Category Archives: los angeles

2012 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF)

2012 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF)

The 2012 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) runs May 10 – 20, 2012 at the Director’s Guild of America (DGA), CGV Cinemas located in Koreatown, and for the first time, the Art Theater in Long Beach.

As Southern California’s largest and most prestigious film festival of its kind, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival launches the celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month through this year’s slate of 188 films from both Asian Pacific American and Asian international directors from over 20 countries. Over the past 28 years, the Festival has presented over 3,500 films and shorts by Asian American and Asian international artists. This year, 46 feature films and 142 shorts will be showcased throughout the 10-day fest. The Festival will feature many returning filmmakers and producers who continue to make films and still hold true to their own voices as exemplified by amazing curated programs, special presentations and sneak previews of upcoming commercial releases, and the launch of two new programs for the production of new Asian American content.

The festival kicks off with the Los Angeles premiere of SHANGHAI CALLING, directed by Daniel Hsia. Hsia is a 2003 alumnus of Visual Communications’ Armed With A Camera Fellowship. Starring international hearthrob Daniel Henney (X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE; THREE RIVERS) SHANGHAI CALLING is a romantic comedy about modern-day immigrants living in an unfamiliar land. When an ambitious New York attorney (Daniel Henney) is sent to Shanghai on assignment, he immediately stumbles into a legal mess that could spell the end of his career. But with help from a beautiful relocation specialist, a well-connected foreign businessman, a clever but unassuming journalist, and a street-smart assistant, he might just save his job, discover romance, and finally learn to appreciate the many wonders of Shanghai. This is Hsia’s feature-length directorial debut, and co-stars Eliza Coupe (HAPPY ENDINGS) and Bill Paxton (BIG LOVE, HAYWIRE). Filmmaker, cast and crew to attend screening.

SUNSET STORIES, directed by Silas Howard and Ernesto M. Foronda, will be the festival’s Centerpiece Presentation. Foronda is also a Visual Communications’ Armed With A Camera fellow, and the writer/producer of the 2002 hit, BETTER LUCK TOMORROW. This is Foronda’s feature-length directorial debut. SUNSET STORIES, starring Sung Kang (FAST FIVE; NINJA ASSASSIN) and Monique Curnen (CONTAGION; THE DARK KNIGHT), takes you on a ride of a uniquely L.A. story of love and control. SUNSET STORIES had its world premiere at the South By Southwest Film Festival in mid-March.

The festival’s International Centerpiece is the Sundance award-winning VALLEY OF SAINTS, directed by Musa Syeed and produced by Nicholas Bruckman. The film is an India/USA production bringing to the screen the beautiful landscape of Kashmir. The story follows a young tourist boatman and his best friend, as they try to run away from the provincial life in their lake village. A military curfew and political uprising derail their plans, and the two young men must wait it out deciding on a new plan. VALLEY OF SAINTS won two major awards at Sundance – World Cinema Grand Prize and the Alfred P. Sloan Award.

The Saturday Night Gala slot, reserved for a crowd-pleasing film every year, will be filled by sex comedy YES, WE’RE OPEN from Bay Area screenwriter H.P. Mendoza and director Richard Wong. A contemporary spin on a classic predicament, YES, WE’RE OPEN takes an intimate look at liberal San Francisco lifestyles over dinner and drinks with a side of infidelity.

Award-winning director Tsao Jui-Yuan’s JOYFUL REUNION will screen as the festival closing night presentation. A follow up to Ang Lee’s EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN, JOYFUL REUNION introduces us to familial bonds that surround a vegetarian restaurant. It is definitely a ‘foodie’ film about relationships, family ties and showcases Taiwanese and Chinese regional cuisines that will leave your mouth watering.

This year, for the first time, the LAAPFF expands to Long Beach during the Closing weekend, where Film Festival award-winners and a showcase of Pacific Islander works will be presented at the historic Art Theater of Long Beach. The oustanding films kick off with Venice and Sundance favorite THE ORATOR (O le Tulafele), directed by Tusi Tamasese and closes with SIONE’S 2: UNFINISHED BUSINESS (sequel to SAMOAN WEDDING) directed by Simon Bennet. Other highlights include Hawaiian documentary PAPA MAU: THE WAY FINDER, directed by Na’alehu Anthony; Eco-awareness documentary THERE ONCE WAS AN ISLAND (Te Henua e Nnoho), directed by Briar March; Cambodian American feature TWO SHADOWS directed by Greg Cahill; Festival favorite GOLDEN SLUMBERS directed by Cambodian French director Davy Chou about the golden and lost era of Cambodian cinema, which was eventually destroyed by the Khmer Rouge regime.
Through the LAAPFF, VC will also launch two major programs that will expand the organization’s artist services in a major way:

First, the C3 Project Market, a first-of-its-kind program, is a unique opportunity for filmmakers of Asian descent to showcase their narrative feature project to Financiers, Producers, Production Companies, Agents, Managers and Industry Executives enabling them with the contacts, information and confidence they need to make their film. On May 12-13, Industry participants will have the ability to discover new talent and voices, including winning a cash prize of $5000 for the best project pitch.

