Filmmaker Advice: Brian Yang

Brian Yang, producer of Linsanity, shares some insider perspective on submitting to film festivals.

In 2013, CAAMFest opened with a record-breaking, sold-out screening of Linsanity at the Castro Theatre. The first documentary to open the festival in over a decade, Linsanity went on to receive a theatrical release in both the US and Taiwan.

Since 1982, the annual festival has been an important launching point for Asian American independent filmmakers as well as a vital source for new Asian cinema. Submit now and join us at the nation’s largest showcase for new Asian and Asian American films.

Check out some insider perspective from Brian Yang, producer of Linsanity:

Filmmaker Brian Yang. Photo courtesy of the filmmaker.
Brian Yang.

I’ve been to several CAAMFests over the years and it never fails to bring joy. It really is the best game around as the teams over the years just know how to put on a great festival. It’s really well attended, they curate great works, and, well, it’s the Bay, so it’s the best! In 2013, with Linsanity, we had an absolute blast. Everyone involved with that movie was from the Bay somehow, so to screen it at home for all our friends and family at an oversold Castro, it was second to no festival—and we played some pretty heady festivals that year!”

Yang’s tips on submitting to film festivals:

It’s pretty simple. Submit a piece of work you are proud of and know you made the best way you could. As an emerging filmmaker, your first piece could be your one shot to make a first impression, so it’d better say something. It’s getting ever more competitive in the Asian American filmmaking space, which is a great thing. A long time ago, there might have been this thought that if you just made something, you could get in because of a lack of material getting done. Today, that’s far from the case. You better come correct with your A game. If you half-step, people will smell it a mile away.”

American actor and producer, Brian Yang is best known for his role as “Charlie Fong” on the CBS primetime drama series, Hawaii Five-0. Yang produced the Jeremy Lin documentary Linsanity, directed by Evan Jackson Leong, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and had it’s Bay Area premiere at CAAMFest. This year, he finished a short documentary for ESPN Films about WNBA star Brittney Griner that will be released in July. He works as a producer and actor on projects in New York, Hawaii, Los Angeles and throughout Asia.

CAAM members can submit entries for free. Join us and find out how to bring our stories to light. Find out more on how to become a CAAM member, starting at $50, click on the donate button below.