|Alma mater||UC Berkeley
University of California, Hastings College of the Law (J.D.)
University of California Berkeley School of Law (LL.M.)
|Home town||Amherst, Massachusetts, United States|
|Awards||Grand Prize, Hyphen Asian American Writers' Workshop Short Story Contest, The Understudy|
Timothy Tau is a Taiwanese American writer and filmmaker. Tau won the 2011 Hyphen Asian American Short Story Contest for his short story, "The Understudy", which was published in the Winter 2011 issue of Hyphen magazine, Issue No. 24, the "Survival Issue." Tau also won Second Prize in the 2010 Playboy College Fiction Contest for his short story, "Land of Origin" (See the October 2010 issue of Playboy magazine). He has also directed a number of short films and music videos that have screened at various film festivals worldwide and on YouTube.
Tau's short story "The Understudy" is a comic-surrealist story about an Asian American actor named Jack Chang struggling in Los Angeles who must deal with the sudden emergence of a mysterious new understudy named Hyde on a production of a play (Eugène Ionesco's Rhinoceros) he is working on. It is told in the second-person narrative. The story was published in the Winter 2011 Issue of Hyphen magazine and won Grand Prize in the 2011 Hyphen Asian American Short Story Contest, sponsored by the Asian American Writers Workshop and the only national Pan-Asian American Writing Competition of its kind. Award-winning novelist Porochista Khakpour, one of the judges, called the story a "psychological thriller successfully pulled off in second person -- alone a feat worthy of mention -- and [a] cautionary tale about what happens when you entirely live for and therefore ultimately lose everything but your art. At surface glance, it can make one think 'Chinese thespian Black Swan,' but the wild, brainy, dark and dazzling prose is in a league of its own." MacArthur Fellow and award-winning novelist Yiyun Li said: "Full of vibrating energy, ‘The Understudy’ is an exciting story to read; better, the excitement does not fizz off but makes a reader think afterward." The short story was also listed on the syllabus in the upper-division level English course "Reading and Writing Short Stories" (ENGE 3290) taught by Dr. Suzanne Wong at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Tau's short story "Land of Origin" is a love-crime and neo-noir story about a Taiwanese American professional/ex-pat named Dante Wu who lives an empty and jaded life in Los Angeles, and who goes back to Kaohsiung, Taiwan to get mixed up with betel nut girls (falling in love with one in the process) and a gang known as "The Heavenly Alliance." The story tracks his descent, like the Dante of The Divine Comedy and The Inferno, into the sprawling neon-lit criminal underworld of urban Taiwan. The short story won Second Prize in the 2010 Playboy College Fiction Contest. It also won Second Place in the inaugural 2015 ScreenCraft Short Story Contest, which was judged by Academy Award winning screenwriter Diana Ossana, who won the Academy Award, the Golden Globe Award and other accolades for her screenplay of Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain (2005). The short story is also published at the ScreenCraft website. A feature screenplay adaptation of the short story entitled "Kaohsiung" also was a Quarter-Finalist in the 2017 Fifteenth Annual Zoetrope Screenplay Contest, judged by Francis Ford Coppola.
Another one of Tau's short stories entitled "One Traveler" also won the Gold Key award from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and 2nd prize in the Samuel C. Irving Prize for American Wit and Humor, given at the University of California, Berkeley.
Tau has also written a play entitled "Yellow Shakespeare" and is developing it as part of the David Henry Hwang Writer's Institute (DHHWI) at East West Players. The play concerns the discovery of a long-lost Shakespeare play that is the first and only Shakespeare play to feature Asian characters, and is set in the same universe as his short story, "The Understudy," as it revolves around the same fictional theater company from the short story, the Exit Ghost Repertory (the name taken from a stage direction in Hamlet and the title of a novel by Philip Roth). A staged reading of an early version of the play was held at the DHHWI New Works Festival at the David Henry Hwang Theater in Los Angeles. In 2013, another reading of the play was staged at the DHHWI New Works Festival. In 2013, Tau also held a reading of another play entitled Bros/Hos/Foes at the DHHWI New Works Festival about two Asian American actors from different backgrounds trapped in a timeless space.
