Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

JASMINE and TWINSTERS Take Top Honors at the 31st Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival; ADVANTAGEOUS, MISS INDIA AMERICA, THE KILLING FIELDS OF DR. HAING S. NGOR among the winners

 MARGARITA, WITH A STRAW

MARGARITA, WITH A STRAW

 The 2015 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) produced by Visual Communications celebrated it’s closing night of their 31st edition on Thursday night with a filmmaker awards ceremony for the competition films, and the LA premiere screening of the award winning MARGARITA, WITH A STRAW directed by Shonali Bose.

JASMINE winners include Guy Livneh (Best Cinematography), Jason Tobin (Best Actor), director Dax Phelan (Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature) and Chris Chan Lee (Best Editor) at The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Photo courtesy of Chris Chan Lee/Facebook

JASMINE winners Guy Livneh (Best Cinematography), Jason Tobin (Best Actor), director Dax Phelan (Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature) and Chris Chan Lee (Best Editor) at The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Photo courtesy of Chris Chan Lee/Facebook

Los Angeles based director Dax Phelan was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature for his feature debut JASMINE, which also won in the categories of Best Editor (Chris Chan Lee), Best Cinematography (Guy Livneh), Best Sound Design (Lisa K. Fowle) and Best Actor-Drama (Jason Tobin).

THE TEAM FROM ADVANTAGEOUS, WINNER OF MULTIPLE AWARDS AT THE 2015 LAAPFF, CELEBRATES ON CLOSING NIGHT AT THE DGA. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: ACTRESS JACQUELINE KIM; DIRECTOR JENNIFER PHANG; COMPOSER TIMO CHEN. (PHOTO: STEVEN LAM)

THE TEAM FROM ADVANTAGEOUS, WINNER OF MULTIPLE AWARDS AT THE 2015 LAAPFF, CELEBRATES ON CLOSING NIGHT AT THE DGA. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: ACTRESS JACQUELINE KIM; DIRECTOR JENNIFER PHANG; COMPOSER TIMO CHEN. (PHOTO: STEVEN LAM)

LAAPFF alumni Jennifer Phang received the Best Director for her film ADVANTAGEOUS, and the film scored prizes in 3 other categories including Best Music Score (Timo Chen), Best Editing (Sean Gillane and Jennifer Phang), and the special inaugural Linda Mabalot Renaissance Award for actress/writer Jacqueline Kim for her work as the lead actress and co-writer of ADVANTAGEOUS. This award recognizes a multi talented artist who exemplifies the spirit and fierceness of the late executive director of the LAAPFF and Visual Communications, Linda Mabalot.  Mabalot died in 2003 just after the festival ended.

Miss India America received two awards including Best Screenplay for Ravi Kapoor and Meera Simhan and Best Actor-Comedy for Tiya Sircar.

Miss India America

Miss India America

Additional Narrative Feature awards presented on closing night include:

Best Screenplay                   Ravi Kapoor and Meera Simhan for MISS INDIA AMERICA

Best Editor (tie)                     Sean Gillane and Jennifer Phang for ADVANTAGEOUS

Chris Chan Lee for JASMINE

Best Cinematography         Guy Livneh for JASMINE

Best Music Score                 Timo Chen for ADVANTAGEOUS

Best Sound Design            Lisa K. Fowle for JASMINE

Best Actor – comedy             Tiya Sircar for MISS INDIA AMERICA

Best Actor – drama               Jason Tobin for JASMINE

Best Ensemble Cast           Cast of KTOWN COWBOYS – directed by Daniel Park

KTown Cowboys

KTown Cowboys

Best First Feature                 Li Lu for THERE’S A NEW WORLD SOMEWHERE

Best New Actor (tie)          Anthony Ma for LOVE ARCADIA

Brandon Soo Hoo for EVERYTHING BEFORE US

Best Animation in a              MAN UP – directed by Justin Chon

Non-Animated Film

In the documentary competition, directors Samantha Futerman and Ryan Miyamoto won the Grand Jury Prize for the film TWINSTERS.  The film tells the real life story of co-director Futerman finding her twin sister on social media by accident.  Futerman and her twin sister were separated in Korea when they were adopted by separate families – one in the US and the other in Europe.

Twinsters

Twinsters

Best Documentary Director award was given to Jim Choi for CHANGING SEASON; Best Cinematographer prize was bestowed on Patrick McLaughlin for his work on EVERYTHING WILL BE; and Best Editing went to Sara Newens and Summers Henderson for TOP SPIN. A special jury prize was awarded to Kimberlee Bassford for WINNING GIRL.

