Film Festival Categories & Times

Friday, May 29, 2015: Comedy
Saturday, May 30, 2015: Animation | Food | DocumentariesOpen Submissions

Friday: Comedy

4:30 pm to 9:30 pm

My Hot Mom Gandhi

USA / 2014 /  5 min

Directed by Reena Karia
These days, Reena’s interests lie in socio political issues and South Asian diaspora. She got her first taste of a film set working as the set designer on a short film production. She comes to filmmaking with a designer’s eye and the passion for telling brown stories.

Synopsis: Partners in antics and life, Shane and Reena drive around the streets of San Francisco talking about politics and what to be for Halloween. The costume choices touch upon sensitive issues such as political assassinations, white privilege, and drone strikes.

Love Arcadia

USA / 2015 / 97 min

Directed by Lawrence Gan
Lawrence Gan is an east coast native who permanently moved to Los Angeles to pursue his passion for filmmaking after studying at Duke University and the University of Southern California. He has since produced and directed numerous shorts.

Synopsis: A boy. His tea shop. And the girl who burst his bubble. Set in Arcadia, California, Love Arcadia is a feature film that tells the story of a carefree teen who defends his family tea shop from a beautiful young real estate developer with a mysterious link to his past.

Kung Phooey!

USA / 2003 /  87 min

Directed by Darryl Fong
Born in Oakland, California. Grew up in Sacramento, California, attended Rio Americano High School. Graduated UCLA with BA in motion picture/television. First interned as production assistant on “Rich and Famous” with director George Cukor (Adam’s Rib, Little Women) followed by “Scarface” with director Brian DePalma. Studied acting in NYC under Phillip Gushee (Meisner) where he debuted as a silent bit in “True Believer” as Jimmy Chin, the murdered character the story revolves around. Wrote, produced, directed and starred in his own low-budget indie, “Kung Phooey!” with Michael Chow, Joyce Thi Brew, and Colman Domingo (released 2004) Resides in San Francisco, California with his wife and two children.

Synopsis: A martial artist (Michael Chow) and his comrades battle a villainess (Joyce Thi Brew) for possession of an ancient peach that can bestow eternal youth.

Miss India America

USA / 2015 / 93 min

Directed by Ravi Kapoor
Ravi was born and raised in Liverpool, England and studied at the East 15 Acting School in London. After graduating he first worked as an actor in England doing a mix of film, T.V and theater. He has appeared in a number of film and TV roles, including FLIGHT with Denzel Washington, and was a series regular on ABC’s “Gideon’s Crossing” and then on NBC’s “Crossing Jordan”, for which he also directed. MISS INDIA AMERICA is his feature directing debut, following his acclaimed short films “Victor Ramirez, Asesino” and “The Five”.

Synopsis: In order to win back her boyfriend who ran off with a reigning beauty queen, a young woman decides she must win the pageant and become the next Miss India National.

Saturday: Animation

10:30 am to 12:45 pm

Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles

USA / 2006 / 88 min

Directed by Dong-Wook Lee & Tommy Yune
Dong-Wook Lee is a South Korean animator and film director. He has worked on several animation projects since 1999. His directorial debut was Robotech: Shadow Chronicles.

Tommy Yune was born in Seoul, Korea. He is a producer, known for Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (2006), The Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time (1998) andRobotech (1985).

Synopsis: Picking up where the original series left off, Scott Bernard continues his search for Rick Hunter and the fate of the SDF-3.

Today’s Headline

USA / 2014 / 4 min

Directed by Arem Kim
Arem Kim is an Independent Filmmaker based in California, USA. She is a Graduate student at UCLA Film Schoo. Currently she is focusing on 3D Animation. She likes to experiment with many different media through her filmography. Arem describes her passion on film as expanding boundaries.

Synopsis: An old man fights against death in his room while no one realizes his desperate situation.

Fishing at Lethe

USA / 2014 / 5 min

Directed by Derek Fong
Animator and story artist currently working at Nerd Corps Entertainment as 3D animator.

