We offer our choices as the best short film winners from the 2023 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
The 39th annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival had lots of shorts and a bunch of movies to enjoy. It wasn’t too hard to decide on what to check out since, like other events worldwide, to restart properly following the global health scare is tough. To begin, I’ll look at my three most favourite shorts, and although two of them follow upon a similar theme, just where it goes is different:
Mom, If I Were a Vampire
Wen (Ting Chiu) doesn’t want to be a momma’s girl, and life at school is rough in other departments. But when she gets in with the right crowd, with Jo (Yu-Xuan Wang) as the “it” girl, the friendship forged is no different from what I recall from Vampire Princess Miyu, a classic anime I have fond memories of.
Although there’s no similar character dynamic since most of the manga and animated series involved the title role without a human companion, what’s presented here would make for a good jumping in point for a live-action adaptation! In this case, it’s to expand upon. The LGTBQ angle isn’t anything new, but how its handled is quite deft!
In what the two characters encounter are bullies and stalkers. Also, I think Wen wants to be turned. She has a lot of feelings to get out and to explore that requires a longer story. This piece made by Deborah Devyn Chuang is certainly worth seeking for the neo-noir colour aesthetics!
We offer our list of must sees at the 2023 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and they include a mix of short animated works along with three features!
All hands are on deck for the 2023 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and it’s resumed being a mostly in-person event. A small selection of works will be made available online and what attendees should check out are its shorts program! All the fantasy and genre works are found here, and what I offer as a highlight of what to look for those attending.
This year’s set of cinematic shorts programs playing at the Los Angeles Asian Film Festival continues to enlighten and educate.
This year’s set of cinematic shorts programs playing at the Los Angeles Asian Film Festival continues to enlighten and educate. My tip is that anyone curious about SouthEast Asia should check these curated selections out! Each nation has a uniquemess that not everyone is aware of, and I’m constantly amazed at what the filmmakers from here can produce. Even if you can’t make it to this event, most of them can be found streaming online.
From the program guide on one of these programs:
Through various frames and points of view, we are brought closer to encountering an ancient Pacific past. Once again Pacific Cinewaves pushes the importance of āina, ancestry and belonging, challenging how Pacific people have been imagined throughout history. In these films, seven filmmakers become modern-day navigators using their hands and creative vision to steer each story.
Maika: The Girl From Another Galaxy is a fun Vietnamese movie that will be very familiar to anyone who knows Steven Spielberg’s work.
Played at the LAAPFF 2022 at the Directors Guild of America May 7, 2022 12:15 pm (buy tickets)
Update: It’s coming to VOD beginning Sept 6, 2022 courtesty of Well GO USA.
Maika: The Girl From Another Galaxy is a fun Vietnamese movie that will be very familiar to anyone who knows Steven Spielberg’s work. It’s not meant to be thoughtful, but instead has fun with the boy meets alien girl concept. It’s also considered this country’s first family friendly created content that’s playing at specific film festivals before getting a wider release.
The story focuses on how Hung (Phu Truong) is having a rough go at life. He’s lost his mom to cancer and although that was over a year ago, his father doesn’t understand his boy. He tries to make ends meet to support them both. But he’s hardly ever around for the boy. While out on his own, Hung meets Maika (Diep Anh Chu), an alien who needs help. His frenemy, Beo (Tin Tin) and his older brother serves as comedic relief. The former is a chubby tyke who almost steals the movie. He’s clearly having fun playing up that spoiled child role–a stark contrast to who Hung is.
Kodomobanpaku is a movie that offers a a genuine look at giving kids the space they need to learn, grow up, and be themselves.
When life in Japan gets too stressful, perhaps all anyone can do is the Kodomobanpaku (こどもばんく). This wonderful Japanese drama by Norikazu Oda shows what children can do when life gets them down, and they’re wanting to do something about it. Instead of grieving, they want to escape by being at a fun spring festival. In this film’s case, it marked the start of the online portion of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.