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1st Annual

Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival

Presented By:

Far North ● Planet B-Boy ● Kissing Cousins ● Half Life ● Pretty To Think So ● Santa Mesa ● The Sensei ● Shiro’s Head ● 72 Hour Shootout Top Ten ● Nuptials of the Dead ● Red, Yellow & Blue ● Kung Fu Granny ● Cookies for Sale ● The KoAloha Ukulele Story ● Fortune Hunters ● 364 Cranes ● Magritte Moment ● Bite Me ● Passage ● Long Distance ● Since You’ve Been Ong ● Word ● Skate Free ● In my home ● A Green Mountain in the Drawer ● Running Dragon ● The Offering ● Parallel Adele ● The Loneliness of the Short-Order Cook Far North ● Planet B-Boy ● Kissing Cousins ● Half Life ● Pretty To Think So ● Santa Mesa ● The Sensei ● Shiro’s Head ● 72 Hour Shootout Top Ten ● Nuptials of the Dead ● Red, Yellow & Blue ● Kung Fu Granny ● Cookies for Sale ● The KoAloha Ukulele Story ● Fortune Hunters ● 364 Cranes ● Magritte Moment ● Bite Me ● Passage ● Long Distance ● Since You’ve Been Ong ● Word ● Skate Free ● In my home ● A Green Mountain in the Drawer ● Running Dragon ● The Offering ● Parallel Adele ● The Loneliness of the Short-Order Cook Far North ● Planet B-Boy ● Kissing Cousins ● Half Life ● Pretty To Think So ● Santa Mesa ● The Sensei ● Shiro’s Head ● 72 Hour Shootout Top Ten ● Nuptials of the Dead ● Red, Yellow & Blue ● Kung Fu Granny ● Cookies for Sale ● The KoAloha Ukulele Story ● Fortune Hunters ● 364 Cranes ● Magritte Moment ● Bite Me ● Passage ● Long Distance ● Since You’ve Been Ong ● Word ● Skate Free ● In my home ● A Green Mountain in the Drawer ● Running Dragon ● The Offering ● Parallel Adele ● The Loneliness of the Short-Order Cook

Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor ........................................................................................................................................................................

Silver Sponsors ...............................................................................................................................................................................

Supporting Sponsors .......................................................................................................................................................................

Community Partners .......................................................................................................................................................................

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Contents Staff Listing ......................................................................................................................................................................4 Welcome letter from PAAFF .........................................................................................................................................5 Letter from Philadelphia Film Office .........................................................................................................................7 Schedule of Events .........................................................................................................................................................8 Opening Night Film: Far North .....................................................................................................................................10 Closing Night Film: Kissing Cousins ..........................................................................................................................12 Centerpiece Film: Planet B-Boy ..................................................................................................................................13 Feature Films ....................................................................................................................................................................14 Asian American Film Lab’s 72 Hour Shooout .........................................................................................................19 Shorts Program 1- The Facets of Struggle ...............................................................................................................20 Shorts Program 2- The Other 4 Letter Word ............................................................................................................21 “How To Break Into The Film Industry” Panel/Judges .........................................................................................22 Thank You! .........................................................................................................................................................................24 2008 ● PAAFF

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PAAFF ‘08 Staff ADVISORY BOARD

Joe Kim Festival Director

Joan Bressler Director Greater Philadelphia Filmmakers

Franklin Shen Festival Programmer Michael Wingate Jones Festival Coordinator

Tamara Maslar Events Coordinator

Curtis Chin Filmmaker

Philip Lam Producer

Brad Baldia Corporate Relations Director

Jenny Phuong Festival Intern

Maria Gonzalez Festival Staff

Jessica Tran Festival Intern

Jeffrey D. Erb CEO Feverpitch Pictures

Louis Massiah Executive Director Scribe Video Center

Tim Pachuau Festival Trailer

Ron Lu Program Guide Designer coroflot.com/ronnyv

Diane Heery, C.S.A. Casting Director Heery Casting

David Oh, Esq Attorney Community Leader

Gayle Isa Executive Director Asian Arts Initiative

Andrew Toy Director of Retail Resource Network, Enterprise Center

Phil Katz Marketing Coordinator Shiella May Cervantes Volunteer Coordinator Diana Kim Events Coordinator 4

