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NOVEMBER 7-17 2019 #REELDIVERSITY

Presented by


THROUGH MAY 10, 2020 Michelle Lopez: Ballast & Barricades

RELATED PROGRAMS 6:30–8 PM

11 AM–12:15 PM 12:30 PM

6–7 PM

WED, OCT 16

Passing as Americans: Filipinx American Perspectives in Contemporary Art with artists Michelle Lopez, Josh Kline, Paul Pfeiffer, and curator Joselina Cruz SAT, NOV 9

Michelle Lopez in Conversation with Curator Alex Klein

Screening of Manila in the Claws of Light (Dir. Lino Bracka, 1975) in conjunction with the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival WED, DEC 4

Curator-led tour with Alex Klein

118 S. 36th St., Philadelphia, PA 19104 icaphila.org Free. For All.

ALSO ON VIEW THROUGH DEC 22, 2019: arms ache avid aeon: Nancy Brooks Brody / Joy Episalla / Zoe Leonard / Carrie Yamaoka: fierce pussy amplified, Colored People Time: Banal Presents

2019 PAAFF

LEFT: Michelle Lopez, Barricade, 2018, walnut, paint, steel, reflective fabric, paracord, and rubble, 57 × 80 ½ × 62 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Simon Preston New York. Programming support for Michelle Lopez: Ballast & Barricades has been provided by the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation.

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LETTER FROM THE GOVERNOR GREETINGS: It is my pleasure to join with the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (PAAFF) to welcome everyone gathered here for the twelfth annual festival. Pennsylvania thrives on its vibrant cultural heritage. The commonwealth’s diverse ethnic and social communities can connect through the shared experiences and cross-cultural understanding of the universal language of film. Since its inception in 2008, the PAAFF has remained dedicated to showcasing and nurturing creative Asian American filmmakers, directors, actors, and storylines. This year’s PAAFF event provides an opportunity for Pennsylvanians to celebrate the richness and diversity of Asian American cultures. I extend my sincere gratitude to this organization and its supporters, and I am certain that this festival will continue to grow and reach a diverse audience while inspiring many for years to come. As Governor, and on behalf of all citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I am pleased to welcome everyone gathered to support the twelfth annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. Please accept my best wishes for an enjoyable event and continued success.

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CONTENTS

Staff Credits / 6

American Peril Exhibit Phase II Preview / 28-29

PAAFF’19 Sponsors / 7

Centerpiece Documentary: Our Time Machine / 50

Welcome Letter From The Festival Director / 8

PAPA Presents: Philly Asian Histories / 52

Special Showcases / 10-11

Community Series at Fleisher Art Memorial / 56-62

Festival Schedule / 12–13

Closing Weekend / 63-83

Festival Venue Map / 14–15

Hip Hop Showcase / 66-67

Opening Weekend / 17–50

“Appreciation or Appropriation? AAPIs, Hip Hop, & Authenticity / 68

Opening Night: Go Back to China / 17 Artist Talk with Michelle Lopez / 32 Centerpiece Narrative: Song Lang /37 PAAFF Conference / 18-21, 26-34 & 40-47

Artist Bash at the Barnes Foundation / 76-77 Closing Night: Chinatown Rising / 83 Film Juries / 84 Thank Yous / 86

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PAAFF’19 STAFF ROB BUSCHER Festival Director SELENA YIP Communications Director, Marketing Co-Director BRAD BALDIA Corporate Relations & Community Affairs Director

DARIAN EHYA Graphic Designer & Social Media Co-Manager JACQUI ANDERSON Festival Staff, Programmer

SUNNY HUANG Programming Co-Director

HANNAH CLUVER Programmer

ERIC HUNG Conference Chair, Grantwriter, Programmer

BETHANY DEPOY Communications & Marketing

MICHAEL WINGATE JONES Managing Director EIREANN MANNINO Volunteer Co-Director, Programmer VIVIAN NHAN Volunteer Co-Director

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KHANHMY VUONG Festival Staff, Events Committee, Lead Programmer

CATHERINE SHAW Communications & Marketing ELIZABETH REID SIMMONS Festival Staff, Lead Programmer SAMANTHA TAN Lead Programmer MAYA WINNEG Festival Staff, Communications & Marketing, Programmer SOPHIA YOU Lead Programmer

KACIA HUYNH Festival Staff, Lead Programmer

JIAN YU

HELEN LY Communications & Marketing

ARZHANG ZAFAR

CHETANA R. NARASIMHA JOIS Festival Staff, Programmer

QUYNH-MAI NGUYEN Marketing Director

SAMEET MANN Festival Staff, Communications & Marketing, Lead Programmer

GEORGE RODRIGUEZ Guest Services Chair

KATE POURSHARIATI Festival Staff, Lead Programmer

JACQUI SADASHIGE Marketing & Social Media Manager

ANEEL SALEEM Festival Staff, Events Committee

Communications & Marketing

Lead Programmer MAESTRO FILMWORKS Festival Trailer, Recap Video BALLARD SPAHR LLP Legal Counsel ADAM NECELIS Certified Public Accountant

FILM PROGRAMMING COMMITTEE Jacqui Anderson Rob Buscher Hannah Cluver Sunny Huang Eric Hung Kacia Huynh Chetana R. Narasimha Jois Sameet Mann Eireann Mannino Kenji Nikado Kate Pourshariati Elizabeth Reid Simmons Kusum Soin Samantha Tan Elizabeth Thompson Khanhmy Vuong Maya Winneg Selena Yip Sophia You Jian Yu Arzhang Zafar PROGRAM LAYOUT Quynh-Mai Nguyen Rob Buscher COVER ARTWORK Darian Ehya


SPONSORS Presenting Sponsor

Prime Sponsors

Showcase Sponsors

Foundation Support

Partner Sponsors

Presenting Venues

In-Kind Support

Community Partners

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LETTER FROM THE FESTIVAL DIRECTOR Whether you are a first-time attendee or long-time supporter of our festival, let me be the first to welcome you to the 2019 PAAFF. Now in our twelfth year PAAFF has not only the distinction of being the largest film festival specializing in Asian American & Pacific Islander content in the East Coast, but is also the third largest in the country. While there is much for us to celebrate, I would be remiss to not mention the startling parallels we have seen over the past year between the history of our Asian immigrant communities and increasingly hostile immigration legislation that seeks to criminalize asylum seekers. As we marvel at the similarities between family detention centers and the Japanese American incarceration during WWII, it seemed necessary for us to delve into the history of our Asian American movement. Thusly with a hopeful eye towards the future we have largely based the next 11-days of programming around the past, present, and future of Asian America. As usual there are far too many excellent programs for me to highlight them all in this short letter, but here are a few of my picks. During Opening Weekend, you can engage in this conversation during the PAAFF Conference at University of Pennsylvania as we discuss the controversial subject of “Has Asian American Studies Failed?” Highlights include a participatory workshop around the Tsuru for Solidarity campaign hosted by the Japanese American Citizens League Youth Council and a preview of Phase II of the American Peril Exhibit of Anti-Asian racial propaganda, which both take place on Saturday 11/9.

2019 PAAFF

For a subtler take on the 2019 festival theme related to the passage of time check out Centerpiece Documentary Our Time Machine at Lightbox Film Center on Sunday 11/10. Co-directed by veteran documentarian and three-time PAAFF alumni S. Leo Chiang, the film paints a vivid portrait of a father-son relationship impacted by Alzheimer’s. 8

Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists returns to the festival with three new original productions by their 2019 mini-residency artists and a special performance showcase featuring acts from the Philly Asian Histories project that will take place Monday 11/11 at Asian Arts Initiative. Other collaborations include a South Asian historical walking tour with South Asian American Digital Archive and two Spanish-language films co-presented by Philadelphia Latino Film Festival. The following evening on Tuesday 11/12, Twelve Gates Arts will be hosting their third annual Experimental Video Art Fest, which will be included in our festival for the first time. The screening is part of our free community series and will screen again during the closing day of the festival. Our community series continues Wed 11/13 – Thurs 11/14 at Fleisher Art Memorial where we will be doing a deep dive into Southeast Asian visual culture. Friday 11/15 we begin our Closing Weekend at Asian Arts Initiative with a Hip Hop Showcase that features an impressive line-up of bilingual rap artists who were guest curated by Scott CHOPS Jung of the legendary Mountain Brothers. Join us at the after party that will follow at the newly opened Triple Bottom Brewing company and featuring a pop-up from Filipino food cart Tabachoy. Saturday 11/16 we will be screening films for the first time at the Barnes Foundation from 2-8pm in their auditorium in a three-film mini-showcase that looks at the past, present, and future. Following that is our semi-annual Artist Bash performance showcase from 8-11pm featuring several talented AAPI musicians, and tickets include access to the collection. Last, don’t miss our Closing Night presentation of Chinatown Rising, an engrossing documentary that charts the decades long fight for survival as San Francisco’s Chinatown maintained their claim on a neighborhood often targeted by developers. Thank you to the volunteer staff, community partners, venues, sponsors, and audience members for being a part of our movement.


THANK YOU TO OUR VOLUNTEERS! DID YOU KNOW THAT PAAFF IS ENTIRELY VOLUNTEER RUN? Our devoted team of volunteer staff works countless hours on top of their day jobs to make each festival program a success. Thank you to all of our volunteers without whom this festival would not be possible!

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SPECIAL SHOWCASES

PAAFF CONFERENCE “HAS ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES FAILED?”

2019 PAAFF

In 2012, Timothy Yu published a short article titled “Has Asian American Studies Failed?” In it, he argued that—although Asian American Studies is now an established academic field—it has largely failed “in our goal of shifting the racial discourse around Asians in the United States.” He stated that Asian Americanists needed to take their work to the public: to be advocates and “cultural first responders” who popularized the field’s insights. Now that seven years have passed, it is time for us to take stock. What has changed, and what hasn’t? The three-day conference taking place Fri Nov 8 - Sun Nov 10 at University of Pennsylvania will seek to answer these questions. 10

12G VIDEO ART FESTIVAL 12G Video Art Festival celebrates contemporary video art – art using recorded moving images, created by artists from or about the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. This 3rd edition of the juried show will be co-presented by PAAFF at 12G’s gallery space located in Old City. Subjects and themes for the exhibit include queer, controversial, poetic, abstract, political, philosophical, uncensored – anything that stretches beyond conventional. Program screens twice - Tue Nov 12, 6-8:30pm and Sun Nov 17, 2-4pm at Twelve Gates Arts 106 N. 2nd St

PAPA MINI-RESIDENCIES SHOWCASE The city’s first all Asian American theater collective, Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists returns to the 2019 festival with three original productions from their 2019 mini-residency program and a performance showcase by PAPA members. Sun Nov 10: Participatory Workshop Emma Stone Mon Nov 11: PAPA Showcase Philly Asian Histories Thurs Nov 14: Dance Performance De(scribing) Maharlikha Sat Nov 16: Musical Performance imprint, ember, hearth


PACIFIC SHOWCASE

HIP HOP SHOWCASE

PRESENTED BY PACIFIC ISLANDERS

GUEST CURATED BY SCOTT CHOPS JUNG

IN COMMUNICATIONS

Although numbering few in the Philadelphia region, Pacific Islanders are an important part of the AAPI social, political, and cultural coalition. Including Native Hawaiians, there are over 1.2 million Americans descended from current and former US territories spanning across the Pacific such as Guam, American Samoa, Palau, Federated Micronesia, Northern Mariana, and the Marshall Islands.

This year’s program will highlight bilingual artists whose cultural and linguistic fluency has enabled them to crossover between the Asian American and overseas Asian markets. Featuring Aisha Fukushima, Miyachi, Jason Chu and Leo Xia of NITEMRKT, and guest appearance by CHOPS and his longtime musical collaborator DJ Roli Rho.

