AAPI community rallies to support new film 'Love in Taipei,' based on Bay Area author's novel

Kristen Sze Image
Friday, August 11, 2023
AAPI community rallies to support new film 'Love in Taipei'
The "Love in Taipei" movie premiere gained large support from the Asian-American community.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A new movie executive produced by a Bay Area novelist was released Thursday. It's called, "Love in Taipei," based on Palo Alto author Abigail Hing Wen's bestselling YA novel, "Loveboat, Taipei."

Without stars to promote the film amid the ongoing Hollywood actors and writers' strike, Asian-American leaders in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and even Toronto held screenings in the past week to build buzz and support the film with deep cultural roots. Wen joined ABC7 News anchor Kristen Sze on Getting Answers Thursday to talk about the film and its importance to the community.

MORE: 'Crazy Rich Asians' is more than a rom-com, it's a ground-breaker for Asian-Americans

The setting of Wen's story is one that many Bay Area Chinese-Americans are familiar with if they are among the thousands who have attended a summer cultural immersion program run for decades by Taiwan's government. It was officially called the Overseas Compatriot Youth Taiwan Study Tour. But attendees called it by its nickname, "Loveboat" for the many love matches made each summer.

The story's protagonist is a Taiwanese-American teen named Ever Wong, who is about to attend an Ivy League School on her way to becoming a doctor, when life takes an unexpected turn, one filled with friendship, romance and self-discovery. The film was shot in Taipei during the pandemic lockdown.

The movie's premiere is getting the kind of support from the Asian-American community that was generated for Bay Area film director Jon M. Chu's "Crazy Rich Asians."

Last week, an advance screening was held at the Great Star Theater in San Francisco Chinatown. The red carpet event was co-hosted by business leaders like Stand with Asian Americans Founder and Silicon Valley investor Dave Lu, Asian American Bar Association past president Miriam Kim, Ancestry CEO Deb Liu, and attended by influencers and leaders like Boba Guys' cofounder Andrew Chau and former Presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

ABC7 Anchor Kristen Sze moderated a Q&A with Wen after the screening.

Wen is proud of the film's all-Asian American young cast, led by Ashley Wong, Ross Butler, Nico Hiraga and Chelsea Zhang. She hopes the film will be a launching pad for the telling of more authentic Asian-American stories. "Love in Taipei" is streaming now on Paramount+. Viewers can get one month free using the code, TAIPEI.

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