We’re officially nine days away from one of LA best’s gems: the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF)! Presenting over 188 films (46 feature and 142 short films) made by Asian Pacific American and Asian international directors from over 20 countries, the 2012 edition of Southern California’s largest Asian film festival is already shaping up to be one of the best just yet.
This year, Audrey Magazine is proud to be one of the festival’s Media Sponsors and Co-Presenters of Michael Kang’s Knots!
The fest kicks off with the Los Angeles premiere of SHANGHAI CALLING (directorial debut by 2003 Armed with a Camera alum Daniel Hsia), a romantic comedy starring Daniel Henney (X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE; THREE RIVERS). The Centerpiece Presentation, SUNSET STORIES, directed by Silas Howard and Ernesto M. Foronda (Armed With A Camera fellow, writer/producer of BETTER LUCK TOMORROW) stars Sung Kang (FAST FIVE; NINJA ASSASSIN) and Monique Curnen (CONTAGION; THE DARK KNIGHT). The International Centerpiece is Sundance award-winning VALLEY OF SAINTS, directed by Musa Syeed and produced by Nicholas Bruckman. The film is an India/USA production following a young tourist boatman and his best friend, as they try to run away from the provincial life in their lake village. The Saturday Night Gala slot, reserved for a crowd-pleasing film every year, will be filled by sex comedy YES, WE’RE OPEN from Bay Area screenwriter H.P. Mendoza and director Richard Wong. Finally, award-winning director Tsao Jui-Yuan’s JOYFUL REUNION will screen as the festival closing night presentation, which is said to be a follow-up to Ang Lee’s EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN, JOYFUL REUNION introduces us to familial bonds that surround a vegetarian restaurant.
This year, for the first time, the LAAPFF expands to Long Beach during the Closing weekend, where Film Festival award-winners and a showcase of Pacific Islander works will be presented at the historic Art Theater of Long Beach. The oustanding films kick off with Venice and Sundance favorite THE ORATOR (O le Tulafele), directed by Tusi Tamasese and closes with SIONE’S 2: UNFINISHED BUSINESS (sequel to SAMOAN WEDDING) directed by Simon Bennet. Other highlights include Hawaiian documentary PAPA MAU: THE WAY FINDER, directed by Na’alehu Anthony; Eco-awareness documentary THERE ONCE WAS AN ISLAND (Te Henua e Nnoho), directed by Briar March; Cambodian American feature TWO SHADOWS directed by Greg Cahill; Festival favorite GOLDEN SLUMBERS directed by Cambodian French director Davy Chou about the golden and lost era of Cambodian cinema, which was eventually destroyed by the Khmer Rouge regime.
Through the LAAPFF, VC will also launch two major programs that will expand the organization’s artist services in a major way: the C3 Project Market, a first-of-its-kind program, is a unique opportunity for filmmakers of Asian descent to showcase their narrative feature project to Financiers, Producers, Production Companies, Agents, Managers and Industry Executives enabling them with the contacts, information and confidence they need to make their film. On May 12-13, Industry participants will have the ability to discover new talent and voices, including winning a cash prize of $5000 for the best project pitch.
In addition, the VC Film Development Fund, underwritten by Comcast, was created to nurture established filmmakers with their next film project. The Fund is a multi-year program, wherein VC will select six filmmakers and will serve as Executive Producers to develop narrative feature-length projects, as well as financing up to $100,000 of the budget. The six filmmakers chosen for the Fund will be announced at the Opening Night of the Festival.
This year’s competition of Asian American feature films reflect a varied group of compelling story tellers from both documentary and narrative genres.
The 2012 documentary competition line-up:
CHINA HEAVYWEIGHT – Yung Chang
GIVE UP TOMORROW – Michael Collins
MR. CAO GOES TO WASHINGTON – S. Leo Chiang
RESTORING THE LIGHT – Carol Liu
SEEKING ASIAN FEMALE – Debbie Lum
UPLOADED: THE ASIAN AMERICAN MOVEMENT – Kane Diep
WHERE HEAVEN MEETS HELL – Sasha Friedlander
The 2012 narrative competition line up:
THE CRUMBLES – Akira Boch
HANG LOOSE – Ryan Kawamoto
I AM A GHOST – H.P. Mendoza
KNOTS – Michael Kang
MODEL MINORITY – Lily Mariye
PARADISE BROKEN – James Sereno
SALAD DAYS – Hiram Chan
SHANGHAI CALLING – Daniel Hsia
SUNSET STORIES – Ernesto M. Foronda, Silas Howard
SURROGATE VALENTINE 2: DAYLIGHT SAVINGS – David Boyle
TWO SHADOWS – Greg Cahill
VALLEY OF SAINTS – Musa Syeed
VIETTE – Mye Hoang
YES, WE’RE OPEN – Richard Wong
Check out their PSA video below (we promise, it’s pretty snazzy):
Stay tuned to Audrey as we will be providing coverage of the film festival with features, reviews, and video footage!