Highlights from the 42nd Hawai’i International Film Festival’s Virtual Program

For the third consecutive year of its 42-year run, the Hawai’i International Film Festival has a large selection of films available to view virtually. With titles ranging from Hawaii, the mainland, the overall Asia-Pacific region, and other parts of the world, there are so many for viewers to watch from the comfort of home, each of which expressing voices and stories of all kinds.

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Southern Fried Asian: Suzanne Park

Southern Fried Asian returns to feature stand-up-comic-turned-young-adult-romance-author, Suzanne Park! She and Keith discuss growing up in the suburbs of Nashville, stumbling into stand-up comedy, writing her newest book, The Christmas Clash — about warring food court restaurants, her mother’s Korean American fried chicken, and more.

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Staying Sharp with Anna Akana and Yoshi Sudarso from ‘Blade of the 47 Ronin’

Blade of the 47 Ronin hits Netflix today! Back in 2013, the original film, 47 Ronin, debuted in theaters to unfortunate critical reception and low box office grosses. Nevertheless it was a moment in which Keanu Reeves really first acknowledged/embraced his Asian roots on film. In that grand tradition, it seemed fitting to reboot the franchise, but in the hands of Asian filmmakers, including director and expert stunt choreographer, Ron Yuan. He was able to recruit two amazing folks to the cast, renowned actress, comedian, and outspoken creator Anna Akana, and famed stuntman, actor, and all around Power Ranger, Yoshi Sudarso.

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Eddie Liu Says to Expect a Different Henry on ‘Kung Fu’

Eddie Liu appreciates the love and support that his character Henry receives on his show, Kung Fu, especially after the events of last season when Henry decided to leave San Francisco — and Nicky (Olivia Liang) — to figure out his father’s secret. Liu knows how heartbroken and scared fans were of not knowing what would happen to Henry in the next season.

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Mindy Kaling Explains Why She Identified with ‘Velma’ Growing Up

Mindy Kaling, who is also an executive producer, voices Velma in the new series named after the iconic character, which is set to premiere in 2023 on HBO Max. At New York Comic Con, I had the pleasure of attending a press conference with the talented actress and Charlie Grandy!

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Olivia Liang is Ready for Nicky to “Figure it All Out” This Season on ‘Kung Fu’

Olivia Liang knows what the fans want.

“The state of Hicky,” Liang laughs.

The Kung Fu star, who plays Nicky Shen, is prepping for press week as the third season premieres this Wednesday. She is ready to answer all the pressing questions that fans want to know, especially regarding Nicky’s love life.

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Southern Fried Asian: Patrick Michael Strange

On Southern Fried Asian, fellow NOC fam Patrick Michael Strange is in conversation with Keith about growing up as a military brat across the South! From South Carolina and Mississippi to joining the Navy in Viriginia, Patrick recounts coming to terms with his identity as a Filipino American and as a comic book nerd. They also discuss his own nerd empire and a memorable Comic-Con experience. Finally, Patrick reveals that tocino (and not lumpia or siopao) is his go-to Filipino dish.

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The Quality of Asian Representation in ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 5

WARNING: The following contains spoilers from Season 5 of Cobra Kai.

For five seasons, I’ve been saying the same thing: For a show – and franchise, for that matter – centered on a Japanese martial art, there aren’t a ton of Asian people on the Netflix series, Cobra Kai.

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Taking the Leap with ‘Quantum Leap’ Star Raymond Lee

Are you ready to take the next leap forward? Quantum Leap was a terrifically fun sci-fi show on NBC that ran from 1989 to 1993. It chronicled the journey of Dr. Sam Beckett, a man stuck in time after an experiment gone home, who would “leap” all over the annals of history solving problems, and hoping that his next leap would bring him home to the present.

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D23Expo: ‘American Born Chinese’ Stars Ben Wang and Daniel Wu Talk Representation

The D23 Expo may be near its end, but that doesn’t mean the news cycle has stopped. While ot the press line, The Nerds of Color had the chance to talk to Ben Wang and Daniel Wu, the stars of the upcoming Disney+ original series, American Born Chinese.

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Southern Fried Asian: ‘House of Ho’

On as special Southern Fried Asian, NOC Managing Editor Laura Sirikul sits down with the cast of HBO Max’s House of Ho just in time for the reality docuseries’ eventful second season following the Houston-based Vietnamese family as they pursue a life of love, laughter, and luxury.

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Meet the New Hos in Town from HBO Max’s ‘House of Ho’

Look out! There are some new Hos in town!

HBO Max’s House of Ho returns for its second season this week. The series follows the life of the Ho family led by patriarch Binh Ho and his wife, Hue Ho, a Vietnamese family who are living the American Dream.

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Samantha Futerman’s ‘From Here’ Explores Anti-Asian Hate from Korean Adoptee’s Lens

For about as long as the COVID-19 pandemic itself, Asian Americans have faced numerous cases of harassment. With the first reported cases of the virus originally hailing from China, people have been quick to scapegoat those of Asian descent.

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Sean Kaufman Discusses Prime Video’s ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’

Sean Kaufman plays Steven in The Summer I Turned Pretty. The show is based on the book series by Jenny Han and has already been renewed for a second season, which is currently filming. All episodes of season one are now streaming on Prime Video.

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Southern Fried Asian: Chef Nini Nguyen

Southern Fried Asian returns with a conversation between Keith and Top Chef alum, Chef Nini Nguyen! She tells Keith about growing up in New Orleans, being cast on Top Chef, teaching people how to cook on the internet, and what it really means for cuisine to be “authentic.” She also reveals why mullet roe will always remind her of her grandmother.

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‘Don’t Make Me Go’ Cast/Director on Telling a Universal Story about Parenthood and Grief

Talking about illness or death is not an easy subject for many families, especially for people of color. In Hannah Marks’ Don’t Make Me Go, John Cho plays Max, a single father who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and is given less than a year to live.

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From Kyoshi to Yangchen, F.C. Yee on Chronicling Stories of the Avatars

In 2019, author F.C. Yee brought the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender into the young adult fiction space, when he authored The Rise of Kyoshi. The first of the Kyoshi duology, readers got to explore one of Avatar Aang’s more notable previous incarnations in how she came to be one of the more hardcore Avatars.

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Olivia Liang and Shannon Dang Discuss ‘Kung Fu’ at The CW’s Upfront 2022 Red Carpet

While covering The CW’s Upfront 2022 Red Carpet, I had the pleasure of speaking with Kung Fu stars Olivia Liang (Nicky) and Shannon Dang (Althea). After being given an early renewal, it was announced that the show’s third season will be part of the 2022 Fall schedule on Wednesdays at 9 pm ET/PT.

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Southern Fried Asian: Greg Pak Returns

Southern Fried Asian is back and so is one of our previous guests. Keith welcomes back Greg Pak — whose moving new autobiographical project I Belong to You / Motherland is being turned into a choral performance in Austin — to discuss belonging and loss and share memories of his mother and childhood in Texas.

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