Film blogger Allison Lyzenga has been covering the D.C. APA Film Festival for several years. What did she think of the Opening Night film Mr. Cao Goes To Washington?

By Allison Lyzenga

My Film Habit

I had the pleasure of attending the opening night festivities and of the 13th Annual DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival. And, the first night’s feature film was an absolute delight. This documentary tells the story of Joseph Cao, the first Vietnamese-American elected to Congress. And, even more remarkably, he achieved this as a Republican candidate from New Orleans—a difficult feat in a predominantly Democratic and African American district.

Click here to read the rest of Allison’s review.


The Film: “Traces No. 2: Union”
The City: Los Angeles
The Neighborhood: Little Tokyo

As a native Los Angeleno, I was totally geeked to see this film on tonight’s lineup. This film traces the history of the stately structure at 120 Judge John Aiso Street. Though it now provides a home for East West Players, Visual Communications, and Tuesday Night Cafe, this building stood through some pivotal moments of Los Angeles history and, indeed, Asian Pacific American History.

-Cherisse Yanit-Nadal


See what happens as newcomer Joseph Cao, the honorable gentleman from New Orleans, embarks on his journey as a rookie congressman.

Watch as the first Vietnamese American elected to Congress becomes the only Republican to vote for President Obama’s Health Care Reform Bill. Keep watching as his idealistic desire for change clashes with the realities of racial politics in The South and the partisan power struggles play out around him during his first term.

Will Mr. Cao’s idealism survive through his first term?

-Cherisse Yanit-Nadal


In less that 45 minutes, we will be kicking off this year’s DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival. We’ve been going strong for 13 years, and we’re kicking off our teens at The Landmark E Street Cinema.

If you already purchased your tickets, make sure to get there early. Remember that this is a film festival and that demand is high: as of 15 minutes prior to showing, we cannot guarantee seating– even for ticket holders.

So, if you’re sitting here reading this and you’re set on seeing Mr. Cao Goes To Washington, hurry up and get to the theatre. We’re waiting for you!

-Cherisse Yanit-Nadal


Looking for a party this weekend? DC APA and Kollaboration DC are teaming up to bring you a good one.

The Kick-off Party will celebrate the Kollaboration DC show on Saturday, September 22 and the DC APA Film Festival which opens on Thursday, October 4th and runs through Sunday, October 7th.

This shindig will be held at the Navy Memorial on September 21st and doors open at 6:30 PM. There will be a special wine tasting hosted by Cobble Mountain Cellars. Salia to appear along with other special celebrity performers. Guests at the party get an exclusive sneak peak at the DC APA trailers.


DC APA Film Tickets will be on sale at the Kick-Off Event.


Interested In Getting Involved? We still need volunteers.

Who: You
What: Volunteer Opportunities
When: September 21, September 22, During the Festival
Where: @ The Kick-Off Party, @ Street Teams at Kollaboration DC, @The DC APA Film Festival
Why: Because it’s fun! (And because we need you!)

How: By emailing ken(at)apafilm(dot)org and asking him how to get involved.



Get them before they are sold out!


Be a part of filmmaking history! Join APAFilm and award-winning filmmaker and Board member Noel “Sonny” Izon for a fundraiser this Sunday, September 9 from 5-7 p.m. at Congregation Kneseth Israel (1125 Spa Road, Annapolis, MD, 21403). The fundraiser will benefit Mr. Izon’s upcoming film “An Open Door: Jewish Rescue in the Philippines,” the never-before-seen story of efforts (similar to “Schindler’s List”) in the Philippines to provide sanctuary for Jews during World War II.

The fundraiser will also include appearances by some of the featured survivors and the film’s producers and filmmakers. For more information about the project and fundraiser, contact Sonny Izon at sonnyizon@aol.com or go to



It’s that time of year again! We’re looking for volunteers for the 13th annual DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival which will be held on October 4-7, 2012. The success of our non-profit organization depends on the participation of volunteers like yourself so please come out and support the festival. You can find more information about the festival at the link below.


Who: You and your friends

What: Volunteer Happy Hour – Come out and learn more about the festival and/or sign up for an event

When: September 13, 2012 (Thursday) 5 – 9 pm

Where: Tabaq Bistro – located at 1336 U Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009, near the U Street Metro station;


Why: Come out and support the APA cause. Get information about and/or sign-up to volunteer for events for the festival and meet new people. You can volunteer for a variety of positions to include ticket sales, event operations, film support, setup crew, marketing, etc . Pick the films you would like to work and meet new friends at the same time. We also have a immediate need for volunteers before the festival so if interested, please email volunteer@apafilm.org. We look forward to meeting you!