The Visual Communications crew and Festival staffers gather at Angel City Brewery in L.A.'s Arts District to throw a Kick-Off Party for friends, filmmakers, supporters, and Festival sponsors. Guests came to enjoy good food, drinks, and good company in anticipation of the May 2 Opening Night at the Directors Guild of America. (All photos: Steven Lam)
With over two weeks to go before the start of Festival Week 2012, the Visual Communications crew and Festival staffers throw a Kick-Off Party for friends, filmmakers, supporters, and Festival sponsors. Nearly three hundred people gathered at Xai Verandah Lounge on Sunset Blvd. to enjoy good food, drinks, and good company in anticipation of the May 10 Opening Night at the Directors Guild of America. (All photos: Steven Lam)
And so it begins, the star-studded Film Festival Opening Night at the Directors Guild of America on Thursday, May 10. The Los Angeles premiere screening of Daniel Hsia's SHANGHAI CALLING attracted an overflow crowd of over 900 guests who were treated to appearances by director Hsia, Producer janet Yang, and stars Daniel Henney, Eliza Coupe, and Bill Paxton.
Things got real busy the morning after Opening Night for Festival artists starting with the Welcome brunch sponsored by the Directors Guild of America, followed by Press Day. Then, the first day of screenings included sold-out screenings of MODEL MINORITY, THE CRUMBLES, and an absolutely mesmerizing International Centerpiece presentation of Musa Syeed's VALLEY OF SAINTS. At the end of the evening, Festival-goers retired to the special electronica show in support of undocumented students, "DREAMS From the Underground."
The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival kicked into high gear on a very busy Saturday, with both filmmaker panels and the C3: Project Market in full swing, as well as a full slate of activities at both the Directors Guild of America and CGV Cinemas. After a long day and evening that included well-received screenings and special guest appearances from both local and out-of-town guests, what else was there to do but retire to the Film Festival's official Saturday Night afterparty at Bardot in Hollywood...
As this edition of the Film Festival fell on Mothers' Day, the programming took full advantage of the occasion. That didn't mean that the edge came off the film offerings (for example, see: ROOM 107, and later that evening, I AM A GHOST). Highlights included a screening of Michael Kang's KNOTS, a slate of mesmerizing documentary features including WHERE HEAVEN MEETS HELL and RESTORING THE LIGHT, and the 10th anniversary presentation of VC's own Armed With a Camera Fellowship works.
After a full weekend of screenings and activities, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival settles in for the ride at the CGV Cinemas in L.A. Koreatown with a complement of compelling shorts programs and screenings of diverse and exciting international features from Taiwan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and South Korea. Fan boys, sk8er bois, and all their friends came out for a full evening of films and fun, capped off by a visit to nearby Beer Belly where Festival goers waxed philosophical about APA cinema over a pint (or two).
People, people...all kinds of people converged on the CGV Cinemas as the Film Festival's ever-popular Digital Histories program for media by seniors was quickly followed by the L.A. premiere of Festival veteran Tanuj Chopra's NICE GIRLS CREW, and encore screenings of MODEL MINORITY and BLOOD LETTER from Opening Weekend.
Festival Week wednesday at the CGV Cinemas brought out the crowds for a diverse set of offerings: Emily Liu's GREAT WALL, MY LOVE; documentary and Korean short films, and an encore screening of I AM A GHOST that positively freaked people out. The evening was highlighted by the World Premiere screening of Kane Diep's UPLOADED: THE ASIAN AMERICAN MOVEMENT, complete with many of the documentary's subjects in-person.
The Film Festival made it to Closing Night at the CGV Cinemas with a rousing awards ceremony party downstairs in the Madang Courtyard, during which the Grand Jury Awards for Best Narrative and Documentary Feature were awarded to VALLEY OF SAINTS and WHERE HEAVEN MEETS HELL. Afterwards were the Closing Night presentation of JOYFUL REUNION from Taiwan, and a raucous post-screening party, again in Madang the Courtyard.
The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival's Encore Weekend took place for the first time in Long Beach, at the historic Art Theatre of Long Beach. Friday afforded audiences the chance to catch Audience Award Winner GIVE UP TOMORROW and PARADISE BROKEN, while emotions ran high at the L.A. premiere screening of the moving THE ORATOR from New Zealand. Then on Saturday, a huge crowd for the encore screening of TWO SHADOWS was followed by an equally large crowd for IN THE FAMILY.
After more than a week, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival finally wound down with the presentation of Grand Jury Award Winners WHERE HEAVEN MEETS HELL and VALLEY OF SAINTS; and the U.S. Premiere of SIONE'S 2, the follow-up to the hugely popular SAMOAN WEDDING. In between, an encore screening of Davy Chou's GOLDEN SLUMBERS proved emotional, cathartic, and well-received.