A Grain of White Rice in the Endless Yellow Sun

Luke is a struggling Caucasian American actor. He only seems to go out for stereotypical roles, while all the leading roles are consistently given to yellow people - the standard for American filmmaking since the beginning of cinema.

Now, he’s pissed, determined to prove what Caucasian people can do, how they can lead, and how they can change history just by being given a chance. He formulates a plan of action with a duo of filmmakers. They’re here to document his love for film, regardless of stereotypes, and to capture his reenactments of famous American films. Though these films have Asian leads, he’s determined to show how plausible it would be to see a Caucasian American in place of what society has been used to for so long.

  • Jeff Fong
  • Jeff Fong
  • Jeff Fong
  • James Kyson
    Key Cast
    "Charles Chau"
    Heroes, Hawaii Five-0, NCIS: Los Angeles, Sleepy Hollow, Elementary, and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.
  • David Magidoff
    Key Cast
    "Jesse Anderson"
    NCIS:LA, CSI, Austin & Ally, Richie Rich, Veronica Mars, MTV's Broke Ass Game Show & Joking Off
  • Michelle Huang
    Key Cast
    "Claire Wu"
    Atypical, Notorious, Killing Animals, The Disappointment Tour
  • David Lautman
    Key Cast
    "Luke Smith"
    Ru, Consumption, Broken Horses, The Sunday Night Slaughter
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    mocumentary, drama
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 28 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 3, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Asians On Film Festival of Shorts
    Los Angeles, California
    United States
    January 26, 2018
    Won: Best Ensemble Cast & Best Original Script. Nominated: Best Comedy & Best Director.
Director Biography - Jeff Fong

On December 7th, 1985, Jeff Fong was brought into this world by his Italian mother, Lorna. Jeff’s Chinese father, Dexter, was standing by in full support of this birth.

Some say, Jeff sprouted out of the womb with a tennis racket in his left hand and a small roll of black and white film in his right… but this is not certain.

Jeff grew for approximately ten years, and in those years, learned how to become exceptionally shy, and particularly good at creating stories for his ninja turtles to step into. As a way to make himself feel cool, Jeff began typing these plotless stories on his father’s typewriter. Though this only lasted a few days, it inspired Jeff to continue writing, but with pen and paper.

At the prime age of sixteen, Jeff sat in a vacant movie theater with a small popcorn and a revelation. As he sat there, staring at the empty screen, he realized that people pay to sit and watch a filmmaker’s story, like a willing hostage. “This is how I can share all my stories with the world!” Jeff thought. That is when an animated light bulb popped up next to Jeff’s head, whispering into his ear, telling him that he would make films until the end of his days, and Jeff agreed.

For the next 14 years, Jeff would learn about every aspect of filmmaking in order to shape himself into the best filmmaker he could mold himself into. This worked, he thinks. He made a multitude of short films, a web-series, and then a feature in 2013. He wrote a couple more short scripts, and 4 feature scripts – none of which have been given life, as Jeff doesn’t quite know how to make that happen – but he would like to see them on the silver screen, soon, somehow.

Teleport to present day and you will find Jeff amidst organized chaos with his company, The Film Squad. They produce narrative commercial content for a wide variety of clients, and the members of the squad are also best friends – so that’s awesome.

One might also find Jeff writing his next feature script containing a myriad of scenes from his own life as a struggling introvert turned semi-extrovert who lives life as if he’s constantly in a multitude of film scenes.

Jeff likes how nice he is, and likes finding other nice people to be friends with. He is good at puzzles, guitar, and is an NCAA national tennis champion.

If you are nice, you should be friends with Jeff, and then the world will be a better place.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I used to be an outcast, a scrawny guy, a nerd... or at least that’s what other kids told me. They would bully me because they thought I talked funny, so I began to doubt most of the things I would say. I wasn’t accepted amongst the Asian kids because I was only half, and the same went for all the Caucasian boys and girls who never seemed to care about anything I had to say. I was voiceless, friendless. My companions were pens and paper, stories and characters, but they were without meaning, simply tools for dealing with loneliness. But one day, while sitting in a movie theater, I suddenly realized my purpose, my way of being, my way to have a voice. I would become a writer and director, a person who could help the weak, the bullied, the misrepresented, a person enabled with the privilege to speak to the world.

A Grain of White Rice in the Endless Yellow Sun is a blunt story that I flipped on its head for a very particular reason - to allow the audience to relate, when they often wouldn't. That audience I'm aiming at is the Caucasian audience, not the Asian audience. Asian Americans already know of this struggle, but in order to create progress, we need the majority of the American, influential audience, to see our story. I don't tend to like such blunt commentary, but I truly believe that my approach is a good one, one that is not forceful, but true. We often need visual examples to change our minds about what we believe to not be true, and if the audience is open minded enough, then with these visual cues, they can hopefully see the message to be true as well.

This is my way of breaking stereotypes, combining something familiar with something that is not. We are so used to seeing the All-American male, the “white guy,” the Caucasian as the leading man, but it is unheard of to see an Asian American male in one of those parts. I have told myself that as a writer and director, and as an Asian American, it is my duty to create roles for Asian Americans, roles that would give them opportunities to show their true talent, and put them in the spotlight that to this day, has yet to turn on.

One of the greatest gifts of filmmaking is the gift of relation, giving the audience the comfortable feeling of closeness to characters who they can relate to, and pity and love and understand. As both a writer and director, I have the privilege of evoking emotions in an audience, allowing them the chance to walk out of the theater with a powerful, positive feeling that can help give them that extra push to do something great with their lives. A Grain of White Rice in the Endless Yellow Sun will give its audience a refreshing, new taste of a movie, a sense of relativity, and most importantly, the subtle acknowledgment that Asian Americans are capable of holding strong, leading roles in any type of film.