How Far We’ve Come: Wong Fu and Angry Asian Man

This year’s Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival was bigger and better than ever before.

I know people use that phrase to advertise things all the time but in this circumstance, it was actually true!

I’ve attended this film fest for a couple of years in a row. Supporting my fellow Asian American artists and filmmakers, some whom I have the honor of calling friends now.

This year, I’m able to truly reflect how far we’ve come as Asian Americans working in the film and entertainment industry. And we’ve come far. Just take a look at these two AA institutions: Wong Fu Productions and Angry Asian Man.

On Saturday, April 30th, I attended a special WONG FU PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS: Fast Forward panel hosted by Phil Wang, Ted Fu and Wesley Chan of Wong Fu Productions.

The event had been sold out for weeks and judging from the crowd that formed pre-event, I felt like I was attending a Justin Beiber concert.

More than 600 people crammed into the Director’s Guild of America theater, itching to watch these YouTube stars showcase some of our favorite videos on the big screen featuring works from Ryan Higa, Natalie Tran and KevJumba, and of course, Wong Fu themselves, among others.

As you can see, the crowd was very pleased.

Wong Fu + Friends also stepped onstage and answered questions. Phil and Wes ended the evening on a touching note:

“When I was younger, I loved watching Friends but never once did I think, it’s just all a bunch of white people. I just thought of it as a good show. That’s what I’m hoping our videos will be. Not videos with a bunch of Asian people in it. Just a good video. I bet you no one would ever question why Jay Z’s music videos only have black people,” said Phil.

Wes added, “Yea, it’s funny, as Asians, we’re just fighting to be normal. Other people are out there wanting to be superheroes and such, but we’re just trying to be normal and create good content.”

Then, it was time to head on over to a shindig celebrating a very beloved Asian American pop culture icon: Angry Asian Man.

Angry Asian Man aka Phil Yu is not one for fanfare (he’s too busy being angry about the injustices upon Asian Americans) but since the site turned a big 1-0, it was time for some celebrating!

Phil teamed up with the film fest to put together a kicking party filled with dancing, photo flip books, good ol’ Hite beer and friends.

This here be me and my friends, old and new.

Photo flipbook booth fun!

A touching (and funny) video with some of the most influential Asian Americans today ended the evening on a high note.

Asian Americans’ place in America may not be where we’d all want it to be. We’re still fighting for more screen time, less stereotypes, more role models, less racist bullying … but look, look …

… look at how far we’ve come.

Janice Jann has been attending the VC Film Festival for the last four years. You can read about her other experiences here.