Synopsis: An old lady comes across a group of shadowy figures and a giant whale that wouldn’t leave her alone. Little did she know they are important pieces of her memories that she lost.

The Skinny Tree

USA / 2014 / 6 min

Directed by Christopher Gautry

The Painter

USA / 2015 / 8 min

Directed by Jisu Park
Graduate student majoring in Computer Graphics Technology, concentrating in animation, and also minoring in Art and Design.

Synopsis: Painter accidentally pulls-off pigeon’s feather which was pride of pigeon. Because of that, angry pigeons vengeance starts. During fight of Painter and pigeon accidentally draws fantastic painting on building. Pigeons and Painter gets great cheer.

Currency Affairs

USA / 2014 / 4 min

Directed by Zehao Xue

Synopsis: A lifelong love story between two pieces of paper currency.

Entrance Exam

China / 2013 / 7 min

Directed by Boqing Tang

Synopsis: The story is about how three little mice struggled to get through the entrance exam of a Taoism school .

Saturday: Food

1:00 pm to 3:45 pm

Sriracha

USA / 2013 / 33 min

Directed by Griffin Hammond
Griffin is an award-winning, low-budget filmmaker in New York City. Sharing what he learns along his filmmaking journey. Director of the documentary “Sriracha.”

Synopsis: Sriracha has earned a cult following, but the story of this spicy sauce is a mystery to most fans. Dedicated to Sriracha lovers, this fast-paced documentary travels around the globe to reveal its origin and the man behind the iconic ‘rooster sauce.’

Sweet Corn

South Korea / 2014 / 19 min

Directed by Joo Hyun Lee
Joo Hyun Lee was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. She moved to the United States to study film, beginning at the School of Visual Arts and continuing her education at Columbia University in New York, NY. She is the winner of Directors Guild of America Student Award for Best Asian American Filmmaker and CINE Golden Eagle Award for her film Sweet Corn. She is currently living in New York and working on her first feature project.

Synopsis: Bong-Moo, an old stubborn farmer, takes extraordinary measures to save his corn field and ends up receiving some surprising results in the end.

Cambodian Doughnut Dreams

USA / 2010 / 27 min

Directed by Chuck Davis
Chuck Davis earned a medical degree from the University of Michigan, worked as a Family Practice Doctor, and then went on to get his MFA in cinema TV at the University of Southern California. He has since went on to make 11 documenteies subjects ranging from climate Change to Jewish Spirituality to cattle ranchers in Southern Colorado. He has 2 grown sons and lives in Boulder Colorado.

Synopsis: Cambodian Doughnut Dreams focuses on three Cambodians who 10 years after the killing fields try to remake their lives in the doughnut Shops of Los Angeles.

Off The Menu: Asian America

USA / 2015 / 56 min

Directed by Grace Lee
Grace Lee’s credits include directing and producing the documentary American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, which premiered at the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival before its broadcast on the PBS series POV. Other projects included documentaries Makers: Women in Politics (PBS 2014), The Grace Lee Project (2005) and feature film Janeane from Des Moines, which premiered at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival. Lee lives in Los Angeles.

Synopsis: In this one-hour documentary, Director Grace Lee travels from Houston, Texas to New York’s Lower East Side, from Oak Creek, Wisconsin to Oahu, Hawaii seeking stories that reflect an evolving Asian Pacific America and the role food plays in peoples’ lives.

Vishal

Canada / 2015 / 10 min

Directed by Sumit Judge & Ralph Ortega
Sumit Judge:
First-time filmmaker, incorporating his political science background with film to make works that introduce the mainstream to issues previously neglected. An activist with a pen and a vision.

Ralph Ortega:
Graduated from Toronto Film School and currently working in children’s television production. All I want to do in life is tell stories, and what better way to do that than through a collective medium that is film.

Synopsis: Vishal, an international student, starts his first day of work at an Indian restaurant. As he familiarizes himself with performing duties unaccustomed, his conversation with his mother from the previous morning resonates.

