The 39th year of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is upon us! The annual showcase for Asian diaspora, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and international Asians in cinema returns just in time for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May.
From May 4 through May 13, Visual Communications have planned online and in-person programming slated to take place in Little Tokyo, Gardena Cinemas, and Regal L.A. Live.
The festival kicks off a community celebration party at the Japanese American National Museum on May 4, followed by Opening Night programing on May 5 with the World Premiere of Armed With A Camera Vol 2023 (AWC). This year, AWC will feature six short films produced by Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander artists.
“As an organization, we recognize deeply that in order for us to build collective power we must in tandem confront issues that divide us; that privilege some parts of our own community over others and render our Indigenous relations invisible. In our growing practice to challenge definitions and boundaries, we’re always examining what we can do better,” said Visual Communications Executive Director, Francis Cullado in a press release. “We’re honored to center Native Hawaiian and Pasifika artists in the 2023 edition of AWC as well as our Pacific Cinewaves program. This is a continuation of our intentions from early works like OMAI FAʻATASI: SAMOA MO SAMOA and NA PUA O LAKA, and a renewed commitment to uplift and amplify Indigenous storytellers in spaces where Asian-American artists may historically hold privilege. We have to amplify artists who utilize media to preserve cultural traditions and present diasporic stories if we are being earnest in our efforts to truly build community and collective power.”
In addition to AWC Vol. 2023, the Festival will feature several programs reflecting Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Indigenous perspectives to amplify the contemporary storytelling of Indigenous Peoples that universally connects all of us.
The festival will also celebrate the legacy of former VC Executive Director Linda Mabalot. This year commemorates the 20th year since Mabalot’s passing.
“We rededicate our renewed work and the 39th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival to Linda’s everlasting values as we honor the 20th anniversary of her passing. In doing so, we acknowledge that our creative communities have experienced profound grief and loss, in addition to other challenges through recent social, political, and cultural movements. As an organization, we’re looking at ways the Festival and our year-round programming can offer a space for care and compassion, where artists and filmmakers can deeply connect with one another without prerequisite or requirement,” shared Cullado.
General Public tickets are available for purchase here.