The National Association of Film Critics is proud to present its inaugural Humanitarian Action Through the Film Medium Award to Jon M. Chu for his role as director of the groundbreaking film Crazy Rich Asians. People of Asian descent have largely been marginalized in American films and American media in general. Asian leads are a rarity in mainstream Hollywood films and many Asian performers have had lengthy careers with numerous outstanding performances but have rarely received the nominations, awards, and opportunities to headline projects that many of their peers have received. Jon M. Chu, in making Crazy Rich Asians, took an entirely Asian cast, the first assembled for a mainstream Hollywood production in decades, and told a story about distinctly Asian culture and Asian lives that proved once again that audiences want more diversity in film and studios need to fund more projects like his. His film has allowed a large group of Americans and of people with Asian heritage around the world to see themselves reflected in film in a way that Hollywood has denied them in the past. Crazy Rich Asians, in its ability to not only garner rave reviews but also to become one of the highest grossing romantic comedies ever made, has opened the door to continued representation for not just Asian performers, but all people who have received less time in the spotlight than they deserve. For these reasons, we can think of no one more worthy of the NAFC’s inaugural Humanitarian Action Through the Film Medium Award than Jon M. Chu.
About the Award:
The National Association of Film Critics presents the Humanitarian Action Through Film Award to an individual within the film industry who has promoted a humanitarian effort, attempted to combat a current social crisis, or brought light to past injustices through the medium of film. This could be accomplished in several different ways such as documentaries highlighting refugee crises, retelling of civil rights era stories, bringing historically marginalized groups into the Hollywood fold, and so forth.