Crazy, Rich, Asian Americans?
Saturday 10/14 10:00PM at Wythe Hotel Cinema
In this program we tell two different stories that is set around characters who are part of rich Asian American families. Is being rich and Asian American a blessing or a curse?
The Last Tour is a film that takes a lighthearted look into this from the perspective of an Asian American who isn't from a rich family but finds himself entangled with someone who is. Lola takes a serious look at what's hidden behind the facade of a rich Asian American family and focuses on a young woman who is seeking out her own path beyond the walls of her home.
The Q&A will be moderated by Melissa Slaughter and Alex Chester from the podcast: We're not all Ninjas. You can listen to the episode about KAFFNY at the player at the bottom of the page.
The Last Tour (USA, 71") -NY PREMIERE
dir. Ryun Yu
Jun Lee, dishonorably discharged from the Army, cannot keep his family fed. He reluctantly accepts a low-rent mercenary job: kidnaps a rich guy (Paul) and convinces him that they've taken him to North Korea, all the while keeping him in a hotel somewhere in the desert. Jun has an acute attack of conscience, and frees Paul, which he quickly regrets, when he learns the real reason that Paul is there. With the mercenaries after them, Jun and Paul kidnap a Mexican cook and run to his survivalist Aunt and Uncle, who live out in a canyon in the deep desert. Together they must find a way to fight off the heavily armed professionals coming after them. An oddly comic adventure with a twist.
Ryun Yu (Director, Writer, Actor) THE LAST TOUR won the Jury Prize for Best Screenplay at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. As an actor, Ryun is the first Korean-American to train at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He also has the first theatre degree ever awarded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He played Mark in the film adaptation of David Henry Hwang's BONDAGE as well as DHH in YELLOWFACE, which was the first adaptation of a major play for YouTube (where it can still be viewed). He has performed extensively in the theater and television, most recently in HOLD THESE TRUTHS at the Portland Center Theater in Portland, playing Gordon Hirabayashi and about 37 other characters, and ANIMAL KINGDOM on TBS. He will be performing HOLD THESE TRUTHS at the Pasadena Playhouse in June.
Jeff Liu (Writer, Actor) Jeff co-wrote Charlotte Sometimes, which won an Audience Award at the South by Southwest Film Festival and was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards. He also adapted and directed the Pulitzer nominated play Yellow Face by David Henry Hwang for the YOMYOMF Network on YouTube. His theatrical productions include the LA premiere of Chinglish, and the world premieres of Texas and Solve For X by Judy Soo Hoo, Terminus Americana by Matt Pelfrey, The Golden Hour and Grace Kim and the Spiders From Mars by Philip W. Chung, and The Chinese Massacre (Annotated) by Tom Jacobson.
Franz Elizondo Schmelkes (Producer, Actor) Besides being a film producer and an actor, is also an accomplished executive of technology development companies and an entrepreneur. The Last Tour is Franzs first feature film production. Previously he was the executive producer of the documentary A NADIE SE LE NIEGA UN TACO and a producer for a short version of on one of Andres Heinzs (The Black Swan) films. As a Theater Artist, Franz has performed in stages throughout the world and has worked in Latin America Theater of the Oppressed productions with Agusto Boal, theater troupe Yuyachkani and Rosa Luisa Marquez. Other acting credits include A Few Good Men, The Mayor of Zalamea, The Illusion, Don't Drink the Water, and the Idaho and Nashville Shakespeare festivals.
Lola (USA, 25")
dir. Isabella Tan
A coming of age film about a young Asian American teenager living a secret life as a webcam girl. The film explores the complicated dynamics within Asian families, challenges the sexualization of Asian women, portrays the consequences of sexual abuse and the struggle of finding oneself. LOLA encourages the audience to think about the meaning of self-worth and self-acceptance through the eyes of a teenage girl who was forced to grow up too fast.
Isabella Tan, born in Taiwan, raised in Malaysia and attending an International School, I have always lived in a space somewhere between worlds. I am an only child in a Chinese family of a very specific social standing, which meant growing up in a bubble that, while intended to nurture and protect me, had a terribly opposite effect. My entire childhood, I was kept isolated and pushed towards a pre-planned life that I had no interest in living. It was not until I discovered photography, and eventually filmmaking, that I found a passion for life I never knew existed. It broke the bubble I had lived in for so long and saved me from a darkness I was pulling around myself that had begun from an unwanted interaction in my past. When I moved west, I discovered what it was like to be a young asian women in western society - to be sexualized, fetishized, seen as a desirable object. The way asian women were portrayed in mainstream media provoked a need to probe at the culture of shame and silence that I, and other fellow asian women, were accustomed to. We had to open a window into our personal struggles to that others can understand what we go through. This is a raw and unflinching story about survival, sexuality, self-awareness and growth. It is one of the voices of the private untold stories of Asian women, and it is ready to be told.