CAPE Fellows Abroad: 3 Fellows Selected for ODW’s Artists-In-Residence Program in Shanghai


As a part of this year’s CAPE New Writers Fellowship, Oriental DreamWorks selected 3 CAPE Fellows for their Artist-In-Residence Program in Shanghai, China. Johnny Ngo (Feature Film Fellow, 2017) talks about his experience.

Oriental DreamWork’s Artist-In-Residence Program was simply priceless. From the moment wearrived to our last day at the office, we never stopped feeling welcomed. The ODW staff, at every level, was supportive and collaborative. There was no micromanaging. They trusted us to be artists, because they’re artists themselves. They respected our own individual creative process. They even went out of their way to nurture it. They took us on tours around Shanghai to inspire us and made sure we tasted the culture through various cuisines that were carefully curated. There’s no question I’ve expanded my mind… and gained some extra pounds (of culture) in the process.

I’ve never worked in animation. ODW’s Artist-In-Residence Program challenged me to develop a new lens for storytelling. Justinian and Susan, the two creative executives I was paired with, constantly pushed me to be more visual and to think outside the box. “Why does this have to be animated?” “Can we convey that concept or emotion more visually?” “How do we keep elements simple yet satisfying?” One of my favorite moments came on the second day when we met with the visual team and our assigned visual artist. We were given a project to tackle by this point. As I described my vision – a single image that captures the spirit of the movie, the visual artists would say, “That’s great Johnny, but how are we suppose to FEEL at this point in the story?” I loved that. Their instincts kept me grounded. I’m proud of the work I accomplished with ODW. I’m exceptionally proud of my visual artist for capturing my vision and elevating it to epic proportions. I can go on and on about my experience with ODW and their Artist-In-Residence Program, but I’ll just summarize it in two words: rewarding and unforgettable.

Thanks again, ODW and CAPE for this amazing opportunity. My creative compass will never be the same!



Join us for a mind-blowing evening with DAVID KWONG, the magician and puzzle master behind NOW YOU SEE ME and ABC’s DECEPTION, in a special benefit performance for CAPE!

DATE: September 28, 2017
TIME: 7:30PM
LOCATION: National Center for the Preservation of Democracy at the Japanese American National Museum
ADDRESS: 100 N Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012



A veteran “cruciverbalist” (crossword puzzle constructor), Kwong routinely creates puzzles for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and other national publications.

Kwong is the puzzle and secret code consultant for the hit NBC show BLINDSPOT. He was the head magic consultant on the 2013 worldwide hit film NOW YOU SEE ME. Other films Kwong and his Misdirectors Guild have worked on include THE IMITATION GAME, ANT-MAN, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION, THE MAGNIFICENT 7.

Kwong was a featured speaker at TED 2014. His talk on how human beings are “wired to solve” involved hiding secret messages in the New York Times crossword puzzle. Kwong’s book Spellbound: Seven Principles of Illusion to Captivate Audiences and Unlock the Secrets of Success was published by Harper Business in May 2017.

Thank you to our sponsor!

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You’re Invited to the CAPE Leaders Fellowship Graduation & Industry Mixer!

CLF Grad Promo

Join us for CAPE’s inaugural Leaders Fellowship Graduation & Industry Mixer!

DATE: Tuesday, August 15, 2017
TIME: 7pm – 9:30pm
LOCATION: Madera Kitchen
ADDRESS: 1835 North Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
PARKING: Valet parking $9 and metered street parking
$45 – Online Pre-Sale (On sale until 8/15 at 5PM PST or until sold out)
$50 – At door CASH | $50 + fees – At door CC

***All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.***
All proceeds benefit CAPE, a 501(c)(3) organization that works to increase Asian American Pacific Islander representation in entertainment.


