diversity festival


“No, I have not seen anything. For me, this is a very big conversation. When I think of my contemporary filmmakers, most of the work they’re making doesn’t address this or even feature any non-white actors. Film is inherently white and male. When I was working on costumes, I would be the only person on the set who was a person of color. I’m talking about a set of anywhere from 50 to 200 people. It starts behind the scenes as well. The question of diversity is a question of who is putting the work together. It’s a much larger conversation, and it’s about making changes behind as well as in front of the camera. Who’s doing the casting? Who’s the producer? This isn’t an attack on white directors; I’m not into that, but… You go to a festival like SXSW, Sundance, or Tribeca, and you find most of the filmmakers are white.

I even see it in myself, trying to be more inclusive in my work. I’ve been on the set where I’m the only person who is black. It’s incredibly challenging. It’s important for me to look around the room and see it the way I see the world, which is in multiple shades.”

Janicza Bravo is a filmmaker you need to know — now. Melina Gills explains why.

(Source: tribecafilm.com)

Spa Night / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Ahn) — A young Korean-American man works to reconcile his obligations to his struggling immigrant family with his burgeoning sexual desires in the underground world of gay hookups at Korean spas in Los Angeles.

I was scouted through my Tumblr to audition for the lead in this film two Februaries ago and after an extensive year-long audition process, I luckily ended up an Art Director. To art direct a Sundance-selected indie was a college dream I didn’t know I’d accomplish so soon, and the fact that it’s an American film that showcases LGBT people of color made it that much more important. It shot over the month of June and the work was rewarding but grueling–I might have showered a total of maybe 6 or 7 times that month. I’m art directing one more short film, but I learned through this whole almost-serendipitous experience that I need a career change. I truly believe in the power of speaking things into existence so I’m saying this now, I will gain visibility as a storyteller through screenwriting and acting so that further down the line, I can use my platform and network to open an agency that solely represents LGBT/ethnic minority actors and screenwriters in an effort to diversify the film industry. That is the contribution I want to make in the world.

We in the book community are in the middle of a sustained conversation about diversity. We talk about our need for diverse books with diverse characters written by diverse writers. I wholeheartedly agree.

But I have noticed an undercurrent of fear in many of our discussions. We’re afraid of writing characters different from ourselves because we’re afraid of getting it wrong. We’re afraid of what the Internet might say.

This fear can be a good thing if it drives us to do our homework, to be meticulous in our cultural research. But this fear crosses the line when we become so intimidated that we quietly make choices against stepping out of our own identities.

After all, our job as writers is to step out of ourselves, and to encourage our readers to do the same.

I told you the story of Dwayne McDuffie to encourage all of us to be generous with ourselves and with one another. The Black Panther, despite his flaws, was able to inspire a young African American reader to become a writer.

We have to allow ourselves the freedom to make mistakes, including cultural mistakes, in our first drafts. I believe it’s okay to get cultural details wrong in your first draft. It’s okay if stereotypes emerge. It just means that your experience is limited, that you’re human.

Just make sure you iron them out before the final draft. Make sure you do your homework. Make sure your early readers include people who are a part of the culture you’re writing about. Make sure your editor has the insider knowledge to help you out. If they don’t, consider hiring a freelance editor who does.

Also, it’s okay if stereotypes emerge in the first drafts of your colleagues. Correct them – definitely correct them – but do so in a spirit of generosity. Remember how soul-wrenching the act of writing is, how much courage it took for that writer to put words down on a page.

And let’s say you do your best. You put in all the effort you can. But then when your book comes out, the Internet gets angry. You slowly realize that, for once, the Internet might be right. You made a cultural misstep. If this happens, take comfort in the fact that even flawed characters can inspire. Apologize if necessary, resolve do better, and move on.

Let your fear drive you to do your homework. But no matter what, don’t ever let your fear stop you.


Gene Luen Yang on how to create a diverse universe of characters, speaking at the National Book Festival gala

External image


Diversity Is Reality

Danny DeVito doesn’t mess around.

Speaking on the controversy surrounding the Oscars’ lack of diversity while at the Sundance Film Festival, the actor said, “It’s unfortunate that the entire country is a racist country.”

DeVito added, “We are living in a country that discriminates and has certain racial tendencies which – racist tendencies – so sometimes it’s manifested in things like this and it’s illuminated, but just generally speaking we’re a racist – we’re a bunch of racists.”- Huffington Post

Originally posted by wyattfamilybbq


Part 1 of Megan & Liz’s episode of 46 Hours is here!

LAFF 2015 aimed for diverse film fest lineup and dug deep to find it
While scouting movies for this year's Los Angeles Film Festival , organizers got accustomed to having awkward conversations with agents, managers and studio executives. "We'd tell them, 'Our priority is presenting diverse points of view,' and there was an uncomfortable silence," festival director Stephanie Allain said. "They'd say, 'Well, we don't have any female directors, and we don't have any directors of color.'" That's the kind of response Hollywood usually gives when pressed about opening up its directing ranks to more women and minorities. But it didn't satisfy the LAFF leaders, who instead went on their own talent hunt, which involved delving deeper into unusual sources and actively seeking unconventional points of view. (Click to read more)
By Los Angeles Times


Part of Fat Kid Weekend was the Diversity Festival.  I would say that the premise of it was to gather around clubs and show off what they can do with a mystery ingredient (that might have been today, which I didn’t get in until 3 PM).  But on Saturday, many clubs were handing out food for a 5 dollar wristband’s worth (if this is only one plate out of many, just imagine.)  

With that said, I don’t know if I put up a Pad Thai pic back in the past, but I wouldn’t regret it if I posted another picture of it here.  Speaking of which, have I mentioned that one time when Nam (one of my Thai friends) gave me her Pad Thai recipe?  That was golden.