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Meet the Inaugural Future Gold Film Fellowship Class

Meet the Inaugural Future Gold Film Fellowship Class

Last fall, Netflix, Gold House and Tribeca joined forces to create the Future Gold Film Fellowship, a program designed to elevate three Asian and Pacific Islander directors. Today, we’re introducing the inaugural cohort: Lloyd Lee Choi, Erin Lau, and Derek Nguyen

Through the program, these three directors will create scripted short films that explore the complexities of family love, persistence, and loss through their own remarkable artistic visions. The filmmakers will receive full funding; creative feedback and mentorship from Tribeca Studios and Netflix executives as well as production expertise from Tribeca; exposure to established talent within the Gold House network; and a seat in Gold House Futures, the premier collective of the most promising next-gen API creatives, founders, and social impact leaders. Additionally, the short films will be considered to premiere at the Tribeca Festival in June.

“These projects demonstrate the wonderful breadth of stories that can come from the API community,” said writer and director Aneesh Chaganty, who served on the selection committee. “And as someone whose career was kickstarted by a short film, I’m particularly excited to see this crop of filmmakers bring these stories to life.”

"I’m excited to be working with such groundbreaking industry entities such as Netflix, Gold House, and Tribeca Studios,” said recipient Derek Nguyen. “I'm grateful that these leaders in advancing inclusion are giving us the opportunity to make films that truly reflect our diverse API community. I feel heard, supported, and honored."

"To have support from Netflix, Tribeca Studios, and Gold House and to be part of such a passionate community is truly inspiring. I can’t wait to bring my film Closing Dynasty to life," said recipient Lloyd Lee Choi. "It's a story that I hope brings a new take on the API experience, and one that continues to bring visibility and empathy to a community we need to see more of on screen."

“I’m so incredibly thrilled and honored to be selected for this fellowship and to have the opportunity to make a film about my home of Hawaiʻi,” said recipient Erin Lau. “Programs like the Future Gold Film Fellowship, which focus on elevating stories and voices from the API community are vital, especially during these challenging times. I look forward to working with this amazing group of people to create meaningful work for our communities.”

Find out more on the directors and their projects below. For more information about the Future Gold Film Fellowship visit: goldhouse.org/film and tribecafilm.com/futuregoldfilmfellowship

Lloyd Lee Choi (“Closing Dynasty”)

Logline: On a school day, a precocious eight-year-old boy with the gift for gab, hustles and schemes ways to make money on the streets of New York.

Bio: Lloyd Lee Choi is a filmmaker from Toronto who got his start in the ad world. Named 30 Under 30 by Marketing Mag, he has directed campaigns for brands like Google, Playstation, Chevrolet, and Nat Geo. With his eyes set towards telling bigger stories, he is currently developing his first feature film based around his short Same Old about one bad night for a New York City delivery driver. Passionate about representation in front and behind the camera, he is driven to dig deeper into the Asian-American experience — one rich with new and compelling stories to tell.

Erin Lau (“Inheritance”)

Logline: While struggling to make ends meet as a photographer of Hawaiʻi’s recent lava flow, Kelsey Akioka is forced to confront the rage his family has held onto for generations.

Bio: Raised in Kahaluʻu, Hawaiʻi, Native Hawaiian filmmaker Erin Lau has dedicated her life to creating empathy-forward stories for her community. After receiving degrees from the University of Hawai’i and Chapman University, Erin continued her growth through opportunities with the Sundance Institute, Film Independent’s Project Involve, Unlock Her Potential, Points North Institute, Nia Tero, and Powderkeg’s Break The Room. Most recently, Erin produced and directed work for three years at Jubilee Media, where her videos accumulated over 130 million views. 

Derek Nguyen (“The Resemblance”)

Logline: When a grieving older couple go to a "rental family" agency to hire an actor to role-play their dead son, they discover that their evening of remembrance is more than they bargained for.

Bio: Derek Nguyen wrote and directed The Housemaid, which was released theatrically by IFC Films. He’s producing the American adaptation called Grave Hill, co-written by Oscar-winner Geoffrey Fletcher and directed by Deon Taylor, slated for production in 2022. Derek’s short The Potential Wives of Norman Mao screened at multiple film festivals around the world and was narrated by George Takei. He is also a partner with Mynette Louie at The Population, which produced Swallow, I Carry You With Me, and Catch the Fair One.

Download the images and headshots here.