It’s been a crazy, awesome first week back.

APASA, in collaboration with USC Asian Pacific Cinema Association, Outside the Box [Office], and USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association, kicked off the school year off with a bang: a ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ (CRA) Screening, complete with the one and only director, Jon Chu and Warner Brother Entertainment's CEO, Kevin Tsujihara.

Yes. It happened.

5:30 pm. Students and alumni alike shuffled into Norris theater, waiting in anticipation for Chu’s historic movie to begin. Following ‘Joy Luck Club’, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is the first Hollywood-backed movie to feature an all-Asian cast in 25 years so we were definitely in for a treat. I won’t give away any spoilers, but PLEASE go watch CRA. You won’t regret it!

As a School of Cinematic Arts alumni (‘03), John Chu came back to honor his alma mater, and he definitely showed off his Trojan pride.

During the Q & A, he acknowledged that there were quite some roadblocks to making people excited about the movie, especially with such a narrow title. It turns out, only 1 out of 21 people volunteered to go to the pre-screening for free. However, after seeing the film, Chu received an overwhelmingly positive reaction from people of all ages, gender, and ethnicity. The movie isn’t solely about Asian representation, it ties in layers of emotional ties for a broader audience from meeting in-laws to being unfamiliar in a new country.

While ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ features stars like Constance Wu and Ken Jeong, Jon Chu had the freedom to expand his cast as well. Chu recalled how so many Asian actors, although talented, hadn’t gotten the screen time they deserve.

Henry Golding, a British-Malaysian actor, is not new to the entertainment industry (after being involved with BBC’s The Travel Show), but never made a splash in the Hollywood scene. ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ has brought representation to the forefront of the entertainment industry.

Aspiring directors and actors have a newfound hope in that their voice matters. And with that, the movie has a huge influence on the surrounding APA community because this is the start of media that represents them, and their experiences.

Come Sunday, we welcomed students in with our annual Welcome Back BBQ- complete with delicious food, drinks, and of course, picnic blankets! Our Programming Director, June Moon, planned a whole spread. We served white rice, vegetable chow mein, macaroni salad, vegetables, kalua pork, chicken, and fortune cookies. Justin Kawaguchi, one of our co-recruitment chairs, hooked us up with Peace Tea and iced coffee. It was such a fun event to start with, and we can’t wait for you to come out to more of our events!