Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

The 31st Annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) presents Jennifer Phang’s ADVANTAGEOUS Featuring Jacqueline Kim, James Urbaniak, Freya Adams, Ken Jeong, Jennifer Ehle, Samantha Kim, Jeanne Sakata, Jennifer Ikeda and Matthew Kim at the Aratani Theatre on April 24

Jacqueline Kim in Jennifer Phang's Advantageous

Jacqueline Kim in Jennifer Phang’s Advantageous

Good Neighbors Media in Association with D.K. Entertainment, Inc. and I Ain’t Playin’ Films is presenting Jennifer Phang’s Sundance Award winning ADVANTAGEOUS at the 31st Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) on Friday, April 24, 2015, at the Aratani Theatre @ Japanese American Cultural & Community Center – Little Tokyo – 244 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA  90012 

 Click here to purchase tickets for the 8pm screening.

The cast and creative team of ADVANTAGEOUS at the Sundance Film Festival premiere on January 26, 2015 in Park City, Utah. Photo courtesy of Jeanne Sakata

The cast and creative team of ADVANTAGEOUS at the Sundance Film Festival premiere on January 26, 2015 in Park City, Utah. Photo courtesy of Jeanne Sakata

Over the course of a nearly two-decade relationship with the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, director Jennifer Phang (LOVE, LTD., Festival 2000; THE MATRICES, Festival 2003; TARGET AUDIENCE 9.1, Festival 2005; TO RIDE A COW, Festival 2008) has developed a dual affinity for science fiction and wry commentary as her storytelling stock-in-trade. Her latest effort, ADVANTAGEOUS (an expansive revisit of her 2003 Festival Golden Reel Award-winning short subject) largely eschews the commentary for a incisively-observed story of a career woman, played by veteran actress Jacqueline Kim, who goes to great lengths to insure a future for her only child. Originally commissioned in 2012 as part of the groundbreaking Independent Television Service series, “Future States,” ADVANTAGEOUS sparingly lays on the sci-fi while amping up the interpersonal tension and drama. The result is more French New Wave (Chris Marker’s classic LA JETEE comes to mind) than anything else, and demonstrates Phang’s increasing mastery of the sci-fi storytelling form — even more impressively than in her well-lauded HALF-LIFE (2008).

Working from a script co-penned with actress Kim, the story of ADVANTAGEOUS hews close to the original source: in a dystopian society that favors appearances over experience, Gwen (Kim), the company spokesperson for a radical technology allowing people to overcome their natural disadvantages and begin life anew, finds herself out of a job due to the inevitable march of time. With the future of her only child Jules (Samantha Kim) in crisis, Gwen ponders undergoing the procedure herself. In revisiting the story, Phang and Kim open up Gwen and Jules’ world outside of the apartment that served as the anchor for the previous short film. Now, the audience sees the human cost of Gwen’s heretofore “perfect” life. A compromised partnership with her former boss Fisher (James Urbaniak) threatens any means of her returning to work; while a past discretion with her sister’s husband (an almost unrecognizable, dramatic turn for comic actor Ken Jeong) foregrounds her estrangement from her own family. In this world, ADVANTAGEOUS riffs on the destructive contrast between soaring opulence vs. economic hardship, and the compromises that people like Gwen are willing to go through for that better situation. ADVANTAGEOUS (a Special Jury Award Winner for Collaborative Vision at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival) is sci-fi that works through sharply-drawn characterization, and may very well be the crown jewel in a banner year for Asian Pacific American cinema.

source: Abraham Ferrer

The cast also features Jennifer Ehle, Freya Adams, Jennifer Ikeda, Olivia Horton, Sameerah Luqmann-Harris, Rex Lee,Troi Zee, Theresa Navarro, Mercedes Griffeth, Jeanne Sakata, Matthew Kim, and introducing Samantha Kim.

Filmmaker Bio
Jennifer Phang’s Advantageous won a Sundance 2015 Jury Prize and her award‐winning debut feature Half-Life premiered in 2008 at the Sundance and Tokyo International film festivals. It screened at SXSW and was distributed by Sundance Channel. She was invited to Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab and was awarded a San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Rainin Foundation FilmHouse Residency and Sundance Institute Feature Film Grant. The Berkeley-born daughter of a Chinese-Malaysian father and Vietnamese mother, Phang graduated from the MFA directing program at the American Film Institute.

