The Unforgettable Gala bridges memories of the past with powerful moments from the present — in celebration of the future.
With a timeless approach and ambition for change, Kore Asian Media dares to dream a bigger dream for Asian American culture. We celebrate and honor the essentials of our collective identity: creativity, diversity, and growth at the 16th Annual Unforgettable Gala.
Leonardo Nam has gained global fans through his role as the lab technician Felix Lutz on the critically acclaimed, award-winning HBO series “Westworld.” Based on the original 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name, the series brings to life a futuristic amusement park intended for rich vacationers populated by robotic “hosts,” ultimately indulging their wildest fantasies and desires. “Westworld” premiered its first season in October 2016 and received a slew of highly esteemed nominations, including these accolades, which include: 2017 Golden Globe Awards: Best Television Series – Drama (nominated), 2017 SAG Awards: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (nominated), 2016 Critics Choice Television Awards: Most Exciting New Series (won) and Best Drama Series (nominated), to name a few.
Nam is also working on a variety of additional projects including: a supporting role in the indie feature “Puberty” for Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder Films opposite Abbie Cornish, a supporting role in the new Netflix original film “Happy Anniversary” (written and directed by Jared Stern) and a guest star role on the new Comedy Central series “Hampton DeVille.
Born in Argentina to Korean immigrant parents and raised in Sydney, Australia, Nam attended Sydney Technical High School and studied architecture at the University of New South Wales. To pursue his dream of becoming an actor, Leonardo moved to New York at 19. There he studied drama at the critically acclaimed HB Studio and also worked with the New York Public Theater/Shakespeare in the Park company and Sigourney Weaver and Jim Simpson’s The Bats Theater Company. His breakout role came in the Paramount comedy “The Perfect Score,” starring Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans and Erika Christensen. Since then he has starred in a string of movies, namely “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” 1 & 2, “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” “Vantage Point,” “He’s Just Not That Into You,” “One for the Money,” and most recently in the Sam Raimi production “Murder of a Cat.”
Maggie Q stars as F.B.I Agent Hannah Wells on ABC’s hit drama “Designated Survivor,” currently in its second season.
She is best known for her role on the CW’s successful action series “Nikita,” which chronicled the story of a rogue assassin (played by Q) who returns to take down the secret organization that trained her, for four seasons.
In March 2014, Maggie starred as Tori in Summit Entertainment’s box office hit “Divergent,” alongside Shailene Woodley and Theo James, and returned in “Allegiant,” which was released in March of 2016.
Maggie also starred in the independent cyber thriller “Jekyll Island,” alongside Minnie Driver, Dianna Agron and Ed Westwick. Additional film credits include “Mission Impossible III,” “Live Free or Die Hard,” “Deception,” “New York, I Love You,” “Balls of Fury,” “House of Harmony,” “Rush Hour 2,” “The Warrior and the Wolf” and Daniel Lee’s “Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon,” “Dragon Squad,” “Naked Weapon” and “Gen-X Cops 2: Metal Mayhem.
Maggie Q is a native of Honolulu, Hawaii. She is an animal and human rights activist through her support of programs such as PETA, Best Friends, WildAid, Kageno and the Washington D.C. based PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine).
Ross Butler is emerging as a prominent player in Hollywood’s next generation. Variety Magazine named him one of 10 TV Stars to Watch in 2017. Butler currently portrays the popular basketball jock Zach Dempsey in the binge-worthy Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why”. This high school drama-mystery has become one of the most watched shows of all time for the live streaming conglomerate and became the most tweeted show of 2017. Butler’s dedication to his craft and urge to break free from typecasting has earned him extraordinary praise and created a much bigger conversation about Asian Americans in diversity.
Butler first began his acting career in 2010, when he left his path toward chemical engineering at Ohio State University for a life in front of the camera. He made his acting debut opposite, Zendaya, on Disney Channel’s “K.C. Undercover,” and Disney’s smash hit “Teen Beach 2,” MTV’s most watched series and cult classic, “Teen Wolf,” and most recently as Reggie Mantle in The CW’s critically acclaimed series “Riverdale.”
Nora Lum, known by the moniker Awkwafina, is a rapper, comedian, television host and actress from New York City. Born to a South Korean mother and Chinese-American father, she was raised primarily by her grandmother in Forest Hills, Queens, where she attended LaGuardia High School of Music & Art for the trumpet.
Awkwafina is best known for her breakout single and music video “My Vag,” which went viral on YouTube in 2012. After self-producing and releasing her first album “Yellow Ranger” in 2014, she was added to the cast of MTV’s “Girl Code” and “Girl Code Live.” Later that year, she began filming the first season of her web series “Tawk,” which was named an Official Honoree in the 2016 Webby Awards. She was cast in her first film later that year with Seth Rogen and Zac Efron in “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.” The part led to roles in three more films, including a lead role in the highly-anticipated summer blockbuster “Ocean’s 8” alongside Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna and others. Last spring, she was added to the cast of “Crazy Rich Asians” as the part of Peik Lin.
Filmmaker and actor, Justin Chon richly deserved the major attention he enjoyed at this year’s Sundance Film Festival for his film “Gook,” where he took home the Next Audience Award. Set during the 1992 L.A. Riots, the film centers on the relationship between an African American girl and two Korean brothers who own a shoe store in Paramount, California. The film was inspired by events from Chon’s own childhood. He was born in South Korea and grew up in California’s Bay Area, where he helped out at his parents’ beauty supply store. In August 2017, the limited national release of “Gook” opened to widespread critical acclaim and a positive public reception.
