Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity Initiative have announced their inaugural cohort of the Future Gold Film Fellowship. Netflix Golden, the company’s newest social media channel for the pan-Asian diaspora, shared the news earlier today.
Working with Gold House and Tribeca, Netflix created a program designed to elevate three Asian and Pacific Islander directors. This year, Lloyd Lee Choi, Erin Lau, and Derek Nguyen were selected for the fellowship.
Through the program, the three directors will create “scripted short films that explore the complexities of family love, persistence, and loss through their own remarkable artistic visions.” The project will be fully funded with creative feedback and mentorship from Tribeca Studios and Netflix. They will also receive exposure to established talent within the Gold House network and a seat in Gold House Futures, the premier collective of the most promising next-gen API creatives, founders, and social impact leaders. The films will also be considered to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in June.
The Future Film Fellowship Selection Committee consisted of API film creatives and executives, including Universal Film Group President Abhijay Prakash; Amazon Studios TV Co-head Albert Cheng; actor/producer Daniel Dae Kim; directors Alice Wu, Aneesh Chaganty, Bao Nguyen, Christopher Kahunahana, Destin Daniel Cretton, and Jon M. Chu; and, producers Janet Yang, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Nina Yang Bongiovi.
“These projects demonstrate the wonderful breadth of stories that can come from the API community,” said writer and director Aneesh Chaganty in a press statement. “And as someone whose career was kickstarted by a short film, I’m particularly excited to see this crop of filmmakers bring these stories to life.”
Lloyd Lee Choi (Closing Dynasty)
Logline: On a school day, a precocious eight-year-old boy with the gift for gab, hustles and schemes ways to make money on the streets of New York.
Bio: Lloyd Lee Choi is a filmmaker from Toronto who got his start in the ad world. Named 30 Under 30 by Marketing Mag, he has directed campaigns for brands like Google, Playstation, Chevrolet, and Nat Geo. With his eyes set towards telling bigger stories, he is currently developing his first feature film based around his short Same Old about one bad night for a New York City delivery driver. Passionate about representation in front and behind the camera, he is driven to dig deeper into the Asian-American experience — one rich with new and compelling stories to tell.
Erin Lau (Inheritance)
Logline: While struggling to make ends meet as a photographer of Hawaiʻi’s recent lava flow, Kelsey Akioka is forced to confront the rage his family has held onto for generations.
Bio: Raised in Kahaluʻu, Hawaiʻi, Native Hawaiian filmmaker Erin Lau has dedicated her life to creating empathy-forward stories for her community. After receiving degrees from the University of Hawai’i and Chapman University, Erin continued her growth through opportunities with the Sundance Institute, Film Independent’s Project Involve, Unlock Her Potential, Points North Institute, Nia Tero, and Powderkeg’s Break The Room. Most recently, Erin produced and directed work for three years at Jubilee Media, where her videos accumulated over 130 million views.
Derek Nguyen (The Resemblance)
Logline: When a grieving older couple go to a “rental family” agency to hire an actor to role-play their dead son, they discover that their evening of remembrance is more than they bargained for.
Bio: Derek Nguyen wrote and directed The Housemaid, which was released theatrically by IFC Films. He’s producing the American adaptation called Grave Hill, co-written by Oscar-winner Geoffrey Fletcher and directed by Deon Taylor, slated for production in 2022. Derek’s short The Potential Wives of Norman Mao screened at multiple film festivals around the world and was narrated by George Takei. He is also a partner with Mynette Louie at The Population, which produced Swallow, I Carry You With Me, and Catch the Fair One.