Come celebrate the CAPE Leaders Fellowship Graduation & Industry Mixer! Eat, drink, mingle, and connect with the largest group of AAPI entertainment professionals in Hollywood. Celebrate with the inaugural class of Leaders Fellows, CAPE Board of Directors, Partners Wells Fargo, The Walt Disney Company, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lionsgate, DreamWorks, The CW, and many other top industry professionals.

Refreshments include hors d’oeuvres and cash bar.


For more information about our CAPE Leaders Fellowship, click here.
For more information about CAPE, click here.


Promo Image_2018 HBO APAV

HBO, in partnership with CAPE and Visual Communications, invites emerging Asian Pacific American (APA) filmmakers to create works that explore themes of home for its second annual HBO Asian Pacific American Visionaries Short Film Competition. The contest seeks to address such timely issues as belonging, identity, and culture through the lens of the APA experience. Three winning films be selected to premiere at the Los Angeles Asian American Film Festival, showcased on HBO platforms, and awarded cash prizes.

For complete rules and guidelines, visit

Deadline for entries is November 1, 2017 at 9:59pm PST.

Join the conversation on social media with hashtag #hbovisionaries.

Introducing the CAPE Leaders Fellowship Inaugural Class!


CAPE launches its first annual CAPE Leaders Fellowship to equip the next generation of creative executives and talent representatives with the skills and professional network to break into the VP ranks and beyond. Modeled after CAPE’s highly-successful New Writers Fellowship, this new signature program includes evening sessions, intimate breakfasts, networking mixers, and one-on-one mentoring sessions with high-level industry executives.

“The CAPE Leaders Fellowship represents phase two of our strategic vision,” said CAPE Executive Director Michelle K. Sugihara. “We started with writers because diversity begins on the page. Now we are excited to turn our focus to the decision-makers who have the power to champion and greenlight our stories.”

The inaugural class of Fellows are:

KYLE DEAN is a Los Angeles-based talent manager at McKeon/Myones Entertainment. Born abroad and raised as a “military brat”, Dean eventually settled down in San Antonio, TX before getting his BA from Stanford University, double majoring in Film & Media Studies and Psychology. After graduating in 2009, he moved straight to Los Angeles and worked in casting and as a freelance writer before eventually transitioning to talent management. Dean is very involved in Stanford in Entertainment, the official alumni group for Stanford alums working in the entertainment industry, where he serves as Treasurer and Board Member. He is also involved in Ivy Pride Alliance LA

LINDSEY GUI is a Manager in the Corporate Business Development and Strategy group at Warner Bros. In her current role, Lindsey works on strategy and M&A projects including the studio’s China strategy, J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, and the video streaming service HOOQ. Prior to Warner Bros., Lindsey worked in corporate and business development functions at Bona Film Group and entertainment investment firm The Seelig Group. Lindsey is a board member of the Network for Asian Pacific Americans at Warner Bros. She graduated with honors from Princeton University with a BA in public policy and The Wharton School with a MBA in statistics and marketing.

SAN HENG was born in a refugee camp in Cambodia.  After failing to show any proficiency in break dancing, she started working in television. She is now an Executive Producer. Her credits include the long running TLC show SAY YES TO THE DRESS, creating the pilot of the show out of an apartment in Brooklyn, NY. Other credits include home-design/renovation shows such as WHILE YOU WERE OUT  and MOVING UP as well as ensemble follow-docs, like REAL HOUSEWIVES and LITTLE WOMEN:LA. San attended the University of Florida where she received a dual degree in telecommunications and psychology, but more importantly, learned how to tell a story, perform improv comedy, and truly dominate at Risk.

NATHAN KITADA is a Creative Development Exec at YouTube Originals, where he oversees scripted original content for YouTube Red.  Prior to the Originals team, Nathan worked on YouTube’s Creator Lab initiative, an internal R&D group focused on areas of expansion for the YouTube platform (360º/VR video, Kids Content, Edu Content).  Before YouTube, Nathan was at Maker Studios, where he ran programming on Maker’s gaming hub channel and helped build their branded entertainment business as Director of BE, Gaming.  Nathan has an MFA from the American Film Institute and a BA from Yale University.

