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Tzi Ma Leads Cast of Lifetime’s First Asian American Holiday Movie

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    Lifetime announced the cast of its first holiday film centered on an Asian American family on Monday.

    “A Sugar & Spice Holiday,” set to premiere in December, stars Jacky Lai (“V-Wars”), Tony Giroux (“Motherland: Fort Salem”) and Tzi Ma (“Mulan,” “Wu Assassins”).


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    The movie follows Lai’s Suzie, a young architect who returns home to Maine for Christmas. Her Chinese American parents, Pete (Ma) and Mimi (Lilian Lim, “Motherland: Fort Salem”), run the local Lobster Bar.

    After losing her grandmother — a legendary baker in their community — Suzie is guilted into joining the local gingerbread house competition. She teams up with Billy (Giroux), an old high school friend.

    Suzie will draw on her family’s cultural traditions to win the competition. She may also “find some love in the process,” according to TV Line.

    The film is directed by Jennifer Liao, written by Eirene Donohue and cast by Judy Lee. Lifetime has also worked with CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) to ensure its accurate depiction of the Asian community.


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    “This is the first time we will see the lead character in an environment that leans into her family and customs and traditions as they are adapted into the holidays,” said Kristine Tiongco, a representative for A&E Networks, according to NBC News.

    “In this case, the writer, Eirene Donohue, who is Vietnamese American pitched the story of an Asian American family and we loved it.”

    “A Sugar & Spice Holiday” is produced by Lighthouse Pictures. It is executive produced by Nancy Bennett, Shawn Williamson and Jamie Goehring, according to Deadline.

    Alongside the film, Lifetime announced on Monday the cast of “The Christmas Setup,” its first LGBT-led holiday movie.


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    “The world we create on camera should reflect the world we live in. ‘The Christmas Setup’ and ‘A Sugar & Spice Holiday’ are important additions to the ‘It’s a Wonderful Lifetime’ slate because they continue our effort to tell the stories of the diverse communities represented by our viewers,” said Amy Winter, executive vice president and head of programming, Lifetime and LMN. “Our hope with these inclusive films and others is that people will see themselves while enjoying universally relatable holiday romances.”

    The “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” slate will feature 30 holiday movies beginning Oct. 23 through Christmas, according to Variety.

    Feature Images via Lady Eve & Guy Boiman TM, (left), @tzima8 (center) and @tkgiroux (right)

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