Photo Credit: Nicolette Lambright
Changing the conversation on Asian representation in the media
This year, the Vancouver Asian Film Festival (VAFF) will be welcoming Netflix’s Bling Empire’s Kevin Kreider to launch its 26th year of the film festival. In both his professional and personal life, Kevin is passionate about advocating for more authenticity and diversity in Asian representation.
Asian representation has garnered more support over these past few years with movies with an Asian-led cast, such as Crazy Rich Asians, Bling Empire, Always Be My Maybe, and Love Hard. However, there is still a long way to go to ensure fair representation. “Back in my modeling days in 2009, I started talking about the importance of authentic Asian representation but it was way more difficult back then to get traction on this topic. If you were to bring up this topic back then, many would just brush it off but now we’re seeing a shift in awareness on the importance of Asian representation in the media.”
“Representation matters, and for that to happen we need a wide range of Asian stories to be told – not just us being immigrants or doing martial arts. It’s important to remove these stereotypes and change the conversation so that people can recognize the diversity of who we are as a community.”
To help break down these stereotypes, Kevin says that we all need to do our part to support Asian representation. “We need to show up and support the films, programs, music, and art by Asians. If our own community does not support those who are pushing for representation, then this window of opportunity will close quickly.”
In addition to advocating for Asian representation, Kevin recently launched an Asian-themed non-alcoholic beverage called Sans, which means “without” in French, to empower and normalize sobriety. “Oftentimes, the representation of those in recovery is tainted and viewed negatively. I wanted to change that perspective with the creation of Sans to support those in sobriety.”
Kevin will be kicking off this year’s VAFF at the Opening Gala on Thursday, November 3 from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. “I’m excited to be back in Vancouver to support VAFF to help shine a light on positive Asian representation. I encourage everyone to go support the festival and come to the opening gala and say hello.”
Meet Kevin in person tomorrow at the VAFF Opening Gala by purchasing your ticket here.
Author, Susan Seto: Susan has over 15 years of experience in communications and has a passion for storytelling to celebrate the diversity of Asian culture and identity. Always with a pen and notebook in hand, she finds joy in connecting with people and finding creative ways to tell their story.