Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

Facebook Employees Launch Foundation to Fund Asian Artists at Sundance

By Jon Fougner | Indiewire January 30, 2013 at 10:10AM

Last week at the Sundance Film Festival, Facebook engineer Phil Fung and former employees Julia Lam and Franklyn Chien announced a partnership with the Sundance Institute to support Asian American artists here at the Filmmaker’s Lodge on Monday, Jan. 21. The non-profit A3 Foundation will sponsor an emerging artist with an Asian American-themed project to participate in the Sundance Director’s Lab and Screenwriter’s Lab. The Labs accept roughly 25 of 2,000 applicants each year, says Fung. Founded last year and officially launched at the Sundance announcement, A3—the Asian American Artists Foundation—aims to increase the representation of Asian Americans in front of and behind the camera. Asian Americans represent fewer than 3% of TV characters but 5% of the U.S. population, according to A3. “How can we help Asian Americans be portrayed as more than the nerd, or the engineer, or the doctor, or the dominatrix, or the ninja?” Lam says she and her co-founders starting asking each other a year ago. Fung spoke with Indiewire about his childhood without watching Asian Americans on TV. “Growing up, all three of us—Julia, Franklyn and I—we all saw that we didn’t have any representation in media,” he says. “In digital media, there’s less barriers to entry, and so the amount of diversity you see is much greater than you see in traditional media. Asian Americans are doing really well: Four out of the top 20 YouTube videos are by Asian Americans, so we want to help support that.” The Foundation’s first grants, $10,000 to $20,000 fellowships awarded last year before the Sundance partnership, went to digital media outlets Wong Fu Productions and YOMYOMF (YouOffendMeYouOffendMyFamily.com). Along with the grants came mentorship from more seasoned artists, Lam says. On hand for the launch, Daniel Dae Kim (Lost, Hawaii Five-0) spoke about the challenges of coming up in the entertainment industry without Asian American role models and applauded A3 for its efforts. Explaining his choice to narrate Chinese American filmmaker Evan Jackson Leong’s “Linsanity” (2013 Sundance Film Festival), Kim says: “The question was asked to me: Have I worked with a lot of Asian American directors? And the answer is no. And it’s not because I haven’t wanted to. It’s because I haven’t been asked. And I find that to be peculiar.” “It’s tough to be bold, and I think that A3 is being tremendously bold,” says Anne Lai, the Creative Producing Initiatives Director of Sundance’s Feature Film Program. “The Sundance Institute in particular has been doing a wonderful job showcasing a huge array of talent from many different diversity groups,” Fung says, including Justin Lin (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) with his solo directorial debut “Better Luck Tomorrow” (2002 Sundance Film Festival). Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam says that the “collaboration with A3 Foundation further underscores” the Institute’s commitment to diversity. “I also think Asian American philanthropy is not at where it should be and we . . . want to set an example,” Fung says. He is one of the six top individual donors to the Sundance Institute over the past year, according to Institute publications.
0
A3 Logo

Last week at the Sundance Film Festival, Facebook engineer Phil Fung and former employees Julia Lam and Franklyn Chien announced a partnership with the Sundance Institute to support Asian American artists here at the Filmmaker’s Lodge on Monday, Jan. 21. The non-profit A3 Foundation will sponsor an emerging artist with an Asian American-themed project to participate in the Sundance Director’s Lab and Screenwriter’s Lab. The Labs accept roughly 25 of 2,000 applicants each year, says Fung.

Founded last year and officially launched at the Sundance announcement, A3—the Asian American Artists Foundation—aims to increase the representation of Asian Americans in front of and behind the camera. Asian Americans represent fewer than 3% of TV characters but 5% of the U.S. population, according to A3. “How can we help Asian Americans be portrayed as more than the nerd, or the engineer, or the doctor, or the dominatrix, or the ninja?” Lam says she and her co-founders starting asking each other a year ago.

Fung spoke with Indiewire about his childhood without watching Asian Americans on TV. “Growing up, all three of us—Julia, Franklyn and I—we all saw that we didn’t have any representation in media,” he says. “In digital media, there’s less barriers to entry, and so the amount of diversity you see is much greater than you see in traditional media. Asian Americans are doing really well: Four out of the top 20 YouTube videos are by Asian Americans, so we want to help support that.” The Foundation’s first grants, $10,000 to $20,000 fellowships awarded last year before the Sundance partnership, went to digital media outlets Wong Fu Productions and YOMYOMF (YouOffendMeYouOffendMyFamily.com). Along with the grants came mentorship from more seasoned artists, Lam says.

On hand for the launch, Daniel Dae Kim (Lost, Hawaii Five-0) spoke about the challenges of coming up in the entertainment industry without Asian American role models and applauded A3 for its efforts. Explaining his choice to narrate Chinese American filmmaker Evan Jackson Leong’s “Linsanity” (2013 Sundance Film Festival), Kim says: “The question was asked to me: Have I worked with a lot of Asian American directors? And the answer is no. And it’s not because I haven’t wanted to. It’s because I haven’t been asked. And I find that to be peculiar.”

“It’s tough to be bold, and I think that A3 is being tremendously bold,” says Anne Lai, the Creative Producing Initiatives Director of Sundance’s Feature Film Program.

“The Sundance Institute in particular has been doing a wonderful job showcasing a huge array of talent from many different diversity groups,” Fung says, including Justin Lin (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) with his solo directorial debut “Better Luck Tomorrow” (2002 Sundance Film Festival). Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam says that the “collaboration with A3 Foundation further underscores” the Institute’s commitment to diversity. 

“I also think Asian American philanthropy is not at where it should be and we . . . want to set an example,” Fung says. He is one of the six top individual donors to the Sundance Institute over the past year, according to Institute publications.

(The author is a former Facebook employee as a Principal in Product Monetization.)

This article is related to: News, Sundance Film Festival






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More