By ELLEN ENDO, Rafu Shimpo
“There is no movie without our brilliant and big-hearted cast and crew,” gushed Jonathan Wang, producer of “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” as he accepted the Academy Award for Best Picture on Sunday night.
“But not just these beautiful souls here (on stage),” Wang continued, “Also, up there (pointing to distant seats in the Dolby Theater) and in Little Tokyo. We see you.”
Producers of the film organized a private Oscar viewing party for cast and crew and their family and friends at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo.
The shout-out to Little Tokyo caught David Ikegami by surprise. “I couldn’t believe it. Tens of millions of people watch the Oscars around the world. This is amazing!”
Ikegami is president of the Little Tokyo Business Association, an all-volunteer organization comprised of merchants, residents, and professionals. He said he hopes that Wang’s remark will raise awareness among those who may not be aware of this part of Downtown Los Angeles and remind others that Little Tokyo is a vital community of mostly small businesses.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” also won Oscars for best directing, best original screenplay, best film editing, best actress, best supporting actress and best supporting actor.
Another Little Tokyo connection: Shirley Kurata, who was nominated for best costume design for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” worked at the Aratani as a teenager.
Referring to the watch party, Kurata said in an interview with AFP prior to Oscar night, “It feels like coming full circle.”
The Oscar in that category went to Ruth Carter for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Also nominated were the costume designers for “Babylon,” “Elvis” and “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris.”
Rafu’s J.K. Yamamoto contributed to this story.
BEAUTIFUL…..GREAT FOR LITTLE TOKYO.