Advantageous is produced by Robert Chang, Theresa Navarro, Moon Molson, Ken Jeong and Jacqueline Kim. With cinematography by Richard Wong, editing by Sean Gillane and Gena Bleir, production design by Dara Wishingrad and Aiyana Trotter, VFX animation by Catherine Tate, Ricardo Marmolej and Jean Elston, original score composed by Timo Chen.

Visual Communications (VC), the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, is presenting the  announced its the  31st edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) running April 23-30, 2015. This annual film celebration will be presented across Los Angeles from Little Tokyo to the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles to Koreatown and to West Hollywood featuring 134 films from over 20 countries. 

VC proudly celebrates 31 years as Southern California’s largest and most prestigious film festival of its kind.  The LAAPFF launches the pre-celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month through this year’s slate of over 130 films from both Asian Pacific American and Asian international directors from over 20 countries.  For over three decades, the Festival has presented more than 3,700 films and shorts by Asian American and Asian international artists.  This year, a total of 134 films comprised of 32 feature films and 102 shorts will be showcased throughout the eight-day fest.

cropped-lia-chang_photo-by-carlos-flores-3.jpgLia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon and Taxman. She has guest starred on “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “New York Undercover.” Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington and Roscoe Orman. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

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Click here for other film articles.

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
A Sumptuous View of Ken Watanabe, Kelli O’Hara, Ruthie Ann Miles, Ashley Park, Conrad Ricamora, Jon Viktor Corpuz, Paul Nakauchi and More in Lincoln Center Theater’s Revival of The King and I
Joe Mantegna receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Film and Television from The Riverside International Film Festival
Hamilton tops Lucille Lortel Award Nominations along with Into the Woods, Between Riverside and Crazy, The Invisible Hand, The Nether and The Fortress of Solitude
Lia Chang, James Hong, Peter Kwong, George Cheung, Al Leong, Gerald Okamura, Jeff Imada and James Lew to attend BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA Screening at JANM on April 8
May 1: A/P/A Institute at NYU presents Remembering SlutForArt: Tseng Kwong Chi with Muna Tseng, Ping Chong, and Bill T. Jones
Apr. 20: Garth Kravits joins Laura Benanti, Lena Hall, Scott Alan and more for BROADWAY SINGS TORI Concert to Benefit RAINN at (le) poisson rouge
Sinatra: An American Icon Exhibit on View through September 4 at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Disney Developing Live-Action ‘Mulan’
Kenny Leon Helmed ‘The Wiz’ Set as NBC’s Next Live Musical to air on Dec. 3; Broadway Revival Slated for 2016-17
Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion Exhibition on view at New-York Historical Society through April 19; Photos of An Evening with Amy Tan
“Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong,” – Retrospective of Disney Legend at MOCA through September 13
Award Winning Actor Raul Aranas Talks THE BLACKLIST, NAAP’S OLIVER!, Songwriting and the Zen of Cycling
Tony Award Winners Chita Rivera and Roger Rees, Jason Danieley, Mary Beth Peil, David Garrison in Terrence McNally’s THE VISIT
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The Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, Inc.: 2015 Collaboration Award recognizing Women Working with Women Open Call
LA Times Critic’s Choice FIGARO at A Noise Within; April 4, 5, 9, 10, 19, 30, May 1 and 10
Jon Tenney, Tessa Auberjonois, John de Lancie, Emily Ruth James and Kwana Martinez Set for World Premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s MR. WOLF at South Coast Repertory, April 12-May 3
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East West Players’ Honors Paula Madison of Madison Media Management LLC and “Fresh Off The Boat” Executive Producers Nahnatchka Khan and Melvin Mar on April 20
Photos: Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Spring Exhibition, CHINA: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, May 7–August 16
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Photos: Ellen Burstyn, Baz Luhrmann, John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Stephen McKinley Henderson, John Patrick Shanley, David Henry Hwang, Liza Colón-Zayas, Kenneth Lonergan and More Celebrate Stephen Adly Guirgis at The Mimi Awards
Crafting a Career
Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 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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