The Flip

USA / 2015 / 21 min

Directed by Chung Lam
Chung Lam is a senior film and television major at New York University Tisch School of the Arts. He’s the director of “Bless You,” which went to the International Grand Finale of Campus Movie Fest 2011, and “Sweetly Broken,” which was accepted to a handful of prestigious film festivals including the Cannes Short Film Corner 2012, the Seattle International Film Festival 2013, and the New Hope Film Festival 2013, where it won the Jury Prize for Best Student Film. Chung hopes to continue telling stories that can connect with people.

Synopsis: It’s what happens when a young Chinese-American boy tries to master a cooking technique in an attempt to earn his mother’s attention.

Saturday: Documentaries

4:00 pm to 6:45 pm

Hidden Legacy: Japanese Traditional Performing Arts in the World War II Internment Camps

USA / 2014 / 57 min

Directed by Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto-Wong
Shirley has been a koto performer for over 50 years, and a koto teacher for over 35 years. She has produced and exhibited work dealing with the subject of Japanese traditional arts in the concentration camps in two live presentations in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Shirley has taught hundreds of students, in classes and privately, at UC Berkeley, and at public elementary and middle schools in the Bay Area. Her koto studio is based in Oakland, California.

Synopsis: Stories of artists of Japanese traditional performing arts in WWII camps, how & why they continued to practice these arts.

Phetmixay Means Fighter

USA / 2014 / 9 min

Directed by Rita Phetmixay
Rita Phetmixay is a Lao/Thai-Isaan American womxn who is currently undergoing a dual masters degree program in Asian American Studies and Social Welfare at the University of California, Los Angeles. Rita finds passion for learning more about her Lao American community in addition to spreading awareness of “Lao” and its significance in American history. Moreover, she is dedicated to advocating for other underrepresented communities and creating spaces in which community members can discuss topics relating to violence, immigrant histories, trauma, healing and resilience. It is Rita’s aspirations to empower these communities achieve higher education, better socioeconomic statuses, and healthier lifestyles.

Synopsis: Lao American refugee Peter Phetmixay shares his experiences as an anti-communist rebel in Laos. Through trials and tribulations, Peter is able to survive a series of challenging encounters before escaping to the United States to start a brand new life with his wife, Vivian Phetmixay.

Giap’s Last Day at the Ironing Board Factory

USA / 2015 / 25 min

Directed by Tony Nguyen
Tony Nguyen made his directorial debut with ENFORCING THE SILENCE (2011), a film about activist Lam Duong, the first of five Vietnamese journalists to be assassinated in the United States. He recently completed the short film GIAP’S LAST DAY AT THE IRONING BOARD FACTORY, winner of the Loni Ding Award for Social Justice Documentary at CAAMFest 2015. It’s the first of an autobiographical series that will provide a fresh take on the refugee experience in America.

Synopsis: In 1975, a seven-months pregnant Vietnamese refugee, Giap, escapes Saigon in a boat and, within weeks, finds herself working on an assembly line in Seymour, Indiana. 35 years later, her aspiring filmmaker son, Tony, decides to document her final day of work at the last ironing board factory in America.  GIAP’S LAST DAY AT THE IRONING BOARD FACTORY follows Tony on a painful, but loving journey. The half hour film explores the refugee experience, the communication gulf between parent and child, and how racism shapes the Asian American experience. It will stimulate insight, discussion and understanding of the hardships of assimilation.

Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm

USA / 2014 / 56 min

Directed by Jim Choi
Jim Choi emigrated to the Washington D.C. area as a child.  Being a 1.5 generation Korean American, his youth was spent witnessing the sacrifices immigrants make in order to adapt to a new country. He is intimately aware of the disenfranchisement experienced by those who are under represented and is dedicated to creating media that cultivates agency for those that do not have access to the levers of power.

