HBO’s Fifth Annual Asian Pacific American Visionaries Short Film Competition Selects its Winners

It’s that time of year again!

HBO has announced the three finalists of the fifth annual Asian Pacific American Visionaries, a short film competition showcasing stories told by directors of Asian and Pacific Islander (APA) descent. Out of hundreds of submissions, the judges, made up of HBO executives, industry leaders, and fellow APA filmmakers.

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HBO Max Celebrates AAPI History Month with ‘See Us’

As a proud FilipinX / Asian American / Nerd of Color, I am often asked about my culture and upbringing and dependent on how I’m feeling that day… that situation can go many ways; BUT, for AAPI Heritage Month, I am loud and I AM PROUD. However, it must be said that this past year and a half has been a rather difficult one for our community. The ugly face that is racism became even more pronounced and we now rally under the banner of #StopAsianHate. Life has become traumatic for many of us… but for me and others I know, it only deepened our pride, because we know that WE BELONG. We have fought hard for us to be here and we will not allow the negativity to deter us. Our existence is our resistance. You are going to SEE US.

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Big Hero 6 Shows That an Asian American Cast Can Top the Box Office

by Adriel Luis | Originally posted at Smithsonian APA NOW

This past weekend’s box office numbers are in, and Disney’s latest project Big Hero 6 stands soundly on top. This might not come as a big surprise, considering that Frozen-fever is still holding every auntie’s TV hostage — but the film still breaks ground, especially in the scope of Asian Americans in cinema. And Hollywood should take note.

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Big Hero 6 is Now Playing Everywhere

This is a big weekend for nerds. Not only is Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated, IMAX-sized space adventure Interstellar opening on theater screens of all sizes, Disney is also releasing Big Hero 6, its very first animated film based on a Marvel property since the House of Mouse acquired the House of Ideas in 2009. When the deal went down, I know a lot of fanboys salivated over the prospect of a Pixar-produced Marvel movie, and while this isn’t that, it looks pretty close.

We at the NOC have been stoked for Big Hero 6 for a while now. Not only is it the first animated Disney flick with an Asian American male lead, it’s got one of the most diverse cast of characters (and voice talents) of any Disney movie. It’s also Disney’s first post-Frozen vehicle, and just from looking at the merchandising already available, BH6 looks to be just as big, but more on that later.

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Casting for Big Hero 6 Goes Big on Diversity

Back in May, I wrote about Marvel and Disney getting ready to start a big promotional push for the upcoming animated movie Big Hero 6 later this year. At that time only a few names had been announced for the voice actors: Jamie Chung as Go Go Tamago and T.J. Miller as Fred. Maya Rudolph was announced as part of the cast but was tied to an unnamed role. Today, Disney finally announced the actors for the rest of the voice cast.

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Live-Action Akira: An All-Asian American Dream Cast

With all the debate this week over cross-racial and trans-racial casting of comic book movies, one aspect that hasn’t really been discussed in depth yet is the phenomenon of Hollywood White-washing of explicitly non-White characters in live-action adaptations. Famously, Aang of The Last Airbender was played in the live-action adaptation (directed by M. Night Shyamalan) by a young White actor despite repeated references in the comics to Aang’s non-White racial makeup. More recently, a non-comic book (but nonetheless grindhouse-esque cult classic) Korean movie called Oldboy is being remade in Hollywood with an all-White cast.

With the existing dearth of non-White faces in film, let alone comic book film, it’s safe to say that most of us can agree that cross-racially casting a non-White character with White actors is problematic.

A few years back, Hollywood was also rumoured to be developing a live-action adaptation of the landmark anime, Akira. At one point, the film was going to star Zac Efron, and although he has since backed out, it’s still unlikely that today’s Hollywood will cast Asian actors to play Akira‘s all-Japanese cast of characters.

And why not? Hollywood typically argues that there aren’t enough (or talented) non-White talent in Hollywood.

Well, that argument sounds like complete trash to me.

After the jump, check out a re-post of something I wrote in 2010, containing my own all Asian/Asian-American casting of a hypothetical Akira live-action movie.

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