Asia Society Announces Expanded Entertainment Summit and First Entertainment Game Changer Awards

Bob Weis, President, Walt Disney Imagineering; The RAIN (JUNG Ji-Hoon), Actor, K-Pop Singer-Songwriter; WANG Leehom, Singer-Songwriter, Producer, Actor, Film Director; and Wei ZHANG, President, Alibaba Pictures to be honored at November 5, 2019 event

2019 Entertainment Summit

Los Angeles, CA, October 7, 2019 – Asia Society Southern California announced today it will host the U.S.–Asia Entertainment Summit and Game Changer Awards Gala Dinner on Tuesday, November 5, 2019. The 10th edition of this signature conference comes at a pivotal time when the entertainment and media industries are in the throes of unprecedented disruption as consumers embrace streaming and other new technologies. Global industry leaders and artists are paving the way to define and embrace many of the emerging platforms with growing investment and a plethora of diverse content geared to key markets.

The organization is delighted to announce the first ever Entertainment Game Changer Award. Honorees to be recognized include Bob Weis, President of Walt Disney Imagineering; actor, K-Pop singer-songwriter, and music producer JUNG Ji-hoon (aka the RAIN); singer-songwriter, producer, actor, and film director WANG Leehom; and Wei ZHANG, President of Alibaba Pictures.

Mr. Weis oversaw the vision for and development of Shanghai Disney Resort, Disney’s first themed resort in mainland China. Mr. Weis has been involved in the international expansion of Disney parks from the start, as part of the team that built Tokyo Disney Resort in 1983. Today, as head of Walt Disney Imagineering, he guides the creative forces behind the magic found not only in Disney’s theme parks, but also in its resort hotels, cruise ships, games, merchandise, and books, as well.

Mr. Jung, known by his stage name “the RAIN”, is a prolific international star in film and music. The RAIN made his Hollywood debut in the film Speed Racer and starred in Ninja Assassin, the latter of which made him the first Korean to win an MTV award. His music career includes seven albums and 28 singles. He achieved breakthrough success with his third Korean album, It’s Raining, which launched his No. 1 single of the same name. The album sold a million copies across Asia.

Mr. Wang is a Chinese-American musician, film producer, and director. His music fuses Chinese elements, such as Beijing opera, traditional styles of ethnic minorities, and Chinese classical orchestra, with hip-hop and R&B. Mr. Wang has released over 25 albums since 1995 and with sales of over 50 million copies. He is also a four-time winner and 19-time nominee of Taiwan’s Golden Melody Awards, the Chinese “Grammys”. His acting career includes Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution, Jackie Chan’s Little Big Soldier, and Michael Mann’s Blackhat. Mr. Wang was listed as one of Goldsea’s “The 100 Most inspiring Asian Americans of All Time” and hailed by CNN as the “King of Chinese Pop.” In 2018, Mr. Wang won his first Best Actor award at the Golden Lotus Awards in Macau.

Ms. Zhang is a trailblazing executive who is bridging China and the West through her leadership at Alibaba Group over the past two decades where she led the investment, acquisition and corporate social responsibility efforts of the corporation. Currently, she is President of Alibaba Pictures and Senior Vice President of Alibaba's Digital Media and Entertainment Group in charge of international operations and business development. Prior to joining China’s biggest e-commerce company, the Harvard MBA graduate held senior positions at several leading media and consulting organizations including News Corporation STAR China, CNBC China, Bain & Company, and General Electric.

“This year, I am particularly excited to broaden the scope of the Summit to celebrate pan- Asian artists across many fields. How fortunate that we are able to honor both the King of Chinese Pop, WANG Leehom, as well as the King of K-Pop, The RAIN!” declares Janet Yang, Chair of the Entertainment Summit and a Governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “They represent the spectacular rise of Asian talent on the world stage.”

