The 27th edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) returns to Los Angeles April 28 – May 7. LAAPFF is Southern California’s largest Asian Film Showcase. This year’s edition will present 180 Films from over 20 Countries, including World Premieres, International features and documentaries, Sneak Previews, a James Wong Howe Retrospective, the C3 Digital Conference and a selection of documentaries and narratives Focusing on the Voices of Asian Americans and Asian peoples from around the world. This year, 32 feature films and 148 shorts will be showcased throughout the 10-day fest.
The opening gala “Fast Five”, an actioner by fest alum Justin Lin features Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang and Dwayne Johnson. In 2010, Lin and fellow bloggers from the popular Internet site “You Offend Me You Offend My Family” – www.YOMYOMF.COM launched a film initiative to support aspiring Asian American filmmakers entitled “Interpretations.” “You Offend Me You Offend My Family” is the Festival’s opening night community presenter. Danny Pudi, star of the hit NBC TV comedy “Community”, will host the opening night gala on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at the DGA.
LAAPFF alum, filmmaker Bertha Bay-Sa Pan (“Face”), brings her latest hit romantic comedy “Almost Perfect” to the Festival as the Centerpiece Presentation on Saturday, April 30 at the DGA at 5:30 PM with director Pan and her cast Kelly Hu, Ivan Shaw, Edison Chen, Christina Chang and Kristy Wu in attendance.
The Festival turns a spotlight on new filmmakers Wesley Chan, Ted Fu and Philip Wang aka Wong Fu Productions with their own curated festival program – WONG FU PRESENTS FAST FORWARD on Saturday, April 30 at the DGA at 8:30 PM. These filmmakers have been making viral videos since 2003 even before You Tube existed.
Taiwan’s B.O sellout “Love In Disguise”, directed by and starring Mando-Pop Star Leehom Wang and Joan Chen closes the festival. The film is produced by long time VC/LAAPFF alum Cherry Sky Films. Director Wang and cast members will be in attendance. Thursday, May 5 at 7PM at the CGV Cinemas.
The festival unreels at the Director’s Guild of America (DGA), Laemmle’s Sunset 5 Theatres, and the CGV Cinemas located in Korean Town.
World Premieres include; ” Wedding Palace” – A romantic comedy directed by Christine Yoo; written by Yoo and Robert Gardner; and starring Brian Tee, Margaret Cho, Hye-jeong Kang, and Steve Park – Friday, April 29, 8:00 PM DGA
* The Lulu Sessions” –A documentary directed by S. Casper Wong and written by S. Casper Wong and Luara Minnear – Saturday, April 30, 7:30 PM DGA
* “Enforcing The Silence”– A documentary directed and written by Tony Nguyen – Saturday, April 30, 5:00 PM Sunset 5
* “Heart Breaks Open” – Drama directed by Billie Rain; written by Rain and Basil Shadid; and starring Maximillian Davis and Brian Peters – Monday, May 2, 9:15 PM CGV
* “Bang Bang” – Drama directed and written by Byron Chan aka Byron Q; starring David Hunyh, Jessika Van and Walter Wong – Tuesday May 3, 9:00 PM CGV
* A Among B-Boys” – A documentary directed by Christopher Woon – Wednesday, May 4, 9:15 PM CGV
Other docs include
* “The Bengali Detective” – Phil Cox
* “The House Of Suh” – Iris K. Shim
* “Enforcing The Silence” – Tony Nguyen
* “Where Are You Taking Me? “– Kimi Takesue
* “One Big Hapa Family” – Jeff Chiba Stearns
* “Working Girls” – Sammaria Simanjuntak, Sally Anom Sari, Yosep Anggi Noen, Daud Sumolang, Nitta Nazyra C. Noer
* “FInding Face”– Patti Duncan and Skye Fitzgerald
* “Resilience”– Tammy Chu
Other features include
* “Saigon Electric” – Stephane Gauger
* “Living in Seduced Circumstances” – Ian Gamazon
* “Where The Road Mets The Sun” – Mun Chee Yong
* “One Kine Day” – Chuck Mitsui
* “Boy” – Taika Waititi
LAAPFF is known for it’s ambitious, diverse short programming. This year”s shorts programmers recommend
Eseel Borlasa Recommends…
“Awakening– The River Of Forgetfulness” by Kitty Lin: A painfully beautiful and textured work that challenges you to identify what it is like to be left behind and forgotten.