Tau is also a contributing writer to indieWire's The Playlist and writes film reviews and news articles for the site. He also has an online column at Hyphen magazine entitled "The Talks", where he conducts Q&A interviews with leading Asian American film directors, actors, musicians, writers and artists and has them discuss their latest projects. He is also a contributing writer to Screen Anarchy (formerly Twitch Film).
Tau has also directed several short films under his production company, Firebrand Hand Creative . In 2014, Tau was named as one of "6 Young Asian American Filmmakers Who Are Shattering America's Film Bias" by Mic Magazine.
In 2011-2013, Tau directed, wrote (with Ed Moy) and produced a short film bio-pic about Keye Luke (played by Feodor Chin) entitled Keye Luke, which premiered at the 2012 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. The film was made under a Visual Communications "Armed With A Camera" Fellowship, and highlights Luke's earlier roles as the first Kato in the 1940s Green Hornet film serials and the "Number One Son," Lee Chan, in the popular Charlie Chan films of the 1930s. The film has also screened at over a dozen film festivals worldwide. The film's composer, George Shaw, won a "Best Original Score" award at the Asians on Film Festival. The film also won an Audience Award at the 2014 HollyShorts Film Festival Monthly Screenings.
"The Case"  is a genre-hybrid of a short film that melds genres such as Film Noir, Sci-Fi, Horror Camp (in the vein of Ed Wood) and Spaghetti Westerns, and which stars Max Phyo, Cyndee San Luis, Hidekun Hah and Oliver Seitz. It has screened at The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, The San Diego Asian Film Festival, The Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner (Court Metrage), and The Capalbio International Short Film Festival in Rome, Italy, founded by Michelangelo Antonioni.
He has written and directed a web series entitled "Quantum Cops" , a time and dimension traveling, buddy-cop action/sci-fi-/comedy that he co-created with Joshua Murphy and which stars Kelvin Han Yee, Feodor Chin, Joshua Murphy, David Huynh, and Ina-Alice Kopp. He has also written and directed a short film entitled "Incentivus" about a Writer (Archie Kao) and imagination, hallucinations and dreams. The film stars Archie Kao, Mei Melançon, Jessika Van, and Cyndee San Luis.
In 2012, he collaborated with rappers/comedians The Fung Brothers (David and Andrew Fung) and directed, produced and edited a comedy sketch film about Jeremy Lin that The Fung Brothers wrote entitled "The Jeremy Lin Effect 2 (Linsanity)" where an Asian American girl named "Babe" (played by Jessika Van) only attracted to white men (including her boyfriend, Bret, played by Scott Lilly) is suddenly attracted to Asian American men (including a student named "Jeremy", played by Andrew Fung) after seeing clips of Jeremy Lin play. The video went viral and was mentioned on The Washington Post, the Associated Press and Yahoo! Sports, and on Taiwanese News Channel CTV among other news outlets.
In 2011, Tau directed a music video for YouTube Sensation and Singer-Songwriter-Actress Megan Lee for her second original single, "Destiny." The music video also stars Kelvin Han Yee, Megan Lee, Jessika Van, Yul Spencer and Ina-Alice Kopp.
In 2013, Tau directed the Los Angeles segment of a music video for a track from Dumbfoundead/Parker and Paul Kim entitled "No Turning Back," the song being produced and composed by CHOPS aka Scott "Chops" Jung (formerly of The Mountain Brothers) for his EP project, "Strength in Numbers," which compiles tracks from a number of leading Asian American hip hop, rap and R&B artists. In addition to Dumbfoundead/Parker and Paul Kim, the music video also starred Jennifer Field and Cindy Bru, and NY-based Director/rap artist JL Jupiter (Jeff Lek) directed the New York segment as well as edited the music video.
