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Pennsylvania 2016 PAAFF 2





It is my pleasure to welcome everyone to the 9th Annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (PAAFF).

It is my great pleasure to welcome all to the 9th Annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (PAAFF).

The PAAFF occupies a unique place in the Philadelphia community by presenting Asian American cultural films and Pennsylvania thrives on its vibrant cultural creating a space for filmmakers, directors, and actors to heritage. The commonwealth’s diverse ethnic present innovative work and engage with audiences. Founded and social communities can connect through in 2008, the PAAFF has built a reputation as a Philadelphia the shared experiences and cross cultural film festival to showcase culturally relevant films about Asian understanding th of the universal language of come everyone to the 8 Annual Philadelphia Asian Americans and promote the diversity amongst Asian American cultures and film. Since its inception in 2008, the PAAFF has remained dedicated experiences. to showcasing and nurturing creative Asian American filmmakers GREETINGS: and actors. film, shared connections can be made amongst our Throughout the film screening and events, diverse audiences of Philadelphia It is my pleasure to welcome everyone to the 8th Annual Philadelphia Asian d social communities. its inception in 2008, PAAFF are invited to participate in film discussions with filmmakers and actors, and This year’sSince PAAFF event provides an opportunity for Pennsylvanians American Film Festival (PAAFF). kers and actors the opportunity to share their creations attend receptions, events and parties. PAAFF is the recipient of the 2010 Share to celebrate the richness and diversity of Asian American cultures. I GREETINGS: ti-cultural audience. With the support of PAAFF, Asian the Heritage Award presented by the Philadelphia Multicultural Affairs Congress extend my sincere gratitude andAsian itsAmerican supporters, It isto my the pleasureorganization to join with the Philadelphia Film Festival Through the n integral role emerging (PAAFF) tofilm welcomeindustry. everyonemedium here forof the 2014 festival.shared connections can be made amongst our and the 2012 International Vision Award presented by International House of andinit Philadelphia’s is my hope that this festival will gathered continue tofilm, grow and reach a commonwealth’s diverse ethnic and social communities. he organization and its supporters, and it is my hope Pennsylvania thrives onthat its vibrant cultural heritage and Asian Americans represent Since its inception in 2008, PAAFF Philadelphia. diverse audience for years to come. a vital component to our Commonwealth’s diverse ethnic and social community. Since its given Asian American filmmakers and actors the opportunity to share their creations and reach a diverse audience forhas years to come. inception in 2008, the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival has remained dedicated to educating others about Asian American culture through film production. This year’s and talents with a broad and multi-cultural audience. With the support ofofPAAFF, Asian PAAFF provides ancitizens opportunity forof Pennsylvanians to celebrate the Asian American On behalf the City of Philadelphia, I applaud PAAFF Festival Director Rob As Governor, and on behalf of all the Commonwealth community and highlight the contributions they have to our society. extend my will to play an made integral roleI to infestival Philadelphia’s emerging f of all citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I everyone sincere gratitude the organization and its supporters, andgathered it is my hope that this Buscher andfilm the industry. dedicated PAAFF staff for bringing education, enlightenment and of Pennsylvania, I Americans am pleased totocontinue welcome will continue to grow and reach a diverse audience for years to come. extend my sincere to Film the organization and its supporters, and it is myfor hope that ne gathered to support the IPhiladelphia 2015 Philadelphia Asian entertainment Philadelphia’s diverse audiences. I wish you continued success in support the 2016 Asiangratitude American Festival. Please As will Governor, and on behalf all Pennsylvanians, I am pleased to welcome this festival continue toofgrow and reach a diverse audience for years to come. accept my best wishes anwishes enjoyable memorable accept my for best for and an enjoyable and memorable event. offering this artistic series of films and events and the celebration and exposure to COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

everyone gathered at the 2014 Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. Please accept my best wishes for an enjoyable and memorable event.

2016 PAAFF

TOM WOLF Governor 2015

Asian American filmmakers for Philadelphia’s filmgoers. As Governor, and on behalf of all citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I am honored to welcome everyone gathered to support theSincerely, 2015 Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. Please accept my best wishes for an enjoyable and memorable TOM CORBETT Governor event. 2014 Jim Kenney Mayor

TOM WOLF Governor


Contents Staff Credits / 06

PAAFF Academic Conference / 34-41

PAAFF’16 Sponsors / 07

Indonesian Night at Reading Terminal Market

Welcome Letter From The Festival Director / 08

Community Series at Fleisher Art Memorial / 44-47

Special Showcases / 09

Comedy Shorts / 49

Festival Schedule

Painted Nails / 50

/ 10–11

Opening Night: The Tiger Hunter / 13

Good Luck Soup / 52

Governor’s Commission Public Hearing / 14

I Bear Witness: Special Gallery Exhibit / 53

Between Borders Shorts / 16

Atousa’s Laughter / 55

Tested / 17

Forever Chinatown / 56

Atlan / 18

Chef Chigumi Obayashi: Japanese Cooking Demo

Singers in the Band / 19

100年ごはん A Dialogue: Living Harmony / 59

Gehenna: Where Death Lives / 20

Mixed Match / 60

Sci-Fi Horror Action Genre Shorts / 21

Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story / 61

It Runs in the Family + LGBTQ Shorts / 22

The Last Tour

Forgive Don’t Forget

Dying to Kill / 63

/ 23

Dear Thalia / 25 Bad Rap + Hip Hop Concert

/ 62

Youth Media Workshop / 64

Daze of Justice / 26

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/ 42-43

PAAFF EATS Food Shorts / 28-29

/ 65

The Last Smile / 66

Random Acts of Legacy / 30

Be About It / 67

Sherpa Stew / 31

Closing Night: Mele Murals / 69

Under Construction / 32

Film Juries / 70

Centerpiece: Tyrus / 33

Thank Yous / 72-73

/ 58

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PAAFF’16 STAFF Rob Buscher Festival Director/Programmer Program Layout

Quynh-Mai Nguyen Marketing Director/ Website Developer

Michael Wingate Jones Managing Director

Jacqui Sadashige Festival Staff

Brad Baldia Corporate Relations/ Community Affairs Director

Alison Malehorn Festival Staff

Phuong Nguyen Development Director Suan Tan Volunteer Director REEMA KANZARIA Guest Services Director Ben Silverio Social Media Director Mike Donnelly Events Coordinator 2016 PAAFF

Eric hung Festival Staff 6

Thanh Lam Festival Staff Xinyi yang Festival Staff Wanling hung Festival Staff Belinda chu Festival Staff David chan Festival Staff Khanhmy vuong Festival Staff

leo fox Festival Staff Keith mui Festival Staff catherine shaw Communications Consultant Kelsey Kauffman PAAFF’16 Concept Design Christine Acurantes Festival Intern Scott chops jung Guest Curator Maestro Filmworks Festival Trailer James J. Newhard, CPA Accounting Services Ballard Spahr LLP Legal Counsel

youth media facilitators Jessica Arce Ariel Taylor PR Consultants Maori Holmes Nehad Khader Film Review Committee Rob Buscher Mike Donnelly Eric Hung Reema Kanzaria Thanh Lam Jacqui Sadashige Suan Tan PAAFF conference Committee Rob Buscher Will Gardner Eric Hung Fariha Khan Michelle Myers Jacqui Sadashige

Sponsors Presenting Sponsor

Prime Sponsors

Partner Sponsors

Foundation Support

Showcase Sponsors

Presenting Venues

Media Partners

Greater Phila Asian Studies Consortium

Supporting Sponsors

Community Partners

2016 PAAFF 7

letter from the Festival Director Greetings friends, it is with great excitement that I welcome you to the 9th annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival! In this guide you will find details about all the Features, Shorts Programs, Food Events, Musical Performances, Panels, Workshops, and a host of other peripheral programming at this year’s festival. 2016 has been a year of both great challenges and tremendous strides for the AAPI community in film & television. We saw a second successful season of Fresh Off the Boat, the first tv show in twenty years to feature an all AAPI lead cast, with the third season currently airing on ABC. Talented actors such as Randall Park, Constance Wu, Steven Yeun, Kal Penn, Mindy Kaling, John Cho, Priyanka Chopra, Danny Pudi, Daniel Dae Kim, and Ken Jeong have all become household names and a whole slew of new AAPI actors have achieved series regular status in the Fall 2016 premiere line up. Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang even won an Emmy for their breakout Netflix comedy series Master of None.

2016 PAAFF

That said, 2016 began with one of the least diverse Academy Award shows in recent history, sparking the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. Only 1 in 20 speaking roles and just over 1% of lead roles go to AAPIs in major Hollywood productions. To make matters worse, the extremely virulent anti-immigrant rhetoric in this year’s presidential campaign has brought a resurgence of blatant racism from the fringes of society into the limelight. Look at the recent controversy surrounding the bigotry-laden segment that Jesse Watters filmed for The O’Reilly Factor on election opinions in NY Chinatown. 8

Referring to it as “harmless fun”, Watters’ segment reinforces the perpetual foreigner myth, disrespects our elders, and homogenizes Asian culture. The fact that it could be aired on primetime television shows just how much work there is left to be done. This election has shown us that the racial divides in our country still run deep, and as this presidential campaign comes to an end, it is more important now than ever before for artists and creatives from our communities to have safe spaces to share their work and be recognized for their achievements. There are far too many exciting programs for me to highlight in this short letter, but check out a few of our new additions such as the two-day academic conference at Community College of Philadelphia, two-days of live theater performances at Fleisher Art Memorial, Indonesian Night and cooking demo by Japanese Chef Chigumi Obayashi at Reading Terminal Market, and the “I Bear Witness” gallery exhibit at Asian Arts Initiative. PAAFF’16 also includes two special showcases, which you can read about on the next page. I also encourage all of you to attend our Opening Night Celebration with special guest DJ Rekha and Closing Night Reception with Hawaiian graffiti artist Prime featuring catering by Poi Dog Hawaiian food truck. PAAFF’16 would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of our volunteer staff, community partners, venue partners, and sponsors. Thank you all for attending, and I look forward to welcoming you to our festival. Rob Buscher Festival Director

special showcases


PRESENTED BY PACIFIC ISLANDERS IN COMMUNICATIONS Although numbering few in the Philadelphia region, Pacific Islanders are an important part of the AAPI social, political, cultural, and artistic coalition this festival embodies. 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. Presented by our partners at Pacific Islanders in Communications for the second year in a row, this four-film showcase shows a wide variety of cultural diversity and onscreen perspectives through a distinctly Pacific lens.

