In honor of Women’s History Month, I would love to share some of my personal inspirations from female talents that, in the past year, reinforced my passion for arts and entertainment.
In light of the historical, ongoing and escalating hate crimes against Asian American community, I would love to remind everyone that we all come to the earth to be human. In Asian culture, we are taught to keep our heads down and work hard. However, if you see something and it is in your power to speak up, I urge you to do so.
That being said, Hollywood’s culture has been shifting to embrace more diversity. Particularly in recent years, we finally see Asian producers and directors breaking the glass ceiling and getting into the game, especially after the commercial success of the film Crazy Rich Asians. In fact, the 2021 Oscar nominations, which came out just two days ago, featured a few Asian talents in the main categories.
Below are some of my personal favorite female professionals in the arts and entertainment world.
Chloé Zhao – director and screenwriter of Nomadland
On February 28th, 2021, Chloé Zhao won a Golden Globe as the first Asian-female director and second female director to ever win the Best Director award in Motion Pictures category. This was truly an emotional moment for many, many audiences and young professionals in entertainment. I, too, was thrilled to see such a talented writer and director presenting a piece of art – the film “Nomadland” – to the entire world with meaningful and powerful messages. If you haven’t seen it already, I highly recommend you watching it. Not only is it incredibly beautiful with poetic dialogues, the film also touches upon a surging social concern for the old and poor, and effectively communicates characters’ mental strength through a pinch of quietness.
Domee Shi – Director of Pixar short Bao
I have only seen Bao one time a few years back in a New York movie theater. But I still remember vividly the storyline and those touching scenes that deeply echoed my understanding of Chinese parenting. This short is absolutely beautiful and meaningful for its sarcasm over unspoken and complicated type of love.
Christina Oh – Producer of Minari
The film Minari has been earning many awards and acclaims last year, and it is also nominated by the Academy Awards in the Best Picture category. Christina is a producer for Brad Pitt’s production company and I truly believe she’s in this game for making meaningful films that would actually impact the audience’s understanding of life.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Director, Playwright and Actor of Fleabag
If you haven’t watched Fleabag – you should. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is an absolute talent, period. Her works deliver the truth about trauma and human relationships and go well beyond dark humor. She is an incredible writer, actor and show-runner in her 30s. Her other signature work, Killing Eve, is simply addicting. After I found out that she also played Lando’s droid in Solo: A Star Wars Story, I just can’t wait to have an opportunity to work with her. I probably would do it for free.
Yoko Ono – Artist and Musician
Last year, I went on a deep dive into the stories between the Beatles and Yoko. By this point, I can say with confidence that Yoko did not break up the Beatles. She used to suffer a lot of discrimination due to her Asian skin, and if you know about her life, you can tell she is a strong woman with stories and the strength to be hopeful. In the first few months into the COVID19 pandemic, she put up two huge banners at the Metropolitan Museum of Art simply saying, “Dream Together”. Wasn’t it the rarest thing during the toughest time?
Annie Leibovitz – Photographer
Annie is globally recognized for her astonishing work with celebrities. Different from most other celebrity photographers, she sees the authentic nature of people and portrays them in a way just enough to show their true personalities. The viewers would find both the uniqueness and authentic beauty in each human.
Britney Spears – Pop Star under Conservatorship
Many women are subject to abusive relationships and tremendous stress. Britney Spears is one of them, who happens to be a pop star. I think it takes an unimaginable amount of courage and strength to keep working and functioning for anyone in her situation. It would be interesting to see how her fight with the conservatorship goes – a fight against bad daddy. At least, she dares to be real.
In the end, I just want to say – love is the answer; love with strength.
Silvia Sun, Esq.
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