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Eunice Choi Logo/Postcard Design Joyce E. Koh, Esq. Legal Counsel

Sam Katz Producer The Remaking of America’s First City

Welcome from PAAFF October 2008 Welcome to the 1st Annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival I’m often asked “What is an Asian American film festival?” or “What countries will your films come from?”. There’s a simple answer to both of those questions; we’re a film festival that programs films by and about Asian Americans. I understand where those questions are coming from, as Philadelphia has yet to host a full-scale Asian American film festival and it turns out that many Asian Americans are the ones asking me those questions. As long as I’ve been a filmmaker, there have been Asian American film festivals going on in major cities like LA (24 years), San Francisco (26 years) and New York (31 years). I’m very proud that we are able to join the dozen or so cities that celebrate Asian American films. The 1st Annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (PAAFF) will showcase 8 feature films and 30 short films, a film industry panel discussion, festival brunch, and after parties. Our selections this inaugural year explore the multifaceted experiences of Asian Americans; from the gravity defying breakdancers of PLANET B-BOY, to the “relationship termination specialist” in KISSING COUSINS. The mission of PAAFF is to introduce Asian American perspectives to the Philadelphia metropolitan area, educate local communities about Asian American history and issues, encourage and foster growth in Asian American culture and of course to celebrate the very best works of Asian American filmmakers and actors. Thanks to all the hardworking volunteer staff and generous sponsors that have made the 1st Annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival possible. Welcome and enjoy the festival! Joe Kim Festival Director 2008 ● PAAFF

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PAAFF ● 2008

October, 2008 Dear Artists, Attendees, and Supporters: The Greater Philadelphia Film Office proudly welcomes the first annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival to our great city. Joining the ranks of numerous Asian American film festivals nationwide, the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival is a wonderful addition to our community. From over 100 submissions received from all over the country, the Festival has chosen to showcase 8 feature films and 30 shorts that display the depth and complexity of the Asian American experience, while engaging audiences of every experience.   The founders, Joe Kim, Brad Baldia and Franklin Shen, are all from the Philadelphia area and attended our local universities.  Joe, the Festival Director, is a filmmaker and long time film fan. His dream has been to bring a film festival to Philadelphia for everyone, regardless of their background. The Film Office is dedicated to the support of young, creative talent who live, work and play in Philadelphia, and we are delighted to be part of this vision. Please join us in celebrating and enjoying the vibrant and multifaceted works by and about Asian Americans. We wish the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival continued success and growth in the years to come. Sincerely, Greater Philadelphia Film Office 2008 ● PAAFF

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Schedule of Events Thu. October 9

Fri. October 10

Sat. October 11

Film festival schedule

Film: Far North BRI| 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Reception LGBT| 9:30pm – 11:30pm Opening Night Film & Reception General Admission $10 | Students $8 All Other Films General Admission $8 | Students $6

Film: Half-Life AAI| 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Festival Brunch** TBA| 11:30 am – 1:00pm

Film: The Sensei AAI| 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Shorts – Part 1 AAI| 3:30pm – 5:30pm

“How To Break Into The Film Industry” Panel AAI| 1:30pm – 3:00pm

Shorts – Part 2 AAI| 3:30am – 5:30pm

Film: Santa Mesa AAI| 6:00pm – 8:00pm

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Film: 72 Hour Shootout AAI| 3:30pm – 5:30pm

Film: Kissing Cousins AAI| 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Film: Shiro’s Head AAI| 6:00pm – 8:00pm Film: Pretty to Think So AAI| 8:30pm – 10:30pm

Film: Planet B-Boy AAI| 8:30pm – 10:30pm

After Party TBA*| 11:00pm – 2:00am

Panel & Closing Night Party FREE

Locations Key:

Sun. October 12

BRI = The Bridge 40th St & Walnut St

Closing Night Party AAI| 8:15pm – 10:15pm (Featuring Live Music)

After Party TBA*| 11:00pm – 2:00am LGBT = LGBT Building 3907 Spruce St

AAI = Asian Arts Initiative 1219 Vine Street

**by invitation only *check www.phillyasianfilmfest.org for more info

The Asian Arts Initiative Congratulates the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival for its vision and programming. We are proud to welcome Festival participants to our new home at 1219 Vine Street.

