By Vivian Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly
With the holidays officially underway, we’re counting down the final days of 2015. Take a second to reflect on what has happened this year including November’s latest events with Asians and Asian Americans in the media.
#NotTheSame awareness campaign
The Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, a nonprofit based in Washington D.C., has begun a month-long campaign to raise awareness about the varied and unheard stories of struggle experienced by members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
Executed as an online campaign, using the #NotTheSame hashtag on social media, the campaign challenges the idea that all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders look the same, speak the same language, share the same culture, and have access to the same opportunities. The #NotTheSame campaign hopes to empower and encourage Asian American and Pacific Islanders to share their personal experiences and life journeys on social media channels.
“This is truly a campaign that is inspired by the community and the real stories, and it’s a campaign that we want the community to own and to narrate,” said Joy Yoo, the associate director of marketing and communications for the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund.
The #NotTheSame campaign is also broadcasting a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) that highlights Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders speaking about their experiences about being overlooked or misunderstood based on racial stereotypes or perceptions. The PSA is currently airing on Comcast and NBC affiliates throughout the country for the remainder of the month.
Be sure to join in the online conversation to connect with others and share your own experiences about growing up Asian American or Pacific Islander.
Latest updates from the film industry
News recently broke that stand-up comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani will star in the new Judd Apatow-produced film “The Big Sick”. Apatow, who has directed box office smash comedies such as “Trainwreck,” “Bridesmaids,” and “Knocked Up,” has historically been a sure thing when it comes to comedy hits, which means “The Big Sick” promises to be in good hands.
Pakistani American Nanjiani, who readers may know best for his role in the HBO comedy “Silicon Valley,” wrote “The Big Sick” script along with his wife/producer Emily V. Gordon. “The Big Sick” is based on true events in their lives. Nanjiani is also a wrier, executive producer and co-host of Comedy Central’s “The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail”—a stand-up comedy television series.
I’m a big fan of Nanjiani who has been one of the most hilarious comedians in television and film the last few years. There is no production date currently set for “The Big Sick”.
Pixar Animation Studio—the company behind beloved animated films such as “Up,” “Finding Nemo,” and “Toy Story”—has released its first human protagonist of color in a film. Pixar animator and storyboard artist Sanjay Patel directed a seven-minute short film titled “Sanjay’s Super Team” that opened for the latest Pixar movie “The Good Dinosaur” over Thanksgiving weekend.
In an interview with NBC News, Patel confessed that he felt embarrassed by his identity and tried to fit into mainstream American culture. But after Patel matured as an adult, he came to appreciate the richness of the culture that his father was trying to pass onto him as a child. “Sanjay’s Super Team” is a manifestation of said cultural appreciation and highlights Patel’s experiences of growing up as a child of immigrants.
The charming short film sees the titular Indian American boy wanting to watch television shows about superheroes instead of praying with his immigrant father.
However, Hindu deities become superheroes in the boy’s imagination, opening up and bridging his understanding of his immigrant father and place in America.
Catch “Sanjay’s Super Team” in theaters now. (end)
Vivian Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.