In her latest Hollywood project, Joy Ride, Malaysian screenwriter Adele Lim takes it up a notch; she not only co-wrote the comedy but also directed it.
The film, which stars Ashley Park, Stephanie Hsu, Sherry Cola, and Sabrina Wu, marks Lim's directorial debut.
Lim said she is lucky to be offered the chance to direct the movie produced by actor Seth Rogen's company, Point Grey.
"I’d been a TV writer-producer for many years before I got into features. I don’t think I had any aspirations of directing. But Point Grey who has a history of working with first-time writers/directors asked me if I’d be up for it. The first thing I said was, ‘Yes’," she told Variety, adding that her director friends such as Jon M. Chu and Veena Sud were kind enough to offer help to a novice.
Lim is an established writer who's worked on TV shows such as One Tree Hill and Private Practice and the blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians.
With the commercial success of Crazy Rich Asians and the recent victory of Everything Everywhere All At Once in the awards circuit, Lim is hopeful for Asian representation in Hollywood.
"Coming off of Crazy Rich, we really felt the community coming together, and that was beautiful. Beyond the larger side, it was the creative community poking our heads out of the sand and finding each other," the Petaling Jaya-born Lim said.
"At the same time, it’s being really mindful of not being complacent. It’s about a constant fight, and about a whole community rising up to the challenge and hitting that bar and us finding each other.
"So I am hopeful at the same time, very realistic about how we have to keep pushing and keep trying to make the conversation not just about representation, but blowing the roof off the place," she added to Variety.
According to IMDb, Joy Ride "follows four Asian-American friends as they bond and discover the truth of what it means to know and love who you are, while they travel through Asia in search of one of their birth mothers".
The film, which premiered at South by Southwest Film Festival on March 17, will be released at cinemas in the United States in July.