The Asian American Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org
LOS ANGELES (May 25, 2022) — In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) will debut “Heritage Heroes,” a special film that spotlights the stories of six unsung AAPI heroes from across the country. These "Heroes" were nominated by family, friends, and fellow community members for their outstanding stories of resilience, service, and courage. Together, the Heroes and their stories represent the diversity of AAPI experiences today. The special was produced by TAAF, Enfranchisement Productions, and FutureFriends, and it will premiere on Hulu this Thursday, May 26, 2022.
“TAAF created this special by and for our communities — with a nearly all-AAPI crew — to celebrate the stories of those who are often underrepresented on screen and behind the scenes in the arts and entertainment industry,” said Norman Chen, CEO of TAAF. “We are grateful for Hulu’s partnership in sharing this inaugural special with the world as we seek to create a greater sense of belonging for the millions of AAPIs living across America.”
TAAF previewed the “Heritage Heroes” special at an event in Washington D.C. last week where the six heroes were publicly announced. They are: Nurse-turned-chef Justin Foronda, Hawaii Police Major Mike Lambert, Paralympian Justin Phongsavanh, the high school students of Livingston Asian Youth Alliance (LAYA), Fisherman Thiện Nguyễn, and AAPI Activist Suki Terada Ports.
To help spotlight and pay tribute to each of the “Heroes,” the special will feature a celebrity cast including Daniel Dae Kim, Lisa Ling, Michelle Zauner, Simu Liu, Liza Koshy, Karrueche Tran, Jeannie Mai Jenkins, Gloria Steinem, Auli’i Cravalho, Ming-Na Wen, Jay Shetty, Chella Man, Chelsea Handler, Ella Jay Basco, Ian Alexander, Leo Sheng, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Manish Dayal, Miya Cech, Nathan Chen, Rain Valdez, Sherry Cola, and Sunita Mani. The special will also feature celebratory musical performances by Japanese Breakfast and MC Jin.
“Heritage Heroes” was directed, edited, and produced almost entirely by AAPI creatives — including the film crew and production and editing staff. The special was produced by Executive Producers: Kristen Wong, Brad Jenkins, and Saj Patel and co-executive producers Melvin Mar, Neha Patel, and Dan Mansour. The special features six films of each of the “Heroes”, each directed by an AAPI Director, including: Peter S. Lee, Julian Kim, Shruti Ganguli, Grace Evangelista, Jason Park, Alex Bocchieri, and Marion Hill. As well as musical performances and guest appearances directed by Dyan Jong and Dan Mansour. And talent booking was led by Cultivated Entertainment’s Jen Proctor, Sophia Tayui-Lepore, and Abigail Parsons.
Additional information about the special will be available on Hulu, and “Heritage Heroes” will be included in Hulu’s AAPI collection alongside other content focused on highlighting AAPI stories and experiences.
About The Asian American Foundation (TAAF)
The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) is a convener, incubator, and funder committed to accelerating opportunity and prosperity for AAPI communities. TAAF supports advocates and organizations committed to AAPI causes so that together we can more effectively take action against hate and violence, and build the infrastructure needed to improve AAPI advocacy, power, and representation across American society. TAAF was founded to solve for the longstanding lack of investment and resources provided to AAPI communities and strive to be a catalyzing force for creating a permanent and irrevocable sense of belonging for the 23 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in the United States. For additional information about TAAF, please visit www.taaf.org.
About Heritage Heroes
Heritage Heroes is a creative, inspiring program that centers on unsung heroes from the AAPI communities to share the stories of their work, their world and their wish for the future for a better America. Directed by AAPI auteurs and artfully woven together by celebrity presenters, the TAAF AAPI Heritage Heroes special tells the tales of leaders who rarely get the spotlight: educators, first responders, fishermen, healthcare workers, paralympians, mentors, and community advocates.
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