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CAAMFest to Feature Mineta Documentary

SAN FRANCISCO — CAAMFest, presented by the Center for Asian American Media and celebrating its 36th year, offers a diverse slate of programming.

CAAMFest has moved to May and expanded its run to 15 days of film, music, food and digital media from the world’s most innovative Asian and Asian American artists. Here’s a sampling of some of the exciting films and events you can expect this year.

• Centerpiece Narrative: “Bitter Melon” (world premiere), a tragicomedy from San Francisco filmmaker H.P. Mendoza that follows a family’s attempts to right their wrongs, resulting in the discovery of many unsavory truths. The dark, quirky revenge comedy turns into exercise in empathy and exploration of family cycles.

Saturday, May 12, 6:50 p.m. at AMC Kabuki 8

Saturday, May 19, 7:30 p.m. at Roxie Theater

Wednesday May 23, 6:30 p.m. at Piedmont Theater

Tickets: $20 general, $17 for CAAM members.

• Centerpiece Documentary: “Origin Story” (West Coast premiere). At 14, Kulap Vilaysack discovered that the man she called father was in fact not. Now a successful actor, director, and podcaster, Kulap embarks on a quest that takes her from Minnesota and the Mekong to disentangle family secrets and the decade-long emotional paralysis that has caused a rift with her mother.

Sunday, May 13, 6:00 p.m. at AMC Kabuki 8

Saturday May 19, 2:10 p.m. at Roxie Theater

Tickets: $20 general, $17 for CAAM members.

• Opening Night: “An American Story: Norman Mineta,” directed by Bay Area native Dianne Fukami, captures the life, career, and contributions of Norman Mineta – the first Asian American mayor of a major city; the first Japanese American from the mainland to be elected to Congress; and the first Asian American to serve in a presidential cabinet. The screening takes place at the Castro Theatre on Thursday, May 10, at 7 p.m.

Immediately after the screening, let inspiration lead you to the incomparable Asian Art Museum for the Opening Night Gala. View the dazzling exhibit “Divine Bodies” as you indulge in sweet and savory creations, sip a signature cocktail and dance to music from local DJs, experiencing the best of the Bay Area.

Screening plus gala: $65 general, $55 for CAAM members.

• Closing Night: “Aunt Lily’s Flower Book: One Hundred Years of Legalized Racism,” presented by acclaimed storyteller and Bay Area activist Brenda Wong Aoki in a live performance set to music by Emmy Award-winning composer Mark Izu and koto master Shoko Hikage. Wong Aoki takes the audience through a multimedia tale of family secrets and resilience in the face of discrimination. A “Power of Personal Story” talk before the show will be led by psychologist and filmmaker Satsuki Ina and CAAM Executive Director Stephen Gong.

Talk: Thursday, May 24, at 6:15 p.m. at Herbst Theater

Screening: Thursday, May 24, at 7 p.m. at Herbst Theater

Tickets: $20 general, $17 for CAAM members.

Festival venues include:

AMC Dine-in Kabuki 8, 1881 Post St., San Francisco

Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., San Francisco

Castro Theater, 429 Castro St., San Francisco

Curran Theater, 445 Geary St., San Francisco

Herbst Theatre,401 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco

New People Cinema, 1746 Post St., San Francisco

Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th St., Oakland

Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St., Oakland

Piedmont Theatre, 4186 Piedmont Ave., Oakland

Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., San Francisco

San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco

CAAM is once again offering an All-Access Pass that gives festival attendees access to every moment of the festival, including Opening Night, Centerpiece, Directions in Sound music showcase as well as admission to over 100 film screenings. $500 general, $450 for CAAM members.

For more information, visit:

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