To get involved please visit or contact us: Asian Arts Initiative 1219 Vine Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 215-557-0455 www.AsianArtsInitiative.org

The Asian Arts Initiative is grounded in the belief that the arts can provide an important political and cultural voice for the Asian American community in Philadelphia. We are a community arts center where artists and everyday people are developing means to express our diverse experiences as Asian Americans. 2008 â—? PAAFF

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OPENING NIGHT FILM Far North France/UK 2007 | 89min | Color Video Director: Asif Kapadia Producer: Bertrand Faivre Music: Dario Marianelli Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Michelle Krusiec, Sean Bean Thu. 10.9 | 7:00P | The Bridge 40th St & Walnut St

FAR NORTH is a dark and tragic epic thriller about the battle for survival. Revenge, jealousy and courage are played out against the harsh beauty of the desolate Arctic tundra. SAIVA, a woman living under a curse, and ANJA, her adopted daughter, live in a remote land far from civilization where she believes they will be safe. Saiva is the sole survivor of an indigenous tribe of reindeer herders slaughtered by a troop of marauding soldiers. After the massacre, Saiva leads the men to their death on a glacier avenging Ivar, the only man she ever loved. They struggle to survive, living off the scarce prey they can kill. One day a figure appears on the horizon and collapses. Despite her fears and doubts Saiva takes him in and nurses him back from the brink of death. Loki the fugitive, recovers and settles in with the two women as the snow arrives and the long winter nights close in. Saiva and Anja compete for his attention. As the passion between Loki and Anja deepens, they tell Saiva the heartbreaking news that they intend to leave her to start a new life together. She is devastated. As the sea begins to freeze over, Loki and Anja prepare for the long journey South to Loki’s village. Saiva retreats into a tense silence. At the moment the lovers are about to leave, she acts with terrifying and horrific consequences.

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CLOSING NIGHT FILM Kissing Cousins

Philadelphia Premiere U.S 2007 | 99min | Comedy Director: Amyn Kaderali Cast: Rebecca Hazlewood, Samrat Chakrabarti Sun. 10.12 | 6:00P | Asian Arts Initiative 12

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Amir works as a ‘relationship termination specialist. Translation: professional heartbreaker. His best friends are convinced he is incapable of having a relationship because of his job. All that changes when his attractive cousin comes to town and masquerades as his girlfriend. Complications and hilarity ensue. preceded by

The Loneliness of the Short-Order Cook

Directed by: Marcel Sawicki U.S 2008│ 22min │Color Video A short film about deportation, misunderstandings, and leaving Los Angeles.

CENTERPIECE FILM Planet B-Boy U.S 2007 | 89min | Documentary

Planet B-Boy features electrifying dance performances and astonishing displays of power and grace, showing how a street dance from New York has evolved into an inspiring art form for a new generation around the world.

Director: Benson Lee

preceded by

Sat. 10.11| 8:30P | Asian Arts Initiative

Directed by: Melanie Chung Canada 2008│ 3.05min │Educational A group of diverse teens teach us about love in a racially charged spoken word piece.

