LAAPFF, California’s premiere festival featuring films of the Asian Pacific region and diaspora returns, celebrating it’s 31’st year!
Visual Communications (VC), the nation’s most influential Asian Pacific American media arts center, announced its program of outstanding films for the upcoming 31st edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) running April 23-30, 2015. This annual film celebration will be presented across Los Angeles from Little Tokyo to the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles to Koreatown and to West Hollywood featuring 134 films from over 20 countries.
VC proudly celebrates 31 years as Southern California’s largest and most prestigious film festival of its kind. The LAAPFF launches the pre-celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month through this year’s slate of over 130 films from both Asian Pacific American and Asian international directors from over 20 countries. For over three decades, the Festival has presented more than 3,700 films and shorts by Asian American and Asian international artists. This year, a total of 134 films comprised of 32 feature films and 102 shorts will be showcased throughout the eight-day fest.
The 31st edition of the Film Festival kicks off with the World Premiere of Wong Fu Productions’ first feature film EVERYTHING BEFORE US from directors Wesley Chan, Ted Fu and Philip Wang starring Aaron Yoo (“DISTURBIA;” “21”), Brandon Soo Hoo (“ENDERS GAME;” “TROPIC THUNDER”), Brittany Ishibashi (“REVENGE OF THE BRIDESMAIDS;” “EAGLE EYE”) and introducing Victoria Park. The film is the first feature film production to be developed and produced through the VC Film Development Fund in collaboration with Comcast.
EVERYTHING BEFORE US screens Opening Night April 23 at 7PM at the Aratani Theatre at the JACCC in Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles.
“Everything Before Us” uses a near future concept to explore two romances. “The Department of Emotional Integrity (DEI) documents all relationship activity. A ‘relationship score’ is given to keep people accountable for their choices. The score is public for all to see, and affects various aspects of daily life.”
“We are excited and proud to be opening with EVERYTHING BEFORE US,” states VC Interim Executive Director Francis Cullado. “It is imperative for our organization to support our filmmakers and content creators by producing feature films. Through the VC Film Development Fund, we are able to work together with talented and groundbreaking creative artists such as Wong Fu Productions, one of the first successful filmmaking teams of the YouTube generation, with over 2.4 million subscribers. Funding their first feature gave us the opportunity to truly to nurture Wong Fu’s evolution to narrative feature filmmaking. This is a milestone.”
The Festival Centerpiece Presentation of the West Coast premiere of KTOWN COWBOYS from the talented Daniel Park takes us back to Los Angeles’ K-Town, home of designer hotels, noraebangs, Korean BBQ joints and more. Park’s award winning web series by the same name is now a full length feature, and reunites that fun loving crew of young bucks trolling the bars and cafes and hangouts of LA’s Koreatown including Jason (Shane Yoon), Sunny (Sunn Wee), Peter (Peter Jae), Danny (Danny Cho) and Robby (Bobby Choy) back together again. KTOWN COWBOYS will screen Saturday, April 25 at 8PM at the Aratani Theatre at the JACCC in Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles.
CRITIC’S NOTE:Daniel Park’s “Ktown Cowboys”, an raunchy comedy that stars an all-Korean male cast, is based on director Park and writer Danny Cho’s successful Web series. A sort of K-town for dummies, which shares some devices from “Entourage” also features actors instructional asides to the camera. It’s a fun ride with hip K-town cultural refereneces.
The Festival Centerpiece documentary presentation is the West Coast premiere of the award winning TWINSTERS from Samantha Futerman and Ryan Miyamoto. TWINSTERS is the real-life story of actress Samantha Futerman and budding fashion designer Anaïs Bordier – twin sisters separated shortly after birth and respectively adopted by American and French families. Discovering their existence for the first time via social media, their unique experiences are documented through a series of video blogs, Skype conversations and real-time footage. Every intimate moment is captured from their first meeting to the DNA test results, home visits and their first visit back to Seoul. The film explores the idea of family, adoption, nature vs, nurture, and the power of social media, ultimately redefining conventional definitions of “family.” TWINSTERS screens Saturday April 25 at 5PM at the Aratani Theatre at the JACCC in Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles.
