L.A.'s VC FilmFest: The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival will screen a record number of feature films from Asian American filmmakers, organizers have announced. The 22nd edition of the festival, taking place May 4 - 11 will showcase 140 films, shorts and videos with 16 feature films from 18 Asian American directors.
Ham Tran's "Journey from the Fall" will open the festival this year. Tran, along with directors of this year's centerpiece and closing night films, began their filmmaking careers with short films screened at previous VC FilmFests. The film centers on a family in Vietnam who were disastrous effects from the war and emigrate to the United States. "Journey" screened in February at the Bangkok International Film Festival.
Sundance '06 special jury prizewinner "Eve and the Fire Horse" by Julia Kwan will screen as VC's centerpiece. The film is the story of a nine year-old Vancouver Chinese immigrant with a wild imagination growing up in a family preoccupied with superstition. Buddhism and Catholicism eventually make their way into the mix, creating cultural confusion for the girl and her overbearing sister.
Sundance '03 NHK Award-winner "The Motel" by Michael Kang also joins this year's line-up. The film, which went on to win a Humanitas Prize at the '05 Sundance fest, centers on a thirteen year-old boy who works at a sleazy motel in a desolate section of suburbia. Entering puberty, the boy meets an erratic yet magnetic Korean man who has checked into the motel who eventually teaches him the rites of growing up.
Independent Spirit Awards '06 (John Cassavetes Award) winner "The Conventioneers" by Mora Mi-Ok Stephens is also slated. "Conventioneers" centers on a surprising love connection between a young man attending the Republican National Convention in New York and a girl he once knew in college, a Democrat, who is protesting outside.
Eric Byler's SXSW Film Festival '06 award-winner "Americanese" will close the fest. The romantic comedy focuses on the break-up of Chinese American Raymond Ding and Amerasian Aurora Crane. Their relationship seemed doomed due to misunderstanding, nosy friends and the intricacies of racial identity, and although they find new mates, cannot seem to completely part.
[For more information and a full VC FilmFest line up, visit the event's website.]