The Asians In Movies + Media + Music (AIM³) Summit will feature 3 panel discussions, running on 4 and 5 November.

William Yu, the man who launched #StarringJohnCho, will join industry professionals at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival (VAFF) on 5 November to discuss issues surrounding diversity in North America’s entertainment industry.

Yu’s panel, which will explore the idea of casting Asian leads in Hollywood productions, will be the last in a 3-part series of panel discussions. The first two panels, which will focus on Asian presence in the comic book and music industries, will both take place on 4 November, and will feature panels of professionals from those respective fields.

“[Vancouver] is home to a large, active Asian filmmaking and acting population,” states VAFF, pinpointing the city as an ideal location for media diversity advocates to gather. “[Vancouver is] affectionately referred to as ‘Hollywood North,’ and arguably the best gateway to Asia.”

“VAFF fiercely supports campaigns such as #StarringJohnCho and #OscarSoWhite, and will continue to help coordinate these passionate efforts into an actionable plan for substantial change.”



The AIM³ Summit is part of the VAFF Industry Seminar Series, as a platform inviting festival attendees to explore this year’s Homecoming theme. “[This year’s film] lineup invites us to explore different interpretations and accommodations of ‘home,’ and what it symbolizes—particularly for a diaspora.”

The current line-up for the panels are as follows:

SESSION 1:  Asians in Comics: Genesis for Future Screenplays

  • Speaker 1: Jennifer de Guzman
  • Speaker 2:  Jon Tsuei
  • Speaker 3: Sarah Kuhn
  • Speaker 4: Christine Norrie
  • Speaker 5: Bernard Chang
  • Moderator: Leonard S Wong

SESSION 2:  Asians in Music: In Search of Asian Rockstars in North America

  • Speaker 1 & 2: SA TrackWorks (Steve Smith and Anthony Anderson)
  • Speaker 3: Troy Samson
  • Speaker 4: Gina Oh
  • Speaker 5: Alfa Garcia
  • Speaker 6: David Quan
  • Speaker 7: Jane Shin
  • Speaker 8: Music BC (Lindsay MacPherson and Becky Wosk)
  • Moderator: Andrea Gin

SESSION 3:  Asians in Movies: Casting for Asian Leads and Standing up for Change

  • Keynote Speaker: William Yu
  • Speaker 1: Kevin K. Li
  • Speaker 2: Judy Lee
  • Speaker 3: Raymond Massey
  • Speaker 4: Agam Darshi
  • Speaker 5: Diana Bang
  • Speaker 6: Jeff Yang
  • Speaker 7: National Bank – Film Financing
  • Moderator: Lee Shortern

AIM³ Summit sessions will be open to festival attendees, including filmmakers, VIP passholders, and ticket holders with membership. For scheduling information, as well as to purchase tickets, click here.