Closing out this year’s celebration is the Los Angeles premiere of the acclaimed MARGARITA, WITH A STRAW from director Shonali Bose. Based loosely on the experiences of the director’s own sister, MARGARITA is a winning film with vitality and heart. Kalki Koechlin stars as Laila, a Delhi University student and aspiring writer who crafts lyrics and electronic sounds for an indie band. A wheelchair user with cerebral palsy, Laila is an adventurous soul who doesn’t let much get in the way of her life. When Laila is admitted to New York University and leaves India with her mother (Revathy) for Manhattan, she meets a fiery activist, Khanum (Sayani Gupta), who challenges her beliefs, sparks her creativity, and, eventually seduces her. Thus, she embarks on a journey of sexual discovery that threatens the relationships between her family and friends, yet offers a way to gain a measure of independence and self-worth.
CRITIC’S NOTE: Directors Shonali Bose and Nilesh Maniya’s film debut” Margarita, With a Straw”, which bowed the the 2014 London Film Festival is a fresh coming of age film. Kalki Koechlin’s performance as the confident, bisexual student Laila, suffering from cerebral palsy, who feels intitled rather than disabled, and Sayani Gupta’s liming of blind Khanum, Laila’s romantic interest lift the film, raise the film.
“Our lineup this year of the number of Asian American filmmakers and Asian American stories is impressive,” states Festival Co-Director David Magdael. “Our Opening Night, Centerpiece and Closing Night films all represent stories and directors based here in the U.S. Asian Pacific American filmmakers make up over half of our feature film lineup and we are very excited that our own filmmakers are raising the bar in terms of creating and producing feature films that add to the American cinematic experience and to our ever growing Asian American Cinema.”
This year’s Film Festival casts its Artist Spotlight on the award winning documentary filmmaker Arthur Dong. Dong will present a re-mastered version of his classic FORBIDDEN CITY, U.S.A. accompanied by a live performance from the film’s legendary performers. Dong will also present the Southern California premiere of his latest film THE KILLING FIELDS OF DR. HAING S. NGOR which tells the dramatic story about the most recognizable survivor of the Cambodian genocide – a man who became a world ambassador justice in his homeland, only be murdered in a LA Chinatown alley – a case still muddled with conspiracy theories. This special Spotlight program takes place on Sunday, April 26 beginning at 4:30PM with FORBIDDEN CITY, U.S.A. and then at 7:30PM with THE KILLING FIELDS OF DR. HAING S. NGOR at the Tateuchi Democracy Forum @ Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles.
“Arthur Dong is one of our most prolific filmmakers of our time and our community,” says longtime Visual Communications staff member Abraham Ferrer. “We are proud to have Arthur bring back the classic FORBIDDEN CITY, U.S.A. and then present his latest film and discussion around the controversial case of the murder of Academy Award® winning actor Dr. Haing S. Ngor. This will be a very exciting and eye opening session at the Festival.”
CRITIC’S NOTE: “Arthur Dong’s classic 1989 documentary profiles San Francisco’s world famous Chinese nightclub The Forbidden City. Charlie Low’s club, which thrived from the late 1930s to the late 1950s, on the second floor of 363 Sutter Street , featured Asian American singers, dancers, chorus lines, magicians, strippers, and musicians. the club , which like Harlem;s Cotton Club, catered to predominantly whites audiences, was a Must See attraction for military personnel transiting through San Francisco during World War II. The club’s success spawned the best selling novel, Broadway show and Hollywood musical, “Flower Drum Song. Jack Soo, who played the M.C in Flower Drum Song in both the Broadway musical and film, was discovered working there as the M.C. Song became one of the most prominent Asian American actors.
The LAAPFF is again ecstatic to present at the Festival two programs with a long and historic significance to Visual Communications: The Armed With a Camera Fellowship and Digital Histories. The Armed With a Camera Fellowship nurtures the next generation of Asian Pacific American media artists to capture their world, surrounding, and outlook on life. Past fellows have gone on to premiere award-winning feature films as well as building a career in television. These short films will be a part of the crowd-pleasing program DIGITAL POSSE on Wednesday, April 29 at 8PM at the Aratani Theatre at the JACCC in Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles.
