NEW YORK, NY – August 17, 2016 – HBO today announced the launch of HBO Asian Pacific American Visionaries, a short film competition dedicated to showcasing emerging APA directors with unique perspectives of the Asian Pacific American experience. Three winning films will be awarded cash prizes and make their premiere at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in April 2017 and offered the opportunity to license their film to premiere exclusively on HBO (and/or its on-demand, digital and/or social platforms) during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May 2017. The deadline for entries is November 7, 2016. Join the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #hbovisionaries.

The first competition of its kind for HBO, APA Visionaries aims to help further the dialogue about race, diversity and representation in Hollywood while offering unique and creative depictions of the Asian Pacific American experience. To help promote the contest, HBO has produced a promotional video featuring SILICON VALLEY star Jimmy O. Yang encouraging APA directors to submit their films.

General criteria for submission includes:

  • Running time: 10-15 minutes, inclusive of credits
  • Films must have been directed by a person of Asian or Pacific Islander descent
  • Director must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident 18 years of age or older, and of legal age of majority in his/her state of residence
  • Films must be in the English language or contain English subtitles (common phrases acceptable)
  • Films must be a festival premiere
  • Films must have commenced principal photography on or after October 1, 2015
  • Films must not have had any previous exhibition on broadcast, cable or online
  • Employees of HBO and any other Time Warner entity and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate

 For complete details, visit

The judging panel is comprised of HBO executives and a panel of industry experts, including representatives from the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment.

“At a time when the most personal of stories are also the most universal, the diversity of our storytellers is more important than ever,” stated Jackie Gagne, VP Multicultural Marketing at HBO. “Our competition is designed to celebrate the unique experiences and unsung talent that exist within the Asian Pacific American community. We are also delighted and honored to have the support of incredible organizations with unparalleled legacies of promoting APA visionaries.”

“It’s inspiring to see a global entertainment brand like HBO take a leadership role in creating opportunities for Asian Pacific American filmmakers,” said Francis Cullado, Executive Director of Visual Communications, the organization that produces the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. “The exposure provided for the winners of this competition is truly incredible and worthy of our community’s full support.”

“This competition aligns directly with our organization’s mission to champion AAPI filmmakers and artists,” said Michelle K. Sugihara, Executive Director of CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment). “We are proud to work with HBO to identify and empower new voices in the community."

Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world’s most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services – HBO® and Cinemax® – to approximately 131 million subscribers worldwide. The services offer the popular subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand® and Cinemax On Demand®, as well as HBO GO® and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. HBO NOW®, the network’s internet-only premium streaming service, provides audiences with instant access to HBO’s acclaimed programming in the U.S. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries. HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide. 

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Photo: Joeseph Chung

Photo: Joeseph Chung



[LOS ANGELES] Visual Communications, the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, is now accepting entries for the 33rd edition of The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, slated for Spring 2017 at select venues in the Los Angeles area.

     “The Film Festival’s stature as a premier venue for celebrating the broad range of artistic expression by our filmmaking community is strengthened by Visual Communications’ leadership role in supporting and nurturing artists,” said Francis Cullado, Visual Communications’ Executive Director and Film Festival Executive Producer. “The Film Festival is THE place where our artists, working in all cinematic mediums, platforms and genres, come to share their work. We’re excited to once again provide a new survey of vital and up-and-coming cinematic voices and forms for our audiences this coming Spring.”

     The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, produced by Visual Communications, was established in 1983 to promote and present the best in Asian Pacific cinema. Initially a weekend event showcasing nearly 20 feature-length and short films, the Film Festival has grown into a week-long spectacle boasting an annual program line-up of over 150 films and videos by both independent and studio-based Asian Pacific American and Asian international filmmakers.

     The Film Festival has presented the works of such groundbreaking Asian Pacific American artists as Gregg Araki, Timothy Linh Bui, Eric Byler, Gene Cajayon, Arthur Dong, Philip Kan Gotanda, Kayo Hatta, Eric Koyanagi, Justin Lin, Ang Lee, Chris Chan Lee, Rico Martinez, Freida Lee Mock, Sarab Neelam, Charlie Nguyen, Greg Pak, Mina Shum, Renee Tajima-Peña, Rea Tajiri, Chris Tashima, Ham Tran, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Victor Vu, Wayne Wang, Richard Wong, Wong Fu Productions, Bruce and Norman Yonemoto, Jessica Yu, and many others.