2019 PAAFF

Presented by our partners at Pacific Islanders in Communications for the fifth year in a row, this showcase consisting of three features and one shorts block demonstrating a wide variety of cultural diversity and onscreen perspectives through a distinctly Pacific lens.

Returning to PAAFF for the sixth year, Guest Curator Scott CHOPS Jung of the legendary Mountain Brothers has rounded up the best up-and-coming Asian American Hip Hop and R&B artists for an evening of live performances at Asian Arts Initiative on Fri Nov 15 from 8-10pm.

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PROGRAM SCHEDULE THURSDAY, NOV. 7

SATURDAY, NOV. 9

SUNDAY, NOV. 10

OPENING NIGHT:

“HAS ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES FAILED?” CONFERENCE DAY 2

“HAS ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES FAILED?” CONFERENCE DAY 3

9:30am-2:30pm | IRV

10am-4:30pm | IRV

REVOLUTION REMIX WALKING TOUR

DANIEL PARK: EMMA STONE

GO BACK TO CHINA 7­­–9pm Followed by Reception 9-11pm | LFC

FRIDAY, NOV. 8

“HAS ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES FAILED?” CONFERENCE DAY 1 11:30am–5pm | ICA

SOCIAL (IN)JUSTICE SHORTS 11am-12:30pm | ICA

BAMBOO DOGS 12:45-2:15pm | ICA

LE CHOCOLAT DE H 6-7:45pm | LFC

YELLOW ROSE 8–9:50pm | LFC

LAST SUNRISE 10:05-11:30pm | LFC

10am–12pm | LIB

ARTIST TALK: MICHELLE LOPEZ

WE WOVE A NET: GROWING UP ASIAN AMERICAN IN MICHIGAN

11am–12:15pm | ICA

1–2:15pm | IRV

MANILA IN THE CLAWS OF LIGHT

MOANANUIAKEA

12:30–2:45pm | ICA

GEOGRAPHIES OF KINSHIP 3–5pm | ICA

THREE SEASONS 5–7:15pm | LFC

CENTERPIECE NARRATIVE:

SONG LANG 7:30-9:30pm | LFC

GENRE SHORTS: ASIAN IMAGINATION 2019 PAAFF

9:45–11pm | LFC

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11am–12:30pm | IRV

11am–1:45pm | ICA

FINDING THE VIRGO 2–3:15pm | ICA

HAVE YOU EATEN YET? SHORTS 3:30-4:50pm | ICA

NATIVE HAWAIIAN RESISTANCE SHORTS 3:20–4:30pm | IRV

WHAT WE LEFT UNFINISHED 4:20-5:45pm | LFC


CENTERPIECE DOCUMENTARY:

OUR TIME MACHINE 6–7:45pm Followed by Reception 8-9pm | LFC

MONDAY, NOV. 11

EMPTY BY DESIGN 7–8:15pm | FAM

DANCE ARTIST: ANNIELILLE GAVINO 8:30–9:45pm | FAM

SEADRIFT 2–3:45pm | BF

FOR MY FATHER’S KINGDOM 4-5:45pm | BF

LUCKY GRANDMA

THEATER PERFORMANCE: PHILLY ASIAN HISTORIES

FRIDAY, NOV. 15

6–7:45pm | BF

7-9pm | AAI

BURDENS WE SHARE SHORTS

ARTIST BASH

TUESDAY, NOV. 12

12G EXPERIMENTAL VIDEO ART FESTIVAL 6–8:30pm | 12G

4:30-5:45pm | AAI

DRAGONMASTERS 6-7:40pm | AAI

HIP HOP SHOWCASE

8–11pm | BF

SUNDAY, NOV. 17

ME IN HOME: FAMILY FRIENDLY SHORTS

8–10pm | AAI

11am–12:30pm | AAI

THAI LIFE INSURANCE SHORTS

SATURDAY, NOV. 16

WHEN WE WALK

5–5:45pm | FAM

WORKSHOP: AAPI HIP HOP

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 13

KYOTO UNIVERSITY VDP SHORTS 6–8pm | FAM

TEN YEARS THAILAND 8:15–10pm | FAM

11am–12pm | AAI

QUEER ASIAN VOICES SHORTS 12:10–1:40pm | AAI

QUEER JAPAN 1:50-4:05pm | AAI

THURSDAY, NOV. 14 5:30–6:45pm | FAM

4:15-6pm | AAI

HAPPY CLEANERS 2:30–4:20pm | AAI

MAYOR ED LEE 4:35-5:50pm | AAI

CLOSING NIGHT:

CHINATOWN RISING 6:15-8:15pm | AAI

2019 PAAFF

EATING UP EASTER

JERONIMO

12:45–2:15pm | AAI

CLOSING RECEPTION 8:30-11pm | AAI 13


FESTIVAL VENUES AAI (Asian Arts Initiative) 1219 Vine Street, Chinatown BF (Barnes Foundation) 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Art Museum Area LFC (Lightbox Film Center) 3701 Chestnut Street, West Philly ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) 118 S 36th St, University City

IRV (University of Pennsylvania) Irvine Building, Cafe 58 3401 Spruce Street LIB (Liberty Bell) 562 Market Street, Old City FAM (Fleisher Art Memorial) 719 Catherine Street, South Philly 12G (Twelve Gates Arts) 106 N. 2nd Street, Old City

LFC (Lightbox Film Center)

ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts)

IRV (Irvine, University of Pennsylvania)

TICKET INFORMATION For all ticketed programs: $10 General Admission $8 Students & Seniors (Requires ID) All Shorts Programs FREE except 4 Pillars ALL ACCESS FESTIVAL BADGE $100 General Admission $80 Students & Seniors

2019 PAAFF

THREE WAYS TO ORDER TICKETS 1/ www.paaff.org 2/ 215.387.5125 (IHP Screening Only) 3/ International House box office Tuesday–Saturday, 1–8pm 14

FESTIVAL V


BF (Barnes Foundation)

AAI (Asian Arts Initiative)

LIB (Liberty Bell)

2019 PAAFF

VENUE MAP

12G (Twelve Gates Arts)

FAM (Fleisher Art Memorial) 15


Powering partnerships. Arts and culture organizations have a $1 billion economic impact in Greater Philadelphia. And PECO is proud to be a part of it. In fact, we invest more than $1 million each year, helping people of all ages and backgrounds experience local visual and performing arts. PECO is proud to support the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival.

Š PECO Energy Company, 2019

70-19-1105476_PECO_Powers_Asian_Film_8x5_4C_r0.indd 1

8/21/19 11:29 AM


GO BACK TO CHINA 7-9:00pm | Lightbox Film Center 95 mins | Dramedy | China, USA | English, Cantonese, Mandarin Director: Emily Ting

T H U R S DAY 1 1 . 07

Opening Night Film, Narrative Program

From L.A. to China, from fashionista to factory worker - how is a girl supposed to survive?!?! When spoiled rich girl Sasha Li (Anna Akana) blows through half of her trust fund, she is cut off by her father and forced to go back to China and work for the family toy business. What begins simply as a way to regain financial support soon develops into a life-altering journey of self discovery. Sasha not only learns the business from the ground up, but also learns to reconnect with her estranged family. Go Back to China is a hilarious, heartfelt, and compelling portrait of what happens when today’s Millennial culture clashes with the old-school, hard-working values that families around the world have continued to instill and pass down.

2019 PAAFF

OPENING RECEPTION 9-11:00pm | Lightbox Film Center

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F R I DAY 1 1 . 0 8

Shorts Program Program Type (i.e. documentary, narrative)

SOCIAL (IN)JUSTICE SOMEONE

I USED TO KNOW

11am-12:30pm

Institute of Contemporary Art | 80 mins

PERIOD GIRL

FREE SCREENING

The7:00pm quest for justice isn’t | Lightbox Filmalways Center PERIOD GIRL easy. Sometimes those closest to Director: Jalena Keane-Lee | 3 mins | USA 79mins | Dramedy you are the ones blocking your path. These short films spotlight “Period Girl” is an intimate portrait of Nadya Director: Nadine Truong | Writer: West Liang andCast: celebrate collection brave Okamoto, a Harvard sophomore and founder Brian aYang, Eddieof Mui. Emily Chang, individuals and Rex theirLee, determination of Period.org, a nonprofit that distributes free Kara Crane, Sara Sanderson, West to fight menstrual supplies to people experiencing Liangfor what is right. Filmmakers expected in attendance for post-film Q&A.

homelessness

Three friends reunite for a long LA night in this bittersweet dramedy. Their faltering nightclub reunion soon becomes an all-nighter filled with revelations, recriminations and regrets. Opening Night Reception 9:30–11PM

KNEELING SHEEP Director: Hai Rihan | 15 mins | China A Mongolian single mother fights to save her son who is about to be executed, only to discover that the absence of justice is crushing her life.

ONE PAMILYA

ONE PAMILYA Director: Leah de Leon | 25 mins | USA Leah de Leon searches for an understanding of her Filipino-American roots and the forbidden love story of her parents. The film follows her family’s journey to the Philippines together for the first time, documenting the celebrations and struggles of coming from one family.

FALLING STAR RISING SUN Director: Bake Phouikham | 30 mins | USA Identity. Addiction. Perseverance to make it to the top. “Fallen Star Rising Sun” tackles these modern day issues through the personal story of Ko Chandetka, the first Lao-American bodybuilder.

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KNEELING SHEEP

FALLING STAR RISING SUN


BAMBOO DOGS

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Narrative Program

12:45-2:15pm | Institute of Contemporary Arts 81 minutes | Experimental | Philippines | Tagalog Director: Khavn

E A S T COA S T P R E M I E R E

Four criminals, four cops in a van. On what should have been just another night on the job, police officers Esquivel and Corazon receive an order that seems simple enough at first: fix an arrest mix-up by taking a notorious group of robbers to a camp where they will be let go. But mid-transport, the orders change, and Esquivel and his co-policemen find themselves having to choose between carrying out orders or doing what’s right.

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F R I DAY 1 1 . 0 8

QUEER API INTERSECTIONALITY WORKSHOP

THE ROLE OF ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES IN DEFINING ASIAN AMERICAN CUISINE

2:30-3:30pm | Institute of Contemporary Art

3:30-4pm | Institute of Contemporary Art

Presented by Philly Asian and Queer Panel: Noel B. Ramirez, Matthew Wong, Jillian Ma & Quynh-Mai Nguyen

Sean Liu, Culinary Director of My Sweet Grandma

FREE EVENT

The Queer Asian Pacific Islander is a pan-ethnic community with varying needs, concerns and priorities. Philadelphia’s Asian Queer Community has historically and is currently a thriving community with strong roots and commitments to providing a community for Queer APIs and friends in the Philadelphia region. During this workshop, Queer API organizers from Philadelphia will come together to discuss vision, explore needs/priorities and share the current wisdom and resources of our beautiful community in Philadelphia. This workshop will have a moderated discussion among panelists, an interactive needs assessment activity and information on current philly community programming to get involved in.

Asian American Studies and Asian American Cuisine are intrinsically linked in their role in sharing narratives, histories, and cultural experiences of Asian Americans. We challenge participants to examine their perceptions of how we choose to define certain cuisine and histories. In this presentation, we will explore untaught landmark events in American history that shaped the nation. We will explore the precedent for allyship and cultural exchange of immigrant communities. Finally, we will explore our unconscious bias and the arbitrary boundaries we set on immigrant cuisines. By the end of this session, we hope to propel greater narratives in defining Asian American Cuisine and the role Asian American Studies plays in those narratives.