“Bob Weis is also a global game changer who connects people worldwide through experiences that are authentic to both Disney and local cultures, whether in the United States, Japan, China or France. Alibaba’s President, Wei Zhang is a force of nature who is bridging the globe in the entertainment industry,” said Frank Rexach, newly minted Executive Director of Asia Society Southern California.

Asia Society Southern California’s Summit was founded in 2010 to create a forum for Hollywood and Chinese filmmakers to discuss collaboration and quickly became the premier U.S. gathering of dealmakers, thought leaders, and content creators in film. With the rapid evolution of digital technologies, the Summit began to look at wider collaboration in U.S.-China entertainment. Further expansion this year reflects the growing impact of entertainment from Korea, India, and Japan, among others, throughout Asia and in the United States.

The 2019 Summit builds on its nine-year track record for quality and will feature high-level keynote conversations and panel discussions by the most important, interesting speakers on the trends and forces shaping cross-cultural entertainment. Variety, once again, joins the summit as a media partner.

Asia Society Southern California is proud to announce that acclaimed actor Daniel Dae Kim (upcoming Stowaway, Netflix’s Always Be My Maybe, ABC’s Lost) has joined the initial line-up of exceptional speakers at the 2019 U.S.-Asia Entertainment Summit. Mr. Kim will partake in the highly anticipated conversation along with Late Night director Nisha Ganatra on The New Hollywood: Have Asians Arrived? The conversation will dive into the rise and representation of Asians in the entertainment industry both in front of and behind the camera.

Mr. Kim is known around the world for his acting, directing, and producing under his production banner 3AD Media. Most recently, Mr. Kim starred alongside Randall Park and Ali Wong in Netflix’s hit original film Always Be My Maybe and is also the executive producer for Golden Globe nominated The Good Doctor. Mr. Kim’s breakout role was playing Jin-Soo Kwon in the hit television series and Golden Globe winner, Lost followed by the leading role in the ABC series and Golden Globe winner Hawaii Five-O. Up next for Mr. Kim is the sci-fi thriller Stowaway, co-starring Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette, and Shamier Anderson, directed by Joe Penna.

Other initial spotlight speakers at the Entertainment Summit include:

  • Steven Xiang, CEO of Huanxi Media Group will lead the discussion about Selling to Key Asian Markets. Huanxi Media is an innovative media company in China, focusing on investment and production of films, drama series, and operation of a subscription-based Over-the-Top platform. The company was founded by Dong Ping, Ning Hao, Xu Zheng and Steven Xiang in 2015, and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Douglas Montgomery, Vice President of Retail Insights at Warner Brothers along with Francis Chung, VP, Global Co-Productions, CJ Entertainment will discuss the topic of Traversing the Pacific with IP which covers the rise of cross-border remakes, sequels, and co-productions.
  • Kevin Lin, the Co-Founder of Twitch, the world’s leading live streaming platform for gamers, will join in a discussion about the Emmy Award-Winning Interactive Show Artificial along with the show’s writer, director, and producer Bernie Su and actor Tiffany Chu, to be moderated by Bing Chen, Chairman of GoldHouse.

Additional speakers for Asia Society’s conference program will be announced soon. In the meantime, for the latest program details and to register/buy tickets to the U.S.-Asia Entertainment Summit, click here. 

This dynamic Asia Society event will be held at the Skirball Cultural Center on Tuesday, November 5th from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PST. The Entertainment Game Changer Awards Dinner will follow at 7:00 p.m. PST.

ABOUT ASIA SOCIETY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Asia Society Southern California is the Los Angeles arm of the leading educational organization working to forge understanding and strengthen relationships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the West. Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution that, across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, provides insight, generates ideas and promotes collaboration to address today’s challenges and create a shared future. Based in New York, Asia Society has a global Board of Trustees and operates in 14 cities worldwide.

For more information about Asia Society Southern California, including sponsorship opportunities, please contact: Li Huang, lhuang@asiasociety.org, or (213) 788-4711.

For Press Inquiries, please contact:

Maxine Leonard PR

Yannina Diaz

yannina@maxineleonard.com, (323) 930-2345