CHOPSO is the ultimate streaming destination for English-language Asian content worldwide. Today, CHOPSO officially launches its subscription-based streaming service with movies, documentaries, short films, TV and digital series…All Asian, all English, 24/7! The service kicks off the launch with exclusive Oscar content, celebrity Brand Ambassadors and content partnerships including Hatchfund.
(See November’s Exclusive Content Calendar below.) For $4.95/month or $49.95/year, customers can stream CHOPSO’s library anytime via the app (on iOS – App Store Link & Android devices – Play Store Link) or website worldwide (www.CHOPSO.com).
As a filmmaker/writer and former Vice President of the Japanese American National Museum, Sakai had the unique perspective of being on both sides of the art world. “One of my goals as a filmmaker and writer is to create content that features people that look like me.” At the same time, he was making movies, he spent almost thirteen years at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) programming screenings, film festivals, book readings, panels, family days, workshops, and exhibitions. When Sakai screened the first episode of FRESH OFF THE BOAT, one of the visitors standing in line asked him why Asian Americans haven’t made anything since the iconic movie BETTER LUCK TOMORROW. “This blew me away as Asian Americans had been making content, only it was hard for people to see it because there was no ‘one’ place to go.” When co-founder Quentin Lee and Sakai first started talking about CHOPSO Sakai knew what was missing, “a place where Asian filmmakers (who speak English) could show their work and a place for those who are interested in actually seeing such content.”
CHOPSO’s Chief Creative Officer, Quentin Lee, adds “My first feature SHOPPING FOR FANGS launched at the Toronto International Film Festival 20 years ago in 1997. At that time, I didn’t get the distribution offers I wanted and went on to distribute the film theatrically myself with high hopes but little luck.” Lee went on to distribute a slate of Asian and Asian American features theatrically and on home video but because English language Asian films and diasporic Asian content was a relatively new genre 20 years ago, it hadn’t yet captured a niche. “Today, twenty years later, technology and the internet have made niche-casting a profitable venture. We founded CHOPSO as a global distribution outlet to all the English language Asian content and their creators who may not find distribution elsewhere in the traditional distribution marketplace.”
“Asian Americans and English speaking Asian cultures globally are underserved and underrepresented in entertainment,” says CHOPSO’s CEO, Koji Sakai. In 2016, Asian Americans were the biggest U.S. moviegoers of any ethnic group, dethroning Hispanics by seeing 1.5 more movies on average that year; and according to exhibition lobbying from the National Association of their annual Theatrical Market Statistics Report, the Asian/Other attendance category reported the highest per capita in 2016 — on average, Asian Americans went to the movies 6.1 times, in comparison to Americans with Hispanic descent average 4.6 times, while African Americans went 4.2 times and Caucasians went 3.2 times.”
CHOPSO has formed key alliances with Asian celebrities to become CHOPSO Ambassadors including YouTube sensations Linda Dong and Megan Lee as well as Academy Award winner Chris Tashima.
- Twenty-one-year old female comedian, Linda Dong directs, edits, and also stars in her own YouTube comedy channel Leendadproductions which has accumulated over 21+ million views.
- Most known for Make It Pop and her YouTube channel, Megan Lee, has worked in TV programs like Crash TV’s Kidz Bop, Nickelodeon’s iCarly, Nickelodeon’s Make It Pop Kid Choice Awards, Disney’s Get Connected, 3 Minute Game Show and most recently, South Korea’s popular show, MBC Star Audition – The Great Birth.
- Chris Tashima received an Academy Award® for VISAS AND VIRTUE, a film tribute to Holocaust rescuer Chiune Sugihara, which he directed, co-wrote and starred in. He also served triple threat with the PBS DAY OF INDEPENDENCE and played romantic lead opposite Joan Chen in Eric Byler’s SXSW Special Jury Prize winner AMERICANESE as well as portrayed Papa Nakaji in the screen adaptation of Graham Salisbury’s WWII young adult novel, UNDER THE BLOOD RED SUN
NOVEMBER CONTENT CALENDAR
CHOPSO celebrates its launch with exclusive current content and two 20th Anniversary re-issuings. The November Exclusive Content Calendar includes
- Nov. 11th – The 20th Anniversary of the digitally restored Quentin Lee and Justin Lin feature SHOPPING FOR FANGS will be streaming exclusively on CHOPSO day and date with the theatrical world premiere at the San Diego Asian Film Festival on Nov 11TH (http://festival.sdaff.org/2017/films/shopping-for-fangs/). The film centers on four very different Asian-Americans in their 20s whose lives unexpectedly intertwine. Marking the theatrical feature debut of actor, John Cho, the film Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and became an Asian American cult classic.
