Visual Communications (VC), the nation’ s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, announced its program of outstanding films for the upcoming 2011 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) beginning April 28 – May 7, 2011 at the Director’ s Guild of America (DGA), Laemmle’ s Sunset 5 Theatres, and the CGV Cinemas located in Koreatown.
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 180 films from both Asian Pacific American and Asian international directors from 20 countries. Over the past 27 years, the Festival has presented over 3400 films and shorts by Asian American and Asian international artists. This year, 32 feature films and 148 shorts will be showcased throughout the 10-day fest. The Festival will showcase many returning filmmakers and producers who continue to make films and still hold true to their own voices as exemplified by our Opening Night, Closing Night and Centerpiece galas.
The latest action-thriller from VC/LAAPFF alum Justin Lin, FAST FIVE, kicks the Festival off into high gear on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at the DGA at 7PM. The latest film in the blockbuster series built on speed stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “ Ludacris” Bridges, Matt Schulze, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Tego Calderon, Don Omar, Elsa Pataky, Joaquim de Almeida and Dwayne Johnson. Released by Universal Pictures, FAST FIVE is the third film in “ The Fast and the Furious” series for Lin, who debuted his first solo feature film at the Festival with 2002’ s groundbreaking BETTER LUCK TOMORROW.
“ We are excited and proud to present the Los Angeles premiere of FAST FIVE as our Opening Night film,” states David Magdael, Film Festival Co-Director. “ Justin has been a part of our festival family since he was making short films back in his UCLA days. We remember when we premiered BETTER LUCK TOMORROW nine historic years ago, and now to have his newest Hollywood action-thriller open the Fest is only fitting. Under Justin’ s helm, ‘ The Fast and the Furious’ franchise continues to make film history, as he continues to create some of the most ethnically diverse Hollywood blockbusters.. This night will be a celebration of Justin as one of our directors who continues to excel through the industry and one who remains a true inspiration for our aspiring filmmakers.”
Targeting the burgeoning online community of API filmmakers, “ Interpretations” was designed to encourage and support this emerging talent pool and give these artists a chance to share their unique perspectives and have their work seen by industry experts. The result was phenomenal with hundreds of films submitted and an opportunity to see great work from this often overlooked group of filmmakers. For opening night, Justin Lin and “You Offend Me You Offend My Family” will world premiere the new “ CAR TALK 2” short film starring Sung Kang and R& B singing sensation Tyrese just before FAST FIVE. (See the first Car Talk.) Danny Pudi (star of the hit NBC TV comedy COMMUNITY) and Parvesh Cheena (star of NBC TV’s OUTSOURCED) will host the opening night gala.
Another LAAPFF alum, filmmaker Bertha Bay-Sa Pan (FACE), brings her latest hit romantic comedy ALMOST PERFECT to the Festival as the Centerpiece Presentation on Saturday, April 30 at the DGA at 5:30 PM with director Pan and her cast Kelly Hu, Ivan Shaw, Edison Chen, Christina Chang and Kristy Wu in attendance. ALMOST PERFECT is a romantic comedy starring the lovely Kelly Hu (known for blockbusters like THE SCORPION KING and X‐MEN 2) as Vanessa, the benevolent workaholic who doesn’t have time to have a life until the dish Dwayne (breakout talent Ivan Shaw) suddenly pops up on the menu. Battling the comically dysfunctional members of her family all the way, she makes a break for happiness and fulfillment. Everything is ALMOST PERFECT.
From veterans to new voices who are breaking through, the Festival turns a spotlight on new filmmakers Wesley Chan, Ted Fu and Philip Wang aka Wong Fu Productions with their own curated festival program – WONG FU PRESENTS FAST FORWARD on Saturday, April 30 at the DGA at 8:30 PM. These filmmakers have been making viral videos since 2003 even before You Tube existed. Now in 2011, through the constant embracing of new methods of creating and distributing their work, these innovative artists have created their own path outside Hollywood’s traditional means. Wong Fu Productions now has millions of followers from around the world and boasts of 600,000 subscribers on You Tube where fans experience their work. The LAAPFF is proud to invite Wong Fu Productions to curate this outstanding program that celebrates their work while defining who they are and showcasing why they are an inspiration to millions of fans. Join WONG FU and friends as they share their work, from humble beginnings to present day mainstream achievements and feature works from internet sensations RYAN HIGA, KEVJUMBA, THE COMMUNITY CHANNEL, MYSTERY GUITAR MAN, FREDDIE WONG, CHRIS DINH and others. Discussion with Wong Fu, KevJumba, Ryan Higa, Freddie Wong, Chris Dinh and others will follow presentations.
