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Source: · Wednesday, March 25, 2015 · at Chinese Historical Society of America

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (3/25)- Director Evan Leong, director of the documentary “Linsanity”, spoke to the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) in San Francisco about his latest film project “Snakehead”. Organizers promoted the event by saying,”Come join the Asian Pacific Democratic Club as we celebrate the creators of Asian American Media. Special guest Evan Jackson Leong, the director of the hit documentary “Linsanity”, is coming out from New York to talk about his career as a API film director, his documentary “Linsanity”, and screening new footage from his upcoming movie, “Snakehead”. Your ticket includes membership to APDC for one year….”

Helen Lei of San Francisco said,”I think its always important to support local and rising talent. I went to Lowell High School. Evan Leong has participated in Chinatown community events. It’s been good really exciting to have Evan speak and to let people see his latest work. Both his films have been important to the community…”

Jason Chan of San Francisco echoed those sentiments and said,”This is about someone who has accomplished a lot for the community. Also this is a great way for the Asian Pacific Democratic Club (APDC) to show that it is about being more than just politics and about the culture scene as well…”

Sue Lee, Executive Director of the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) said,”I think someone of Evan’s staure and situation, being young and in film, generates interest that we as a historical society can’t. When you can connect history with the present, that is amazing. Evan certainly knows the importance, and his trajectory, and this has led him into reaching into history and into our roots. HIs films serve to provide the story to a wider general audience that normally wouldn’t have known or found interest in these stories. That is why this is such an important situation…”

Max Zhang of Livermore said,”I think its important. I myself, as a 17-year old loved “Linsanity”. That film hit my generation really hard. It was a big influence. I appreaciate him flying out here to speak about his film…”

Margaret Nguyen of Fremont immediately pointed out,”Its important to have events and films like this, because its important to let Asian-Americans know that they don’t have to fall into stereotypical roles, or be seen as simply Jackie Chan or Jet Li. They can be something different and original…”

The film “Snakehead” starring Lucy Liu is described as “Liu will play a Chinese immigrant who arrives penniless to the streets of New York City’s Chinatown, until she is mentored in the business of human smuggling by the powerful bosses—called Snakeheads—who run a thriving business that preys on the hopes of wannabe immigrants who pay a high price for a piece of the American dream. Motivated by a desire to regain her daughter and reclaim her family, she rises to the top of Chinatown’s smuggling business…”

Furthermore, “I was drawn to this story and character not only because it ties into my history as a Chinese American but also as a New Yorker,” said Liu. “After reading Evan’s script, the hidden world of human smuggling was exposed to be right here in everyone’s backyard and the reality is at the same time fascinating and grotesque. This combination undoubtedly lays a landscape for a cinematic experience not to be forgotten.” spoke exclusively with the director to discuss the film, the future and the state of the industry.

SFN: First off, welcome back to San Francisco. What effect would you say that the Bay Area has had on your work?

EL: I love this area. My family and friends are here. I love the city. I would say that the city gave me the confidence of character, to be comfortable in my own skin. It also led me to have confidence in who I am…

SFN: What led you to make the film “Snakehead”?

EL: I wanted to make a story about a strong female Asian female character. Mainly because we don’t have much middle ground. Often Asian female characters are either seen as submissive or the “Dragon Lady” and nothing in between…

SFN: The film “Snakehead” is coming out as the issue of immigration becomes a major political hot potato in the upcoming presidential elections. How important is it to address these issues?

EL: Immigration is extremely important. With the film, I wanted to show that the characters were human, that they have the same motivations and drives as everyone else, and that they would pay whatever cost it would take to help provide for their families…

SFN: What advice would you give to aspiring artists and filmmakers out there?

EL: Just do it! Just like the Nike commercials say, uou just have to do it. Hone your craft and talent, because you have no excuses in this day and age…

SFN: Any other future projects?

EL: Just “Snakehead”, just look for it when it comes into theaters!!

– Jose Ricardo G. Bondoc