Tony Chan

This New York-based, Hong Kong-born filmmaker helmed a first feature that strove to transcend the East Asian stereotypes prevalent in Hollywood entertainment. Budgeted at a thrifty $200,000 (payment was deferred to cast, crew, and co-producer), "Combination Platter" (1993) was shot in 24 days after hours at the Chan family's restaurant. The enterprising young filmmaker spent a year editing the footage in the kitchen of his parents' Long Island house while spending several days each week doing restaurant work. The final product netted Chan the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance, inclusion in the 1993 New Directors/New Films series at NYC's MOMA, and a screening during the prestigious Critics Week at Cannes.