     The Film Festival has also showcased the works of renowned Asian international filmmakers as Lino Brocka, Mabel Cheung, Dang Nhat Minh, Mike DeLeon, Ann Hui, Im Kwon Taek, Chen Kaige, Takeshi “Beat” Kitano, Stanley Kwan, Alex Law, Lin Cheng-sheng, Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Auraeus Solito, Miike Takashi, Taika Waititi, Wong Kar-wai, and John Woo.

     In its over three-decade history, the Film Festival has presented nearly 4,000 films, videos, and digital mediaworks by artists of Asian Pacific descent.

     The 33rd edition of the Film Festival will present world and local premieres of major new works by Asian and Asian Pacific American filmmakers and video artists; an expanded showcase of transmedia works that expand traditional definitions of “cinema”; workshops and media panels; and a wide variety of special events spotlighting the past, present and future of Asian Pacific independent cinema. The best and brightest of tomorrow’s Asian Pacific filmmakers are recognized through filmmaker awards including the annual Grand Jury Awards for excellence in feature-length narrative and documentary film; and the Festival Golden Reel and Linda Mabalot New Directors/New Visions Awards for short film. These awards, in addition to the Audience Award for favorite feature-length film, are presented at the Festival’s Closing Night.

     Productions for consideration include features and shorts in the following categories: dramatic/narrative, documentaries, experimental works and animation/graphic films; and digital/transmedia works in all genres. Entries produced in 35mm (film); and NTSC-format works (D-Cinema) by and/or about Asian Pacific American and/or Asian international producers with themes involving, but NOT limited to, Asian Pacific culture, history and experiences are welcome and encouraged.

     Early entries must be received by October 21, 2016 at 5 PM PST; entries for the final deadline must be received by November 25, 2016 at 5 PM PST. Withoutabox and FilmFreeway Extended Deadline entries must be received by January 2, 2017 at 5 PM PST. Early deadline entries must include a processing fee of $25 U.S. (domestic and international); final deadline entry fees are $35.00 U.S. (domestic and international). Preview copies can be submitted as a password-protected Vimeo link (720p optimal); or as a secure online screener. DVD screeners are strongly discouraged, in the Film Festival’s ongoing efforts to be environmentally conscious.

     Notification of selection will be announced in early March 2017.

     Online entry information is available by logging on to: Additional entry regulations are available by contacting the Festival Director, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, c/o Visual Communications, 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. For more information on the Film Festival call (213) 680-4462 x68; or visit the Festival website at

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Visual Communications' Director of Programs and Artists' Services Milton Liu and AWC Adviser Ann Kaneko with Armed With a Camera 2015-2016 Fellows (kneeling, l-r): Tulica Singh and Quyên Nguyen-Le; (standing) Kayla Tong, Faroukh Virani, Conrad Lihilihi, Sumiko Braun, Stanley Wong. At far right is director Kristy Ishii, of UCLA's Video Ethnography Workshop of the Center for Ethnicommunications. (Photo: Brandon Okumura)

Visual Communications' Director of Programs and Artists' Services Milton Liu and AWC Adviser Ann Kaneko with Armed With a Camera 2015-2016 Fellows (kneeling, l-r): Tulica Singh and Quyên Nguyen-Le; (standing) Kayla Tong, Faroukh Virani, Conrad Lihilihi, Sumiko Braun, Stanley Wong. At far right is director Kristy Ishii, of UCLA's Video Ethnography Workshop of the Center for Ethnicommunications. (Photo: Brandon Okumura)

Visual Communications, the nation's premier Asian American & Pacific Islander media arts organization, has recently announced its call for submissions for the fifteenth cycle of its groundbreaking Armed With a Camera Fellowship for Emerging Media Artists (AWC).

Since 2002, AWC has nurtured the next generation of Asian Pacific American media artists, enabling them to capture their world, surroundings and outlook on life. Through special training, mentoring and networking opportunities, access to facilities and equipment, and a cash stipend, Visual Communications staff and advisers work with the Fellows for six months to create four to five-minute digital short films.

