APA Film


The Washington, D.C. 2001 Asian Pacific American (APA) Film Festival, presented by a local non-profit organization, APA Film, was held October 11-20 at the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Last year, APA Film was proud to celebrate Filipino American History Month by kicking off its festival and closing with Filipino American feature length films. The festival began on Thursday, October 11 at 8:00pm with a screening of Rod Pulido's The Flip Side at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

The DC APA Film Festival publicizes the work of a growing community of APA media artists and filmmakers based in North America and showcases their unique visions of APA experiences and issues. Previous year's festival was a resounding success and featured critically acclaimed films such as ABCD and Yolk.

Festival Sponsors
  • Anheuser-Busch
  • APA Spring Benefit
  • Apro Construction Group
  • Commission on the Arts and Humanities
  • Differential Consulting
  • Michelob
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Washington Post
  • 98.599
    Directed by Thomas Moon (2000, 16mm, 14 minutes)
    The best public high school in the city is bound to attract the best cheaters. It's all about the points, sometimes a hundredth of a point. Ham knows the score and understands the game, but when he becomes witness to the destruction of his friend's personal life, he realizes that the right answer is not always so easy to come by.

    A Great Deal!
    Directed by Debbi Lum (2000, 16mm, 18 minutes)
    An unusually shy young woman spends almost all of her time alone in her apartment, alternately catering to her pet turtle and fielding calls from her demanding mother. Then one day, a bizarre offer from a
    telemarketer gives her a chance to venture out of her shell.

    All Amateur Ecstacy
    Directed by Greg Pak (2001, Video, 2 minutes)
    Three women experience the most earth-shattering climaxes of their lives -- with a twist. 

    Angry Little Asian Girl
    Directed by Lela Lee (1997, Video, 12 minutes, Animated)
    Meet the Angry Little Asian Girl. She may be cute and adorable, but don't you dare cross her path. And don't ever call her oriental! That's right! She is the angriest little Asian girl around, and she doesn't like to be stereotyped.

    Bean Cake
    Directed by David Greenspan (2000, 35mm, 12 minutes, Black & White)
    In 1930's Tokyo, on his first day of school, a young boy named Taro makes the mistake of saying he likes sweet, red bean cakes more than the Emperor. This film won the Palme d'Or for short films at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival and was a competition short at the 2001 Slamdance Film Festival.

    Blue Love
    Directed by Yiuwing Lam (2000, 16mm, 15 minutes)
    An awkward tomboy looks forward to her first date with her Prince Charming only to realize his interests lie elsewhere.

    Directed by Michael Wilson (1999, 16mm, 18 minutes)
    A young Japanese American woman in a World War II internment camp tries to mimic middle-class domesticity and longs for her soldier husband's return.

    Directed by Kim-Chi Tyler (2000, 16mm, 72 minutes, Documentary, Black & White)
    Tortured by the mysteries of her deceased mother's past, a Vietnamese American woman ventures back to her home village, where her mother left her first husband. There, over the course of three months, Tyler relentlessly interrogates her extended family about long-forgotten strife. On her last day, she pries loose the truth, and perhaps gets what she deserves.

    The Debut
    Directed by Gene Cajayon (1999, 35mm, 90 minutes)
    Ben Mercado is at odds with his immigrant father Rolando, who wants him to be a doctor when what Ben really wants is to enroll in a prestigious art school. Trying to fit into the lifestyles of his two white American friends, Ben shuns his Filipino heritage. Then, at a coming-out party for Ben's sister Rose, Ben falls for Annabelle, a Filipino American friend of his sister and everything changes. This groundbreaking film was the closing night film of 19th annual San Francisco Asian-American Film Festival. 

    Directed by Quentin Lee (2001, Video, 90 minutes)
    At his agent's party, Ryan, a young screenwriter, and Joel, Ryan's boyfriend, meet Leo, an aspiring novelist and a college student. During an intense conversation about serial killers, Ryan feels viscerally connected to Leo as if everyone in the party has vanished. Out on a limb, Ryan leaves Joel's apartment on the fateful morning and drifts into three different possibilities of a love triangle.