Word

Skate Free

Directed by: Tony Toka U.S 2007│ 2.35min │Underground Experimental short combining poetry, and skateboarding in one 1:24min take. 2008 ● PAAFF 13

Half-Life Parallel Adele Half-LIfe Philadelphia Premiere U.S 2008 | 106min | Drama Director: Jennifer Phang Producers: Mark E. Lee, Reuben Lim Cast: Alexander Agate, Ben Redgrave, Julia Nickson

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Fri. 10.09 | 1:00P | Asian Arts Initiative PAAFF ● 2008

In Diablo Valley, California a complacent community struggles to adapt to a changing world where global chaos looms and threatens to alter life as they know it. As troubling worldwide disasters accelerate and reach into a complacent community, a brother and sister grapple with being abandoned by their father and the powerful presence of their mother’s new boyfriend. The siblings are forced to take control of the chaos around them and reinvent everyone’s lives. preceded by

Parallel Adele

Directed by: Adele Pham U.S 2008│ 16min │Alternative, Family Two half Vietnamese documentary filmmakers, both named Adele, weave a shared narrative.

The Sensei The Offering The Sensei U.S 2007 | 103min | Drama Director: D. Lee Inosanto Cast: D. Lee Inosanto, Michael O’Laskey II Sun. 10.12 | 1:00P | Asian Arts Initiative

You have a right to defend yourself against hatred and self-hatred. McClain Evans is a confused gay teen, vulnerable to suicide, living in a small town. After a near fatal beating by high school jocks, McClain finds himself the secret pupil of a female teacher ‘sensei’ named Karen. Training him only by night to protect them both from small town retaliation and her family’s disaproval, Karen teaches McClain to rise above ignorance and prejudice through the martial ways. But there are some lessons in life that don’t come easy. preceded by

The Offering

Directed by: Paul Lee U.S 2008│ 10min │Drama ‘The Offering’ is an elegiac meditation about the passing of life. 2008 ● PAAFF

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Santa Mesa

Philadelphia Premiere U.S 2007 | 82min | Drama Directed by: Ron Morales Producers: Louise Lovegrove Karin Chien Cast: Jacob Kiron Shalov, Melissa Leo

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Fri. 10.10 | 6:00P | Asian Arts Initiative PAAFF ● 2008

Santa Mesa is a story that portrays the courage of a young boy who is forced to come to terms with the death of his mother. At 12 years old, Hector must move to Manila to live with his grandmother Lita. Left to his own devices, Hector falls in with a street gang before an old photographer takes him under his wing. Haunted by memories of his mother, Hector photographs a woman named Rosa until their seemingly disconnected lives collide. preceded by

A Green Mountain in the Drawer

Directed by: Hwa Jun Lee South Korea, U S 2008│ 30min │Drama A journey of an elderly woman to places only she knows, and to traces only she remembers.

Pretty To Think So Philadelphia Premiere U.S 2007 |105min | Drama Directed by: Francis Hsueh & Steven Hahn Producers: Michael Zee, Scarlett Bay Cast: Louis Changchien, Pia Shah Robert Yang Fri. 10.10 | 8:30P | Asian Arts Initiative

Life is unexpectedly on the upswing when Hanna, an investment banker recently laid-off during the Internet bust of 2000, falls in love with Jiwon, a brash and successful attorney. Her world begins to crumble, however, when she discovers that one of Jiwon’s clients is her childhood friend, Alex, and she must choose between Jiwon and Alex, with whom she shares a deep, tragic connection. preceded by

In My Home

Directed by: Mina T. Son U S 2006│ 8min │Family, Reality What do you do when your family needs you? 2008 ● PAAFF

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Shiro’s Head

East Coast Premiere Guam 2008 | 82min | Drama Directed by: Don Muna & Kel Muna Cast: Aleta Borja, Dion Lizama, Don Muna Sat. 10.11 | 6:00P | Asian Arts Initiative 18

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A modern part of a forgotten history, ‘Shiro’s Head’ takes us to the Pacific island of Guam, USA where outcast Vince Flores (Don Muna) struggles to come to terms with his family’s history of secrets and a dark past of his own. Shunned from his family for the death of his father, his attempt to reconcile causes his family’s past to catch up to him for the last time. preceded by

Running Dragon

Directed by: Neal Sickles, Kim Noonan U S 2008│ 20min │Drama Separated near the end of the Vietnam war, an ‘Americanized’ young man discovers the painful truth about himself when his Vietnamese biological sister finds him and arranges for them to meet for the very first time with her family in Little Saigon.