Although Chon is known worldwide for his role as Eric Yorkie in the “Twilight” series, he has also appeared in a recurring role on the ABC sitcom “Dr. Ken” and will star in the new and highly anticipated ABC drama series “Deception.” Chon also wrote, produced and starred in his own independent film “Man Up.” Other starring film credits include “Seoul Searching,” the Martin Scorsese executive produced feature “Revenge of the Green Dragons” and “21 and Over” from the creators of “The Hangover.” Other credits include “From the Rough” opposite Taraji P. Henson, “Crossing Over” opposite Harrison Ford, and many others.
Chloe kicked off the 2016-17 season winning Gold medals at the Copper Grand Prix and LAAX Open, pushing her consecutive event win streak to eight. She went on to win Bronze at X Games and the first World Cup Crystal Globe of her career. Chloe finished the season defending her Gold medal at the Burton US Open, cementing her status as the top female halfpipe rider in the world heading into the 2018 Olympics.
During the 2015-16 season, Chloe won six Gold and two Silver medals. Chloe season highlights included defending her X Games Gold medal, becoming the first X Games athlete to win two Golds before the age of 16. Chloe continued to break new ground in women’s snowboarding, becoming the first woman to land back-to-back 1080s and score a perfect 100.
Chloe made history during the 2014-15 season when she became the youngest competitor (at 14 years old) to win a winter X Games Gold medal.
2013-14 was Chloe’s breakout season. The year began with a Bronze medal at the Dew Tour and continued with Chloe grabbing Silver at X Games. She finished the season with another Silver at the Burton US Open – all at the age of 13.
Chloe has had just as much success off of the mountain as she has had on it, being featured on Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2017, TIME’s 30 Most Influential Teens of 2016, and espnW’s 2015 IMPACT25 list. In addition, Chloe has been nominated for an ESPY, Kids Choice Sports Award, and two Laureus World Sports Awards.
Chloe qualified to make the 2014 Olympic Halfpipe team, but due to her age and IOC rules, was unable to compete, setting up her debut on the Olympics stage in Korea in 2018. Chloe’s first tracks on a snowboard were at the age of four and she began competing when she was six. Chloe, whose parents emigrated from Korea, now lives in Los Angeles with her family.
Photo Credit: Getty Sports.
Daniel Dae Kim continues his string of multifaceted and stereotype-breaking roles as an actor, director and producer. Prior to his seven-season portrayal of Chin Ho Kelly on “Hawaii Five-0”, Kim was best known for his role as Jin Soo Kwon on the hit TV series “Lost,” for which he shared a 2006 Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble, and was individually honored with an AZN Asian Excellence Award, a Multicultural Prism Award and a Vanguard Award from the Korean American Coalition, all for Outstanding Performance by an Actor. In 2009, he was recognized with the prestigious KoreAm Achievement Award in the field of Arts and Entertainment, and has twice been named one of PEOPLE Magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive.”
Born in Busan, South Korea, and raised in New York and Pennsylvania, Kim discovered acting while a student at Haverford College. After graduation, he moved to New York City, where he began his career on stage, performing in classics such as “Romeo and Juliet,” “Ivanov,” and “A Doll’s House,” Despite early success, he decided to deepen his knowledge of the craft by enrolling at New York University’s Graduate Acting Program, where he earned his Master’s Degree. After receiving his MFA, Kim’s film career began in earnest with roles in “The Jackal,” “For Love of the Game,” “The Hulk,” “Spider-Man 2” and “The Cave,” as well as the Academy Award-winning “Crash.” Most recently, he created the role of Jack Kang for “Insurgent,” and “Allegiant” of the “Divergent Series.”
Most recently, he received a Broadway Beacon Award for his role as the King of Siam in Lincoln Center’s Tony award-winning production of “The King and I,” as well as the Theater Legacy Award from New York’s Pan Asian Repertory Theater. Outside of his artistic endeavors, he actively pursues interests in the community at large, having most recently served as Cultural Envoy and Member of the U.S. Presidential Delegation for the United States at the World Expo in Korea.
Grace Park is a fan-favorite for her starring roles on the critically acclaimed series “Battlestar Galactica,” in which she played not one, but two leading roles (Boomer and Athena). Her performance garnered her a place in TV Guide’s “100 Most Memorable Moments in TV History.”
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Canada, Park received a degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia before turning her attention to film and television. Her performance in “The Border” earned a nomination for a Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Dramatic Role.
Solidifying herself as a staple in the entertainment industry, Grace Park’s seven-season-run on “Hawaii Five-0” brought heart, suspense, tragedy and sensuality to the iconic role of Kono Kalakaua. As a result, she was nominated in both 2011 and 2012 for a Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actress: Action.
Park has earned a nomination for Outstanding Newcomer Award in 2006 by the Asian Excellence Awards for her artistry. In 2010, she received the Achievement Award in Entertainment from KoreAm. In 2014, Park was honored with the APEX Inspiration Award and inducted into the Asian Hall of Fame.
