angry reader of the week: anderson le

Okay, it's time for another Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is self-described cultural worker Anderson Le.

Who are you?
Hi, I'm Anderson Le and I'm a cultural worker.

What are you?
Vietnamese. 100%

Where are you?
In between time zones... Just got back from Hawaii, then off to NYC this weekend, then back in LA, then off to Cannes in a couple of weeks. But at this very moment, typing up this questionnaire, at my favorite Eagle Rock coffee shop, having a turkey sandwich and a diet coke.

Where are you from?
The State of Hawaii from the island of Oahu. More specifically, Palolo Valley and the Kaimuki area. I still have a residence in Makiki. Being from Hawaii, there is a deep affiliation and I find it just as important as being Vietnamese in my overall identity.

What do you do?
I'm the Director of Programming for the
Hawaii International Film Festival, and we're celebrating its 30th edition (Phil, you going again, right?). But I have multiple hats. I'm a founder of an art.film.design non-profit called Interisland Terminal and we just had a very successful mobile architecture competition in Hawaii that just finished. I'm consulting for the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Fest (starts next week so buy your tickets!) and the San Diego Asian Film Fest, mainly in international programming,

I'm also one of the founders, with film director Justin Lin, and other
compadres, of YouOffendMeYouOffendMyFamily, and we're launching an Online Film Initiative called INTERPRETATIONS, with a panel discussion at the LAAPFF on May 2nd.

Finally, I'm producing a hip hop movie in Vietnam with Stephane Gauger (The Owl and the Sparrow), which starts production at the end of May. So yeah, I'm a cultural worker, baby.

What are you all about?
Cinema, especially international cinema. Because of Hawaii's geography and culture, I've been programming with a focus on Pacific Basin content. I'm particularly jazzed about emerging films from Southeast Asia. And I'm also all about Karaoke. I've done karaoke all over the world -- in a taxi (DC), in an RV (Austin), at numerous weddings, events, karaoke bars, noraebang, KTV, KBOXES, ranging from shady to family-oriented.

What makes you angry?
The lacking of critical thinking and cinema culture in the United States. I attend festivals abroad, in Europe and Asia, and the audiences are young, enthusiastic; there are national film journals, magazines, etc. Granted, the economic crisis has caught up with the rest of the world and many film magazines and journals are failing too. There's just so much dreck out there, especially in movie theaters, because they are controlled by the studios, which in turn squeezes out room for independent cinema is unfortunate. Asian American cinema is directly affected by this.

Asian America is a hard nut to crack. The shared experience is staggered among different ethnic backgrounds, immigrant waves, and social status. The new generation of Asian Americans is very interesting. They're discovering APA talent and content on their own. They're bypassing the sense of entitlement, which some old school filmmakers felt they deserved. Granted, most of this content is free and online (YouTube) and the overall industry is figuring out how to monetize content, but as the world becomes more global and brand-loving, niche audiences are becoming more relevant.

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