One of the perks of running a media arts organization is traveling to other film festivals to recruit and watch films, network, and collect swag bags. Seriously, though, it’s always refreshing to attend any film festival that you’re not working, so our annual excursion to the City of Angels for the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAPFF) is one our SDAFF peeps look forward to.
Even though it’s only a 2 hour drive, LA is always a whole different world as it seems everyone at LAPFF is working in the industry. Opening night for the US premiere of Justin Lin’s Fast Five was a who’s who of Asian American talent. Within stalking distance, you can see (and touch) Sung Kang, John Cho, Aaron Yoo, Kelly Hu, Sandra Oh, Danny Pudi, Archie Kao, Parry Shen, Randall Park, James Kyson Lee, Brian Tee, Karin Anna Cheung, the Wong Fu clan, and plenty of others. (I thought Fast Five, btw, was actually quite entertaining! So happy for Justin Lin that it raked in $85 million opening weekend at the Box Office!)
So what makes for a good festival experience? Access to the films. Check – I got tickets for all the programs I wanted to see, including Bertha Pan’s Almost Perfect starring the lovely Kelly Hu and newcomer Ivan Shaw (gorgeous on-screen couple). Free, convenient parking. Check – free parking at the DGA! Lots of celebrities, filmmakers, and people you know. Check – saw so many SDAFF alumni including 2010 Emerging Filmmaker winner, Nadine Truong (who is now working on her first feature – yay!) and had time to catch up with singer/actor Bobby Choy. Parties. Check – my fave was the 10th Anniversary Celebration for Angry Asian man, Phil Yu at the Siren where they offered free flip photo books (thanks Anthony MA!), free flowing JinRo (dangerous), and 80s music (super dangerous). My only regret was that I wasn't able to karaoke in K-town with the Karaoke King of the Festival circuit - Anderson Le.
This year, the Fest also produced its first ever new media conference called C3. That’s a lot to handle in the opening weekend. So big kudos to our dear friends at Visual Communications – Shinae, Abe, Dave, and Quan – congrats on another successful Festival, which continues through May 7th with Taiwanese superstar, Lee Hom Wang and his directorial debut, Love in Disguise.