Tag Archive for: asian artists

Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender takes the number one ranking on the global streaming service, with 21.2 million views (so far!) this week alone. DEGANZ member Roseanne Liang is a series co-executive producer and one of four directors, with fans and critics alike agreeing that her episodes are some of the season’s best.

The series reimagines the acclaimed animated Nickelodeon series of the same name, literally bringing the characters and fantasy world to life. Young Aang, the Avatar and master of all four elements, must hone his powers to save the world rampaged by war at the hand of the ruthless Fire Nation.

Roseanne directed episodes five and six of the eight-part series, which explore the Spirit Realm and dive deeper into the character’s backstories. Episode six, Masks, is receiving particular approval for the way it balances the show’s extensive lore, character development, and action.

All episodes are available to stream on Netflix now.

Kāinga is returning to Aotearoa! Following the feature’s premiere at NZIFF last year and its international festival run (including MIFF, HIFF, and IFFI Goa) the film will return to Kiwi screens on Radio New Zealand (RNZ). DEGANZ members Michelle Ang (Incubator 2020), Ghazaleh Golbaksh (Incubator 2021), Julie Zhu, and Nahyeon Lee (Incubator 2021) each directed one of eight stories in the anthology film. Fellow member Mia Maramara (Incubator 2022) was a writer on the project along with Ghazaleh and Nahyeon.

The film roots itself in a single Kiwi home, and glimpses into the joys and struggles of the various families who live there across five decades, bringing Pan-Asian women’s narratives to the forefront. From exploring the historical connection to tangata whenua, to coping with isolation and dissatisfaction, to excitement about making home and finding community support, to finally claiming home, the film does not shy away from the challenges of the immigrant experience in Aotearoa.

You can catch Kāinga on RNZ, free to view from 20 August.

DEGANZ member Jolin Lee (Incubator 2022) is truly embodying the Directors and Editors Guild, having directed and edited the new music video Where My Asians At?!

The new single by Tāmaki Makarau based singer/songwriter RESHMA celebrates and highlights the unique perspectives that the pan-Asian community brings to the arts. Her lyrics reflect on the prejudices within the Asian community about pursuing the arts but are ultimately a call to action for Asian creatives to continue to create, share stories, and uplift each other.

Jolin came on board as the video’s director and editor, channeling the song’s superhero final boss energy. It features K-pop-esque group choreography, firey visual effects, and mesmerising editing. On their Instagram, Jolin shares that this was their first time working with a choreographer and extensive VFX, and thanks the team that helped pull it all together.

Check out the music video on all platforms now!

DEGANZ member Jake Tabata’s Boosted campaign for horror, queer web series The Creature closes on 26 August! The project is in the final stretch, currently sitting at 73% of its total goal of $9,000.

This project is Jake’s first excursion into directing. Since completing his BA studying Screen Production and Drama at the University of Auckland in 2020, Jake has worked on numerous plays and short films. He is also a committee member of Equity New Zealand’s Inclusion Committee.

Jake is thrilled to bring The Creature to life as an opportunity to share a deeply personal story that authentically represents the queer and East Asian communities. The script’s inspiration grew from him wanting to process and explore his own dating and relationship anxiety. He hopes this story resonates with and helps those in the throws of online dating realise they are not alone.

Additionally, Jake is particularly excited to work with such a diverse group of industry newbies as most of the team are emerging queer and BIPOC creatives. The production’s kaupapa focuses on authentically telling queer stories, upskilling young creatives, and ensuring accessibility to the finished project. Jake and the creative team want young queer people to feel seen, heard, and validated through this story.

If you would like to support this project and team, visit their Boosted page or follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

Spotlighting Asian Artists in Aotearoa, Portraits is a new 12-part micro-documentary series with six episodes directed by DEGANZ member and participant of the 2021 Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator, Nahyeon Lee.

Presented by Asian arts organisation Oryza, Portraits is a nuanced snapshot of Asian Artists in Tāmaki Makaurau and the intersection of creativity and identity in the diaspora. Filmed last year, the series has just launched the first episode, directed by Nahyeon and featuring Rosabel Tan, the founding editor of Pantograph Punch.

“It started with the big questions that I’m always asking myself, about how to respectfully tread the intersection between identity and creativity, how to ensure the artists are uplifted in the process, not flattened into a prescribed identity,” writes Nahyeon.

“I wanted this process to be a collaboration, where I would let the artists lead the conversation on how they wanted to define themselves and their work instead of thrusting assumptions and labels onto them.

“I’m so proud of this lil series and feeling really grateful for all the artists who trusted me and let me into their worlds to discuss their work.”

Nahyeon also directed episodes with filmmaker Roseanne Liang, interdisciplinary designer Michael McCabe, producer Puteri Raja Ariff, actor Pamela Sidhu and zine-maker Helen Yeung. Well done Nahyeon!

Episodes drop weekly on Oryza’s Instagram and website.