Hollywood is often synonymous with top stars and flashy images of the entertainment industry, but behind all the glitz and glamour, there is something else that Hollywood is known for: its lack of diversity. This isn’t a new topic of discussion, with the Oscars even releasing new diversity criteria to help encourage representation in September of last year.
And with the success of films like “Parasite” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” it seems like Hollywood is finally breaking that mold, but there is still more work to be done.
Despite the critical success of many Asian talents in the industry, only 4 films with Asian leading actors and stories have won Best Picture Academy Awards with 75% of those films receiving 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.
The Gold House-led movement, Gold Open, was created with the goal to propel the inclusion of API’s in mainstream media and help multicultural films secure award nominations and recognition. Organizations like Gold House and the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) work to bring Asian and Asian-American creatives and projects in Hollywood to the forefront. Together, the two organizations have teamed up to launch the inaugural Gold List that honors the most outstanding Asian and Pacific Islander (API) achievements in film each year.
Bing Chen, President and Co-Founder of Gold House commented, “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.”
Chen continued, “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.”
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 as follows:
Minari and Sound of Metal
Honorable Mentions: The Half of It, The White Tiger, Yellow Rose
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)
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)
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 also 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 and more can be found at goldopen.com/goldlist.