2001 DC ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL | 2000
DC ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL
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
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
was a resounding success and featured critically acclaimed
films such as ABCD
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.
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.
Directed by Greg Pak (2001, Video, 2 minutes)
Three women experience the most earth-shattering climaxes of their lives
-- with a twist.
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
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.
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
Directed by Kim-Chi Tyler (2000, 16mm, 72 minutes, Documentary, Black
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
- 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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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