The cast of Chris Chan Lee’s “Yellow” (1998) includes John Cho (second from left).
Visual Communications (VC), the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, has announced the 33rd edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF), running April 27 to May 4.
This annual film celebration is presented across Los Angeles from Hollywood to Little Tokyo to the Arts District to Koreatown to Westwood to West Hollywood, as well as Buena Park in Orange County.
This year, LAAPFF features over 180 films from both Asian Pacific American and Asian international artists. For over three decades, the festival has presented close to 4,000 films by Asian Pacific American and Asian international talent. A record 45 feature films and 139 shorts from over 750 submissions will be showcased throughout the eight-day fest.
Honoring John Cho
In 2016, in response to the lack of Asian American males in leading roles in films and the continuing whitewashing of Asians by Hollywood studios, William Yu, a young man from New York, established the trending hashtag #StarringJohnCho. This year’s LAAPFF is addressing this theme and presenting three films starring John Cho. These are “Better Luck Tomorrow” (Opening Night); “Yellow” (the 20th anniversary of the Chris Chan Lee classic); and “Columbus” (Closing Night).
Cho will also be presented the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Career Achievement Award recognizing his amazing career, which includes the “Harold and Kumar” and “Star Trek” film franchises and the TV shows “FlashForward,” “Go On,” “Sleepy Hollow” and “Selfie.”
“We felt it fitting to honor John Cho at this year’s fest with this award,” states Chanel Kong, festival manager. “For nearly 20 years, John has been constantly representing on screen, stage and television. We are proud of his contributions as an actor and as a supporter of the film festival, VC and fellow Asian American artists. Last year’s hashtag #StarringJohnCho was a reminder of his importance both to our community and to American cinema. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate his career by showcasing his performances in our opening film, in our retrospective screening of ‘Yellow,’ as well as in his latest lead role in our closing film.”
Conference for Creative Content
Bringing together industry and Asian American talent, the LAAPFF is proud to present the seventh edition of C3 (Conference For Creative Content), where creative and Hollywood industry leaders join together to create a dialogue with the community discussing important issues and trends taking place in the entertainment arena.
The only event of its kind, C3 brings together foremost media professionals and academics in film, television, cable, digital, gaming and transmedia to create a dialogue on the ever-changing media industry, share best practices, network, celebrate and build a collective vision for our community.
C3 will converge on the opening weekend of the festival on Saturday, April 29, and Sunday, April 30, at the Japanese American National Museum, located in Little Tokyo. There also will be a special free panel on Monday, May 1, in Mid-Wilshire.
Panels are presented together with these industry guilds and partners: Directors Guild of America, Korean Film Council, Motion Picture Editors Guild, SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, and Writers Guild of America, West.
“The way we view, consume and create content continues to shift and evolve rapidly,” said Milton Liu, director of C3. “This year, C3’s theme is ‘Future Forward.’ It’s our goal to dive in and hear from the forerunners of this change, especially from Asian Americans leading the way.”
Kyoko Miyake’s “Tokyo Idols” is a documentary about a young female idol and her superfans.
Every year, the LAAPFF International Showcase of new works from Asia highlights films and filmmakers from throughout the continent. This year is no different as the Festival boasts acclaimed features from Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Macao, Mexico, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, People’s Republic of China, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom and Vietnam.
For the first time ever, the LAAPFF will present a Grand Jury Award for outstanding Asian international documentary and narrative feature. The lineup of nominees includes:
Documentary features — “Motherland” (Ramona S. Diaz), “Plastic China” (Wang Jiu-liang), “Small Talk” (Huang Hui-Chen), “Tokyo Idols” (Kyoko Miyake)
Narrative features — “By the Time It Gets Dark” (Anocha Suwichakornpong), “Diamond Island” (Davy Chou), “King of Peking” (Sam Voutas), “Pop Aye” (Kristen Tan), “Reseba — The Dark Wind” (Hussein Hassan), “The Road to Mandalay” (Midi Z), “Saving Sally” (Avid Liongoren), “The Soul of the Tiger” (Francois Yang), “The Sower” (Yosuke Takeuchi), “Taxi Stories” (Doris Yeung), “Turn Left Turn Right” (Douglas Seok)
Yosuke Takeuchi’s “The Sower” is a dramatic feature about a family torn apart by tragedy.
“We are very excited to present some of the freshest and most indispensable voices in Asian International cinema this year,” says Programming Consultant Anderson Le. “Our festival line-up offers a unique opportunity for audiences to encounter award-winning and critically acclaimed works from Asia and the diaspora.”
The Ministry of Culture, Republic of China (Taiwan) and Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles joins the festival to present “Voices from Taiwan,” a spotlight on Taiwanese cinema offerings programmed during the week.
The “Tigers Roar” program focuses on Southeast Asian cinema with film screenings at the fest and partnering with the two-day ASEAC-SEARCN LA Conference at UCLA.
For program information and to purchase tickets, visit http://festival.vconline.org.