The Asian American Artists Foundation (A3 Foundation) has announced a new collaboration with the Sundance Institute to establish the A3 Sundance Institute Director/Screenwriting Fellowship, which will support a talented artist with an Asian American-themed project from among the Fellows selected by the prestigious Sundance Institute Feature Film Program Directing or Screenwriting Lab.
The announcement took place on Jan. 21 at a special reception during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “Sundance Institute has long supported storytellers of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and our collaboration with A3 Foundation further underscores that commitment.”
The A3 Foundations mission is to diversify and support Asian American voices and faces in American media through television, film and online digital media.
According to A3 Foundation, traditional American media, Asian Americans represent less than 3% of total characters on television, while representing 5% of the US population.
However, Asian American artists have gained a stronger presence recently in new media, for example the top five independent YouTube creators have accumulated a total of over 3.5 billion views and 20 million subscribers.
With their background in the tech industry, former Facebook Facebook employees, Phil Fung, Julia Lam and Franklyn Chien felt the need to address the imbalance and formed the A3 Foundation to influence change within the entertainment industry and support Asian American artists in all media platforms.
“Our goal with this fellowship is to invest in our own artists and help them to build their talent and creative skillset,” said Phil Fung – A3 Foundation CEO. “By partnering with Sundance Institute, we hope to increase the number of writers who can create a diverse range of characters, influence casting directors who will be open to Asian American actors in non-explicitly Asian American roles, and support experienced Asian American actors who are ready to take the roles. The time to change the perceptions of Asian Americans in the media has never been more culturally relevant than it is now.”
Through last year’s A3 Fellows Program, the foundation established fellowship opportunities at two of the largest digital media outlets in the nation: Wong Fu Productions and filmmaker Justin Lin’s YOMYOMF (YouOffendMeYouOffendMyFamily.com) networks, where fellows received funding and mentorship.
“We want our up and coming artists to connect with established talent, so that they could learn and be mentored by these media trailblazers,” adds founder Julia Lam. “Our goal is to invest in talented people and help them succeed as our storytellers to tell Asian American stories. Working with both YOMYOMF and WONG FU has been great, as these entities are the leaders in digital media.”
For more information and to find out how you can participate, please visit the A3 Foundation website at http://www.a3-foundation.org
Source: A3 Foundation