Jennifer Betit Yen (born in New York City, New York and a citizen of the US and Ireland) is an actor, lawyer, producer, and writer. She has been the President of the Asian American Film Lab ("Film Lab"), a non-profit dedicated to the promotion of diversity in media, since 2012, and launched the Film Lab’s first production arm, AAFL TV. Her first screenplay, The Opposite of a Fairy Tale, about elder abuse, written with help from Aaron Woolfolk, received grant funding from the Ms. Foundation for Women. Her web series, La La Land, won an Accolade Award for Best TV Pilot in 2009. As an actor, Betit Yen has performed for East West Players, The Manhattan Theatre Source, which garnered her a The New York Times mention, and has been cast in Royal Pains (USA), the FX show, Dirt and FOX’s America’s Most Wanted among others. She has also done a significant amount of voiceover work, including for Reading Rainbow with LeVar Burton and voicing the "sporty, bouncy and outspoken" character of "Avery" on the series The Beacon Street Girls. Betit Yen writes the blog "Ethical is Beautiful. Be Beautiful" and founded MyJennyBook, a company creating personalized multimedia stories for children.
Betit Yen wrote and starred in the 2009 Accolade Award winning web series and TV pilot La Land in 2009, which she wrote and produced in Los Angeles. She also starred in the web series My Not So subConscious, co-starring and written by Kamran Khan, in New York City. She wrote and produced the film "The Opposite of a Fairy Tale," which screened at multiple festivals, universities and at HBO, and became available on iTunes on June 30, 2017.https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/the-opposite-of-a-fairy-tale/id1236999030, https://eprnews.com/now-available-on-itunes-the-opposite-of-a-fairy-tale-151281/, www.TheOppositeOfAFairyTale.com
Betit Yen can also be seen in a multitude of short films, including The Martini, co-starring James Kyson of the TV show Heroes fame.
Betit Yen’s first feature film debut, Interrogation, a thriller which starred James Noel Huban, Sereivuth Eang and lbert M. Chan, was an Official Selection of the Boston International Film Festival. Betit Yen went on to play roles in the Gary Busey film, Daze, and Need for Speed II: Special Edition, among others.
Betit Yen has become a prominent speaker on the need for authenticity and diversity in mainstream media and launched a television series, Film Lab Presents, to showcase contemporary American content that accurately portrays Americas’s diverse and heterogenous culture. The series, now in its sixth season, started a huge success on the municipal network, NYCLife under Katherine Oliver and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. When the series was asked by the Bill DiBlasio administration to change its name to ‘Asia,’ the producers declined on the grounds that contemporary American content should not be required to contain racial labels merely because its cast includes people of Asian descent. The producers moved the series to CrossingsTV after Betit Yen argued against caving to mainstream pressure to force shows with Asian American actors into niche categories. The show can now be seen on AAFL TV, Time Warner Cable and Xfinity. Plays Betit Yen appeared in the play YUT HO, written by Howard Fong and directed by veteran actress Elizabeth Sung (Joy Luck Club). She has also appeared in Tennessee Williams's Suddenly, Last Summer as Catharine Holly, the Manhattan Theatre Source’s Paper Dragon in the role of Bot, The Snapple Theatre, and many other venues. Backstage Magazine described Betit Yen as a "drop-dead-gorgeous Asian..[fancy]" in the play Paper Dragon.
Betit Yen is an attorney licensed in New York, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.. She is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States of America, although she is does not currently practice law, having become a full-time actress.
Betit Yen is also the CEO of the children’s book company, MyJennyBook, which creates personalized multi-media stories for children. The books have been featured in programs at Weill Cornell Medical College, the Head’s Up program for pediatric literacy and many others.
Betit Yen has a strong commitment to the community and to volunteer work. She currently runs the non-profit Asian American Film Lab, which has provided education and production to promote diversity in media since 1998 and oversees the famous annual 72 Hour Film Shootout, past judges of whom include hip hop icon Russell Simmons and playwright David Henry Hwang. Betit Yen’s work garnered her attention from Backstage Magazine, among others. Betit Yen was elected President of the organization in 2012, the first female president ever to run the organization. Betit Yen also writes the blog "Ethical is Beautiful. Be Beautiful", which is devoted to showcasing positive and constructive ways people can enjoy life in a way that is friendly to animals and the environment and make lifestyle choices that are both ethical and sustainable.