2019 PAAFF

SEAN LIU 20


Program Type (i.e. documentary, narrative) ASIAN AMERICAN CINEMA: PAST, SOMEONE PRESENT, & FUTURE

4-4:30pm | Institute of Contemporary Art

4:30-5pm | Institute of Contemporary Art

Due Quach, Founder and CEO Calm Clarity

Rob Buscher, PAAFF Festival Director Selena Yip, PAAFF Communications Director

Due Quach, author of Calm Clarity: How to Use Science to Rewire Your Brain for Greater Wisdom, Fulfillment and Joy (one of Fast Company’s 7 best books of 2018) will share insights and exercises to catalyze post-traumatic growth.

I USED TO KNOW

Liang This program will feature an excerpt from short film Home: Asian American Blues. Three friends reunite for a long LA night in this bittersweet dramedy. faltering nightclub In “Home: Asian American Blues,” artistTheir and filmmaker Kyoko reunion soonstatement becomes on an Asian all-nighter filled with Takenaka has created a bold American revelations, recriminations and regrets. representation. This multimedia presentation includes original song and poetry, video clips, audio recordings, references to pop culture, Night Reception 9:30–11PM and stereotypicalOpening representations of Asians.

2019 PAAFF

DUE QUACH

FREE EVENT

| Lightbox Film Center To close the first 7:00pm day of the PAAFF Conference, Festival Director Rob Buscher and Communications Director Selena Yip will co79mins | Dramedy host a discussion about the past, present, and future of Asian Nadine Truong | Writer: Liang American media.Director: Discussing emerging trends from anWest industry Cast: Yang, Eddie Mui.draw Emily Chang, insider perspective, theBrian conversation will also from Buscher’s Kara Crane,Americans Rex Lee, Sara Sanderson, West extensive research on Asian in Early Hollywood.

F R I DAY 1 1 . 0 8

A MIND-HACKER’S GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING & HEALING TRAUMA

ROB BUSCHER AND SELENA YIP 21


Jefferson is proud to support the

Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival Celebrating Asian American representation in the arts.

Jefferson.edu

H O M E O F S I D N E Y K I M M E L M E D I C A L CO L L EG E

Jefferson.edu


LE CHOCOLAT DE H

6-7:45pm | Lightbox Film Center

F R I DAY 1 1 . 0 8

Documentary Program

84 mins | Documentary | Japanese with English Subtitles Director: Takashi Watanabe

A five-time winner of Best Chocolate in the World at the Salon du Chocolat competition, Tsujiguchi decides to create unique recipes that combine traditional flavors found in Japanese fermented foods with chocolate made from fermented cacao beans. As the filmmakers document Tsujiguchi on his quest for perfection—from miso producers and sea salt purveyors in rural Japan to organic cacao farms in Ecuador—they also reveal a portrait of a complex individual driven by a passion for his craft.

E A S T COA S T P R E M I E R E

This movie follows Hironobu Tsujiguchi—a world famous pastry chef from Japan—as he journeys around the world in search of ingredients to complete his new chocolate recipes.

DESSERT HAPPY HOUR by A La Mousse 5-6pm | Lightbox Film Center 2019 PAAFF

The Dessert Happy Hour catered by A La Mousse will feature a variety of chocolate cakes inspired by Le Chocolat de H. 23


F R I DAY 1 1 . 0 8

Narrative Program

YELLOW ROSE 8-9:50pm | Lightbox Film Center 94 mins | Drama | USA | English, Tagalog Director: Diane Paragas Winner of Breakthrough Performance and Grand Jury awards at the 2019 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and the Comcast Narrative Award at 2019 CAAMFest. Rose, an undocumented Filipino girl, dreams of leaving her small Texas town to pursue her country music dreams one day. Her world is shattered when her mother is suddenly captured by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Rose, facing this new reality, is forced to flee the scene. Leaving behind the only life she knows, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she searches for a new home in the honky-tonk world of Austin, Texas.

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LAST SUNRISE

F R I DAY 1 1 . 0 8

Narrative Program

10:05-11:30pm | Lightbox Film Center 103 mins | Drama | China | Mandarin with English Subtitles Director: Wen Ren In the future, instead of evolving into a red giant, the sun mysteriously disappears. A civilization reliant upon the sun is plagued by apocalyptic consequences. In a failing electric car, Yang, a reclusive astronomer, and Mu, his bubbly neighbor, escape the warm and comfortable lifestyle of District One. Temperature falls to subzero degrees in District Two, a ghost city with standstill windmills. Oxygen depletes in District Three, as they grapple with a gang of brainwashed coal miners. Yang and Mu gravitate forward, in search of light in the perpetual darkness—their only hope lies in a miracle waiting for them at their final destination, District Four.

2019 PAAFF 25


SAT U R DAY 1 1 . 0 9

Historical Walking Tour

REVOLUTION REMIX 10am-12pm | Liberty Bell | 526 Market Street 120 mins | South Asian American Tour By: South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) This two-hour walking tour starts at the Liberty Bell and winds its way through Old City before ending on the banks of the Delaware River. With stories of South Asians in Philadelphia dating from 1785 to the present day, this immersive experience will help participants see the streets of historic Philadelphia through a new lens. Space is very limited, so register online today! https://www.saada.org/walkingtour *** Accessibility Note: The tour includes 1.5 miles of walking, but there are many opportunities to sit and rest throughout. There is also a stop with a bathroom break and water halfway through the tour. The tour is wheelchair accessible. About SAADA

2019 PAAFF

The South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in Philadelphia, PA. SAADA creates a more inclusive society by giving voice to South Asian Americans through documenting, preserving, and sharing stories that represent their unique and diverse experiences. We envision American and world histories that fully acknowledge the importance of immigrants and ethnic communities in the past, strengthen such communities in the present, and inspire discussion about their role in the future. Visit saada.org to learn more. 26


9:30-11am | University of Pennsylvania Irvine Building, Cafe 58 Tsuru for Solidarity Chair: Mike Ishii, Tsuru for Solidarity East Coast coordinator

FREE EVENT

“Tsuru for Solidarity is a direct action, nonviolent project of allied organizations within the Japanese American community in collaboration with allied national organizations and networks... Tsuru for Solidarity was conceived as a way to give voice to the moral outrage of the Japanese American and Japanese Latin American community at the ongoing mass detentions in the United States. The project also became a vehicle to show solidarity with frontline immigrant communities fighting injustice, mass incarceration and deportation.�

SAT U R DAY 1 1 . 0 9

JACL YOUTH TSURU FOR SOLIDARITY COALITION BUILDING PANEL

2019 PAAFF

As a part of this mission, Tsuru for Solidarity East Coast coordinator, Mike Ishii, will lead a panel of community representatives from diverse backgrounds working to support the rights of immigrants. They will discuss the lasting impact of incarceration and racial profiling across marginalized communities in America. Ishii will also discuss the steps that Tsuru for Solidarity is taking to protest immigrant detention and bring to light an intersectional fight for freedom and equality in the modern era. He will also give guidelines for community members interested in coalition building in preparation for a TFS-lead action in Washington D.C. scheduled for May of 2020. This workshop is hosted and co-facilitated by the JACL National Youth/Student Council.

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SAT U R DAY 1 1 . 0 9

AMERICAN PERIL: IMAGINING THE FOREIGN THREAT PORTRAIT PREVIEW & PANEL DISCUSSION 11am-12pm | University of Pennsylvania Irvine Building, Cafe 58

FREE EVENT

In November 2018, PAAFF in collaboration with JACL Philadelphia mounted a special exhibit titled, American Peril: Imagining the Foreign Threat. Hosted at Twelve Gates Arts gallery, this exhibit displayed more than 40 original prints of anti-Asian propaganda in the United States from the 1870s to the present day. After an incredibly successful exhibit run that saw over 500 attendees in the span of a single month, we have decided to expand the project to include a series of portrait photographs of individuals who were directly affected by negative propaganda artifacts similar to those in the exhibit. By confronting audiences with the human impact of such propaganda, our hope is that exhibit attendees will better understand the ongoing and harmful nature of racial propaganda.

2019 PAAFF

Phase II of the American Peril exhibit will be shown in Philadelphia City Hall February March 2020, and this event will feature the unveiling of the first two portraits from the series. Join photographer Justin L. Chiu, exhibit curator Rob Buscher, and two of the portrait subjects for a compelling dialogue about the current political climate that inspired this project and a broader dialogue about the role of art in advocacy.

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Panelists: Dr. Fariha Khan is the Associate Director of the Asian American Studies program at the University of Pennsylvania where she also teaches courses on South Asians in the U.S, Asian American Communities, Asian American Food, as well as Muslim Identity in America. She received a Master’s degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Yale University and a PhD in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. Her current research focuses on South Asian American Muslims and the Asian American community. Actively involved in the Philadelphia community, Dr. Khan is Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia Folklore Project and serves on the Board of Directors of the Samuel S. Fels Fund. She was appointed in 2015 to the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs. Masaru Ed Nakawatase, a third generation Japanese American, was born in an American concentration camp in Poston, Arizona. Ed grew up in Seabrook, New Jersey, the son of plant workers at Seabrook Farms. In 1963 at age 20, Ed dropped out of college and headed to Atlanta as a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee staff member, which began his lifelong activism. Ed spent almost a year and a half in Atlanta before returning to

New Jersey to finish his studies and continue his social activism. He was active in the anti-war movement in the 60s and 70s, the redress movement around the internment of Japanese Americans and spent more than three decades as the national representative for Native American Affairs for the American Friends Service Committee, active in many pivotal moments of the American Indian Movement as well. Ed currently serves as a board member of Philadelphia based civil rights group Asian Americans United and is an active member of the Japanese American Citizens League Philadelphia Chapter. Justin L. Chiu is an architectural, portrait, and travel photographer whose work compassionately and expressively captures the people, culture, and scenes around him. He has collaborated on permanent installations in Shanghai at 3-star Michelin restaurant Ultraviolet and at both IAPM Mall and Jing An Kerry Centre. He has worked with brands such as Nike, McDonalds, Starbucks, Architectural Digest, Marriott Group, and Hyatt Group. Justin has also pursued personal projects with The Renewal Center in Shanghai, a homeless shelter aimed to help displaced people gain employment, stability, and a permanent home, as well as Vocatio in Philadelphia, a career prep high school providing high quality, comprehensive academic and vocational programs for


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young adults. He is active in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community through organizations such as the Taiwanese American Foundation and the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. More of his work can be seen at jlchiu. com.

FREE EVENT

Rob Buscher, Festival Director at Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, is a film and media specialist, educator, arts administrator, and published author who has worked in non-profit arts organizations for over a decade. As a person of multi-racial Japanese American heritage who is deeply involved in his community, Rob also has an expertise in cultural sensitivity training, community organizing, and advocacy issues related to the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. About the Exhibit: In this portrait of Hiro in 2019, he is holding a mailorder form for a “Krak-A-Jap” toy machine gun. Originally published in a children’s comic book, this ad would have been distributed to American boys his age during his incarceration at Poston Relocation Center. The second photo of this post is a close-up image of the mail-order form. It reads: “New Commando Krak-A-Jap Machine Gun. Safe, Harmless! How would you like to play ‘War’ with your very own Krak-A-Jap Machine Gun?”

2019 PAAFF

The full exhibit will feature portraits of approximately twenty subjects displayed at Philadelphia City Hall in the 2nd Floor Corridor outside of Mayor Kenney’s Office with original propaganda artifacts shown in display cases on the 4th Floor near City Council Chambers. Exhibit dates will be announced in late 2019, but it is expected to run early February to late March 2020.

