Highlight of Directors and Actors of 2012 Asian American International Film Festival

By Keen Hung Lee

AsianInNY.com is a proud media sponsor and community support for this year’s Asian American International Film Festival.  We have seen many outstanding films and would like to highlight a few actors and directors.

DANIEL HSIA is a filmmaker and comedy writer who graduated from Stanford University and USC’s graduate program in film production. He has written comedies such as PSYCH, ANDY BARKER, P.I., RODNEY, and FOUR KINGS for television. Sony Pictures Television, ABC, and USA Networks bought HSIA’s original pilot screenplays. Hsia is known for blending Eastern and Western elements into his films which cater to the likes of the audience. Hsia written and directed Shanghai Calling, in which he was interviewed by La Frances Hui of Asia Society NY before the premiere. Hsia won the Shanghai International Film Festival’s “Best Screenwriter” China Movie Channel Award on June 22, 2012. He is currently working on another work that takes place in China.

CUONG NGO, director of The Golden Pin, The Hitchhiker Project and Pearls of the Far East, was born in Saigon, Vietnam.  Ngo earned a BFA-Honours in Performing Arts for Theatre & Film in 2002, and then received a second degree in Film Production at York University in Toronto, BFA-Honours, in Directing, Screenwriting, and Editing in 2009.

KEN LEUNG is an American actor best known for his role as Miles Straume in the ABC television drama series LOST. He was casted in films as Shanghai Kiss, Rush Hour, and X-Men: The Last Stand and Saw. Leung was born and raised in Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City and attended New York University (NYU) as a University Scholar. He later studied acting and worked at the Ma-Yi Theatre Company, New Perspectives, and STAR.

Asian American Media Award

For 2012, the Asian American Media Award is presented to Janet Yang. As a Hollywood producer with a “long, deep relationship with China” and as a cultural ambassador, Yang travels back and forth from LA and China to link the creative and business worlds of the East and the West together. Named as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Hollywood” by The Hollywood Reporter, Yang has worked with some renowned directors and actors such as Meryl Streep, in the world, exposing her to unique and unheard of stories in which she holds the honor in bringing to the mainstream audience. Yang has developed some of the most well-known Asian American films in her career and has worked hard to bring more exposure of Asian Americans in the media industry.

Yang finished producing SHANGHAI CALLING, starring Daniel Henney and Eliza Coupe, earlier this year to make its premiere as the Opening Night Film of the 35th Asian American International Film Festival [AAIFF] in New York, where Yang’s other works including YEAR OF THE FISH (2008) and DARK MATTER (2007) were released as well.

In the recent years, Disney hired Yang to produce HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL for Chinese audiences. Yang is also known for producing Milos Forman’s THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT, the winner of the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay. From 1989 to 1996, Oscar-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone and Yang formed Ixtlan Corporation in which Yang served as a president. Before this collaboration, Yang worked with Steven Speilberg and Amblin Entertainment on EMPIRE OF THE SUN. Going forward, Yang took the role of a production executive at Universal Studios and created DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY.

AsianInNY A-Team attended AAIFF screening and awards

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