2021 Oscar and Emmy Nominated CRIP CAMP: A DISABILITY REVOLUTION - Documentary

Posted by Suzanne Kai - on Sunday, 20 September 2020

2021 Oscar and Emmy Nominated CRIP CAMP: A DISABILITY REVOLUTION - Documentary
Hollywood September 20, 2021 (updated November 11, 2021 / February 1, 2022) James LeBrecht on his Facebook page disclosed that he has been ill for months and is now doing alot better and should be back 'to a normal' in a couple of months. We wish you a speedy recovery James!  By Suzanne Joe Kai With the Television Academy and CBS announcing that its 2021 Emmy Awards Show would be the 'most inclusive ever,' as reported by critic Kristen Lopez for...


2021 Academy Awards - Chloe Zhao Makes History as the First Woman of Color to Win Best Director

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Sunday, 25 April 2021

2021 Academy Awards - Chloe Zhao Makes History as the First Woman of Color to Win Best Director


April 25, 2021

by Suzanne Joe Kai

"Nomadland" director Chloé Zhao made history at tonight's 2021 Academy Awards, becoming the first woman of color to win Best Director. 

Her film "Nomadland" also won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Actress in a leading role. 

Frances McDormand won the Oscar for Best Actress in "Nomadland."

She was also a Producer of the film.

Frances plays a woman in her 60's who loses everything in the Great Recession of 2008 and lives in a van as a nomad like other transient workers in the American West during the 2008 economic crisis.

Frances McDormand howled onstage during her acceptance speech in tribute to Michael Wolf "Nomadland's" production sound mixer who died at the age of 35. 

Chloé Zhao is only the second woman ever to win the Directing award, tonight marking yet another milestone for the Oscars.

The only other woman to win an Oscar for Directing is Kathryn Bigelow[5] in 2010,[6] for The Hurt Locker.

Born in Beijing, China, Chloé moved with her parents to London when she was in high school, and attended Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts.

She attended New York University's MFA graduate film program. 

She currently lives in Ojai, California. 



IMDB April 25, 2021 Frances McDormand March 6, 2021 Wolf Snyder

Friends, Strangers Respond to ‘The Year of the Rat’ By Ben Fong-Torres

Posted by AC Team on Thursday, 15 April 2021

Friends, Strangers Respond to ‘The Year of the Rat’ By Ben Fong-Torres

April 15, 2021

San Francisco

By Ben Fong-Torres

Friends, Strangers Respond to ‘The Year of the Rat’

When I posted my piece about why, as an older Asian American, I’m nervous just walking on the street these days, I expected a mixed reaction. Especially since I told about getting less than friendly stares from some Black people at a restaurant early in the pandemic, in February, 2020. But I was wrong. My article, published on Medium,, and my Facebook page, drew more than 100 comments on Facebook alone, from strangers and friends, including classmates from Oakland High, fellow staffers at SF State’s daily paper, where I was a reporter, then editor; fellow Rolling Stone and KSAN employees, broadcasters, and musical pals, including Naomi Eisenberg, singer-fiddler with Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks. 

(L) Photo Credit: Dianne Fong-Torres

Here’s a sample of the thoughtful, heartfelt, even emotional comments, just ever-so-slightly edited. 

Cheryl Serame-TurkWow, Ben. Well said. As an Asian American myself, I always thought that my affiliations (glide memorial ensemble, Oakland music community, Silicon Valley tech community) would shield me from most “other” perceptions but this Covid situation is something else altogether. 

I now tread carefully which I never have. No matter the age, walking, driving, biking while Asian right now can put you in danger. Never have experienced that in my life. I’m Filipino...

The Year of the Rat By Ben Fong-Torres

Posted by Ben Fong-Torres on Sunday, 11 April 2021

The Year of the Rat By Ben Fong-Torres

By Ben Fong-Torres

San Francisco

The Year of the Rat

Being an older Chinese American, I am no longer, as Roy Orbison sang, “Running Scared.” I am walking scared, constantly looking around and behind me. 