PHOTO: Dr. Haing S. Ngor on location for “The Killing Fields.” Courtesy the Dr. Haing S. Ngor Archive

PHOTO: Dr. Haing S. Ngor on location for “The Killing Fields.” Courtesy the Dr. Haing S. Ngor Archive

Attendance was up with many sold out shows this year and audiences really responding to the films and stories.  All of the 32 feature films were eligible for Audience Award.  This was divided into the fiction and documentary categories. THE KILLING OF DR. HAING S. NGOR from award winning filmmaker Arthur Dong took home the Audience Award in the documentary arena; and HOW TO WIN AT CHECKERS (EVERY TIME) by Josh Kim wowed the audiences and won the Audience Award for Best Fiction Feature.

How to Win at Checkers (Everytime)

How to Win at Checkers (Everytime)

This year, the LAAPFF presented over 102 short films from directors across the globe. The dramatic and elegantly executed 90 DAYS by Patrick Yeung received the Golden Reel Award, while Ken Ochiai was honored with the Linda Mabalot New Directors/New Visions Award for his musical short JULIET JULIET – THE SOUND OF LOVE MUSICAL.

TIMOTHY YEUNG, DIRECTOR OF SHORT FILM 90 DAYS, WINNER OF THE FESTIVAL GOLDEN REEL AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM. (PHOTO: STEVEN LAM)

TIMOTHY YEUNG, DIRECTOR OF SHORT FILM 90 DAYS, WINNER OF THE FESTIVAL GOLDEN REEL AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM. (PHOTO: STEVEN LAM)

The 2015 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival kicked off on April 23, 2015 for eight days starting with the world premiere of EVERYTHING BEFORE US – a film by Wesley Chan and Philip Wang aka Wong Fu Productions. Since opening night, LAAPFF has screened all over Los Angeles from Little Tokyo to Koreatown to Downtown LA to West Hollywood.

Everything Before Us

Everything Before Us

The 2015 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is sponsored by:

PLATINUM: Comcast NBC Universal; Sony Pictures Entertainment; GOLD: Directors Guild of America; Nielsen; SILVER: HBO; BRONZE: FilmLA; Creative DCP; SAG Indie; STAR: Modern VideoFilm; Motion Picture Editors Guild; SAG-AFTRA; Union Bank; Writers Guild of America/West; Yu & Co.; VENUE SPONSORS: Aratani Theatre/Japanese American Cultural & Community Center; Directors Guild of America; Japanese American National Museum; Downtown Independent; CGV Cinemas; The Great Company; MEDIA SPONSORS:AngryAsianMan.com; KPFK – FM; LA-18 KSCI; LA Weekly; MYX TV; Yelp; GOVERNMENT: National Endowment for the Arts; Los Angeles County Arts Commission; Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; California Arts Council; Cal Humanities; FOUNDATION: Aratani Foundation; James Irvine Foundation; Weingart Foundation; Parsons Foundation; SAG-P IACF; Asian Pacific Community Fund; Sony Pictures Entertainment;  RECEPTION: Asahi; Kirin; LA-18 KSCI; Stella Artois; Ketel One; MYXTV; IN KIND: Telepath Corporation; IKON Office Supplies; Meiji; LA18; HBO; Red Giant;

COMPLETE LIST OF WINNERS FROM THE LA ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL

LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL 2015 AWARDS

NARRATIVE FEATURE FILM AWARDS

2015 LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL GRAND JURY PRIZE FOR BEST FEATURE GOES TO JASMINE, DIRECTED BY DAX PHELAN. HERE, THE TEAM FROM JASMINE CELEBRATES ITS FIVE AWARDS. FIFTH FROM LEFT: CHRIS CHAN LEE (WINNER, BEST EDITING); SEVENTH FROM LEFT: JASON TOBIN (WINNER, BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA); THIRD FROM RIGHT: DAX PHELAN (DIRECTOR); SECOND FROM RIGHT: GUY LIVNEH (WINNER, BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY). (PHOTO: STEVEN LAM)

2015 LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL GRAND JURY PRIZE FOR BEST FEATURE GOES TO JASMINE, DIRECTED BY DAX PHELAN. HERE, THE TEAM FROM JASMINE CELEBRATES ITS FIVE AWARDS. FIFTH FROM LEFT: CHRIS CHAN LEE (WINNER, BEST EDITING); SEVENTH FROM LEFT: JASON TOBIN (WINNER, BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA); THIRD FROM RIGHT: DAX PHELAN (DIRECTOR); SECOND FROM RIGHT: GUY LIVNEH (WINNER, BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY). (PHOTO: STEVEN LAM)

Miss India America's Ravi Kapoor and Meera Simhan win for Best Screenplay. Photo courtesy of Miss India America/Facebook

Miss India America’s Ravi Kapoor and Meera Simhan win for Best Screenplay. Photo courtesy of Miss India America/Facebook

