Thursday, February 17, 2011


The 29th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF)

CAAM With a new logo (see right), a new tagline ("Stories to Light"), a new trailer, a new festival director (Masashi Niwano), and a new Web site, the 29th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF) reveals its new identity March 10-20 in San Francisco, Berkeley, and San Jose.

Despite the freshness of this year's festival, one focus remains the same: "present stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience" and to bring the largest Asian cinema showcase in North America to the audience.


This year's SFIAAFF presents 108 films (including 31 feature narratives and 16 feature documentaries) and 58 programs during its 10 day run.

The opening night film "West Is West" (UK 2009 | 102 min.) is a comedy about a Pakistani immigrant family living in London.

West is West

The closing night film "Surrogate Valentine" (USA 2011 | 75 min.) is a docudrama style comedy about local indie musician Goh Nakamura, directed by Bay area director Dave Boyle.

Surrogate Valentine

This year's centerpiece presentation is a Vietnamese film "Clash" (Bẫy Rồng | Vietnam 2009 | in Vietnamese | 100 min.). The film is like a marriage between a Hong Kong martial art flick and a Hollywood violent action blockbuster. It tells a story about cracking down a gangster's operation, and it has nothing to do with the Vietnam War, for a change.


Besides these big nights, the festival presents a wide spectrum of recent Asian cinema as well as a few retrospective programs that certainly enchant the sophisticated and diverse cinema lovers around the Bay.

I will write more about those films in the near future.

Let's bring the stories to light. But first, turn off the light and watch some great movies at the 29th SFIAAFF.

My picks of some must-see films at this year's SFIAAFF:


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