Dr. Mike Hong is a Korean American philanthropist and entrepreneur, who has been a long-time partner with Kore Asian Media. After founding the Dura Coat Products company in 1986, he has been widely recognized in the Chemistry and Biochemistry fields, receiving a distinguished alumni award from his alma mater, UCLA. Since graduating from UCLA in 1959, Dr. Mike Hong has given the commencement address as well at donating influential funds to the biochemistry and chemistry departments.
Alongside his massive success in business, Dr. Hong separates himself from the rest of the pack through his utter commitment to philanthropy and dedication to promoting and celebrating the Korean American diaspora. Honored by a number of publications and organizations for his trailblazing humanitarianism. Dr. Hong continues to pave the way for generations to come in his devotion to raising the bar in the Korean American community.
Ted Chung is a music industry institution. Since 1999, he has judiciously helmed Snoop’s creative and prolific career. Chung has also successfully launched profitable media companies, marketing agencies, and entertainment ventures. All along the way, he has exhibited a flair for street-level grassroots marketing. “I started out DJ’ing and producing music in high school, which led me to the business side: I began meeting guys who represented and promoted music to DJs, and they introduced me to the world of street-team marketing,” Chung recently told “Billboard Magazine.”
A native of Palos Verdes, California, Chung is the son of Korean immigrants and graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania with a specialization in Entertainment Marketing. He and his cousin Seung Chung co-founded the Cashmere Agency in a borrowed one-room office in 1998. Soon after, he started Stampede Management with Snoop as his longtime client. Cashmere Agency and Stampede Management is now generously housed in an enormous warehouse space in Playa del Rey with plenty of space for their 40+ millennial staff to work their marketing magic on brands like Red Bull, Adidas, Netflix, E!, Sony Pictures and the Korean mobile-games company Com2uS.
Jeannie Mai is a style expert, television personality and executive producer. Jeannie can be seen as one of four energetic co-hosts on the Fox’s Emmy Nominated talk show “The Real.” Bringing her sassy personality and her style expertise to the forefront Jeannie has been a recurring fashion correspondent for many popular shows such as “Today Show,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “Insider” and “E! News.” Mai will also be joining TBS’ “Snoop Dogg Presents Joker’s Wild” as ‘Lady Luck,’ assisting both Snoop Dogg and the contestants on the popular game show. It has always been Jeannie’s mission to inspire and empower women — recently Jeannie was honored by Ciroc, Variety and WWD Magazine as one of their 2016 Women of Empowerment. She recently executive produced “Stopping Traffic: The Movement to End Sex Trafficking,” a documentary that investigates the international crisis of human sex trafficking from a deeply personal point of view.
Television personality, executive producer and style maven Jeannie Mai brings her energetic and infectious personality into homes across America every day as the co-host of the daytime syndicated talk show “The Real.” Now in its fourth season, “The Real” airs live on Fox and is broadcast on BET. Emmy-nominated for Outstanding Talk Show, Jeannie along with three other bold, diverse and outspoken hosts reflect the home audience by unapologetically saying what real women are actually thinking. Jeannie’s unique perspectives are brought to life through candid conversations about topics ranging from her own personal life to daily news headlines to beauty, fashion and relationships.
Prior to “The Real,” Jeannie was known as the sassy host of Style Network’s Emmy-nominated show “How Do I Look?” where she utilized her cheeky sense of humor to boost the self-esteem and life goals of women through their style choices. With a vision to empower women worldwide, she brought the success of this American show overseas and is now the executive producer and host of the lively and heartfelt series, “How Do I Look? Asia.”
In addition to her multiple hit television shows, Jeannie has been a recurring fashion correspondent for the “Today Show,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “Insider” and “E! News” where she served as the primary style authority for trend reports and popular awards show coverage. Other credits include hosting GSN’s retro futuristic, skill-based competition series “Steampunk’d” and co-hosting Style Network’s live late-night talk show “Style Pop,” keeping viewers up-to-date on the latest lifestyle trends in fashion, beauty and pop culture. Jeannie was the color commentator for NBC’s Miss USA and Miss Universe competitions along with the red carpet pre-shows for the Golden Globe Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Grammy’s and Oscars. She was also the resident fashion expert dramatically transforming contestants on NBC’s hit series “The Biggest Loser,” “Asia’s Next Top Model” and more. Before “How Do I Look?” Jeannie hosted several specials for Style Network including: “Go Fix Yourself,” “Dude,” “Where’s Your Style?” and “Lucky Shops,” in conjunction with Lucky magazine and their series “Tips Today” conjointly with the “Today Show” opposite Natalie Morales. Prior to her work with Style Network and NBC, Jeannie was part of the beauty squad on the hit TLC series “10 Years Younger” and also was one of the judges on the TLC reality series “Miss America: Reality Check.”
Outside of her television career, Jeannie has been a brand ambassador for numerous companies including: Macy’s, Colgate, Yoplait, The Limited, Microsoft, Biogen, David’s Bridal, Ford, Avon, Splenda and Woolite. In the digital realm, Jeannie was the resident contributor to Perez Hilton’s fashion site Cocoperez.com. She hosted the first-ever stylist competition on YouTube Maker’s “The Next Style Star” and was the digital correspondent for NBC’s “Fashion Star.” Her popularity on television and social media paved the way for Jeannie to become a frequent live event emcee for BeautyCon, which is America’s largest global beauty experience for millennials and digital content creators.
