40th Annual Asian American International Film Festival
Asia Society Film Screenings
July 26 - August 5, 2017
Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
Asian CineVision in association with Asia Society is pleased to host the 40th annual Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF).
The Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) premiered in the summer of 1978 in New York City answering a growing need for social understanding, cultural diversity in American life, and independent cinema. AAIFF is the first festival in the U.S. to showcase the film and video work by artists of the Asian Diaspora. Forty years later, the AAIFF has grown to include films and video from more than 30 countries, a variety of topical panels and workshops, industry mixers, staged readings, exclusive interviews, receptions and more.
Opening Night - Gook
Dir. by Justin Chon
2017. USA. 95 min. Color. English, Korean. New York Premiere.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017, 7:00 pm
Eli and Daniel, two Korean American brothers who own a struggling women’s shoe store, have an unlikely friendship with 11-year-old Kamilla. On the first day of the 1992 Los Angeles. riots the trio must defend the store while contemplating the meaning of family and thinking about personal dreams and the future. Director Justin Chon will be in attendance.
Shorts: Love Letters To New York
Thursday, July 27, 2017, 9:00 pm
Distance (Dir. by Craig Nisperos. 2017. USA. 12 min.)
A modern day immigration story that focuses on one man's struggles with being away from his family and home.
Deadly View (Dir. by GnanaShekaran Natarajan. 2016. USA. 23 min.)
Three strangers' lives are merged as they face an unknown, yet deadly threat.
I See You (Dir. by Manjari Makijany. 2016. India. 10 min.)
A suicide bomber struggles with his decision on a crowded subway, after meeting an innocent child shatters his simplistic notion of "the enemy".
The Pleasure of Being Served (Dir. by Michael Manse. 2017. USA. 15 min.)
Rosa, an undocumented immigrant from the Philippines, becomes entangled in a moral conundrum by juggling the logistics of her employer's two unknowing girlfriends while accepting generous pay that she badly needs.
Fade (Dr. by Howie Lam. 2016. USA. 13 min.)
A completely empty New York City is the backdrop for Mackenzie, as he questions his daily routine.
For The Love of Mangos (Dir. by Kayla Wong. 2016. USA. 14 min.)
Know-it-all Rita tries to chip away at her dad's traditionalism by setting him up on a date with her feminist studies professor. Her plan backfires when he forces her to go on a date of her own with a childhood friend.
I Don't Make the Rules (Dir. by Lawrence Chen. 2016. USA. 13 min.)
Steven, an ex-professional football player, desperately seeks a white collar career while working various low-wage odd jobs in order to make ends meet.
Made In Hong Kong
Dir. by Fruit Chan Gor
1997. Hong Kong. 109 min. Color. Mandarin with English Subtitles.
Friday, July 28, 2017, 8:00 pm
A triad of disaffected youth living in Hong Kong struggle to find meaning in their hopelessly violent existence.
Shorts: Changing Chinatown
Saturday, July 29, 2017, 2:00 pm
The Last Tip (Dir. by Patrick Chen. 2016. USA. 4 min.)
During the course of his meal, a loyal patron reminisces on his past memories at his favorite restaurant one last time.
Forever Chinatown (Dir. by James Q. Chan. 2016. USA. 32 min.)
Forever Chinatown is the story of the unknown, self-taught 81-year-old artist Frank Wong who has spent the past four decades recreating his fading memories by building romantic and extraordinarily detailed miniature models of the San Francisco Chinatown rooms of his youth.
From Spikes to Spindles (Dir. by Christine Choy. 1976. USA. 50 min.)
This raw, gutsy portrait of New York City's Chinatown captures the early days of an emerging consciousness in the community. We see a Chinatown rarely depicted: a vibrant community where young and old join forces to protest police brutality and hostile real estate developers. With bold strokes, it paints an overview of the community and its history, from the early laborers driving spikes into the transcontinental railroad to the garment workers of today.
With This Ring
Dir. by Ameesha Joshi and Anna Sarkissian
2016. Canada. 87 min. Color. Hindi with English Subtitles.
Saturday, July 29, 2017, 4:30 pm
Filmed over the course of six years, With This Ring follows the meteoric rise of three Indian women who sidestep traditional roles to become world champion boxers.
Centerpiece - Small Talk
Dir. by Hui-Chen Huang
2016. 88 min. Taiwan. Color. Taiwanese with English Subtitles. New York Premiere.
Saturday, July 29, 2017, 7:00 pm
A daughter tries to open a dialogue with her distant mother, but is not prepared for the resulting revelations.
Shorts: Still Here, Not Going Away - Perspectives on Identity
Sunday, July 30, 2017, 2:00 pm
Fault (Dir. by Daniel Lee. 2017. USA. 10 min.)
A professional tennis player hurls racist abuse at a brother and sister, provoking unexpected confrontations.
F**ked Up (Dir. by Kevin Lau. 2016. USA. 17 min.)
A know-it-all Asian American girl tries to prove herself by losing her virginity on the first day of college.
Paris, Ni Hao (Dir. by Sharon Deng. 2017. France. 39 min.)
Paris, Ni Hao explores the evolving and sometimes tense relationships of eight first and second-generation Chinese immigrants with their adoptive city - Paris.