Tau is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, Hastings College of the Law (Juris Doctor or J.D.), where he was an editor on the Hastings Law Journal, and University of California Berkeley School of Law (Master of Laws or LL.M). He is also a graduate of the Professional Programs in Screenwriting and TV Writing from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.
- Keye Luke (2012) - Writer, Director, Producer, Editor
- The Jeremy Lin Effect II: Linsanity (2012) - Director, Producer, Editor
- Incentivus (2011) - Writer, Director, Producer, Editor
- Quantum Cops (2011) - Writer, Director, Producer
- The Case (2010) - Writer, Director, Producer
- No Turning Back - Feat. Dumbfoundead, Paul Kim & CHOPS (2013) - Writer, Director, Producer
- Megan Lee's Destiny (2011) - Writer, Director, Producer, Editor
- "The Understudy", Hyphen, Winter 2011, pg. 74
- "Land of Origin" (2010)
- "One Traveler" (2003)
- Bros/Hos/Foes (2013) - Play, developed for the David Henry Hwang Writer's Institute (DHHWI) at East West Players
- Yellow Shakespeare (2012) - Play, also developed at the DHHWI
- Filmmaker Timothy Tau of The Case at the 2011 LAAPFF, May 28, 2011.
- The Understudy by Timothy Tau, Issue 24: Survival, Fiction, http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/magazine/issue-24-survival/understudy
- Hyphen Asian American Short Story Contest, http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/shortstory
- Meng Fang, Chinese Dazzle the Short Story Writing Contest, WorldJournal.com, http://www.worldjournal.com/view/full_news/16652654/article-%E7%9F%AD%E7%AF%87%E6%95%85%E4%BA%8B%E5%AF%AB%E4%BD%9C%E8%B3%BD-%E8%8F%AF%E8%A3%94%E8%80%80%E7%9C%BC?instance=news_pics
- Caroline Kim-Brown, Timothy Tau Wins Fourth-Annual Asian American Short Story Contest, http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/blog/archive/2011/11/timothy-tau-wins-fourth-annual-asian-american-short-story-contest
- English, Chinese University of Hong Kong, ENGE 3290 Course Syllabus, http://www.eng.cuhk.edu.hk/eng/web/wordpress/courseoutline/enge3290.pdf
- Arit John, "Playboy Features Collegiate Feats", UCLA Daily Bruin, Oct. 25, 2010, http://www.dailybruin.com/index.php/article/2010/10/playboy_features_collegiate_feats
- 2010 Playboy College Fiction Contest Winners, http://glassmountain.edublogs.org/files/2010/11/DOC-2ep0n81.PDF (Archived version of http://www.playboy.com/articles/playboys-college-fiction-contest-2011)
- Angry Asian Man, Timothy Tau Wins 2nd Prize in Playboy's College Fiction Contest, http://blog.angryasianman.com/2010/10/timothy-tau-wins-2nd-prize-in-playboys.html
- The other judges were Tin House Managing Editor Cheston Knapp, Harper's Magazine Senior Editor Emily Cooke, and Valerie Cates, Executive Story Editor at Random House Films. See Ken Miyammoto, ScreenCraft, Announcing the 2015 Short Story Contest Finalists and Winners!, March 14, 2016, https://screencraft.org/2016/03/14/announcing-the-2015-short-story-contest-finalists-and-winners/
- Timothy Tau, Short Story Contest Runner-Up: Land of Origin, ScreenCraft, March 14, 2016, https://screencraft.org/2016/03/14/short-story-contest-runner-up-land-of-origin/
- Zoetrope, Contests: Screenplays 2017, https://www.zoetrope.com/contests/screenplays-2017/
- UC Berkeley, Samuel C. Irving Prize for American Wit and Humor, http://financialaid.berkeley.edu/samuel-c-irving-prize-american-wit-and-humor
- Kelvin Han Yee Directed, and the reading starred Elaine Kao as Exit Ghost Manager/Director Audrey Chang, Art Hsu as Truman Lin, an Exit Ghost Actor, Jessika Van as Daphne Lee, another Exit Ghost Actor, Mike Ginn as Marcus Sanada, Ph.D., a British Academic and Shakespeare Scholar who makes the discovery of the play, Britt Prentice as Martin Cain, an Entertainment Executive, Edward Hong as the Narrator, and with Music by Mike Kobayashi.
