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Squid Game's Lee Byung-Hun, Marvel's Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings Director Destin Daniel Cretton and Netflix's Bela Bajaria Honored as ASSC 2021 Game Changers

In its 12th year, Asia Society Southern California's annual U.S.-Asia Entertainment Summit will honor both creatives and executives, beginning with trailblazing Netflix Head of Global TV Bela Bajaria, visionary director of Marvel's Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings Destin Daniel Cretton, and renowned South Korean actor Lee Byung-Hun.

LOS ANGELES - October 26, 2021 - (

Asia Society Southern California (ASSC) will be hosting the 12th annual U.S.-Asia Entertainment Summit on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.

The dynamic entertainment summit celebrates Asians and Asian Americans who have made significant contributions to film and television, both creatively and philanthropically. Asia Society has long recognized the power of entertainment media in building bridges across cultures and ASSC will pay tribute to a group of honorees whose impact on the medium transcends international borders.

Bela Bajaria was named Head of Global TV, Netflix in 2020, overseeing all scripted and unscripted series around the world. Bajaria leads the teams responsible for hit series including The Crown, Bridgerton, The Queen's Gambit, Never Have I Ever, Squid Game, La Casa de Papel and Lupin.

Prior to Netflix, Bajaria was President, Universal Television, where she made history as the first woman of color to oversee a studio, shepherding programming including Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Mindy Project. Earlier, she held two key posts simultaneously: Senior Vice President, Cable Programming for CBS TV Studios, and Senior Vice President of Movies and Miniseries for CBS Network.

Maui-born Destin Cretton, is fresh off the release of Marvel Studios' newest film, Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings, starring Simu Liu, Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, and Tony Leung. This is the first film in the MCU that is led by an Asian actor and mostly Asian cast. Destin's feature film debut, I Am Not a Hipster, premiered at Sundance in 2012. And was followed by Short Term 12, which won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival in 2013, featuring early performances by Brie Larson, Lakeith Stanfield, Rami Malek, Kaitlyn Dever, and John Gallagher Jr. His third feature, an adaptation of the NY Times best-selling memoir, The Glass Castle, starred Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, and Naomi Watts and was released in 2016 by Lionsgate. Following this, Destin directed Just Mercy for Warner Bros, the adaptation of the NY-Times best-selling memoir by civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson. The film starred Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson.

Byung Hun Lee is largely credited for being one of the driving forces of the "Korean Boom" in the entertainment industry. Lee has found tremendous international success in television and film and has solidified his position as one of Asia's biggest stars.

Lee's popularity is apparent with many records and honors to show; he is the only actor to sell out the Tokyo Dome with 45,000 screaming fans, as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Lee was the first Korean actor to present an Oscar at the 88th Academy Awards in Los Angeles and most recently, Lee became the first Korean actor awarded with the Asian Film Excellence Award in 2021 at the 15th Asian Film Awards.

Lee appeared as "Front Man" in Netflix's most-viewed series, Squid Game. Lee recently finished filming Emergency Declaration which had its world premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival in 2021, The Match, and Concrete Utopia, set to release in 2022.

His latest project Our Blues from acclaimed writer Noh Hee Kyung is currently shooting in Korea and returns him to the small screen.

In conjunction with this celebration of excellence in film and television, ASSC will honor the philanthropic endeavors of the establishment of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures with a tribute to its major Asian and Asian American donors. This new cultural landmark and the inspirational ethos behind it would not be possible without the generosity of philanthropists such as this year's honorees: Mark Amin, Ashok and Chitra Amritraj, Julia Gouw, Peter Lam, George Takei, and the Robert Chinn Foundation.

Preceding the evening program, attendees will be able to tour the newly-opened Academy Museum, including its much-anticipated exhibition on Japanese animation legend Hayao Miyazaki and showcase of kung fu icon Bruce Lee. Live panels and virtual conversations with Asian American industry leaders and journalists will round out the afternoon program.

"The impact of Asian and Asian American filmmakers, actors, executives, and philanthropists on the film and television industry cannot be overstated. Their vision shapes not only the stories we watch on screen, but how we remember our history, how we see ourselves. ASSC is honored to recognize this group of 'Game Changers' for consistently driving forward Asian representation both on- and off-screen," said Janet Yang, Producer and Chair of the U.S.-Asia Entertainment Summit.

The U.S.-Asia Entertainment Summit is the most prestigious gathering of dealmakers, thought leaders, and content creators in the U.S. and Asian entertainment industries. Founded in 2010 and now in its 12th year, this signature ASSC event -- originally created as a forum for filmmakers from the U.S. and China to collaborate -- has expanded to a full-day conference analyzing the driving forces and current trends transforming entertainment across all of Asia and beyond film -- to television, digital streaming and content, music and gaming. Further expansion of the summit programming this year reflects the growing impact of entertainment from Korea, India, and Japan, among others, throughout Asia and in the United States.

"We are delighted to be bringing back our incredible summit this season. While much has changed over the last year and a half, it's clear that diversity and the creativity of global content are here to stay. The recent success of "Squid Game" is a positive and exciting indicator of how Asian content can so successfully cross international boundaries. The summit committee is thrilled to continue championing industry leaders who are creating a massive impact in the entertainment space,"  said Asia Society Southern California Co-Chair Katie Soo.

The 12th Annual U.S.-Asia Entertainment Summit will be held on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.

For more information on the US-Asia Entertainment Summit, please visit:


About Asia Society Southern California

Established in Los Angeles in 1985, Asia Society Southern California (ASSC) is ideally situated at the gateway to the Asia-Pacific region. ASSC has played a pivotal role through creative programs and activities in increasing shared knowledge, enhancing dialogue and furthering cultural exchanges transcending regional boundaries.

As part of the global Asia Society, which was founded more than 60 years ago in New York City, ASSC has launched many creative initiatives and programs addressing current issues of importance across the fields of the arts, culture, policy, business and education.

All of us at Asia Society Southern California thank you for your continuing support of our long-standing mission of cultivating greater synergy and bridging cultures between people in the U.S. and the Asia-Pacific region. We welcome your feedback and your ongoing participation in our many events as you join us on this exciting journey to a better shared future.

For more information on Asia Society Southern California, please visit:

Media Contact: Felicia Wong, 

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Original Source: Squid Game's Lee Byung-Hun, Marvel's Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings Director Destin Daniel Cretton and Netflix's Bela Bajaria Honored as ASSC 2021 Game Changers
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