© Justin L. Chiu 29


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GONE EAST, YOUNG MAN: ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES IN DC & VIRGINIA 12:30-1:20pm | University of Pennsylvania Irvine Building, Cafe 58 Panel: Gabriella Chu, Jamelah Jacob and Bianca Villa

FREE EVENT

The panelists will speak on their experiences and difficulties as undergraduate students fighting with institutions for access to Asian American Studies programs at their respective schools. The discussion will broaden into larger issues of accessibility and inclusivity efforts made for Asian American students at several well-known DMV area universities.

SAADA: WHERE WE BELONG Sunday, Nov. 11 | 1:30–2:30pm | University of Pennsylvania Irvine Building, Cafe 58 Presented by: The South Asian American Digital Archive Panel: Maryam Ahmed, Imran Siddiquee, Amber Abbas, Fariha Khan Participants will reflect on the absence of South Asian American representation that led to SAADA’s formation as a memory institution and the impact that it has had on empowering the voices of marginalized communities.

2019 PAAFF

GONE EAST, YOUNG MAN: ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES IN DC AND VIRGINIA 30

SAADA: WHERE WE BELONG


WE ARE EAGER TO MEET FILMMAKERS TELLING EXCEPTIONAL STORIES IN THE PHILADELPHIA REGION FOR PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES. Email Sreedevi Sripathy, Director of Programming and Production, at programming@whyy.org.

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Panel Discussion

CONVERSATION WITH ARTIST MICHELLE LOPEZ & CURATOR ALEX KLEIN 11am-12pm | Institute of Contemporary Art

FREE EVENT

In conjunction with her exhibition Ballast & Barricades (on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art until May 10, 2020), artist Michelle Lopez joins Alex Klein, ICA’s Dorothy & Stephen R. Weber (CHE’60) Curator, to discuss Lopez’s newly commissioned installation for ICA, the formal and political significations of borders, and the impact of civil unrest on the artist’s work. Following the conversation, in partnership with the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, ICA will present a screening of the critically acclaimed 1975 film Manila in the Claws of Light (dir. Lino Brocka, 125 min.) with an introduction by Michelle Lopez. Resonating with many of the themes of Lopez’s exhibition, the film mixes documentary and images of political mobilization and the urban landscape of Manila, offering a perspective on the Philippines that has been formative to many artists and filmmakers.

2019 PAAFF

Image: Michelle Lopez, Barricade, 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Simon Preston, New York. 32


MANILA IN THE CLAWS OF LIGHT 12:30-2:45pm | Institute of Contemporary Art

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Narrative Program

125 mins | Drama | Philippines | Tagalog with English Subtitles Director: Lino Brocka

R E T R O S P EC T I V E S C R E E N I N G

Lino Brocka achieved international acclaim with this candid portrait of 1970s Manila, a breakout example of the more serious-minded filmmaking the director has pursued since building a career in mainstream movies he described as “soaps.” A young fisherman from a provincial village arrives in the capital on a quest to track down his girlfriend, who was lured there with the promise of work but hasn’t been heard from since. In the meantime, he takes a low-wage job at a construction site and witnesses life on the streets, where death strikes without warning, corruption and exploitation are commonplace, and protests hint at escalating civil unrest. Mixing documentary-like realism with the narrative focus of noir and melodrama, Manila in the Claws of Light is a howl of anguish from one of the most celebrated figures in Philippine cinema.

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Documentary Program

GEOGRAPHIES OF KINSHIP 3-5pm | Institute of Contemporary Art 80 mins | Documentary | Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, USA | English, Korean, Swedish Director: Deann Borshay Liem

FREE SCREENING

In this powerful tale about the rise of Korea’s global adoption program, four adult adoptees return to the country of their birth and reconnect with their roots. What emerges is a deepened sense of self, belonging, and purpose, as Geographies of Kinship’s four protagonists question the policies and practices that led South Korea to become the largest “sending country” in the world—with 200,000 children adopted out to North America, Europe, and Australia. Emboldened by their own experiences and what they have learned, they become advocates for birth-family and adoptee rights, support for single mothers, and historical reckoning. After the screening, four Korean adoptees who live in the Philadelphia area—Christine Coyne, Susannah Park, Kendra-Lee Rosati, Christian Simms—will discuss their reactions to the film and discuss their experience growing up as Korean adoptees.

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Narrative Program

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THREE SEASONS 20TH ANNIVERSARY 5-7:15 pm | Lightbox Film Center 113 mins | Drama | Vietnam, USA | Vietnamese with English Subtitles Director: Tony Bui

R E T R O S P EC T I V E S C R E E N I N G

We are celebrating the 20th anniversary of this landmark Asian American film. It has a significant place in history for being the first foreign film to depict Vietnam outside of the Vietnam War. Three Seasons (Ba Mùa) is an American Vietnamese-language film shot in Vietnam about the past, present, and future of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) during the early days of Đổi Mới. The residents of Ho Chi Minh City face rapid westernization and widespread poverty. Retired Marine James Hager (Harvey Keitel) arrives in search of his daughter, whom he abandoned at the end of the Vietnam War. Meanwhile, inner-city cyclo driver Hai (Don Duong) falls for troubled prostitute Lan (Zoe Bui) and schemes to raise money in order to spend time with her. Elsewhere, Kien An (Nguyen Ngoc Hiep) begins harvesting lotuses for a writer suffering from leprosy. Three Seasons is a poetic film about an urban experiencing rapid change. As the characters try to come to terms with the invasion of capitalism, neon signs, grand five-star hotels, and Coca-Cola signs, their paths begin to merge.

2019 PAAFF

Directed and filmed when Tony Bui was 24 years old, Three Seasons was the first American film to be made in Vietnam after President Bill Clinton lifted the embargo and the first in Sundance Film Festival history ever to receive both the Grand Jury Award and the Audience Award. It was Vietnam’s submission for the 72nd Academy Award for Best International Feature Film in 1999. Director Tony Bui is expected to be in attendance for a post-film Q&A. 36


SONG LANG 7:30-9:30pm | Lightbox Film Center 101 mins | Drama | Vietnam | Vietnamese with English Subtitles Director: Leon Le

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Centerpiece Narrative

An epic romance that combines the historical drama of Kaige Chen’s Farewell My Concubine with the rich visual palette of Kar-Wai Wong’s Happy Together! Set in 1980s Saigon, Song Lang is a gritty underworld noir hiding a tender, romantic heart. At the film’s core is the unlikely bond that develops between hunky, brooding Dung (Lien Binh Phat), a tough debt collector for a ruthless loan shark, and Linh Phung (V-pop star Isaac), a charismatic young opera singer from a struggling Cai Luong troupe (traditional Vietnamese opera). The two meet when Dung comes to collect a debt from the opera troupe, but when their paths cross again, a friendship—and then more—develops, awakening surprising, tender feelings in both men. Their story, too, soon scales operatic heights.

Director Leon Le expected in attendance for a post-film Q&A.

2019 PAAFF

With his first feature film, director Leon Le has delivered a rich drama: a smoldering relationship between two apparent opposites—equally uncompromising—set against the backdrop of a gorgeous, fading art form.

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Questions about hepatitis B or where to get tested? Contact us at 215-489-4900 or at info@hepb.org!


GENRE SHORTS: ASIAN IMAGINATION THE CHEF

9:45-11pm Lightbox Film Center | 68 mins

In the near future, when all labor is replaced by humanoids, an old Chinese chef teaches a humanoid robot to cook, which places him in a dilemma between artificial intelligence and the human race.

Filmmakers expected in attendance for post-film Q&A. SECRET LIVES OF ASIANS AT NIGHT Director: KEFF | 18 mins | USA

What does the model minority do after dark? (A screwball noir in 5 languages.)

7:00pm | Fleisher Art Memorial

GO TO SLEEP: A LAO GHOST STORY

79mins | Dramedy Director: Phet Mahathongdy | 15 mins | USA Director: Nadine Truong | Writer: Liang A middle-aged Laotian refugeeWest struggles with his Cast: Brian Yang, Eddie Mui. Emily Chang, harrowing past, failing marriage, and demanding Kara Crane, Rex Lee, Sanderson, West career when he isSara haunted by mysterious Liang supernatural entities from his homeland known as Phi. Three friends reunite for a long LA night in this bittersweet dramedy. Their faltering nightclub reunion soon becomes an all-nighter filled with revelations, recriminations and regrets. THE VISIT Opening Night Reception Director: Roxy Shih |9:30–11PM 15 mins | Taiwan A pregnant woman and her husband visit her lonely, aging grandmother in the rural mountains of Taiwan only to witness the older woman’s mysterious disappearance.

FREE SCREENING

Encompassing genres as varied as sci-fi, noir, and horror, this program of shorts demonstrates the creativity and versatility of Asian American storytelling.

THE CHEF Director: Hao Zheng | 20 mins | USA

GO TO SLEEP: A LAO GHOST STORY

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Shorts Program

2019 PAAFF

THE SECRET LIVES OF ASIANS AT NIGHT

THE VISIT

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DOCUMENTING ASIAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY MUSIC ENSEMBLES: AN INITIATIVE OF THE MUSIC OF ASIAN AMERICA RESEARCH CENTER 10-11am | University of Pennsylvania Irvine Building, Cafe 58 Panel: Eric Hung, Victoria Huynh, Joe X. Jiang

FREE EVENT 2019 PAAFF 40

For many decades, Asian Americans have founded and joined community music ensembles to preserve ancestral cultures, adapt to life in the United States, create space in local music ecosystems and racial landscapes, and even reject elements of homeland cultures. MAARC is currently working to document 70 of these ensembles. We will be discussing our early findings in this presentation.

THE SUMMIT TUNNEL AND GOLD MEDALS: APPROACHES TO ENSURE NATIONAL VISIBILITY 2:20-3:10pm | University of Pennsylvania Irvine Building, Cafe 58 Panel: Ted Gong and Ting-Yi Oei The Asian Americam Movement has struggled to make its history known and thereby ensure civil rights for Asian Americans. This panel addresses the importance of building public visibility, historical preservation of the Summit Tunnel by the 1882 Foundation, and the passage of a Congressional Gold Medal to Chinese Americn WWII veterans by the Chinese American Citizens Alliance.


EMMA STONE BY DANIEL PARK

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Live Performance

11am-12:30pm | University of Pennsylvania Irvine Building, Cafe 58

Emma Stone (working title) is a collaboratively created solo-performance by Daniel Park and Dean Rawlins. Mixing stand-up comedy, performance art, and multi-media, the work creates a space in which the anger of people of color is legitimized, released, and healed.

CO-PRESENTED BY

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Documentary Program

WE WOVE A NET: A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT GROWING UP ASIAN AMERICAN IN MICHIGAN 1-2:15pm | University of Pennsylvania Irvine Building, Cafe 58 46 mins | Documentary | USA Director: Harsha Nahata

“We Wove a Net� is a short film about what it means to grow up Asian American. Through the eyes of women in four immigrant families in southeast Michigan, we unpack the stories that are told in our communities about coming to this country. Along the journey, we ask ourselves what is lost in this pursuit of the American Dream; we search for spaces that can hold all the parts of us; and finally, we seek a different type of love, one grounded in healing and compassion for ourselves. Director Nahata will make a presentation about the film after the screening.


NATIVE HAWAIIAN RESISTANCE HAE HAWAIʻI

3:20-4:30pm University of Pennsylvania Irvine Building, Cafe 58 | 55 mins

Filmmakers expected to be in attendance for a post-film Q&A.

HAE HAWAIʻI Director: Ty Sanga | 17 mins | Hawaii

DOWN ON THE SIDEWALK IN WAIKĪKĪ Director: Justyn Ah Chong | 20 mins | Hawaii

“Hae Hawaiʻi” is a historical drama that takes place during the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. In the days leading to annexation, loyalists to the crown seek to preserve what is left of the kingdom. They recruit a young Hawaiian thief to safeguard the unifying symbol of the lāhui, the Hawaiian flag.

