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What to Watch During Asian & Pacific Islander American Heritage Month 2021

Updated: Aug 15, 2022

May is Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month, and I compiled a list of 10 movies and shows to watch to celebrate their culture and traditions.



During the month of May, Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans commemorate their heritage. It's a wonderful time for us to celebrate and gain an understanding of their culture and traditions. Movies have a profound effect on helping us gain insight and perspective of their entire experience.


PS: Some of these are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I may get a commission for recommending the product to you.


The Importance of Authentic Asian American Representation


Nicole Park of Scholars and Storytellers states, "Despite attempts at diversity in Hollywood in movies and TV, Asian characters have often been portrayed as weak, nerdy, exotic, incompetent, powerless, and are seldom in the spotlight as leads, just like black television and film characters."


Since media content help instills in us our culture shared values, attitudes, and beliefs, it is important that audiences gain a perspective from the proper representation of underrepresented characters.


Given the number of mass media messages we consume on the daily, the potential for cumulative adverse effects is great if we only see negative stereotypes of different cultures and backgrounds.




Here's a list of movies and shows you can check out during Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage month:


Parasite (2019 Film) (Academy Award for Best Picture)


Greed and class discrimination threaten the newly formed symbiotic relationship between the wealthy Park family and the destitute Kim clan.


Read the screenplay: Parasite


The White Tiger (2021 Film) (Academy Award for Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay)


A rich Indian family's ambitious driver uses his wit and cunning to escape from poverty and rise to the top as an entrepreneur.


Read the screenplay: The White Tiger



Ballers (2015-2019 Television Show)


A superstar during his football playing days, Spencer Strasmore tries to find the same success as a financial manager for current players in sun-splashed Miami.


Read the teleplay: Ballers



The Farewell (2019 Film)


A Chinese family discovers their grandmother has only a short while left to live and decides to keep her in the dark, scheduling a wedding to gather before she dies.




Gook (2017 Film)


Eli (Chon) and Daniel (So) are two Korean American brothers that run their late father's shoe store in a predominantly African American community of Los Angeles. These two brothers strike up a unique and unlikely friendship with an 11-year-old African American girl, Kamilla (Baker). As Daniel dreams of becoming a recording artist and Eli struggles to keep the store afloat, racial tensions build to a breaking point in L.A. as the "infamous" 1992 L.A. Riots break out.



Mulan (2020 Film)


A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a male warrior to save her father.


Read the animated screenplay: Mulan 1998




Master of None (2015-2021 Television Show) (Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series)


A New York-based actor struggles to identify what he really wants, both personally and professionally.


Read the teleplay: Master of None


Always Be My Maybe (2019 Film)


Reunited after 15 years, famous chef Sasha and hometown musician Marcus feel the old sparks of attraction but struggle to adapt to each other's worlds.




The Sun is Also a Star (2019 Film)


A hopeless romantic ambivalent about his future in medical school falls for a hard-luck young woman who doesn't believe in love.


Read the screenplay: The Sun is Also a Star



Fresh Off the Boat (2015-2020 Television Show)


Loosely based on the life of Eddie Huang during the mid-to-late 1990s, an Asian-American family decides to move to Orlando, Florida from Washington D.C. to embrace the "American Dream," facing many obstacles as they try to assimilate with the new culture that surrounds them.


Read the teleplay: Fresh Off the Boat




Want to Learn More About Filmmaking?


Become a better filmmaker with online filmmaking courses. Gain access to exclusive video lessons taught by film masters, including Shonda Rhimes, Spike Lee, Jodie Foster, Martin Scorsese, and more.


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Diversity in Cinema Academy has many other resources that I love to share with you, but I wanted to keep this blog strictly about the Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month.


If I had to pick two resources I couldn't live without for starting a film production, it would be these two tools.




Aside from the tools above, I also use many other resources to help me prep for a movie production. Some of them are FREE and some are paid.


You can check out some of the other resources that I love using on Diversity in Cinema Academy's resources page. You can view all of the resources for Filmmakers, Content Creators and Screenwriters from the links provided.


From filmmaking tools, to content creation tools, to screenwriting tools... they all can be found in the tools section of Diversity in Cinema Academy's website. I highly recommend that you check out our tools store! :)


If you like it, please help me to share the resources link with a friend. I would really appreciate it!


Okay, that's all for now. I hope that you have found the information I provided helpful!


Enough information, start watching!


 

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