In addition, the VC Film Development Fund, underwritten by Comcast, was created to nurture established filmmakers with their next film project. The Fund is a multi-year program, wherein VC will select six filmmakers and will serve as Executive Producers to develop narrative feature-length projects, as well as financing up to $100,000 of the budget. The six filmmakers chosen for the Fund will be announced at the Opening Night of the Festival.

This year’s competition of Asian American feature films reflect a varied group of compelling story tellers from both documentary and narrative genres.

The 2012 documentary competition line-up includes:
GIVE UP TOMORROW – Michael Collins

The 2012 narrative competition line up includes:
HANG LOOSE – Ryan Kawamoto
I AM A GHOST – H.P. Mendoza
KNOTS – Michael Kang
SALAD DAYS – Hiram Chan
SUNSET STORIES – Ernesto M. Foronda, Silas Howard
TWO SHADOWS – Greg Cahill
VIETTE – Mye Hoang
YES, WE’RE OPEN – Richard Wong

Shanghai Calling Trailer

Yes, We’re Open trailer

Not For Sale Concert : End Human Trafficking

Not For Sale Concert : End Human Trafficking

If you’re in Los Angeles or just online on March 21, 2012, you can catch up and coming YouTube artist working together to help end human trafficking with the “Not For Sale Benefit Concert”. Artists include Clara C, Jayesslee, Joseph Vincent, Satellite, Tournament of Hearts, and Boyce Avenue. The event will be hosted by comedian David So.

•With your $5 donation, watch the concert live on March 21st, 2012, 7:30pm (PST) AND access concert VOD up to 7 days after for as many times as you like!
•All net proceeds generated will go to NOT FOR SALE.
•All who register with $5 donation automatically entered into a raffle to win one of 6 autographed Guitars signed by either Boyce Avenue (2), Jayesslee (2), Clara C (1) or Joseph Vincent (1), with winners announced the day of the concert.

There are more than 30 million slaves in the world today, more than at any other point in human history. However, a new generation of abolitionists around the world, has taken notice, and is uniting in the fight for freedom.

If you’re in Los Angeles, you can catch the concert at Avalon Hollywood. Doors Open at 7:00pm. This is an all Ages event. 16 & under must be accompanied by a guardian. General admission. Standing Room only.

Not For Sale Concert : End Human Trafficking

Not For Sale Concert : End Human Trafficking Promo

Three Year Swim Club play in Los Angeles

Three Year Swim Club play in Los Angeles

East West Players (EWP), the nation’s largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work and the longest-running professional theatre of color in the country, continues its 46h Anniversary season. Themed Languages of Love, the third production of the season carries on with the Mainland Premiere of THREE YEAR SWIM CLUB by Lee Tonouchi. This production is directed and choreographed by Keo Woolford and produced in association with Honolulu Theatre for Youth. The cast of the production features Jared Asato, Kelsey Chock, Aaron Ikeda, John Galmiche, Kaliko Kauahi, Blake Kushi, Mapuana Makia, and Chris Takemoto-Gentile.

This play is inspired by the true life story of Soichi Sakamoto, who trained the youth of Maui to swim in the plantation irrigation ditches on their path to becoming Olympic champions. Set on the island of Maui in the 1930’s, this heartwarming play becomes transcendent as the art of hula becomes the metaphor for competitive swimming.

“I am amazed at the wonderful audience response to the play. Described as an Olympic story, a Hawaiian story, and a feel good story for the entire family, the audience found more resonance” said producing artistic director Tim Dang. “It’s about fulfilling your dreams, finding your voice, feeling pure joy (in swimming), but also how to face adversity, finding family outside of your family, and addressing issues of race and class.”

Honolulu Theatre for Youth (HTY) produces professional theatre and drama education programs that make a difference in the lives of young people, families and educators in the state of Hawai‘i. HTY is committed to producing shows that are about and for the people of Hawaii, and this season they are doing 100% original work.

All performances will be staged at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center for the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. THREE YEAR SWIM CLUB currently runs through Sunday March 11, 2012. Performances are
Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. General Admission tickets range from $26-36.