- Rafu Shimpo, Yellow Shakespeare Poster, http://rafu.com/news/2012/06/new-works-festival-at-east-west-players/yellow-shakespeare-poster/
- Yellow Shakespeare Poster Image, Rafu Shimpo, http://www.rafu.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/yellow-shakespeare-poster.jpg
- East West Players Blog, DHHWI New Works Festival Coming Soon, http://eastwestplayers.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/dhhwi-new-works-festival-coming-soon/
- Rafu Shimpo, New Works Festival at East West Players, http://rafu.com/news/2012/06/new-works-festival-at-east-west-players/
- The 2013 reading was directed by Andy Lowe, Gareth Yuen played the role of Marcus, Art Hsu reprised his role as Truman, Cyndee San Luis played Daphne, Becky Wu played Audrey, Kelvin Han Yee played Shakespeare and Chadd Stoops played Martin Cain.
- East West Players, David Henry Hwang Writers Institute New Works Festival Returns June 28!, http://eastwestplayers.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/david-henry-hwang-writers-institute-new-works-festival-returns-june-28/
- The reading starred Edward Hong as Jackson Lee, Victor Chi as Troy Yoshida and Adrian Zaw as the omniscient "boxing announcer" Narrator.
- Where Event, Bros/Hos/Foes at the David Henry Hwang Writer's Institute New Works Festival, http://www.wherevent.com/detail/Timothy-Tau-BROS-HOS-FOES-at-David-Henry-Hwang-Writer-s-Institute-New-Works-Festival
- Eventot, Bros/Hos/Foes at the David Henry Hwang Writer's Institute New Works Festival, http://eventot.com/bros-hos-foes-at-david-henry-hwang-writer-s-institute-new-works-festival/2043839
- Timothy Tau, LAFF Review: Viet Nguyen's Award Winning 'Crush The Skull' Is A Bone Chillingly Good Time Full Of Laughs and Thrills, The Playlist, http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/laff-review-viet-nguyens-award-winning-crush-the-skull-is-a-bone-chillingly-good-time-full-of-laughs-and-thrills-20150618
- Timothy Tau, LAFF Review: Hilarious And Heartfelt 'Seoul Searching' Is A Throwback To '80s Coming Of Age Films, http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/laff-review-hilarious-and-heartfelt-seoul-searching-is-a-throwback-to-80s-coming-of-age-films-20150620
- Timothy Tau, Watch: 9-Minute Look At The Sound Design Of 'Jurassic World' Plus Clip Of Jimmy Fallon's Cameo, The Playlist, http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/watch-9-minute-look-at-the-sound-design-of-jurassic-world-plus-clip-of-jimmy-fallons-cameo-20150622
- Timothy Tau, Watch: Trailer And 3 Clips For 'American Heist' Starring Adrien Brody, The Playlist, http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/watch-trailer-and-3-clips-for-american-heist-starring-adrien-brody-20150617
- Timothy Tau, Daniel Wu Talks INTO THE BADLANDS Season Two, Screen Anarchy, April 7, 2017, http://screenanarchy.com/2017/04/daniel-wu-talks-into-the-badlands-season-two.html
- Timothy Tau, Director Andrew Ahn Talks SPA NIGHT And Future Projects, Screen Anarchy, May 7, 2017, http://screenanarchy.com/2017/05/director-andrew-ahn-talks-spa-night-and-future-projects.html
- Dana Ter, Arts.Mic, 6 Young Asian-American Filmmakers Who Are Shattering America's Asian Film Bias, https://mic.com/articles/80225/6-young-asian-american-filmmakers-who-are-shattering-america-s-asian-film-bias
- Christopher Stipp, /Film, This Week In Trailers: Keye Luke, Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap, Here, I Wish, The Angels' Share, http://www.slashfilm.com/week-trailers-keye-luke/
- Todd Brown, Meet The Original Kato in Short Film Biopic Keye Luke, Twitch Film, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-15. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