- Nov. 15th – Chris Tashima’s Academy Award Winning short film VISAS AND VIRTURE will be streaming exclusively on CHOPSO.com day and date with the 20th Anniversary screening of the film at the Japanese American National Museum on Nov 15. Receiving the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 1997, VISAS AND VIRTURE starring and directed by Chris Tashima, tells the true story of Holocaust rescuer Chiune “Sempo” Sugihara, known as the Japanese “Shindler,” having issued over 2,000 transit visas to Polish Jews from his consulate in Kaunas Lithuania in defiance of his own government and thereby allowing an estimated 6,000 individuals to escape the impending Holocaust.
Former Youtube Global Head of Creator Development and Management, Bing Chen was tapped as an advisor on CHOPSO for the much needed tech startup expertise in the company. Jack Ong and Leon Ng, both CEOs and entrepreneurs in their own rights, became CHOPSO’s advisors and head of Canadian operations. Head of Legal, Karen Gee, had been production counsel for Sakai and Lee’s projects over the years. And Head of Branding / CDO, Sue Limsukonth, started the precursor of CHOPSO’s current news site, Apopolis.com along with Lee.
CHOPSO has formed strategic partnerships to close the circle in the content creation and distribution chain. “We were the missing link,” says, Sakai. “We’re excited to be the online distribution partner with Vancouver Asian Film Festival, San Diego Asian Film Festival (Pacific Arts Movement) and the Japanese American National Museum. By partnering with Hatchfund, we can directly vouch filmmakers and their projects into Hatchfund for crowdfunding which is essentially a one-stop shop for both a non-profit fiscal sponsor and crowdfunding platform without charging filmmakers.” SING MY SONG, a feature documentary by Canadian filmmaker, Barbara Lee, will kick off the Hatchfund + CHOPSO partnership as the first crowdfunding project. SING MY SONG follows the journey of songwriter Kayee Lee to find a singer for her songs. Beginning her quest with first-time American Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson, Kayee must confront her own biases ingrained from the absence of Asian rockstars while growing up in the West. Support the SING MY SONG campaign on Hatchfund HERE!
Hatchfund hosts an online community where artists can post projects for funding and connect with those who love and support artists. Our goal is to help artists successfully navigate the challenging world of online fundraising through our unique educational and hands-on approach. Donations support originality, imagination, and discovery at the moment of their creation. All donations to Hatchfund are tax-deductible because they simultaneously support artist’s projects and the non-profit mission of Hatchfund: to invest in America’s finest artists and to illuminate the value of artists to society. https://www.hatchfund.org/
Pacific Arts Movement
Our mission is to present Pan Asian media arts to San Diego residents and visitors in order to inspire, entertain, and support a more compassionate society. Pac Arts is committed to sharing powerful stories with audiences year-round through the San Diego Asian Film Festival, Spring Showcase, Spotlight Screenings, and Outdoor Screenings. From our award-winning high school documentary program Reel Voices to Youth Days at the festival, we are also dedicated to educating and nurturing a new generation of creative leaders and storytellers. http://pacarts.org/
The mission of the Japanese American National Museum is to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. Located in the historic Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles, JANM is a hybrid institution that straddles traditional museum categories and strives to provide a voice for Japanese Americans as well as a forum that enables all people to explore their own heritage and culture. Since opening to the public, JANM has presented over 70 exhibitions onsite and traveled 17 of its exhibitions to locations around the world, including the Smithsonian Institution and the Ellis Island Museum in the United States, and several leading cultural museums in Japan and South America.http://www.janm.org/
VAFF is dedicated to promoting and celebrating the diversity and depth of Asian culture and identity in film and media, and to help North American Asian actors and filmmakers more authentically and more powerfully define and express themselves on screen. Through its annual film festival and many other programs and events hosted in Vancouver, VAFF’s mission is to be the “go-to” forum for the public and the film industry to engage in and support the rise of Asian influence in film and media in the world. VAFF envisions a world where North American Asian actors and filmmakers have the resources and opportunities to shape mainstream culture in a powerful and positive way. http://www.vaff.org/
CHOPSO is the ultimate streaming destination for English-language Asian content worldwide. Movies, documentaries, short films, TV and digital series…All Asian, all English, 24/7! For $4.95/month or $49.95/year, customers can stream CHOPSO’s library anytime via the app (on IOS & Android devices) or website worldwide. http://www.chopso.com/. All handles are @CHOPSO