Synopsis: We start with the passing of a family farm from one generation to the next. But instead of father to son, it’s a bisexual daughter who comes home as an “apprentice farmer.” The film explores devastating drought, civil rights, and shrinkage of the Japanese-American community. 

Saturday: Open Submissions

7:00 pm to 9:30 pm

The Other Side

USA / 2015 / 15 min

Directed by Akiko Izumitani
Akiko Izumitani is an award-winning Japanese female filmmaker, living in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Japan, she graduated from UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Akiko first earned recognition through her feature-length documentary, “Silent Shame,” about Japan’s dark history in WWII. Silent Shame won several awards including Best Feature in Beijing Movie Festival and The Best Political Movie in Action On Film International Film Festival. She also directed the narrative short films, “The Other Side” featuring James Kyson (Heroes) and Tanner Thomason (The host of Hollywood Today Live (FOX)), “Sukiyaki with Love” (Semi-Finalist of NBCUniversal Shortcuts) and “Kung Fu Date” (Remi Award in Houston WorldFest Film Festival. )

Synopsis: An undercover detective must infiltrate an Asian gang’s compound and rescue his kidnapped fiancé. However, the reality is much different than he expected.

South Paw

USA / 2014 / 10 min

Directed by John P. Raposas
John P. Raposas is a San Francisco Bay Area based filmmaker. John began his trek as a filmmaker when he served as a production assistant for the independent Filipino American movie “The Debut”, back in 2000. Since then John has been very active in theater and has done extensive work producing, writing, and directing with the theater company Bindlestiff Studios in San Francisco. His previous work has screened in over a dozen film festivals and has been featured on broadcast television.

Synopsis: A couple’s heated argument about gay rights reaches its boiling point over an activity filled weekend.

Jasmine

Hong Kong / 2015 / 80 min

Directed by Dax Phelan
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Graduated from Southern Methodist University with BAs in Cinema and Creative Writing. Graduated from the American Film Institute with an MFA in Screenwriting. Worked as the Creative Executive  for veteran producer Mace Neufeld on “The Sum of All Fears,” “Man on Fire,” “Invictus,” and “Argo.” Began screenwriting full-time. Associate produced Paul Schrader’s “The Canyons.” Executive produced Anja Marquardt’s “She’s Lost Control” (nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards). Wrote, produced, and directed “Jasmine.”

Synopsis: Jasmine is a gripping and chilling psychological thriller about a man struggling to come to terms with his grief nearly a year after his wife’s unsolved murder.

Wedlocked

USA / 2014 / 5 min

Directed by Samia Zaidi
Samia is a Los Angeles based artist, creator, mover, and shaker looking for opportunities to assist in the creation of compelling and relevant visual literature that resonates with the masses.

Synopsis: In this comedy, a relationship is challenged when the husband is questioned about his immigration status. Lest he be deported back to Canada, his wife has to come to the rescue. But will their secrets hinder his chances at becoming an American citizen?

I Dreamt of You

USA / 2014 / 3 min

Directed by Benjamin To
Hello, my name is Benjamin To and I’m a writer/director. I grew up in Portland, Oregon being one of the few Asian American kids at my school. I wanted a different experience so packed my bags for sunny southern California. Now, I’m currently finishing up my Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at Cal State Fullerton and running my own film production company with my best friends called THE BAND WITH NO NAME.

Synopsis: A romantic short film that asks, “who is your dream girl/guy” and “does it even matter?”.

Live, Breathe, Hula

USA / 2014 / 25 min

Directed by Lauren Kawana
Lauren hails from Honolulu, Hawaii and this is her first film. She has worked in supporting roles on documentaries including Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority; Winning Girl; The Stick-Up Kid for PBS Frontline and the recently released Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw. Lauren received her master’s in documentary film from the University of California-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Synopsis: A portrait of one of the most captivating voices to come out of Hawai’i, musician and kumu hula Mark Keali’i Ho’omalu, an artist who obsessively challenges the concepts of traditional Hawaiian music and dance–thousands of miles from his homeland in Oakland, CA.