Evan Jackson Leong

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Evan Jackson Leong (or Evan Leong) is a director and documentary filmmaker. Leong is likely most known for his documentary Linsanity about Jeremy Lin, which made its world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.[1][2] He has also directed the documentary 1040: Christianity in the New Asia (2010), and the documentary short BLT Genesis (2002), which tracks the behind-the-scenes making of and trajectory of Justin Lin's film, Better Luck Tomorrow.

Films and documentaries[edit]

Leong directed the documentary Linsanity about Jeremy Lin, which screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.[3][4][5][6][7] The documentary was also produced by Brian Yang as well as Christopher Chen, Allen Lu, Patricia Sun, James D. Stern and Sam Kwok.

The documentary was several years in the making, and Leong started following Lin when he still played basketball at Harvard University.[8] When the film screened at Sundance, it received positive reviews from the Los Angeles Times,[9] The Hollywood Reporter,[6] Variety,[10] and many more publications.

Leong has also directed the feature-length documentary 1040: Christianity in the New Asia (2010), a documentary that chronicles the rapid changes in Asia and the significant shift in the spiritual landscape in the area known as the “10/40 Window”- the region between 10 and 40 degrees north latitude on the eastern hemisphere.[11][12]

Leong has also directed, from a script he has written, the drama Snakehead which was initially slated to star Lucy Liu in a story about the underworld of human smuggling that takes place on the streets of New York City's Chinatown.[13] Later Kickstarter campaigns of the film reveal that the lead actress has been switched from Lucy Liu to Shuya Chang (playing the main character of Sister Tse), and actors such as Sung Kang (playing a character named Rambo) and Jade Wu (playing a character named Dai Mah) have been added to the cast.[14][15] The film was also produced by Linsanity producer Brian Yang.

Short films and music videos[edit]

Among the other films Leong has directed include the short film, Manivore (2009) (starring Grace Su and C.S. Lee), and the documentary short BLT: Genesis (2002), which chronicles the making of and the rise of Justin Lin's film, Better Luck Tomorrow (2002). For BLT: Genesis, Leong won a Jury Award for Best Documentary Short at the 2002 San Diego Asian Film Festival. Leong also directed the short film Suckerball 73 as a Visual Communications "Armed with a Camera" fellowship film, which screened at the 2003 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (or VC Film Fest as it was known back then).[16] Leong also directed a short documentary entitled Him Mark Lai: The People's Historian (2005) and a short PSA on the Asian Law Caucus entitled Empowering Communities: Asian Law Caucus in Action (2010).[17][18] Leong also directed the "Fists of Fuhrer" segment in Justin Lin's Finishing the Game starring Roger Fan as Breeze Loo, Nathan Jung as "Bob," Aiko Tanaka, and Nikita Esco (credited as Natalie Susko), with choreography from Don Thai.[19]

Leong's banner is known as Arowana Films. He has also directed a number of music videos that have screened on MTV and other outlets for groups such as Far East Movement (music videos for the tracks "Round Round" and "Satisfaction" on The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift soundtrack; "Western", "Work Bounce" and "Far East Futura"), MC Jin (the tracks "Yum Dom Cha" and "Li Li Luan"/"Li Li Chaos"), Lyrics Born (the tracks "Last Trumpet" and "Bad Dreams"), and Estairy ("Hands Up" also feat. Equipto).[18][20][21]

He also co-Directed, with Michelle Phan, the Paris-shot Rouge in Love, which has accumulated close to 3 million views on YouTube and was scored by George Shaw.[22]

Leong also used to be a segment producer for MTV News starting from 2010.[23]

Producing and other work[edit]

Leong was a field producer on the political documentary, ...So Goes the Nation (2006) and has also assisted with or worked in the production department of films directed by Justin Lin including Finishing the Game (2007) (Co-Producer, Post Production Coordinator, 2nd Unit Director), The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) (where he was also Justin Lin's assistant), and Better Luck Tomorrow (2002) (where he was an Assistant Editor and also played the role of the "Slapper's Boyfriend"; he also directed a "behind-the-scenes" short documentary about the film entitled BLT:Genesis). Leong is also a cinematographer and Steadicam operator, having done additional camera work on the documentary short Spotlighting (2005) directed by Justin Lin.


