Scroll To Top

30th LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL COMING IN MAY 2014

Entertainment 01 Apr 2014   »   by TheWhatItDo

laasianpacificfilmfestival

LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL CELEBRATES 30TH YEAR PRESENTING OVER 147
OUTSTANDING FILMS FOR 2014 EDITION MAY 1-11

Southern California’s Largest Asian Pacific Film Festival Runs May 1 – 11, 2014
Presenting the Best Films From Over 22 Countries Featuring World Premieres,
Sneak Previews; Showcasing Documentaries and Narratives Focusing on the Voices
of Asian Pacific Americans and Asian Peoples from Around the World.

Sundance Hit Documentary, TO BE TAKEI, Screens as Opening Night Film

Tribeca Film Fest Nora Ephron Prize winner, Meera Menon, to Screen FARAH GOES
BANG, as Festival Centerpiece Presentation

FINAL RECIPE, the Pan-Asian Culinary Romantic Drama From Sundance Director Gina
Kim and Starring International Star Michelle Yeoh Closes Out the Festival

And Festival Pays Special Tribute to Hollywood Legends: Sessue Hayakawa and
Tyrus Wong

March 31, 2014 – LOS ANGELES Visual Communications (VC), the nation’s premier
Asian Pacific American media arts center, announced its program of outstanding
films for the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film
Festival (LAAPFF) beginning May 1- 11, 2014 at the Director’s Guild of America
(DGA), CGV Cinemas located in Koreatown, the Tateuchi Democracy Forum at JANM in
Little Tokyo, and the historic Art Theatre of Long Beach.

Visual Communications proudly celebrates their 30th year as Southern
California’s largest and most prestigious film festival of its kind. The LAAPFF
launches the celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month through this year’s
slate of over 140 films from both Asian Pacific American and Asian international
directors from over 20 countries. For three decades, the Festival has presented
more than 3,600 films and shorts by Asian American and Asian international
artists. Over the years the LAAPFF has presented many exciting titles,
including: the award winning A RIVER CHANGES COURSE, directed by Kalyanee Mam;
Gen Cajayon’s THE DEBUT; Justin Lin’s BETTER LUCK TOMORROW; and Lixin Fan’s LAST
TRAIN HOME. Asian international artists who have graced past editions of the
Film Festival include: Lino Brocka (BAYAN KO); Stanley Kwan (ROUGE); John Woo
(BULLET IN THE HEAD); Park Kwang-su (TO THE STARRY ISLAND); Wong Kar-wai
(CHUNGKING EXPRESS); Raymond Red (MANILA SKIES); and so many more. This year, a
total of 143 films comprising 40 feature-length films and 103 shorts will be
showcased throughout the 11-day fest.

The 30th edition of the Film Festival blasts off with the Los Angeles premiere
of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival hit TO BE TAKEI, directed by Jennifer Kroot,
and produced by Gerry Kim and Mayuran Tiruchelvam. TO BE TAKEI chronicles
actor, artist, activist and icon George Takei’s life history with wit, grace and
whimsy: from his days on the popular television series STAR TREK, to his civil
rights and marriage equality advocacy. TO BE TAKEI received its world premiere
at the Sundance film festival, where it quickly became an audience favorite.

“It is exciting and appropriate for our festival to open with TO BE TAKEI,”
states Anderson Le, Festival Artistic Director. “For us, he’s been an iconic
figure and one of the first Asian American actors to achieve mainstream stardom
in Hollywood. George is not only a pioneer, but also he is also one of the most
outspoken and media savvy celebrities working today. The film tells his whole
story from his acting to his activism to his amazing personal life, which is now
wide open for everyone to see. He is a living legend and kicking off our
celebration of 30 years of Asian American filmmakers and artists with his life
story will be historic.”

The Festival Centerpiece presentation, the road-trip comedy FARAH GOES BANG,
directed by Meera Menon follows a woman in her 20s who tries to lose her
virginity while on the road campaigning for presidential candidate John Kerry in
2004. Menon’s feature directorial debut, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival
and she was awarded the Nora Ephron Prize for groundbreaking woman filmmaker.
FARAH GOES BANG will screen on Sunday, May 4 at the DGA.

