Monday, March 5, 2012
San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival Turns Thirty
Thousands of years ago, Confucius
gave some advices to his students. He wrote, in Chinese of
course because English didn't even exist during his
It means that one should become mature and independent,
and should be able to firmly stand on his feet when he turns
San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF) turns the big thirty this year. Does the festival meet the Confucius's expectation?
You be the judge after you participate the festival this week, joining by tens of thousands other Asians cinema enthusiasts in the Bay Area.
With 102 films and videos in 47 programs, the 30th SFIAAFF continues to be a showcase of Asian American Independent filmmaking and current Asian cinema. However, it is noticeably smaller this year compared to the past. Perhaps that's one of the sign of turning thirty.
Although I am a member of the screening committee for this year's festival, I have only seen a limited number of the films in this year's program. I hold off viewing some of the films on purpose, so I can watch them with other festival goers together.
From what I have read in the program, I sense that turning thirty doesn't seem to make the festival become more predictable in style or contents. Quite the contrary, some new changes and directions will certainly surprise festival goers. It surely surprises me.
For example, I am intrigued by closing night program—an interactive and performative web series that is inspired by the phenomenon of Dancing Inmates of Cebu. Is it a film or a live performance? Or both? I am looking forward to finding it out by myself next Thursday.
If nothing else, I think this trend shows the festival constantly evolves itself and embraces the new media, and stay relevant.
Perhaps that is what really significant about the festival's turning thirty.
Here is my picks in this year's program. Because a picture worth thousand words, and a video worth a million words (okay, that's an expression I just invented), I will keep my words to a minimum. And the truth is, I really have nothing to say before I actually see a film.
As always, each title is linked to the festival program for more details and showtime information. Each image is linked to a film's official Web site when it's available.
The 30th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival takes place on March 8-18, 2012 in Sundance Kabuki, SF Film Society Cinema, Castro Theater in San Francisco, Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, Camera 3 Cinemas in San Jose, and other venues around the Bay Area.