Through the Armed With a Camera Fellowship, Visual Communications seeks to cultivate a new generation of Asian Pacific American media artists committed to preserving the legacy and vision of VC. In addition, AWC 2016-2017 Fellows will attend an all-expenses paid animated filmmaking workshop to LAIKA (KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS, CORALINE, CORPSE BRIDE, PARANORMAN) in Portland, OR.

Following their World Premiere screening at the 2017 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, AWC productions will be showcased at various events and exhibition showcase across Greater Los Angeles, and other venues nationwide. VC will co-own the productions and will also package and distribute completed works. Distribution income will aid in the continuation of the Armed With a Camera Fellowship.

For submission guidelines for the 2016-2017 cycle of the Armed With a Camera Fellowship, please follow this link. The deadline to submit is October 7, 2016 at 5 PM PST.


Photo: Steven Lam

Photo: Steven Lam

In a press statement released July 7, the California Arts Council has announced a grant award of $56,000 to Visual Communications as part of its Creative California Communities program. The grant will be utilized to expand FfF Interactive Little Tokyo!, a multi-format transmedia project that was a highlight of the 2016 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Visual Communications was one of only forty-one grantees statewide for this program.

Co-presented with locally-based media arts collective FORM follows FUNCTION at select Festival Week 2016 venues, FfF Interactive Little Tokyo! featured two new immersive public art installations that highlighted the amazing history and diversity of Little Tokyo. Walking With Grace, a 360º virtual reality experience, afforded viewers the opportunity to experience the streets of Little Tokyo through the perspective of Grace Chikui, a blind woman and long-time resident of the community. And, the site-specific installation 312 Azusa Street explored the rich history of Azusa Alley adjacent to the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center's Noguchi Plaza — the site of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church and Apostolic Faith Mission; and the birthplace of Pentacostalism.

Funds from the CAC's Creative California Communities grant will enable Visual Communications to support FfF's goal of bringing FfF Interactive Little Tokyo! to its complete realization, and expand on the immersive community initiatives that were introduced during Festival Week 2016.

"Visual Communications is extremely excited to work once again with FORM follows FUNCTION to bring back and expand this special Film Festival initiative," said Francis Cullado, Visual Communications Executive Director. "We're thankful for the support of the California Arts Council in allowing Visual Communications and FfF the opportunity to further explore and make known the histories and heritages of our shared communities in new and exciting ways."

The California Arts Council, a state agency, aims to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California's diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services. The council's Creative California Communities program supports collaborative projects that harness arts and culture as vehicles for creative placemaking.

Visual Communications, the nation's premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, develops and supports the voices of Asian American and Pacific Islander filmmakers and media artists who empower communities and challenge perspectives. Since 1970, Visual Communications has pioneered many groundbreaking developments in Asian Pacific American cinema, and additionally organizes filmmaking fellowship programs, public exhibition activities and events, and maintains a highly-regarded photographic and media archive.

To support Visual Communications' mission and programs, please consider donating or becoming a member. We are thankful for all your support! 

2016 LAAPFF Press Coverage

From industry trade journals and metropolitan news, to internationally-minded press, local community organizations and media-savvy blogging collectives, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival received attention from a variety of journalists, writers, critics and writers. We thank everyone who spilled ink on the people, content as well as the topics which provoked, inspired and/or entertained us during this 2016 edition. And of course, we hope that you – dear readers – will stay tuned for more news about our Festival happenings and other activities in the coming year! 

Here are selections from this year's press, media and online coverage of the 32nd Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. 

April 5, 2016 | Indiewire   

World Premiere of THE TIGER HUNTER to Open the 32nd Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

April 5, 2016 | Variety

Asian Pacific Film Festival Unveils Diverse Slate, Including Six World Premieres

April 7, 2016 | The Rafu Shimpo

Narrative and Documentary Features at 2016 LAAPFF

April 9, 2016 | Pasadena Now TV

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival April 21-28, 2016

April 10, 2016 |

Don’t Miss the 2016 LA Asian Pacific Film Festival; April 21-28

April 12, 2016 | Angry Asian Man

See You at the 32nd Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

April 13, 2016 | The Korea Daily US

LAAPFF Portrays Korean Life and Culture in Various Forms

April 17, 2016 | The Rafu Shimpo

2016 LAAPFF Is Long on Shorts 

April 18, 2016 | FilAm Creative

FilAm Creative Events at the 2016 LA Asian Pacific Film Festival

April 18, 2016 |

VAMPARIAH world premiere at Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Fest

