The nationwide lockdown has had a devasting effect on film festivals and fans alike. forced postponements, cancellations, and innovative alternatives as forced film festivals across the nation to innovate. Technology has not only helped keep these cinematic showcases alive but opened their individual visions and passion to a broader audience. Case in point, you either had to live near or travel to Southern California to attend the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Now everyone across the United States can get a taste of this amazing film festival.
Today the LAAPFF will present, in conjunction with Visual Communications and the Cambodia Town Film Festival, the Khmer Americana Virtual Showcase. Because many of these festivals had to scramble to make virtual viewing available, the process to register, see films, and take part in Q&As has been confusing. But thankfully, the process is getting easier. If you’ve never taken part or are desperately in need of taking part in a film festival, now’s your chance.
First, see the films. The Khmer Americana showcase is presenting four short films featuring the Khmer-American experience of Cambodian Immigrants in the United States. You can view all four films in roughly an hour, and it’s free (though a donation is highly suggested). Head to the showcase link: CTFF presents: Khmer Americana + Q&A.
Next, participate in the Q&A Livestream tonight at 7 pm PT. A festival moderator will host the event over Zoom (of course). You can watch it live (or afterward) on Visual Communications Youtube Channel or the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Facebook Page.
The short films showcased are:
Bitter Melons – Sophia, a female line cook, is tasked with delivering bitter melons to her estranged father. Throughout this particular day, she grapples with her pain and must decide whether or not to confront her past, and deliver the bitter melons.
Float – a short film set in Seattle in the mid-1990s, following the day-to-day trials and tribulations of Cambodian American hustler, Rocky Mang. Still living at home with his family, Rocky spends his days cruising the streets of Seattle, slanging cheap goods on the corner as he struggles to help his family make ends meet. His days are a hazy wash of grinding and hustling, only broken by his persistent attempts to convince a local barista named Jenni-Mo Day to go on a date.
Paulina – Immersed in a vibrant world where bets and wagers are part of everyday living, 17-year-old Paulina has found herself attracted to the game; a love understood and shared by her father, Sam, and an avid community of Cambodian refugees. Met with strong disapproval from her sister Sopheap, Paulina remains strongly tied to the community. But soon, she finds herself in the midst of her father’s war with addiction, and the realities of this world are unmasked. Paulina must inevitably choose between the world she is drawn to or the life she might someday want.
Removal – A mother seeks help for her son, a Cambodian ex-gangster turned family man who faces deportation.
Afterward, Caylee So (co-founder of Cambodia Town Film Festival and writer/director of Paulina) will host a Q&A with Thavary Krouch (Bitter Melons), Tristan Seniuk and Voleak Sip (Float), and Krew Keth (Removal).