Spring Brings Film Festivals to Southern California
By Emory Johnson of Pacific Ties
Pacific Arts Movement (PacArts) is presenting its 7th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase from April 20 to April 27, 2017. This year’s showcase will be PacArt’s largest Spring Showcase yet, screening over 20 films from 10 countries over the eight-day festival at UltraStar Mission Valley in San Diego.
In Los Angeles, Visual Communications will be presenting the 33rd edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival the following week, April 27 to May 4, 2017. The festival will open with a rare Sundance cut of the 2002 coming-of-age drama “Better Luck Tomorrow” on Thursday, April 27, 2017 and close with the Narrative winner on Wednesday, May 10.
The opening weekend of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival will also converge with the seventh edition of the Conference for Creative Content (C3) on Saturday, April 29, 2017 and Sunday, April 30, 2017. This year’s C3 has the theme “Future Forward” and will include panels and discussions on the media industry with presenters from the Directors Guild of America, Korean Film Council, and UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.
Back in San Diego, the 7th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase will screen a range of films from documentaries such as the North American premiere of “Sunday Beauty Queen” (Baby Ruth Villarama, 2016), about the community of Pilipina migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong, to special features such as “Gook” (Justin Chon, 2017), about the Korean American perspective during the 1992 uprisings in Los Angeles.
Chon’s “Gook”will not only close out the 7th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase, but will also be the Centerpiece film at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
The films selected for the Spring Showcase are timely and relevant, seeking to “bring audiences together with stories that remind us to consider both our history as well as the world around us today,” said PacArt’s Executive Director Kent Lee.
For instance, the festival’s presentation of “Gook” and “Resistance at Tule Lake” (Konrad Aderer, 2017) aligns with this year’s 25th anniversary of the LA uprisings and the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066.
Konrad Aderer’s documentary, “Resistance at Tule Lake,”on Japanese American incarceration at Tule Lake during World War II, is presented within a larger program at the Spring Showcase: “Right to Resist: From 9066 to 2017.” This day-long program on April 23, 2017 features “documentaries and short films that chronicle resistance” with issues ranging from Japanese American redress to the Muslim immigrant experience after 9/11. “Resistance at Tule Lake” will also be screened at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
When Asian international and Asian Pacific Desi American populations continue to be subject to whitewashing and misrepresentation in mainstream media, both the San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival are vital events that enable Asian international and Asian Pacific Desi American experiences to be visible and better represented on the screen.
If you are interested in attending either film festival, the digital program booklet for Pacific Arts Movement’s 7th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival can be found here and the schedule for Visual Communications’ 33rd edition of the Los Angeles Pacific Film Festival can be found here.