Top 10 Must See Picks at the 2022 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

2 May

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

The 38th edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is taking place very soon and for fans of cinema across the sea, the films being offered this year covers a nice wide gamut of topics, themes and genres that examine some aspect of Oceania. There’s experimental, short and feature length films. Like previous years, this event will include an online portion for those still concerned about the pandemic and be geolocked.

The following are my picks of the 2022 season. Some are genre works, and others, documentaries. Making the list again is Waterman, which is a must see about the visionary who helped make waterboarding an Olympic Sport.

Clicking on the links will take you to the LAAPFF’s webpage to purchase tickets.


A legacy program with the film festival that has welcomed award-winning filmmakers early in their career. Experience a range of storytelling styles from the next generation. The future is now.


A collection of animated stories from near and far. An array of visuals from the canvas, stage, and screen. These images of still life will move you.

MAIKAMaika Img 1 scaled

Directors Guild of America
May 7, 2022 12:15 pm

Veteran filmmaker Ham Tran (Journey From The Fall; How To Fight In Six Inch Heels; Bitcoin Heist) gives us Vietnam’s first family sci-fi film, and introduces us to 8-year-old Hung who is grieving the loss of his mother. After a meteor falls to earth, he meets an alien girl from the planet Maika, searching for her lost friend. The alien helps Hung make new friends and heal a broken heart. But danger lurks. This is a fun for the whole family ride, that you’ll never forget.

Totsukuni no Shojo Still film5




Aratani Theatre @ JACCC
May 13, 2022. 7:00 pm

Two realms exist in this beautifully magical yet dark fantasy world, where humans live on the Inside realm, and demonic creatures live on the Outside. Those who live on the Inside are told that if they ever are touched by an Outsider, they will become cursed. A human girl, Shiva, and a cursed demon who she calls “Teacher,” form an unlikely bond as they navigate through the world together. The Girl from the Other Side adapts the manga series’ alluring spellbinding tale to the big screen.

TWG Mom leaving


Tateuchi Democracy Forum @ JANM
May 13, 2022 7:00 pm

In Judy Lei’s directorial debut, we explore the angst of an NY Chinatown teenage loner who struggles to find real friendship, love, and acceptance. Lei, who also stars in the film, gives a powerful performance alongside Leonard Wu (Orus in the Netflix television drama series Marco Polo) who plays her brother. It’s an exclamation point on the quiet life of a teen, who just wants to get out of dodge.

Still1 scaled



Virtual Cinema
May 5, 2022 5:00 pm

“kodomobanpaku” (Child World Fair) is an event for children by children. Izumi Morishita, along with her friend Yuri, decide to organise aK”kodomobanpaku” out in the countryside where they live. After gathering their friends, and collecting funds, how will it turn out just with children!?

AlexSurfing3 laapf scaled


Directors Guild of America
May 7, 2022 3:00 pm

Aspiring Chinese athletes and their international coaches arrive in the island of Hainan. Together, they attempt to become the country’s first Olympic surfers. SURF NATION follows this team and two of China’s top surfers, Alex and Lolo, as they train, compete and discover what they want their lives to be.

Waterman Duane DeSoto as Duke Kahanamoku Courtesy of Sidewinder Films


Directors Guild of America
May 8, 2022 7:30 pm

Movie Review can be read here.

Surfing legend. Olympic superstar. Hawaiian Icon. American hero.

Five-time Olympic medalist and Native Hawaiian Duke Paoa Kahanamoku shattered records and brought surfing to the world while overcoming a lifetime of personal challenges. Waterman examines his journey, humanitarianism, and enduring legacy.



Directors Guild of America
May 5, 2022 9:00 pm

This first feature of Hawaiian writer/director Alika Tengan tells the story of Naz (co-writer Naz Kawakami), a late night DJ at a community radio station & avid skateboarder as he navigates the complexities of leaving his peaceful but unfulfilling life in Kaimukī for N.Y.C. with his girlfriend, Sloane (Rina White).



Directors Guild of America
May 7, 2022 4:00 pm

This is a story about reclaiming indigeneity through ancestral listening and connection to the land, as told through Pasifika Transmissions. Pasifika Transmissions honours the ancestors’ pieces residing on Tongva land at the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum (PIEAM) with works from the 9 indigenous Pasifika artists living in diaspora.

One Response to “Top 10 Must See Picks at the 2022 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival”


  1. 9 Inspiring NFB Works to GraceAsian Heritage Month With - Otaku no Culture - 2022-05-02

    […] Asian Film Festival will soon take place for even more media introspectives. We’ve posted a guide in what to see there in the prior […]

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