NEW DIRECTIONS IN IRANIAN CINEMA Beginning with the 1979 hostage crisis, exacerbated by US intervention during the Iran-Iraq War, and canonized by President Bush’s “Axis of Evil” speech few countries have been as feared or misunderstood by the American public as Iran. As diplomatic relations begin to normalize between our two countries a great wealth of artists, musicians, and filmmakers have begun to surface. Synthesizing elements of the French New Wave with existential nihilism inherent to the current generation of Iranian artists and intellectuals, the works shown in this program represent an exciting new direction in Iranian Cinema. This four-film showcase demonstrates a variety of perspectives and identities that dispel the common stereotypes associated with Iran, and in a broader context, Muslim majority countries in the Middle East.

2016 PAAFF

Funded in part by Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Project Stream Grant.


Program Schedule THURSDAY, NOV. 10



7:05-9:05pm | I-House

GEHENNA: WHERE DEATH LIVES 9:20–11:10pm | I-House

Sci Fi Horror Genre Shorts 11:30pm–12:45am | I-House

RANDOM ACTS OF LEGACY 12–1:40pm | I-House

SHERPA STEW 2–4pm | I-House

UNDER CONSTRUCTION SATURDAY, NOV. 12 opening night: The tiger hunter


7­­–9pm | I-House | $10/$8 includes reception 9:30-11pm Opening Reception

11:30am-1:10pm | I-House


1:30–3:10pm | I-House






7:35-9pm | I-House

3:40–5:10pm | I-House

9-10:30pm Hip Hop Showcase

2016 PAAFF

ATLAN 5:30–6:45pm | I-House 10

5:40–7:15pm | I-House

4:20–6:20pm | I-House

centerpiece FILM: TYRUS 6:40-8:10pm | I-House


ACADEMIC CONFERENCE DAY 2 Tuesday, Nov. 15 | 10am–4pm | CCP

Indonesia night at the market Tuesday, Nov. 15 | 6:30–9pm | RTM

LOSS & LONGING + THEATER ACT Wednesday, Nov. 16 | 5–9pm | FAM

MUSICAL SHORTS + THEATER ACT Thursday, Nov. 17 | 5–9pm | FAM




youth media SHORTS

5–6pm | AAI

11am–12pm | AAI



6:15–7:25pm | AAI

GOOD LUCK SOUP 7:40–9:15pm | AAI

ATOUSA’S LAUGHTER 9:30–10:50pm | AAI


MIXED MATCH 12:15–2:15pm | AAI

A Dialogue: living harmony 2:30–4:15pm | AAI



The last smile 2:45–4:30pm | AAI

Be about it 4:45-6:15pm | AAI

closing night: Mele murals 6:30-8pm | AAI | $10/$8 includes reception 8:15-11pm Closing Reception

All Access Festival Badge $100 General Admission $80 Students & Seniors Festival Venues I-House (International House) 3701 Chestnut Street, West Philly AAI (Asian Arts Initiative) 1219 Vine Street, Chinatown UPenn (University of Pennsylvania) Arch Building 3601 Locust Walk, Room 108 CCP (Community College of Philadelphia) Winnet Student Life Bldg, Coffeehouse room 17th St between Spring Garden and Callowhill RTM (Reading Terminal Market) 12th and Arch Streets, Center City FAM (Fleisher Art Memorial) 719 Catherine Street, South Philly three ways to order tickets 1/ 2/ 215.387.5125 (IHP Screening Only) 3/ International House box office Tuesday–Saturday, 1–8pm

2016 PAAFF

6:15–8:15pm | AAI

12:15–2:30pm | AAI

Ticket Information Opening & Closing Night (includes Reception) $10 General / $8 Students & Seniors For all other ticketed programs: $8 General Admission $6 Students & Seniors (Requires ID)

Receptions take place at same venue as movie. 11

Jefferson is a proud sponsor of the

Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival 2016 PAAFF


Opening Night Film

Thursday, Nov. 10 | 7–9pm | I-House 93 mins | Comedy, Drama | USA Writer/Director: Lena Khan Cast: Danny Pudi, Rizwan Manji, Jon Heder Danny Pudi (NBC’s Community) stars as Sami Malik, a young Indian man who immigrates to 1970s Chicago to become an engineer at a top firm. When his job falls through, he resorts to an elaborate charade with a band of misfit friends to convince his would-be father-in-law that he has made it big in America, woo the woman of his dreams, and live up to the legacy of his father - a legendary tiger hunter.

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the tiger hunter

Powerfully told through Pudi’s breakout leading man performance, The Tiger Hunter is a funny yet poignant reflection on the experiences of many first generation South Asian immigrants in the United States,

2016 PAAFF

Director Lena Khan and lead actor Danny Pudi are expected to attend for post-film Q&A. Film will be followed by the PAAFF’16 Opening Night Reception featuring Bhangra dance music spun by prolific NY-based DJ Rekha, a selection of Indian food, and complimentary wine and beer. Free to all ticket and badge holders. 13

Public Hearing


governor wolf’s advisory commission on apa affairs Friday, Nov. 11 | 11:30am–1:30pm | UPenn

Meet the commissioners who represent the AAPI community on Governor Wolf’s Advisory Commission at the first ever public hearing and community listening session. To learn more about the Commission please visit our website:

Moderated by Commission Executive Director Tiffany Chang Lawson

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Join us for an interactive conversation with the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs. GACAPAA is responsible for serving as the advocate agency in the Commonwealth for our diverse AAPI communities. The Commission wants to hear about the challenges facing the AAPI communities in Greater Philadelphia and how we can leverage our strengths to effectively advocate for, promote resources to, and best serve our AAPI communities. Space is limited and your participation is critical. Please plan to attend. About the Commission: The Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs was created by Executive Order and consists of Commissioners that have been appointed by Governor Tom Wolf. GACAPAA is responsible for advising Governor Wolf on policies, procedures and legislation that have an impact on the diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in Pennsylvania. The Commission also serves as a liaison to federal, state and local agencies to ensure that services affecting AAPIs are effectively utilized and promoted; serve as a resource for community groups and provide forums for developing strategies and programs that will expand and enhance the civic, social, education, cultural and economic status of the AAPI communities; identify programs, scholarships, mentoring programs, and resource for the benefit and advancement of AAPIs. The Commission also acts as an advocate for policies and legislation it feels serves the best interest of AAPIs in Pennsylvania.

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2016 PAAFF




between borders FREE SCREENING

Friday, Nov. 11 | 2–3:20pm I-House | 54 mins

This selection of five shorts involve various marginalized identities both in the US and abroad. A mixed program of Narrative and Documentary shorts, subjects include mixed ethnic identity, refugees, and racial profiling. Filmmakers expected in attendance.


the lookout

Chanthadeth Director: Joseph Mills | 11 mins | USA

The lookout Director: Brian Redondo | 13 mins | Greece, USA

Chanthadeth grew up with his Cambodian mother and no connection to his Lao father or relatives. This short doc explores his bicultural identity and the meaning of his name, ultimately learning the importance of acknowledging both sides of his cultural heritage.

This short documentary examines the treacherous boat ride across the Aegean Sea, just one of many hardships endured by Syrian refugees, through the eyes of an altruistic Israeli volunteer hoping to do what he can to ease their suffering.

*WORLD PREMIERE* The three tales of a coin Director: Nishok Nishok | 11 mins | Singapore

THE FBI BLEW UP MY ICE SKATES Director: Sara Zia Ebrahimi | 7 mins | USA

A coin recounts its life story, changing hands between a diverse group of Singaporeans in three pivotal transactions.

This animated short recounts the titular incident that happened to the director in the wake of the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis.

the three tales of a coin

Red, white, and beard Director: Matt Rogers | 12 mins | USA

2016 PAAFF

Cartoonist Vishavjit Singh has a unique way of fighting intolerance in the post-9/11 US - walking the streets of New York City dressed as Captain Sikh America. This short doc poses a simple question - why can’t Captain America wear a turban? 16

Red, white, and beard

the fbi blew up my ice skates

Documentary Program


74 mins | Documentary | USA Director: Curtis Chin The gap in opportunities for different races in America remains extreme. Nowhere is this more evident than our nation’s top public schools. In New York City, where blacks and Hispanics make up 70% of the city’s school-aged population, they represent less than 5% at the city’s most elite public high schools. Meanwhile Asian Americans make up as much as 73%. This documentary follows a dozen racially and socio-economically diverse 8th graders as they fight for a seat at one of these schools. Their only way in: to ace a single standardized test. Tested includes the voices of such education experts as Pedro Noguera and Diane Ravitch as it explores such issues as access to a high-quality public education, affirmative action, and the model-minority myth.


Friday, Nov. 11 | 3:40–5:10pm | I-House

2016 PAAFF

Directed by Curtis Chin, who is best known for his seminal film Vincent Who? about the killing of Vincent Chin, this feature doc offers an extensive look at the systemic inequalities facing students of color in NYC public schools.


Documentary Program | Iranian Cinema Showcase

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Friday, Nov. 11 | 5:30–6:45pm | I-House 61 mins | Documentary | Iran Director: Moein Karrimooddini Beautifully shot feature that unfolds more like a drama than a documentary, Atlan tells the story of Turkman horse trainer Ali in the rural Northeastern region of Iran. Horses are an inseparable part of life in the semi-traditional environment of the Turkmen Sahara. One horse called Ilhlan is Ali’s favorite, but he must sell Ilhlan in order to pay for his wedding. The diary-like narrative is presented via Ali’s voice-over and accompanied by beautiful, broad vistas of the inhospitable Turkmen landscape, impressions of the well-attended races, and images of powerful horses.

A slice of life film that depicts a subject few outside the region have laid eyes on, this film embodies an exciting new movement within Iranian cinema.

2016 PAAFF 18

Documentary Program

Friday, Nov. 11 | 7:05–9:05pm | I-House 93 mins | Documentary | Philippines, South Korea, USA Director: David Goodman Singers in the Band exposes the United States Military’s role in human trafficking and prostitution of women worldwide, embedding the compelling stories of at risk women and children within the complicated narrative about the sex trade and international politics.