The LAAPFF continues its legacy of sharing stories from across the seas. This
year’s Saturday Evening Showcase presents the fast-paced trans-Pacific romantic
comedy, HOW TO FIGHT IN SIX INCH HEELS. Directed by longtime LAAPFF alum
director Ham Tran (JOURNEY FROM THE FALL, Festival Closing Night 2006), the film
centers around Anne (Kathy Uyen), a junior fashion designer who seems to have it
all, including a master plan with her fiancé. But when he moves to Vietnam to
set up a new field office for his company, she suspects him of cheating and
cooks up a scheme to reveal his deceit by going undercover in Vietnam’s fashion
industry. HOW TO FIGHT IN SIX INCH HEELS, already a box office hit in Vietnam,
screens on Saturday May 3 at the DGA.

Closing out this year’s celebration is the Pan-Asian culinary/romantic drama
FINAL RECIPE, a Korea-Thai co-production starring CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON
star Michelle Yeoh and directed by award winning filmmaker and current Harvard
lecturer Gina Kim. Mark (Henry Lau, of noted K-pop group Super Junior M) is
determined to save his ailing grandfather’s restaurant with a victory on the
top-rated Shanghai reality show “Final Recipe”. Yeoh plays the producer of the
hit cooking competition and young Mark reminds her of someone she knew from
years ago. FINAL RECIPE is the latest feature by Kim, whose works have been
spotlighted at the Film Festival since the year 2000.

“For our 30th anniversary year, it is exciting for the Festival to present films
such as FINAL RECIPE and HOW TO FIGHT IN SIX INCH HEELS, which are perfect
example of Asian American cinema expanding to the Asia Pacific Rim, with
commercial/mainstream films produced abroad capturing our ever growing global
film market,” says LAAPFF Co-Producer David Magdael. “Our filmmakers are
stepping outside of the US and making films across continents to reach audiences
worldwide. These two films represent this cross-global participation that our
directors, writers, producers and acting talent are undertaking in successful
ways, making their Asian American voices and stories heard and seen around the
world. For our filmmakers, the market is fast becoming even larger.”

In continuing the celebration of Hollywood legends, the Festival is honored to
celebrate the work of pioneering actor Sessue Hayakawa and legendary concept
artist Tyrus Wong. Hayakawa, considered a Hollywood pioneer, began his career
in the early days of the American Film Industry and as the owner of Hayworth
Studios, is considered to be the very first Asian American movie mogul. And
Wong, a son of Chinese immigrants, is revered for his game-changing design
concepts on the Disney film, BAMBI. He also painted thousands of storyboards and
set illustrations for many live action films.

With support from a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences,
the Film Festival will pay tribute to Tyrus Wong with a special presentation of
Nicholas Ray’s REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE on Saturday, May 3 at the DGA; and a
special artist talk with Pamela Tom, director of the forthcoming documentary
BRUSHSTROKES IN HOLLYWOOD: A PORTRAIT OF TYRUS WONG on Wednesday, May 7 at
JANM’s Tateuchi Democracy Forum. Hayakawa’s centennial tribute will comprise a
twin-bill presentation of two of his starring vehicles, THE WRATH OF THE GODS
(1914) and THE DRAGON PAINTER (1919), to screen on Sunday, May 4 at the DGA.
Past Visual Communications board member and esteemed film preservation
specialist Stephen Gong is slated to host the program, which will feature
exclusive musical scores composed and performed by Bay Area jazz musician Mark
Izu, with ensemble.

“Too often, we take for granted the enormous legacy of our past pioneers in the
mainstream entertainment industry. Our commemoration of both Tyrus Wong and
Sessue Hayakawa goes a long way to rectifying that omission,” said Abraham
Ferrer, LAAPFF Senior Programmer. “We are proud to pay tribute to Hayakawa and
Wong, and invite our audiences to experience their works on the silver screen.
These artists have made important contributions to American cinema.”

