Awkwafina is set to star in and produce a feature film about the rise of the California punk rock music scene with Topic Studios, the studio announced Tuesday.
The film will be based on article on Topic.com called “How Chinese Food Fueled the Rise of California Punk” by Madeline Leung Coleman as published in June 2019.
The article explains how during the recession of the late 1970s and early 1980s, Chinatown restaurants from Sacramento to San Francisco started renting their banquet halls for rehearsal space and booking the rowdy young bands of nascent West Coast punk as dinner entertainment to bring in additional business. It asserts that these Chinese and Filipino restaurants became some of California’s most important venues and the focal point of the seminal West Coast punk music scene.
Awkwafina will produce alongside Ryan Heller, Topic Studios SVP of film and acquisitions, who will oversee for the studio.
“We couldn’t ask for a better partner to help us bring this vibrant world to life than Awkwafina,” Maria Zuckerman, EVP of Topic Studios, said in a statement. “Madeline’s article explores an unexpected connection and collaboration which gave rise to an essential and very punk moment.”
“Awkwafina” most recently starred in A24’s “The Farewell,” for which she earned a Gotham Award for Best Actress. She’s also starred in “Ocean’s 8” and “Crazy Rich Asians” and will star in the Comedy Central series “Nora from Queens,” loosely based on her own experience growing up in Flushing.
Awkwafina is represented by UTA, Artists First, and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham LLP.
Topic also has six films that are Sundance-bound, including “Dream House” starring Toni Collette and Damian Lewis, and the St. Vincent/Carrie Brownstein comedy “The Nowhere Inn.”
News of the project was first reported by Deadline.