Gold Open has partnered with the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment CAPE to launch the inaugural Gold List which honors the most outstanding Asian and Pacific Islander (API) achievements in film each year. Gold Open is part of Gold House, which bolsters multicultural movies to box office success — most notably, the movement brought shine to Parasite and Crazy Rich Asians.
Gold List was created to move the needle forward in regards to the fair inclusion of APIs in mainstream media by helping API films secure major award nominations and recognition — and it’s about time. With anti-Asian racism surging during the pandemic, a celebration of this kind is more than welcomed to help eclipse all the toxicity faced by Asians as well as other underrepresented voices. It should be noted that Asians are the fastest-growing immigrant population, have higher-than-average consumers of digital media, and the second most-frequent moviegoers per year. So perhaps the film industry should be paying more attention to the API community.
That said, four films with Asian leading actors and stories have won Best Picture Academy Awards and 75% of those films received 0 acting nominations — and those films were Parasite, Slumdog Millionaire and The Last Emperor). The exception is Gandhi in 1983, making Ben Kingsley 1 of only 3 actors of Asian descent to have ever won an Academy Award. More recently, Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari, tells the story of the American dream through the lens of a Korean American family, yet it was submitted for Best Foreign Language Film for the Golden Globes — it was the same story for Lulu Wang’s The Farewell last year.
“We know we have transformative stories; we know our films open to historic numbers — but can we win?” commented Bing Chen, President & Co-Founder of Gold House. “Films that are not dominantly English-dialogued are relegated to ‘foreign’ categories, irrespective of their stories, where they’re filmed, and their talents’ origins. However, over 74% of the nation’s two fastest-growing populaces—the Latinx and Asian communities—speak a language other than English at home.
He continued, “Gold List seeks to modernize the industry’s embrace of today’s audiences by mitigating the discrepancy between APIs’ creative and commercial excellence versus their dearth of critical honors. By ensuring filmmakers and talent receive due recognition, the increased awareness allows for more inclusive content which benefits all multicultural audiences.”
Featuring 10 categories, Gold List is voted on by the Gold Open Advisory Council, Gold House Members (the premier nonprofit collective of leading API creatives, executives, and founders), CAPE Board Members and Advisors (the premier API-entertainment nonprofit), and other entertainment leaders. Future Gold Lists will endeavor to include additional categories and communities.
In its second year, the Gold Open Advisory Council advises on which films receive coveted Gold Open support. Members include: Abhijay Prakash (President, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group), Asad Ayaz (President of Marketing, Walt Disney Studios), Franklin Leonard (Founder, The Black List), Janice Min (Contributing Editor, TIME), Janet Yang (Officer & Board Governor, AMPAS), Kim Yutani (Director of Programming, Sundance Film Festival), and more.
Gold House and CAPE have hosted conversations with various Gold List honorees which can be watched here. Read the full list of Gold List selections below.
Minari and Sound of Metal
Honorable Mentions: The Half of It, The White Tiger, Yellow Rose
Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) and Chloe Zhao (Nomadland)
Honorable Mentions: Ramin Bahrani (The White Tiger), Diane Paragas (Yellow Rose), Alice Wu (The Half of It), Alan Yang (Tigertail)
Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) and Steven Yeun (Minari)
Honorable Mentions: Adarsh Gourav (The White Tiger), Dev Patel (The Personal History of David Copperfield), Harry Shum Jr. (All My Life)
Yeri Han (Minari) and Leah Lewis (The Half of It)
Honorable Mentions: Hong Chau (Driveways), Tsai Chin (Lucky Grandma), Eva Noblezada (Yellow Rose)
Best Supporting Actor
Alan Kim (Minari) and Orion Lee (First Cow)
Honorable Mentions: Lucas Jaye (Driveways), Tzi Ma (Mulan), Rajkummar Rao (The White Tiger)
Best Supporting Actress
Phillipa Soo (Hamilton) and Yuh-Jung Youn (Minari)
Honorable Mentions: Priyanka Chopra Jonas (The White Tiger), Gong Li (Mulan), Lea Salonga (Yellow Rose)
Best Original Screenplay
Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) and Alice Wu (The Half of it)
Honorable Mentions: Mong-Hong Chung and Yao-Sheng Chang (A Sun), Diane Paragas (Yellow Rose), Isabel Sandoval (Lingua Franca), Alan Yang (Tigertail)
Best Adapted Screenplay
Ramin Bahrani (The White Tiger) and Chloe Zhao (Nomadland)
Best Documentary Feature
Be Water and A Thousand Cuts
Honorable Mentions: 76 Days, The Donut King, The Social Dilemma
Best Animated Feature
Bombay Rose and Over the Moon
Honorable Mentions: Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, On-Gaku: Our Sound, A Whisker Away
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