ALEX LIN was born in Taipei, Taiwan and immigrated to the United States. He was raised in  San Gabriel Valley. Alex is currently the Vice President of Development at DEFY Media, the top digital producer and programmer of original video content for Millennials and Gen Z. DEFY creates original web series, television series and feature films across all platforms. Prior to DEFY Media, Alex was the Manager of Comedy Development at NBC. Prior to his work in network television, Alex worked in the TV literary department at CAA, and he began his career at Innovative Artists. Alex earned a bachelor degree from University of California, Los Angeles.

JOHN ZHANG currently works as a Creative Executive at Le Vision Entertainment, a company that has been called the Netflix of China. He completed internships at Viacom while studying economics at the University of Chicago. After graduation, he found himself attracted to the creative side of the business so he made the move to Los Angeles. He started his career at Perfect Storm Entertainment, the production company of director Justin Lin, where he focused on developing and producing movies for the emerging Chinese market. As a lover of technology, John hopes to identify new opportunities as the way audiences consume content changes, and continue his effort to create engaging films for both China and the rest of the world.

Led by top industry executives and agents, the Fellowship is the brainchild of CAPE Board Chair Kevin Iwashina (Co-Founder & CEO, Preferred Content), who serves as co-chair with CAPE Board Members Albert Cheng (COO, Amazon Studios) and Peter McHugh (Manager, The Gotham Group).

Fellowship partners include Wells Fargo, The Walt Disney Company, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and DreamWorks Animation. Additionally, the Fellowship is supported in part by generous contributions made by individual donors during CAPE’s 25th Anniversary Gala in October 2016.

For full press release, click here.

Visual Communications Presents the 2017 LA Asian Pacific Film Festival!

CAPE is a proud Community Partner of the 2017 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, presented by Visual Communications. The festival runs from April 27 – May 4.

Use code CAPE17 to get $2 off tickets to the following programs:


GOOK by Justin Chon
supported by the UCLA Luskin School of Public Policy
Saturday, April 29 at 8pm | Aratani Theater
Buy tickets to GOOK



Catch the winning entries from the APA Visionaries Short Film Competition
Friday, April 28 at 6:30pm | Tateuchi Democracy Forum

And join us at the Kick Off Party this Friday, April 7 at the Pico House in Chinatown! Tickets available for purchase here.

#LAAPFF2017 takes places from April 27 – May 4. For the full festival schedule, click here.

Submissions for NBCU Shorts Fest Open Until May 15

NBCU NBCUSHORTS FEST, the industry’s premiere diversity short film festival, is a nationwide search for talent focused on discovering the next generation of content creators. This bicoastal festival seeks narrative works made within the last two years in the categories of  DRAMA, COMEDY, WEB SERIES and Comedic PILOTS. The goal is to not only scout up and coming directors, writers, and actors, but to introduce them to top industry executives, agents, and tastemakers while awarding prizes ranging from camera packages, monetary grants, pitch meetings, and holding deals.

Past Alumni have go on to direct episodes or to act as artistic directors of our cable network series, shadow directors on NBC Primetime Series, been cast as series regulars for new NBC pilots or have sold their shorts as series to major cable networks.

Learn more at Deadline to submit is May 15, 2017.


by Liz Alper

© Photographer Somlit Inthalangsy
© Photographer Somlit Inthalangsy

I had the pleasure of attending CAPE and Oriental Dreamworks’s “Why Stories Matter: Creating Social Change Through Art & Entertainment” on the Dreamworks campus. Moderated by author and cultural critic Jeff Yang, the panel featured actress Kelly Hu; playwright and TV writer David Henry Hwang; and CRAZY RICH ASIANS Screenwriter, TV writer & Producer Adele Lim.