Connected (Dr. by Jin Au-Yeung.)
Greg is an aspiring filmmaker who moves to China to explore and connect with the culture. Upon his return to the U.S., he enters a film contest showcasing Asian American directors. To his own surprise, he wins. The only problem is, he's not Asian.
The Best and Loneliest Days (Dir. by Qianzhu Luo. 2016. USA. 16 min.)
When Yang, a Chinese girl living in Los Angeles, has a dream in English, she feels the need to prove that she’s still a hundred percent Chinese. So she organizes a big Chinese New Year’s party, but things don’t end up the way she planned.
Semiotics of Sab (Dir. by Tina Takemoto. 2016. USA. 5min, 30 secs.)
Semiotics of Sab is an oblique portrait of gay Japanese American actor Sab Shimono, whose work on stage and screen spans more than five decades. The grammatology of his career attests to conflicting lexicons of race, representation, and selfhood.
Hi, I am Sam (Dir. by Ashish Pant. 2017. USA. 11 min.)
Sam Farooqui, a Muslim American, is stunned when someone yells at him to go back to his country. An encounter with his brother Asad, a struggling filmmaker, shows him a way forward for Muslims in Post-election America.
I Can I Will I Did
Dir. by Nadine Truong
2017. USA. 110 min. Color. English with English Subtitles.
Sunday, July 30, 2017, 7:00 pm
When a foster teen is bullied to the brink of death, he finds himself in a deep depression and unable to help in his own recovery. Through a chance encounter at the hospital, he ultimately begins his healing by facing his own inner demons - and helping others face theirs - through Taekwondo.
Dir. by Li Yuhe
2017. China. 97 min. Color. Mandarin with English Subtitles.
Thursday, August 3, 2017, 7:00 pm
Buzzing with nail-biting suspense and clever humor, Chinese filmmaker Li Yuhe's feature debut portrays a puzzling crime in a rural small town, where greed, lust, and wit battle it out in one night. It all starts with a sexually impotent motel owner hiring a pro to murder his cheating wife. Everything goes exactly as planned, until two blind daters, a robber, a policeman and a dead body unexpectedly arrive.
Proof of Loyalty
Dir. by Lucy Ostrander and Don Sellers
2016. USA. 55 min. Color. English.
Thursday, August 3, 2017, 9:45 pm
Proof of Loyalty: Kazuo Yamane and the Nisei Soldiers of Hawaii tells the story of a Japanese-American who played a crucial strategic role in World War II. He and his fellow Nisei from Hawaii combatted prejudice and discrimination to loyally serve their country. Their extraordinary service, mostly untold, ultimately changed the course of U.S. history.
Class of 97: Shopping for Fangs
Dir. by Quentin Lee and Justin Lin
1997. USA. 90 min. Color. English.
Friday, August 4, 2017, 6:30 pm
This hip and funny thriller centers on four very different Asian-Americans in their 20s whose lives unexpectedly intertwine.
Class of 97: Yellow
Dir. by Quentin Lee and Justin Lin
1997. USA. 90 min. Color. English.
Friday, August 4, 2016, 9:30 pm
This comedy-drama centers around eight Asian-American teenagers in Los Angeles on their last night together before high school graduation. Sin Lee, one of the teens, tells his friends that he lost $1500 of his dad’s money in a hold-up while working in his father's grocery store. Sin worries that once his parents discover missing money, he will be forced to work in his dad’s store instead of going off to college, but the group rallies together to recover the money.
Dir. by Jeff Adachi
2016. USA. 79 min. Color. English with English Subtitles.
Saturday, August 5, 2017, 12:00 pm
This film chronicles the work of San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi as he strives to bring justice to the underrepresented.
Class of 97: Strawberry Fields
Dir. by Rea Tajiri
USA. 90 min. Color. English.
Saturday, August 5, 2017, 2:00 pm
Irene Kawai, a Japanese American teenager in Chicago in the 70s, is haunted by a photo of her grandfather, who she never knew, standing by barracks in a WWII internment camp.
Dir. by Jiuliang Wang
2016. China. 86 min. Color. Mandarin with English Subtitles.
Saturday, August 5, 2017, 4:30 pm
A woman and her family live next to a recycling plant, in mountains of plastic waste from Asia, Europe, and the U.S.
Closing Film: Free and Easy
Dir. by Geng Jun
2016. China. 97 min. Color. Mandarin with English Subtitles.
Saturday, August 5, 2017, 7:00 pm
When a traveling soap salesman arrives in a desolate Chinese town, a crime occurs, setting residents against each other with tragicomic results.
The 40th Asian American International Film Festival runs from July 26 to August 5 with screenings at Asia Society and Cinema Village East.
The Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) premiered in the summer of 1978 in New York City answering a growing need for social understanding, cultural diversity in American life, and independent cinema. AAIFF is the first festival in the U.S. to showcase film and video work by artists of the Asian Diaspora. Forty years later, the AAIFF has grown to include films and video from more than 30 countries, a variety of topical panels and workshops, industry mixers, staged readings, exclusive interviews, receptions and more.
Presented with Asian CineVision, Cinema Village, and Flushing Town Hall.