Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

World Premiere Screening of Lil Tokyo Reporter Starring Chris Tashima at Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, September 14-16, 2012

Lil Tokyo Reporter, starring Academy award winner Chris Tashima (Visas and Virtue, Day of Independence, Model Minority), will have its world premiere screening at Laemmle Playhouse 7, 673 East Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, from September 14-16, 2012.

Chris Tashima (Photo by Lia Chang)

Chris Tashima (Photo by Lia Chang)

Tashima portrays the title character in Lil Tokyo Reporter, a narrative short film based on the true life struggles of Sei Fujii, immigrant pioneer, leader, and publisher. Click here for updates on showtimes during the week of September 14.

Jeffrey Gee Chin directed Lil Tokyo Reporter, with a screenplay written by Guinevere Turner (American Psycho), based on the research of executive producer Fumiko Carole Fujita and the Little Tokyo Historical Society. In addition to Tashima, Lil Tokyo Reporter stars Eijiro Ozaki, Ikuma Ando, Keiko Agena, and Sewell Whitney.

Chris Tashima as Sei Fujii in Lil Tokyo Reporter. Photo courtesy of Lil Tokyo Reporter

Chris Tashima as Sei Fujii in Lil Tokyo Reporter. Photo courtesy of Lil Tokyo Reporter

Although Sei Fujii was one of the most pinnacle civil rights leaders in the early 20th century, Lil Tokyo Reporter highlights his journey away from his political contributions, and delves into his interpersonal journey to defend and promote his deteriorating community during the Great Depression.

Fujii vowed to protect his people, defended them in legal cases with Attorney Wright and built a much needed hospital for the Japanese American community. During the Great Depression, the community unites at their first annual pageant parade while Fujii promotes their accomplishments through his new radio program and newspaper. Wright brings to Fujii’s attention a group running the local gambling hall who decided to take advantage of his community. Fujii must make a decision to confront the issue through his reporting and newspaper. Will these local baddies win over our historic civil rights leader? Or will our hero survive a road that will lead him into many unexpected twist of events.

Chris Tashima as Sei Fujii in Lil Tokyo Reporter. Photo courtesy of Lil Tokyo Reporter

Chris Tashima as Sei Fujii in Lil Tokyo Reporter. Photo courtesy of Lil Tokyo Reporter


In May, the Pacific Citizen‘s second annual “Extraordinary APA of the Year” Awards, which honor an individual’s positive and headline-making achievements in the Asian Pacific American community were given to Lil Tokyo Reporter star Chris Tashima, director Jeffrey Gee Chin and executive producer Fumiko Carole Fujita, in the category of Extraordinary APAs in Entertainment. This special recognition honors community leaders who have positively impacted the APA community and whose stories were reported in the Pacific Citizen.

Lil Tokyo Reporter was produced by Mayon Denton and Michael Iinuma in association with Visual Communications and the Little Tokyo Historical Society. The team was also sponsored by the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program and the Terasaki Foundation.

Click here to learn more about the film and here to donate to the fundraising campaign.

About The Little Tokyo Historical Society
The Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) focuses on researching and discovering the historical resources, stories, and connections of sites, buildings, and events related to Little Tokyo as an ethnic heritage neighborhood. LTHS is committed to documenting and verifying history of locales, sites, and buildings, as well as preserving and sharing the history and personal stories of Little Tokyo and its residents.

LTHS was formed in 2006 by members of the Little Tokyo community to commemorate the Nikkei history and heritage through various means such as: archival collections, photos, exhibits, lectures and workshops, and gallery. Although other organizations documenting Japanese American history exist, LTHS narrows its focus by concentrating on the history of Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, rather than the larger scope of Japanese Americans nationwide.

LTHS operates as a volunteer organization, comprised of members from the Little Tokyo community including nonprofit employees, business owners, and residents.

Other Articles by Lia Chang
Meet Lil Tokyo Reporter’s Star Chris Tashima and Director Jeffrey Gee Chin at the Little Tokyo Historical Society’s Booth at the 72nd Annual LA Nisei Week Japanese Festival on August 18, 2012
Lily Mariye’s Model Minority, Jayshree Janu Kharpade’s Fire in Our Hearts, Eliaichi Kimaro’s A Lot Like You, Vincent Sandoval’s Señorita, and Liang Cheng’s My Spiritual Medicine among AAIFF’12 Award Winners
AAIFF’12: Lily Mariye’s Model Minority, starring Jessica Tuck, Nichole Bloom, Chris Tashima, Helen Slater, Laura Innes and Takayo Fisher, screens at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas on August 4, 2012
Photos: 4 Wedding Planners’ Illeana Douglas, Kimberly-Rose Wolter and Michael Kang at Screen Actors Guild Foundation Conversations Series in NY
10 minutes with Sullivan & Son’s Jodi Long, Award Winning Actor and Filmmaker
Illeana Douglas, Kimberly-Rose Wolter and Michael Kang Set for 4 Wedding Planners Screening in Screen Actors Guild Foundation Conversations Series in NY on August 21, 2012
Multimedia: Screen Actors Guild Foundation’s Conversations with Derek Ting, Linus Roache and Michael Park of $upercapitalist
David Henry Hwang to Receive the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award at the 5th Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards on October 29, 2012
Asian American Civil Rights Groups Angered by Acquittal and Lenient Sentence in Military Hazing Case of Pvt. Danny Chen
AAIFF’12: Richard Wong & H.P. Mendoza’s Yes, We’re Open, starring Lynn Chen, Parry Shen, Sheetal Sheth, & Kerry McCrohan, screens at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas on August 4, 2012
Daniel Hsia’s Shanghai Calling, Simon Yin’s Supercapitalist & Michael Kang’s Knots to Screen at 35th annual Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) in New York, which runs July 25 – August 5, 2012
35th Asian American International Film Festival Line-up in New York
George Takei, Lea Salonga, Telly Leung and Paolo Montalban star in the World Premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical at The Old Globe, September 7 – October 21, 2012
Three Year Swim Club, Encounter, TEA, Christmas in Hanoi and Chess set for East West Players 47th Anniversary Season
Photos: All-Access Pass to Disney’s Aladdin at The Muny with Thom Sesma, Francis Jue, Robin De Jesus, John Tartaglia, Jason Graae, Curtis Holbrook, Eddie Korbich, Samantha Massell and Ken Page
Performing Arts Images from the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection on Display at the Library of Congress to Celebrate APA Heritage Month
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang


Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2012 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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