Oscar nominated producer Peilin Chou (Above the moon) made a new personal and powerful video, Awakening, a #StopAsianHate PSA that highlights the contributions of Asian Americans to the art of animation. Posted today in response to the rise in Asian violence across the United States and in honor of United States of America and the Pacific Islands Heritage Month (AAPIHM), Awakening brings together an excellent lineup of artists and creators that includes Daniel Dae Kim, Bowen Yang, Ken Jeong, Phillipa Soo, Margaret Cho and BD Wong, as well as animation industry mainstays Ronnie del Carmen, Jennifer Yuh Nelson , Jinko Gotoh, Sanjay Patel, Gennie Rim, John Aoshima and Henry Yu, among others. The film was officially released this morning by CAPE, on Asia-Pacific Entertainment Coalition, a group founded in 1991 to advance representation in Hollywood by engaging creative talent and executive leadership, providing cultural advice and championing projects to support their success.
According to Chou, “Last March, the morning after the Atlanta incidents, like many, I felt horrified, angry and completely helpless. I wanted so badly to take action and find a way to bring something positive, but I felt overwhelmed and crippled by what anyone could face with such insane acts and so much hate. After a day of reflection, as a filmmaker and producer, I decided to approach this the only way I knew how – by telling stories.
Reaching out to friends and colleagues in the animation industry and beyond, Chou created the film as an anthem celebration of Asian America “that recognizes the lingering frustrations that the Asian American community has faced, especially during the past year. “But at its heart,” she continues, “it’s an uplifting and empowering piece celebrating Asian Americans, with a spotlight on artists whose work has changed the world.”
Take a moment to share this celebration of Asian Americans, highlighting artists whose work has changed the world, including those featured: BD Wong, Bowen Yang, Daniel Dae Kim, Ken Jeong, Phillipa Soo, Cathy Ang , David Henry Hwang, Gennie Rim, Helen Park, Henry Yu, Janet Wu, Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Jinko Gotoh, John Aoshima, Margaret Cho, Megan Dong, Peilin Chou, Ronnie del Carmen and Sanjay Patel.
Dan Sarto is publisher and editor-in-chief of Animation World Network.