Since 2003, “Digital Histories” has provided a professional and artistic work environment for underserved, ethnic-minority seniors in the LA-based Asian Pacific American community. “Digital Histories” will screen on Sunday, April 26 at 2:30PM at the Tateuchi Democracy Forum, JANM – Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles.
The LAAPFF will also feature this year’s edition of C3 – the Conference For Creative Content where creative and Hollywood industry leaders join together to create a dialogue with the community discussing important issues and trends taking place in the entertainment arena. This year’s C3 marks the fifth edition of this important gathering of creatives and decision makers both in front and behind the camera and in film, network TV, cable TV, and new media. The C3 theme this year is “Celebrating Normalcy.”
“As showrunner and creator Shonda Rhimes spoke in March, telling stories involving women, people of color and LGBTQ characters should not be considered rare and ‘diverse’. It’s a reflection of our world, and in this case ‘normalizing’,” states Milton Liu, VC’s Director of Programs and Artist Services. “Partnering with the industry guilds such as Writers Guild of America (WGA), Directors Guild of America (DGA), Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), the SAG–Producers Industry Advancement Cooperation Fund, and the Motion Picture Editors Guild, this year’s C3 will be dissecting ways in which normalizing continues to be a constant battle in Hollywood.”
C3 takes place over the weekend of April 25 and 26 in the Tateuchi Democracy Forum, JANM – Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles.
Every year, the LAAPFF International Showcase of new works from Asian highlights films and filmmakers from throughout the continent. This year is no different as the Festival boasts acclaimed features from Vietnam, the Peoples Republic of China, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan and Hong Kong.
“Our International Showcase is one of the strongest ever,” states Festival Co-Director Anderson Le. “We have some amazing films from all over Asia including award winning documentaries, romantic comedies, thrillers and outstanding dramatic stories. This year, we have something for everyone.”
• 2030 (NUOC) (Vietnam) (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Nghiem-Minh Nguyen-Vo
• CAT FUNERAL (South Korea) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Lee Jong-hoon
• THE CHINESE MAYOR (PRC) (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Hao Zhou
• HOW TO WIN AT CHECKERS (EVERY TIME) (Thailand/South Korea/United States) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Josh Kim
• IN THE ABSENCE OF THE SUN (Indonesia) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Lucky Kuswandi
• KUNG FU KILLER (Hong Kong) (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Teddy Chen
• THE LAST REEL (Cambodia) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Kulikar Sotho
• RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS (Malaysia) (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Edmund Yeo
• (SEX) APPEAL (Taiwan) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Wang Wei-ming
• THAT THING CALLED MEANT-TO-BE (Philippines) (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Antoinette Jadeone
• THE VANCOUVER ASAHI (Japan) (L.A. Premiere) Dir.; Yuya Ishii
• WE ARE MOLUCCANS (Indonesia) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.; Angga Dwimas Sasongko
• WHERE I AM KING (Philippines) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Carlos Siguion-Reyna
• THE WORLD OF KANAKO (Japan) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Nakashima Tetsuya
CRITIC’S NOTES: 2030 (NUOC) (Vietnam) (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Nghiem-Minh Nguyen-Vo
The atmospheric, lushly shot 2030 NUOC, by UCLA grad Nguyen-Vo Nghiem-Minh (“Buffalo Boy”) opened the Panorama section of the Berlin film festival. the science-fiction eco-thriller has been compared to Beasts of the Southern Wild. Global warming and the rising sea levels have drowned out Southern Vietnam, the background for a romantic mystery, beautifully shot in panoramic shots, acute closeups (DP Bao Nguyen’) and sweeping aerial photography by Tran Tran.
CAT FUNERAL (South Korea) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Lee Jong-hoon
Lee Jong-hoon’s “The Cat Funeral” (Goyangi jangryesik), an indie adaptation of artist Hong Sung-hyuk’s webtoon details the romance between an aspiring musician and a self-centered girl cartoonist and the cat that binds them.
