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#AsianAugust is becoming #AsianAnnually.
#GoldOpen, the movement that coordinated theater buyouts and other community-engagement strategies to help propel such Asian-American films as Crazy Rich Asians and Searching to box-office success last summer, is expanding to establish a sustainable system to support such projects on an ongoing basis.
“Director Jon M. Chu proclaimed that Crazy Rich Asians was more than just a movie – it was a movement,” #GoldOpen co-creator Bing Chen said in a statement. “But a movement only lasts with a machine behind it. We’re ecstatic for the next phase to support more New Majority creative voices and their projects, so the world we watch finally reflects the world we live in.”
A new website, goldopen.com, will track all movies, television shows and major publishing appearances involving Asian or Asian American talent, with links to view details about each project, share information on social media and purchase tickets (or set reminders to be notified when tickets become available). As soon as tickets go on sale, visitors to the site, built by New York City-based agency Barrel, are directed to a dedicated #GoldOpen portal hosted on the AMC Theatres website, part of an innovative new partnership between the campaign and the country’s largest exhibitor.
At the AMC page, patrons will be able to organize their own special screenings of #GoldOpen films, buying tickets in bulk (including reserving entire auditoriums) and ordering concessions through a designated, easy-to-use form.
“AMC Theatres is a long-time exhibitor of Asian-led films, and this partnership with #GoldOpen helps AMC and the entire film industry continue to support diverse storytelling and make these movies more accessible to a growing audience segment,” said Elizabeth Frank, AMC Theatres chief content officer and executive vp of worldwide programming. “Group movie-going is already affordable and growing in popularity, and this partnership will make it more accessible to communities throughout the country.”
#GoldOpen, which already works closely with the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment as well as the A3 Foundation, among other groups, will also leverage The We Company’s Meetup.com and Facebook groups to further spread the word and coordinate screenings. The movement was birthed by Gold House, a collective of Asian-American leaders across multiple industries who assembled a salon at CAA in 2017 to develop a strategy for supporting films made by members of the community. Justin Chon’s 2017 Sundance- and Indie Spirit-winning drama Gook was the first #GoldOpen beneficiary, followed by Chu’s Crazy Rich Asians, Aneesh Chaganty’s Searching, Lee Chang-dong’s Burning (starring Steven Yeun), James Wan’s Aquaman and this season’s slew of Asian-American-helmed acclaimed documentaries, including Bing Liu’s Oscar-nominated Minding the Gap.
“It’s truly important that the Asian community support each other through action rather than lip service,” Chon says. “#GoldOpen has proven that they are an organization of action, organizing powerful people in our community to create critical mass for success.”
Chon’s follow-up film, Ms. Purple, premiered at Sundance last month and will no doubt be supported by #GoldOpen when it receives distribution, as will Chaganty’s upcoming Lionsgate thriller Run, along with a growing roster of projects made by and/or featuring Asian Americans (many of which will be intersectional and diverse, being led also by women as well as creatives from the black, Latinx, LGBTQ+, disabled and other communities traditionally marginalized by mainstream Hollywood). As such, inadvertent omissions are inevitable and people are invited to submit projects to be considered for an official #GoldOpen.
“Because of #GoldOpen’s efforts in 2018, an incredibly clear message was sent to Hollywood: If Hollywood ushers Asian-American talent into the film industry, whether behind the lens or in front of the camera, that talent will be supported by our community – a community that is large, proud and generous,” Chaganty says. “I’m honored to have been a beneficiary of that support with Searching and can’t wait to cheer on who’s next.”
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