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.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZP09jrDN-Q[/youtube]

“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

Turner Classic Movies Film Festival Comes to Los Angeles April 22-25

2001: A Space Odyssey. Image courtesy TCM

Turner Classic Movies is holding its first Classic Film Festival in Los Angeles from April 22-25. The recently published lineup of classic films is astonishing, including Casablanca, The Good, the Band and the Ugly, Some Like it Hot, The Producers, Sunset Blvd., 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Stunt Man, and more.  Also on the bill are panel discussions, receptions, and an introduction to North By Northwest by two of its stars, Eva Marie Saint and Martin Landau.  Participating theaters include Grauman’s Chinese Theater, The Egyptian, and others.

Unfortunately, the admission price to the Festival may be prohibitive to many.  Passes covering four days of screenings and events currently run $ 499 or $ 599.  According to the Festival’s website, individual tickets are also available, although seating preference will be given to pass holders.  TCM informs me that individual tickets are in the $20 to $30 range, with 50 percent discounts for those with a valid student i.d.

Perhaps next year, TCM will sell cheaper (e.g., one-day) passes.  Meanwhile cable and satellite tv subscribers can play along on the home version: according to its schedule, TCM airs many of the films from the Festival on its cable channel, where the price of admission is your monthly bill.

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.