Artistic Director Anderson Le on The 34th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

Location

Alhambra , CA United States

A Q&A with Anderson Le, Festival Artistic Director, about some highlights of the THE 34TH LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL presented MAY 3RD – MAY 12TH, 2018 in Los Angeles at select cinemas.

What special events or features of this year’s LAAPFF Festival should Alhambra and SGV residents be aware of?

The Spotlight on Taiwan is really strong this year. OMOTENASHI from Taiwanese American director Jay Chern is a cross-cultural story set in Kyoto and stars Japanese actress Rena Tanaka. Both will be in attendance!

Secondly, we have the world premiere of LATE LIFE: THE CHIEN-MING WANG STORY about famed MLB baseball player Wang and his comeback to the major leagues. We also have some strong representation of local 626 filmmakers in our short film sections.

What shorts programs are there this year?

Our shorts are the cream of the crop of our film programming because it’s the section that has the most promising emerging filmmakers. Two programs I would like to highlight are called MY SO-CALLED ADOLESCENCE and FOREVER ALONE (OR NOT), which are curated by our staffer Dorothy Xiao, who was born and raised in the 626.

Special events?

cineMERIENDA is a Filipino cuisine event that will be really exciting! It’s happening on Sunday, May 6 and follows the LA premiere of ULAM: MAIN DISH, a documentary chronicling the rise of Fil-Am cuisine.

Free movies/programs to attend?

We have several free screenings/matinees on Thursday, May 10 at CGV Cinemas in Koreatown.

SINGING WITH ANGRY BIRD
Five years ago, a Korean opera singer, a.k.a. Angry Bird, started a children’s choir in India. Frustrated by the lack of support from the parents, he decides to train the parents to sing for a joint concert. While it may be the toughest challenge of his life, the experience has a profound effect on the adults as well as the kids in this uplifting, feel-good doc.

SCIENCE FAIR
Nine high school students from disparate corners of the globe navigate rivalries, setbacks, and hormones on their quest to win the international science fair. Only one can be named “Best in Fair.”

CHINA’S FORGOTTEN DAUGHTERS
Shot in a cinéma vérité style, one woman’s deeply personal journey challenges traditional notions of family and identity, revealing the wounds that 40 years of the One Child Policy has inflicted at the very heart of Chinese society. As Cai Fengxia searches for the biological parents who abandoned her, can she reconcile both her own expectations and those of her family’s?

BEYOND OUR MEMORIES
Whether reflecting on a successful career, continuing traditions from home in a new country, or seeking a better tomorrowin their own way, these non-fiction portraits show that a life worth living creates more than just memories. This is a great shorts program of short documentaries.

Works of note set in San Gabriel Valley, or involving or featuring SGV artists?

FOR IZZY, which will have its world premiere.

Although these filmmakers are not from SGV, I highly recommend JIMAMI TOFU, a romantic melodrama set in Okinawa and Singapore and also deals with food culture, specifically Ryokan cuisine. The filmmakers and stars will be there.

Top picks for this year’s festival?

The two centerpiece films, IN THE LIFE OF MUSIC and FICTION & OTHER REALITIES, are excellent. The Filipino food documentaries PRISON FOOD and ULAM: MAIN DISH.

Anything else we’re missing?

We are doing a free outdoor screening of Disney’s MULAN on Friday, May 11 at Griffith Park. It’s the film’s 20th anniversary of the film’s release! Great for families!

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