It’s been almost a month, but don’t forget — Japan still needs our help. And Japan Society, the 104-year-old nonprofit bringing together Japan and U.S. culture, art and issues together into one multidisciplinary hub, is putting on Concert for Japan, a day-long marathon concert on Saturday, April 9 to benefit disaster victims in Japan (including performances by super-hip Japanese girl band The Suzan). Every last dime from the proceeds go to the Society’s Japan Earthquake relief fund, which has collected more than $1.5 million as of March 21.
Escape the Ides of March! Get yourself to some heartwarming indie films, cool anti-kawaii art, or be your own Asian American idol and sing your heart out at Kollaboration Acoustic’s auditions.
San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival
When: March 10-20
Where: Multiple venues, San Francisco, CA
Every year in March, the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) holds the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF). The SFIAAFF is now the largest showcase for Asian American and Asian films in North America. The film festival is not just limited to SF but also in parts of San Jose and Berkeley.
The Opening Night film that will be shown is West Is West at 7 pm in the Castro Theatre. It is the sequel to East is East where Om Puri stars as a Pakistani father who, with his son, is caught between different cultures, trying to find their respective identities. Where the son is becoming a teenager, his father is dealing with similar struggles and issues even with the age gap. After the screening there will be an Opening Night Gala Reception at the Asian Art Museum.
The festival will also offer live performances from comedians as well as live music and dancing. Check out the scheduling on the website for more information.
From films to warm the heart to steaming hot noodles to warm the stomach, check out what’s happening this week.
When: Feb. 5
Where: Portage Theatre, Chicago
The non-profit organization ManilaStar Events is putting on its second annual benefit showcase, Pin@yPalooza. And this year performers include Filipino superstars Kat Badar, Kierra Folsom, Lydia Paek, and Victor Kim as headliners. Chicago talents include The RisQ, Robert Tolledo, Excel Cruz, Charlene “Apple” Alcantara, Brent Abas, and Design Dance Crew. With such a great group of performers, we know the show is going to rock.
Ramen Rules New York
When: Tuesday, February 8, 6:30 pm
Where: Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street between First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 at 42nd Street-Grand Central Station or the E and V at Lexington Avenue and 53rd St.), New York City
How: Tickets are $20, $16 for Japan Society members, seniors & students. For reservations visit www.japansociety.org or call the box office at 212-715-1258.
From street food to foodie delight, ramen is the most sought after Japanese comfort food throughout America. Now, in Ramen Rules New York, Shinyokohama Ramen Museum’s Masahiro Nakano and Serious Eats’ J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, explore how this Japanese staple has gained traction outside Japan and discuss the future for New York’s noodle lovers. Moderated by Time Out New York’s Food & Drink editor Jordana Rothman, the discussion is followed by a tasting, supported by the Japanese Culinary Center, in which participants can taste the difference between soy and miso based soups and discover how noodle thickness — from vermicelli-like to broad fettuccini styles — influences flavor.
7th NYC Downtown Short Film Festival
When: February 10-12, 2011, 8 pm
Where: 62 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003 (Btn 2nd Ave and Bowery)
For Jie, directed by Hiroshi Hara, will be shown on the last night of this film festival. This short film provides a glimpse into the daily life of a family in China, following a loving husband who has just become a father in the city of Guangzhou. All he has ever known is living and struggling in poverty. But now that he is a father, he wants what is best for his son, Jie. For Jie had a very successful screening at the DC Asian Pacific American film festival in late 2010, and is likely to appear at many more festivals in 2011.
When: Sunday, February 13, 2011, 2-4 pm
Where: Leanna Lin’s Wonderland, 5024 Eagle Rock Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
How: Suggested donation $5; RSVP here or email: hello@LeannaLinsWonderland.com. Space is limited!
Jewelry designer Leanna Lin has the cutest little shop this side of the Mississippi. She’s always hosting mini art exhibits, like the “Love & Other Fairy Tales” exhibit by Mekanikku (art opening is on February 12). Now you can join her and artist Liane Shih for a special Valentine’s card making workshop! Create your own unique Valentine’s for that special someone (or yourself) using the art of Mekanikku while noshing on Valentine treats by Maile’s Fine Pastries.