The LAAPFF will again host the film and TV development initiative, PROJECT
CATALYST. Evolving with the dynamic growth of the entertainment industry,
Visual Communications designed this initiative to help usher in new stories and
ideas into production and/or distribution. PROJECT CATALYST serves as a
launching pad for filmmakers of Asian descent to showcase their narrative
feature and TV spec projects to Financiers, Producers, Production Companies,
Artists, Agents, Managers and Industry Executives. Select filmmaker fellows,
will have participate in select networking engagements, enabling them with the
contacts, information and confidence they need to make their film.

This year, nine narrative projects have been chosen to participate in this
unique opportunity. In addition to participating in the panels, a pitch session
with the Jury and one-on-one industry meetings, a cash prize will be awarded.
This award will be determined by an esteemed panel of jurors and will be
announced at the closing ceremonies of the Festival.

Filmmakers Soham Meta and Rajiv Shah, and their project RUN THE TIDE, were the
recipients of last year’s PROJECT CATALYST prize and are currently in
pre-production.

“We are excited to be part of birthing and incubating RUN THE TIDE, “ states
Executive Director and Festival Executive Producer Shinae Yoon. “Filmmakers
like Soham and Rajiv ensure that our stories are being told by our artists. I
look forward to seeing this year’s group of fellows, and hope PROJECT CATALYST
will continue to be an opportunity for our Asian American talent.”

Every year, the LAAPFF International Showcase of new works from Asian highlights
films and filmmakers from burgeoning filmmaker collectives throughout the
continent. The Film Festival is especially pleased to celebrate the rise of a
new generation of auteurs from the Philippines through its National Spotlight
sidebar, “The New Face of Philippine Cinema.” Showcasing new works nurtured
through such initiatives as the Cinemalaya Film Festival and Cinema One
Originals Festival, the Festival is please to include in this spotlight: the
U.S. Premiere screenings of REKORDER, by Mikhail Red and the award-winning
KABISERA by Alfonso “Borgy” Torre III. Additionally, Siege Ledesma’s SHIFT,
MIko Levelo’s BLUE BUSTAMANTE, and Alvin Yapan’s DEVOTION make their Los Angeles
Premieres. Director Mikhail Red, son of pioneering Philippine independent
director Raymond Red, is slated to introduce REKORDER, and will be joined by
producer Pamela Reyes and actor Ronnie Quizon.

Expanding outside of Los Angeles and Hollywood, Visual Communications will
continue reaching out to audiences in the South Bay with the annual LAAPFF
presence in Long Beach. A program of feature films and shorts has been selected
to screen during the Closing Weekend of the Festival on May 10 at the historic
Art Theatre of Long Beach. It will be a chance to see Film Festival
award-winners and curated films from Pacific Islander, Filipino and Cambodian
communities. This year’s Festival in Long Beach will include: a twin-bill
screening of new features from Pacific Islanders in Communications, FAMILY
INGREDIENTS by Ty Sanga and HULA: MERRIE MONARCH’S GOLDEN CELEBRTION by Roland
Yamamoto; Angela Sun’s PLASTIC PARADE: THE GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH;
Masashiro Sugano’s CAMBODIAN SON; and Joel Quizon’s THE COTABATO SESSIONS. And,
the Festival’s Encore Weekend in Little Tokyo will be anchored by the Los
Angeles Premiere screening of Marissa Aroy’s DELANO MANONGS: FORGOTTEN HEROES OF
THE UNITED FARM WORKERS MOVEMENT, and a special “return-engagement” of AMERICAN
REVOLUTIONARY: THE EVOLUTION OF GRACE LEE BOGGS, directed by long-time Festival
fave Grace Lee.

This year’s competition of Asian Pacific American feature-length films reflects
a varied group of compelling storytellers.