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Every year hundreds of women from the Philippines respond to ads for backup singers by South Korean talent agencies. After arriving in Korea their passports are seized and they are coerced into work in brothels whose primary clientele are American servicemen. This documentary is the first to show how US Military bases, global sex trafficking, and prostitution are inextricably linked, revealing that military culture itself is complicit in supporting the creation, maintenance and vitality of the sex trade.

2016 PAAFF

Oscar-winning filmmaker and Philadelphia-native David Goodman, who shot much of this film using hidden cameras inside the brothels and on the streets of South Korea’s red light districts, is expected in attendance for post-film Q&A. 19

Narrative Program

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Gehenna: where death lives Friday, Nov. 11 | 9:20–11:10pm | I-House 106 mins | Horror | Japan, Saipan, USA Director: Hiroshi Katagiri Writers: Hiroshi Katagiri, Nathan Long, Brad Palmer Cast: Doug Jones, Lance Henriksen, Patrick Gorman Paulina and Tyler visit Saipan to scout locations for their company’s newest resort. After finding what was seemingly a perfect location, they discover a hidden cave on the property. They decide to explore it, enlisting the help of Alan, their location coordinator, and his assistant Pepe. The cave turns out to be a long-time abandoned Japanese military base. It dates back to WW2, and unbeknownst to them, existed much earlier. As they move forward, they encounter several dried up corpses, but they are undaunted; their curiosity outweighing their fear... but not for long. With Doug Jones (Pan’s Labrynth, Hellboy) as the creature actor, this is a strong debut feature film from scupltor and costume designer Hiroshi Katagiri (The Hunger Games, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Looper).

2016 PAAFF 20


Friday, Nov. 11 | 11:30pm–1am

black thread

wan mei (perfect)

I-House | 55 mins Back by popular demand, this year’s FREE program of Sci-Fi, Horror, and Action Genre shorts are sure to keep your spine tingling long after you leave the theater! Subjects include time travel, revenge beyond the grave, and demons of ancient folklore.

Black thread Director: Yuji Okumoto | 13 mins | USA

wan mei (perfect) Director: Yiyi Yin | 15 mins | USA

Yuji Okumoto (Karate Kid II) stars as a supernatural hitman caught between his desire for revenge and damning himself to a hell of eternal suffering.

When a man realizes his girlfriend has been unfaithful to him, he resorts to revenge… and the love of a mannequin.

time capsule Director: Trinity Shi | 4 mins | USA

Kumiho Director: Christian Lagalante | 8 mins | South Korea

As an astronaut barrels towards Earth on a crash landing she’s certain not to survive, she makes a final call to her mother and finds herself in a most unexpected conversation.

A young man on a light jog through the woods is disrupted when an alluring woman runs past and coaxes him to a cabin. By the time he realizes that the woman is more than what she appears - it’s too late!

F R E E S C R E E N I N G P remiere

Sci-Fi Horror ACTION Genre Shorts

time capsule

The sweetening Director: Grace Rowe | 15 mins | USA

the sweetening


2016 PAAFF

A lonely woman takes part in the beta testing of an augmented reality program and falls for a man she meets in a florist shop. Desperate to find out if he’s a real person or just an avatar, her obsession with the program leads to the destruction of her life as she knows it.




it runs in the family + lgbtq shorts Saturday, Nov. 12 | 11:30–1:10pm | I-House 45 mins | Documentary | Canada, Philippines A young gay Filipino Canadian artist, Jay Cabalu and his sister Joella travel from Vancouver to Manila to meet their other queer relatives. Reconciling issues of faith, sexuality, and family relationships; viewers are invited to accompany Jay on this personal journey as he reflects on his struggle with being gay and Roman Catholic. It Runs in the Family is an intimate exploration on acceptance and what the modern queer family can aspire to in the Filipino diaspora.

it runs in the family




Director: Vicky Du | 13 mins | USA

Director: Mayank Bhatter | 12 mins | USA

Five queer and trans Asian-Americans from New York City explore their relationships with their family and culture in this patchwork documentary. The subjects share stories about their families, and in doing so, shed light on the complicated histories that have shaped these intimate and personal relationships.

Two 20 something Indian Americans meet under family pressures to get an arranged marriage they don’t want but realize that actually going through it might be their best option. One is gay and the other wishes to pursue her own restaurant business.

nuoc Director: Quyen Nguyen-Le | 12 mins | USA

2016 PAAFF

An experimental narrative short film about a queer Vietnamese American teen who attempts to piece together and understand their mom’s experience as a Vietnam War refugee. 22



Documentary Program

Saturday, Nov. 12 | 1:30–3:10pm | I-House 69 mins | Documentary | Japan, USA Directors: Brad J. Bennett, Jonah Guelzo, Austin Journey, Paul D. Ufema During Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II, numerous swords were confiscated by American officers and shipped to the States. The Japanese sword, while once a symbol of wartime aggression, is also embedded in Japan’s rich history and spiritual heritage. In order to better understand the past and build a bridge between cultures in the present, the American grandson of a US naval officer attempts to return one of these surrendered swords to the Japanese descendants of its original owner.

Presented by

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forgive - don’t forget

A thoughtful reflection on the intergenerational legacy of war, and how current generations can be involved in ongoing reconciliations from past conflicts. Director Brad Bennett and other members of the crew expected in attendance for post-film Q&A. 2016 PAAFF 23 23

2016 PAAFF


Documentary Program | Pacific Showcase

Saturday, Nov. 12 | 3:30–5:20pm | I-House 78 mins | Documentary | Hawaii Director: Rex Moribe Less than a mile from the tourist beaches of Waikiki is one of Hawaii’s largest homeless populations. This compelling documentary offers a firsthand look into the lives of Tracy Martin, his wife Tabatha, and four year-old daughter Thalia living on the streets of Kakaako, Oahu as a homeless family. Mixing archival footage, interviews, and footage shot by the Martin family themselves using GoPro cameras provided by the filmmaker.

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dear thalia

Part of the Pacific Showcase presented by Pacific Islanders in Communications, this film is an important reminder of the human cost of ongoing gentrification in the Hawaiian islands caused in part by tourism.

Presented by 2016 PAAFF 25

Documentary Program

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daze of justice

Saturday, Nov. 12 | 5:40–7:15pm | I-House 66 mins | Documentary | Cambodia, USA Director: Michael Siv Shot on location in Phnom Penh this challenging film documents local reactions to the Khmer Rouge genocide trials as they occurred. At the heart of this story are the Cambodian American women who broke decades of silence, abandoning the security of their American homes on a journey back to Cambodia as witnesses to the UN Special Tribunal prosecuting the Khmer Rouge. Daze of Justice takes us beyond the Killing Fields as these women must not only find the courage to remember their past, but also come face to face with Phang, the son of Kaing Guek Eav (Alias “Duch”), one of Pol Pot’s most notorious torturers. On the margins of the UN tribunal, these women generate a vocabulary for reclaiming the past while also paving a path toward redemption for future generations.

2016 PAAFF

Director Michael Siv expected in attendance for Q&A and Cambodia Town Film Festival Founder praCh Ly will lead a post-film discussion. 26

TEMPLE HEALTH is proud to support the

Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival

2016 PAAFF

Temple Health refers to the health, education and research activities carried out by the affiliates of Temple University Health System (TUHS) and by the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. TUHS neither provides nor controls the provision of health care. All health care is provided by its member organizations or independent health care providers affiliated with TUHS member organizations. Each TUHS member organization is owned and operated pursuant to its governing documents.


Documentary Program

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Bad rap Featuring Live Hip Hop Performances Saturday, Nov. 12 | 7:35–9pm | I-House 82 mins | Documentary | USA Director: Salima Koroma Producer: Jaeki Cho An engrossing feature documentary detailing the obstacles and successes of four up-and-coming Asian American rappers trying to break into a world that often treats them as outsiders. From battle rhymes of crowd-favorite Dumbfoundead to the tongue-in-cheek songs of Awkwafina, the unapologetic visuals of Rekstizzy to conflicted values of Lyricks, the film paints a memorable portrait of artistic passion in the face of an unsung struggle. The result is a thoughtful reflection on perceptions of race in mainstream music, cultural appropriation, and ongoing challenges for AAPI musicians hoping to break out of their niche.

2016 PAAFF

Producer Jaeki Cho expected in attendance for post-film Q&A followed by live performances from AAPI hip hop artists.



JKey (Jaeki Cho) grew up in Queens where he learned English by watching Rush Hour and reciting Wu-Tang Clan and Mobb Deep lyrics. Since settling in the U.S. during the late 90s after living in South Korea and China, he obsessed over Hip Hop as a form of expression and career option. His mixtapes: Wheels (2013) and Gyopo Anthem (2016) were both fueled by his immigranttale. Outside of his music, JKey is also known as a writer for Complex, XXL, and Vibe and recently for co-producing Bad Rap.

Chee Malabar is an Indian American rapper, writer, and educator whose work touches on themes of isolation, angst, and bewilderment. His latest release, Feral Child, tells Chee’s personal immigration story and features songs cast against the backdrop of the 90s as experienced by a family newly arrived to Urban America. Chee regularly performs and speaks at universities around the country on issues of American identity as it relates to Hip Hop culture. His lyrics and work are the subject of “Hip Hop Desi’s and A Global Race Consciousness”, a book by Northwestern University Professor Dr. Nitasha Sharma.

praCh ly

praCh Ly is a critically acclaimed artist whose music not only entertains, but also educates. Outside of his music, praCh is a published author whose writings have been incorporated into Southeast Asian Studies in a number of California schools. praCh has lectured and performed at many prestigious institutions including the Smithsonian Institute in DC, as well as Brown, Yale, and Harvard universities. praCh recently served as Grand Marshal of the Cambodian New Year Parade and Long Beach City’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade. He is also the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Cambodia Town Film Festival in Long Beach, California.

Chee completed his MFA in Fiction from Brooklyn College and is finishing his first novel.