A soft-spoken janitor, frustrated with cleaning up after an endless parade of tourists in Waikīkī, reflects on a traumatizing memory that stirs a voice from within.

LAST TAXI DANCE Director: Brayden Yoder | 18 mins | Hawaii In the aftermath of World War II, a proud Hawaiian singer dances with a returned U.S. soldier and debates the dignity of the American Dream. But when the dancing stops, this man will die.

FREE SCREENING

Known as the “Paradise of the Pacific,” Hawaii’s beauty masks a history of political strife and the gradual erosion of indigenous rights. These films explore and reframe the past and present—from the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy to the more recent developments in Hawaii. By reenacting history, these filmmakers give voice to the past even as Hawaiians continue to speak their truths against U.S. colonialism and imperialism.

DOWN ON THE SIDEWALK IN WAIKĪKĪ

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Shorts Program

2019 PAAFF

THIS FILM IS PART OF THE PACIFIC SHOWCASE PRESENTED BY

LAST TAXI DANCE

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Documentary Program

MOANANUIAKEA 11am-1:45pm | Institute of Contemporary Art 153 mins | Documentary | Hawaii | English Director: Nāʻālehu Anthony Witness the voyage that began as a dream but became a movement.

E A S T COA S T P R E M I E R E

In 1976, a voyaging canoe sparked a cultural revival that quickly spread throughout Polynesia, breathing life into ancient myths and legends. More than four decades later, Hōkūle‘a continues to inspire a new generation of navigators and voyagers to sail beyond the horizon of the Pacific. Moananuiākea: One Ocean. One People. One Canoe celebrates the historic worldwide voyage that connected countless individuals and communities from around the globe. This voyage also represented the fulfillment of the vision of Nainoa Thompson and his contemporaries, who were trained by the last master navigator during the Hawaiian Renaissance during the 1970s. Now the mantle is being passed to the next generation of kānaka maoli who will retain the skills of their ancestors and perpetuate this tradition into the future.

2019 PAAFF

This incredible film captures their global voyage and, in doing so, demonstrates the resurgence of a people and their culture.

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THIS FILM IS PART OF THE PACIFIC SHOWCASE PRESENTED BY


PACIFIC ISLANDERS IN COMMUNICATIONS IS A PROUD SPONSOR OF

PACIFIC SHOWCASE AT PHILADELPHIA ASIAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL

PICCOM.ORG

Pacific Islanders in Communications works for cross-cultural understanding, giving a voice to our unheard communities through support and development of Pacific Islander Storytelling through media.


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Documentary Program

FINDING THE VIRGO 2-3pm | Institute of Contemporary Art 56 mins | Documentary | USA | English Director: Barre Fong

E A S T COA S T P R E M I E R E

A timeless tale of war, desperation, survival, and heroism - a story needed now more than ever before In 1980, 62 Vietnamese refugees were rescued after 10 days at sea by the U.S.-based cargo ship LNG Virgo. Now settled in the United States, one family of survivors embarks on a decades-long search for the captain and crew of the ship that gave them new life. Filmmakers expected in attendance for post-film Q&A.

SCREENS WITH

2019 PAAFF

In Full Bloom Director: Meghan Houang | 11 mins | USA The surreal manifestation of a black hole within her home impels an agoraphobic widow to make a difficult choice.

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HAVE YOU EATEN YET? 3:20-4:30pm

Institute of Contemporary Art | 56

PAPAYA

mins

EVE’S DINNER

LUMPIA CAMPESINA Director: Robert Karimi | 8 mins | USA

YOLK Director: Renee Y. Liang | 3 mins | Canada

THE ICE CAKE MAN Director: Max Cho | 7 mins | USA

Every egg is born into the world carrying untold potential—each could hatch into something with a bright and promising future.

A man finds meaning in a childhood memory as he searches for the last words to say to his dying grandfather.

PAPAYA Director: Kayleb Lee | 11 mins | USA

EVE’S DINNER Director: Huanxi Li | 6 mins | USA

For centuries, continuous wars and conflicts ravaged Southeast Asia. Many lost their families, and those who survived lost their homes. This is the story of the children of that diaspora and what they had to build and rebuild.

After raising her only child and sending her abroad for further education, a mother eats Spring Festival dinner alone for the first time. A coming of age story about the sacrifices a mother makes for her daughter.

CHINESE BREAKFAST Director: Maria Isabel Burnes | 15 mins | Panama

SPAM 3 WAYS Director: Christopher Kim | 5 mins | USA

Discover the secret of how gastronomically delightful Chinese breakfast became a Panamanian tradition!

Spam is the reason Christopher Hwisu Kim doesn’t completely hate himself. As a Korean American kid, he fought against his Koreanness in every way—but he could never abandon the food. Spam 3 Ways is part cheeky recipe video, part personal essay. It’s an exploration of the fraught relationship Asian Americans have with their Asianness—through the lens of Spam. 2019 PAAFF

Famed culinary icon Chef Stache interviews the legendary IranianGuatemalan cook, Mero Cocinero, who traces his love for a special Filipino dish by taking us back to the San Francisco Bay Area of his teenage years.

FREE SCREENING

Have You Eaten Yet? Does longing have a flavor? Can sorrow ever taste sweet? Far from a mere necessity, food forms a universal language with the power to unite communities, mend relationships, and express emotions when words fail. We promise, these culturally diverse and visually rich shorts will leave you satisfied.

SPAM 3 WAYS

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Shorts Program

CHINESE BREAKFAST

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2019 PAAFF

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WHAT WE LEFT UNFINISHED

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Narrative Program

4:20-5:45 pm | Lightbox Film Center 71 mins | Documentary | Afghanistan, UK, USA | Persian with English Subtitles Director: Mariam Ghani

E A S T COA S T P R E M I E R E

What We Left Unfinished tells the incredible and mostly true story of five unfinished feature films from the Communist era in Afghanistan. At a time when films were considered weapons and their creators targets, this documentary highlights the extraordinary bravery and dedication of these filmmakers in honing their craft. The unstable regime led to creative breakthroughs where reality merged with fiction on screen. Archival fictions, present-day recollections, and two Afghanistans—imagined and real—coexist in a film that reminds us that nations are inventions. And films can reinvent them.

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Centerpiece Documentary

OUR TIME MACHINE

6-7:45pm | Lightbox Film Center 86 mins | Documentary | China | Mandarin with English Subtitles Director: S. Leo Chiang and Yang Sun

When influential Chinese artist Maleonn realizes that his father Ma Ke, an accomplished Peking Opera director, is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, he invites his father to collaborate on his most ambitious project to date: a haunting, magical, autobiographical stage performance featuring life-size mechanical puppets called “Papa’s Time Machine.” Through the creation of this play, the two men confront their mortality before time runs out and memories are lost forever. Three-time PAAFF alumni S. Leo Chiang expected in attendance for a post-film Q&A.

CENTERPIECE RECEPTION 8-9:00pm | Lightbox Film Center 2019 PAAFF 50


Caregiving.

Together, we’re stronger.

AARP recognizes family caregivers and all that you do for your loved ones. Being ready to care for a loved one takes time, planning, and support. With AARP’s variety of Caregiving resources, including the documentary Caregiving: The Circle of Love and the Prepare to Care planning guide, you don’t have to go through this alone. Visit aarp.org/aapi or call 1-888-788-2088 today.


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Live Performance

THEATER PERFORMANCE: PHILLY ASIAN HISTORIES BY PHILADELPHIA ASIAN PERFORMING ARTISTS 7-9pm | Asian Arts Initiative 90 mins | Dramedy Written & Directed: Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists (PAPA) presents an artist showcase featuring selected pieces from their August 2019 production, Philly Asian Histories. For this show a team of eight performing artists from varying creative backgrounds have devised and cultivated individual performances, with each featuring a different moment in our city’s Asian American history.

2019 PAAFF

About PAPA In a national landscape where our stories are often overlooked, Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists (PAPA) for the past 4 years has been galvanizing, growing, and promoting Philly’s Asian and Asian American performers through performance opportunities, national forums, residencies, and community events. Philly Asian Histories marks a momentous occasion as we explore multidisciplinary and devised performances for the very first time!

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CO-PRESENTED BY


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Shorts Program

EXPERIMENTAL VIDEO ART FESTIVAL 6-8:30pm 12Gates | 106 mins

The 3rd iteration of the 12G Contemporary Video Art Festival celebrates contemporary video art—that is, contemporary art using recorded moving images, created by artists from or about the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. This 3rd edition of the juried show will be co-presented by Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (PAAFF) during their 10 day festival. Subjects and themes for the exhibit include queer, controversial, poetic, abstract, political, philosophical, uncensored—anything that stretches beyond conventional. This year’s line-up includes twelve original experimental works selected from nineteen hundred submissions after detailed deliberations from our judges on the merits of art, filmmaking, experimentation, representation, opportunities, and aesthetics. 12GatesArts is forever grateful to the 12Gates team, judges, and PAAFF and to all the artists and filmmakers who submitted their work. Artist Sharlene Bamboat expected in attendance at the November 12 presentation.

THE REMAINS

THE REMAINS Director: Nawa Nidhi Dahal | 17 mins | Nepal A stream of consciousness progression of an elderly man’s hallucinatory experience. SHIRIN AND FARHAD Director: Rahim Karimzadeh | 10 mins | Iran

VIDEO HOME SYSTEM

despite the fact that she has to navigate difficult geographical terrains and occasionally crossfire to go to school. VIDEO HOME SYSTEM Director: Sharlene Bamboat | 19 mins | Canada

This animated short is based on the old Persian myths of Shirin and Farhad and takes a critical look at the impact of the media on humans and native cultures.

Tracing the convergence of popular culture and politics in Pakistan during the 1980s-90s, this video showcases the connections between pop culture and nationalism and how bootleg economies kept the cinema industry alive during periods of censorship.

THE STITCH Director: Asiya Zahoor | 8 mins | India

SLURP Director: Ankita Panda | 3 mins | USA

Set near the LOC towards the extreme north of Kashmir, “The Stitch” takes us into the life of a nine-year-old girl who finds respite in drawing

“Slurp” is an observation of sexual harassment and objectification through the male gaze.

SHIRIN AND FARHAD

THE STITCH


YOUR BODY MUST BE HEARD

YOUR BODY MUST BE HEARD Director: Bora Yediel | 10 mins | Germany

In a dystopian universe where red and apples are forbidden, Pigeon violates these prohibitions and searches for the reason why they are contraband.

This project is a manifestation that hails through the thresholds of the lands of desires. It sees “homelands” and “identities” merely as sets of repeated acts, being incised on the body through each experience, wiped out as such through each.

STAGE OF HISTORY Director: Sahand Sarhaddi | 6 mins | Iran An experimental take on the relationship between performance, history, and the Iranian Revolution of 1979. TWO WINTERS BEFORE Director: Malas Twins | 15 mins | Syria During wartime, everything vanishes—people, streets, stones, friends, cafes, trees, and hope. Nothing can be completed, even making this film.

EVERYTHING IS UNDER CONTROL Director: Reza Masoud | 4 mins | Iran/Turkey An artist talks to himself to make sense of his personal situation. He tries to frame his identity and take control of his life. But is it even possible to take control of his life and shape his identity, or is it shaped from the outside?

ROMANTIC SCENE Director: Arshia Fatima Haq | 7 mins | USA A short film examining the tropes of gendered violence in commercial Bollywood films from the 70s and 80s to which the filmmaker was exposed during their childhood and adolescence. ONE MINUTE LOVE Director: Negin Aminzadeh | 1 min | Iran In memory of Abbas Kiarostami.