Asian American Film Lab’s 72 Hour Shootout Sat. 10.11 | 3:30P | Asian Arts Initiative

72 HOUR SHOOTOUT is a nationwide competition where filmmaking teams have 72 hours to write, shoot, edit and produce short digital films up to five minutes on a surprise theme. The goal is to create opportunities for Asian Americans to demonstrate their talent, gain exposure in the entertainment industry and impact the visibility of Asian American stories and characters in film and television.

● No Holding Back ● Drain ● Color TV ● Suspense’s How to Jedi Mind Trick the Bitches ● Say Goodbye ● First Goodbye Cleaning Agency ● Killer Headline ● A First Goodbye ● Say Goodbye ● Miles Apart

Photo above by: Ayumi Sakamoto

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Shorts Program 1- Fri. 10.10 | 3:30P – 5:30P|AAI

The Facets of Struggle

Everyday we face struggles, from tiny little anthill ones to large steep mountain ones. Yet each of these challenges shapes our very being, no matter how small they may be. Examine the conflict and “beauty” the filmmakers present as they take you on a journey of one character pitted against a story’s “beast.”

The KoAloha Ukulele Story

Directed by: Gary San Angel U.S 2008│ 26min │Anime The KoAloha Ukulele Story is an animated documentary film based on the true to life events of Alvin Okami, the famous Oahu based entertainer turned inventor. 20

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Cookies for Sale

Red, Yellow & Blue

Kung Fu Granny

Nuptials of the Dead

Directed by: Wes Kim U.S 2007│ 4min │Comedy A little girl selling cookies door-to-door engages in a battle of wills with a very grumpy neighbor.

Directed by: Myra Sito Velasquez U.S 2008│ 13min │Comedy The notorious Pangolin crime ring is out for revenge and the first on their list is one of NY’s finest, Vice Cop Sergeant Randall Leung. But little do they know that behind Sergeant Leung is his grandma, the one and only

Directed by: Changhee Chun U.S 2007│ 16min │Drama A woman recounts her experience as one of the first Korean adoptees in Upstate NY through humor, tragedy, remorse and a slight sense of bitterness.

Directed by: Maya Lim U.S 2007│ 24min │Spiritual A mother loses her daughter. To ease her guilt, she finds a deceased boy’s spirit for her daughter’s ‘hell marriage.’ Afterwards, her daughter’s ghost haunts her. She performs a spell freeing her daughter from the abusive boy. Later, her daughter’s ghost baby arrives at her doorstep.

Shorts Program 2- Sun. 10.12 | 3:30P – 5:30P|AAI

Passage

Directed by: Angela How U.S 2007│ 21min │Drama A chance encounter between two strangers pushes both to come to terms with past decisions made.

Long Distance

Directed by: Nelson Kim U.S 2008│ 15min │Dramedy Boy meets girl. He doesn’t speak Korean. She doesn’t speak English. It’s going to be a long night.

Bite Me

Directed by: Jason Fong U.S 2008│ 13min │Comedy Dating can really suck. Sometimes, it even bites.

The Other 4 Letter Word

LOVE. It’s an extremely dangerous word. At one moment it can conjure up the best and the worst emotions at the same time. Yet it’s also one of the most intriguing forces affecting our lives. What so many fail to capture with words, love and its many forms will be illuminated by filmmakers as they show you the intricacy of this special 4 letter word.

Fortune Hunters

Directed by: Thom Harp U.S 2006│ 20min │Comedy Arthur, a writer at a fortune cookie factory, accidentally sends a love letter to his ex-girlfriend into the printing press.

Magritte Moment

Directed by: Ian Fischer U.S 2008│ 17min │Drama A frustrated painter searching for his muse gets some help from the surreal visions of Rene Magritte.

364 Cranes

Directed by: Vincent Lin U.S 2007│ 14min │Drama A young couple’s turn of luck ultimately tests their commitment and changes their fate forever.