April 20, 2016 | YOMYOMF

YOMYOMF at the LA Asian Pacific Film Fest

April 21, 2016 | LA18 / KSCI-TV - Halo Halo with Kat Iniba

THE TIGER HUNTER - Lena Khan & Megha Kadakia

April 21, 2016 | LA18 / KSCI-TV - Halo Halo with Kat Iniba


April 21, 2016 | LA18 / KSCI-TV - Halo Halo with Kat Iniba

Akemi Look & Hayden Szeto of THE UNBIDDEN

April 22, 2016 | New China TV Live

The 32nd Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Opens

April 22, 2016 | The Rafu Shimpo

Documentary on Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga to Premiere at LAAPFF

April 23, 2016 | Pacific Rim Video Press

Filmmaker Talk At LA Asian Pacific Film Fest Pamela Tom of TYRUS

April 25, 2016 | BuzzFeed News

George Takei Slams Chris Rock’s Racist Joke At The Oscars

April 26, 2016 | USC Annenberg - USC US-China Institute

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Screening Of TEN YEARS

April 27, 2016 |

Indie Filmmaking Adventures with the Cast and Crew of THE LAST TOUR – Kollaboration @ LAAPFF 2016

April 27, 2016 | - Far Flung Correspondents

The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Addresses Industry Xenophobia with “The Serious Business of Diversity” Panel 

April 29, 2016 | F This Weekly Podcast

Episode 25: Women for the Win: In Conversation with Effie Brown, Janet Yang, Pamela Tom & Lena Khan

April 30, 2016 | Focus Taiwan News Channel

Taiwanese Short Film Wins Golden Reel Award at LAAPFF

April 30, 2016 | Pacific Rim Video Press

Sung Kang Says LA Asian Pacific Film Festival Has Been Important in His Career

May 2, 2016 |

Director Pamela Tom on Her Tyrus Wong Doc: Centenarian Artist 'transforms ugliness into beauty'

May 3, 2016 | KUCI - Subversities

BREATHIN’: Guangzhou Immigrant Eddie Zheng’s Inspiring Story

Interview with Eddy Zheng, Ben Wang and Scott Jung (MP3)

May 4, 2016 | Indiewire

Asian American Entertainment Professionals Explain How That Famed Academy Letter Came to Be

May 5, 2016 | The Rafu Shimpo

Little Tokyo, Past and Present

May 6, 2016 | Variety

TIGER HUNTER and HOOLIGAN SPARROW Win Big at L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival

May 6, 2016 | F This Weekly Podcast 

Episode 26: #WOMENFTW Recap - Breaking Down "Women for the Win", F This Weekly's First Live Event

May 9, 2016 | The Hollywood Reporter




As executive producer alan pao and producer megha kadakia look on, director/co-screenwriter lena khan accepts the festival grand jury prize for her debut feature narrative "the tiger hunter" in ceremonies preceding festival closing night on april 28. (photo: steven lam)

As executive producer alan pao and producer megha kadakia look on, director/co-screenwriter lena khan accepts the festival grand jury prize for her debut feature narrative "the tiger hunter" in ceremonies preceding festival closing night on april 28. (photo: steven lam)

“THE TIGER HUNTER” And “HOOLIGAN SPARROW” Take Top Honors At the 32nd Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

BAD RAP by Salima Koroma Wins Audience Award for Best Documentary

THE TIGER HUNTER by Lena Khan Wins Audience Award for Best Narrative

The FESTIVAL GOLDEN REEL AWARD for Best Short Film Goes to
THE LOBSTER KID by Joseph Chen-Chieh Hsu

FATA MORGANA by Amelie Wen


May 5, 2016 (Los Angeles, CA) The 2016 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) produced by Visual Communications celebrated it’s closing night of their 32nd edition last Thursday with a filmmaker awards ceremony for the competition films, and the LA premiere screening of the romantic drama PALI ROAD directed by Jonathan Lim.

