2010 ID Film Fest in Little Tokyo This Weekend

The 3-day 2010 ID Film Fest kicks off tonight in Little Tokyo and it features a weekend of Asian/Asian American films and workshops. Opening with the Los Angeles premiere of the critically acclaimed film Kit Hui’s Fog (starring Terrence Yin and Eugenia Wan), the festival will also feature Hirokazu Koreeda’s much talked about film Air Doll is as the festival’s Centerpiece film. Ian McCrudden’s The Things We Carry will close out the three-day movie feast.

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“Los Angeles is a postmodern collage of cultures and identity,” says founder/filmmaker Quentin Lee. “Even within the broader umbrella of the ‘Asian American’ community, there are Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian Americans. Further diversifying the community are the divisions between first generation immigrants and those who were born here. A crisis of identity is inevitable and necessary even though we fantasize a more utopian unity. ID Film Fest is proud to present contemporary works that examine, explore or celebrate the identity crisis in our diverse global Asian community.” This year’s ID Film Fest filmmakers and actors will include: PJ Raval, Jessica Sanders, Brent Anbe, William Lu, Feodor Chin, James Huang, Kerwin Berk, Hirokazu Koreeda, Kit Hui, Ming Lai, Eugenia Wan and Terrence Yin.

Some of this year’s ID Film Fest free programs (for audiences) will be the “The Filmmaker’s Crash Course Session,” providing 7-15 minute crash courses pertaining to the business and artistry of filmmaking. More interesting events include the “Battle of the Pitches 2” where filmmakers will get a chance to participate in a live screenwriting pitch session with industry execs. The finalists for the “API Pilot Shoot Out” will present trailers of their work in competition.

Alongside the public programs, the Asian American Independent Feature Conference (AAIFC) is another component of ID Film Fest. A one-day think tank and networking conference for a select group of 30 filmmakers on the state of creating Asian American independent feature content will take place on Saturday, October 9, 2010.

A program of the Japanese American National Museum, ID Film Fest was founded in 2008 by filmmakers Koji Steven Sakai and Quentin Lee to screen compelling Asian and Asian American works that have not yet had a chance to show in Los Angeles. ID Film Fest will run October 8 through October 10, with all events taking place at the at downtown Los Angeles’ National Center for the Preservation of Democracy located at 111 N. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012. For more information on the festival and ticket information, please visit the ID Film Fest 2010 site.

Free Screening of Bruce Lee’s ‘The Chinese Connection’ tonight at the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival

The legendary Bruce Lee, would have turned 70 years old this year. And while it may or may not be difficult to imagine him as a septuagenarian still beating down bad guys, what can’t be denied is decades after his passing, he remains as influential as ever.

In tribute to and in celebration of the martial arts, action film and cultural icon, the 2010 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (which opened last night at the DGA), in association with his widow, Linda Lee Cadwell and daughter Shannon Lee and their Bruce Lee Enterprises, are organizing a Special Bruce Lee Program at this year’s festival tonight (Friday, April 30) at sundown at the new Madang Center Courtyard in Los Angeles’ Koreatown with a free screening and other events throughout the weekend.

The Bruce Lee celebration kicks off with a free outdoor screening of THE CHINESE CONNECTION and after party tonight and continues the tomorrow at noon with a special screening of ENTER THE DRAGON followed immediately by a panel discussion entitled, “How Bruce Lee Influenced Pop Culture” featuring daughter Shannon Lee, directors Reginald Hudlin (HOUSE PARTY, THE BOONDOCKS) and Brett Ratner (RUSH HOUR, X-MEN 3: THE LAST STAND), ENTER THE DRAGON co-star Bob Wall and musician Joseph Hahn from the rock band LINKIN PARK.

For the celebration’s finale, a special panel discussion entitled, BRUCE LEE: THE FAMILY MAN featuring Linda Cadwell and Shannon Lee and Goddaughter Diana Lee Inosanto takes place 4 p.m. Sunday at The Directors Guild of America. This event is free.

THE BRUCE LEE 70th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION is part of the 2010 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, which also features 170 films from over 20 countries beginning April 29 and ending on May 8, 2010. For more information on the film festival go to: www.vconline.org/festival

3 Days Left in Chase’s Community Giving Facebook Campaign — 6 L.A. Orgs in the Running for $1M

[youtube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLwzxr-DY5A [/youtube]

If you’ve been on Facebook in the last couple of months, then you might have been inundated with requests to vote in Chase’s Community Giving Facebook Campaign. With financial resources drying up for many organizations, this campaign has been a rare opportunity for non-profit orgs to come by cold, hard cash by simply leveraging their social media muscles. Out of more than a half million eligible organizations, the Top 100 vote getters in Round 1 have moved on to the final round of voting, which is happening now. Top 100 orgs are already the recepients of a $25,000 grant, but the top organization gets $1 million.

Six Los Angeles area organizations are in the running for the $1M: [links go to Facebook pages]

  • Center For The Pacific Asian Family Inc (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Hope For Paws (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Imaging Foundation (Malibu, CA)
  • Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Inc (El Segundo, CA)
  • Tiziano Project (Calabasas, CA)
  • Trevor Project, Inc. (West Hollywood, CA)
  • In the spirit of full disclosure, I have been supporting the Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF) in this campaign, since I feel that their “big idea” has the greatest potential for immediate impact on those who are living in Los Angeles, right now. CPAF was founded to help address domestic violence and sexual assault in the Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Up to 60% of Asian and Pacific American women experience domestic or sexual abuse in their lifetime, and are the least likely to report the abuse. Since the economic downturn in 2008, domestic violence has been on the rise. With cutbacks in state funding, non-profits like CPAF are forced to turn away more callers trying to flee a violent home.
    Continue reading “3 Days Left in Chase’s Community Giving Facebook Campaign — 6 L.A. Orgs in the Running for $1M”

    Lodestone Theatre Ensemble to Close its Final Production this weekend

    After 10 years of being one of LA’s edgiest Asian American theatre groups, the Lodestone Theatre Ensemble is about present its final show, before shutting its doors for good. Don’t worry– this was a conscious decision made years ago by the artistic directors, not a victim of the global recession.

    In 1995, following the 1992 Los Angeles riots, veteran actor Soon-Tek Oh created the Society of Heritage Performers (SHP), a Korean American theatre ensemble. SHP evolved into Lodestone Theatre Ensemble in 1999, organized by original founders: actors Alexandra Bokyun Chun, Tim Lounibos and Chil Kong, and writer Philip W. Chung. Their new focus was embracing a broader Asian Pacific American identity. Chung and Kong have remained to the end as co-artistic directors.

    You can still catch the final weekend of their final production, Grace Kim & The Spiders from Mars, which is a play that was specifically written as a farewell to Lodestone. Inspired by classic screwball comedies, Grace Kim & The Spiders from Mars tells the story of Grace, a young Korean American woman, who has withdrawn from the world after the death of her mother ten years ago. But Grace’s life is thrown upside down when she meets her sister’s fiancé and falls in love with him. The play will be permanently retired after this run. (Meet Grace Kim in the video below…)

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj4CoeORyO8[/youtube]

    Tickets have been lowered to the same price as the first show in 1999: $12 for general admission and $10 each for reserved groups of 10 or more.

    Only four more shows before GRACE KIM and Lodestone are gone forever! Performances are Thursday through Saturday (12/17) at 8 p.m. (2-for-1 Thursday tickets with password “Ziggy Stardust”) and closing on Sunday, 12/20 at 2 p.m. RSVP now: (323) 993-7245

    GRACE KIM & THE SPIDERS FROM MARS
    GTC BURBANK
    1111-B W. Olive St.
    Burbank, CA 91506
    (inside George Izay Park, just west of S. Victory Blvd.)

    FREE PARKING: Park near the jet plane in front of George Izay Park at 1111 W. Olive St. Walk into the park, past Olive Recreation Center. GTC Burbank is behind the Rec. Center, facing the softball fields.

