VAFF Industry Insight (VAFF I²) Panel Series – 2
VAFF Industry Insight Series Panel 2: Asian Women in Film
Do you need to be a dragon lady to strive in this male-dominant film industry, especially for women of colour? Accomplished women from behind and in front of the camera discuss what it takes to thrive in the industry.
Olivia Cheng| Actor/Producer
Mia Fiona Kut | Actor/ Director/ Producer
Alexandra Cuerdo | Director
Emcee / Moderator: TBA
(Please see below for Panelist/Moderator bios)
VAFF Industry Party – Kick off our VAFF Industry series this year with the intimate VAFF Industry Party on November 2, 2018 (Friday) at 10:00 pm at Bar None Night Club, 1222 Hamilton St Vancouver BC. ($10 – Limited Tickets for Sale), in the heart of the city’s vibrant downtown core. This exclusive party is for filmmakers, industry, media, and special VAFF guests.
Olivia Cheng was born in Edmonton, Alberta. The dynamic actress was born to Cantonese-speaking immigrant parents, who were part of a co-founding group of parents that created the Edmonton Chinese Bilingual Education Association’s Mandarin program within the city’s public school system. She credits this for her ability to speak Mandarin and instilling a reverence for her culture. Her background has heavily influenced her breakout role in the Weinstein Company-produced series, Marco Polo (2014), being one of the most expensive television series ever produced at the time, which premiered on Netflix in December 2014.
Olivia enrolled in her first acting class at age six, and at age 19 she booked her first local commercial. After finishing school, she became a videographer for Global TV Lethbridge, before moving back to Edmonton to work as a broadcast and print journalist. Olivia went on to freelance as a correspondent for ET Canada, and was cast by Robert Duvall in Broken Trail (2006), which was nominated for 16 Primetime Emmy Awards and would go on to win four, including the Emmy for Outstanding Mini Series. Since then, Olivia has appeared on USA’s Psych (2006), Fox’s Fringe (2008), CTV’s Flashpoint (2008), The CW’s Arrow (2012) and Supernatural (2005), and CBC’s Arctic Air (2012).
Alexandra Cuerdo is a Filipino-American director, producer and editor, recently named one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women In the World by the Filipina Women’s Network. MSN ranks her feature directorial debut, “ULAM: Main Dish” as one of the “Top 5 Food Documentaries to Watch” now. As a content producer and editor, Alexandra’s videos for BuzzFeed have achieved over 200 million views and over 1.5 million shares on Facebook. She is based in Los Angeles and New York. “ULAM: Main Dish” is Cuerdo’s first feature length documentary.
Mia Fiona Kut
Mia is a filmmaker and actor, launching her own film production company, Ruckus Entertainment after completing her Marketing degree at Simon Fraser University. Her first web series, Ivy Tower, landed a spot at the Los Angeles Web Festival. In 2015, she was named Top 30 Under 30 and made the cover for the Richmond Review, and she was awarded as part of ‘Best Ensemble Cast’ for her supporting role in the feature film Floating Away. She has also appeared in CW’s The Flash, FOX’S Wayward Pines, and Minority Report. She was named Runner Up in Telefilm’s genre screenplay competition for her sci-fi feature Heliophilia, and her directorial short film, Wildhouse, has played in multiple festivals, and won the ‘Award of Excellence’ at Canada Shorts. Her recently completed film, Sonder has won ‘Best Female Filmmaker’ at the LA Independent Film Festival Awards and will be having its Canadian Premiere at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival.