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.
The following are my picks of what to must see at the 2022 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Some are genre works, and others, documentaries.
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.
FROM VISIONS TO REEL SHORTS PROGRAM
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.
STILL LIFE SHORTS PROGRAM
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.
Dante Basco‘s wicked sense of humour, or love of his own family dynamic in The Fabulous Filipino Brothers, defines much of his life in the streets of Pittsburg, California. The question of how much was real life versus fictionalized has me wondering how this Wonder Years type of film came about. Or should that be Malcolm in the Middle? They’re definitely boyz n the hood, in the non-traditional New York sense, with a touch of hip hop in an excellent soundtrack that I hope gets an album release.
This slice of life comedy about four Filipino brothers is very likable. I want to be part of their pamilya. Between their independence and dependence, their stories look at different sides of dealing with life’s many hurdles. A lot of it deals with inter-personal relationships outside of the homestead. I doubt they are parodies of themselves, but Dante, Dionysio, Derek, and Darion Basco are distinct personalities, and it wonderfully gets played up through the eyes of a camera lens.