AAAFF needs your help! We have organized a panel of talented Asian American film professionals to speak at SXSW 2018 on the need for diversity in the film industry. Vote for our proposal on PanelPicker before the voting period ends on August 25!
The #OscarsSoWhite conversation that began in 2016 scrutinized Hollywood’s lack of diversity, but the spotlight has focused on representation in front of the camera and less on the creative talents behind it.
A panel of top independent Asian American film professionals will discuss the shifting landscape of Asian American cinema, unique challenges faced by underrepresented filmmakers from idea to distribution, and the winding path towards true inclusion in the film industry.
- Does race matter behind the camera?
- What can the Asian American community learn from other grassroots efforts to support diverse voices in film?
- How do we move beyond #OscarsSoWhite towards true inclusion in the industry?
- Mynette Louie, Producer, Syncopated Films
- Yen Tan, Filmmaker/Graphic Designer, Otto is the One
- Julie Whang, Director, Non-Theatrical Sales, Tugg, Inc.
- PJ Raval, Filmmaker, Unraval Pictures
Click here to vote before August 25!
Mynette Louie is the president of Gamechanger Films, which finances narrative features directed by women. Gamechanger’s films include Sarah Adina Smith’s BUSTER’S MAL HEART (TIFF 2016), So Yong Kim’s LOVESONG (Sundance 2016, 2017 Independent Spirit Cassavetes Award nominee), Karyn Kusama’s THE INVITATION (SXSW 2015), Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz’s LAND HO! (Sundance 2014, winner of the 2015 Independent Spirit Cassavetes Award), and Lauren Wolkstein and Christopher Radcliff’s THE STRANGE ONES (SXSW 2017). Outside of Gamechanger, her producing credits include Aaron Katz’s GEMINI (SXSW 2017), Marshall Lewy’s CALIFORNIA SOLO (Sundance 2012), Patricia Benoit’s STONES IN THE SUN (Tribeca 2012), Olivia Silver’s ARCADIA (Berlin 2012), Tze Chun’s CHILDREN OF INVENTION (Sundance 2009), and Andrew Bujalski’s MUTUAL APPRECIATION (SXSW 2005). Louie won the 2013 Independent Spirit Piaget Producers Award and is a member of the Producers branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Malaysian-born writer/director Yen Tan premiered the acclaimed PIT STOP at Sundance 2013 and received a John Cassavetes Award nomination at the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards. His previous feature CIAO was a Queer Lion contender at the Venice Film Festival. With David Lowery (A GHOST STORY), Yen co-directed “Until We Could,” an Addy-winning PSA for Freedom to Marry. His short 1985 won a Special Jury Prize at SXSW 2016; it made its web debut at Short of the Week and was a Vimeo Staff Pick. He is also a sought-after graphic designer, providing iconic key art and branding for prominent films that have premiered at Cannes, Sundance, Berlinale, Toronto, SXSW, and Tribeca. He has also designed for IFC Films, Sundance Selects, Cohen Media Group, Film Presence, and Austin Film Society. He won an Excellence in Poster Design jury award for MANSON FAMILY VACATION at SXSW 2015. Yen resides in Austin and was recently profiled by director Maris Curran (FIVE NIGHTS IN MAINE) for Adobe Create.
Julie Whang has 15 years experience in independent film distribution, exhibition, promotion and operations. Currently she is the Director of Non-Theatrical Sales at Tugg, the leading crowdsourcing web platform for theatrical screenings. Her previous position was the Director of Distribution and Sales at Women Make Movies, the largest distributor of films by and about women. Her accomplishments include working successfully in all facets of distribution from acquiring films, marketing, sales, contract negotiations and fulfillment. Julie has served on the documentary jury for the Austin Asian American Film Festival and is a member of the board for the National Media Market, the leading conference for media buyers and exhibitors. Julie has an MS in Nonprofit Management from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at the New School and BA in Visual Arts Media from the University of California, San Diego.
Named one of Out Magazine’s “Out 100” and Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film,” PJ Raval‘s credits include TRINIDAD (Showtime, Best Documentary, Cleveland Int’l Film Festival 2009); the not-safe-for-work CHRISTEENE video collection; and BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, following three gay senior men as they face the challenges of “golden years” (PBS, SXSW 2013; Best Documentary, Chicago LGBT Film Festival). His work as a cinematographer has earned him the Haskell Wexler Award and the ASC Charles B. Lang Jr. Heritage Award, and includes the 2009 Academy Award-nominated and Sundance Grand Jury Award winner TROUBLE THE WATER; the Independent Spirit Award-nominated ROOM; LOVE & AIR SEX, directed by Bryan Poyser (SXSW 2013); and PRIMATE CINEMA: APES AS FAMILY, the first film for a chimpanzee audience (Sundance 2013, Berlinale). He is also a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow and 2016 Firelight Media Fellow. In his spare time Raval likes to try and take small naps and pretend he knows ballet.