    Directed by Wonsuk Chin (2001, Video, 95 minutes, Documentary)
    E-Dreams is a feature-length documentary, which successfully captures the highs and lows of the dotcom frenzy of the past few years. It is a behind-the-scenes look at an Internet start-up, chronicling the dramatic growth of a young company and the fate of its co-founders, Joseph Park and Yong Kang. 

    The Flip Side
    Directed by Rod Pulido (2000, 35mm, 80 minutes, Black & White)
    Home from college for the summer, Darius is aflame with pride for all things Pinoy, spouting Tagalog and sporting native dress to his parents' puzzlement and his siblings' disgust. Darius' sister considers her Filipino identity "shameful" and is getting her flat nose fixed, while Darius' diminutive brother Davis would give anything to become an African American NBA superstar. This film was an official selection at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival.

    Directed by Dwight Hwang (2000, Video, 5 minutes, Animated)
    In the world of GOO, bullets and other lethal projectiles do not exist. Instead, munitions are filled with a special, sticky gelatin. A child's point of view on the follies of war, GOO was an official short film selection at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.

    HoME: An Experiment in Cinema (P)oetry by Pin@y Lit Artists
    Directed by Matthew J. Abaya (2000, Video, 5 minutes)
    Words, images and tribal beats are fused together in a poetic montage as a group of Filipino American literary artists interpret their meanings of the word "hoME".

    Imaginary Friends
    Directed by Sue Chen (2000, Video, 2 minutes)
    Amidst the monotony of life, confusion about the passage of time, and the loneliness of growing old, a woman remembers her youth. Set to the song "Imaginary Friends" by J Church.

    Ke Kulana He Mahu: Remembering a Sense of Place
    Directed by Kathryn Xian (2000, Video, 67 minutes, Documentary)
    KE KULANA HE MAHU is the story of a group of people, young and old, surviving stereotypes, indignation, homophobia, and marginalization in a land where the ancient culture once accepted them as a part of society. Through the richness of their personal stories and the humor of their frequent jokes, the film covers several aspects of the Honolulu gay scene, Hawaiian culture and history, HIV, and religion.  

    Love Match
    Directed by Anita Chabria ( 2000, Video, 27 minutes, Documentary)
    Love Match is a somewhat sardonic look at arranged marriage in India. Filmmaker Anita Chabria returns to her ancestral home to interview her family members-including the cousin who defies 700 years of tradition to pursue her own heart-and weaves together a complex, bittersweet portrait of life, love and matrimony.

    No Hop Sing, No Bruce Lee: What Do You Do When None of
    Your Heroes
    Look Like You?
    Directed by Janice Tanaka (2000, Video, 31 minutes, Documentary)
    The popular images of Asian American males historically propagated by the American mass media range from 'silent, sex-less, obedient houseboy' to 'mystic martial arts master. In this film, Asian American actors discuss ethnic identity, mass media stereotyping and playing subservient acting roles.

    Paper Boy
    Directed by Terry Huynh (2000, 16mm, 6 minutes)
    A semi-autobiographical mockumentary that explores the alienation of a college student whose identity seems to center around his special artistic "talent." As the short unfolds we find out there is indeed more going on than meets the eye--intermixing his love of bowling, the Wu-tang Clan and his attempts to play basketball.

    Directed by Don DeLeon (2000, Video, 12 minutes)
    This politically explosive short film, featuring the work of local spoken word poet Leah Taguba, provides a highly "inflammatory" response to racism in America.

    Directed by Dwight Hwang (1999, Video, 12 minutes, Animated)
    Set in Paris during World War I, THE REUNION is the story of a young woman waiting for her lover to return from battle. This film won a 1999 Student Emmy Award for Animation and was featured at the Cannes Emerging Filmmakers Showcase.

    Roads and Bridges
    Directed by Abraham Lim (2000, 35mm, 100 minutes)
    The alienating effects of racism are explored in this debut from editor, producer, writer, director, and star Abraham Lim. Set and shot in Kansas City, ROADS AND BRIDGES concerns the inner rage of Johnson Lee (Lim), an Asian-American man who -- spurned by the death of a loved one and the casual racism all around him -- has withdrawn from farm-belt society. He takes to dodging freight trains at night, a pastime that quickly gets him in trouble with the law. Sentenced to picking trash off the sides of roads, Johnson becomes friends with the road crew's foreman, an African American. As Daryl and Johnson share their stories of bigotry, they come to a higher understanding of the modern-day Midwest. Legendary filmmaker and Kansas City native Robert Altman co-produced this film.

