The Official DC Asian Pacific American Film Blog

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The only marathon I’ll ever do

We here at DC APA like to torture ourselves by doing what we call “marathon screenings”. This entails either viewing hours of films during the screening/programming process and/or presenting hours of films all in one day during the festival. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? All you’re doing is watching movies, you say. Well, have you ever actually tried to watch four movies back to back? If you were there on Saturday, then you’ll know why it’s taken me until now to recover and post…

This year’s marathon took place at the GWU Jack Morton Auditorium last Saturday, starting at 1pm with Slanted Screen and Conventioneers ending at 10pm. Then there was the after-party at Jin Lounge, and rumors of an after-after party as well. Whoever wrote over at that we like to party, it’s absolutely true. If you don’t believe me, come join us on Thursday for the feature screenings and K Street and then on Saturday at Closing Night.

Surprisingly, I got to GW on time to set up for the first screening of Slanted Screen, a great documentary by Jeff Adachi, who we learned from Eric Byler in the Q&A afterwards, is also a public defender by day in San Francisco. Thanks to a great team of volunteers that arrived on time and started setting up, I was able to escape for some much needed coffee. The evening before consisted of the packed screening of I for India (my favorite doc at this year’s fest), and a fabulous after-party at the International Student House with Singha, yummy Indian food, bhangra and Indonesian dancing, and music by Aphrodizia, this live & electronic music collective led by the talented Yoko K. Along with a late night trek to Annandale for noraebang, light beers, birthday cake, and Korean food (yes, in that order), and a very late night trek back into DC (thanks for the ride, Christian!), I hadn’t stayed up that late since I can’t remember when. (Uh, actually, it was the night before, Opening Night. Read more about this fun and interesting evening on Eric Byler’s blog.)

Slanted Screen is a great documentary with lots of historical footage and interviews with past and current Asian American male actors. BTW, did anyone catch Sung Kang on CSI Miami last night? He played an owner of an offshore casino that was producing counterfeit money and was tied to the North Korean government. I was disappointed to see him in a stereotypical role, but I’m sure that the lure of being in a Jerry Bruckheimer production (or maybe he was blinded by all the explosions) worked all too well. But I digress. Everyone stayed for the Q&A after Slanted Screen, which as an event programmer I’m always nervous about. Special thanks to the guests: Eric Byler and Chris Tashima from Americanese, Tony Nam, who’s starring in an upcoming Woolly Mammoth production, and Scott Tong, from NPR’s Marketplace.

Next was Sentenced Home. This timely film about US immigration policy is my second favorite doc of the festival. It’s hard to make a documentary that is driven by both engaging characters and solid direction, and this film has both. We were very fortunate to have the co-director of the film and one of the subjects with us, who both took time away from new members of their families on the west coast to attend the screening. Thank you to Many, Nicole, and the folks at Sentenced Home, and be sure to check it out when it airs on PBS this spring!

After a quick dinner at the “Sizz-Ex” with a group of UVA American studies students, we showed Mighty Warriors of Comedy. Another great doc, this time about the sketch comedy group based in San Francisco called 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors. These guys and gals put on some of the funniest, edgiest humor related to Asians and Asian Americans I’ve ever seen. It was directed by Sung Kim, whose film Book of Rules was our Opening Night film a few years back. He also took time away from his family to be with us, and we really appreciate it.

Finally, the screening I had been waiting hours for: Conventioneers. One of my favorite features of the festival (we have 14 this year!). This film is about a liberal activist woman who attends the protest of the Republican National Convention in New York City and winds up having an affair with an old friend who turns out to actually be a Republican delegate. We got a lovely surprise when the parents-in-law of one of the actors in the film introduced themselves to us. Turns out, not only are they from here but brought 20 of their closest friends to the screening! It’s getting a theatrical release in NYC in October, so be sure to tell your friends up there to check it out. Hopefully it will make it back to DC, but until then, all I’ll say is you should be sorry you missed it because it’s the type of film that you’ll talk about for months after you’ve seen it.

We packed up and coordinated rides over to Jin Lounge. I contemplated Red Bull & vodka vs. coffee as my upper of choice to get me through the next phase of the evening. Red Bull won, and that’s a whole other story.

~ Anna ~


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home