Asia Society Panels at Sundance Spotlight Asian Filmmakers and Talent

For the second year in a row, Asia Society will host panel discussions honoring Asian filmmakers and talent at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. The first of three panels is “Producers: Women Hold Up Half the Sky at Sundance” and features veteran producers of numerous Sundance films: Nina Yang Bongiovi and Mynette Louie, and film financier Naja Lockwood. The second panel “Directors:  Telling Original Stories” features directors Edson Oda, writer/director of Nine Days (U.S. Dramatic Competition), and Bao Nguyen, director Be Water (U.S. Documentary Competition). “Actors: Cutting it on the Big Screen” features actors in this year’s U.S. Dramatic Competition films at Sundance. They are Chris Pang (Palm Springs, Crazy Rich Asians), Benedict Wong (Nine Days, The Martian, The Avengers: Endgame), and Daniel Dae Kim (Blast Beat, Always Be My Maybe, Hellboy).

The panels will take place at the Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah on Saturday, January 25, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

According to the presenters, "'Women hold up half the sky,' as the saying goes in China. So it is at Sundance. Our three female panelists - Nina Yang Bongiovi, Mynette Louie, and Naja Lockwood - are responsible for over a dozen projects at Sundance. Listen to their behind-the-scenes tales of navigating the best indie film festival in the world.

We are experiencing a flourishing of original stories from Asian filmmakers. Edson Oda takes us on a metaphysical and emotionally charged journey in Nine Days, while Bao Nguyen’s Be Water is an insightful look into icon Bruce Lee in the context of Asian American history.

Lately, Asian male actors can take particular pride in their roles on screen, as evidenced by the spectacular performances by some of our stars, both veteran and newly minted.  Chris Pang, Benedict Wong, and Daniel Dae Kim have all been in recent high-profile projects, and are rapidly changing the image of Asian men."

Academy Governor-at-Large and executive producer of The Joy Luck Club Janet Yang will moderate the candid conversations that will dive deep into the motivations behind these strong storytellers and what their contributions could mean for the industry ahead.

Panelists include:

Nina Yang Bongiovi, Producer, Fruitvale Station and Roxanne, Roxanne

Mynette Louie, Producer, I Carry You with Me

Naja Lockwood, co-founder of Game Changer Films

Bao Nguyen, director/producer, Be Water

Edson Oda, Writer/Director, Nine Days

Chris Pang, actor, Palm Springs, Crazy Rich Asians

Benedict Wong, actor, Nine Days, The Martian, The Avengers: Endgame

Daniel Dae Kim, actor/producer, Blast Beat; actor, Always Be My Maybe, Hellboy

This special program is presented by Asia Society Northern California, Asia Society Southern California, and Harbour.

Panels will be followed by an invitation-only reception co-hosted by Asia Society, Gold House, and XRM Media.

About Asia Society
Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is the leading educational institution dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships across people, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, the Society provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration to address present challenges and create a shared future. Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution with headquarters in New York, major centers with buildings in Hong Kong and Houston, and offices in Los Angeles, Manila, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Washington, DC, Tokyo, and Zurich.