DC APA Film has been around since 2000 and nobody on the staff has ever made a penny from it. Pretty amazing eh? We’re just a bunch of volunteers who love to watch films and enjoy putting together a film festival. It does involve a lot of hard work but when we see you at our screenings laughing, shedding a tear or grabbing the person next to you because you’re scared, it makes everything worth it. We also get to meet many talented filmmakers from all over the country and it is truly our pleasure to show their amazing films to you.
So who are these crazy volunteers who do all this for nothing? We go all over the map. A lot of us have day jobs. Some are students while others are retired. Some love the Capitals, others love the Penguins. Some listen to Joy Division, others dig the Beatles. Some have kids while others have cute ‘lil doggies and kitties. What brings us together is our love of film.
We’re always looking for more people to join the crew. But as we said, we can’t pay you a dime. However you get to see lots of movies for free. Some of our sponsors donate delectable treats + drinks so yes, we’ll hook you up with that. A lot of us are foodies!
Did I mention that we also enjoy Karaoke?
Another benefit of joining us: Since the job market is still tight, you can pretty much do whatever you want and put it on your resume that you’re a Social Media Manager or a Fundraiser. So there are a ton of benefits to joining us.
Meet some of the peeps who you will be working with if you join us. Volunteering is good for the soul!
Michelle Lee- DC APA Film Festival Community Outreach Director
In my role with DC APA Film, I got to connect to lots of cool community organizations in DC to spread the word about our festival. As a young child, my favorite Disney movie was Pocahontas, which I think was prescient of my later interest in Asian American studies, focusing on literature and the arts, as well as generally thinking about race in the US. My favorite character in the movie was Meeko the raccoon. In my copious amounts of spare time, you can find me playing ultimate frisbee on the mall, coding in python, or chasing neighborhood squirrels down the street in a fairly crazed fashion.
Amanda Lo – DC APA Film Festival Guest Coordinator
During my time working on Guest Services for the 12th DC APA Film Festival with Gayle, I developed an unhealthy obsession of refreshing my email inbox, but who doesn’t like emailing with filmmakers, producers, and writers of amazing films 24/7? It’s awesome! I had a fabulous time working with DC APA and the festival week was a blast!
Sunbin Song- DC APA Film Festival Programmer
I got the privilege of watching many unique, enlightening, personal and creative movies with a great gang of people (and friends) all year; got to hang out with Jason Karman maker of Square Dance Story all festival week; walked around The Lincoln Memorial with Caspar Wong maker of Lulu Sessions and the winner of our George C. Lin Award; learned how to use my smartphone as a press badge from Eric Byler and Annabel Park; saw past film-makers again and met new ones such as Jason Nou of Hipstar and Soham Mehta of Fatakra at the filmmakers’ brunch on top of Franco’s awesome roof-deck on K street, and got to play closing night party with Ron and Franco in Inara Sunset! An awesome time.
Nene Kalu — Festival Director
I was a Near Eastern Studies major in college and while the Near East != East Asia, I still find myself fascinated with the region, particularly Japan and Southeast Asia. When I heard about the film festival, I thought “Let me continue my longstanding tradition of hanging out with cool Asian-American people by volunteering with these folks.” It was a great decision indeed, and one that I have not regretted. I stand by DC APA’s absolute belief that there’s more to life for Asian-American (and really all immigrant) kids than becoming a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. I think highlighting filmmakers in the APA community brings this to light.
Richard Fidler – Sponsorship
Having joined the group in 2007 I’m somewhat of an anomaly. I just turned 70; everybody else is decades younger. I’m retired; everybody else has honest work. I’m one of 2-3 members who is not Asian-American (although my wife is). Before the Festival I had never been involved in film festivals and Asian American groups in any way. I try to provide a perspective that the others can’t and help out wherever I can. And I’m a strong believer in the idea that you get out of anything what you put into it. I stick around because the people are so interesting and refreshing.
Christine Dela Rosa – Staff
I worked on ticketing for the film festival. From inputting sales numbers to managing lists of ticket holders, I was probably connected to more people at the festival than anyone else on staff…save for the fact that I didn’t actually meet a lot of the people on these lists. I’m very supportive of media that educates and/or expresses enough so that viewers feel differently as a result of watching the piece. I’ve always been a fan of promoting Asian American stories as well as Asian American engagement in the arts. The festival seems to combine both of those ideas in a fun and accessible environment and I hope everyone continues to support its efforts in the future.
Eric Paler — DC APA Film Festival Director
I was the ‘red lion’ of the “Voltron Festival Director-ate Strike Force” for this year’s festival. Having been involved with APA Film for many years now I am still inspired by the gratitude of the filmmakers who allow us to showcase their work and the audience who share their appreciation. Oh, and our staff and volunteers rock!
M. Franco Salvoza, Board of Directors, Festival Director
After joining in 2006, I have felt privileged to be part of an organization that has such meaningful and promising work, and is filled with the most passionate, caring, and fun volunteers you will ever find. I’m thrilled that we have been able to shine a spotlight on and provide a voice to this community while connecting people from all over the globe. We are proud of how DC APA Film has grown to date, and look forward to even bigger and better things in the future! Strap in and come along for the ride!
Sharon Kim – Programming Committee, Print Editor, Marketing/PR
I started with DC APA Film three years ago sending out the Newsletter. Last year, I added the Program Book, and this year I also added my involvement with the Programming Committee. The 12th annual DC APA Film Festival was the most work but the most fun that I’ve had with the festival so far. I’m so proud of all the work we do to promote and support the APA community in film, and the great festival that we put together every year. If you haven’t yet, make sure you sign up for the Newsletter!
Tad Doyle – DC APA Film Festival Vice President
I’ve had a lifelong passion for film as an art form, frequently haunting the retrospectives of obscure filmmakers at the NGA, Freer-Sacker, AFI or Hirshhorn. This is my tenth year with the festival and I’m so proud of all we have been able to achieve over the years. The joy of meeting our audiences and filmmakers during the festival makes all the hard work of the previous year worthwhile. And our first Staff Karaoke night serenading our young volunteers with Morrissey, Siouxsie, Joy Division, Echo and the Cure was a highlight! For fun, you can find me traveling the world, trekking volcanoes, enjoying coffee farms, architecture and trains.
Bora Chung – DC APA Film Festival Photographer
I was proud to capture the DC APA Film Festival, an amalgmation of artists actively reshaping our perception of Asian Americans. I have always held high regard for this film festival and in 2011 I had that opportunity. It’s about time we gave more recognition to organizations that not only entertain but educate. I am a DC based photographer anti bullying video you can find more of my photographs on my website – www.borachung.com
Ron Sanchez – Your humble blogger
I’ve had a great run with this group but am stepping down this year to work on projects that I’ve put on hold for many years. I did the press stuff for the group since I was a reporter/editor for more than a decade. Also did sponsorship and managed the social media accounts. I’m a daydreamer and dream chaser, I quit my job at USA TODAY in early 2000 to move to SoCal to make films and eat fish tacos. Built more for the West Coast and always an optimist, I do love DC but avoid politics because there’s too much bickering and negativity. Was very proud to write the music for the 2011 film fest trailer and my band Inara Sunset along with bandmates Franco and Sunbin played at the Closing Night parties. Films, Popcorn and Rock N Roll!
PHOTO CREDITS: 1-4 by Wayne Huang; 5 by Bora Chung