THE CHINESE MAYOR (PRC) (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Hao Zhou
Hao Zhou’s ‘The Chinese Mayor”, an activist documentary which profiles the city of Datong, was awarded a Sundance World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Unparalleled Access.
Once the thriving capital of Imperial China, Datong now lies in near ruins. The most polluted city in the country, is crippled by decrepit infrastructure and even shakier economic prospects.
Mayor Geng Tanbo plans to change all that, announcing a bold plan to return Datong to its former glory. The plan comes at a devastatingly high cost. Thousands of homes are to be bulldozed, and a half-million of its residents (30 percent of Datong’s total population) will be relocated. Success depends on his ability to calm swarms of furious workers and an increasingly perturbed ruling elite.
HOW TO WIN AT CHECKERS (EVERY TIME) (Thailand/South Korea/United States) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Josh Kim Josh Kim’s “How To Win At Checkers Everytime”, which premiered at the Berlinale is an ingratiating weave of stories, based on Thai-American author Rattawut Lapcharoensap’s acclaimed 2004 short story collection “Sightseeing. Texas born KIm and his DP Niporn Sripongwarakul capture Bangkok with great local details. Gay, social and class themes enhance the coming of age story. ‘Orphan’ Oat lives with his impoverished Aunt. His openly gay older brother, Ek (Thira Chutikul), lives with his upper-class b.f., Jai (Arthur Navarat). The family’s breadwinner faces a lottery style conscription to the army. Upper calls men can buy their way out forcing young Oat into a gangster life to help Ek. Wolfe Releasing will distribute in the US.
THE LAST REEL (Cambodia) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Kulikar Sotho
Cambodian woman director Sotho Kulikar’s “The Last Reel”, which premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival, uses the narrative device of missing footage to examine the traumatic history of a family which survived Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge genocide. Facing an arranged marriage , rebellious student Sophoun (Ma Rynet), and her bad ass boyfriend, Veasna (Rous Mony) wander through dilapidated former Cinema. Discovering pictures of her mother tacked on the wall. she learns her chronically ill house bound mother was once a glamorous movie star. Looking for the missing movie, she discovers dreadful secrets that haunt her father, a decorated soldier, and tje other elders in her life.
Dy Saveth, an iconic figure in pre-Khmer Rouge Cambodian cinema, one of a handful of artists who survived the pogroms because she was out of the country the extremists took power in 1975, plays Sophoun’s mother.
THE VANCOUVER ASAHI (Japan) (L.A. Premiere) Dir.; Yuya Ishii
Ishii Yuya’s “The Vancouver Asahi”, winner of the Peoples Choice Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival, is a underdog, immigrant baseball story set in Canada in the 1930’s. Ishii Yuya’s won Best Director at the 2013 Japanese Academy Awards for “The Great Passage”. The Vancouver Asahi were a Japanese Canadian baseball team, organized in 1914 and made up of nisei living in the Powell Street area of Vancouver (“Japantown.”)
Like Biff Russell’s unaffiliated Portland Mavericks (featured in the recent documentary “The Battered Bastards Of Baseball”) who swept the Minor leagues in the 1970’s until organized baseball’s Farm Team System put them out of business, the unexpected underdogs the Vancouver Asahi won victory after victory in the Pacific Northwest amateur leagues throughout the 1930s. The Vancouver Asahi, who were disbanded during the Canadian WWll Internment, were inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003. They were also the subject of Jari Osborne’s 2003 documentary “Sleeping Tigers: The Asahi Baseball Story”, produced by the National Film Board of Canada,
THE WORLD OF KANAKO (Japan) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Nakashima Tetsuya
Brutal ex-police detective Akikazu Fujishima (Koji Yakusho) is called by his ex-wife to find
17-year-old daughter Kanako (Nana Komatsu) their missing.
Shocked by the drugs he find in her room, he seeks their “good-girl in a world of depraved sexual exploitation; think Paul Shrader’s “Hard Core” enhanced with Nakashima’s signature flash- cartoon images, hyper short cuts, strobing ironic flashbacks and comic dialogue. No one gets out alive in Nakashima’s bleak world. Past and present violence taint almost every scene and there is no one worth saving. Rage-aholic Akikazu stoops to beatings, apes and running down witnesses, literally.