Before becoming a television personality and household style expert, Jeannie was a celebrity makeup artist and stylist from San Jose, California. Throughout her career, she has worked with many celebrities including: Sarah Jessica Parker, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Aniston, Christina Aguilera and Kelly Osbourne. She premiered on the Emmy-nominated Asian American television magazine show “Stir.” After gaining attention for her spunky personality and knack for style, Jeannie became an entertainment reporter and producer of the WB’s “Daily Mixx” before moving to Los Angeles to host MTV’s “Granted” alongside Frankie Muniz. Her big break came when she was tapped to host “Character Fantasy” on USA Network and eventually became a regular correspondent for “Extra” alongside Mario Lopez.
Jeannie has made it her mission to inspire women. She has received rave reviews as a speaker at events such as Maria Shriver’s The Women’s Conference on the main stage alongside Jane Fonda, Jessica Simpson and Donna Karan. Recently, Jeannie was honored by Ciroc, Variety and WWD Magazine as one of their 2016 Women of Empowerment.
Jeannie’s passion to revolutionize women from the outside in stems from her psychology of style otherwise known as “Wearapy.” She defines Wearapy as her philosophy that personal style and wardrobe can have a transforming and healing effect on a woman’s confidence and mood. Rather than focusing on trends or labels, Jeannie teaches how this practice can lead to a more productive day and in turn a more fulfilling, purposeful life.
Deeply committed to charities that advance women’s interests, Jeannie serves as a board member for organizations, such as Dress for Success and Same Sky, to build the business potential for women. As a first-generation daughter to immigrant Vietnamese and Chinese parents, Jeannie strives to give back to her homeland by frequently traveling to Asia to volunteer her time with inspiring organizations dedicated to helping those who are less fortunate. For the past five years, she has served as an advocate to fight human trafficking. Currently Jeannie is an ambassador for the Pacific Links Foundation, an organization committed to rescuing women and children from sex trafficking and modern-day slavery by providing employment and vocational opportunities. She is also an ambassador for Step Up whose mission is to propel girls from under-resourced communities to fulfill their potential by empowering them to become confident, college-bound, career-focused, and ready to join the next generation of professional women. Before that, she served as a missionary and ambassador to organizations such as Nightlight International, Not For Sale and Heartbeat Vietnam.
Driven by the power of unity in community, Jeannie travels frequently and uses her social media and blog, (www.theJeannieMai.com), to engage her audience in her daily conversations about social causes, personal style, family, faith, love and life. She is committed to using her voice to celebrate the potential of others. As Jeannie says, “There will always be somebody who can’t see your worth. Don’t let it be you.”
Meet actress/model Karrueche Tran, one of Hollywood’s most beloved starlets. Hailing from Los Angeles, Karrueche began her career in entertainment as a celebrity stylist. With her sweet demeanor and exotic looks, Karrueche leaves a trail of fans and admirers everywhere she goes. It was only after a big break with BET in 2014 that Karrueche began her career as an actress. After a handful of indie film projects, Karrueche eventually got her big break when she was cast in TNT’s “CLAWS” which premiered this summer to rave reviews.
Karrueche got her first taste of being in front of the camera when she hosted the BET Awards red carpet and multiple events during BET Weekend. The experience propelled Karrueche into additional opportunities with the BET family, hosting multiple 106 and Park episodes and BET specials. Over the past two years, Karrueche has continued to perfect her craft and continues to grow as an emerging actress with roles in the films “The Nice Guys”, “A Weekend with the Family”, “:Only for One Night”, and the SXSW award-winning horror film “Welcome to Willits”. Karrueche has also guest starred on the Centric hit series “Single Ladies” and the Emmy-winning series “The Bay.” In 2017, Karrueche co-starred in the Rashida Jones executive produced dramedy “CLAWS,” opposite Niecy Nash. She also completed principal photography starring in Lionsgate’s HONORED.
Karrueche has also had the opportunity to collaborate with some incredible brands including ColourPop, for the launch of her makeup collaboration KaePop, a line of high-end temporary tattoos with Tattify called K-INK, a capsule collection for festival season with This is a Love Song, as well as V/SUAL by Van Styles on a limited edition t-shirt line, which was exclusively sold at PacSun. Her love for fashion and beauty is complimented by her desire to give back through charity and philanthropic endeavors. “Helping those who are facing a challenge is extremely important to me. If you have an opportunity to lend a helping hand to someone in one way or another, you absolutely should.”
Philanthropy has always played a significant role in the young star’s life. Karrueche currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Environmental Media Association’s (EMA), a non-profit organization committed to providing urban school gardens that inspire students to make healthier food choices and have greater self-confidence and leadership skills. As a young EMA board member, Karrueche especially plays a big proponent in inspiring youth. She has donated her time and own investment to the Green My School Program through her ColourPop cosmetics line, as well as currently spearheading The Watt’s Garden Project.
Kirkland, WA, Japanese-American actress Ally Maki moved to Los Angeles when she was fourteen after being scouted by a talent agent. Upon her arrival in Los Angeles, Ally was signed to Columbia Records in the all-girl band “The Valli Girls”. In 2009, Ally was cast as “Dawn” on the ABC Family series “10 Things I Hate About You,” and later followed with the film “Geography Club,” playing “Min,” in 2013.
Now, Ally is showcasing her comedic acting chops in the TBS comedy series “Wrecked” as “Jess,” the fun, feisty, and hopeless romantic of the ensemble cast. The show centers around a group of plane crash survivors adapting to life on a remote island, and adjusting to a new world. “Wrecked” premiered as the Number One Cable Comedy of 2016 and just completed airing its second season, and has been picked up for a third. Ally was recently a celebrity guest on Conan, showing her comedic chops on a national talk show outside of her role on the series.