The program will have an encore screening on Sunday, November 17 from 2-4PM.

FREE SCREENING

THE RED Director: Elif Şimşek | 8 mins | Turkey

ONE MINUTE LOVE

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SLURP

Curated by 12G. 12G Film Jury: Mehrin Masud-Elias Shehrezad Maher Sonali Gulati 2019 PAAFF

Dev Benegal Anjli Patel STAGE OF HISTORY

EVERYTHING IS UNDER CONTROL

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Shorts Program

THAI LIFE INSURANCE 5-6:15pm Fleisher Art Memorial | 30 mins

FREE SCREENING

The Thai Life Insurance ads have been described as “consistently, tear-jerkingly brilliant” by advertising insiders. This year we’ve taken a fresh approach to film appreciation by programming a selection of Thai Life Insurance ads into our festival. Originally crafted to embody the company’s core value, “value of life,” these ads can be viewed as short films in and of themselves. Spanning from the early 2000s to today, and offering glimpses into the lives of everyday people, these ads also comprise an impressive body of work by advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather Bangkok. The program will include: “Unsung Hero,” “Melody of Life,” “Everlasting Love,” “Silence of Love,” “My Son, Marry Me,” “Peace of Mind,” “Forget Me Not,” and “#TreasureEveryOpportunity.”

Shorts Program

VISUAL DOCUMENTARIES PROJECT BY KYOTO UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR SOUTHEAST ASIAN STUDIES 6:30-8:15pm Fleisher Art Memorial | 100 mins

In 2012, the Visual Documentary Project was set up to offer a platform where young Southeast Asian filmmakers could share their realities through documentaries and act as a bridge between the filmmaking and academic communities. Each year the project receives documentaries on a specific theme offering filmmakers to present their visions to broader global audiences. Whether it is popular music, art, literature, theater, comedy, dance, sports or film, the region is both a huge producer and consumer of shared forms of culture. The selection of documentaries in this program include the consumption of cosplay (Thailand, Vietnam), martial arts (Indonesia), theatre (Cambodia), and the transmission of and evolution of rap music (Thailand). VDP is organized as a project of Kyoto University’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS). Director of Kyoto University North American Center Nathan Badenoch is expected in attendance to lead a post-film discussion and Q&A. THE CAMBODIAN THEATER Director: Sopheake Moeurn | 7 mins | Cambodia Currently in Cambodia, Khmer Theater is in decline as fewer people watch it and don’t know about its existence. “The Cambodian Theatre” introduces the passion of a few artists involved in keeping alive and protecting the tradition of theater. It offers a sensitive portrayal of people who hold down regular jobs during the day but get together and prepare stage plays during seasonal tours.

2019 PAAFF

UNSUNG HERO

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THE FIGHTER Director: Marjito Iskandar Tri Gunawan | 26 mins | Indonesia

COSPLAYER Director: Yingsiwat Yamolyong | 27 mins | Thailand This documentary delves into the little-known world of soldier cosplay subculture in Thailand. Presenting an intimate story of soldier cosplayers in Thai society, “Cosplayer” follows Jum, a twenty-something passionate soldier cosplayer, and explains how the subculture became central to his life. “Cosplayer” provides a window into how manga, video games, and movies are consumed in contemporary Thai society.

RAPTHAI

RAPTHAI Director: Sakunee Jirakan, Witchayoot Ponpraserd, Sarun Kositsukjaroen | 25 mins | Thailand “Rapthai” introduces how “rap” culture has taken root in and influenced contemporary Thai society. Focusing on the synergy between Thai culture and “rap” music tradition, this documentary homes in on the stories of 12 Thai rappers and presents a unique look at the different styles they express through their life experiences.

RITO RITO Director: Nguyen Ngoc Thao Ly | 15 mins | Vietnam A 15-year-old girl Rito (nickname) is bullied at school, becomes depressed, and leaves at grade 7. This documentary traces how Rito came to cosplay as a way of escaping from reality, becoming another person, and transforming into virtual characters. “Rito Rito” presents a sensitive depiction of social transformation and the influence of cosplay in urban Vietnamese society.

RITO RITO

2019 PAAFF

THE CAMBODIAN THEATER

FREE SCREENING

“The Fighter” introduces Pencak Dor martial arts fighting and the story of Pati, who aims to compete in the ring. Yudi, an experienced fighter, trains Pati and other Silat students. The “free ring” format of Pencak Dor contests have become a magnet for fighters wanting to test their strength and demonstrate their skills in combat. With no winners or losers, no insurance, and only special prayers for safety, “The Fighter” focuses on the role and development of Pencak Silat in the fighters’ everyday lives.

COSPLAYER

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Documentary Program

TEN YEARS THAILAND 8:20-10pm | Fleisher Art Memorial 95 mins | Drama | Thailand | Thai with English Subtitles Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Aditya Assarat, Wisit Sasanatieng, and Chulayarnon Siriphol Ten Years Thailand is an anthology film that invites four directors to imagine their country a decade from now. Together they issue a warning about the current political situation in Thailand. Since 2014, the country has been ruled by a military dictatorship that has curbed dissent, public expression, creativity, and diversity of thought. If this is allowed to continue, what will the decade ahead look like? This project follows in the footsteps of the awarding winning Hong Kong film, Ten Years, that was banned in China in 2015. The producers of the original film wanted to expand the concept to other Asian countries with the purpose of addressing our collective future through the cinematic medium.


CREATIVE SUMMERS BEGIN AT FLEISHER

From 3D photo sculptures to superhero design, summer at Fleisher Art Memorial means different creative experiences each week for young artists ages 5 to 18. Join us in the morning, afternoon, or bring your lunch and stay all day.

SUMMER PROGRAM REGISTRATION OPENS IN FEBRUARY. REGISTER EARLY AND SAVE! Parents welcome, too! Our classes and workshops, offered all year, are a great place to hone your artistic talents or learn a new medium. See fleisher.org for registration information. Fleisher Art Memorial 719 Catharine Street 215-922-3456 | fleisher.org


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Documentary Program

EATING UP EASTER 5:30-6:45pm | Fleisher Art Memorial 75 mins | Documentary | Easter Island, Chile, USA | English, Rapa Nui, Spanish Director: Sergio M. Rapu

In a cinematic letter to his son, native Rapanui (Easter Island) filmmaker Sergio Mata’u Rapu explores the modern dilemma of their people, descendants of the ancient statue builders, who risk losing everything to the globalizing effects of tourism. The film follows four islanders who are working to tackle the consequences of their rapidly developing home. Mama Piru leads recycling efforts to reduce trash, Mahani and Enrique use music to reunite their divided community, and Sergio tries to understand the motivations of his father, who embraces the advantages of building new businesses. These stories intertwine to reveal the complexities of development and the contradictions within us all as we are faced with hard choices about our planet’s future.

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EMPTY BY DESIGN 7-8:15pm | Fleisher Art Memorial

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Narrative Program

86 mins | Drama | USA, Philippines | English, Tagalog Director: Andrea A. Walter Empty by Design explores struggle of identity that results from living and growing up in multiple places and different cultures. Samantha, a recent university graduate, moves back home to Manila after her parents have passed away while Eric, a Hollywood stuntman and body double, comes back to shoot a new film. Since moving back home, Samantha can’t seem to connect with her friends or family, and has difficulty expressing her frustration and feelings to her sister. Similarly, Eric struggles to bond with his estranged grandmother, culture, and aspects surrounding his job. On a night out, Eric has a brief encounter with Samantha. When the two meet again, they discover a lost high school friendship and a newfound meaning of what it means to be “home.”

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Live Performance

PAPA MINI-RESIDENCY SHOWCASE: ANNIELILLE GAVINO 8:30pm | Fleisher Art Memorial Filipinx dance artist Annielille Gavino will present a mixed media film and dance performance as part of the PAPA Mini-Residency Showcase. The performance will consist of two pieces and a post-performance talkback.

L I V E P E R FO R M A N C E

Ala drunk history of the Philippines Ala drunk history of the Philippines is the reenactment of the battle of Mactan, Philippines. The video reclaims the story that Ferdinand Magellan circumnavigated the globe. Inspired by Comedy Central’s Drunk History, this video tells the rarely told story that Magellan was killed by an indigenous leader, Lapu Lapu, and that the islands lived in prosperity prior to the coming of colonizers. De(scribing) Maharlikha De(scribing) Maharlikha is an interdisciplinary performance using film and dance to depict pre-colonial Philippines. The performance begins with a film of a mother telling her child about her ancestors. The mother then brings the goddess in her to life, showcasing precolonial animistic practices.

2019 PAAFF

Followed by a brief reception hosted by Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists.

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CO-PRESENTED BY


Proud Supporter of

PAAFF 2019 For 130 years, the professionals at Bryn Mawr Trust have proudly supported the communities in which we live and work. This commitment to community and family is what defines our company, and what has made us an invaluable partner to generations that have been banking with us since 1889.

Albizia Group proudly supports PAAFF - congratulations to your 12th annual festival! www.albiziagroup.com


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Shorts Program

BURDENS WE SHARE 4:30-5:45pm Asian Arts Initiative | 71 mins

FREE SCREENING

Whether focused on the bond between a mother and her child or the desperate urge to make memories while there is time, these six shorts remind us of the ties that bind us to those who matter most— something we desperately need at a time when our communities can feel more fragmented than ever

DUE Director: Anna Mikami | 18 mins | USA After assaulting a police officer to save his undocumented friend, a man chooses to live his last night of freedom in pursuit of the American Dream with his pregnant girlfriend.

THE PIT WHERE YOU WERE BORN

MY DAUGHTER YOSHIKO Director: Brian Blum | 15 mins | France With her daughter Yoshiko diagnosed with autism and her husband serving in the military overseas, Saki Omura is finding it harder and harder to cope. Too ashamed to burden others and too proud to ask for help, Saki faces the daunting task of giving her daughter the best life possible. HOW YOU ABANDONED YOUR CAT Director: Daniel Lee | 15 mins | UAE, Korea “How You Abandoned Your Cat” is an experimental documentary memoir that delves deep into a fragmented family’s history. With an eclectic use of photos, cinema, music, and media, the film is a reflection of brotherhood, trauma, and loss.

TETHER

TETHER Director: Natalie A. Chao and Kenzo K. Le | 7 mins | USA “Tether” is a music video about what remains when our loved ones leave. Singer-songwriter Leo Xia wrote this song from his grandfather’s perspective after his grandmother’s recent passing ended a 50 year marriage. THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US Director: Jeffrey Wu | 4 mins | USA, China Accompanied by his father and equipped with filming gear, a grandson travels to his homeland in China to capture what would be his final moments with his grandmother. “The Distance Between Us” is a glimpse into the last memories of a family grappling with Alzheimer’s disease.

THE PIT WHERE YOU WERE BORN Director: Alexander Bocchieri | 12 mins | Hawaii

2019 PAAFF

A father and son reunite around the family ‘imu of their Wai’anae farm to reckon with addiction, control, and a past that continues to color their future. 64

HOW YOU ABANDONED YOUR CAT

THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US


DRAGONMASTERS: A CULTURAL ODYSSEY 6-7:40pm | Asian Arts Initiative

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Documentary Program

90 mins | Documentary | Canada, China, USA | Chinese, English Director: Susann Wentzlaff and Jörg Junge Dragonmasters: A Cultural Odyssey is the untold story of the Chinese dragon in America, from its roots in China to the triumph of the arts and culture over violence and hatred. When this symbol of good fortune and benevolence first arrived, it found communities in trouble and was soon employed by their handlers to battle prejudice, violence, and exclusion. Using a mix of documentary interviews, archival material, and vérité footage, and filmed in six locations in New York, California, Canada, and China, this 70-minute “authored-documentary” film is the story of the evolution and cultural impact of the Chinese dragon and its Masters in America.

