Simu Lui - First Asian Star of a Marvel Studios Movie! SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS

Posted by Suzanne Kai - on Monday, 06 September 2021

Simu Lui - First Asian Star of a Marvel Studios Movie! SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS
September 6, 2021 Los Angeles by Suzanne Joe Kai   I invited a friend to join me to see SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS, the Marvel Studios movie directed by Destin Daniel Cretton on its opening weekend. Like many Asian Americans I know, we are starved with the lack of faces who look like us in mainstream movies.  We were not disappointed. In fact, the lead actor, Simu Liu, the first Asian to star in a Marvel Studios movie looked, talked, and acted just like an...

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The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Invites 397 Members

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Monday, 05 September 2022

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Invites 397 Members

By Suzanne Kai

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their 2022 invitations to distinguished artists and executives from across the globe.

As part of their Academy Aperture 2025 plan to diversify, the Academy reports among the 397 invitees “44 percent are women, 37 percent are from underrepresented ethnic/racial communities, and 50 percent are from 53 different countries and territories outside the United States.” Prospective members are selected based on professional qualifications, with the Academy continuing its commitment to expanding representation, inclusion and equity.

 The short films/feature animation, documentary, and actors branches were among the longest lists of invitees, gathering 27 percent of the invitations among all branches.  

Drive My Car’s Ryusuke Hamaguchi was nominated in four award categories during the 2022 Oscars. Ryusuke Hamaguchi accepted the award for "Drive My Car," from Japan, for best international feature film at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022.  Hamaguchi was invited to two branches, the Directors branch and Writers branch. Under Academy guidelines, he will be able to choose one branch. This year's class of invitees includes 71 Oscar nominees, including 15 winners.

A few names among the invitees include Paul Tazewell (West Side Story) to Costume Designers, Andrew Ahn (Fire Island) to Directors, and Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh (Writing With Fire) to Documentary. Shannon Baker Davis (The...

What’s Going On? Everything, All at Once By Ben Fong-Torres

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Sunday, 08 May 2022

What’s Going On? Everything, All at Once By Ben Fong-Torres

What’s Going On? Everything, All at Once

By Ben Fong-Torres

MAY 8, 2022

With “Like a Rolling Stone: The Life and Times of Ben Fong-Torres” the documentary about me, now out today and streaming merrily along on Netflix, I’m officially in the film industry. 

Actually, that’s been the case since last June, when the documentary, which stole its title from a popular column at Asian Connections created by director Suzanne Joe Kai's son Mike when he was 14, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan.

In the months since, the film, which was produced, written and directed by Suzanne, screened at various other festivals, picked up awards, including a Critics Choice honor, a 2022 Nomination by the Writers Guild of America for Best Documentary Screenplay, a Best Music Film Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival, the Audience Award from the Asian American Film Festival in San Diego, and scored more than 112 press reviews and mentions (so far) - all quite positive reviews. 


And I find myself mingling with movie people. In March, I attended the premiere of “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” starring Michelle Yeoh, at the Castro Theater here in San Francisco.

Our only previous connection was at a Lunar New Year parade, in 2018, when she was the glamorous grand marshall and I was co-anchor of KTVU’s broadcast.

From a distance, we waved at each other. Or maybe she was just waving to her fans. 

This time, we met. At the packed...

American Born Chinese coming to Disney+ in 2023

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Sunday, 14 August 2022

American Born Chinese coming to Disney+ in 2023

"American Born Chinese", an exciting, groundbreaking series is slated to premiere in 2023. The Disney+ series was introduced to the Asian American Journalists Association's National Convention this summer. The convention was attended by more than 1,500 journalists from all over the world. 

The Disney+ series is based on Gene Luen Yang's award-winning graphic novel. The main character, Jin Wang, played by actor Ben Wang, navigates supernatural action-comedy adventures between his immigrant family life and teenage life at school. His journey is propelled into a realm of Chinese mythological gods and creatures when he meets a new foreign exchange student.

Cast announcements include Ben Wang (MacGyver), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once/Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), and Poppy Liu (Better Call Saul). This Disney cast will be directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, who also helmed Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. 

The President of Disney Branded Television, Ayo Davis said, "We are delighted to continue our relationship with Melvin Mar and Jake Kasdan and thrilled that Destin Daniel Cretton is set to direct. The team are visionaries in bringing character-driven adventures to life, and we cannot wait for our audience to experience this fantastically memorable and imaginative adaptation of the graphic novel. This is a great universal story that moves between worlds and explores the impact of culture, identity, and acceptance...

AAPI Stars of Hollywood, Sports, and Business! Asia Society Southern California Gala 2023

Posted by AC Team on Sunday, 21 May 2023

AAPI Stars of Hollywood, Sports, and Business! Asia Society Southern California Gala 2023

May 21, 2023

Written by AC Team

View our highlight reel at the end of this article!

The Asia Society of Southern California's gala in Los Angeles was a spectacular showcase of veteran and new generations of Asian American stars in Hollywood, Sports, and Business. 

Actress, Writer, Producer Awkwafina was honored in the "Cultural Visionary" category. Awkwafina can be seen in her Comedy Central Show Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens which she created and stars in, Disney's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Jumanji: The Next Level, and MGM's Breaking News in Yuba County. She won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for her role in The Farewell.  

Photo courtesy: Asia Society S CA Gala 2023.

Honorees sister and brother Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani are Olympic medalists. This yer they were inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame. They are the first ice dancers of Asian decent and first team of color to medal at the Winter Olympic Games. They are also the first sibling duo to win two Olympic medals in Ice Dance. 

We had the pleasure of speaking with Lisa Ling, renowned journalist, writer, and host of This is the Life on CNN. She shared her perspective on Hollywood and Asian American representation in modern media: "...I would like to see more stories about all aspects of our lives... And not ones that are stereotypical. I mean the reality is we're not all 'crazy rich'" (Ling, with...


Posted by Suzanne Kai on Sunday, 12 March 2023


By Suzanne Joe Kai and Martha Shaw


March 12, 2023

Everything Everywhere All at Once wins Best Picture! 

Nominated for an astounding 11 awards and taking home 7 that night, this film and its historic implications are epic. 

Michelle Yeoh is the first Asian actress to win the Best Actress award for her role in the most nominated film "Everything, Everywhere All At Once." 

A film industry veteran, Yeoh, 60, received great praise for her role and during her acceptance speech she called the moment "history in the making - This is proof to dream big, that dreams do come true." 

“I hope I did right by you. I care deeply about every one of you” says Paul Rogers during the acceptance of his Best Film Editing Award. “I know I’m standing up here by myself, but I am not, I am hundreds of people. I’m hundreds of people… "We just won an Oscar” Jamie Lee Curtis exclaims in gratitude for her Best Supporting Actress Oscar to the community who made these wins possible. 

“This. This! Is the American dream!” Ke Huy Quan’s powerful words accepting his Best Supporting Actor award resonate with anyone with a dream, and especially immigrants and minorities around the world. “My Mom is 84 years old, and she’s at home watching. Mom! I just won an Oscar!”. Unable to contain his emotions, Quan begins his tearful acceptance speech. “My journey started on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp. But somehow, I ended up here, on...

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