Conventions Movies

Groovy Times at the 2018 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

May is now upon us and for those of us in Los Angeles, that means the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is here!

Starting tomorrow, from May 3rd to May 12th, a whole community of Asian American artists and creatives in the entertainment industry will gather together and showcase their work throughout multiple venues from the Director’s Guild of America to the Aratani Theatre. Now in its 34th year, this festival sports a rather groovy intro. Check it out in the video below:

(I’ve been covering this festival for quite some time now and this may be the raddest intro I’ve seen from this festival yet.)

The main spotlights for this year are Searching which will be its opening night premiere, In The Life of Music and Fiction & Other Realities for the centerpieces, and MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. for the closing night presentation.

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#StarringJohnCho

These no doubt will get the lion’s share of the public’s attention but for the purpose of this article, I wish to spotlight the features and short film programs that deserve just as much of your attention!

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A still from the short film “Jie Jie”, one of the HBO APA Visionaries films in competition

SHORT FILM PROGRAM – HBO APA Visionaries 2018
May 4th, 2018 7pm
Director’s Guild of America – Theatre 1

In a unique filmmaker support initiative between Visual Communications and HBO, we present the winning entries from the APA Visionaries Short Film Competition, in which Asian Pacific American artists bring to light their worlds, their visions, and their voices.

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Actress VyVy Nguyen in her short “Starbuck Lovers” for the Forever Alone (Or Not) program

SHORT FILM PROGRAM – Forever Alone (Or Not)
May 6th, 2018 4:30pm
East West Players’ David Henry Hwang Theater

Nobody wants to end up alone and unloved. And even if we might feel like it sometimes, are we really? Bring someone with you to watch these films – or don’t – we promise you won’t be alone for the ride.

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Actors Jennifer Soo, Jim Lau, Elizabeth Sung, and Michelle Ang in “For Izzy”

FEATURE FILM – For Izzy
May 7th, 2018 7:30pm
Regal L.A. Live – Theatre 10

Dede (Michelle Ang), a photojournalist and recovering addict, moves in next door to Laura, a young woman with autism. As the pair form an unlikely friendship, Dede assembles a documentary, using animation and found footage to tell a story of sobriety, of family and friendship, and of love and forgiveness.

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Actress Vivian Bang in the feature film “White Rabbit”

FEATURE FILM – White Rabbit
May 7th, 2018 9:15pm
Regal L.A. Live – Theatre 13

Vivian Bang gives a delightful, refreshing performance in this whimsical Sundance hit as Sophia, a Korean American queer performance artist living in L.A. Struggling with the meaning of art and her recent break-up, she meets a free-spirited Ghanaian American photographer and develops strong feelings for her. But are the feelings reciprocated?

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A still from “Wreck It Raj”, one of the short films in the Armed With a Camera program

SHORT FILMS PROGRAM – Armed With A Camera vol. 2018
May 9th, 2018 8pm
Regal L.A. Live – Theatre 11

Visual Communications is proud to guide the next generation of storytellers in visualizing their amazing stories through the Armed with a Camera Fellowship. Watch these films that range from a documentary about children born to Korean immigrant liquor store owners, to a narrative on growing up a Sikh child in America.

In addition to the short film programs and narrative features, there are two other special events that you must also definitely check out:

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Corner Cinema 360°
May 5th 12 – 6pm
Japanese American National Museum

Immerse yourself in the story! Technology and storytelling intersect in these virtual reality experiences that put you at the center of the narrative. Expand your worldview with boundary-pushing works that celebrate AAPI experiences, not as a passive viewer, but as an active participant.

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C3: The Conference for Creative Content
May 5th, 2018
Japanese American National Museum

C3 connects industry professionals to create dialogues on the ever-changing media landscapes as we build a collective vision for our creative communities. We’re excited to bring the eighth edition of C3 to the opening weekend of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival on Saturday, May 5 at the Japanese American National Museum.

Building off of our previous C3 Conferences with an initial focus on content creative, our latest edition spotlights innovators and visionaries whose creative work advances our industry and communities.

Without a doubt, I’ve only covered a tip of the iceberg in terms of the bountiful content that will be showcased at the festival so if I do catch any others alongside my partner Josephine Chang, we will be sure to broadcast it from The Nerds of Color Twitter account. If you find us throughout the week, we’ll most likely be in Star Wars clothing and hovering around the food table.