Akikazu, who communicates with violence is determined to understand his daughter. Kanako reigns in his mind like a hallucination. Amoral Kaneko, determined to be free, feels no empathy. She’s as remorseless as Kali Durga.
Nakashima blends blood soaked scenes with moments of innocent fun. His music choices are equally eclectic and expressive. Filmgoers familiar with “Kamikaze Girls”, “Memories of Matsuko” and “‘Confessions'”.will go on Nakashima’s volatile trip down the rabbit hole, a hell trip suffused with beautiful color saturated images. Not for the faint of heart.
In addition, the LAAPFF is proud to present the following special presentations:
EAST OF MAIN STREET – Dir.: Jonathan Yi Conceived as a project to demonstrate the breadth of Asian Pacific American voices and stories, EAST OF MAIN STREET is a multi-part series created for HBO by independent producer Jonathan Yi of eyepatch Productions. Episodes exploring those who have pursued non-traditional careers, observed significant life milestones, and sounded off on what makes them happy or angry are part of the wide spectrum that comprise the series. A special episode will be screened and a discussion will follow. Friday, April 24, 5PM, Tateuchi Democracy Forum, JANM – Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles
HIMALAYA SONG – A multimedia presentation by Gingger Shankar, Mridu Chandra and Dave Liang from The Shanghai Restoration Project. HIMALAYA SONG merges film, live music, and narration in a critically acclaimed multimedia presentation conceptualized, produced, and performed by a trio of internationally renowned artists. Gingger Shankar is an extraordinarily gifted singer, virtuoso violinist, composer, songwriter, and only woman to play the double violin — a unique instrument that covers the entire orchestra range. Mridu Chandra has produced award-winning documentaries and narrative films that have premiered at Sundance and other prestigious festivals. Accomplished classical and jazz pianist, Dave Liang, is producer of The Shanghai Restoration Project, a group that blends Chinese instruments and culture with hip-hop and electronica. Today’s music blends with traditional instruments on a cinematic journey through past, present, and future — myth and reality. This performance will include an exclusive work-in-progress preview of the trio’s upcoming production, NARI. Saturday, April 25, 7:30PM, Tateuchi Democracy Forum, JANM – Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles
UNBROKEN BLOSSOMS – Staged reading of New Play by Philip W. Chung; Directed by Jeff Liu After accusations of racism dogged the release of his masterpiece THE BIRTH OF A NATION, director D.W. Griffith vowed to prove that he was not a bigot. So in 1919, Griffith directed and produced BROKEN BLOSSOMS — Hollywood’s first interracial love story featuring a Chinese man and a Caucasian woman. And to make sure his film was “authentic”, he hired two Chinese American consultants: one an aspiring filmmaker and the other a devoted family man. UNBROKEN BLOSSOMS is the story of those two men, the making of a classic movie, and how even the best of intentions can go terribly awry. Philip W. Chung is the co-founder/co-Artistic Director of the acclaimed Asian American theater company, Lodestone Theatre Ensemble. He currently oversees the creative content for YOMYOMF, the digital media company founded by director Justin Lin (the FAST & FURIOUS franchise) and is a writer/producer on the upcoming Lin-produced feature HOLLYWOOD ADVENTURES. Monday, April 27, 7PM, Tateuchi Democracy Forum, JANM – Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles
TOP 8 – The #WeOwnthe8th Short Film Program Held at the creativity-inducing venue The Great Company, #WeOwnthe8th stems from the grassroots movement spearheaded by actor/artist Dante Basco (THE DEBUT, HOOK) and showcases its nationwide API filmmaking talent. Conceived as a response to the API community’s current role within the creative industries, this movement seeks to foster creation of opportunities while providing a platform for supportive and positive mutual growth. Tuesday, April 28, 7:30PM, The Great Company – the Arts District – Downtown Los Angeles
CRANE-KICK COMMENTARY: THE KARATE KID, PART II – A Film Screening and Live Commentary with Phil Yu and Friends Inspired by “Mystery Science Theater 3000” and local improv groups such as Cold Tofu, noted blogger Phil Yu (aka Angry Asian Man) leads an impromptu panel in a real-time commentary of THE KARATE KID, PART II — director John Avildsen’s follow-up to the 1984 blockbuster. Phil and friends re-visit what happens when Danny (Ralph Macchio) and Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) travels to Okinawa to visit Miyagi’s dying father -— reuniting with the old sweetheart (Nobu McCarthy); meeting the winsome niece (Tamlyn Tomita); and encountering the local bully Chozen (Yuji Okumoto). And let’s not forget the famous “drum” technique. Tuesday, April 28, 7PM, Tateuchi Democracy Forum, JANM – Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles.
