film festivals: philadelphia, austin, hawaii, san diego

The fall film festival season is in full swing, with a little something for everyone. The very first annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival launches this Thursday, October 9 with its Opening Night film Far North, starring Michelle Yeoh and Michelle Krusiec, at the Bridge: Cinema de Lux. I don't know anything about this movie, but hey, they're throwing a party.

It's awesome to see another Asian American film festival arrive on the scene, so go out and support it, good people of Philadelphia. The rest of the festival runs through Sunday, October 12 at the Asian Arts Initiative, just outside Chinatown. For more information, and to order tickets, go to the website here, and download the program guide here.

Elsewhere, the Austin Asian American Film Festival 2008 also begins this week. Screening more than forty films over four days, October 9-12 at the Alamo Draft House. If you're in Austin this Thursday, don't miss the Opening Night Film, Arthur Dong's excellent showbiz documentary Hollywood Chinese.

Other AAAFF highlights include the centerpiece Tribute to Vincent Chin, featuring both 1988's Who Killed Vincent Chin? and 2008's Vincent Who? Filmmakers Christine Choy and Curtis Chin will both be in attendance. It should be a really interesting screening and discussion. For more information about the festival, visit the website here.

Elsewhere, there's also the coolest festival around, the Hawaii International Film Festival, running October 9-19. If you're on the mainland, and haven't already made your plans to attend (damn), you're probably not going. HIFF isn't specifically an Asian/Asian American film festival, but its program always ends up being one of the premier U.S. showcases for Asian cinema. This year's Closing Night film is Ji-woon Kim's The Good, The Bad, The Weird, which I've been dying to see. Lucky!

And finally, the 9th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival kicks off this Thursday with the Opening Night screening/reception featuring Jessica Yu's Ping Pong Playa. Writer/star Jimmy Tsai and co-star Smith Cho are scheduled to attend. The festival runs October 9-16 in San Diego, and October 21-23 in Riverside. For more information, visit the festival website here. See you there.

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