Exclusive: The Coalition of Asian Pacific in Entertainment and Janet Young Productions have announced the four winners of the inaugural Julia S. Gow Short Film Challenge, which provides AAP 15,000 production grants to four AAPI female or non-binary filmmakers.
Selected from a pool of more than 400 applicants, the four grantees will have the opportunity to network with Emmy and Golden Globe-winning producers Janet Young and CAPE Networks, as well as the opportunity to submit films to potential buyers and platforms.
Julia S. Gouw, East West Bancorp, Inc. And a member of the East West Bank Board of Directors, funded the Short Film Challenge to promote AAPI and non-binary filmmakers.
“There was no better team than Janet [Yang] And the all-female leadership team at CAPE to meet my vision for more representation in the AAPI community, ”said Gouw. “I hope this film challenge provides more opportunities, especially for AAPI women and non-binary filmmakers, to continue the stories about us and us.”
Young added that he also noticed a lack of a specific voice in Hollywood and wanted to provide a platform for their creative approach.
“I had a theory that many incredibly qualified women and non-binary Asian filmmakers did not get enough attention. This theory proved to be true when we received a large number of submissions, “Young added. “It’s thrilling and satisfying to broaden the voice of this talented group, but it’s heartbreakingly difficult to pick just four winners.”
2022 Julia S. The biographies of the winners of the Gow Short Film Challenge are as follows:
Banban Cheng (star): Banban Cheng is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker who spent his childhood in Chinese stand-up comedy in Houston, Texas. Since then, they have done business writing, making movies and podcasting. They co-wrote the feature film, Lucky grandmother, A dark comedy starring Tsai Chin about aging, fate and a discount bodyguard, set on the narrow streets of Chinatown, Manhattan. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019 and is currently being distributed by Good Deed Entertainment.
Lease Sergeant (he / she): Lease Sergeant is a Korean American adopter and NY Emmy-winning writer / director working in NYC and Cyprus. In his work, Sergeant brings honesty and subtlety to adoption, disability and family themes. His short, “Strangers Reunion,” was chosen by Ritz-Carlton and Hearst as a consultant to Mike Figgis and produced by RSA Hong Kong. The film won Best Director at Cannes Diversity and Best Screenplay at the London Brand Film Festival. Sergeant incorporates his extensive background as a choreographer in his commercial and experimental work alike. He was the Top 3 Finalist of 2022 for Shondland Directing Mentorship.
Ragini Vasin (he / she): Ragini Vasin is a South Asian filmmaker currently living in Los Angeles. A graduate of Chapman University, he has made award-winning films, such as ‘Ghazal’ and ‘Las Escondidas’, which have starred in numerous Oscar-winning festivals. His work was distributed by ARTE Channel, ShortsTV, and Argo Channel. She is also the recipient of the Meredith Macrae Memorial Award for Women in Film, the Maya Darren Short Film Innovation Prize for Fame Filmmakers, the BAFTA LA Newcomers Program 2021, and the Alliance for Women in Media Menti 2021. Currently, he hosts an Unscripted Digital Series for Jubilee Media’s YouTube channel.
Soma Helmi (he / she): Born to an Indonesian father and a Polish mother, Bali is a native of Jakarta. Walter began his career as Thompson’s art director and later worked as a creative consultant for Katherine Hardwick. Helmy directed Season 3 of the original Snapchat series The Intelligence agency for dead girls, And his work has been screened at Sundance, Outfest and many others at Amazon’s New Voice Film Festival. She is a Fellow of the 2021 ViacomCBS Paramount Directors Program, author of the 2021 CAPE List, and one of the “8 Directors to Watch” nominated by the Alliance of Women Directors.
This year’s jurors included Trin Tran (executive producer, Marvel Studios), Yaneta Leigh (Sundance Institute), Munica Le (VP, Film, Miramax), Angela C. Lee (Film Independent), Dantram Nguyen (Searchlight Pictures), (Mr. & Company), Producer Naomi Scott (Getin ‘Rod Productions), Karen Chow (The Walt Disney Company), Adele B. Lim (Writer, Crazy Rich Asian), Sammy Kim Falway (President, Picturestart), Kelly Mary Tran, and Nitish Shah (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences).
Jema Chan (Eternals), actor and executive producer Kelly Mary Tran (Raya and the Last Dragon), actress Richa Murjani (Never Have I Ever), and director Lulu Wang (The Farewell) have acted as ambassadors for the Short Film Challenge.