As a newly-minted TV writer, I’ve found myself attending more panels than I can count this past year, hoping to gain some insight into navigating the strange business I work in. Most of these panels are specifically tailored for new writers, often covering aspects of the business new writers wouldn’t think to ask about. The panelists are always eager to be helpful, but many of their answers seem restrained and carefully constructed. Understandably, no one wants their words coming back to bite them later on. But it also means you’re never sure if you’re getting a truly honest answer.

That’s why I was pleasantly surprised by the open, honest and sometimes blunt approach by the panelists as they shared their own personal experiences. Jeff started the panel with the acknowledgment that the world now was very different; many people have demanded that those in Hollywood stop talking about politics, but, as Jeff explained, we are in the business of telling stories about humanity, and humanity is inherently political. As the night went on, the panelists touched on issues that many audience members could relate to: the fear of being the “whiny minority” in the writers’ room; the feeling when higher ups delegate a potentially offensive story to you as a way to shift responsibility; the Catch-22 of being unable to cast Asian American actors in certain roles because they haven’t had the proper training, but the lack of proper training corresponds with the lack of those roles in the first place.

The panelists also shared some personal moments in their lives where they were made to feel different. Kelly Hu shared the story of her mother pulling her aside before the Miss Teen USA contest and telling her not to cry when she didn’t win; America was not ready to see an Asian Miss Teen USA. Kelly revealed she decided not to apologize for being Asian, but to embrace it – which ultimately helped her land the title.

The audience was also privy to some personal experiences from the writing world. Adele Lim shared how, as a young TV writer, she was often viewed as a resource for all things minority-related. David Henry Hwang explained that the Eugene O’Neill theater’s poor casting decision (casting a white actor to act in yellowface) lead to an uproar that ultimately lead the theater showcasing David’s first play, FOB. David used this as an example to show what good can happen when someone (in this case, the Creative Director at the Eugene O’Neill theater) was willing to listen.

The panel wrapped up with some questions from the audience, and a fantastic reception afterwards. Thank you again to CAPE for this thoughtful and well-done event!


LizAlperLiz Alper is currently a Story Editor on the hit NBC show CHICAGO FIRE. She met her writing partner, Ally Seibert, in a Sony restroom when they were both assistants. She is a graduate of Emerson College in Boston.

Submissions for the CAPE Leaders Fellowship Now Open!


Submissions for the 2017 CAPE Leaders Fellowship open through May 1, 2017 at 11:59pm PST. Apply at

Our new signature program, the CAPE Leaders Fellowship, is an incubator to equip the next generation of creative executives and talent representatives to break into the VP ranks. The Fellowship will be run by senior members of CAPE’s Board of Directors, and will feature high-level speakers and sessions to train participants in the art of communication, leadership, and pitching, among other skills.

The Fellowship is slated to launch in July 2017. Sessions will be held Monday evenings andWednesday mornings from July 17, 2017 – August 7, 2017.

More details about the Fellowship and submissions can be found here.

You’re Invited to the 2017 CNWF Graduation Industry Mixer!

Come celebrate and connect at the CAPE New Writers Fellowship Graduation & Industry Mixer! Eat, drink, mix, and mingle with the largest group of AAPI entertainment professionals in Hollywood. Celebrate with CAPE Fellows past and present, members of CAPE‘s Board of Directors, and our partners at NBCUniversal, Oriental DreamWorks, Warner Bros., Amazon Studios, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Final Draft, Writers Guild of America, West, The Black List, and more!




Where: Ca’ Del Sole
Address: 4100 Cahuenga Blvd. Toluca Lake, CA 91602
When: Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Time: 7:00-9:30pm
$25 – Online Early Bird (On sale until 4/7 at 6:00pm or until sold out!)
$30 – Online Pre-sale (On sale until 4/26 at 5:00pm)
$35 – At the door
***All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.***


For more information about our CAPE New Writers Fellowship, click here.