Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival celebrates diversity

The 33rd annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) wrapped the screening of 180 films from 33 countries this week.  It commenced on April 27-May 4 in Los Angeles with an extended version of the festival in Orange County from May 5-May 11. With May being Asian Pacific American Heritage month, what better time to celebrate incredible movies of Asian Pacific filmmakers both locally and abroad than at the LAAPFF!

The festival opened with the 15th anniversary of director Justin Lin’s Better Luck Tomorrow at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. This was a landmark for Asian American cinema in 2002.   Pria, directed by Yudho Aditya, won the Golden Reel Award which is eligible for consideration in the Animated Short Film/Live-Action Short Film category of the Academy Awards.  Makoto Nagahisa direction of And So We Put Goldfish In The Pool won the Linda Mabalot New Directors/New Visions Award.  Gook, Small Talk, Finding Kukan, Mixed Match, Saving Sally, and Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower lead the audience awards.  Actor John Cho, whose film Columbus made its West Coast Premiere at the LAAPFF, received the Visual Communications Trailblazer Award honoring his acting career and his support for the festival and Asian American Films.

Better Luck Tomorrow
Columbus

In addition to film screenings, there was the Conference for Creative Content (C3) which is a series of panels on craft and issues facing the industry.  There was a special program making the Rodney King verdict and Los Angeles riots, along with a presentation on “Bronzeville, Little Tokyo”.

Bronzeville, Little Tokyo

The festival was spread over several locations in Los Angeles – Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre, Koreatown, UCA, the Directors Guild of America, and downtown Los Angeles.  One of the locations in downtown included screenings of twelve short films by the Fil-Am Creative, an organization that promotes advancement of Filipino-Americans in entertainment and media. Among the many attendees at the Fil-Am Creative screenings were Fil-Am actor Dante Basco who graced the red carpet along with fellow Filipinos. Links to all the Fil-Am Creative short films that screened can be found at this link.

A full list of the 33rd Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival awards are shown below:

Gook

NORTH AMERICAN NARRATIVE FEATURE AWARDS

GRAND JURY PRIZE:  GOOK – directed by Justin Chon

BEST DIRECTOR:  Justin Chon (GOOK)

BEST ACTRESS:  Simone Baker (GOOK)

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST:  COLUMBUS – JOHN CHO, HALEY LU RICHARDSON, PARKER POSEY, RORY CULKIN, MICHELLE FORBES

 BEST SCREENPLAY:  Kogonoda (COLUMBUS)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:  Elisha Christian (COLUMBUS)

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS:  Reid Asselstine (WEXFORD PLAZA)

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR:  Keigian Umi Tang (THE LOCKPICKER)

Save My Seoul

NORTH AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY FEATURE AWARDS

GRAND JURY PRIZE:  SAVE MY SEOUL – directed by Jason Y. Lee

BEST DIRECTOR:  Dinesh Sabu (UNBROKEN GLASS)

BEST EDITOR:  Tadashi Nakamura (MELE MURALS)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Joey Muñoz and Johann Leitner (GHOST MAGNET ROACH MOTEL)

SPECIAL JURY PRIZES

A TIME TO SWIM– directed by Ashley Duong

95 AND 6 TO GO – directed by Kimi Takesue

The Sower

INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE FEATURE AWARDS

GRAND JURY PRIZE:  THE SOWER – directed by Yosuke Takeuchi

BEST DIRECTOR:  Sam Voutas (KING OF PEKING)

BEST ACTRESS:  Dimen Zandi (RESEBA – THE DARK WIND)

BEST ACTOR:  Kentaro Kishi (THE SOWER)

BEST YOUNG TALENT:  Suzuno Takenaka (THE SOWER)

BEST SCREENPLAY:  Yosuke Takeuchi (THE SOWER)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:  Daniel Miller (SOUL OF THE TIGER)

SPECIAL JURY AWARD:  SAVING SALLY

Plastic China

INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FEATURE AWARDS

GRAND JURY PRIZE:  PLASTIC CHINA (China) directed by Jiu-Liang Wang

BEST EDITING: Anna Price    (TOKYO IDOLS) (Japan/UK/Canada)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Jiu-Liang Wang (PLASTIC CHINA) (China)

Motherland

DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER PIONEER AWARD: Ramona Diaz (MOTHERLAND) (Philippines/USA)

Pria

SHORT FILM AWARDS

GOLDEN REEL AWARD:  PRIA (Indonesia) directed by Yudho Aditya

*Eligible for qualifying for the Short Live Action Film Oscar®

And So We Put Goldfish In The Pool

LINDA MABALOT NEW DIRECTORS/NEW VISIONS AWARD

Makoto Nagahisa (AND SO WE PUT GOLDFISH IN THE POOL) (Japan)

Please Come Again

SHORT DOCUMENTARY AWARDS

GRAND JURY PRIZE:  PLEASE COME AGAIN – directed by Alisa Yang

BEST DIRECTOR:  Jennifer Zheng (TOUGH)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:  Jeff de Broeder and Michael Palmieri (FOREVER CHINATOWN)

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS

Audience Awards were voted on in the following festival programs:

NORTH AMERICAN NARRATIVE FEATURE:  GOOK  – directed by Justin Chon

NORTH AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY FEATURE (tie):

MIXED MATCH  – directed by Jeff Chiba Stearns

FINDING KUKAN – directed by Robin Lung

INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE FEATURE

SAVING SALLY (Philippines) directed by Avid Liongren

INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:  SMALL TALK (Taiwan) directed by Huang Hui – chen

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS:  JOSHUA: TEENAGER VS. SUPERPOWER – directed by Joe Piscatella

Being an Asian American myself, it always makes me proud to celebrate what makes me, and my culture unique.  The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival brings to light the different stories of Asians both here in the United States and abroad.  2017 may have seen many changes this year, but the one thing that can never change is the great diversity of this country.  Here’s to celebrating the achievements and impact that Asians have made in the world of entertainment and Hollywood!

Make sure to check out

Official web site:  http://festival.vconline.org/2017/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vcfilmfestival/

Twitter:  @VCFilmFest / #LAAPFF2017

Courtesy of Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival