A major financial backer of Crazy Rich Asians plans to expand its diversity fund in partnership with Sundance Institute, Deadline reports.
Hong Kong-based Starlight Media is working to boost Stars Collective to support up to 100 diverse filmmakers, many of them female and/or BIPOC. It’s also considering doubling its budget to $100 million.
Stars Collective was first established in fall 2020. Among its first round of funded filmmakers are API creatives Hikari (37 Seconds, Tsuyako), Amy Ma (producer of Taiepei Suicide Story) and Phyllis Tam (Fragile Moon), The Hollywood Reporter reports.
“Our goal is to create impact within the film industry and support diverse artists at all stages of development,” said Peter Luo, founder and CEO of Starlight, Sundance reports. “During this challenging time in the world, we very much look forward to providing assistance and opportunities for the next generation of storytellers.”
While the fund is application-based, Stars Collective also plans to extend invitations to filmmakers based on previous work in the industry and in film festivals, Variety reports. Funding will be provided to original projects by these established creators. Starlight also has preferential deals with renowned filmmakers including James Wan (The Conjuring, Insidious, Saw) and Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians, In The Heights).
“There is so much phenoninal [sic], but untapped, original content from talented and emerging creators around the world, who just need an opportunity or a place to incubate and ideate,” said Luo, Deadline reports. “This is what Stars Collective exists to provide, at growing scale.”
Future projects backed by Starlight include Sony’s Umma, a horror written and directed by Iris K. Shim (The House of Suh) starring Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy, Killing Eve); Golden Empire, a crime thriller about a Chinese-Mexican drug lord starring Donnie Yen (Mulan, Ip Man); and Wuhan! Wuhan!, a documentary chronicling daily life in the city of the first documented COVID-19 case directed by Yung Chang (This Is Not A Movie, Up The Yangtze).
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