The 31ST LAAPFF competition film line-up is as follows:
• ADVANTAGEOUS (West Coast Premiere) Dir.: Jennifer Phang
• EVERYTHING BEFORE US (World Premiere) Dirs.: Wesley Chan, Philip Wang
• KTOWN COWBOYS (West Coast Premiere) Dir.: Daniel Park
• LOVE ARCADIA (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Lawrence Gan
• MAN UP (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Justin Chon
• MARGARITA, WITH A STRAW (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Shonali Bose; Co-Dir.: Nilesh Maniyar
• MISS INDIA AMERICA Dir.: Ravi Kapoor
• THERE IS A NEW WORLD SOMEWHERE (World Premiere) Dir.: Li Lu
• CHANGING SEASON (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Jim Choi
• EVERYTHING WILL BE (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Julia Kwan
• I HAVE SEEN MY LAST BORN (World Premiere) Dirs.: Samuel Gray Anderson, Lee Isaac Chung
• JUNE BRIDE: REDEMPTION OF A YAKUZA (World Premiere) Dir.: Derek Shimoda
• TOP SPIN (L.A. Premiere) Dirs.: Mina T. Son, Sara Newens
• TWINSTERS (West Coast Premiere) Dirs.; Samantha Futerman, Ryan Miyamoto
• VISIONS IN THE DARK: THE LIFE OF PINKY THOMPSON (West Coast Premiere) Dir.: Ty Sanga
• WINNING GIRL (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Kimberlee Bassford
CRITIC’S NOTE: ADVANTAGEOUS (West Coast Premiere) Dir.: Jennifer Phang
Jennifer Phang’s gorgeously shot feminist Dysstopian Sci Fi won the Sundance 2105 US Dramatic Special Jury Award: Collaborative Vision.
The ambitious feature length version of Phang’s 2011 short film essays a world where women’s roles in society have been stripped away. The world is glossy, feminine beauty and passivity seem to be a social ideal. The underclass is edited out of Gwen’s world of middle class privilege
Single mother Gwen Koh (Jacqueline Kim) provides for her her 13-year-old daughter, Jules (Samantha Kim) working as a high-profile spokesperson for the futuristic replacement for plastic surgery.
It’s crucial to keep her Jules in prep-school; a survival must in this society. When the Center for Advanced Health and Living deems Gwen too old to sell beauty options, Gwen volunteers as the first “civilian test subject” in the Center’s latest radical procedures. Gwen risks everything, swapping out her consciousness and the part thats connected to Kim. The film loses steam at this point but it’s planted many ideas in our brain.
MISS INDIA AMERICA Dir.:Ravi Kapoor
Ravi Kapoor’s comedy won the COMCAST Narrative Jury Award at CAAMFest, 2015 (Center For Asian American Medis).
EVERYTHING WILL BE (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Julia Kwan
Vancouver based director Julia Kwan, director of the 2005 Sundance Narrative prizewinner “Eve and the the Fire Horse” ,directs her first documentary. A cancer survivor, this is Kwan’s first film since her cancer went into remission.
It’s a valentine to the Chinatown she knew as a child. She follows over a dozen characters, including second generation shopkeepers watching the neighborhood disappear, as owners die and businesses close: a 90-something woman selling news papers and Vancouver Condo magnate Bob Rennie, who’s trying to be a good custodian of the oldest building in Chinatown. His Museum blends contemporary ideas with classic traditions in his attempt to bring some version of Chinatown into the future.