    Second Annual ID Film Festival this week in Little Tokyo

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    The second annual ID Film Festival, dedicated to contemporary digital films that explore and celebrate identity within the diverse Asian/Pacific Islander community, will present an international and local lineup of films this coming week/end, October 1-3 at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.

    The festival will premiere several Hong Kong films, in addition to showcasing Asian American films from the “Class of 1997”: Michael Aki and Eric Nakamura’s Sunsets, Rea Tajiri’s Strawberry Fields, Chris Chan Lee’s Yellow, Quentin Lee and Justin Lin’s Shopping For Fangs — all groundbreaking works in Asian American cinema.

    But what excites me is the really special round table taking place on closing night (Saturday, October 3, 2009) with Michael Aki, Chris Chan Lee, Quentin Lee, Justin Lin, Eric Nakamura and Rea Tajiri at 9:30PM after the free 8PM screening of Shopping For Fangs. The round table will be moderated by Giant Robot’s Martin Wong. (The round table is sponsored by Giant Robot and You Offend Me You Offend My Family.) And if that weren’t enough, there’s a free afterparty with sake provided by Sho Chiku Bai.

    But don’t wait ’til closing night to check things out! There’s a bunch of other cool stuff during the film festival, so take a look at their entire schedule online and find out how to order tickets in advance.

    May is API Heritage Month: “Asian American Arts Stimulus Package” giveaway

    As April is coming to an end, we head on into May — nationally designated as Asian Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month. API Heritage month commemorates and recognizes the diversity of API languages and cultures and celebrates of the achievements and contributions of API communities in America. In that spirit, 8Asians (another blog I contribute to) is celebrating Asian Americans in the arts with an “Asian American Arts Stimulus Package” giveaway (deadline: Friday at noon) to one lucky winner who will be the recipient of a pair of tickets to THREE amazing events in the L.A. area. Although you’re free to enter the giveaway, I wanted to note that just about all these shows have availability for low-priced tickets, too.

    laapff-20091) The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival: 2009

    Visual Communications, the nation’s premier Asian Pacifc American media arts center, established the Los Angeles Asian Pacifc Film & Video Festival in 1983 as a vehicle to promote Asian and Asian Pacifc American cinema. The Festival has grown from its humble beginnings as a weekend-long series into a major annual showcase presenting the best of Asian Pacifc American and Asian international media in the United States. As of 2008, the Film Festival is known by its permanent iteration The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

    tentolifeimage2) Lodestone Theatre Ensemble: Ten to Life

    A Census agent exposes a family’s perverse, hidden secret…A desperate loser turns to experimental surgery to seduce his high school crush…A happy homemaker struggles against an ancient evil that lurks in plain sight…A controlling psychologist must protect his life’s love from her memories. Lodestone kicks off its final season with four twisted one-acts touching on the bizarre and unnatural. It’s been ten years… Time to pay.

    ewp-marrymealittlethelastfiveyears3) East West Players: Marry Me A Little & The Last Five Years, an evening of 2 one-act musicals!

    MARRY ME A LITTLE: A compilation of songs, composed by Stephen Sondheim for many of his Broadway musicals but for various reasons didn’t make it into the final stage, are woven into a simple tale of two lonely people during one evening in their small, one-bedroom apartments. Featuring Mike Dalager & Jennifer Hubilla
    THE LAST FIVE YEARS: There are two sides to every story…Jamie and Cathy’s 5-year old relationship is coming to an end, and through the funny , sweet and heart-breaking songs, you hear both versions of what happened–from beginning to end, and from the end to beginning. Featuring Michael K. Lee & Jennifer Paz

    Over the years, I’ve attended events put on by each of these organizations and always come out feeling lucky that L.A. has such a vibrant Asian American arts scene. Why not take some time out in the month of May to do something for API Heritage Month, like attending one of the shows listed above? If you do, I’d love to hear what you think.