SF International Asian American Film Festival opens March 13

As a reminder for those of you living in the SF Bay Area (or who might get yourselves to San Francisco for a good film), the 26th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival opens on March 13th and continues through the 23rd.

sfiaaff26header

I worked with and for the festival for nine years, ending the year after I moved to Khrungthep.  Even then, when I was in San Francisco last September I met with the executive and assistant directors to serve as a sounding board for some ideas, and attended last year’s Bangkok International Film Festival as an industry guest on behalf of the SF festival.  They do such good work programming an incredible festival, as befits the oldest and largest festival of its kind.

Instead of recreating work that has already been done, let me direct you to Tony’s blog.  Tony is on the screening committee for the festival and his entry contains a good summary of several of the highlights of this year’s festival.  I hope you’ll have an opportunity to attend!

 

The Festival Endeth

So after eight very intense days of film festival operations, it is over.  Just as a town in the aftermath of a tornado, my mind is a scattered mess.  It was a very fun ride, though.  Over lunch the day after with a former festival colleague, I came to the conclusion that something that I’m experiencing less of in Bangkok than I did here in the States is intellectual stimulation.

Through a combination of schedules and circumstances and just getting settled in to life there, Tawn and I don’t have a lot of people around us who are interested in things like films, theatre, books, lectures, travel, etc.  There are also very few people around us who are engaged in the arts, nonprofit organizations, or other causes that are driven by passions and convictions.  These few weeks here in SF reminded me of the sense of engagement and vitality that is largely absent in our lives right now.

Tawn and I have talked about this before and have considered ways to build more of this into our life.  Of course between full time jobs, studying, yoga, and visiting Tawn’s parents, I’m not sure where exactly the time comes from.  But as I leave San Francisco, while I do know that I’m glad I don’t live here anymore, I also know that there’s work to do to further develop my life in Khrungthep from being just a place I live with my husband to a fertile field where I can grow as a person at all levels.

Too deep…

Closing night party and film was at the Palace of Fine Arts, built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exhibition.  The closing film was “Journey From the Fall“, the first major American film to dramatize the traumatic aftermath of the Vietnam War from the Vietnamese perspective.  While I wasn’t able to attend the film, working at the Kabuki for the last two shows, I had seen much of it during a jury screening earlier in the week.  It is emotionally powerful and I heard from audience members who had experienced the flight from Vietnam first-hand that it really did capture the experience very well.

The party was held in an adjacent space and was very well attended.  The audience awards and the juried awards were presented – “Water” by Deepha Mehta won the audience award for best feature while “Colma: The Musical” (see previous entry) by Richard Wong won the jury award for best feature.

Off to Kansas City this morning for a week with my family.

Volunteer House Managers and Interns (L to R):

 

Brian, Jay, Newton, Masashi, Mabel, Jackie, Ed, Paul, Chris, and me.

Me with Sabrina and Ryan

 

 

 

Left: L.A. Renigen and H.P. Mendoza from “Colma: The Musical”  Right: The cast and crew from “Colma: The Musical” with festival staff members after winning the jury award for best feature film.

Film Festival staff members: Mabel, Masashi, JC and me at the Palace of Fine Arts.