The Official DC Asian Pacific American Film Blog

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

DC APA Film Updates

The staff of APA Film has recently come back from the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival re-energized and revitalized. We are now accepting submissions for its 9th annual film festival this fall. We will fairly consider all submissions that are directed by, written by, produced by, starring or about Asian Americans and Asian diaspora populations. We are offering submission fee discounts for films postmarked before the early deadline and submitted electronically through our withoutabox site at Please submit early and online to take advantage of these discounts.

Deadlines (postmark):
May 2, 2008 (Early)
May 31, 2008 (Late)

There are several screenings of Asian and Asian American films coming out in the metropolitan Washington DC area. Benson Lee's Planet B-Boy is opening at Landmark E Street this Friday. Come out and support an amazing film that played at the Tribeca Film Festival and had a sold out showing at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.

A Dream in Doubt, an outstanding documentary that played at last year's film festival, is coming to town in the next few weeks. If you missed it the first time around, check it out at the following times and locations:

Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 4:00 PM
Busboys and Poets (VA)
4251 S. Campbell Ave., Arlington, VA (Shirlington Village)

Sunday, April 13, 2008 at 5:00 PM
Busboys and Poets (DC)
Speaker: Co-Producer Preetmohan Singh
2021 14th St. NW, Washington, DC

The Korean Film Festival is starting up again. In the next few months, you can see some of the best in Korean cinema at the AFI Silver and the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery, two theaters that have been very generous in allowing us to hold screenings at their venues for our film festival.

It's a busy month but try to go out of your way to catch some of the films being screened before they're gone. Also, can't forget to give big shouts out to Angry Asian Man and Asian American Film for their continuing support and help!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

San Fran recap

It's hard to believe that a week ago today, the SF Festival had not yet begun. At this time last week, most of us were still a good 12 hours from boarding our respective planes for the West Coast. Now, the festival remains just a memory, if still a fresh one, in our minds. Still there are plenty of digital photos to sort through, and who besides me is still pulling out rumpled ticket stubs from the back pockets of their jeans? Who still has not unpacked? Hopefully, those of us from Sunday night's red-eye back to DC have all caught up on our sleep...

In San Francisco, the festival continues, its closing night not until Sunday. But for the four days, four days that I spent in SF, I packed in a great selection of films.

My last afternoon there, I had the opportunity to watch the 3rd I South Asian International Shorts Program. I attended this same program last year and was impressed with the overall turnout and quality of shorts. This year was no exception. The opening short, "Ravi Goes To School," featured wonderful performances and a touching story. The concluding short, "Clean Linen," was laugh-out-loud funny and such a brutally honest portrayal of childhood.

Hopefully there might be a chance to bring some of these films to a theater near you in the future.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Day Two

So many movies to watch, so little time! That's why I gotta say, dear readers (all 3 of you), that I gotta apologize for not posting to this blog as regularly as I should while I'm here. I know you all want to know what's been happening in San Francisco the past several days.

So far here's what I saw: "Blood Brothers", a John Woo-produced flick about greed and avarice set in 1930s Shanghai; a selection of satirical short films; "Princess of Nebraska," a Wayne Wang-directed movie based on a short film shot on handheld camera; "Behind Forgotten Eyes," a powerful documentary about comfort women forced to serve Japanese soldiers during World War II; and "Never Forever," a feature narrative by director Gina Kim about a woman who takes desperate measures to bear a child for her husband.

There's a ton of great films to watch this year at the SF Festival...and still more to come.

Friday, March 14, 2008

San Francisco 2008

Greetings from San Francisco where the 26th annual San Francisco International Asian American festival has officially kicked off.

Thirteen of us DC APA'ers arrived in town yesterday, although three of us barely made it. Mickey and I nearly missed our early morning Virgin America flight, boarding just as they were closing the gate. Guess that twenty helped. But that was nothing compared to Franco's experience. He spent the entire day being tossed around from DC to St. Louis to Dallas before finally landing in San Fran 15 hours later. Geez Franco, couldn't you have just found a direct flight? (Just kidding, we're glad you made it.)

A note to Virgin America: the in-flight chatting is really cool, but bigger keypads would help. But keep up the great music and movie selection. The 5-hour flight passed by in no time at all.

Landing in San Fran, we made our way over to Hotel Tomo!, a manga-inspired hotel just minutes from the Kabuki theaters in Japantown where many of the films will be shown. Some of us ate lunch at Tempopo Cafe, which offered nearly 30 varieties of ramen noodles. Though their bottles of water were amusingly small, they knew how to serve their beer: in huge, frosty mugs. Yum!

The opening night film at the historic Castro Theater was Wayne Wang's "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers," a sometimes very funny and moving film about an elderly Chinese man and his strained relationship with his daughter. Wayne Wang ("Joy Luck Club") himself introduced the film, advising the audience "to laugh" and "not fall asleep" during the movie. Judging from the warm reception the movie got at the end, Wang had no need to worry.

Once again, the SF festival organizers proved they can throw a good reception, based on the snazzy gala held at the multi-level Asian Art Museum following the screening. Never mind the huge bite I took of white radish thinking it was Asian pear, there was plenty of wine around to wash it down with. At the reception, we had the opportunity to hobnob with fellow festival organizers from around the country, as well as reconnect with old acquaintances. And of course pose for a good 'ol group photo.

One of the most scandalous moments of the night was documented on camera, which I unfortunately can't post til I find a camera cable. But let's just say it involved Wyman, Eric, and Jenny in an amusing line formation. It was enough to make me turn red...oh wait.

When the clock struck midnight, some of us took a look at our watches and recalled it would be 3 am back on the East Coast...which meant, time to call it. The heartier souls headed to the next destination for the "official" San Fran festival afterparty.

With that, Day 1 came to a close, a whole weekend of movie-watching still to come.