25th los angeles asian pacific film festival, april 30 - may 7

This is for all my people in Southern California. I just want to make sure you know that the 2009 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, presented by Visual Communications, begins this week. They're celebrating the festival's 25th year bringing you the best and brightest of Asian Pacific American cinema. That's right -- silver anniversary, baby.

Things kick off this Thursday, April 30 with the Opening Night presentation of Tze Chun's debut feature Children of Invention, which I saw earlier this year at Sundance and enjoyed immensely. Watch the trailer here.

So Yong Kim's critically acclaimed feature Treeless Mountain, which opened at the Film Forum in New York last week, anchors the festival program as the Centerpiece Presentation. To learn more about the film, go here.

And it all wraps up next week with the Closing Night presentation of Yojiro Takita's Departures, the 2009 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Feature. For more info on the film, visit the Departures website here.

As part of the festival's 25th anniversary, they're also presenting a special screening of the 1988 Oscar-nominated documentary Who Killed Vincent Chin?, directed by Christine Choy and Renee Tajima-Pena. In my opinion, this is one of the most important Asian American films ever made. If you have not yet seen this film, I recommend attending this screening, on Saturday, May 2, 4:00pm at the DGA.

Other highlights of the 25th anniversary Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival include:

Filmmaking Seminars
  • THE THREE WATCHMEN - One of the most highly anticipated films of the year - WATCHMEN - was the closet thing to an Asian Amerian film without an Asian American cast. Join the film's writer Alex Tse (SUCKA FREE CITY), cinematographer Larry Fong (300) and editor William Hoy (I-ROBOT) as they discuss the creation of the blockbuster from the initial concept and design to the making of and final edit.

  • THE NEW HOTNESS - APA SEXUALTY IN MEDIA - Aside from Russell Wong's watermelon scene in JOY LUCK CLUB, Asian American men rarely get a chance to flaunt their sensuality on screen. Join this candid conversation with some of today's hot talent who are now doing more than just being the take-out delivery boy. At press time Leonardo Nam and James Kyson Lee have been confirmed with more to follow.

  • DIRECTIONS IN TV - Indie filmmakers are beginning to straddle both the feature film world and the television director sphere with great success. For our Asian American filmmakers, the options seem to be opening up. Special guest directors will explore these possibilities and share personal insights into the unique environment of TV directing. Sponsored by the Director's Guild of America.

  • WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH ASIAN AMERICAN FILM? - In the spirit of the 25th anniversary, join the discussion as we acknowledge, celebrate and criticize the past, present and future of Asian American film with two generations of media makers: the legendary Spencer Nakasako (A.K.A. DON BONUS) and up and coming new school filmmaker Tadashi Nakamura (A SONG FOR OURSELVES).

  • HOW TO WRITE A SCREENPLAY - SUCKA FREE - So you want to be a screenwriter? This is one of the Fest's most popular panels for new and veteran filmmakers lead by Kris Young, Weiko Lin and special guest Alex Tse. This panel is always an exciting 90 minutes where these pros discuss the story writing process from idea to finished script to the studio and beyond. Sponsored by Writer's Guild of America, West.
  • DIM SUM FUNERAL - Anna Chi
  • ALL ABOUT DAD - Mark Tran
  • I AM THAT GIRL - B. Hayward Randall (written by Grace Rowe)
  • KARMA CALLING - Sarba Das
  • SHIRO'S HEAD - Don Mun; Kel Muna
  • WHITE ON RICE - David Boyle
  • VIETNAM OVERTURES - Stephane Gauger
  • CLOSEST MEXICO TO JAPAN - Shinpei Takeda
  • PATSY MINK: AHEAD OF THE MAJORITY - Kimberlee Bassford
  • THE REAL SHAOLIN - Alexander Lee
  • SOMEPLACE ELSE - Kai Duc Luong; Avisheh Mohsenin
  • TIGER SPIRIT - Min Sook Lee
  • WHATEVER IT TAKES - Christopher Wong
  • WHO KILLED VINCENT CHIN - Christine Choy; Renee Tajima Pena
  • 100 - Chris Martinez (Philippines)
  • ALL AROUND US - Hashiguchi Ryosuke (Japan)
  • BURMA VJ - Anders Ostergaard (Denmark)
  • THE CONVERT - Yasmin Ahmad (Malaysia)
  • DAYTIME DRINKING - Noh Young-seok (South Korea)
  • DEPARTURES - Yojiro Takita (Japan)
  • FUJIAN BLUE - Robin Weng (People's Republic of China)
  • GRANDMOTHER'S FLOWER - Mun Jeong-hyun (South Korea)
  • JAY - Francis Xavier Passion - (Philippines)
  • KOLORETTE - Ruelo Lozendo (Philippines)
  • KANCHIVARAM - Priyadarshan (India)
  • LALA'S GUN - Ning Jingwu (People's Republic of China)
  • LEFT HANDED - Laurence Thrush (Japan)
  • LOVE EXPOSURE - Sion Sono (Japan)
  • THE RAINBOW TROOPS - Riri Riza (Indonesia)
  • WINDS OF SEPTEMBER - Tom Shu-Yu Lin (Taiwan)
  • YAMAGATA SCREAM - Naoto Takenaka (Japan)
All this, in addition to the people, parties, receptions, and general community awesomeness happening in the spirit of Asian American cinema. Over the next few days, I'll try to highlight more cool screenings and events to check out. For full program/venue information, and to purchase tickets, visit the festival website here. This website is a proud media sponsor of the 2009 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

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