Three Year Swim Club trailer

Three Year Swim Club reviews

Ching Chong Chinaman play

Ching Chong Chinaman play

No this is not a racist tirade from a UCLA Student. Los Angeles based Artists at Play is slated to have their debut production of the award-winning and recently published play “Ching Chong Chinaman”. Here’s more about the play:

Turning every cliché about Asian American identity on its head, CHING CHONG CHINAMAN introduces us to the all-American Wong family: Ed the patriarch loves to golf and mom Grace wants another child; Desdemona obsesses over early admission into Princeton while her brother Upton is focused on World of Warcraft superstardom. To ease the burden of homework and free up more time for training, Upton acquires an indentured servant from China. Life in the Wong household is turned upside down with the arrival of Jinqiang (“Ching Chong”)… who harbors his own American dreams!

Get tickets here.

Ching Chong Chinaman play

Win tickets to 2011 ISA LA

Win tickets to 2011 ISA LA

Hey Los Angeles readers, just partied it up with Far East Movement, Wong Fu Productions, and the rest of the ISA fam at 2011 ISA SF Bay Area. The party is moving down to LA this weekend for their biggest event ever. For this festival, we are giving away a pair of tickets to the show. You’ve got about 24 hours to enter. Just fill out the form below the trailer by Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 3pm PST. Winners will be randomly selected from all eligible entries.

Who’s ready for 2011 International Secret Agents (ISA) LA in Los Angeles? Here’s the performers in the lineup:




2011 ISA LA trailer

2011 International Secret Agents (ISA) LA in Los Angeles

2011 International Secret Agents (ISA) LA in Los Angeles
Hey LA readers, International Secret Agents (ISA) is coming back to Los Angeles. If you thought ISA Seattle and ISA SF were big, wait til you see ISA LA. The premiere Asian American event showcases rising young talent with headliners Interscope/CherryTree’s platinum selling recording group Far East Movement (FM) at Harry Bridges Memorial Park (formerly Queen Mary Events Park) on Saturday, October 1, 2011. Grammy nominated B.O.B. and platinum artist Sean Kingston will join FM at ISA this year performing at the all-day festival. This year’s event will offer extraordinary presentations in music, film, and dance, as well as workshops by non-profit charity 4C The Power.

“ISA has been a great platform to showcase an array of international artists and inspire the youth in communities through the concerts and working with 4CThePower. We aim to make it a fun, festival type of experience,” states Prohgress of Far East Movement. “Each year, the crowds and shows have been getting bigger. At the LA event this year we have B.O.B. and Sean Kingston performing along with Far East Movement. It’s going to be a fun day.”

With 4 sold out shows in the past two years between California and New York, ISA continues to expand and give international audiences a chance to connect with bright and talented young artists of the Internet Generation. Started in 2008, founders Far East Movement and Wong Fu Productions’ idea is now a reality recognized by thousands of young people from diverse races and cultures; their ISA LA and NY concerts each drew 3,000+ people last year.

YouTube sensations Ryan Higa (aka NigaHiga), behind the 2nd most subscribed YouTube channel of all time, along with the 9th most subscribed YouTube comedian Kevin Wu (aka Kev Jumba) and singer Cathy Nguyen will host the event that aims to inspire and empower both performers and spectators.

The show will include performances from America’s Best Dance Crew 2011 champions I.aM.mE, Sundance and Cannes filmmakers Wong Fu Productions, 7th most subscribed musician on YouTube, David Choi, and rising musical stars New Heights.

FM and Wong Fu Productions set out to make this grassroots movement not only an active participant in the international entertainment landscape, but also a helping hand for non-profits and community-based organizations. 4C the Power is one of those organizations, providing professional training to youth in the arts to increase academic engagement and high school graduation rates. ISA gives spectators a chance to engage with the arts and their community.

Here’s the full lineup with details:
Harry Bridges Memorial Park
1126 Queens Highway
Long Beach, CA 90802
get tickets here.
1) To receive 15% off your ISA tickets, use one of these promo codes at check out “BLUSH” or “DAVIDCHOI”.
2) Thursday, September 29, 2011 only get tickets for $35 with discount code “4CTHEPOWER”.
3) Win a pair of tickets to 2011 ISA LA
First 1000 tickets get a free poster!

Gates open at 1p. Show 3p-9p

2011 International Secret Agents (ISA) LA lineup:

2:40p Blush
3:03p afterschoolspecial
3:21p New Heights
3:41p Clara C
3:59p Tim DeLaGhetto
4:12p IAMME Crew
4:30p B.o.B.
5:42p Dumbfoundead
6:07p AJ Rafael
6:32p David Choi
7:04p Wong Fu Productions
7:31p Jay Park
8:09p Far East Movement
8:59p Sean Kingston



2011 International Secret Agents (ISA) LA Trailer

Wong Fu Productions for 2011 International Secret Agents (ISA) LA in Los Angeles

Kevjumba tries to join Far East Movement for 2011 ISA LA

Ryan Higa for 2011 International Secret Agents in Los Angeles

AJ Rafael for 2011 International Secret Agents (ISA) Los Angeles

Timothy DelaGhetto for 2011 International Secret Agents Los Angeles