Flushing Town Hall To Present 'Crazy Talented Asians & Friends' On May 30
May marks Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and in a nod to its own neighborhood's thriving and diverse Asian population, Flushing Town Hall will close the month with a celebratory presentation of artists on Saturday May 30. Crazy Talented Asians & Friends will begin at 6:00 PM with an hour of animated short films and a live panel discussion with seasoned professional animators and filmmakers. An hour of live stand-up and sketch comedy follows at 8:30 PM with some of New York City's premier Asian-American talent.
The event's first hour will feature exceptional animation shorts curated from the top four percent of several hundred submitted films, many from New York-based, college animation programs. They were selected for their superb art direction, storytelling, animation, production and sound design. The moving stories include a mother and son's struggle to express their love, two painters battling over space to paint in their own style, and another on the ever-present stress of urban living. The selection committee was led by the event's animation Lead Advisor Ms. Hsiang Chin Moe, BFA Animation Chair at the School of Visual Arts.
Moe is an active member of the global animation community, working with animation executives, recruiters and artists to foster talents all over the world. In addition to organizing and moderating an annual talent panel at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, she has made her own documentary, short and animated films that have screened in the United States and abroad, including Japan, Sweden, Taiwan and Thailand.
"It is my extreme honor to celebrate APA Heritage Month with an amazing selection of animated films. Special thanks to all the filmmakers for sharing their stories with our audience and inviting us on a journey of imagination. Their talent is a true representation of how unique and creative Asian-American filmmakers are, and the celebration is expanded to all the Asian creators in the world." says Hsiang Chin Moe.
The live comedy hour will be hosted by Otter Lee, featuring hilarious New York City-based comedians and comedy groups, including Michael Cruz Kayne, Dylan Adler, Nadia Iqbal, Srilatha Rajamani, Angel Yau and Overstep Comedy comedians Aarushi Agni, Jatin Chhugani, Jonathan Lu, Christian Luu, Andy Shartzer, Helen Shih and Migina Tsai.
Otter Lee is an actor, playwright, comedian, and voiceover artist born and raised in New York City. He produced and co-organized New York City's First Asian Comedy Festival at the PIT in January 2020. His sketch, standup, and improv have appeared at such venues as the Upright Citizens Brigade, Face-Off Unlimited, Caveat, Union Hall, The Magnet, The Asian American Writer's Workshop, and Buzzfeed. He co-founded Overstep Comedy which has performed sketch to sold-out venues in Manhattan. Their live performances cover a broad array of relatable Asian American experiences.
In partnership with the non-profit Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, which has provided comprehensive primary medical care since 1971 with over 300,000 annual service visits, Overstep Comedy will perform a sketch on mental health to help de-stigmatize this important topic in Asian American communities, an even more pressing issue amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Michael Cruz Kayne performs, writes, directs, and produces at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCB) and recently made a televised appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Michael has also appeared in What I Did For Love, Baby Wants Candy, Improv Everywhere, Funny Or Die, and College Humor. He has written for Nickelodeon, Netflix, the Inner Circle event for Mayor de Blasio, Ben Stiller, Anthony Atamaniuk, Denis O'Hare, and others.
Dylan Adler is a comedian, actor, and musician based in New York City. He has performed musical comedy at the New York Comedy Festival and hosts musical comedy show "Baby Grand" at The Stand. He performs sketch on Maude Night at UCB on his team "Young Douglas" and co-hosts variety show Woke AF at UCB Subculture. He co-hosts Just Come every Tuesday at the Graham and performs musical improv on People's Improv Theatre house team "Punch Funk" every Monday. He also cohosts queer mic "Snowflake Mic" at Club Cumming.
"This show highlights a bunch of super funny and super talented Asian-American comedians while celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and highlighting the importance of mental health. A two-for-one! Come see for yourself just how many talented and diverse voices are out there", invites Andy Shartzer, a member of the Overstep Comedy Group.
"Flushing Town Hall has been a strong advocate of arts equity since 1979. We support local, immigrant, national, and International Artists, developing partnerships and collaborations that enhance our efforts in supporting the global arts community," says Ellen Kodadek, Flushing Town Hall's Executive & Artistic Director. "It is even more critical in this unprecedented global pandemic for the community to come together. I want to thank our dedicated staff for making this event possible through live streaming."
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