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Completed in: 2020 | 60 min.

Section: HIFF Talk Story





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Over the last few years, Lana Condor has burst onto the scene as one of the most in-demand leading ladies in the entertainment industry, making her star turn in the rom-com film TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE, which became a global sensation for Netflix in the summer of 2018. Media outlets raved about Condor’s performance as Lara Jean Covey, stating: “Get ready to be charmed by Lana Condor” (Vanity Fair), “Condor is a ready-made star” (Vulture), “Lana Condor will charm you like no other” (W Magazine), “Lana Condor soars with such confidence and grace (Cosmopolitan) and “Condor’s Lara Jean anchors the entire film in what should be a star-making performance” (Buzzfeed) to name a few. Based on Jenny Han’s New York Times best-selling novel, Condor broke the mold as the first Asian American leading lady in a YA romantic comedy. 

We feel that Condor's meteoric rise through her groundbreaking work in a major and beloved film franchise, as well as her advocacy for various causes such as girls education and civic engagement makes her the perfect inaugural honoree of this year's NEW VANGUARD AWARD. We look forward to discussing her career and various causes and how her work is bringing Asian Pacific Americans a seat at the table in mainstream pop culture. 

In 2020, Lana Condor reprised her role as Lara Jean in the highly anticipated sequel TO ALL THE BOYS: P.S. I STILL LOVE YOU opposite Noah Centineo and Jordan Fisher. The film premiered internationally on Netflix on February 12, 2020 and the third film in the series, TO ALL THE BOYS: ALWAYS & FOREVER, LARA JEAN recently wrapped production with a premiere date TBA. Additionally, Condor is set to star in the HBO Max and Berlanti Productions sci-fi film, MOONSHOT, and the female buddy comedy GIRLS NIGHT opposite Brianna Hildebrand which was announced at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. 

Condor’s film credits include appearing as Koyomi in James Cameron’s cyberpunk action feature film ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL (Twentieth Century Fox) opposite Rosa Salazar and Mahershala Ali, Lionsgate’s PATRIOT’S DAY alongside Mark Wahlberg and Lifetime’s HIGH SCHOOL LOVER. Condor first broke onto the entertainment scene in 2016, making her feature film debut in Twentieth Century Fox’s X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, starring as Jubilation Lee, AKA Jubilee alongside Jennifer Lawrence and James McAvoy. On the television front, she starred as Saya in SYFY’s drama series DEADLY CLASS, which followed a disillusioned teen recruited into a high school for assassins and was set against the backdrop of late 1980’s counterculture. 

Originally from Can Tho, Vietnam, Condor was adopted by her parents at four months old (along with her brother, Arthur) and spent her early years in the Chicago area. As a child she lived in both Washington state and New York City, training in classical ballet in both locations. She took classes at multiple prestigious dance academies including The Joffrey School of Classical Ballet, The Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet, and The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. As a high school freshman living in New York, Condor took her first acting class and was hooked. During her sophomore year, Condor and her family moved to Los Angeles where she danced alongside apprentices at The Los Angeles Ballet and continued to develop her passion for acting by joining the theater department at Notre Dame Academy and studying at the Yale Summer Conservatory for Actors. While going out on a handful of auditions her senior year, Condor booked X-MEN: APOCALYPSE.  

On the digital front, Condor’s social media following skyrocketed in 2018 soaring to over 8 million dedicated fans internationally (and growing). She has used her newfound platform to generate awareness for causes near to her heart, including The Asia Foundation where she established a scholarship to send underprivileged girls and women to school in Vietnam. In 2019, she traveled back to Vietnam alongside Michelle Obama and Julia Roberts with the Girls Opportunity Alliance through The Obama Foundation, to share stories about people there who are supporting girls’ education. 

Essentially HIFF's "rising star" award, the awardee is being honored as a vanguard that has been catapulted quickly into the cultural zeitgeist as an artist, breaking barriers through their body of work. This "new vanguard" is also utilizing their establishing platform to also break barriers in the form of promoting diversity, civic engagement through advocacy or as a role model and cultural leader. For this inaugural year of HIFF's New Vanguard Award, we are honored to present this to actor and activist Lana Condor. 

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Cast & Crew

Moderator Beckie Stocchetti
Panelist Lana Condor
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