“Sosefina” by Tresa Ponnor: Take pre-teen angst, cross cultural anxieties, and a loud comedic family; add a birthday party, imaginary house, punchy timing and a heartfelt message. Enjoy!
“The Boxer” by Teddy Chen Culver and David Au: Teddy Chen Culver and David Au have given us a fresh generational tale. It took me on a ride from the familiar to “oh, damn!”
“A Tree Falls in the Forest” by Bao Nguyen: This is a gorgeous marriage of moving image and edited interview selections. Bao’s skillful restraint elevates the storytelling beautifully.
“Love, Older” by Zaid Abu Hamdan: Don’t miss these vignettes that explore the highs and lows of love in the golden years. The characters will make you smile, laugh, and cry.
Eseel Borlasa- Festival press officer and short programmer Eseel Borlasa is a film publicist at David Magdael & Associates.
Austin Jose Recommends…
“Chubby Can Kill” by Kevin Ung: Ever felt like the underdog? Fantasized about taking control of it all? Wondered what would happen if you did? Wonder no more. Watch this, with paper shuriken in hand.
“Firecracker” by Soham Mehta: A powerful and uplifting piece that soars above all emotional expectations of a short film. Like a watermelon in June, it is refreshing, vibrant, and delicious.
“Parachute Kids” by Allen Ho: Detached, lonely, unapologetic youngsters in the haze of modern adventure. This short makes you look at your own life, and likewise, wish much more from it.
“Script” by Albert Ventura: For the price of a movie ticket, you can have your mind blown. Suspense and thrills abound in this dialogue-driven short film.
“Teamwork” by Hong Seo-yun: Like the first fifteen minutes of “UP!” or the last of “Toy Story 3”, this piece makes you well up inside in world-record time. Absolutely perfect
Austin Jose- While working at Disney Interactive Studios, he became involved with Kollaboration, Visual Communications,
Albert Lee recommends…
“Remember, O Goddess” by Yoon Jung Lee: An elegant meditation on memory, time, and love from Director Yoon Jung Lee, this visual poem defies traditional narratives and takes us on a dream-like journey that we will not soon forget.
“A Crossroads Called Manzanar”by Cindy Fang: In a poignant film addressing the delicate truths of a young friendship and family surviving in difficult circumstances, Cindy Fang tells us a unique story of love, loss, and perseverance.
“Masala Mama” by Michael Kam: Combining elements of graphic novels and an unlikely friendship, Michael Kam gives us an overwhelmingly charming and heartfelt piece on how love and understanding can conquer all.
“Room #11” by ManSee Kong: ManSee Kang provides an intimate window to what it means to lose more than just where we reside. Shot beautifully and directed artfully, join Kang in an understated, but harrowing, look into Room #11.
“Midnight Ride” by Kuang Lee: Kuang Lee is somehow able to masterfully capture the twilight of Los Angeles at night, as we follow a midnight bike rider and how he may be able to find something sincere in a stranger he meets.
A recent graduate from the Engineering school at Columbia University, Albert Lee now dedicates his time to spreading the passion for all types of cinematic storytelling.
Kristen Lee Recommends…
“The Lighthouse” by Po Chou Chi: The Lighthouse, a Korean animated film, is a touching pencil-sketched tale of a mentor’s lasting love, peddled by a tranquil piano accompaniment and a painted pastel canvas.
“Asian American Jesus” by Yasmine Gomez: Behold! A witty parable with subtle commentary cues, tastefully executed through six caricatures. Solo act translated to screenplay, Samantha Chanse is phenomenal.
“Top Spin” by Mina T. Son and Sara Newens: This is not an ordinary docu-sports story. Son and Newens’ TOP SPIN is an honest and delightful profile of a female ping-pong child prodigy.
Alex Ikeda: The Creation Of A Song by Michael Inouye: Applauded for its organic visual and verbal storytelling. It will irresistibly warm your soul.
Kristen Lee is a first-year short film programmer who is pursuing a Masters in Asian American Studies at UCLA.
Timed to the celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month, LAAPFF is one of the nation’s preeminent Asian Pacific and Asian film festivals. For more info and to purchase tickets log on to www.vconline.org/festival or contact Visual Communications at (213) 680-4462 x68.