This week I talked with Filmmaker Ray Yeung about his new feature "Front Cover" a bittersweet dramatic comedy that addresses the Asian American experience with humor, irony and insight. The film is about an openly gay New York City fashion stylist Ryan (Jake Choi) who has rejected his traditional Asian upbringing. However after he is given an assignment to style Ning (James Chen) a famous Chinese actor for an important photo shoot an unlikely friendship develops between them leading Ryan to re-examine his roots and consider an enticing new path for his life and career. "Front Cover" is opening in limited release on August 5th in New York City at the Village East and August 12th in Los Angeles at Sundance Sunset 5 distributed by Strand Releasing after rave reviews on the film festival circuit. I talked to Ray about his inspiration for "Front Cover" and his spin on our LGBT issues.
When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Yeung stated:
I was living in Hong Kong and born in Hong Kong and Hong Kong use to have a gay and lesbian film festival in 1989 but they stopped it in 1997 when Hong Kong was given back to China for political and economical reasons. I restarted the gay and lesbian film festival in 2000 because I didn't want that kind of freedom of speech and freedom of being gay to be suppressed and lost. We started the film festival in the year 2000 and the festival since then has been very strong and we are the biggest and longest running gay and lesbian film festival in Asia now. I think it is very important to have our stories being told. If you are a young kid coming out with no identity or not sure what it is like being gay you can go to the cinema and watch your story or some other people's story or their struggles on the screen and that kind of gives you a lot of power and belief in life. So they have a sense of identity and they have the belief in other people's dreams and life can be different or better or whatever so the world they live in there are other avenues and ways of living. I think it is very important to have gay and lesbian film festivals everywhere in the world.
Ray Yeung is a Columbia University MFA graduate whose first film "Cut Sleeve Boys" premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and won Best Feature at the Outfest Fusion Festival in Los Angeles. Yeung is very concerned with the whitewashing of Asian stories in Hollywood and is committed to continue making films about our Asian LGBT community. His next film will be shot on location in his native Hong Kong which not only tells the story of two Asian men but will also capture a rapidly changing city under China's rule. Ray Yeung continues to be the Chairman of the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
For More Info: frontcoverthemovie.com