakland


    Its a wrap for CAAMFEST 2014. This year's 11-day festival screened more than 120 films from 19 countries, and food, music and digital media events.  

    Check back for the dates for CAAMFEST 2015!



    March 13-23 2014

    Last year's CAAMFEST was terrific - What was originally founded as a film festival has now grown to become much more - its expanded to include music, food and digital media. So there is so much to do, so much to see!

    This year there will be more than 120 works in a celebration of film, music, food and digital media from the world's most innovative Asian and Asian American artists.

    Its best to check out the website and create your own schedule of events from huge array of food, music and film events.

    On March 8, 2014, Chef Martin Yan and Chocolatier Wendy Lieu of Socola Chocolates will be making an appearance at CAAMFEST's event "Stories, Food & You" honoring Asian Americanculinary achievement.

    CAAMFeast: Stories, Food & You CAAMFEAST / PARTY Join us as we honor Asian American culinary achievement by featuring pioneering Chef Martin Yan, and award-winning Chocolatier Wendy Lieu of Socola Chocolates. CAAMFeast: Stories, Food & You

    One Kearny ClubMarch 8, 2014 6:00 pm Buy Tickets





    There are so many films, food and music events, you will need to consult the line-up on the CAAMFEST website to create your own schedule.

    Here are just a few of the 120+ films presented at CAAMFEST 2014:



    This year’s Gala Presentations explore the strength and resilience of the human spirit, from the spiked heels of the fashion world to the underground world of Korean organized crime to the fight in the streets and fields to secure social justice, this year’s Gala Presentations are sure to inspire.

    Closing Night Party GALA...
  • Ben Fong-Torres co-hosts the live KTVU-TV Telecast of the Chinese New Year Parade

    Posted by: AC Team

    February 15, 2014

    This Saturday Ben Fong-Torres co-hosts for the 18th year KTVU (Fox) TV's live telecast of San Francisco's Southwest Chinese New Year Parade.  The parade is one of the largest celebrations of the Chinese New Year outside of Asia. Photo of Ben Fong-Torres and co-host Julie Haener courtesy by Frank Jang.

    The telecast goes live this Saturday February 15, 2014 on KTVU Fox 2 and on KTSF Channel 26 at 6:00-8:00 p.m. PST.




  • Gung Hay Fat Choy! says Bobo the Parrot

    Posted by: AC Team

    February 10. 2014

    Bobo, the parrot says "Gung Hay Fat Choy!"

    Thanks to Youtube video channel maker "sonic1997" for sharing Bobo's greeting.

    The African grey parrot has many more videos on the channel as recently as five months ago. 

    Click here to hear Bobo's greeting.


  • Asians on Film Festival Feb 14-16, 2014

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    February 8, 2014


    The second annual Asians On Film Festival is February 14 - 16, 2014 at J.E.T. Studios in North Hollywood.

    Seventy-nine films are slated to be screened. 

    Buy your tickets now to the Asians On Film Festival 2014.

    For more information:

    FRIDAY, FEB 14th 4:00PM: Picture.Perfect (Winston Titus Tao), Oh My Bag! (Seong Bong Lee) , Healthy (Gary Condes), Hsu Ji Behind the Screen (Thomas Rio)

    FRIDAY, FEB 14th 7:00PM: Entrance Exam (Boqing Tang), Made In Chinatown (Kevin Lau), Back To Innocence (Eddie Lee), Relativity (Davis Noir), Red Dirt (Arnold Chun), Rock Springs (Lewei He), HEW (Laurie Tsou)

    FRIDAY, FEB 14th 9:00PM: Why I Write (Masahiro Sugano), Burmese Refugee (Michael Tacca), Dawn (Leon Le), Two Weeks (Rodney To), Above the Waist (Tuyen Do), Shino's Show (Adam Watkins), Lil Tokyo Reporter (Jeffrey Chin)

    SATURDAY, FEB 15th 11:00AM: CRIME The Animated Series (Sam Chou & Alix Lambert), Box of Hearts (Asako Ushio), Gift (Daniel Yam), Words Apart (Po-Chin Chang), Abrupt Ending (Simeon Lumgair), What Remains (Sarita Khurana), Edge of Destruction (Fei Xiang)

    SATURDAY, FEB 15th 1:00PM: Stronger (Maz Zhang), Memory of Forgotten War (Deann Borshay Liem & Ramsay Liem), She is My Mom (Anqi Liu, Director), The Happiest Person In America (Sara Israel, Director), Heat (Ki Young Kang, Director)

    SATURDAY, FEB 15th 3:00PM: Love Thy Neighbor (Minho Ha), Red Fog (Fan He), The Doctor of Bagram (Neil Paik), My Mother's Jade (Irene Young), The Dressmaker's Daughter (David Lim), Crossings (Amos Ezra Katz)

    SATURDAY, FEB 15th 5:00PM: Handi & V (Fenway Fan), JesusCat or How I Accidentally Joined a Cult (Julia Morizawa & Shaina Vorspan) 

    SATURDAY, FEB 15th 7:00PM: Impression-XPS160 (Tiyam Yabandeh Jahroumi), Redux (Matty Castano), Ms. 3PM (Alain Matz), Hit Girls (Adrian Castro & Maria Tran), Love Hurts (Albert Lopez), Honeymoon Suite (Zao Wang)

    SATURDAY, FEB 15th 9:00PM: Fat Cory (Kun Yang),...

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