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Gold Open and CAPE Launch the Gold List to Celebrate API Films

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Director Ava DuVernay once said, “I don’t want a chair at the table. Or even three or even half anymore. I want the table to be rebuilt. In my likeness. And in the likeness of others long forced out of the room.”

Gold House and the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), two of the leading organizations supporting Asian and Pacific Islander film and TV projects, are living out DuVernay’s words. Today, Gold Open, which is a movement that Gold House spearheads to celebrate and support API films in the box office, announced the creation of the Gold List, an annual list that honors API achievements in film.

Gold List Best Pictures Selections
Gold List Best Pictures Selections

The idea behind the list seems to be to highlight and honor some of the best API films and creators each year, in an effort to increase awareness, as well as combat some of the imbalance that exists with film awards in the industry.

Recently, the Golden Globes (no relation) faced substantial backlash when it announced that Minari, an Asian-American film with Asian-American creatives, both in front of and behind the camera, would inexplicably be placed in the Foreign Language category. This was just the latest incident in a long history of awards shows overlooking, insulting or blatantly ignoring API and other diverse projects and creators.

With the Gold List, Gold Open and CAPE likely seek to provide films like Minari the proper honor and recognition that they deserve. Beyond the actual honor itself, hopefully the other Hollywood awards shows will take the obvious step of copying the Gold List’s homework and using the list of honorees as a foundation to do a better job recognizing API films and creators on their own. The Gold List is doing the work so the Golden Globes, the Academy and others can do the bare minimum.

The full list of inaugural Gold List selections are available in the press release below. If anything, everyone should go watch as many of the honored films as possible.

Further, to celebrate the launch of the Gold List, Gold House and CAPE are releasing a variety of discussions with some of the honored filmmakers and stars, which can be found at goldopen.com/goldlist.

Available conversations include:

  • All My Life(Harry Shum Jr.)
  • Be Water (Bao Nguyen, Shannon Lee, W. Kamau Bell, Jeff Chang)
  • The Donut King (coming soon) (Alice Gu)
  • Lingua Franca (Isabel Sandoval) 
  • Minari(Lee Isaac Chung, Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan Kim, Yuh-Jung Youn, Noel Cho)
  • Mulan (Niki Caro, Yifei Liu, Yoson An, Jason Scott Lee, Tzi Ma, Rosalind Chao, Ron Yuan, Xana Tang)
  • Over the Moon(Cathy Ang, Janet Yang, Peilin Chou, Gennie Rim)  
  • Sound of Metal (coming soon) (Riz Ahmed)
  • The White Tiger (Adarsh Gourav, Ramin Bahrani)
  • Yellow Rose (Diane Paragas, Eva Noblezada, Lea Salonga, Princess Punzalan)
Gold List Best Director Selections
Gold List Best Director Selections

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GOLD OPEN MOVEMENT UNVEILS INAUGURAL GOLD LIST TO HONOR API ACHIEVEMENTS IN FILM

Los Angeles, CA – Gold Open, the Gold House-led movement that propels multicultural movies to box office success including Parasite and Crazy Rich Asians, is collaborating with CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) to launch Gold List — a first-of-its-kind list that honors the most outstanding Asian and Pacific Islander (API) achievements in film each year.

Gold List was created to accelerate the fair inclusion of APIs in mainstream media by helping API films secure major award nominations and recognition. Despite historic anti-Asian racism during the pandemic, Asians are the fastest-growing immigrant population, higher-than-average consumers of digital media, and the second most-frequent moviegoers per year.

Yet, only 4 films with Asian leading actors and stories have won Best Picture Academy Awards and 75% of those films received 0 acting nominations (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. These hurdles continue to impact greenlight decisions on API stories.

“We know we have transformative stories; we know our films open to historic numbers — but can we win? 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.

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,” said Bing Chen, President & Co-Founder of Gold House.

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. 

The full list of Gold List selections are below:

Best Picture

Minari and Sound of Metal 

Honorable Mentions: The Half of It, The White Tiger, Yellow Rose

Best Director

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)

Best Actor

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) 

Best Actress

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

To celebrate these selections, Gold House and CAPE are featuring a slate of exclusive conversations with several of their stars and filmmakers, including:

  • All My Life (Harry Shum Jr.)
  • Be Water (Bao Nguyen, Shannon Lee, W. Kamau Bell, Jeff Chang)
  • The Donut King (coming soon) (Alice Gu)
  • Lingua Franca (Isabel Sandoval) 
  • Minari (Lee Isaac Chung, Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan Kim, Yuh-Jung Youn, Noel Cho)
  • Mulan (Niki Caro, Yifei Liu, Yoson An, Jason Scott Lee, Tzi Ma, Rosalind Chao, Ron Yuan, Xana Tang)
  • Over the Moon (Cathy Ang, Janet Yang, Peilin Chou, Gennie Rim)  
  • Sound of Metal (coming soon) (Riz Ahmed)
  • The White Tiger (Adarsh Gourav, Ramin Bahrani)
  • Yellow Rose (Diane Paragas, Eva Noblezada, Lea Salonga, Princess Punzalan)

These panels, along with more information about Gold List, can be found at goldopen.com/goldlist.

ABOUT GOLD HOUSE

Gold House is the premier nonprofit collective of Asian founders, creative voices, and leaders dedicated to unifying the world’s largest populace–Asians and Pacific Islanders–to enable more authentic multicultural representation and societal equity. Our ventures include membership systems and benefits to fortify relationships among Asians and with other marginalized communities (All of Us Movement); championing authentic Asian representation through media to reshape public opinion (Gold Open, Gold Records, A100 List); and accelerating economic success and commercial representation through Asian founders (Gold Rush, Founder Network, Angel Network). To learn more, visit www.goldhouse.org or follow @GoldHouseCo on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

ABOUT CAPE

CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) changes representation in Hollywood through three main verticals (1) nurturing and engaging creative talent and executive leadership, (2) providing content and cultural consulting, and (3) championing projects for critical box office and streaming success. Through the CAPE New Writers Fellowship, CAPE Leaders Fellowship, and Gold Open, CAPE is increasing representation from the writers’ room to the boardroom to the living room. 

www.capeusa.org | Twitter & Instagram: @capeusa 

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Ron is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of POC Culture.  He is a big believer in the power and impact of pop culture and the importance of representation in media.

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