ROTTEN TOMATOES CO-FOUNDER & FORMER CEO PATRICK LEE IN AUSTRALIA
AND CHAMPIONING ASIAN REPRESENTATION IN ENTERTAINMENT
21 August 2018, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA: Patrick Lee, co-founder and former CEO of Rotten Tomatoes, the world’s most influential movie and TV review aggregate site, has joined forces with leading influencers within Australia’s startup community to launch a local push for greater Asian representation on global screens.
The successful MediaTech entrepreneur is using the new film Crazy Rich Asians to showcase the commercial potential of featuring more Asian-Americans in film. The #GoldOpen movement is a successful US social change campaign which has seen Asian industry leaders buy out whole cinemas to ensure the success of the movie on the opening weekend. The romantic comedy is the first all-Asian blockbuster movie to come out of Hollywood in 25 years, following The Joy Luck Club in 1993.
Girl Geek Academy co-founder Lisy Kane has partnered with Jeanette Cheah from The Hacker Exchange, Nick La from WePloy and Sheryl Thai from Cupcake Central to host a “Gold Open” screening of Crazy Rich Asians in Melbourne next month as part of this drive for increasing diverse representation in media and business.
“Girl Geek Academy is about challenging the stereotypes and creating positive and visible new role models – whether that’s for women within the tech or gaming world, within cultural groups or the LGBTIQ community,” says Kane, who was recognised by Forbes in its prestigious top 30 list: Forbes 30 Under 30 2017: Games at the age of 29.
LA-born serial entrepreneur Lee, who took 12 years to graduate from college because he was so focused on building companies, says it’s important to have more Asian faces in film.
“We need Asian representation on our screens and, more importantly, to send a message to Hollywood and the film and television community worldwide about its commercial viability,” Lee said.
Crazy Rich Asians, which is currently 93% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, opens August 30 in Australia. In the US, its commercial success has been resounding, making about $US34 million in its opening 5 days.
Jeanette Cheah said: “I had quite an emotional response to this movie, because growing up as an Asian Australian it’s so rare to see Asian faces on screen and you often feel there is a very defined path to success. Seeing Asian actors playing fun, romantic, lead roles is a powerful way to bust that myth.
“At The Hacker Exchange, our two founders are Asian American and Asian Australian. We are all about showcasing Aussie startup talent on the global stage, building a diverse pipeline of leadership, and creating a strong community. Seeing the Gold Open success in the US was proof of what a community can do when people back each other, and we wanted to be a small part of that,” Cheah said.
Australian audiences can put the #GoldOpen concept to the test on September 7 at Melbourne’s Village Cinemas Crown, located within the bustling Crown Melbourne casino complex.
The fundraiser for charity One Girl is being hosted by emerging Asian entrepreneurs, rather than ‘crazy rich’ Asians, but all are welcome to attend in the spirit of inclusion and ensuring the films’ success at the box office.