The San Diego Asian Film Festival is moving from the Gaslamp back to its home of four years at the UltraStar Mission Valley at Hazard Center (formerly Mann Theatres), September 29 – October 6. Celebrating its sixth year, the festival promises to be a bigger and better experience with more than 130 short and feature films from the U.S., Canada, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Taiwan and the Philippines. The San Diego Asian Film Foundation (SDAFF) has also added four more days to the festival, expanding the cinematic experience for its growing audience.
OPENING NIGHT FILM CHANGE!
Action-packed South Korean boxing blockbuster CRYING FIST will no longer open the festival, but it will screen as part of the festival’s program. The new opening night film will be announced here shortly. Closing the festival will be Lane Nishikawa’s landmark film, ONLY THE BRAVE – the first narrative feature about the Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Other features include the award-winning film, CAVITE, directed and produced by San Diego natives Ian Gamazon and Neill Dela Llana , and an encore screening of Alice Wu’s Sundance film, SAVING FACE. The festival also features many women filmmakers, who make up more than half of this year’s programming. Plus, patrons can enjoy a diverse collection of short films including a multicultural Latino/Asian American program co-sponsored by San Diego Latino Film Festival.
Along with films, the festival offers workshops, panels, competitions, and a chance for the public to meet more than 100 filmmakers, actors, and industry guests. The festival’s top films will be awarded during a star-studded Gala Awards Ceremony on Friday, September 30 at the Doubletree Hotel in Mission Valley. Actress Joan Chen (The Last Emperor, Twin Peaks, Saving Face) will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and filmmaker Alice Wu will be presented with a Visionary Award for her film, SAVING FACE. Other VIPs scheduled to attend include Dustin Nguyen (21 Jump Street, V.I.P) and Roger Fan (Better Luck Tomorrow, Annapolis). Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim of ABC’s Lost are also invited to attend.
Three women in different stages of their lives – 20, 30. 40 – face the hardships of the female existence. Directed by Sylvia Chang.
CAVITE (U.S., Philippines)
SXSW Special Jury Award, Official Selection of Rotterdam and Los Angeles Film Festivals. A San Diegan travels to the Philippines to attend his father’s funeral, only to discover terrorists have kidnapped his mother and sister. Directed by Neil Dela Llana.
Tribeca Official Selection. Set against last summer’s Republican Convention, a fictional blue-state, red-state love story set against the backdrop of real people, real events, and real political passions. Directed by Mora Stevens.
CRYING FIST (South Korea)
Official Selection of Cannes 2005. Two men – a hoodlem and a has-been prize boxer – seek to reclaim their lives in the ring. Directed by Ryu Seung-Wan.
CRYING OUT LOVE IN THE CENTER OF THE WORLD (Japan)
Based on an award-winning romance novel, a woman abandons her fiancée after discovering old audiotape diaries he exchanged with a highschool sweetheart. Directed by Isao Yukisada.
DEKADA 70 (Philippines)
Official Cannes Selection. A family of seven struggles to survive living in the Philippines in the 1970s, during a time of martial law, protests, and violence. Directed by Chito S. Roño
MARATHON (South Korea)
Based on a true story a mother’s unwavering love for her autistic son who finds happiness in the running marathons. Directed by Jeong Yun-Cheol
THE MOTEL (U.S.)
Official Sundance 2005 Selection. A coming-of-age film about a chubby Chinese American kid who works at his parents’ sleezy suburban motel. Directed by Michael Kang
MY GIRL (Thailand)
A nostalgic look at a man’s friendship with a childhood girlfriend who he let slip away.
ONE NIGHT IN MONGKOK (Hong Kong)
Best Director, Best Screenplay at Hong Kong Film Awards. Directed by Derek Yee.
ONLY THE BRAVE (U.S.)
SDAFF Closing Night Film. A dramatic look at Japanese American soldiers from the famed 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, and their rescue of the Texas Lost Battalion trapped behind enemy lines in the Vosges Mountains of France. Directed by Lane Nishikawa.
SAVING FACE (U.S.)
Official Sundance 2005 Selection. A comedy about a Chinese American woman who “comes out” as a lesbian while her mother is shunned by the Chinese community for having an affair. Directed by Alice Wu.
A WORLD WITHOUT THIEVES (China)
Two grifters attempt to swear off the con, only to run headlong into temptation on a train filled with shady characters. Directed by Xiaogang Feng.
AND THEREAFTER (U.S.)
A candid look into the isolated existence of a 76-year-old Korean War bride, who still finds herself a stranger in America. Directed by Hosup Lee
BEIJING OR BUST (U.S./China)
The adventures of six Chinese Americans living in Beijing and their struggles to grapple with the complexities of living between two cultures. Directed by Hao Wu.
CHINESE RESTAURANTS ON THE ISLANDS (Canada)
The story of the Chinese Diaspora told through its most recognizable and enduring icon, the family-run Chinese restaurant, in the sensual and seductive islands of Mauritius, Trinidad, and Cuba. Directed by Cheuk Kwan.
CREATING A PLACE AT THE TABLE (U.S.)
A look into the lives of three multicultural lesbian couples in San Diego exploring the strengths they bring from their cultures of origin. Directed by Kathy Hines, Becky Burklee.
THE GRACE LEE PROJECT (U.S.)
A humorous personal essay that contrasts the world of stereotypes with the real-life experiences of women named Grace Lee, a very common Asian American name. Directed by Grace Lee.
MONKEY DANCE (U.S./Cambodia)
Their parents escaped Cambodia’s killing fields – now dance helps three teens survive the minefields of urban America. Directed by Julie Mallozi.
POLYNESIAN POWER (U.S./Samoa)
The ascent of Pacific Islanders in the pro-football, including San Diegans Junior Seau and Pisa Tinoisamoa. Directed by Jeremy Spear.
SUNSET BOLLYWOOD (India)
Three Indian actors struggle to keep up in the demanding celluloid world of Bollywood. Directed by Komal Tolani.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH FRANK CHIN (U.S.)
A holographic portrait of the original Chinatown cowboy, and controversial writer, Frank Chin. Directed by Curtis Choy.
BORDER FUSION – a collection of films showcasing diversity within our own community, and how we share the same issues.
CINEMA MASALA – a tasty collection of South Asian films
DIRTY SIDE OF SEX – what is pleasure for some is the weapon of pain for others
FAMILY SCHMAMILY – films about mom, dad, and the people we sometimes love to hate
FREAK FACTOR – quirky, fun, and freaky, not for the faint of heart.
IDENTITY CRISIS – the search to find the true color of our roots
LAUGH FACTORY – churning out a collection of comedy films sure to make you laugh
MVP – our music video program showcasing indie Asian American artists
MY SO-CALLED QUEER LIFE – the diverse path of queer living
OUTER LIMITS – Life on the other side
URBAN LEGENDS – a collection of short films keepin’ it real on the mean streets of Asian America.
THE X FACTOR – more than just chick flicks, these films by women filmmakers prove
For more info, visit the San Diego Asian Film Foundation website.