Asian Americans know that having talent and skills in the entertainment industry is [not nearly] half the battle.
Every film needs financing; whether it’s raised through private investors or loving family members and crowdfunding, movies are expensive. Therefore, a huge part of the industry isn’t the actors on set, or the gear they use, but the financing and distribution that is truly the blood and soul of the movie. Money for their film is like oxygen to filmmakers, and having the best concept in the world is nothing without it.
In the past, the Harvey Weinsteins of the world have disregarded many talented individuals based on personal biases, because the one with the gold makes the rules, right? Well, not anymore. Crowdfunding is real, angel investors do exist, fiscal sponsorships can help, and brands like Full Spectrum Features are changing who gets funded, and which projects get the green light.
Full Spectrum Features
Full Spectrum Features opened its doors five years ago with a mission to make a difference. Securing their 501 C3 the same year they started Full Spectrum, they began their mission with a focus towards women, LGBTQ, and People of Color. They understand that films impact culture.
Company mission statement
Full Spectrum Features is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization committed to increasing diversity in the independent film industry by producing, exhibiting, and supporting the work of women, LGBTQ, and minority filmmakers. We also aim to educate the public about important social and cultural issues, utilizing the power of cinema to foster understanding in our communities.
Full spectrum offers a dazzling array of programs for new and established filmmakers. Their Fiscal Sponsorship program helps filmmakers connect with 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, and get access to donations and funding. The Producer’s Lab is a “hands-on project accelerator” for all stages of a film’s progress.There are also programs targeted at shorts, and one for running better film festivals. Truly broad spectrum coverage!
Eugene Sun Park
Executive Director and Founder
Eugene is a filmmaker and producer working in narrative and experimental forms. His films have screened at over 400 festivals, micro-cinemas, museums, and alternative screening venues around the world, including SXSW, BAMcinemafest, Outfest, Frameline, Chicago International, Cleveland International, Chicago Underground, Athens International Film + Video Festival, and Antimatter. His feature-length script Michael’s Story (a fictional drama inspired by the 1982 murder of Vincent Chin) won the screenplay competition at the 37th Asian American International Film Festival in New York.
Eugene is the 2020 Community Impact Scholar of the Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Chicago, and he was the 2019 recipient of the Jan and Frank Cicero Fellowship at the Newberry Library. Described by Newcity as “essential to the film world of Chicago,” Eugene was recently inducted into the magazine’s inaugural Film 50 Hall of Fame.
Dir of Operations and Co-Founder
Jason is a fourth-generation Japanese American producer and musician from Chicago. Jason co-produced The Orange Story, an early Full Spectrum project funded by the U.S. National Park Service that aims to provide educational content about civil liberties as told through the lens of Japanese American incarceration during WWII. Jason is the director and primary composer for Chicago-based music ensemble Ho Etsu Taiko. Jason is also a strategy consultant for Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten (Tokyo), a 150 year old traditional Japanese instrument maker who officially serves the Emperor of Japan. Prior to joining Full Spectrum’s staff, Jason spent 10 years in the financial derivatives industry, retiring in 2017 as Director of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s strategic pricing team. He is the Executive Director and Founder of Full Spectrum Features .
Katharin Mraz is a contributing writer for Reel Chicago and Reel 360. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org