Performances guest curated by Scott CHOPS Jung of the legendary Mountain Brothers

2016 PAAFF

The trilingual rapper/writer/filmmaker has paved an exciting career path thus far - look out for his soon-to-be released music projects Trot Lord and 7 Train Gore-Tex Opus.

chee malabar


Documentary Program

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random acts of legacy

Sunday, Nov. 13 | 12–1:40pm | I-House 77 mins | Documentary | Canada, USA Director: Ali Kazimi Rescued from an online auction, a pile of deteriorating 16mm home movies spanning from 1936 to 1951, are restored by filmmaker Ali Kazimi. What emerges is the moving story of an unusually wealthy Chinese American family in Depression era Chicago. Kazimi’s quest to make meaning of these home movies connects him with Irena Lum – the sole surviving daughter of graphic artist and collector, Silas Henry Fung. Intertwining a first person narrative with family accounts and other commentators, Kazimi weaves a rich tapestry of the life of the Fung family. The rescued footage offers an intimate and radically different visual perspective on the Chinese American community – with a surprising feminist twist. Visually rich and textured, unafraid to show the decaying patina of a family archive, Random Acts of Legacy revels in the making of home movies and memory.

2016 PAAFF 30

Join Festival Director Rob Buscher for a brief presentation after the film on the Memories to Light Campaign to digitize and archive Asian American home movies from the celluloid era. More details available at:

Documentary Program

Sunday, Nov. 13 | 2–4pm | I-House 84 mins | Documentary | Nepal, USA Director: Andy Cockrum The Sherpa of Nepal’s high Himalaya are the men and women known for their endurance and ability to survive at oxygen-deprived altitudes. And in New York City, they’re driving cabs, selling imports at street market stalls, and chopping vegetables in the kitchens of Asian restaurants.

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sherpa stew

The film follows mountaineers Nima Dawa Sherpa and Kipa Sherpa from the top of Mount Everest to Queens, New York, as they strive to start a new life. With nuance, humor, and insightful direction, filmmaker Andy Cockrum offers a fresh perspective on the immigrant’s journey, who put everything on the line to provide a better life for their children. Director Andy Cockrum and documentary subjects Gary Guller and Kipa Sherpa expected in attendance for a post-film Q&A after their US Premiere screening. 2016 PAAFF 31

Narrative Program

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under construction

Sunday, Nov. 13 | 4:20–6:20pm | I-House 88 mins | Drama | Bangladesh Writer/Director: Rubaiyat Hussain Cast: Shahana Goswami, Rahul Bose, Sohel Mondol A hard hitting narrative feature with strong antimisogynist undercurrents, Under Construction is a film about a modern Muslim woman struggling to find herself in the sprawl of urban Bangladesh. A feminist awakening occurs in middle class actress Roya as she reconstructs a famous and politically minded play of Rabindranath Tagore for modern times, reclaiming her agency in the process. Produced at a time when attitudes towards gender roles and modern family dynamics in Bangladesh are going through a societal shift, the innovative camera work and contemporary visual storytelling technique echoes the progressive social message in this film. Director Rubaiyat Hossain expected in attendance for post-film Q&A.

2016 PAAFF

Co-presented by Mustard Seed Film Festival 32

Centerpiece Film

Sunday, Nov. 13 | 6:40–8:10pm | I-House 77 mins | Documentary | USA Director: Pamela Tom Tyrus tells the unlikely story of 105-year old Chinese American artist Tyrus Wong, how he overcame poverty and racism to become a celebrated modernist painter, Hollywood sketch artist, and ‘Disney Legend’ for his groundbreaking work on the animated film, Bambi.

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Guangzhou-born, LA-based the film examines Tyrus’ breathtaking scope of work across multiple artistic mediums and his personal and professional journey navigating racial bigotry in 20th century America. Making meticulous use of Tyrus Wong’s exquisite art, archival footage, interviews and commentary from Wong himself, the film documents how his unique style that combines Chinese calligraphic and landscape influences with contemporary Western art helped define the stylistic look of Disney’s animated film, Bambi.

2016 PAAFF

Tyrus, makes a critical contribution to the documentary tradition and Asian American history by spotlighting this seminal, but heretofore unknown figure. 33

Special Presentation


paaff academic conference day 1

Panel 1) Transnational narratives, history, memory, and film 1) Cinematic telling of the collective memory: Remembrance of Korean immigrants in Germany Dr. Kyoung-Suk Sung (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University) Dr. Sung’s research is primarily on film, the diverse functions of film, and their meaning in this

Monday, Nov. 14 | 10am-7:30pm | CCP 

sociological aspect. With this focus she analyses various film subjects, for example the interaction between film and society, East Asian cinema, the visual language of films, and their appreciation.

Conference Schedule: 10-11:30am Panel 1 Transnational narratives, history, memory, and film

2) Untitled presentation on the Multimedia project “ANCESTOR WORSHIP” GVGK Tang (Temple University) Tang works as a research assistant to the Director of the Center for Public History at Temple, content creator at, and Civic Engagement Manager at a local nonprofit. Tang’s research interests include queer history and politics, nascent community-building, identity construction, and

11:45am-1pm Screening 1 Family Ingredients, TV Doc 1:15-2:45pm Panel 2 Asian American Food: Culture and Politics 3-4:15pm Screening 2 Atomic Heart, Narrative Feature 4:30-5:30pm Solo Presentation_1 Eiko Fan Three Stories Experimental Short and Q&A 2016 PAAFF

5:45-7:45pm Panel 3 Women Directors in Japanese Experimental Film + Screening 34

Chinese American immigrant experiences. Tang’s presentation will also include a screening of excerpts from the multimedia project.

Panel 2) Asian American Food: Culture and Politics Moderated by Dr. Fariha Khan (UPenn) Food is perhaps one of the most intimate and yet social expressions of identity. As the Asian American community continues to grow this panel examines the complexities of identity and culture as it is negotiated through questions of migration, family, race, and gender. Philadelphians who live and love food share their experiences as restauranteurs, home chefs, refugee gardeners, and consumers.

Laos in the House Guest

Documentary Program | Pacific Showcase

Monday, Nov. 14 | 11:45am–1pm | CCP 60 mins | TV Documentary | Hawaii, Tahiti Director: Ty Sanga Join host Chef Ed Kenney as he travels the path of ancestors, from Hawaii to the homeland in this six-episode TV documentary food genealogy travel show that explores the links between ethnic heritage and culinary arts. The first episode follows host Ed Kenney around his native Oahu in an extensive look at the food that made the biggest impact on his life – poi, an important staple in Native Hawaiian cuisine made from taro. In the second episode Chef Ed travels to Tahiti to meet up with a young man named Maui Tauotaha sailing the globe on a traditional Polynesian double-hulled canoe. Their journey leads them to an ancestral village in search of Maui’s favorite food memory – poisson cru, or raw fish, the quintessential Tahitian dish.

Screened with the first episode of Laos In The House Guest, a web series that highlights

Presented by 2016 PAAFF

individuals who happen to be Lao American refugees. The debut webisode features

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Family ingredients

Kris & Manila of #IEatLaoFood and explores the important role food plays in their culture and families. Director Catzie Vilayphonh expected in attendance. 35

2016 PAAFF


Narrative Program | Iranian Cinema Showcase

Monday, Nov. 14 | 2:45–4:20pm | CCP 94 mins | Drama | Iran Writer/Director: Ali Ahmadzade Writer: Mani Baghbani Cast: Mohammad Reza Golzar, Taraneh Alidoosti, Mehradad Sedighian, Pegah Ahangarani Set in urban Tehran, this uncertainty-inducing film offers a surrealist reflection on contemporary Iranian culture. Two girlfriends, Arineh and Nobahar try to make their way home after a night of partying. After getting in an accident, a mysterious stranger pays off the driver of the car they hit; his only request their company. They soon discover that nothing is as simple as it seems as lines between dreams and reality become increasingly blurry.

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Atomic heart

Part of the New Directions in Iranian Cinema Showcase, this film blends meticulous camera composition and a plot laden with magic realism to convey a story steeped with criticism of Iranian society, gender bias, and US imposed economic sanctions.

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Special Presentation

three stories

Monday, Nov. 14 | 4:30-5:30pm | CCP 15 mins | Experimental | USA Director/Sculptor/Performer: Eiko Fan Cinematographer/Editor: Rudy Burckhardt 10 years after immigrating from Japan where traditionally, carvings of Buddha were made from a single piece of wood, Eiko Fan’s wood sculpture reached a turning point. Eiko’s style evolved from this tradition to include flexible, inventive use of wood and body movements of mime and dance, encased in wooden costumes. Eiko then created a movie set in which her sculptural creatures could interact. Produced on 16mm film in 1981-1982 in collaboration with Rudy Burckhardt, a very well known photographer/filmmaker from New York, this film is a time capsule of Eiko’s life 35 years ago. Eiko later went on to perform “Live Wood Sculpture” performances internationally and even included her children in this production. 2016 2016PAAFF PAAFF

Artist Eiko Fan will be present for a post-screening Q&A and a presentation on her work. 38 38

Panel 3

women directors in japanese experimental film Monday, Nov. 14 | 5:45-7:45pm This program is supported in part by the U.S. Japan Friendship Commission

mako idemitsu inner man

SHIGEKO KUBOTA Taking up the Sony Portapak video camera in 1967, Kubota began documenting her encounters with artists and her travels, a practice she continued throughout her carrier. Video Girls and Video Songs for Navajo Sky (1973) is one of her video diaries that came out of a month-long residence with a Navajo family in Arizona. A prominent member of Fluxus, Kubota’s reason for moving to New York was her connection with George Maciunas, a founding member of the Fluxus movement in early 1960s. George Maciunas With Two Eyes 1972, George Maciunas With One Eye 1976 (1994) is a portrait of the early 1970s New York SoHo art scene. Another trait of Kubota’s video works is using the creative process as a way of healing. My Father (1973-75) and SoHo SoAp/Rain Damage (1985) are examples of allowing the documentation of tragic life occurrences to transform emotions into remembrances and settling. Idemitsu Works Woman’s House, 1972 Inner-Man, 1972 At Santa Monica 3, 1975 Emotional Volatility about My Father, 1981 Great Mother (SACHIKO), 1984 Kubota Works George Maciunas With Two Eyes 1972 George Maciunas With One Eye 1976 Video Girls and Video Songs for Navajo Sky, 1973 My Father, 1973-75 SoHo SoAp/Rain Damage, 1985

2016 PAAFF

PROGRAM SYNOPSIS Collaborative Cataloging Japan is pleased to present works by two pioneering female Japanese video artists. Mako Idemitsu and Shigeko Kubota share common grounds as artists who relocated to the U.S. in the 1960s—Idemitsu to California, and Kubota to New York. The 70-minute screening program is followed by discussions with Dr. Midori Yoshimoto, Associate Professor and Gallery Director at New Jersey City University. The screening is organized by Ann Adachi-Tasch of Collaborative Cataloging Japan.