- Keye Luke - 2012 LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-11. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
- Ed Moy, Writer's Journey: Q&A with 'Keye Luke' Director Timothy Tau, http://edmoy.blogspot.com/2012/04/q-with-keye-luke-director-timothy-tau.html
- Angry Asian Man, Angry Reader of The Week: Timothy Tau, http://blog.angryasianman.com/2012/04/angry-reader-of-week-timothy-tau_27.html
- Ian Wang, LAAPFF '12: Keye Luke, the Original Asian American Hollywood Star, Hyphen Magazine, http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/blog/archive/2012/05/laapff-12-keye-luke-original-asian-american-hollywood-star
- Eric Kao, TaiwaneseAmerican.org, Filmmaker Timothy Tau Pays Tribute to Pioneer Actor Keye Luke, http://taiwaneseamerican.org/ta/2012/04/25/filmmaker-timothy-tau-pays-tribute-to-pioneer-actor-keye-luke/
- Timothy Tau, "KEYE LUKE (2012)", Alive Not Dead, http://www.alivenotdead.com/timothytau/KEYE-LUKE-2012--profile-1796316.html
- For example, the film was Closing Night Film of the inaugural 2013 Seattle Asian American Film Festival held at the Wing Luke Asian Museum: Wing Luke being a relative of Keye Luke and Seattle actually also being Keye Luke's hometown, where he grew up. Seth Sommerfeld, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, Timothy Tau Discusses His Short Film About Keye Luke, http://www.seattlemet.com/arts-and-entertainment/film/articles/timothy-tau-discusses-his-short-film-about-keye-luke; Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times, Seattle Asian American Film Festival Gets Underway, http://seattletimes.com/html/movies/2020207886_atatheater25columnxml.htm ("Closing-night film, the short "Keye Luke," [is] about the Asian-American actor best known as the original Kato to the Green Hornet and as Charlie Chan’s son Lee Chan. It will be followed by a panel discussion and closing-night party."; Angry Asian Man, Seattle Asian American Film Festival, January 25–27, 2013, http://blog.angryasianman.com/2013/01/seattle-asian-american-film-festival.html
- The expanded, full cut of the film has also screened at the 2013 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, LAAPFF, KEYE LUKE (EXPANDED), http://laapff.festpro.com/films/detail/keye_luke_expanded_2013 - the 2013 Asian American International Film Festival in New York City, New York, Keye Luke, AsianCinevision, Asian American International Film Festival 2013 (AAIFF '13), http://www.asiancinevision.org/keye-luke/ - the 2013 Dragon Con Independent Film Festival, Keye Luke, Dragon Con Independent Film Festival 2013, http://filmfest.dragoncon.org/2013/k-p-2013/keye-luke/ - the 2013 Boston Asian American Film Festival - the Boston Asian American Film Festival, Scissors: Shorts III, http://www.baaff.org/scissors-shorts-iii.html - the 2013 Action On Film International Film Festival, the 2013 DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon - DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon, 2013 Film Schedule, http://www.disorientfilm.org/2013/schedule.html - the 2014 HollyShorts Film Festival and more.
- Asians On Film Festival Awards – Winter 2013, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-04-20. Retrieved 2013-05-26.
- Keye Luke, Twitter, https://twitter.com/KeyeLukeFilm/statuses/441859184175222784
- HollyShorts Returns 27th March at the TCL Chinese Theaters for Famed Monthly Screening Series, Congratulations to February’s Winners: 7pm – FAR – Directed by Brian Crewe, and 9:30pm – KEYE LUKE, Directed by Timothy Tau, HollyShorts "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-24. Retrieved 2014-10-24.
