Grace Lee is a Los Angeles based writer and director.  Her feature film AMERICAN ZOMBIE premiered at Slamdance Film Festival and was released by Cinema Libre in 2008.  Prior to that, she produced, wrote and directed THE GRACE LEE PROJECT which was broadcast on Sundance Channel and is distributed by Women Make Movies.  She received her MFA in Directing from UCLA Film School, where her thesis film BARRIER DEVICE, starring Sandra Oh, won a Student Academy Award and Directors Guild of America award among others.  She is the recipient of the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Digital Media, a Rockefeller Media Arts grant, the PPP Pusan Prize as well as funding from the NEA, Center for Asian American Media, Chicken & Egg Pictures and the Armani Directing Fellowship from Film Independent.  Grace was also selected to Visual Communications’ 2012 PROJECT CATALYST (formerly known as C3: Project Market) where she promoted her film project MUSIC FOR AARDVARKS.

Grace just premiered her feature film JANEANE FROM DES MOINES at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, where she was nominated for the prestigious International Critics’ Prize – Discovery.  In JANEANE, a conservative Iowa housewife’s personal and political convictions are severely tested as she seeks answers from the Republican presidential candidates leading up to the 2012 Iowa Caucuses.

During the recent tumultuous Presidential Election, the film’s release was very apropos.  We had a chance to delve into with Grace the the controversy surrounding JANEANE, not only from a political standpoint, but also from a narrative slant.  

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Born in Seoul, South Korea, Jay Caspian Kang grew up in Boston and Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  In 2003, Kang graduated from Bowdoin College and was also awarded the prestigious Sinkinson Prize for Best Short Story.  Shortly thereafter he received his Masters of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University.

Kang has had articles appear in the New York Times Magazine, Wired, Deadspin and The Atlantic.  Along with surfing, he’s an avid sports fan, writing many articles for Bill Simmons’ Grantland, where he is currently an Editor.  Kang’s debut novel, THE DEAD DO NOT IMPROVE was released in August of 2012 and revolves around a disgruntled MFA graduate named Philip Kim, who discovers that his elderly neighbor has been murdered, and who soon becomes the unlikely protagonist of a quickly unfolding mystery.

We had a chance to discuss with Jay his novel, his affinity towards Pop Music, and why surfers are a totally different breed.

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