MAKO IDEMITSU Born in a patriarchal family in Japan, Mako Idemitsu grew up surrounded by dismissive attitudes against women. After having two children in California with artist Sam Francis, Idemitsu took up Super 8 film camera to explore her inner struggle and identity as a woman, wife, daughter, mother, and a foreigner looking for a home abroad. The 1972 Woman’s House is a document of her visit to Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro’s Womanhouse, a feminist art installation and performance space. In the same year Idemitsu made Inner-Man, her first work featuring a Jungian inner persona, a theme and style she continues to explore. In the work, Idemitsu overlays images of a naked man over a woman in kimono, suggesting the inner man in a woman. A beautiful picture of her lonely sentiments of living abroad, Santa Monica 3 (1974) shines light on Idemitsu’s filmic lyricism. Having switched from film to video, Emotional Volatility about My Father (1983) illustrates her tangled relationship with her father, who had disowned her when she chose to remain in California. The last piece in the Idemitsu program, Great Mother (SACHIKO) (1985) is a typical representation of what is known as “Makostyle” in which the physical monitor placed in the shot represents a psychological other that inflicts internal conflict within the protagonist.



Special Presentation

Panel 4) Media representations of Asian American/Asian diasporic identity and their critique

paaff academic conference Day 2

1) Subversive Orientalism in Identity (on Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis)

ship between popular culture and identity formation in Asian American Women.

Tuesday, Nov. 15 | 10am-3:45pm | CCP 

2) Untitled Presentation on The Mindy Project

Conference Schedule:

Currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Sociology at Temple University, Sheena’s research focuses

10-11:30am Panel 4 Media representations of Asian American/Asian diasporic identity and their critique 11:45am-1:15pm Solo Presentation_2 Sam Kalantari Screening of He Experimental Short Documentary 1:30-2:30pm Solo Presentation_3 Jill Weber Cylinder of Cyrus in cultural context 2:45-3:45pm Solo Presentation 4 Aggie Ebrahimi Bazaz Cylinders of Cyrus

2016 PAAFF

7sides 40

Sabine Lipten (Temple University) Currently a senior at Temple University pursing her BA Sociology, Sabine’s work explores the relation-

Sheena Sood (Temple University) on South Asians political organizations: how they mobilize communities toward political action, develop political agendas, and construct cross-racial alliances with non-South Asian organizations. 3) South Asian American Identity and Authenticity on The Mindy Project Sheila Shankar (University of Pennsylvania) A recent graduate from University of Pennsylvania, Sheila’s works explore themes of identity development, authenticity, meaning­making, community formation, and radical politics.

Solo Presentation 3) Controlling the Narrative: the Cyrus Cylinder in cultural context Jill Weber (University of Pennsylvania) Near Eastern archaeologist and oenophile Jill Weber will offer insight into ancient Persian civilization and the politics of identity.

Solo Presentation 4) 7Sides and the Cylinders of Cyrus Aggie Ebrahimi Bazaz (Muhlenberg College) Aggie Ebrahimi Bazaz is an Iranian American documentary filmmaker with interests in diasporic identity and feminist inquiry. This presentation will focus on her role in the storytelling team hired by London-based Iran Heritage Foundation (IHF) to document the first-ever US tour of the Cyrus Cylinder (

Documentary Program | Iranian Cinema Showcase

Tuesday, Nov. 15 | 11:45am–1:15pm | CCP 31 mins | Documentary, Experimental | Iran Director: Sam Kalantari

P remiere

A mannequin is an often articulated doll used by artists, tailors, dressmakers, window dressers and others especially to display or fit clothing. This film is the narrative of creation and existence of some mannequins. Although they are created equally, omnipotent fate prevents the equal denouement. So to an extent this film is perhaps the tale of fate.

united states


An intriguing experimental documentary short with minimal spoken dialogue that takes seemingly banal imagery and makes it grotesque. Part of the New Directions in Iranian Cinema Showcase.

2016 2016PAAFF PAAFF 41 41



indonesian night at Reading terminal market Tuesday, Nov. 15 | 6-9pm | RTM 

Event Highlights: 6:30 Children’s performance of Angklung music (traditional bamboo instruments) 7:05 Traditional Indonesian Dance performance by Modero Dance

munity at Reading Terminal Market. Enjoy an entire evening of FREE entertainment at one of Philadelphia’s most iconic food destina-

7:15 Welcoming Remarks

tions with complimentary tastings of rare West Java Indonesian coffee in the Center Court from

7:35 Filmmaker introduction and screening of Aroma of Heaven

6pm until film starts. Food available for purchase throughout the event.

8:45 Q&A with Director Budi Kurniawan

who recently won Best Vegetarian Dish at the 2016 PAAFF Asian Chef Experience.

Event co-sponsored by Old City Coffee, Reading Terminal Market, and Modero Dance Company 2016 PAAFF

Translation by Indonesian Diaspora Network 42

Join us for an evening of food, music, dance, and film celebrating Philadelphia’s Indonesian com-

Featuring authentic Indonesian food available for purchase from local Indonesian Chef Joko Tan

Documentary Program | PAAFF EATS

Tuesday, Nov. 15 | 7:05–8:30pm | CCP 65 mins | Documentary | Indonesia Director: Budi Kurniawan The coffee industry has more than 300 years of history in Indonesia. At the heart of today’s industry lies the legacy of imperialism and colonization. Tradition, culture, arts, faith, and indigenous beliefs all contribute to the story of the Indonesian coffee industry.

sponsored by

free screening

aroma of heaven

Featuring interviews with farmers, scientists, philosophers, academics, anthropologists, and business owners - this Feature doc takes the audience to places it has never been and presents a familiar subject in a completely different way. Aroma of Heaven is an utterly engaging film that poses the provocative question: how much do we know about the coffee that we consume every day, or the people whose lives revolve around supplying it to us? Director Budi Kurniawan expected in attendance for post-film Q&A. 2016 2016 PAAFF PAAFF 43


community series FLEISHER ART MEMORIAL

As part of our ongoing commitment to the community, PAAFF’16 will include a series of FREE screenings and live theater performances November 16-17 at Fleisher Art Memorial in South Philadelphia.


ok, i’ll tell you

Wednesday, Nov. 16 | 6:30-7pm | Theater Piece

Wednesday, Nov. 16 | 7-9pm | Theater Piece

Asaki Kuruma’s first solo show that is incubated by Simpatico Theatre Project as a part of 2014 SoLow Festival. The show is inspired by Asaki’s life-time experience as a foreigner- Born in Japan, learned English, came to America to pursue her dream- only life just doesn’t work the way movies do. 10 min excerpt of the 55 minute original will be performed by Asaki in advance of the main event theater performance. Asaki Kuruma - Creator/Performer

Four adults, who were adopted when they were young, gather to share their stories of family, loss, love, pride, and identity. Here, they challenge us to face their own questions, stare down narratives that keep being thrown at them, and wonder how, and sometimes even if, this part of their stories matters. Together, they mourn the closures they cannot have, embrace a future that has always been wide open, and celebrate the people with whom they have grown. Please note: this piece is not specifically created for children and does contain cursing, sexual references, and racial anxiety. The original creation of OK, I’ll Tell You received support from a 2015 Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant.

2016 PAAFF

asaki kuruma 44

Approximately 55 minutes with audience talk back afterwards.

Ensemble: Rae Bradley - Creator/Performer Noah Breymeier - Creator/Performer Siona Stone - Creator/Performer Sarah Mitteldorf - Creator/Director Website:

Fleisher is a prominent and thriving

titles are for little witches: The Salem Bitch Trials

community arts center, celebrated as one of the first in the nation. Fleisher is a source of inspiration, creativity and community. Every year, more

Thursday, Nov. 17 | 7-9pm | Theater Piece

than 17,000 people experience the transformative power of art by

Discoveries we have made so far.

participating in classes, tuition-free classes, workshops, exhibitions, and community-based programs.

The world is full of bitches. Or is it witches? And are they talking about them or us?

Fleisher Art Memorial In this “discoveries we have made so far” showing,

719 Catherine St

the Kaleid ensemble will explore the ways that the

215-922-3456 ext. 300

word “bitch” is used and history of witchcraft ac-


cusations to ask: What is power? How do we take it from each other? How do we claim it for ourselves? And who needs titles anyway? Approximately 55 minutes with audience talk back afterwards. Ensemble: Pratima Agrawal - Creator/Performer Nastassja Baset - Creator/Perfomer Sarah Mitteldorf - Creator/Director Gina Purri - Composer Tanaya Thomas - Choreographer Website:

emotion, power hierarchy, the divine, trauma, transcen-

ensemble. We are interested in how

dence, even voicelessness.

sound can come together to create

To explore these themes, Kaleid layers consistent and

a new, multi-sensory, multi-dimen-

conflicting languages from different mediums – such as

sional language, which allow us to explore issues

text, movement, music, or sound. This method allows us

that are not easy to talk about through one sense or

to mirror the layered experience of consistent and con-

dimension alone.

flicting emotions and ideas that embody these human experiences, and to explore them in a more honest and

The things that mean the most to our communities are

fully articulated way.

Greater Philadelphia. 45

2016 PAAFF

Kaleid Theatre is a project of CultureTrust

often the hardest to articulate. They frequently deal with

as in collide, is a physical theatre language, movement, music, and

Gabriella Sanchez - Creator/Performer Daniel Ison - Sound Designer

Kaleid Theatre, as in kaleidoscope,



loss and longing Wednesday, Nov. 16 | 5-6:30pm

song on canvas

i won’t miss you

Fleisher Art Memorial | 77 mins This FREE program offers a selection of five short films dealing with coming to terms with death, and longing after loss. Filmmakers expected in attendance for post-screening Q&A.

harry on the clouds

song on canvas Director: Keo Woolford | 15 mins | USA

i won’t miss you Director: Bernard Badion | 20 mins | USA

An emotionally lost artist, trapped in the corporate world, receives encouragement to pick up his brush again from, out of all people - his deceased mother played by Sharon Omi (Eat With Me). Directed by PAAFF alumni Keo Woolford (The Haumana).

