May 17, 2012 – LOS ANGELES The 2012 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) produced by Visual Communications celebrated the closing night of its 28th edition on Thursday night with the U.S. premiere screening of the Taiwanese film JOYFUL REUNION and the announcement of this year’s jury prizes.
Director/writer Musa Syeed and producer Nicholas Bruckman were awarded the Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature for their moving VALLEY OF SAINTS. The Festival’s Outstanding Director Award also went to Musa Syeed for VALLEY OF SAINTS, with a Special Jury Mention to Lily Mariye for her film MODEL MINORITY.
Additional narrative film awards given out included: Outstanding Screenplay to writer H.P. Mendoza for the script for YES WE’RE OPEN; Outstanding Cinematography to John Matysiak for MODEL MINORITY; and Outstanding First Feature Award went to Daniel Hsia for SHANGHAI CALLING, his feature directorial debut.
Acting awards given out this year included: Dante Basco receiving Best Actor Award, for his performances in PARADISE BROKEN and HANG LOOSE; Best Newcomer Actor Awards going to Nichole Bloom of MODEL MINORITY and Kevin Wu of HANG LOOSE; and Best Ensemble Acting Award went to SUNSET STORIES, which featured performances by Sung Kang, Monique Curnen, Michelle Krusiec, Joshua Leonard and Sandy Martin.
In the documentary jury competition, WHERE HEAVEN MEETS HELL directed by Sasha Friedlander received the Grand Jury Award for Best Film. Debbie Lum was awarded the Outstanding Director Award for her film, SEEKING ASIAN FEMALE. The award for Outstanding Cinematography was a tie and it went to Sasha Friedlander and Bao Nguyen for WHERE HEAVEN MEETS HELL and to Sun Shaoguang for CHINA HEAVYWEIGHT.
Filmmakers Michael Collins and Marty Syjuco received the Special Jury Award For Human Rights, for their film GIVE UP TOMORROW which chronicles the frenzied legal and media circus that surrounds the decade long campaign to execute or save one young man, Paco Larrañaga.
Short films this year were in abundance, with over 140 shorts being screened at the festival. The moving film NANI from Justin Tipping received the Festival Golden Reel Award, while Mitsuyo Miyazaki was honored with the Linda Mabalot New Directors/New Visions Award for TSUYAKO.
Rounding out the event was the presentation of the C3: Project Market Award, a new program started at this year’s Film Festival recognizing new projects with a $5,000 prize for the best project pitch.
“Over the course of two days, the C3: Project Market filmmakers had over 140 meetings connecting them to financiers, producers, production companies, agents, managers and industry executives,” states Milton Liu, Director of Programs and Artists Services. “These wonderful voices evidence the depth, breadth and continued strength of Asian American storytellers, and we are so proud that they made the inaugural C3: Project Market an overwhelming success.”
The C3: Project Market Jury Award went to Liselle Mei and Derek Nguyen for their project SEEING RED. An honorable mention was awarded to Musa Syeed and Nicholas Bruckman for THE DOCTOR.
The 2012 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival kicked off on May 10 with SHANGHAI CALLING, directed by Daniel Hsia and starring Daniel Henney. The Fest will conclude May 18 -20 with encore screenings of award winners along with special Pacific Islander and Cambodian programming in Long Beach, including: THE ORATOR directed by Tusi Tamasese; SIONE’S 2: UNFINISHED BUSINESS (aka Samoan Wedding 2) directed by Simon Bennett; and GOLDEN SLUMBERS directed by Davy Chou. For more info go to www.vconline.org/festival.
Audience Awards will be announced next week, after the final day of the Film Festival.
2012 FESTIVAL SPONSORS
PREMIERE: Directors Guild of America; CGV Theaters; PLATINUM: Coca-Cola; Comcast/NBC Universal; Wells Fargo; SILVER: Sony Pictures Entertainment; BRONZE: CBS Diversity; Screen Actors Guild; SAG Indie; STAR: Jenner & Block, Boeing, Union Bank, Motion Pictures Editors Guild; Writers Guild of America, west; Taipei Economic & Cultural Office of Los Angeles; Pacific Islanders in Communications; Ketel One; Shiftboard; Yes Style; BEER: Stella Artois; Asahi; MEDIA: LA 18 KSCI-TV; AngryAsianMan.com; MNET; Audrey Magazine; KoreAm; KPFK; Glocal; LA Weekly; GOVERNMENT SUPPORT: National Endowment for the Arts; Los Angeles County Arts Commission; Department of Cultural Affairs/City of Los Angeles; FOUNDATION SUPPORT: California Community Foundation; James Irvine Foundation
ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL
The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival presented by Visual Communications is the Southland’s premier showcase for the best and brightest of Asian Pacific cinema. Since 1983, the Film Festival has presented over 3,400 films and videos by Asian international and Asian American artists, and additionally features seminars and panels, in-person guest appearances, and filmmaker awards. For more information, please visit: www.vconline.org/festival.
ABOUT VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS
Visual Communications (VC), the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, was established in 1970. The organization has established a lengthy track record of pioneering achievements in producing, presenting, and preserving more honest and accurate representations of Asian and Pacific Islander communities in America. Visual Communications is also recognized as an incubator of emerging Asian Pacific American cinematic talent. The organization’s works have been exhibited in numerous venues and broadcast outlets around the world. The mission of Visual Communications is to promote intercultural understanding through the creation, presentation, preservation and support of media works by and about Asian Pacific Americans.
LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL 2012 AWARDS
NARRATIVE FEATURES AWARDS
Grand Jury Award – Best Feature-Length Narrative Film
VALLEY OF SAINTS
Director/Writer MUSA SYEED; Producer NICHOLAS BRUCKMAN
MUSA SYEED – VALLEY OF SAINTS
Special Jury Mention – Outstanding Director
LILY MARIYE – MODEL MINORITY
H.P. MENDOZA – YES WE’RE OPEN
JOHN MATYSIAK – MODEL MINORITY and TWO SHADOWS
Outstanding First Feature
SHANGHAI CALLING by DANIEL HSIA
Best Newcomer Actors
NICHOLE BLOOM – MODEL MINORITY
KEVIN WU – HANG LOOSE
Best Ensemble Acting Award
SUNSET STORIES – Sung Kang, Monique Curnen, Michelle Krusiec, Joshua Leonard and Sandy Martin
DANTE BASCO – PARADISE BROKEN and HANG LOOSE
Grand Jury Award – Best Feature-Length Documentary Film
WHERE HEAVEN MEETS HELL
Director SASHA FRIEDLANDER; Producer: SASHA FRIEDLANDER, BAO NGUYEN, DAVID OSIT
DEBBIE LUM – SEEKING ASIAN FEMALE
Outstanding Cinematographer – tie
WHERE HEAVEN MEETS HELL – SASHA FRIEDLANDER and BAO NGUYEN
CHINA HEAVYWEIGHT – SUN SHAOGUANG
Special Jury Award for Human Rights
GIVE UP TOMORROW Director MICHAEL COLLINS; Producer MARTY SYJUCO
Festival Golden Reel Award
NANI – JUSTIN TIPPING
Linda Mabalot New Directors/New Visions Award
TSUYAKO – MITSUYO MIYAZAKI
THIEF – JAY CHERN
C3: PROJECT MARKET
SEEING RED – Liselle Mei & Derek Nguyen
THE DOCTOR – Musa Syeed & Nicholas Bruckman