GRAND JURY PRIZE – BEST FILM –  JASMINE

BEST DIRECTOR – JENNIFER PHANG – ADVANTAGEOUS

BEST SCREENPLAY – RAVI KAPOOR & MEERA SIMHAN, – MISS INDIA AMERICA

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – GUY LIVNEH – JASMINE

BEST ACTOR – DRAMATIC – JASON TOBIN – JASMINE

BEST ACTOR – COMEDY – TIYA SIRCAR – MISS INDIA AMERICA

BEST EDITING – TIE:  CHRIS CHAN LEE – JASMINE

SEAN GILLANE/JENNIFER PHANG – ADVANTAGEOUS

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST  – KTOWN COWBOYS

BEST SOUND DESIGN – LISA K. FOWLE – JASMINE

BEST MUSICAL SCORE -TIMO CHEN – ADVANTAGEOUS

SPECIAL JURY AWARD,  BEST ANIMATION IN A NON-ANIMATED FILM – MAN UP

SPECIAL JURY AWARD, BEST NEW ACTOR – Tie: BRANDON SOO HOO – EVERYTHING BEFORE US / ANTHONY MA – LOVE ARCADIA

SPECIAL JURY AWARD, BEST FIRST FEATURE – LI LU – THERE IS A NEW WORLD SOMEWHERE

SPECIAL JURY AWARD, THE LINDA MABALOT RENAISSANCE SPIRIT AWARD – JACQUELINE KIM – ADVANTAGEOUS

The cast and creative team of Jennifer Phang's ADVANTAGEOUS at the Los Angeles premiere at the Aratani Theatre on August 24, 2015. Photo courtesy of Ed Moy/Facebook

The cast and creative team of Jennifer Phang’s ADVANTAGEOUS at the Los Angeles premiere at the Aratani Theatre on August 24, 2015. Photo courtesy of Ed Moy/Facebook

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM AWARDS

GRAND JURY PRIZE – BEST FILM – TWINSTERS – DIRECTED BY SAMANTHA FUTERMAN AND RYAN MIYAMOTO

(L-R) Jenna Ushkowitz (Executive Prod. of TWINSTERS; Co-Founder of KINDRED FOUNDATION; Actress on GLEE), Ryan Miyamoto (Co-Director/Producer/Cinematographer), Samantha Futerman (Co- Director/Prod. and Docu Subject; Co-Founder of KINDRED FOUNDATION), Kanoa Goo (Producer), Jeff Consiglio (Producer/Editor). Photo credit: Steven Lam Photo courtesy of: LAAPFF/StevenLamPhoto.com

(L-R) Jenna Ushkowitz (Executive Prod. of TWINSTERS; Co-Founder of KINDRED FOUNDATION; Actress on GLEE), Ryan Miyamoto (Co-Director/Producer/Cinematographer), Samantha Futerman (Co- Director/Prod. and Docu Subject; Co-Founder of KINDRED FOUNDATION),
Kanoa Goo (Producer), Jeff Consiglio (Producer/Editor).
Photo credit: Steven Lam
Photo courtesy of: LAAPFF/StevenLamPhoto.com

(L-R) Ryan Miyamoto (Co-Director/Producer/Cinematographer) and Samantha Futerman (Co- Director/Prod. and Docu Subject). Photo credit: Steven Lam Photo courtesy of: LAAPFF/StevenLamPhoto.com

(L-R) Ryan Miyamoto (Co-Director/Producer/Cinematographer) and Samantha Futerman (Co- Director/Prod. and Docu Subject). Photo credit: Steven Lam
Photo courtesy of: LAAPFF/StevenLamPhoto.com

BEST DIRECTOR          JIM CHOI – CHANGING SEASONS

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – PATRICK MCLAUGHLIN – EVERYTHING WILL BE

BEST EDITING – SARA NEWENS & SUMMERS HENDERSON – TOP SPIN

SPECIAL JURY AWARD – KIMBERLEE BASSFORD – WINNING GIRL

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS

DOCUMENTARY AUDIENCE AWARD – THE KILLING FIELDS OF DR. HAING S. NGOR – A FILM BY ARTHUR DONG

 NARRATIVE AUDIENCE AWARD – HOW WIN AT CHECKERS (EVERY TIME) – A FILM BY JOSH KIM

SHORT FILM AWARDS

KEN OCHIAI, DIRECTOR OF JULIET JULIET - THE SOUND OF LOVE MUSICAL, WINNER OF THE LINDA MABALOT NEW DIRECTORS/NEW VISIONS AWARD. (PHOTO: STEVEN LAM)

KEN OCHIAI, DIRECTOR OF JULIET JULIET – THE SOUND OF LOVE MUSICAL, WINNER OF THE LINDA MABALOT NEW DIRECTORS/NEW VISIONS AWARD. (PHOTO: STEVEN LAM)

NEW DIRECTORS/NEW VISIONS:    JULIET JULIET – THE SOUND OF LOVE MUSICAL – DIRECTED BY KEN OCHIAI

GOLDEN REEL AWARD BEST FILM:  90 DAYS – a film by TIMOTHY YEUNG

SPECIAL JURY MENTIONS:  QUYEN  – DIRECTED BY LUCRETIA STINETTE; THICKER THAN WATER –  DIRECTED BY SEUNG YOEB LEE

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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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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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