Los Angeles based director Lena Khan was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature for her feature debut THE TIGER HUNTER starring Danny Pudi, Karen David and Jon Heder. Khan was also recognized with the festival’s Best Director Award for the same film. And her entire cast of THE TIGER HUNTER was recognized with Best Ensemble Cast Award making the film a three-time award winner.

Additional Narrative Feature awards presented on closing night include:

  • Best Screenplay                     RYUN YU for THE LAST TOUR
  • Best Editor                             RACHEL TEJADA for GRASS
  • Best Cinematography            QUYEN TRAN for PALI ROAD
  • Best Sound Design                 KENNETH L. JOHNSON for THE UNBIDDEN
  • Best Actress                           MICHELLE CHEN for PALI ROAD
  • Best Actor                              CHRISTOPHER DINH for COMFORT
  • Best Ensemble Cast               Cast of THE TIGER HUNTER
  • Best Visual Effects                 HAZMADT, JULIUS SANCHEZ for VAMPARIAH

In the documentary competition, the moving HOOLIGAN SPARROW from Nanfu Wang won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary.  The film documents just how dangerous it is to be a women’s rights activist in China, observing the life of Ye Haiyan, a.k.a. Sparrow, but it also reveals the danger and difficulty in making a film on this topic. HOOLIGAN SPARROW follows Ye Haiyan, as she is chased from town to town by local governments, national secret police, and even her own neighbors after she seeks justice against an elementary school principal who abused six girls.  In addition, director Nanfu Wang was awarded the Best Director prize, as well.

Additional awards presented include:

  • Best Cinematography             S. LEO CHIANG for OUT RUN
  • Best Editing                            MIKIKO SASAKI for THE GREAT SASUKE

 As a special jury prize, the documentary jury awarded PAMELA TOM for her film TYRUS with the VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDERS AWARD.  This special inaugural award recognizes a talented artist who exemplifies the spirit and fierceness of the founders of Visual Communications – the festival’s producing organization.

Attendance was up with many sold out shows this year and audiences really responding to the films and stories.  All of the 40 feature films were eligible for Audience Award. This was divided into the fiction and documentary categories.  This year, the awards were given out to two female directors. BAD RAP by Salima Koroma took home the Audience Award in the documentary arena that focused on the current hot Asian American hip-hop scene; and THE TIGER HUNTER by Lena Khan wowed the audiences and won the Audience Award for Best Fiction Feature. 

This year, the LAAPFF presented over 100 short films from directors across the globe.  Two films took home the Golden Reel Award for Best Overall Short Film:


The Linda Mabalot New Directors/New Visions Award went to:

Special Jury Prize: COME, THE LIGHT by CHAO KOI-WANG


The 2016 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is sponsored by:


PLATINUM: Comcast NBC Universal; Sony Pictures Entertainment

GOLD: Directors Guild of America; HBO; Nielsen; Wells Fargo 

SILVER: FilmLA, Pechanga

BRONZE: Go Little Tokyo, SAG Indie

STAR: Motion Picture Editors Guild; SAG-AFTRA; Writers Guild of America, West; Simple DCP;

VENUE SPONSORS: Aratani Theatre/Japanese American Cultural & Community Center; Directors Guild of America; Japanese American National Museum; Downtown Independent; CGV Cinemas; The Great Company; USC Pacific Asian Museum; Far Bar; Far East Lounge

MEDIA SPONSORS:; LA18 KSCI-TV; MYX TV;; International Documentary Association, FORM follows FUNCTION

GOVERNMENT: National Endowment for the Arts; Los Angeles County Arts Commission; Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; California Humanities

FOUNDATION: Aratani Foundation; James Irvine Foundation; SAG-P IACF; Asian Pacific Community Fund; M.A. & Josephine R. Grisham Foundation

RECEPTION: The Park’s Finest; Asahi; Kirin; Stella Artois; LA18 KSCI-TV; Pop’d Up; Twinkle Brown Sugar; AFC Soy Foods; Found Coffee, Crème Caramel LA, The Boba Truck; Bruce Tea

IN KIND: The Park’s Finest; HBO; Bruce Tea; Peter Ly;; FestPro; Telepath Corporation; IKON Office Supplies; Meiji; LA18 KSCI-TV; Ace Beverages; Mendocino Farms; Piehole


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