Okay, so “hero” might be pushing it a little. But for anyone who religiously follows Jeopardy! (I’m sure at least some of you have that friend or relative), Arthur Chu could really be his or her hero. (See how you can support efforts to turn Chu’s story into a documentary here.)
The 30 year-old American Jeopardy! contestant is famous for having won eleven straight games of Jeopardy! with total earnings of $298,200. His winning streak, lasting from January 28th to March 12th, 2014, made him a household name not only because of his impressive trivia knowledge but also his extraordinary playing style. Rather than “clearing” categories step by step, he would jump from category to category in order to increase his chances of finding the Daily Double. Chu also was not the typically polite and calm contestant, with a need for speed and an abruptness that sometimes made even seasonsed host Alex Trebek falter, and made numerous headlines during his reign as Jeopardy! champion because of his unique playing style.
The media attention that Chu received during his reign also triggered some seriously interesting conversations. How has Chu’s appearance on television influenced preconceptions of Asians in America? Is there such a thing as a “model race”? Chu’s tactic of “bouncing around the board” was not unheard of, why was the public caught so off-guard? Filmmakers Yu Gu and Scott Drucker have taken it upon themselves to investigate such questions while following Chu’s Jeopardy! journey. The documentary film will, while uncovering insight into the role themes such as ethnicity in media, viral celebrities, and fulfilling the American dream play in his story, ultimately answer the question “Who is Arthur Chu?” Believe us when we say that it’ll be a fascinating story, as three-time Oscar winner Mark Jonathan Harris has signed on as Executive Producer, and his track record tells us that he knows when a story is worth telling.
Moreover, since Arthur won more than three straight games this season, he is invited to this fall’s Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions. The Who Is Arthur Chu? team has been given exclusive access inside the Jeopardy! studio. For loyal Jeoapardy! fans, you can also expect clips and interviews featuring Ken Jennings and Alex Trebek.
The film Who Is Arthur Chu? is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000 in funds to support the crew for production and travel expenses (they will be following Chu to Taiwan and back to L.A. for the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions event). I love Kickstarter because it gives you an opportunity to contribute as much as you feel like to a cause that you believe in. Here’s North America’s chance at busting Asian stereotypes and you don’t want to watch this project slip through the cracks! And after reading this article that Chu penned for The Daily Beast, I’m a fan through and through. Someone who’s both book smart and street smart – how could he lose?