See you at the 33rd Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Featured on Angry Asian Man
Los Angeles film fans, it’s on. Make some plans and get down with community for the 33rd Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, running April 27 to May 4. Presented by Visual Communications, with eight days of screenings, panels and events, LAAPFF is the largest festival of its kind in Southern California and the premier showcase for the best and brightest of Asian Pacific American and international cinema.
This year’s festival kicks off with the Opening Night intro/retrospective 15th anniversary screening of Justin Lin’s landmark film Better Luck Tomorrow. Justin Chon’s Sundance award-winning feature Gook serves as LAAPFF’s Centerpiece highlight as part of the festival’s 25th anniversary commemoration of the Los Angles Uprising. The festival rounds with the Closing Night Gala presentation of Kogonada’s debut feature Columbus, starring leading man John Cho.
Here are some the festival’s highlights:
OPENING NIGHT FILM: BETTER LUCK TOMORROW
This year’s opening night kicking off the Fest is the 15th Anniversary special gala presentation of director/writer Justin Lin’s uncut 35mm Sundance original version of the landmark film BETTER LUCK TOMORROW. Lin will present this rarely-seen version of the film that launched his career at Sundance 2002, when it was championed by late iconic film critic Roger Ebert and picked up by MTV Films and Paramount Classics for nationwide theatrical distribution. The film features Asian American film actors starring in lead roles including John Cho, Sung Kang, Jason Tobin, Roger Fan, Parry Shen, and Karin Anna Cheung.
BETTER LUCK TOMORROW centers on an accomplished high school student, Ben (Parry Shen) who seems to excel at almost everything except winning over his dream girl, Stephanie (Karin Anna Cheung). When he begins an unlikely friendship with trouble-seeking tough guy Daric (Roger Fan), Ben becomes involved in petty crime that gets increasingly dangerous, with his various illegal ventures extending to include Stephanie and her wealthy beau, Steve (John Cho). Can these restless teens curb their criminal activities before it’s too late? The film pushed the boundaries on the “model minority” discussion and inspired Asian American audiences across the nation to come out to the cinema, while positioning director Justin Lin as a Filmmaker to Watch, as recognized by industry publication Variety that year.
Members of the cast and crew will be in attendance for Q & A following the celebratory screening. BETTER LUCK TOMORROW screens Opening Night April 27 at 7PM at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.
CENTERPIECE PRESENTATION: GOOK
The Festival Centerpiece Presentation features the 2017 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award winning film GOOK from actor-turned-filmmaker JUSTIN CHON. This vibrant and insightful film takes place on April 29, 1992 in Los Angeles — the day the Rodney King verdict was announced and the infamous L.A. Riots began. Chon’s film centers on Eli and Daniel, two Korean American brothers, who own a struggling shoe store and have an unlikely friendship with Kamilla, a street-wise 11 year old African American girl. It’s just another typical day at the store until the Rodney King verdict is read and riots break out through the city. With the chaos moving towards them, the trio is forced to defend the store while contemplating the future of their own personal dreams and the true meaning of family.
GOOK will be presented on Saturday, April 29 at the Aratani Theatre at the JACCC in Little Tokyo. The festival is commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the L.A. Uprising/Rodney King verdict with this gala screening featuring the filmmaker, crew and cast. This screening will top off a day of films, events, community discussions and art presentations memorializing this historic Los Angeles event.
CLOSING NIGHT FILM: COLUMBUS
Closing out this year’s eight-day film celebration is the Los Angeles premiere of the acclaimed 2017 Sundance film COLUMBUS from director Kogonada. This beautiful and engaging feature directorial debut stars John Cho, Haley Lu Richardson, Parker Posey, Rory Culkin and Michelle Forbes. The film centers on Casey (Richardson) who lives with her mother in a little-known Midwestern town haunted by the promise of modernism. Jin (Cho), a visitor from the other side of the world, attends to his dying father. Burdened by the future, they find respite in one another and the architecture that surrounds them.
COLUMBUS screens on May 4 at the Directors Guild of America in West Hollywood with the filmmaker, cast and crew in attendance for a post-screening Q & A.
C3: CONFERENCE FOR CREATIVE CONTENT
Bringing together industry and Asian American talent, the LAAPFF is proud to present the seventh 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. The only event of its kind, C3 brings together foremost media professionals and academics in film, television, cable, digital, gaming and transmedia to create a dialogue on the ever-changing media industry, share best practices, network, celebrate and build a collective vision for our community.
C3 will converge on the opening weekend of the Festival on Saturday, April 29th and Sunday April 30th at the Japanese American National Museum, located in the Little Tokyo district of Downtown Los Angeles. There also will be a special free panel on Monday, May 1 in Mid-Wilshire.