SCREENS WITH

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Dear Friend Chinatown Director: Winter Tian Leng | 6 mins | USA A cinematic and poetic exploration of the space and time in Chinatown of Downtown Manhattan, Dear Friend Chinatown uses the form of a postcard to a foreign friend to depict the beauty of life here. 65


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Live Performance

HIP HOP SHOWCASE 8-10pm | Asian Arts Initiative Returning for the sixth consecutive year at PAAFF is our Asian American Hip Hop Showcase, featuring some of the up-and-coming musical talents in our community. Scott Jung aka CHOPS from the legendary Mountain Brothers will emcee the event and will be joined by longtime collaborator DJ Roli Rho.

L I V E P E R FO R M A N C E

AISHA FUKUSHIMA is Singer, Speaker, Educator, and ‘RAPtivist’ (rap activist). Fukushima founded RAPtivism (Rap Activism), a Hip Hop project spanning 20 countries and four continents, to amplify universal efforts for freedom and justice. She is a multilingual, multiracial, African American Japanese woman who has given lectures and performances around the globe. Fukushima’s ‘RAPtivism’ work has been featured on Oprah magazine, TEDx, KQED Public Television, The Seattle Times, TV 2M Morocco, The Bangalore Mirror, HYPE (South Africa’s #1 Hip Hop Magazine), and others.

MIYACHI

MIYACHI is a Japanese American, bilingual Artist/Producer who hails from NYC. He learned piano at a young age and worked professionally as a Studio & Live Engineer before launching his career as a rapper. Miyachi signed to Sony Music Japan and released his debut album Wakarimasen in July, 2019, which peaked at #1 on Japan’s Viral 50 chart. Miyachi has toured across Japan, France, and the USA and has been featured on Japanese National Television & Radio (Abema TV, Ryuha-R, Block FM, etc.). Miyachi has written songs for SoftBank & WWE Shinsuke Nakamura’s opening theme song.

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JASON CHU & LEO XIA OF NITEMRKT Leo and Jason are good bois from good families. They make wholesome rap music and represent their culture every step of the way. Their new project The Village EP, produced by CHOPS, released 9/26 on all streaming platforms. 66

AISHA FUKUSHIMA


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JASON CHU is a rapper raised in Delaware and based in Los Angeles. He has performed at hundreds of colleges and venues across the US and Asia and has been featured at the Chinese American Museum of Los Angeles and presented at Flushing Town Hall. Most recently Chu’s music has been featured in Warrior (Cinemax), the series based on the writings of Bruce Lee, and Wu-Assassins (Netflix). LEO XIA is a singer-songwriter and rapper raised in Beijing. His work has been featured on Cinemax, Netflix, and a national ad campaign for Panda Express. He has opened for Snoop Dogg, and his first full-length album 384 is now available on all streaming platforms.

DJ ROLI RHO

AFTER PARTY

L I V E P E R FO R M A N C E

DJ ROLI RHO is one of the founding members of the world renowned NYC turntablist crew 5th Platoon. In his early years, Roli climbed the ranks of the battle scene and became known as one of the fiercest beat jugglers of his time.

10-12pm | Triple Bottom Brewing

2019 PAAFF

Join PAAFF staff and festival guests for an evening of drinks at the newly opened Triple Bottom Brewing tasting room and brewery. Filipinx Chef Chance Anies of Tabachoy Philly Food Cart will be catering a special pop-up menu of their signature light-hearted, heavybellied Filipino cuisine. Entry is free, but attendees will pay for their own drinks and food. NITEMRKT

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Workshop Presentation

APPROPRIATION OR APPRECIATION? AAPIS, HIP-HOP, & AUTHENTICITY 11am-12pm | Asian Arts Initiative

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Featured as a member of NITEMRKT in the Asian American Hip Hop Showcase, artist Jason Chu will present this workshop on issues of appropriation and creation. Chu will draw on his experiences as a Chinese American Hip Hop artist as well as historical and contemporary examples to help attendees articulate their own ethics of cultural interface and exchange.


QUEER ASIAN VOICES: INTIMACY & ISOLATION 12:10-1:40pm

ROSEMARY

Asian Arts Initiative | 75 mins

HALWA Director: Gayatri Bajpai & Nirav Bhakta | 16:40 mins | USA/Canada On the eve of her wedding anniversary, empty-nester Sujata Chopra attempts to find some joy in her broken marriage, but instead she learns about the passing of her childhood companion’s spouse on Facebook. Although disconnected from the woman for over 30 years, Sujata finds the courage to reach out to send her condolences. They reconnect, sparking friction when Sujata’s controlling husband, Dr. Chopra, finds out.

7:00pm | Fleisher Art Memorial ROSEMARY Director: Navi Matulaian | 3:19 mins | Taiwan

Director: David Scala | 16:58 mins | USA Director: Nadine Truong | Writer: West Liang

“Rosemary” is an experimental short Cast: Brian Yang, Mui. romantic Emily Chang, “Engaged” is Eddie an LGBTQ+ comedy that documentary that reveals what lies beneath the Kara Crane, Lee,who Sara Sanderson, West followsRex Darren, keeps trying—and failing— glamor of a drag queen. The film explores the Liang to propose to his boyfriend Elliot. When their idea of drag and gender-bending through the relationship is put into an uncomfortable spotlight eyes of Rosemary—a persona who is not defined during a friend’s outrageous engagement by gender but by living her/his true self. Three party, friends reunite for a long LA night in this Darren realizes he actually might be selfbittersweet dramedy. Their nightclub sabotaging himself duefaltering to unresolved insecurities reunion soonhis becomes an all-nighter filled with about own sexuality. SAFE AMONG STARS revelations, recriminations and regrets. Director: Jess X. Snow | 9:31 mins | USA Opening Night Reception 9:30–11PM CARE FOR YOU A queer Chinese American woman struggles to Director: OHYUNG | 4:12 mins | USA tell her immigrant mother why she left school. As she dissociates, she develops the ability In an empty diner, two solitary lovers enter an to teleport and must learn how to control her ethereal world where intimacy runs free. powers UNSPOKEN Director: Patrick G. Lee | 17 mins | USA

BED & BREAKFAST Director: Anna Mikami | 7:23 mins | USA

Six queer and trans Asian Americans grapple with their queerness and consider what family acceptance might look like. 2019 PAAFF

“Bed and Breakfast” focuses on the coincidental intertwining of two couples in a serene B&B and the history between them that unravels … glance by glance, gesture by gesture.

79mins | Dramedy ENGAGED

FREE SCREENING

Whether it is the urge to touch or simply be in the same room as another, we all crave intimacy. But what happens if we are forced to express it in secret? These films and music videos emphasize how individuals can a way to reconnect—even in the most isolated settings.

ENGAGED

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Shorts Program

CARE FOR YOU

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Documentary Program

QUEER JAPAN 1:50-4:05pm | Asian Arts Initiative 100 mins | Documentary | Japan, USA | Japanese, English Director: Graham Kolbeins Trailblazing artists, activists, and everyday people from across the gender and sexuality spectrum defy social norms and dare to shine in this kaleidoscopic view of LGBTQ+ culture in contemporary Japan. From glossy pride parades to playfully perverse underground parties, Queer Japan pictures people living brazenly unconventional lives in the sunlight, the shadows, and everywhere in between. Iconoclastic drag queen Vivienne Sato peels back the layers of language and identity. Maverick manga artist Gengoroh Tagame tours the world with his unapologetically erotic gay comics. Councilwoman Aya Kamikawa recounts her rocky path to becoming the first transgender elected official in Japan. At legendary kink-positive hentai party Department H, non-binary performance artist Saeborg uses rubber to create a second skin. Culled from 100+ interviews conducted over 3 years in locations across Japan, Queer Japan features dozens of individuals sharing their experiences in their own words. Get to know a vibrant and inspiring group of human beings in a country with a unique history of queer expression.

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SCREENS WITH In This Family Director: Drama Del Rosario | 12 mins | Philippines Ten years after being outed by his teacher, a gay man revisits raw audio recordings of his Filipino family’s reactions. In This Family was the winner of the Loni Ding Award in Social Issue Documentary at CAAMFest 2019.


JERONIMO

4:15-6pm | Asian Arts Initiative

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Documentary Program

100 mins | Documentary | Canada, Cuba, Korea, USA | English, Korean, Spanish Director: Joseph Juhn Born in 1926 to Korean indentured-servant parents in Cuba, Jeronimo Lim Kim became the first Korean to enroll in university at the same school and in the same year as Fidel Castro. Jeronimo joined the Cuban Revolution and later became a Vice Minister in the Castro government, crossing paths with Fidel, Che Guevara, and Barbarroja, the notorious head of the Cuban intelligence agency. Having experienced poverty and discrimination as an ethnic minority, Jeronimo believed that communism would guarantee him the same rights and opportunity as other Cubans.

PARTNER SCREENING WITH

After being disillusioned with the unfulfilled aspirations of communism, and after visiting his divided homeland, Jeronimo become a changed man and dedicated his remaining years to reconnecting to his Korean roots and singlehandedly rebuild the Korean community in Cuba. 2019 PAAFF

Co-Producer William Juhn expected in attendance for a post-film Q&A. 71


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Documentary Program

SEADRIFT 2-3:45pm | Barnes Foundation 68 mins | Documentary | USA | English, Vietnamese Director: Tim Tsai

In 1979, a Vietnamese refugee shot and killed a white crab fisherman at the public town docks in Seadrift, TX. What began as a dispute over fishing territory erupted into violence and ignited a maelstrom of boat burnings, KKK intimidation, and other hostilities against Vietnamese refugees along the Gulf Coast. Set during the early days of Vietnameserefugee arrival in the U.S., Seadrift examines the shooting and its dramatic aftermath—reveals the consequences that reverberate today.

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FOR MY FATHER’S KINGDOM 4-6pm | Barnes Foundation

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Documentary Program

97 mins | Documentary | New Zealand | Tongan, English Director: Vea Mafile’o and Jeremiah Tauamiti

E A S T COA S T P R E M I E R E

Driven by his deep faith in God and traditional culture, a flat-broke Tongan pensioner must navigate not only the rough streets of South Auckland but also his tumultuous relationship with his New Zealand-born son. For My Father’s Kingdom follows Saia Mafile’o and his family as they are stretched to the breaking point by the commitment and passion to God that has driven Saia’s life. This debut feature documentary offers a rich view of how contemporary secular families deal with the rigors of devout Christian tithing as well as a unique insight into traditional Tongan culture.

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LUCKY GRANDMA 6-8pm | Barnes Foundation 87 min | Comedy | USA | Cantonese, English, Mandarin

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Narrative Program

Director: Directed by Sasie Sealy What if the Coen Brothers dropped a fearless ah-ma into a black comedy-tinged neo noir set in Chinatown? In the heart of Chinatown, New York, an ornery, chain-smoking, newly widowed 80-year-old Grandma (Tsai Chin) is eager to live life as an independent woman, despite the concerns of her family. When a local fortune teller (Wai Ching Ho) predicts a most auspicious day, Grandma decides to head to the casino and goes all in, only to land herself on the wrong side of luck. Having attracted the attention of local gangsters, Grandma employs the services of a bodyguard from a rival gang (Corey Ha) and soon finds herself in the middle of a Chinatown gang war.

