Friday, October 8, 2010


As the 2010 festival is almost upon us, a reflection on ten memories from past San Diego Asian Film Festivals seem to resonate with the excitement and furor of what was and what is to be. What goes on this year will be memories for next year.

- Each year, watching our fearless leader Lee Ann Kim being surrounded by more pressure than an exploding vacuum but handling everything with the grace of a white crane and with more bubbling enthusiasm than any child at Christmas.

- After the screening of Legend is Alive, hanging out with Dustin Nguyen and Ron Yuan until 3:00 am Monday morning talking about life, healing and film.

- Being the moderator at last year’s (2009) Stunt Panel and getting to know Zoe Bell and Ilram Choi.

- My first day at the first festival in 2007, where wearing my Manchester United red cap I met SDAFF’s avid Arsenal fan Phil Luque. We grimaced about Chelsea as if we were long lost soccer brothers.

- Talking with Justin Lin after Finishing the Game as he grinned a grinly grin saying that he remembered me from an interview I did with him 14 years ago. He appreciatively thanked me again for the 3000-word article I wrote about his aspirations of being a filmmaker and on his directorial debut Shopping for Fangs. Not everybody in Hollywood forgets.

My wife Silvia and I had an alternative health booth set up at last year’s festival (2009). Over a 5-day period we did free Qi readings, performed bean therapy and gave out Qi twigs to over 150 folks looking for something a little bit different in order to help their health.

- Giving bean therapy and a Qi reading to director N.C. Heikin after the screening of her film Kimjonglia. We all sat together for over 2 hours chatting about cinema, health and life. Filmmakers are human too.

- Finally meeting George Takei and having him remember me from a phone interview we had 10 years ago. Because I’m English, back then he shared that his late Anglophile father almost named him Neville (after England’s prime minister Neville Chamberlain) but relievingly gasped it was a good thing he didn’t. I joked that if I ever met him I'd call him Neville. He laughed and said fine...and 10 years later I said “Hi Neville” and he remembered me.

- Meeting all the lads and lasses who volunteer and work at the festival.

- I’m pretty well known as an aficionado of martial arts films and it was way cool when after the screening of The Rebel, Dustin Nguyen specifically asked me, “What did you really think of the fights in the film?”

1 comment:

  1. You have that affect on filmmakers, ending up in hours long conversations!