Other television credits for Ally include recurring roles on the CW series “Privileged,” TNT’s “Franklin and Bash,” and guest starring roles on the series “New Girl,” “2 Broke Girls,” “NCIS,” and “The Big Bang Theory.”
Beyond acting, Ally has been working hard to ensure diversity is being recognized in Hollywood. She recently participated in the Diversity Speaks panel during LA Film Festival along with other well-known Asian American actors in the industry. She also has partnered to support GIRLS INC. and wants to help empower young women.
A three-time Olympian in short track speedskating, Apolo Ohno is the most decorated U.S. Olympic winter athlete of all time with eight medals, including two golds.
Ohno became interested in short track speedskating at age 12 while watching the Olympic Winter Games Lillehammer 1994. Despite his late start, it only took Ohno two years to become the youngest national champion ever, and he went on to win 12 national titles throughout his illustrious career.
Ohno was the first American to win the overall world cup title in the 2000-01 season, and subsequently won the title twice more, in 2003 and 2005. He has at least one medal in each of the Olympic distances: gold in the 500-meter; silver and two bronzes in the 1,000; gold and silver in the 1,500; and two bronzes in the 5,000 relay. In addition, he owns 21 world championship medals (8 golds, 7 silvers, 6 bronzes).
The Seattle native won “Dancing with the Stars” in 2007, appeared on “Project Runway” as a guest judge in 2008, hosted “Minute to Win It” for one season (2012-13) and currently serves as a color commentator for NBC’s “Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge.” In addition, he has worked for NBC at three consecutive Olympics, serving as a sportsdesk reporter at London 2012 and Rio 2016, and as a short track analyst at Sochi 2014.
In recent years Ohno has branched out into new ventures. In 2014, he competed in the Ironman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii. Later that year, he hosted the Apolo Ohno Invitational in conjunction with US Speedskating in Salt Lake City, bringing together the top speedskaters in the nation for a weekend of friendly competition.
Ohno is a Special Olympics Global Ambassador and travels the world for the organization. His book, “Zero Regrets,” details the inspiring story behind his enduring success as an elite athlete and was a New York Times bestseller.
South Korean film and television star Cha In Pyo is a multiple-Award winning actor and producer whose career spans more than two decades in entertainment. Making his acting debut in 1993 on popular Korean television drama, Cha In Pyo quickly became a house hold name not only in his native Korea, but also in China, and through Asia. He has starred in many popular films and television dramas, including the recent Laurel Tree Tailors (2016-2017), as well as the English-Language original Neflix series “Sense8” (2015) by Wachowskis, and the feature film “Seoul Searching,” (2015) directed by Benson Lee, that premiered at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.
Cha In Pyo has won two Baeksang Arts Awards (the Korean Golden Globes), as well as multiple KBS, SBS, and MBC drama awards. He is also known for being the first Korean actor to star in Chinese and Taiwan TV drama in the early 2000s.
In 2016, Cha In Pyo founded TKC Pictures, a Korean film production, that specializes in producing faith friendly & family friendly films. TKC pictures is in the process of producing Heaven quest: A Pilgrim’s Progress in association with US based King Street Pictures.
Cha In Pyo has been married to Shin Ae Ra since 1995, and the couple are well known for their philanthropic works, especially for the welfare of children. In 2006, he received a Korean Presidential commendation Award for the promotion and protection of children’s rights.
Mariana Klaveno transitions from “Stalker” and Marc Cherry’s “Devious Maids” into DirecTV’s “Full Circle” and an arc on “Designated Survivor.” She previously made indelible impressions on Alan Ball’s “True Blood” as Lorena, Bill’s conniving maker, as well as on “Dexter,” and recently appeared opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film “Aftermath.”
Multi-faceted actor and performer Ptolemy Slocum broke into the world of TV and film through such diverse array of programming as MTV’s ground-breaking and irreverent WONDER SHOWZEN, David Simon’s THE WIRE & David Chase’s SOPRANOS for HBO and the feature film HITCH starring Will Smith.
Slocum has continued to amass a wide range of credits appearing on VEEP (HBO), MARRIED (FX), NURSE JACKIE (Showtime), FRINGE (Fox), WORKAHOLICS (Comedy Central), BURN NOTICE (USA) and many others. Recurring roles include Andrew Haigh’s LOOKING (HBO), Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s PREACHER (AMC) and Marvel’s INHUMANS.
In addition, he has founded the improv school at Nerdist, voiced roles for Grand Theft Auto and worked opposite Billy Crystal for Funny or Die.
Slocum can currently be seen recurring as lab tech “Sylvester” on HBO’s highly acclaimed and Emmy-nominated WESTWORLD. In 2017, he was nominated for a SAG Award along with his cast for Best Ensemble.
Harry Shum Jr. may be best-known for his role on “Glee” as Mike Chang, a football player with serious dancing abilities who ends up joining the Glee Club despite the fact that, especially as a football player, it means social suicide. Mike went from a supporting character on “Glee” to one of its main stars, and Harry has received immense praise across the board from his co-stars, producers and fans.
