Last year was a momentous year for Asians in Hollywood. “Crazy Rich Asians” not only won the box office several weeks in a row, it broke the misconception that there would not be an audience for an all-Asian film — especially one not centered on martial arts. Most importantly, it has sustained momentum, so that it would ensure that more Asian films – displaying all types of Asianness (ahem, you know Asia is pretty big, right?)– would be developed. And Boom, the biggest sale out of Sundance so far is “Late Night”, directed by Nisha Ganatra, and produced, written by and starring Mindy Kaling. In addition, Awkwafina who stole CRA is the star of two projects at Sundance, including “The Farewell” which is written and directed by Asian American filmmaker Lulu Wang. This type of follow-up was sorely missing 26 years ago when “Joy Luck Club” hit it big. Let’s hope it continues.
Side note: CRA along with many other Asian-oriented films and performances were overlooked by Oscar. Below is a short list of a wide range of Asian films from 2018 if you want to check them out:
1. Chloé Zhao’s The Rider
2. Searching – starrng John Cho!
3. Lana Condor in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
4. Sandi Tan’s documentary Shirkers
5. Bing Liu’s skateboarding documentary Minding the Gap
6. Lee Chang-dong’s Burning starring Steven Yeun (Glen!)
7. Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters
8. Domee Shi’s animated short Bao