Trendy galleries, bars and coffee shops replace the blocks of groceries, gift-shops and herbalist Kwan shopped at as a child.ying to be a good custodian of the oldest building in Chinatown.
Chinatown’s seniors, all in their 80s and 90’s, continue to frequent their favorite restaurants shops and Mah Jong places. Cheap real estate lure young hip entrepreneurs who bring their Urban trendy culture.
Kwan hired a translator and gained the trust of her subjects, like the ancient Keefer Street newspaper vender ‘Granny Kwan” and Daniel Lee, a longtime security guard in the area who acted as her guide. He was neccesary to show her the hidden side, like the ancient SRO May Wah Hotel, where longterm aged residents play mahjong and sing songs from their youth. Barely 1% of Vancouver’s Chinese seniors speak English.
DP Patrick McLaughlin’s frames the neighborhood in elegiac compositions. The children of the aged shopkeepers, including the unique italian business in the neighborhood have no interest in continuing the family business. Kwan, who felt guilty for abandoning the business district spends a year respectfully following her characters. Kwan’s poetic portrait is wistful, tragic and Universal in tone.
I HAVE SEEN MY LAST BORN (World Premiere) Dirs.: Samuel Gray Anderson, Lee Isaac Chung
Co-directors Samuel Gray Anderson and Lee Isaac Chung return to the scene of their award-winning 2007 narrative feature “Munyurangabo” to shoot a documentary about
Rwanda in transition from its difficult and violent past towards development, seen through the life of a man who juggles the roles of father and son, between the city and the village.
For program information, a complete listing of sponsors and partners, and to purchase tickets, log on to www.vconline.org/festival or contact Visual Communications at (213) 680-4462 x59. Tickets are on sale now.
The Festival is honored to return home to Little Tokyo this year and is proud to be partnering with our following screening venues across Los Angeles:
• Aratani Theatre @ Japanese American Cultural & Community Center – Little Tokyo – 244 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
• Tateuchi Democracy Forum @ Japanese American National Museum – Little Tokyo – 111 N. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
• Downtown Independent – Downtown LA (DTLA) – 251 S. Main Street, (between 3rd and 2nd Streets), Los Angeles, CA 90012
• CGV Cinemas – Koreatown – Mid-Wilshire – 621 Western Avenue (between 6th Street and Wilshire Blvd.), Los Angeles, CA 90005
• The Great Company – Downtown LA (DTLA) – 1917 Bay Street (between Wilson and Mateo Streets), Los Angeles, CA 90021
• Directors Guild of America – West Hollywood – 7920 Sunset Blvd. (at Hayworth), West Hollywood, CA 90046
The 2015 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is sponsored by:
PLATINUM: Comcast NBC Universal; Sony Pictures Entertainment; GOLD: Directors Guild of America; Nielsen; SILVER: HBO; BRONZE: FilmLA; Creative DCP; SAG Indie; STAR: Modern VideoFilm; Motion Picture Editors Guild; SAG-AFTRA; Union Bank; Writers Guild of America/West; Yu & Co.; VENUE SPONSORS: Aratani Theatre/Japanese American Cultural & Community Center; Directors Guild of America; Japanese American National Museum; Downtown Independent; CGV Cinemas; The Great Company; MEDIA SPONSORS: AngryAsianMan.com; KPFK – FM; LA-18 KSCI; LA Weekly; MYX TV; Yelp; GOVERNMENT: National Endowment for the Arts; Los Angeles County Arts Commission; Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; California Arts Council; Cal Humanities; FOUNDATION: Aratani Foundation; James Irvine Foundation; Weingart Foundation; Parsons Foundation; SAG-P IACF; Asian Pacific Community Fund; Sony Pictures Entertainment; RECEPTION: Asahi; Kirin; LA-18 KSCI; Stella Artois; Ketel One; MYXTV; IN KIND: Telepath Corporation; IKON Office Supplies; Meiji; LA18; HBO; Red Giant.