Harry can currently be seen starring as the eccentric warlock Magnus Bane in the highly anticipated “Shadowhunters”. The series is based on the bestselling YA fantasy series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare about a teenage girl who discovers on her 18th birthday that she comes from a long line of Shadowhunters, a group of human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons. The series launch on Freeform was their #1 series debut in over two years.
You will see Harry up next in Warner Brothers feature Crazy Rich Asians releasing August 2018. This will be the 4th project in which he has worked with director Jon M. Chu.
Harry also starred in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon II – The Green Destiny, the sequel to the Academy Award-winning martial arts film. The new film is set 20 years after the events of Crouching Tiger and revolves around four heroes of the martial arts world. The film released in all Netflix territories as well as a successful theatrical release in China.
In addition, Harry starred in the series “Single by 30”, which released August 24th on YouTube Red. The series created and directed by WongFu Productions, originated as a short on YouTube. Also on the judging panel of truTV’s “Fake Off,” Harry returned for Season 2 of the competition series that takes viewers into the visually stunning world of Faking: a mix of theater, acrobatics, black light and illusion.
In addition to acting, Harry is founder and executive producer of REMIXED, a weekly 15-minute YouTube show that brings together amazing dancers and musicians for unique collaborations. He also starred in, produced and co-choreographed The LXD (Legion of Extraordinary Dancers), an online dance adventure created by director Jon M. Chu (Step Up 3D).
Born in San Jose, Costa Rica and raised in both Northern and Southern California, Harry began dancing in high school and soon after discovered acting. After making the move to Los Angeles, Harry landed a touring dance gig with Kaci and subsequently with such top artists as Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Ashanti, Chris Brown, Jennifer Lopez and Raven. He also was cast as a “silhouette” in the original and highly successful Apple iPod commercial and print campaign.
In 2004, Harry landed his first acting job on the popular Fox series “Boston Public” and followed with guest-starring roles on such shows as “Zoey 101,” ABC Family’s “Greek” and the hit TV movie “iCarly: iGo to Japan” as the arch-nemesis Yuki. Harry used his extraordinary dance skills to break into the motion picture arena and landed a featured dancer role in the hit movie You Got Served. He followed with dance roles in such hit movies as Fast & Furious 3: Tokyo Drift, Stomp The Yard, Center Stage 2 and Bewitched. He also starred in Step up 2: the Streets, Step Up 3D and recently the independent feature, White Frog. Harry currently lives in Los Angeles.
Lisa Joy is the co-creator, co-showrunner, and executive producer of HBO’s “Westworld.” Highly regarded for her genre writing, Joy directs and produces the show through her multi-year overall deal with Warner Bros. Television. Additionally, Joy serves as President of Production at Kilter Films, the production company she and Jonathan Nolan set up, which produces “Westworld” under its banner.
Along with “Westworld,” Joy has several highly-anticipated film projects in the works, including the film adaptation of “Battlestar Galactica” for Universal and the feature script “Reminiscence,” which placed on the 2013 Black List.
Prior to her career in entertainment, Joy graduated from Stanford undergrad and Harvard Law School. She then went on to work as a management consultant in the tech sector and practice law in California. Joy’s writing career began on the Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe-nominated ABC show “Pushing Daisies,” which earned her a Writers Guild Nomination. She later joined the staff of USA Network’s Emmy Award-nominated show “Burn Notice” as a co-producer.
Joy grew up in New Jersey. She is biracial and a first generation Asian American. Joy currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
Nico Santos stars as Mateo on NBC’s hit comedy “Superstore.”
Santos was born and raised in the Philippines and has assimilated to American culture rather quickly by living in California by way of Portland, Ore. He started doing stand-up in San Francisco, and in just a short amount of time had become a popular fixture in the Bay Area comedy scene with his acute observations and quirky characters.
Charming audiences with his sarcastic wit and outrageous sensibility, Santos has that rare ability to be crass and snarky while at the same time remaining completely likable.
Santos will star in the highly-anticipated romantic comedy “Crazy Rich Asians,” alongside Ken Jeong, Constance Wu, Harry Shum Jr., among others. He has written for E! Network’s “Fashion Police” and appeared on screen in Showtime’s “Pride Comedy Jam” as well as the series “Ground Floor,” “Mulaney” and “2 Broke Girls.” He was also a regular panelist on “Chelsea Lately.”
Santos made his film debut in “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” and recently filmed “The Clapper,” co-starring Ed Helms, Tracy Morgan and Amanda Seyfried.
Philip Wang, Wesley Chan, and Ted Fu founded Wong Fu Productions, a digital production company, in 2003 before YouTube was even invented. Since then they’ve amassed over 2.5 million subscribers around the world with over 400 million views of their dramatic short films and comedy sketches. Their creative work has been recognized for its striking quality and emotional depth as well as its authentic representation of Asian Americans, earning honors and praise from organizations like CNN, NPR, and even the White House.
As pioneers and leaders in the ever-growing space, Wong Fu Productions continues to expand on and off their channel, most recently with their film “Everything Before Us” being released on Netflix and just releasing their original series “Single by 30” on Youtube’s premium service, Youtube Red.
