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Strong Asian Lead
Strong Asian Lead
Strong Asian Lead
We are recognized as the Asian American Film School. With a focus on education, community building, and mentorship, we provide resources and opportunities for the entertainment and arts community to nurture their careers and flourish as artists. Additionally, we serve as the largest pan-Asian, cross-departmental database of Asian Americans in entertainment. Vision: We envisage a vibrant film industry where Asian American narratives become integral to the mainstream American narrative. Our aim is to transform Hollywood's perspective, making Asian American stories the norm rather than the exception. Goal: Our objective is to educate thousands of Asian American creatives annually, aiding them in thriving in their careers rather than merely surviving. Our inclusive, community-centric approach helps combat the historical underrepresentation and stereotyping of Asian Americans in film. We aspire to influence major studios to support narratives written, produced, and directed by Asian Americans. History: Founded during the early days of the pandemic, our journey began with a podcast highlighting emerging talent. We became a popular room on clubhouse hosting weekly (sometimes daily) town halls for creatives to vent, ask questions, and discuss topics surrounding Asian American entertainment. Current Activities: Today, we serve as a comprehensive resource for Asian American creatives, hosting monthly networking events and screenings. In addition, we maintain a 24/7 accessible online platform for collaboration, learning, and community building.
About the Organization:
$50,000 - $100,000
Asian American representation in Hollywood is historically inadequate, with films often perpetuating stereotypes and objectification. (We'll spare you the immense data to back this up, especially since you've probably heard it already). Despite the longstanding underrepresentation and stereotyping of Asian Americans in Hollywood, there have been recent strides towards more diversity. A UCLA report noted an improvement in racial and gender diversity among television workers between 2019 and 2020, largely driven by the popularity of streaming services and a shift in demographics. While there's been an influx of award-winning features that highlight the narratives of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, it's crucial to continue this momentum and not just rely on established celebrities. The growth of the Asian American arts community signifies a need for more platforms that encourage, empower, and educate a new wave of storytellers. We need a program and system that serves the many, not the few. Most programs only take a selection of 10 creatives to pair with a mentor or get support. That is an unsustainable model as our community exponentially grows in demand and amount of creatives trying to break in. Selecting only the top 10 also creates a competitive system, which is non-collaborative and divides rather than unifies. As Hollywood evolves with new trends, formats, labor laws, and artificial intelligence, it's vital to ensure that Asian Americans receive education and opportunities beyond conventional film school or college. This would further diversify the stories being told and challenge the monolithic representation often seen in media. This encapsulates the problem we aim to address: increasing the amount of representation and narrative depth of Asian American stories in film and television. Our mission is to provide resources and education to emerging Asian American creatives, advocating for a more diverse and accurate representation of our community in the media.
Our programs and services are designed to engage, support, and inspire the communities we serve, offering unique avenues for artistic growth and success. Here's an overview of our key initiatives: Legacy Screening Series: This program celebrates the rich history and influence of Asian American cinema by honoring the work of Asian American filmmakers through curated retrospectives and screenings. By shedding light on unique perspectives and stories, we enable the community to appreciate the diverse cinematic heritage of Asian Americans, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of our cultural contributions. Creative Directory: Our comprehensive pan-Asian directory functions as a pipeline for emerging creatives to break into Hollywood. By fostering connections and collaborations, this tool is pivotal in diversifying the industry and spotlighting the unique talents of our community. Monthly Networking Events: These events provide a platform for Asian American professionals, artists, and cultural practitioners to connect, collaborate, and build relationships. By bringing together community members in a supportive and inclusive environment, we foster a sense of community, encouraging the exchange of experiences and ideas, leading to collective growth and advancement in the industry. Screenwriting: Catering specifically to Asian American storytellers, our professional screenwriting services offer script analysis, feedback, and guidance. Our experienced team of screenwriters support writers in refining their craft and developing authentic, compelling stories. We provide constructive critiques, industry insights, and practical tools, enhancing writers' skills and increasing their industry preparedness. Thousand Lanterns Mentorship Initiative: This initiative pairs emerging Asian filmmakers with seasoned mentors in the entertainment industry. Through personalized feedback, industry insights, and career guidance, we empower the new generation of Asian American storytellers. The support and opportunities provided through this program help develop skills, expand networks, and build confidence, nurturing the aspiring talents in their journey. Strong Asian Lead's unique approach lies in its dedication to both celebrate the contributions of Asian Americans to cinema and to invest in the potential of emerging talents. We strive to create spaces for community connection, collaboration, and cultural expression, thereby contributing to a vibrant and diverse Asian American artistic landscape.