17-year-old Janey’s best friend Tim begins to appear in her bedroom at night after dying in a car crash and their awkward undeclared feelings begin to surface.

harry on the clouds Director: Aya Shiroi | 4 mins | Japan

godlike Director: Mickey Finnegan | 25 mins | USA

This animated short is about a grieving sheep mother whose young son’s spirit comes back to visit from heaven.

Alex, a complex and introverted high school teenager with an interest for gaming, finds himself at odds with his Grandmother when he receives news of his mothers passing.

knots Director: Kristina Wong | 12 mins | Canada

2016 PAAFF 46

When Scarlett’s grandfather comes to town for her high school graduation, she must come to terms with the loss of her mother and mend her relationship with her father. The motif of the knot is what keeps the generations together with themes of family, acceptance and crossing cultures.




carnatic cornet

Thursday, Nov. 17 | 5–7pm Fleisher Art Memorial | 81 mins

This FREE four film shorts program offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of two virtuoso immigrant musicians, a struggling indie folk artist about to catch his big break, and Chinese punk rockers in Beijing.

Filmmakers expected in attendance for post-screening Q&A.


carnatic cornet Director: Reed Rickert | 24 mins | USA

Crescendo Director: Christina Jun | 7 mins | USA

Venkat Ganesan is attempting to do something that has never been done before, play the south Indian classical Carnatic music on the cornet. This short doc follows Venkat the week leading up to his first live performance.

A narrative short about sacrificing one’s passions to ensure the success of future generations, told through one hardworking South Asian immigrant’s perspective as a dishwasher and lover of classical music.

Dinosaur rider Director: Ting Liu | 17 mins | China

I Hate big phony Director: Milton Liu | 33 mins | South Korea, USA

Adapted from true stories and featuring a cast of local punk-rockers acting as themselves, this narrative short is a vibrant portrait of what it’s like to be young and punk in contemporary China.

Navigating in between cultures, the soulful Korean singer-songwriter-guitarist Bobby Choy discusses his emotionally moving music and performs some of it too, lending insight into his life journey and what’s next for him.

i hate big phony

2016 PAAFF

dinosaur rider


musical Shorts


2016 PAAFF



Friday, Nov. 20 | 5–6pm Asian Arts Initiative | 40 mins This FREE shorts program offers a diverse selection of comedy shorts starring AAPI actors and comedians.

3 minutes

first date

3 minutes Director: Julia Chang | 5 mins | USA

first date Director: Anisha Adusumilli | 4 mins | USA

At a local speed-dating event, a couple makes all-too-honest assessments of each other over the course of a three-minute conversation.

Deepak meets his future bride for the first time. She’s not exactly what he expected but everything he ever wanted.

dirty sock Director: Rommel Andaya | 5 mins | USA

almost asian Director: Katie Malia | 20 mins | USA

A man tries to prevent the future soiling of his sock using a digital time machine app.

A comedy webseries created by Katie Malia that follows a half-Asian actress’ everyday life in Los Angeles. Each episode polaroids Katie’s personal and professional struggles with tongue-in-cheek humor as she awkwardly attempts to maneuver through life as a half-Asian woman.



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

dirty sock

moby dick Director: MinJae Kim | 5 mins | South Korea

moby dick

almost asian

2016 PAAFF

A comedic take at Korean culture, where circumcision is considered a necessity. Based on the filmmaker’s own high-school aged experience.


Documentary Program

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Friday, Nov. 18 | 6:15-7:25pm | AAI 57 mins | Documentary | USA Directors: Dianne Griffin, Erica Jordan Van Hoang, a Vietnamese immigrant and nail salon owner, sees her American dream crumble as she discovers that her health problems, including two miscarriages, are the result of toxic chemicals in the products used in her salon. Painted Nails tells the story of her journey into activism as she becomes a leader in the fight for safe cosmetics. Audiences witness Van’s transformation from a self-described shy woman who speaks minimal English to a forthright advocate who testifies before Congress. In Washington, DC, at hearings for the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act, Van, now a few months pregnant, steps forward to speak out not only for workers in nail salons, most of whom are Asian immigrants, but for all people exposed to the toxic chemicals in personal care products.

2016 PAAFF

Co-presented by VietLead 50



Dear Liver, I'm sorry I didn't know what was hurting you, until it was too late.

Hepatitis B affects 1 in 12 Asian Americans Most don't know they have it. B Sure. B Tested.

2016 PAAFF 51

Documentary Program

philadelphia P remiere

GOOD LUCK SOUP Friday, Nov. 18 | 7:40–9:15pm | AAI 56 mins | Documentary | USA Director: Matthew Hashiguchi After years of rejecting his Japanese heritage, filmmaker Matthew Hashiguchi sets out on a sometimes humorous, yet insightful journey to discover what it means to be Japanese American, and how that identity changes over time. Along the way, we learn about the life of his grandmother, a former incarceree at a WWII Relocation Camp, and how other family members also struggled with their Japanese American identities in a predominantly White neighborhood in the Midwest. The family’s various experiences have produced unique perspectives on race, identity, religion and heritage that continues to change as the family assimilates deeper into the American fabric. However, as time changes the cultural and ethnic makeup of the family, they still look to the past in an attempt to learn from and preserve their Japanese heritage.

2016 PAAFF

A thoughtful reflection on multiracial identity, mixed race families, and the legacy of intergenerational trauma. Director Matthew Hashiguchi expected in attendance for post-film Q&A and discussion of Good Luck Soup Interactive online transmedia database. 52

Presented by

Screened with short doc All the Way about a Japanese American seniors bowling league in Salt Lake City.

Special Exhibit

i bear witness

October 31, 2016 - January 13, 2017

Asian Arts Initiative Asian Arts Initiative presents I Bear Witness, featuring Amina Ahmed, Josh Begley, Ambreen Butt, Hasan Elahi, Sham-e-Ali Nayeem, Saba Taj, and Patricia Wakida. Curated by Atif Sheikh of Twelve Gates Arts in dialogue with Matthew Hashiguchi’s Good Luck Soup. On view in the main gallery from October 31, 2016 through January 13, 2017, with the opening reception on First Friday, November 4, 2016, from 6-8pm. And I Bear Witness to your times/and our times// then and now//and to all that may connect us/and our times//now and eventually

2016 PAAFF

Serving as a palimpsest of the racism and fears all too prevalent in America today, narratives of the WWII internment of Japanese Americans find resonance with immigrant and Muslim American artists providing a contemporary perspective on the dynamics of community identity, division, solidarity, and strength. In conversation with Matthew Hashiguchi’s documentary Good Luck Soup, which examines the reintegration of Japanese Americans into U.S. society post WWII. Funding provided by the JACL Legacy Fund 53

Sushi - Cra Beer Bar - Live Music - Open Mic - Sushi Catering - Sushi Class

15% Off Food and Room Rates with PAAFF Badge or ticket Open urs - Sun: 5pm | Open Mic 9pm-1am Stay over at Tokio Bed & Breakfast $80-$150 / night tax included 2016 PAAFF

122-124 Lombard St, Phila PA 19147 215.922.1223 | Cell 215.815.8266 | 54

Narrative Program | Iranian Cinema Showcase

Friday, Nov. 18 | 9:30–10:50pm | AAI 76 mins | Drama, Suspense | Iran Director: Alireza Farid Shamsabad Producer: Amir Pourkian Cast: Mohammad Reza, Forutan, Baran Kossari, Pezhman Bazeghi, Bahar Nouhian, Amir Jadidi, Stewart Denison

Twelve strangers embark on the Trans-Asia Express, a four-day train journey from Tehran to Istanbul. Amongst them are Marjan, a girl with a bag full of money and embezzlement documents, Moosa, a man searching for his lost sister, Atousa a beautiful femme fatale, Dr.Taheri, the train’s physician, and a couple of tourists. When Marjan’s bag is stolen, everyone becomes a suspect.

east coast P remiere

atousa’s laughter

Overcoming spatial constrictions with innovative camera technique to tell its captivating story, this film was shot entirely on a moving train in five days. Filmmakers expected in attendance for post-film Q&A after their East Coast Premiere. 2016 PAAFF 55

Special Presentation

forever chinatown FREE SCREENING

Saturday, Nov. 19 | 11am–12pm | AAI 32 mins | Documentary | USA Director: James Q. Chan Forever Chinatown is the story of self-taught 81-year-old artist Frank Wong who spent the past four decades recreating fading memories of the San Francisco Chinatown of his youth by building extraordinarily detailed miniature models. A meditation on memory, community, and preserving one’s own legacy, Frank’s threedimensional miniature dioramas become rare portals into a historic neighborhood and a window to the artist’s filtered and romanticized memories and emotional struggles. In his compromise with immortality, Frank announces plans to cremate his exquisite works with him upon his death in order to ‘live inside them forever’ in his afterlife.

2016 PAAFF

This film takes the journey of one individual and maps it to a rapidly changing urban neighborhood from 1940s to present day. Director James Chan and Producer Corey Tong expected in attendance for post-film Q&A. 56

Master Chef Joseph Poon Wok’N Walk Chinatown Tour Enjoy an insider’s tour of this vibrant community and learn about the history, culture, and food of Philadelphia’s Chinatown.

As seen on “The Tonight Show,” “Ellen DeGeneres Show” and TV Food Network’s “The Best of…” To book your group tour today call 215.928.9333

Tour stops vary but may include stops at a fortune cookie factory, herbal medicine apothecary, Chinese bakery, Asian supermarket, and more. After the tour, enjoy a dim sum lunch or evening dinner in Chinatown with Chef Poon. 2016 PAAFF

Lunch tours $45 per person, including meal. 57

Free cooking demonstration

chef chigumi obayashi


Japanese organic food culture and reusing leftovers Saturday, Nov. 19 | 11:30am-12:30pm Chef chigumi obayashi Reading Terminal Market, Organic Food Specialist, Filmmaker City Kitchen Born in Tokyo, Chigumi Obayashi grew up surrounded by movies, the daughter of esteemed Japanese film director Nobuhiko Obayashi, whose first feature film was House (1977), based on a story written by Chigumi when she was 11 years old. Ever since she was a child, Chigumi has been involved in filmmaking in Japan, appearing in her father’s early films as a baby, and working on the set or as a promotions assistant as an adult.