Since You’ve Been Ong

Directed by: Frank Chan U.S 2007│ 5min │Drama When Elizabeth Ong fails to show up, her three friends rush to give their versions of the day’s shenanigans in the alleyways of Chinatown. 2008 ● PAAFF

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Panel Discussion “How To Break Into The Film Industry” Panel Sat. 10.11| 1:30-3P | Asian Arts Initiative

The 2008 PAAFF Film Industry Panel will focus on practical advice to aspiring actors and filmmakers seeking to break into the film business, with particular emphasis on the challenges facing Asian American actors and filmmakers. Anula Shetty Award-winning filmmaker and community teaching artist at Temple University, University of the Arts, Asian Arts Initiative and Scribe Video Center. Benson Lee Director/producer of documentary feature, “Planet B-Boy” and nominated for grand jury prize at Sundance in 1998 for narrative feature, “Miss Monday.” Jason Loftus, C.S.A. SAG actor (The Sopranos), member of prestigious Casting Society of America (Heery Casting), and producer of upcoming independent feature film, “The Storyteller.” 22

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Jeffrey D. Erb Executive producer and distributor of numerous feature films such as Tooth and Nail, The Speed of Life, Southern Gothic, and Just Add Water, CEO of Feverpitch Pictures and principal in Norristown Studios at Studio Centre Norristown (film studio in development). Lyman Chen Delaware Valley first generation Chinese-American SAG actor with speaking roles in The Departed, The Happening, and Tenure. Michael Wingate Jones, Esq. Panel moderator, actor/filmmaker/ attorney.

Film Judges Feature Film Judges Mike Lemon, C.S.A. Prominent longtime Philadelphia casting director of innumerable feature films such as: Annapolis, In Her Shoes, Unbreakable, The Sixth Sense, and Philadelphia. Nicole Ross Director, Marketing and Multicultural Affairs, Greater Philadelphia Film Office. Zhe Zhou Jiang Chinese visual artist and Deputy Secretary General of China All Stars Support and Promotion Group for 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Short Film Judges: Franklin Shen Joyce Koh Maria Gonzalez

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2008 ● PAAFF

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Thank-Yous HBO Asian Arts Initiative Greater Philadelphia Film Office Our Advisory Board APABA PA Joan Bressler Harrah’s Chester Sharon Pinkenson Governor Rendell Nicole Ross Kay Yu Temple University University of Pennyslvania City of Philadelphia Mayor Nutter Gary San Angel Melissa Angert Cherrylyn Arnillo Jaamal Benjamin Thom Cardwell Prithi Chandra Victoria Chau Jeffrey Cheung

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PAAFF ● 2008

Greg DeShields Dr. Felice Fischer (PMA) Carol Fritz Keith Cohen Charles Flores Wayne Hsu Paul & Grace Kim Kathy Ming-Tsai Marvin Scott Clifford Song Dennis Williams Zoe Hillengas Maori Holmes Soon Hong Leexan Hong Lihao Jian Lee Ann Kim Steve Kim Ah-Young Kim Christian Oh DJ Binh Nguyen Amey Park John & Joo Shim

Jaizelle Stendardo Ha Truong Carol Wong Chi-hui Yang Jim Young Trader Joe’s Joy Tsin Lau National Amusements (The Bridge: Cinema de Lux) Sang Kee Restaurant O Sandwiches Vietnam Restaurant Yakitori Boy Rangoon IKEA Heineken Philadelphia Brewing Company Yeungling Yards Brewery Sunset Talent Management Wokcano Everyone who took part in our 1st film festival!

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The Philippine Folk Arts Society, Inc. congratulates PAAFF on its 1st Annual Asian American Film Festival in the city of Philadelphia! www.fecgp.org/html/pfasi.html 26

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The Filipino Executive Council of Greater Philadelphia, Inc. is proud to support the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival and the film Santa Mesa! www.FECGP.org 2008 â—? PAAFF

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©2008 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved. ®&SM Service marks of Home Box Office, Inc.


2008 Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival Program Guide