Stop AAPI Hate, the advocacy group, knows of nearly 4,000 cases of violence against Asian Americans since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It’s time to stop the beatings and shootings, the blaming and finger-pointing. 

For me, it’s also time to think back just over a year ago. 

It was February, a few days before the Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco. 2020. Word of the coronavirus had started to spread, as we awaited the Year of the Rat.

I was in Oakland for script readings at KTVU, which broadcasts the parade, and has had me as a co-anchor since 1997. 

At our meetings, which take place around lunch time, we are offered deli sandwiches one day; tepid ravioli and salads the next. It’s enough to drive one to actual restaurants. 

That’s how I found myself at a soul food place in Jack London Square. 

It wasn’t busy when I entered, around 2 p.m. A couple of parties were there. They were Black, as were the staff. But when one of the customers saw me, I got a most unfriendly glare. It felt like a “What are you doing here?” look.

I tried to shrug it off.  But then, as I waited for a waiter, I had a thought. At the meeting earlier at KTVU, we’d addressed the issue of the coronavirus,...

The Year of Sheltering Dangerously By Ben Fong-Torres

Posted by Ben Fong-Torres on Wednesday, 31 March 2021

The Year of Sheltering Dangerously By Ben Fong-Torres

The Year of Sheltering Dangerously

By Ben Fong-Torres

Well, hasn’t THIS been a fun 365?

As we approached the anniversary of the shelter-in-place orders for the San Francisco Bay Area, on March 16, I thought of some of the changes we’ve been through. 

In February, our calendar was packed with restaurant dinners and a large, loud gathering at Harbor Villa, saluting our friend, the civil rights attorney Dale Minami.

And there was my 24th time as co-anchor of the Chinese New Year Parade, on KTVU. The Year of the  Rat. Indeed. 

Early in March, we had more restaurant get-togethers, including dinner at the House of Prime Rib (almost as hard to get into as Hamilton) and a family luncheon for Chinese New Year at the stellar dim sum restaurant, Yank Sing. One evening, I went to the dive bar, El Rio, for the monthly jam staged by Los Train Wreck, and did my usual, a parody of a Dylan classic, “Rainy Day Women 12+35,” with lyrics I ripped from the headlines:

They’ll stone you when you come to see the band

And make mistakes, like shaking people’s hands

Los Train Wreck’s easy going, and all they ask: 

Is when you’re talking with them, use a mask

And you will not feel so all alone 

Everybody must get stoned!

On March 13th, I went to the Record Plant, the fabled studio in Sausalito, to be interviewed for a documentary about the Plant.  

Just three days later, on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, this most festive of towns was...

Ben Fong-Torres New Audiobook!

Posted by AC Team on Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Ben Fong-Torres narrates his Audible Book The Rice Room  - Photo by David Nelson, Outpost Studios, SF

Fears for Tears: Turning a Memoir into an Audiobook

By Ben Fong-Torres


“In the funny parts, laugh. In the sad parts, go ahead and cry.” 

That was advice I got, on the eve of my recording sessions for an audiobook version of my memoirs, The Rice Room, from Susie Bright. 

Susie is a producer and personality at Audible, the leading producer of audiobooks, and she’s done her share of laughing and crying. 

So when Audible contracted me to turn two of my books – Willin’, about the band Little Feat, and The Rice Room– she was on the case.

I’d never recorded a book before. Public speaking? Sure. Radio DJ? That’s moi. Voice work for radio and TV shows? No problemo.

But audiobooks are a whole ‘nother world. First, it’s long-form. A radio DJ show is a bunch of bits; a radio or TV program, or a podcast, involves segments that might add up to an hour.

A book? Think ten hours. And, as I learned, it takes about double that time to record enough, after editing, to get those ten hours. 

The editing is immediate, with a director, Jesse, listening and directing by Zoom from Los Angeles. Also listening is Miik, the engineer, who’s in a control room, across from me. I’m in a small announcer’s booth (which seems only right, since I’m a small announcer). 

While I’m reading, off an iPad on a music stand, the two men catch every error, every stumble, every extraneous noise, whether it’s foot...

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