Jason Tobin is a two-time best actor award winner at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival for the films #1 SERIAL KILLER, which was controversially titled CHINK during its festival run, and JASMINE in 2013 and 2015 respectively. Born and raised in Hong Kong to a British father and a Chinese mother, Tobin first came to the attention of American audiences in the 2002 Sundance Film Festival hit BETTER LUCK TOMORROW playing the volatile and unpredictable Virgil Hu for which he received rave reviews. Critics likened Tobin’s breakout performance to that of Robert De Niro’s Johnny Boy in Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets and Ain’t It Cool News described Tobin’s performance as “…heartbreaking in a John Cazale sort of way.”
Having moved to Los Angeles at 18 to study acting Tobin appeared in national spots for COCA-COLA, LEVI’S, SEGA, ZIMA, SURGE COLA and NOKIA and quickly became involved in Asian American Cinema when he was cast in Chris Chan Lee’s classic YELLOW which led to opportunities in Hollywood with guest appearances in television shows such as NASH BRIDGES, THE WAYANS BROS, THE DIVISION and KING OF QUEENS, and in films such as Justin Lin’s THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT and FINISHING THE GAME. In the UK, Tobin joined a star-studded cast of British actors in Martha Fiennes’ CHROMOPHOBIA and followed that up with a recurring role on the BBC drama PATRICK’S PLANET. Tobin then returned to Hong Kong to star in Stephen Fung’s HOUSE OF FURY, and in ROB-B-HOOD with Jackie Chan while also appearing in national campaigns for STANDARD CHARTERED BANK and the HONG KONG JOCKEY CLUB.
Tobin’s desire to step behind the camera prompted his return to Hong Kong, where he began his filmmaking career directing music videos for MC JIN and local artists such as JOSIE HO, AUDIOTRAFFIC and HARDPACK. Tobin wrote, directed and edited the short films THE BOXER starring Daniel Wu and CUT SHORT starring Josie Ho. From there Tobin produced the feature film HONG KONG REBELS and co-wrote, produced and starred in JASMINE which won best cinematography, best sound design, best editing, best film and best actor at the 2015 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival for which The Hollywood Reporter wrote, “Jason Tobin delivers an edgy, taut performance…”
Tobin’s feature film directorial debut BE WATER MY FRIEND is based on his screenplay and his admiration for Hong Kong’s number one son, Bruce Lee. Inspired by artists like Louis CK and his TV show LOUIE, Be Water My Friend is the semi-autobiographical story of two down and out Asian American actors who go on a road trip pilgrimage to Bruce Lee’s grave in Seattle.