- Channel APA, Quantum Cops web series teaser, http://www.channelapa.com/2011/07/quantum-cops-web-series-teaser.html
- Scott Eriksson, Asians on Film Timothy Tau & Joshua Murphy Present Quantum Cops! http://www.asiansonfilm.com/2011/07/timothy-tau-joshua-murphy-present-quantum-cops/
- Incentivus, lifeofcyn, http://thelifeofcyn.wordpress.com/2011/10/30/incentivus/
- Stills from "Incentivus", Timothy Tau's Alive Not Dead, http://www.alivenotdead.com/timothytau/STILLS-FROM-INCENTIVUS--profile-1527812.html
- 8-Asians, Fung Brothers: The Jeremy Lin Effect 2 - LINSANITY, http://www.8asians.com/2012/02/16/fung-brothers-the-jeremy-lin-effect-2-linsanity/
- Jesse Washington, Asian-Americans Rejoice as Lin Smashes Stereotypes, https://news.yahoo.com/asian-americans-rejoice-lin-smashes-stereotypes-080442459--spt.html
- Timothy Tau Directs Megan Lee's New Video Destiny PR Log, http://www.prlog.org/11651297-timothy-tau-directs-megan-lees-new-video-destiny.html
- Florence Ng, Audrey Magazine, Video of the Day: Megan Lee's "Destiny", http://audreymagazine.com/megan-lees-destiny/
- SnapItStudio, Megan Lee's "Destiny" music video, http://snapitstudio.com/video/meganleedestiny/
- Phil Yu, MUSIC VIDEO: "NO TURNING BACK" FOR DUMBFOUNDEAD & PAUL KIM, Angry Asian Man, http://blog.angryasianman.com/2013/10/music-video-no-turning-back-for.html
- Theresa Celebran Jones, There Really Is Strength in Numbers: Chops' New Project to Boost AAPIs in Hip-Hop, Hyphen Magazine, http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/blog/archive/2013/10/there-really-strength-numbers-chops-new-project-boost-aapis-hip-hop
- Benightedxflame, Soompi.com, Dumbfoundead and Paul Kim Release "No Turning Back" MV, Support Asian-American Talent, http://www.soompi.com/2013/11/01/dumbfoundead-and-paul-kim-release-no-turning-back-support-asian-american-talent/
- Strength in Numbers Kickstarter, Shooting Wrapped for Dumbfoundead & Paul Kim Video! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/228373745/strength-in-numbers-asian-american-urban-music-pro/posts/633381
- Young Rae Kim, Dumbfoundead and Paul Kim Back Back Asian American Music Project, KoreAm Journal, http://iamkoream.com/dumbfoundead-and-paul-kim-back-back-asian-american-music-project/
- Timothy Tau listed in 2003-2004 Winners of UC Berkeley's Samuel C. Irvine Prize for American Wit and Humor, http://students.berkeley.edu/finaid/undergraduates/irvingprize.htm
- Arit John, "Playboy Features Collegiate Feats: UCLA Professor and Student are Recognized in the Magazine's Annual College Issue, http://www.dailybruin.com/index.php/article/2010/10/playboy_features_collegiate_feats
- Timothy Tau Listed in '07 Alumni for Class Notes, page 37 (page 40/61 of PDF), https://repository.uchastings.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1133&context=alumni_mag
- Professional Programs, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, http://professionalprograms.tft.ucla.edu/category/alumni-spotlight/ ("Timothy Tau‘s (Screenwriting) screenplay Kaohsiung was a Quarterfinalist in the Zoetrope Screenplay contest and the Scriptapalooza Contest. His screenplay Welcome to Eden was a Quarterfinalist in the Scriptapalooza Contest as well.")
- Keye Luke - Special Screenings, News' N Notes, Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, http://www.chssc.org/Publications/NewsNNotes/NNN1410.pdf ("Tau is currently enrolled in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television Professional Programs in both Screenwriting and TV Writing.")