May 30, 2011
What a great way to end a terrible month. Here it was, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and I spent most of May with a cold, a bout of laryngitis and general misery.
But I saved up energy for a couple of events, including a birthday bash for my pal Sherry Hu, the veteran reporter at KPIX-TV (“CBS 5”) who just retired after 34 years there. She and husband Karl Nichols chose to celebrate with about 60 friends at the Silver Dragon restaurant in Oakland.
And at our table, there were Art and Mary Fong. Sherry’s cousin, Bob Wong (a classmate of mine in junior high school) is married to Sheryl Fong, daughter of Art and Mary. Got it?
Across the table, Art waved at me, so I went over and learned that he’d seen me on various broadcasts of the Chinese New Year Parade and at community events. Now, finally, we were able to say hello.
Fong, who is 91, encouraged me to Google him. “Art Fong, HP,” he said. HP—as in Hewlett Packard. Long before it became known for its printers and computers, this company, beginning in the late Thirties, specialized in electronic test equipment. Art Fong would become one of the most valued engineers at what became one of the most inventive tech companies in war time. And, as he told me, “Back prior to 1940, it could not have been done. It took WWII for them to let us do these things.”
What “things?” I did as I was told. I Googled Art. Talk about your Asian Pacific Heritage.
In 1946, Fong, a native of Sacramento, had just left...
James Hong, one of the most celebrated APA actors in Hollywood attended the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences event May 11, "Asian Pacific Americans in TV: Then & Now."
Hong plays "Ping" the goose father of "Po", the panda bear star of Kung Fu Panda, and Kung Fu Panda 2 debuting in theaters nationwide on May 26, 2011.
Hong's career spans over 50 years and includes more than 350 roles in film, television, and video games.
AsianConnections is attending the Los Angeles red carpet premiere of Kung Fu Panda 2. Stay tuned for our stories from the red carpet!
By Stephen Rakower
Wu Xia (U.S. title: "Dragon") directed and produced by Peter Ho-sun Chan, and written by Aubrey Lam premiered this past weekend at the Cannes Film Festival to positive reviews. The movie is set in the early 1900's in a village in Yunnan province. Liu Jin-xi, played by Donnie Yen ("Hero"), is a papermaker and his wife, Ayu, played by Tang Wei (Lust, Caution), and two young sons, live a seemingly normal life in the remote village. However, the arrival of a detective, Xu Baijin , played by Takeshi Kaneshiro ("House of Flying Daggers") soon threatens to tear them apart. Critics are raving about the story, the cinematography, and the martial arts scenes.
Here are some of the early reviews coming in for the film:
The playwrights and producing team of AEA's Asian Heritage Celebration, featuring the Leviathan Lab Asian American Women Writers Workshop (L to R) Kristine M. Reyes, May Nazareno, Leanne Cabrera, Dorim Lee, Christine Toy Johnson, Nancy Eng, Marisa Marquez, Siho Ellsmore, Nelson Eusebio, Ji Hyun Lee, Ariel Estrada, Elaina Erika Davis, Eileen Rivera. © Lia ChangOn May 12th and 13th, AEA’s Eastern Region Equal Employment Opportunity Committee in collaboration with Leviathan Lab’s Asian American Women Writers’ Workshop, celebrated Asian Heritage Month with a salon of concert readings of new monologues and 10 minute plays, at the AEA Audition Center in New York. Leanne Cabrera, Nora Chau, Elaina Erika Davis, Siho Ellsmore, Nancy Eng, Christine Toy Johnson, Dorim Lee, Marisa Marquez, May Nazareno, Kristine M. Reyes, Eileen Rivera and Susan Soon He Stanton were among the playwrights featured.
Tanforan playwright Christine Toy Johnson (center) is flanked by her cast (L-R) Jennifer Prescott, Valerie Wright, Charlotte D'Amboise, and director JoAnn Hunter. © Lia ChangThe Festival was the brainchild of Christine Toy Johnson (Playwright/Actor and Co-chair of AEA’s EEOC), Ariel Estrada (EEOC member and founder of Leviathan Lab), Nelson T. Eusebio III (Resident Director at Leviathan Lab), and Ji-Hyun Lee (playwright) who joined forces to create a platform for Asian American female playwrights.
Cast and crew of AEA’s Asian Heritage Celebration. © Lia Chang
Siho Ellsmore in...
Actor Ajay Naidu’s directorial debut Ashes screens during the 6th Annual Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival on Sunday, May 15 at 5:30pm, at the Regent Square Theater, 1035 S. Braddock Ave in Edgewood, PA. Faran Tahir, Samrat Chakrabarti, Firdous Bamji, Heather Burns, Maurice Carr and Piper Perabo are also featured in the Ashes cast.
The 6th Annual Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival, presented by the Silk Screen: Asian Arts and Cultural Organization, runs from May 11 -15, 2011.
Ajay Naidu is an award-winning actor, filmmaker, dancer, director, M.C., vocalist and writer. He has worked extensively in film, television and theater with more than 50 onscreen credits. He has appeared in the films Office Space, K-Pax, π, Requiem for a Dream, Bad Santa, The War Within, The Guru, Waterborne, The Loins of Punjab Presents, Where the River Runs Black, Vice Versa, Touch and Go and many more. When Naidu’s portrayal in SubUrbia as convenience store owner “Nazeer Choudhury” garnered him an Independent Spirit Award Best Supporting Actor nod, his formidable competition included Roy Scheider and Sam Jackson. He can currently be seen in Ashes, his directorial debut in which he played the title character, served as writer and director. Ashes was nominated for Best Film, Screenplay and Director, after the film screened at New York’s MIAAC Film Festival in 2010; Naidu took home the prize for Best Actor at MIAAC and the London Asian Film Festival. Ashes also won Best Film of the...