    Sex, Love, & Kung-Fu
    Directed by Kip Fulbeck (2000, Video, 7 minutes)
    Join two crazed kung fu film fanatics as they argue over Asian American masculinity, Asian American media representation, the homoerotic subtexts of martial arts movies, and the ultimate question -- what channel to watch. This film was a finalist at the USA Film Festival Short Film & Video Competition.

    Shit - The Movie
    Directed by Julie Gaw (2000, Video, 30 minutes, Documentary)
    This documentary, which won a best short film award at the 2000 Telluride IndieFest, explores our obsessive-compulsive behavior regarding things related to you know what. It's definitely not for the faint of heart!

    The Split Horn: Life of a Hmong Shaman in America
    Directed by Taggart Siegel (2000, Video, 56 minutes, Documentary)
    THE SPLIT HORN documents the 17-year journey of Paja Thao, a Hmong shaman, and his family transplanted from the mountains of Laos to America's heartland. As his children turn to cartoons, computer games and Christianity, Paja struggles to keep his family connected to their 5,000-year-old spiritual traditions. 

    Shopping for Fangs
    Directed by Quentin Lee (1997, 35mm, 90 minutes)
    Lonely with a secret crush, Phil suddenly develops a bizarre hair problem that convinces him that he's turning into a werewolf, while Katherine, a young and beautiful housewife, is haunted by her mysterious black-outs. One day, Katherine loses her cell phone, pager and wallet which are then stolen by a quirky, obsessive diva waitress, Trinh, in a blonde wig and sunglasses 24-hours a day. Phil and Katherine's crisscrossing misadventures unfold in a comical, suspenseful psychological roller coaster full of kinky twists and colorful eccentrics.

    Super Kamada
    Directed by Masahiro Sugano (2000, 16mm, 33 minutes)
    After losing his job, a disgruntled and disgraced factory worker begins to lose touch with reality. His superhero alter ego leads him down the path to redemption.

    Directed by Joy Dietrich (1999, 16mm, 25 minutes, Black & White)
    During a terrible drought a Korean farmer, trying to ensure the survival of his wife and five children, faces a desperate decision.

    Take Out
    Directed by Jeffrey Lei (1999, 16mm, 20 minutes)
    The social obsession with Chinese food drives a bitter, sexually repressed Chinese waiter to the edge. Being identified only with the food, he takes out his frustrations rather than his deliveries. Asian male angst is the special of the day when he commits murder by chopstick.

    teriyaki fondue
    Directed by Bryce Yamamoto (1999, 16mm, 15 minutes)
    A student film about searching for one's roots in a culture packaged. A drowning child escapes into a dream, where he must bury his mom in a box of soybean styrofoam. In trinket-mindedness, human hair is collected, a fondue fork is used as a deadly weapon, gasoline makes your drunk, and a magnet tied to a string is swallowed in hope of discovering a metal seed hidden in the bottom of your tummy.

    Directed by Siu Ta (2000, 16 mm, 10 minutes)
    Arriving at a friend's newly-built house, a young Asian Canadian woman's increasingly desperate search for a working bathroom has embarassing--but ultimately revealing--consequences.

    Directed by Jane Kim (2000, 35 mm, 9 minutes)
    In her attempt to meet the ideal western standards of beauty, Julie, a 16 year-old Korean Canadian obsesses about eyelid surgery while taunting her tomboyish sister Jean.

    Yellow Apparel: When the Coolie Becomes Cool
    Directed by Sonya Mehta & Sheng Wang (2000, Video, 31 minutes, Documentary)
    Madonna, Gwen Stefani, bindi, baseball caps and t-shirts with Hindu Gods or Chinese characters, and feng sui lotion. Why are they in now when they were once ridiculed by Westerners? This thought provoking film tries to answer this question by exploring the appropriation of Asian culture by Western society.