Jennifer Yuh Nelson made her feature film directorial debut with “Kung Fu Panda 2” (2011). She, along with Alessandro Carloni, most recently directed the franchise’s successful follow-up “Kuzng Fu Panda 3” (2016). Nelson has lent her talents to a variety of DreamWorks Animation pictures, including as head of story for “Kung Fu Panda” (2008), story artist on “Madagascar” (2005), head of story for “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas” (2003) and story artist on “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron’ (2002). Prior to joining DreamWorks Animation, Nelson worked at HBO Animation and served as director, story artist and character designer for HBO’s animated series “Spawn,” which won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program. She is currently directing “The Darkest Minds” (2018), a live action science fiction thriller.
LPGA professional golfer Alison Lee is a recent UCLA graduate with 11 career top-10s already under her belt. Lee, who was the 2016 KEB Hana Bank Championship runner-up, was a member of Team USA for the 2015 Solheim Cup.
In 2013-14, Lee was named Player of the Year in women’s college golf, and in 2014 won the ANNIKA Award, as well as a Pac-12 individual title.
Justin Prentice is a series regular on the critically acclaimed and wildly popular Netflix drama 13 REASONS WHY from Oscar winning director Tom McCarthy.
Justin has extensive dramatic and comedic television credits including guest starring roles on THE MINDY PROJECT (Hulu), CASTLE (ABC) and iZOMBIE (CW) and recurring roles on PREACHER (AMC), GLEE (Fox), MTV half-hour AWKWARD and TruTV comedy THOSE WHO CAN’T. He was a series regular on ABC comedy MALIBU COUNTRY. Justin played supporting roles in independent films SOME KIND OF HATE (Dir. Adam Egypt Mortimer) and SEX, DEATH AND BOWLING (Dir. Ally Walker).
Justin hails from Nashville and moved to Hollywood in 2008 to pursue an acting career.
In his free time, Justin enjoys playing guitar and piano, mountain biking and archery.
Justin resides in Los Angeles.
Lisa Ling is the Executive Producer and host of THIS IS LIFE on CNN, now its third season. For the show, Lisa has embedded with a notorious biker club and covered the pill addiction crisis in the mostly Mormon state of Utah.
For five seasons prior, Lisa EP’d and hosted Our America on OWN. She was also a field correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show and contributor to ABC News’ Nightline. For these shows she reported from dozens of countries; covering stories about gang rape in Congo, bride burning in India and the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, among other issues that are too often ignored.
Lisa was the first female host of National Geographic’s flagship show Explorer which sent her to cover the phenomenon of female suicide bombing, the spread of MS-13 gang—considered the world’s most dangerous gang, and the humanitarian crisis inside North Korea.
She got her start in journalism as a correspondent for Channel One News where she covered the civil war in Afghanistan at 21 years of age. She later went to become a co-host of ABC Daytime’s hit show The View, which won its first daytime Emmy during her time at the show.
Lisa is the co-author of “Mother, Sister. Daughter, Bride: Rituals of Womanhood,” and “Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and The Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home” that penned with her sister Laura.
In 2014, President Obama appointed Lisa to the Commission on White House Fellows.
Over the course of her remarkable career thus far, singer/ songwriter Judith Hill has shared her musical gifts in a variety of ways. The Los Angeles native has been a background singer for such legends as Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Ringo Starr, and the late Michael Jackson, serving as the latter’s duet partner on the classic ballad, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” which later became a highlight of Jackson’s posthumously released film This Is It. (Hill’s deeply moving performance of “Heal the World” was an indelible moment during the singer’s public memorial service.) She also appeared in the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of several acclaimed background singers, including Hill, who earned a Grammy Award for “Best Music Film” for her participation. Post-This Is It, Hill appeared on The Voice, where she began to cement her identity as a solo artist with a series of knockout performances that showed her ability to put her own distinctive, captivating spin on familiar songs.
Hill’s global fanbase has gotten to know her through these high-profile performances. However her biggest champion these days, yet another music legend, did not. “Prince did not see me on This Is It. He had not seen 20 Feet from Stardom. He had not seen me on The Voice. He saw me on some random TV interview where I was asked who I’d want to collaborate with and I said him,” Hill says with a laugh. After doing a bit of research, Prince called Hill personally and said he’d love to work with her. “Right out of the gate it was an artist-to-artist conversation about music,” Hill recalls of the call, during which Prince also extended an invitation to the listening party for his latest album, Art Official Age and, a few weeks later, to his studio in Minneapolis. “There were no plans,” she says of her first time at Paisley Park. “It was just an invitation to come hang out. I jammed with his band. I played him some of my songs. That’s when we began to start talking about music and creating. That’s really when it all began.”
After hearing her original songs and watching Hill sing live, Prince knew he was in the presence of a genuine talent, just as Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson realized before him. He offered to play on and produce her debut solo album, Back in Time, which was offered as a free download for two days in March on LiveNation.com and quickly attracted 200,000 downloads. The album is a showcase for Hill’s soulful, powerhouse voice and considerable songwriting prowess, with smart, deeply felt songs about racial injustice (“As Trains Go By”) and overcoming struggle (“Angel in the Dark,” “Beautiful Life,” “Cry, Cry, Cry”) nestled comfortably alongside supremely funky party jams (“Turn Up,” “My People,” “Wild Tonight”) that Hill says are a celebration of music, community, and Family.
“I had written some of these songs a long time ago and had been performing them for a while,” Hill says. “Prince helped give them a whole new makeover. He would say, ‘You can make a stadium song. Picture yourself in a big stadium singing this. How big is the song? Is it going to register to the person in the very back?’ There are ways to make that happen, like simplifying the structure or brightening up the chords. I used to play ‘Beautiful Life’ with minor chords. It was a bit more melancholy. Prince said, ‘Why don’t we try it with major chords?’ All of a sudden, the song opened up in an epic way.”