2016 PAAFF

Chef chigumi obayashi


In more recent years, Chigumi has become a filmmaker herself, and in 2013, she completed work on a documentary film about innovative organic farming methods in Usuki-city, in Ohita prefecture. This four year project, LIVING HARMONY (Japanese title: 100-nen gohan, literally “100 years of food”), was released in 2014, and has gone on to receive great acclaim all over the world. The film has been screened all over Japan, usually accompanied by a food event, and was well-received by domestic critics. LIVING HARMONY has also been screened overseas in Sri Lanka, Hawaii, Los Angeles and New York City. Chigumi has been invited to speak along with her film on many occasions, from cities

to remote islands and villages around the world. She has published a book based on the film about the same subject of sustainable, organic cooking, and has had more than 130 screenings worldwide to date. Chigumi is also well known for a book on Japanese-style “hot sandwiches,” and her fresh and exotic ideas about mixing ingredients in an innovative way has caught the eye of the foodie scene in Japan. As a chef, Chigumi studied under the former head of the Imperial Household’s kitchen, Makoto Watanabe, and alongside the founder of Academie Culinaire de France, Andere Lu Cont. She earned a diploma in etiquette and protocol in 1997, and is a lecturer in Western protocol and cooking. Her “Hot Sandwich Club” numbers over 6000 members, and she has had numerous appearances on Japanese television shows and in popular magazines. Her publications include “Well Done: 100 Hot Sandwich Recipes” and “Passing the Baton of Food to the Future.”

Documentary Program

100年ごはん A dialogue: living Harmony Saturday, Nov. 19 | 2:30-4pm | AAI 65 mins | Documentary | Japan Director: Chigumi Obayashi This innovative documentary explores the burgeoning organic farming and slow food movements in Southern Japan, directed by sustainable Chef Chigumi Obayashi daughter of renowned Avant-garde filmmaker Nobuhiko Obayashi (House). Usuki is a small Japanese city with a population of only 41,000, but over 2,110 farms. Due in part to the important role of agriculture in the local economy, the people of Usuki are making efforts to ensure a safe and healthy food supply for future generations.

2016 PAAFF

Over the past decade government, farmers, businesses, and the public at-large have worked together to develop innovative farming methods, including the establishment of a compost plant and education about organic food for the general public. Their biggest accomplishment is the decision that all meals for schoolchildren must be supplied by local and organic providers. Despite challenges that improving organic food production presents, the people of Usuki offer an inspiring example for others around the world to follow. Director Chef Chigumi Obayashi in attendance for post-film Q&A.


Documentary Program

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mixed match

Saturday, Nov. 19 | 12:15–2:15pm | AAI 96 mins | Documentary | Canada, USA Director: Jeff Chiba Stearns With the multiracial community becoming one of the fastest growing demographics in North America, being mixed race is no longer just about an identity, it can be a matter of life and death. Mixed Match tells an important human story from the perspective of mixed race blood cancer patients who are forced to reflect on their multiracial identities and complex genetics as they struggle to find bone marrow donors. An engaging reflection on changing demographics of American society that explores what role race plays in medicine. Director Jeff Chiba Stearns and documentary subject Athena Asklipiadis expected in attendance for post-film Q&A.

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Documentary Program

Saturday, Nov. 19 | 4:15–5:45pm | AAI 61 mins | Documentary | USA Director: Ben Wang

This film tells the story of Eddy Zheng, a Chinese immigrant who spent over 20 years behind bars and has now become one of the nation’s most recognized leaders on prison reform and youth violence prevention. Eddy entered the criminal justice system at 16 years old with limited understanding of the English language or the US judicial system. While in prison, Eddy learned English, earned his college degree, published his poetry, and advocated for Ethnic Studies in the prison college curriculum.

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breathin’ the eddy zheng story

2016 PAAFF

This film offers a thoughtful portrait of Eddy as he negotiates what it means to “live freely” while attempting to rebuild a family, reconcile with his victims, and make a lasting change in society. Director Ben Wang and subject Eddy Zheng are expected in attendance for a post-film Q&A. Co-presented by 1Love Movement. 61

Narrative Program

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The last tour

Saturday, Nov. 19 | 6–8pm | AAI 70 mins | Action, Comedy | USA Writer/Director: Ryun Yu Writer: Jeff Liu Cast: Ryun Yu, Jeff Liu, Richard Azurdia, Ron Balicki, Marc Casabani Dishonorably discharged from the Army for his role in Iraqi prisoner torture, Jun Lee struggles to feed his family. When his former commanding officer offers him a mercenary job Jun thinks he’s finally found a way out. But when a simple kidnapping job takes a sudden dark turn, Jun has an acute attack of conscience and frees the prisoner. With mercenaries on their tail Jun turns to his survivalist Aunt and Uncle for help - and soon the motley crew must make their last stand against heavily armed professionals. While fairly lighthearted in nature, The Last Tour offers critical insight into the issues returning soldiers face as they navigate reentry to society.

2016 PAAFF

Director/Lead Actor Ryun Yu expected in attendance for post-film Q&A with members of the cast and crew. 62

Narrative Program

Saturday, Nov. 19 | 8:15–10pm | AAI 80 mins | Horror, Comedy | USA Writer/Director: Raymond C. Lai Writers: Koji Steven Sakai, Dwayne Perkins Cast: Dwayne Perkins, Lynn Chen, Johnny Skourtis Schafer Jones was a promising comedian on the rise, until a seemingly random heckler incites an onstage meltdown, captured for all the world to see. Using the meltdown as an excuse to encourage Schafer to take risks on stage, his manager and best friend Jeff begins shooting a documentary on Schafer’s comeback.

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Dying to kill

The film makes a hard tonal switch from mockumentary to horror when Schafer is abducted. The reason for his captivity? To make him a better comedian. Schafer only has four chances to make his captor laugh, or the people he loves will start to die. A unique take on the horror genre with genuine reflection on the dark side of the stand-up comedy circuit.

2016 PAAFF

Writer/Director Raymond C. Lai, Writer Koji Steven Sakai, and Lead Actor Dwayne Perkins expected in attendance for post-film Q&A.




youth media shorts Sunday, Nov. 20 | 11am–12pm Asian Arts Initiative | 60 mins

This FREE program features the WORLD PREMIERE of five short films produced during the Summer 2016 PAAFF Youth Media Workshop at PhillyCAM. Youth Filmmakers expected in attendance with Program Facilitator Ariel Taylor for post-film Q&A. Films shown will include works by: Gallant Abidin Joshua Hite Justin Lee Darlene Leohansson George Wu Jenny Wu

Mr. Potato Explains it all

2016 featured the pilot version of PAAFF’s Youth Media Workshop, made possible through an exciting collaboration with PhillyCAM, Philadelphia’s public access television station. Spanning July 18-22, 2016 our week-long intensive workshop used a similar format to Center for Asian American Media’s Muslim Youth Voices Project, encouraging youth ages 12-18 to tell stories from their own unique perspectives. Providing an even balance of media literacy education and practical production tutorial, the end product of this summer workshop is a series of five short films, which will be premiered here at PAAFF’16. Free to the participants, we hope to expand this program to more AAPI youth and perhaps other immigrant communities in a future iteration.

2016 PAAFF

After the screening, youth filmmakers will have a chance to participate in a Q&A, along with Program Facilitator Ariel Taylor. Visit for more details. 64

jenny’s food skit


Sunday, Nov. 20 | 12:15–2:30pm Asian Arts Initiative | 96 mins Each of the films in this FREE program of shorts involves food culture, preparation, or appreciation. Filmmakers expected in attendance for post-screening Q&A.

sameer and the giant samosa

the roots of ‘ulu Director: John Antonelli | 35 mins | Hawaii

Noodle deli

destination philadelphia: an immigrant’s journey Directors: Xiaoyu Yang, Yuqi Zhang | 15 mins | USA

the last tip

The last tip Director: Patrick Chen | 5 mins | USA

An intimate portrait of Philadelphia-based chef/ owner of critically acclaimed Xi’an Sizzling Woks.

During the course of his meal, a loyal patron reminisces into his past memories at his favorite restaurant one last time.

Sameer and the giant samosa Director: Faroukh Virani | 5 mins | USA

Noodle deli Director: David Liu | 13 mins | USA

A dark comedy about a newlywed Indian couple and their diverging views on marriage and tradition. A surreal turn of events reveals the groom’s true, hidden appetites.

From China to LA, Shanxi-born chef Jeffrey Zhifeng Yang continues one of the world’s most fabled culinary traditions - the art of noodles.

mamori Director: Ben Wang | 10 mins | USA

Doubles with slight pepper Director: Ian Harnarine | 16 mins | Trinidad, USA

Every summer Ben’s grandmother picks, stews and cans tomatoes at Matsumura Farms in Esparto, CA. A short doc of earnest life lessons passed from one generation to the next.

An Indo-Carribean chef struggles to support himself by selling doubles, Trinidad’s quintessential street food. When his estranged father returns, he must decide whether to save his life.


PAAFF EATS food shorts

The Roots of ‘ulu

doubles with slight pepper

2016 PAAFF

‘Ulu, or breadfruit, grows on trees that last for decades and require relatively little water or nutrients. This short doc traces the history of ‘Ulu in ancient Hawaiian cuisine and resurgance in popularity by a new generation of Hawaiians. 65

Narrative Program

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The last smile

Sunday, Nov. 20 | 2:45–4:30pm | AAI 86 mins | Drama, Mystery | USA Writer/Director: Shankey Srinivasan Cast: Elsa Amaya, Jeff Applebaum, Karl J. Arana Inspired by true events, this film chronicles the struggles of a bereaved father searching for answers to explain the untimely demise of his adult son. Enlisting the services of a private detective to investigate the case, they discover that the son’s death was caused by reaction to an over the counter health supplement. In spite of his grief, he vows to bring the multibillion dollar health supplement company responsible to justice. Examining the broken system of unregulated health supplement industry in US, The Last Smile also deals with subject of greed and corruption prevalent in our society.

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Special Presentation

Sunday, Nov. 20 | 4:45–6:15pm | AAI 37 mins | Documentary | USA Director: Christopher Wong

Two fathers and their families battle against a potentially life-threatening disease impacting the Asian American community. Both contracted hepatitis B (hep B) at birthHep B, caused by the hepatitis B virus, can result in serious liver problems before symptoms become noticeable and is frequently referred to as a “silent killer.” Up to two million people are infected in the US, and as many as two out of three Asian Americans living with it aren’t aware they have it. Often stigmatized and misunderstood, hep B is the most common cause of liver cancer among Asian Americans.