The 2014 documentary competition line-up includes:

• 9-MAN by Ursula Liang

• CAMBODIAN SON by Masahiro Sugano

• FRED HO’S LAST YEAR by Steven De Castro

• JEEPNEY by Esy Casey

• LORDVILLE by Rea Tajiri

• THE ROAD TO FAME by Hao Wu

• STORIES FROM TOHOKU by Dianne Fukami and Eli Olson

The 2014 narrative competition line-up includes:

• BRAHMIN BULLS by Mahesh Pailoor

• CHU AND BLOSSOM by Charles Chu and Gavin Kelly

• CICADA by Dean Yamada

• FARAH GOES BANG by Meera Menon

• HOW TO FIGHT IN SIX INCH HEELS by Ham Tran

• A LEADING MAN by Steven Kung

• A PICTURE OF YOU by J.P. Chan

The 2014 international showcase line-up includes:

• 100 DAYS (Taiwan) by Henry Chan

• CONCRETE CLOUDS (Thailand) by Lee Chatametikool

• FIRESTORM (Hong Kong) by Alan Yuen

• HIDE & SEEK (South Korea) by Huh Jung

• ICE POISON (Taiwan/Myanmar) by Midi Z

• OBJECTS IN MIRROR (Iran) by Narges Abyar

• ONCE UPON A TIME IN VIETNAM (Vietnam) by Dustin Tri Nguyen

• THE PINKIE (Japan) by Lisa Takeba

• SAGARMATHA (Indonesia/India/Nepal) by Emil Heradi

• THUY (South Korea) by Kim Jae-han

• A VENGEFUL HEART (Vietnam) by Victor Vu

The 2014 Festival’s national spotlight, “The New Face of Philippine Cinema”
includes:

• BLUE BUSAMANTE by Miko Livelo

• DEVOTION by Alvin Yapan

• KABISERA by Alfonso “Borgy” Torre III

• REKORDER by Mikhail Red

• SHIFT by Siege Ledesma

The 2014 lineup of special presentations includes:

• AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY: THE EVOLUTION OF GRACE LEE BOGGS by Grace Lee

• AWESOME ASIAN BAD GUYS BY Stephen Dypiangco and Patrick Epino

• THE COTABATO SESSIONS by Joel Quizon

• DELANO MANONGS: FORGOTTEN HEROES OF THE UNITED FARM WORKERS MOVEMENT by
Marissa Aroy

• FAMILY INGREDIENTS by Ty Sanga

• HULA: MERRIE MONARCH’S GOLDEN CELEBRATION by Roland Yamamoto

• PLASTIC PARADISE: THE GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH by Angela Sun

For program information, a complete listing of sponsors and partners, and to
purchase tickets, log on to www.vconline.org/festival or contact Visual
Communications at (213) 680-4462 x59. Tickets go on sale on Friday, April 4,
2014.

The Festival is honored to partner once again with the Directors Guild of
America as its main screening venue during the Festival’s Opening Weekend. This
state-of-the-art theater is where the Festival will screen its Opening Night
Film as well as its Centerpiece Presentations and hold seminars.

The Festival will also screen at CGV Cinemas, situated in the heart of Los
Angeles Koreatown. Festival screenings will begin on Friday May 2, through the
Closing Night Gala on May 8.

The Festival returns to Los Angeles Little Tokyo with screenings at the Japanese
American National Museum’s Tateuchi Democracy Forum, May 5 through May 11.

The screenings in Long Beach will be held at the historic Art Theatre on
Saturday, May 10.

The 2014 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is sponsored by:

PLATINUM: Directors Guild of America; NBC Universal / Comcast GOLD: Wells Fargo;
BRONZE: Creative DCP; SAG/Indie; STAR: Friends Doing Good; The Famous Group;
SAG/AFTRA; Tunnel Post; Union Bank; Writers Guild of America/west; RECEPTION:
Ketel One; Stella Artois; IN-KIND: Bruce Cost Ginger Ale; Far Bar; FestPro;
Creative Floral Designs; Final Draft, Inc.; Glico/Pocky; IKON Office Supplies;
Molla Space; Movie Magic; Telepath Corporation; Uber; Volary Media; GOVERNMENT
SUPPORT: Los Angeles County Arts Commission; Department of Cultural Affairs,
City of Los Angeles; California Arts Council; FOUNDATION SUPPORT: The James
Irvine Foundation; California Community Foundation; Sony Pictures Entertainment;
Weingart Foundation.

Press Release Provided By: ESEEL BORLASA
eborlasa@tcdm-associates.com

About the author