World Premieres at the LAAPFF continue to be some of the most sought after programs, and this year the Festival will unspool six brand new, never before seen works. These include:
A romantic comedy directed by Christine Yoo; written by Yoo and Robert Gardner; and starring Brian Tee, Margaret Cho, Hye-jeong Kang, and Steve Park – Friday, April 29, 8:00 PM DGA
THE LULU SESSIONS
A documentary directed by S. Casper Wong and written by S. Casper Wong and Luara Minnear – Saturday, April 30, 7:30 PM DGA
ENFORCING THE SILENCE
A documentary directed and written by Tony Nguyen – Saturday, April 30, 5:00 PM Sunset 5
HEART BREAKS OPEN
Drama directed by Billie Rain; written by Rain and Basil Shadid; and starring Maximillian Davis and Brian Peters – Monday, May 2, 9:15 PM CGV
Drama directed and written by Byron Chan aka Byron Q; starring David Hunyh, Jessika Van and Walter Wong – Tuesday May 3, 9:00 PM CGV
AMONG B-BOYS – A documentary directed by Christopher Woon – Wednesday, May 4, 9:15 PM CGV
Closing out the Festival is the Los Angeles premiere of the Taiwan hit film LOVE IN DISGUISE from director Leehom Wang and starring Wang with the outstanding Joan Chen and Crystal Liu Yi-fei (The Forbidden Kingdom). The film is produced by long time VC/LAAPFF alum Cherry Sky Films and will premiere as our festival closing night gala on Thursday, May 5 at 7PM at the CGV Cinemas. Director Wang and cast members will be in attendance.
“ LOVE IN DISGUISE, our closing night gala film, continues our theme of returning alums and the celebration of our artists continuing to make works whether it be through directing or producing,” says Shinae Yoon, VC Executive director. “ Joan Huang and Cherry Sky Films have become a very important company for our filmmakers. Founder of Cherry Sky Films, Huang, started her involvement with the VC family as a Festival volunteer straight out of college nearly 15 years ago. And now, she and her company continue to make films that include a majority of works from our Asian American directors. We are proud and encouraged that Cherry Sky Films continues to succeed and we look forward to celebrating them throughout the fest.”
Additional highlights to this year’ s film programs include:
CELEBRATION OF JAMES WONG HOWE – A special retrospective tribute to the late great James Wong Howe – award-winning cinematographer. The Festival will present two works from the visual genius on Sunday, May 1 at the DGA. Special support for the retrospective tribute to James Wong Howe is provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences; home movie footage courtesy of the Academy Film Archive and the James Wong Howe Estate
C3: THE CONFERENCE FOR CREATIVE CONTENT – In partnership with The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), VC will present C3: The Conference for Creative Content at the Fest. New Media has provided a playing field in which Asian-
Americans are no longer the minority, but engaged at its forefront and often leading the charge. With a market that has enthusiastically embraced digital platforms, the Asian American audience has found a unified voice for visibility. With leaders in the digital world as panelists and participants, C3 will shed light on the changing nature of media and allow audiences to connect with Asian American talent through an array of panels approaching new media from all angles. C3 will run Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1 at the DGA.
THE FLIP SIDE 10TH ANNIVERSARY – In 2001, Rod Pulido became the first Filipino American writer/director to premiere at Sundance. Pulido set up his own self-distribution of the film and went on to wake up audiences to new talent and new voices. The film will screen on April 30 at the Laemmle’ s Sunset 5 with preceded by a tribute to the late Faustino “ Peping” Bacling – one of the film’ s stars and a local community hero.
This year marks a strong year for non-fiction works at the LAAPFF with submissions way up than other years. The 2011 documentary line-up includes award winners and premieres:
• THE BENGALI DETECTIVE – Phil Cox
• THE HOUSE OF SUH – Iris K. Shim
• ENFORCING THE SILENCE – Tony Nguyen
• THE LULU SESSIONS – S. Casper Wong
• WHERE ARE YOU TAKING ME? – Kimi Takesue
• ONE BIG HAPA FAMILY – Jeff Chiba Stearns
• WORKING GIRLS – Sammaria Simanjuntak, Sally Anom Sari, Yosep Anggi Noen, Daud Sumolang, Nitta Nazyra C. Noer
• FINDING FACE – Patti Duncan and Skye Fitzgerald
• RESILIENCE – Tammy Chu
• AMONG B-BOYS – Christopher Woon
One of the ongoing objectives of the LAAPFF is to support and present the best of Asian American filmmakers. This year, these films include many filmmakers who are based in the US, but are filming both in the US and overseas:
• FAST FIVE – Justin Lin
• SAIGON ELECTRIC – Stephane Gauger
• WEDDING PALACE – Christine Yoo
• ALMOST PERFECT – Bertha Bay-Sa Pan
• LIVING IN SEDUCED CIRCUMSTANCES – Ian Gamazon
• WHERE THE ROAD MEETS THE SUN – Mun Chee Yong
• ONE KINE DAY – Chuck Mitsui
• HEART BREAKS OPEN – Billie Rain
• BANG BANG – Byron Q
• BOY – Taika Waititi
For program information, a complete listing of sponsors and partners, and to purchase tickets, go here or contact Visual Communications at (213) 680-4462 x68. Tickets are on sale now online.
See what you can expect with highlights from 2010 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival