Critics Choice honored influential Asian-Americans with its inaugural Celebration of Asian Pacific Cinema and Television on Nov. 4 at the Fairmount Century Plaza in Los Angeles.
Honorees included legend James Hong, John Cho, Auli’i Carvalho, as well as newcomers including the cast of Ms. Marvel.
On the carpet, several honorees were excited to be part of this inaugural celebration. Auli’i Cravalho, voice of Moana, said unlike awards shows which announce a winner, it was a relief to know everyone attending is already an award-winner.
While honorees appreciated the recognition and acknowledge the increase AAPI representation in Hollywood, mostly since Crazy Rich Asians; many said there is still much more work to be done. A few wondered why this was the inaugural API Celebration. The Critics Choice Association will be holding their fifth Celebration of African-Americans in Cinema and TV in December.
Comedian Prashanth Venkataramanujam hosted the awards
James Hong: Icon Award. 93-year old James Hong has played more than 600 roles in film and TV, from Hawaii 5-0 and Bonanza in the 1950s, to Wayne’s World 2, to the grandfather in Everything Everywhere All at Once. He founded East West Players, and Asian-America playhouse in LA. On the carpet, he brought out his hot dog fingers glove for some fun photos. He received his Walk of Fame Star in Hollywood in May 2022.
John Cho: Actor Award for Film
Photo: Critics Choice
Auli’i Carvalho: Rising Star Award for Film presented by IMDbPro)
Donee Shi: Animated Film Award. Shi directed Turning Red, and the Bao short. She is the first female director at Disney Pixar.
David Siev: Social Justice Award
Elodie Yung: Breakthrough Actress Award for Television.
Ms. Marvel Cast: including Iman Villani, Aramis Knight, Yasmeen Fletcher, Mohan Kapur, Rish Shah: Ensemble Award for Television). Ms. Marvel on Disney+ is the first Muslim superhero starring lead in a Marvel Studios show, and first Marvel Studios series on Disney+ to feature a predominantly Asian-American cast.
Soo Hugh, Showrunner Award. Hugh is writer and exec. producer of Pachinko on Apple+ TV. Base on the New York Times bestseller, Pachinko is about four generations of a Korean immigrant family.
Hasan Minaj: Comedy Award
Park Chan-wook: Director Award for Film
Zoë Chao: Actress Award for Television
Frank Chi: Documentary Short Award
Li Jun Li: Breakthrough Actress Award for Film
Karyn Kusama: Trailblazer Award
Ke Huy Quan, who plays the dad in Everything Everywhere All At Once. He famously got his started in Hollywood playing Indy’s sidekick Short Round in Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom. After that, he didn’t find many roles for Asian-Americans in Hollywood, so he fell out of acting. But in the post Crazy Rich Asians world, he’s returned.
Stephanie Hsu, who plays the daughter in Everything Everywhere All At Once.
Additional Presenters included: Bing Chen, Rosalie Chiang, Darren Criss, Travon Free, Olivia Hamilton, Pete Hammond, Theresa Kang, Munika Lay, Lisa Ling, Kal Penn, Sam Richardson, Michelle Rodriguez, Sanjay Sharma, Alan Yang
Additional Guests included Jovan Adepo, Rubina Bernabe, Christine Chiu, Sherry Cola, Dolly De Leon, Isabelle Du, Peter Filimaua, Miki Ishikawa, Laurel Marsden, Lewis Tan, Kara Wang, and more.
Honorees Hwang Dong-hyuk (Director Award for Television), Park Eun-bin (Rising Star Award for Television presented by IMDbPro), Joel Kim Booster (Breakthrough Actor Award for Film) and Nick Mohammed (Actor Award for Television) were awarded virtually through video presentations.