2019 PAAFF

Director Sasie Sealy brings to life a dark comedy about immigrant life, the vulnerabilities of aging, and an unexpected friendship. Set in alleyways and underground mahjong parlors with a cast of richly drawn characters, Lucky Grandma is a love letter to Chinatown and an homage to all the headstrong elderly women who inhabit it. Filmmakers expected in attendance for Q&A. 75


Activated Peoples Nov. 16, 8–11 pm

Party with a purpose. $10 tickets at barnesfoundation.org/artistbash Part of the 12th annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival


ARTIST BASH 8-11pm | Barnes Foundation Since 2017, PAAFF has been a founding partner of the Barnes Foundation event series titled Artist Bash. This series is dedicated to showcasing performance artists of color within the museum space in an attempt to overcome the historical lack of representation in a predominantly white institution.

Be part of a living installation created by photographer Shawn Theodore, view a modern take on traditional Chinese dance by Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, hear stereotype-disrupting music by Lizzie Harp, listen to violin virtuoso Justus Rivera, and watch performance artist Sherman Fleming bring a personal story to life. Also included are a featured performance by multiracial Okinawan/Egyptian/Israeli musician Marina Murayama Nir titled imprint, ember, hearth and a closing dance party spun by legendary Queens-based DJ Roli Rho.

Tickets can be purchased on the Barnes website and includes access to the Barnes collection and the 30 Americans exhibition.

2019 PAAFF

This program is created in partnership with iHeartRADIO, OneHunted, and Small but Mighty Arts.

imprint, ember, hearth is an exploration of the Okinawan Kamiuta, ceremonious song that celebrates sacred spaces on the islands. The project will be manifested as a series of music and sound collages—assembled with samples of elders singing the songs, orchestral loops, and electronic manipulation devices, and a small video installation/altar set with visuals. The project is part of Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists Mini-Residency program.

L I V E P E R FO R M A N C E

Held three times a year, each event includes artists from a variety of communities working across myriad disciplines. This event will feature artists who perform as they create, activating their histories, identities, and passions and creating connections across communities.

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Live Performance

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Shorts Program

ME IN HOME: FAMILY FRIENDLY SHORTS 11am-12:30pm Asian Arts Initiative | 64 mins

FREE SCREENING

This family-friendly shorts showcase reflects on how identity is influenced by the evolving relationships with our parents and grandparents and what happens when our notion of home is displaced, remembered, and imagined.

Filmmakers expected to be in attendance for a post-film Q&A.

FLOAT

FLOAT Director & Writer: Bobby Alcid Rubio | Producer: Krissy Cababa | 7 mins | USA | English In Pixar’s SparkShort “Float,” the first Pixar film directed by a Filipinx American, a father discovers that his son is different from other kids in the most unusual way. To keep them both safe from judgement, Dad covers him and keeps him out of sight—but when his son’s ability becomes public, Dad must decide whether to run and hide or to accept his son as he is. KINOKO Director: Erika Gomi | 3 mins | USA A couple of mushrooms have a fun day out!

PUSH

PUSH Director: Trilina Mai | 4 mins | USA A grandfather and grandson’s journey through life. THE ALI‘I’S SEED Director: Jonathan Yudis | 9 mins | USA “The Ali’i’s Seed” is a Hawaiian retelling of an ancient folktale about how a chief selects his successor. JULY Director: Amy Chen | 1 mins | USA A visual diary of summer.

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KINOKO

JULY


HYPHEN

DUMPLING

HYPHEN Director: King Lu | 7 mins | USA

DUMPLING Director: Xiaolu Wang | 5 mins | USA

Ilyas and Ahmet are two close friends. Emir, a Syrian refugee joins the pair. Ilyas wants to make the tryouts for a local football team and saves money to buy new cleats. After seeing his father pay the debts of Emir’s family at the grocery store, Ilyas gives his new cleats as a gift to Emir so that his friend can join the tryouts.

Jeremy Li, a 23-year-old Chinese American, visits his grandparents in China for the first time on his own. Separated by language, culture, and generations, he feels an ocean apart from them despite being under the same roof.

The story takes place on Xiao Xing’s first day of high school after a move, when she feels othered and isolated in her public school cafeteria. She preserves her identity by eating dumplings brought from home.

DEVON Director: Eiko Fan | 7 mins | USA

VIOLIN TSUNAMI Director: Julia McCoy, Mike McCoy | 6 mins | USA

Devon is a young man who creates his paintings with gentle movements of his fingers. Eiko Fan is an art teacher who encourages students to create independently. She plays musical instruments to get Devon excited about painting. He vocalizes while he paints. In this moving short film, Devon shows the audience that art is fun. Devon’s mother says, ‘No matter how many times our family watches this film, we are crying and smiling at the same time.’

This animated, hand-painted watercolor video for Kishi Bashi’s “Violin Tsunami” is an artistic depiction of the importance of learning from the past to make a better future. The album Omoiyari is a reflection on the current political atmosphere in the U.S. seen through the lens of the Japanese American internment of WWII.

DREAM OF HOME Director: Joyce Kwon | 3 mins | USA The protagonist ponders what it might be like to return home, a place she has kept close to her heart, and has “future flashbacks” warning her of the dangers.

FREE SCREENING

KRAMPON (CLEATS) Director: Abdullah Sahin | 11 mins | Turkey

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KRAMPON

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DREAM OF HOME

DEVON

VIOLIN TSUNAMI

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Documentary Program

WHEN WE WALK 12:45-2:15pm | Asian Arts Initiative 78 mins | Documentary | USA | English Director: Jason DaSilva

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When filmmaking becomes an act of desperate love, survival, and confrontation with the abyss, the result is When We Walk. When We Walk chronicles the life of disability activist and filmmaker Jason DaSilva as he confronts the next chapter of his life. Picking up where his critically acclaimed documentary, When I Walk, left off, DaSilva finds himself faced with a multitude of challenges that will define the rest of his life. The personal struggles we witnessed in his first film are only getting more complex. After 15 years of multiple sclerosis, DaSilva finds himself paralyzed from the neck down. His 7-year-long relationship with his son Jase’s mother falls apart when she moves to Texas with Jase. Instead of folding to the circumstances, Jason straps his camera bag to his wheelchair and sets off for Texas. When We Walk chronicles the issues of America’s broken Medicaid system and exposes the plight that similarly handicapped people face in America.


HAPPY CLEANERS

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Narrative Program

2:30-4:20pm | Asian Arts Initiative 98 mins | Drama | USA | English, Korean Director: Julian Kim and Peter S. Lee When Kevin Choi wishes to move to L.A. to start a food truck business, he unwittingly sets off a chain of events that strain his relationship with his parents and sister. Kevin’s passionate and deep connection with Korean food is at odds with his parents’ desire for him to attend college. As tensions mount with their son and daughter rebelling against them, the elder Chois also have to contend with a failing dry cleaning business. Filmed in the heart of Flushing, New York, Happy Cleaners explores the struggling immigrant and Korean food cultures where food can act as both an intercontinental and an intergenerational bridge.

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Documentary Program

MAYOR ED LEE 4:35-5:50pm | Asian Arts Initiative 60 mins | Documentary | USA | English Director: Rick Quan

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From being born the fourth child of an immigrant family to the first Asian American mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee’s life and untimely death is told by the people whose lives he touched the most. Mayor Ed Lee, recounts the late mayor’s origins as a local community activist and his meteoric rise in city politics. His lighthearted but firm demeanor won him many supporters, while his reputation for “getting things done” bolstered his status among the political elite. Although his death signaled the end of an era, it also left a lasting legacy in which politicians can be held to a higher standard.


CHINATOWN RISING 6:15-8:15pm | Asian Arts Initiative 112 mins | Documentary | USA | English

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Closing Night • Documentary

Director: Harry Chuck and Josh Chuck

E A S T COA S T P R E M I E R E

Against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-1960s, a young San Francisco Chinatown resident armed with a 16mm camera and leftover film scraps from a local TV station, turned his lens onto his community. Totaling more than 20,000 feet of film (10 hours), Harry Chuck’s exquisite unreleased footage has captured a divided community’s struggles for self-determination. Chinatown Rising is a documentary film about the Asian-American Movement from the perspective of the young residents on the front lines of their historic neighborhood in transition. Through publicly challenging the conservative views of their elders, their demonstrations and protests of the 1960s-1980s rattled the once quiet streets during the community’s shift in power. Forty-five years later, in intimate interviews these activists recall their roles and experiences in response to the need for social change. Co-director Josh Chuck expected in attendance.

2019 PAAFF

CLOSING RECEPTION 8:30-11:00pm | Asian Arts Initiative

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NARRATIVE FEATURE JURY

DOC FEATURE JURY

SHORT FILM JURY

SUSAN JIN DAVIS Senior VP of Product and Operational Compliance, Finance at Comcast Cable and a big supporter of Asian American film.

ALLEN CHOU President of Sales and Acquisitions at Passion River Films, a NYC based company that distributes documentaries and arthouse films for the US home video and international sales market since 1998.

PATRICK CHEN Patrick Chen is a filmmaker from Queens, New York. His work has been shown at Museum of Chinese in American, Comcast Xfinity, and film festivals including CAAMfest, LAAPFF, PAAFF and 5 straight years with QWFF. In 2018 he was a candidate for the A3 Foundation Sundance Writers Lab.

MELANIE FORCHETTI Casting Director at Mike Lemon Casting, Melanie began her career at Lightstone Productions producing music videos then started her own production company and produced feature films including Prey for Rock ‘n Roll, ‘Til Proven Innocent, and Screw Cupid, as well as documentaries, and promotionals.

2019 PAAFF

MICHAEL WINGATE JONES Managing Director and founding member of PAAFF since 2008. Michael is an independent filmmaker and locally based actor performing principal roles in corporate projects, as well as a co-star role on Netflix’s “House of Cards.” 84

PHILIP LAM Independent film producer (Undoing, Santa Mesa) based in the New York City metropolitan area. JOE KIM PAAFF founder and Festival Director for five years, Joe started PAAFF in 2008 with a great team and the intention to highlight distinctive stories by and about Asian Americans. He is currently developing various projects.

MAORI HOLMES Originally from Los Angeles, Maori Holmes is a producer, curator, and the Founding Artistic Director of the BlackStar Film Festival (blackstarfest.org). Maori received her MFA in Film & Media Arts from Temple University and has screened her own film work internationally. MARÁNGELI MEJÍA RABELL Puerto Rico-born Director of PHL Latino Film Festival, Marángeli also also curates/ produces arts & culture programs and special events as a co-founder of AfroTaino Productions.


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Loraine Ballard Morrill

Philip Lam

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Pacific Islanders in Communications

Susan Jin Davis

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PA Dept of Drug & Alcohol Programs

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Leanne Ferrer

Asian Arts Initiative

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Thom Cardwell

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Our Elders

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Allen Chou

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Our Unborn Children

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2019 PAAFF 86


L I G H T B OX F I L M C E N T E R I S P R O U D T O H O S T PA A F F. NOW THROUGH DECEMBER 7, 2019

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FROM SCI-FI TO AVANT-GARDE, DISCOVER THE UNSUNG LEGACY OF MULTIMEDIA ARTIST ED EMSHWILLER

Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery

Dream Dance: The Art of Ed Emshwiller has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

L I G H T B O X F I L M C E N T E R . O R G / D R E A M D A N C E


Here’s to the Asian American filmmakers all year round. Xfinity X1 also makes it easy to discover more Asian American entertainment, every day of the year. Enjoy a dedicated collection of TV shows, films, and more of what you love at the Asian American Film and TV destination by just saying “Asian American” into your X1 Voice Remote. Learn more at xfinity.com/AsianAmerican

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Profile for Philadelphia Asian American Film & Filmmakers

PAAFF'19 Program Guide  

Full details for the 12th annual festival program taking place November 7-17, 2019

PAAFF'19 Program Guide  

Full details for the 12th annual festival program taking place November 7-17, 2019

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