Sonically, Back In Time’s amalgam of soul, funk, blues, and jazz has an appealing retro quality thanks to the duo’s production. “I told him that it needed to be a classic-sounding record,” Hill says. “I want people to feel like they’re listening to something that was done in the ’70s. We did it all in analog, recorded to tape, the old-fashioned way. It was fun doing that with Prince. He would tell me old stories about how he recorded things. It was very cool to work with a legend who understands that world better than anyone. Oftentimes, newer producers are just trying to recreate a way of doing things. With Prince, it was the real deal. It was like a time machine. That’s one of the reasons why the record is called Back in Time. The sound of the record, the style of it, the way it was recorded — all of it was back in time.”
Hill says the recording sessions at Paisley Park, which took place over a few weeks in January, often felt like flashbacks. “It reminded me of how I grew up, jamming with my family for hours. My brother was on the drums, my mom on the keys, my dad on the bass, and I would sing. So it was like going back to my roots.” Hill’s father, Robert “Pee Wee” Hill, is a pioneering funk bassist known for his work with such artists as Sly Stone, Jimmy Smith, and Bob Dylan, while her mother, Michiko Hill, is an accomplished keyboardist, with credits that include Rufus & Chaka Khan, Wayne Shorter, and Billy Preston. In addition to their steady session work, the Hills also own and operate Master’s Crib Recording Studio in Los Angeles. “My bedroom was actually the vocal booth for their first little home studio, so I always had singers in my room,” says Hill, adding that one visitor was Sly and The Family Stone’s Rose Stone, who became one of her early mentors. Hill wrote her first song at age four and eventually began singing in school choirs and in the studio with her parents. “I couldn’t help but sing,” she says. “It really came from within.”
Her passion eventually led her to earn a degree in music composition at Biola University, where she wrote her first symphony as well as pieces for piano, vocal groups, chamber ensembles, and string quartets. After graduating, Hill spent a year in Paris, singing background vocals for French singer/songwriter Michel Polnareff. Then in 2009, Hill was tapped to join Jackson on his comeback concert tour This Is It, but the star died less than three weeks before the tour was scheduled to kick off. “Michael unlocked my imagination in a big way,” Hill says of her time with Jackson. “Seeing such an incredible show put together right in front of me made me realize that there’s so much more to be explored and discovered as an artist, and that we, as artists, have the power to transform lives and impact them in a major way. Michael showed me that I can dream big. I began to ask myself, ‘What do I really want to say to an audience?’”
Hill considered that same question while making Back In Time. “I want people to remember good times when they listen to it,” she says. “It’s good old-fashioned music and I hope people will experience it that way. I want them to be happy. I want them to dance. I want them to feel encouraged. I want it to be the soundtrack to their lives.”
Epik High, formed in 2001, opened a new chapter of hip-hop in Korea. The group is composed of well known singer-song writers who compose both lyrics and music covering a wide range of genres. With each successive album, Epik High has taken a step towards the global music market by displaying a unique approach to music and original, literary lyrics.
Having proven their artistic skills in music, Epik High has been recognized by many other musicians and has a diverse following worldwide.
Not only has Epik High won numerous domestic music awards since debut, they have been ranked number one on the iTunes Hip Hop chart in US. In 2009, they successfully embarked on their first “Map the Soul” world tour, with concerts in Seoul, Tokyo, Kobe, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, and San Francisco. In an interview Tablo had with CNN, Epik High was credited as being one of the groups that helped popularize hip-hop music in Korea. Beyond CNN, he was also featured in an interview with BBC worldwide news. Recently, Epik High has come back with their 8th album [Shoebox], and have seen success across the board taking No.1 on iTunes music charts throughout Asia and topping Korean charts. The album has been widely recognized as a masterpiece. Thanks to the album’s success, they are on an Asia tour “Parade 2014” which consists of 15 concerts in 9 cities. 11 years since debut, Epik High continues to shine as the iconic hiphop group of Korea.
The Kinjaz are a brotherhood of artists on a quest to fearlessly explore the depths of their imagination and artistic purpose. Although primarily known for their signature choreography style and creative storytelling, the Kinjaz have spent their recent years evolving and expanding their Brotherhood into a multi-faceted company which includes their own clothing line, dance studio, international live theatre show, and media production company. Most recently, the Kinjaz opened up their 2nd dance studio in Chengdu, China – Kinjaz Dojo China. Kinjaz are on a global mission to innovate, entertain, and positively impact the world through movement, media, and mentality. “Respect all, fear none.”
As the longest-running theater of color in the country, East West Players produces artistic work and educational programs that foster dialogue exploring Asian Pacific Islander (API) experiences. Over its remarkable 52 year history, EWP has produced over 230 plays and musicals. As an advocate for Asian American talent and stories, EWP has been a home for world-renowned API artists, such as John Cho, Gedde Watanabe, Tia Carrere, George Takei, Amy Hill, Constance Wu, Randall Park, Kal Penn, Suzy Nakamura, and David Henry Hwang.
East West Players is honored to be a part of Kore Media’s 2017 Unforgettable Awards and will be presenting highlights from their upcoming production of the Broadway musical Allegiance with cast members from both the Broadway and LA production.
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