Leong is a graduate of UCLA (majoring in Asian American Studies) and is also a sixth-generation Chinese American native of San Francisco, California, specifically the Richmond District.[18][24][25]


  1. ^ Linsanity, Sundance, http://filmguide.sundance.org/film/13097/linsanity
  2. ^ Linsanity, Sundance Review, The Hollywood Reporter, http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movie/linsanity/review/414155
  3. ^ Tim Wu, Linsanity Review, Slate, http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/01/25/linsanity_review_documentary_film_by_evan_jackson_leong_follows_nba_star.html
  4. ^ Linsanity Review, San Jose Mercury, http://www.mercurynews.com/movies-dvd/ci_22451482
  5. ^ Jeremy Lin to appear at Sunday Screening of Linsanity, http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogssundanceblog/55706331-50/lin-rockets-documentary-jeremy.html.csp
  6. ^ a b Linsanity Review, The Hollywood Reporter, http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movie/linsanity/review/414155
  7. ^ Sundance 2013 - Linsanity, http://filmguide.sundance.org/film/13097/linsanity
  8. ^ San Jose Mercury News, Linsanity Moviemakers Took Wild Ride Along With Their Star, http://www.mercurynews.com/jeremy-lin/ci_22451478/linsanity-moviemakers-took-wild-ride-along-their-star
  9. ^ Stephen Zeitchik, Sundance 2013: In 'Linsanity,' Jeremy Lin's extraordinary journey, http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-sundance-2013-linsanity-jeremy-lin-movie-rockets-knicks-nba-stats-20130120,0,1626846.story
  10. ^ Josh L. Dickey, Sundance: Docu filmmakers hit 'Linsanity' jackpot, http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118065200/
  11. ^ 1040 Movie, About, http://1040movie.com/1040-the-movie
  12. ^ 1040, Cast and Crew, http://1040movie.com/cast-crew
  13. ^ Mike Fleming Jr., ‘Elementary’s Lucy Liu To Star In Human Smuggling Drama ‘Snakehead’, http://deadline.com/2014/10/lucy-liu-human-smuggling-snakehead-1201267993#u=http://deadline.com/2014/10/lucy-liu-human-smuggling-snakehead-1201267993/
  14. ^ Snakehead Movie, http://www.snakeheadmovie.com/
  15. ^ Kickstarter, Snakehead Post Production, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/arowanafilms/snakehead-post-production
  16. ^ AWC Alumni, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2013-01-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ 1040 Movie, Cast and Crew, Evan Leong Bio, http://1040movie.com/cast-crew
  18. ^ a b c Evan Jackson Leong, Resume, http://www.krop.com/printer/arowanafilms/resume.pdf
  19. ^ Arowana Films, Fists of Fuhrer, http://arowanafilms.com/fist-of-fuhrer-starring-breeze-loo
  20. ^ KROP, Evan Leong, Arowana Films, http://www.krop.com/arowanafilms/
  21. ^ Arowana Films, Home, http://arowanafilms.com/
  22. ^ Michelle Phan, Rouge in Love, http://michellephan.com/blog/post/rouge-in-love
  23. ^ Eric Ditzian, MTV News, Jeremy Lin Schools His NBA Haters In 'Linsanity' Doc Director Evan Jackson Leong tells MTV News he 'wanted to show the evolution' of how Lin dealt with racism, http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1700852/linsanity-jeremy-lin-documentary.jhtml
  24. ^ 1040, Evan Jackson Leong bio, http://1040movie.com/cast-crew
  25. ^ James Robinson, 'Linsanity' lets director score, http://www.sfgate.com/movies/article/Linsanity-lets-director-score-4337189.php#src=fb

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