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Be about it

Through the lives of Alan and AJ, witness how two families cope with the impact of this potentially life-threatening virus.

Presented by

2016 2016PAAFF PAAFF

Screening with Caregiving: A Circle of Love a short doc by AARP about caregiving in the Chinese American community from the perspective of the three family caregivers, including MSNBC News Anchor Richard Lui. 67 67

Help lead some new business to Philadelphia. Use your connections to bring the next major meeting of your company, volunteer organization or association here. They’ll thank you, and so will your city. Discover why Philadelphia is the ideal setting for great meetings and conventions. or 1-855-MEET-PHL

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Closing Night Film | Pacific Showcase

Sunday, Nov. 20 | 6:30-8pm | AAI 66 mins | Documentary | Hawaii Director: Tadashi Nakamura

Mele Murals is a compelling feature documentary about a young generation of Native Hawaiians who are reclaiming their indigenous culture through the transformative power of graffiti art. At the center of the story are two renowned street artists - Estria Miyashiro (aka Estria) and John Hina (aka Prime) - a group of Native Hawaiian youth, and the rural community of Waimea.

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mele murals

Set against the resurgence of Hawaiian language and culture of the past twenty years, Estria and Prime tell how their street art has taken them on personal journeys to discover their history, identity and responsibilities as Hawaiian people.

Presented by

2016 PAAFF

Director Tad Nakamura and Hawaiian graffiti legend Prime are expected in attendance for a post film Q&A and live mural painting. Admission also includes entry to the Closing Night Reception catered by local Hawaiian food truck Poi Dog and featuring the unveiling of limited edition Hawaiian ice cream flavor from Little Baby’s Ice Cream.


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.

Tetsuki Ijichi Independent film producer from Japan and President of Tidepoint Pictures that specializes in distributing Asian films across genre, from Horror to Documentary in North America and Internationally.

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.

2016 PAAFF

Amira Smith Director of Marketing and Multicultural Affairs for the Greater Philadelphia Film Office (, actress, and overall film enthusiast.


Philip Lam Independent film producer (Undoing, Santa Mesa) based in the New York City metropolitan area. Hye-jung park Associate Director and Program Manager at the Scribe Video Center, Hye-Jung produced several documentaries that include The Women Outside, North Korea: Beyond DMZ, and The #7 Train: An Immigrant Journey, all of which aired on PBS.

Maori Holmes Originally from Los Angeles, Maori Holmes is a producer, curator, and the Founding Artistic Director of the BlackStar Film Festival ( 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 is also Director of CED at the Village of Arts and Humanities. She also curates/produces arts & culture programs and special events as a cofounder of AfroTaino Productions.









2016 PAAFF

Comcast NBC10 Telemundo 62 Comcast Spectacor AARP Wells Fargo PHL Diversity PA Dept of Drug & Alcohol Programs PECO Jefferson Hospital Pacific Islanders in Communications GP Asian Studies Consortium Hepatitis B Foundation Samuel S. Fels Fund Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Greater Philadelphia Film Office International House Asian Arts Initiative Community College of Philadelphia Fleisher Art Memorial BarLy Asian American Sports Bar Tokio HeadHouse Izakaya Jay Social XFinity Asia Phila Chinatown Development Corp Philadelphia Corp. for the Aging Clear Channel Radio CBL Wine Co. Yards Brewing Co. Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll Cambodian Association of GP Laos in the House Japan America Society of GP SEAMAAC


JACL Philadelphia Chapter Organization of Chinese Americans NaFFAA 1Love Movement VietLead Indonesia Diaspora Network Pan Asian Assoc. of Greater Phila. Asian Am. Chamber of Commerce SAADA Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Asian Americans United Asian Americans Advancing Justice NAAAP Philadelphia PAACH WHIAAPI Governor’s Advisory Commission on APA Affairs Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs Mayor Jim Kenney Governor Tom Wolf Sharon Pinkenson Joan Bressler Nicole Shiner Amira Smith Cynthia Gouw Loraine Ballard Morrill Nina Ahmad Thom Cardwell James Duggan Tiffany Chang-Lawson Master Chef Joseph Poon

Greg DeShields Brittany Benjamin Gayle Isa Cecilia Yen Melody Wong Loc Nguyen Jae Shim Matt Nelson Drake Nakaishi Scott Nakamura Hiro Nishikawa Councilman David Oh Councilwoman Helen Gym Dr. Aida Rivera Andy Toy Dr. Walter Tsou Miriam Enriquez Hani White Kazumi Teune Aaron Dilliplane Denise Nakano Sarah Christy James Fraatz Jesse Pires Robert E. Cargni Patrick DiGiacomo Andrea Agnew Susan Jin Davis Johnnie Giles Shawn Samuel Shubham Garg Sharmila Ravi

Kristina Chang Rina Hayashi Marife Domingo Allen Chou Philip Lam Melanie Forchetti Tetsuki Ijichi Marangeli Mejia Rabell Hye-Jung Park Maori Holmes Scott CHOPS Jung Michelle Myers Will Gardner Fariha Khan Michael Dennis Thoai Nguyen Sokmala Chy John Chin Rob Levin Dajana Denes-Walters Grace Rustia Fran Griesing Rahat Babar Peter Van Do Richard Perelman, Esq. Christopher Jones, Esq. Cliff Song Alison Scott Tom Kehoe, Jr. Tony Jones Nathan Lerner Jason Perna

The Barnes Foundation Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Leeway Foundation Drexel University University of Pennsylvania Arcadia University Chinese Christian Church & Center Philadelphia Suns Franklin Square Park Greg Pak Harmony for Peace Foundation Chigumi Obayashi Madame Saito Han Chiang Moon Krapugthong Chris Cho Kiki Aranita and Chris Vacca Pete Angevine Joko Tan Genevieve Francisco Thanh Nguyen Susan Phay Sabina Ahmad Anna and Jack Chen David Greene Si Brown Tony Kauffman Naroen Chhin Nancy Nguyen Hariprasad Kowtha Ann Adachi-Tasch Rieko Watanabe

Anuj Gupta Jack Treatman Sandi Saputra Liz Grimaldi Vita Litvack Sarah Mitteldorf Asaki Kuruma Rae Bradley Noah Breymeier Siona Stone Pratima Agrawal Nastassja Baset Gabriella Sanchez Daniel Ison Atif Sheikh Aisha Khan Frank Chance Dr. Kyoung-Suk Sung GVGK Tang Eiko Fan Dr. Midori Yoshimoto Sabine Lipten Sheena Sood Sheila Shankar Jill Weber Aggie Ebrahimi Bazaz DJ Rekha Malhotra Jaeki Cho praCh Ly Chee Malabar Rick Shiomi Makoto Hirano

Bi Jean Ngo Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists Old City Coffee Kaleid Theater Collaborative Cataloguing Japan NMAJH Old City Aikido PECO Asian American Resource Group Westminster Choir College Swarthmore College Da Vinci Art Alliance APA@Comcast Mustard Seed South Asian Film Festival Tidepoint Pictures Maestro Filmworks University of the Arts Leanne Ferrer Cheryl Hirasa Remi Taum Chari Cohen Michael Feighan John Prime Hina Tiffany Tavarez Matt Mizenko Robin Choi Joseph Ferro Katy Ro Kanako Shirasaki Tim Haggerty Erin De Rosa Joe Kim

2016 PAAFF

John Green Samip Mallick Jackie Borock Dafna Yachin Gretjen Clausing Laura Deutch Antoine Haywood Ariel Taylor Jeff Bethea Kathleen Greene Catzie Vilayphonh Shira Walinsky Buu and Tami Ly Harry Leong Carol Wong Doug Chen Nick Shenoy Nick Koenig Phil Yu Anderson Le Masashi Niwano Don Young Stephen Gong Center for Asian American Media Blackstar Film Festival PHL Latino Film Festival Reelblack Presents PIFVA qFlix Philadelphia Black Film Advisory Commission PhillyCAM Scribe Video Center


Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia

フィラデルフィア日米協会 Congratulations, PAAFF for 9 years of great films!

Building Stronger Communities

2016 PAAFF

SEAMAAC, Inc. 215-467-0690 1711 S. Broad Street (Main Office) 2110 S. 8th Street (Satellite Office)


0$5.(7,1*12:72(%,19(67256 â—? ,)LOHGIRU(%,QYHVWRUV â—? ([HPSODUILOHGZLWK86&,6 Founded in 1929, the JACL is the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in the United States. The JACL monitors and responds to issues that enhance or threaten the civil and human rights of all Americans and implements strategies to effect positive social change, particularly to the Asian Pacific American community. JACL Philadelphia commends the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival for their work. Become a member today at

2016 PAAFF

($67(5172:(5&20081,7<&(17(5 *OREDO&LW\5HJLRQDO&HQWHU//&-RKQ).HQQHG\%OYG6WH3KLOD3$ 7HOâ&#x2014;?7HO 中ć&#x2013;&#x2021;)



2016 PAAFF

Download the album on iTunes 76


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We proudly applaud the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival Films have the ability to tell stories in new and creative ways that capture our imagination and whisk us far, far away.

2016 PAAFF

Š 2016 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. (3255501_19211)


As Philly’s premier Asian American owned sports bar, Bar Ly is proud to support PAAFF as the official Aer Party venue of the 2016 Festival.

PAAFF Badge holders and ticket stubs get 10% off through Nov 20 *Cannot be combined with other discount offers

Daily Happy Hour 3:30-6:30 Sun-urs: 10-Midnight $3 Drinks & Appetizers 2016 PAAFF

101 N 11th St, Phila PA 19107 215.922.2688 | 78

60 Draft Beers | 30 HD TVs

InternatIonal House PHIladelPHIa Is Proud to Partner wItH tHe PHIladelPHIa asIan amerIcan fIlm festIval. We join you in celebrating cinema focused on work by and about people of Asian descent in a global context.

InternAtIonAl house phIlAdelphIA – Where the World lives and learns 2016 PAAFF

student housing, International cinema, Arts and culture, and More I n t e r n A t I o n A l h o u s e p h I l A d e l p h I A • 3 7 0 1 c h e s t n u t s t • W W W . I h o u s e p h I l ly. o r g • 2 1 5 . 3 8 7 . 5 1 2 5 79


PAAFF'16 Program Guide  

Full details for the 2016 Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival Nov 10-20

PAAFF'16 Program Guide  

Full details for the 2016 Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival Nov 10-20