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Team LAAPFF reassembled for yet another year of exciting programming which encompasses everything from feature films, shorts, VR and new media, episodics, to special programs all geared towards anyone invested in the arts, advocacy, and activism within AAPI communities and beyond. Our intrepid team of programmers and curators pored through a record number of submissions and programming proposals, to put together a nimble and diverse slate that will unveil itself for Festival Week audiences. This year, our programming team includes these awesome people.

Abraham Ferrer is Visual Communications’ Archives and Distribution Manager, studied studio art while at UCLA, and has served in numerous capacities at VC since coming aboard in 1985, ranging from collateral, identity and publication design, exhibition design and fabrication, training and education assistance, and curation in the areas of film and media exhibitions and photographic exhibitions. In these capacities, Ferrer has been involved with the production and fabrication of museum and site-specific exhibitions including “Issei Pioneers: Hawaii and the Mainland 1885-1924”, the inaugural exhibition of the Japanese American National Museum in 1992; and “Heading East: California’s Asian Pacific Americans”, commissioned by the California State Library and produced by VC in 1998. He has also written extensively on topics vital to the development of APA cinema, and has served on the organizing team of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

Anderson Le diligently works in the global promotion of independent and world cinema as Artistic Director of the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF). In addition to his duties at HIFF, Le also serves as a program consultant for several film festivals including the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, focusing on international and gala presentations; the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy, where he is in charge of the annual documentary sidebar and Southeast Asian selections; and Singapore International Film Festival with a focus on gala presentations and North American selections.  Le is the international programmer for Comcast, working in providing monthly content for Xfinity on Demand with a focus on Asian and Asian American content. He recently co-founded a US/Vietnam joint venture called EAST, an upstart production company to focus on developing Southeast Asian entertainment content for established and emerging SVOD and OTT streaming platforms.

Annie Liang is passionate about film and film festivals. She recently graduated from UCLA with a focus on Asian Studies and Film Studies. This year marks her fourth year at LAAPFF. From festival programming, marketing and sponsorship, to shorts programmer, she strives to share APA films to her community and a broader audience.

Dorothy Xiao is a Los Angeles based filmmaker who is an avid supporter of providing platforms for underrepresented voices in media and creating inspiring content. Aside from being the Branding & Communications Manager at Visual Communications, she is also an LAAPFF Shorts Programmer and a full time boba addict.

Eseel Borlasa loves mixtapes, films & community…2019 marks her nth year with LAAPFF. She is still rocking the white flower under a couple of different hats.

Faroukh Virani is a filmmaker and editor with a focus on creating and supporting projects which advance diverse representation on screen. Faroukh is also the proud current owner of the largest foam samosa in Los Angeles (approximately 6 feet across), thanks to Visual Communications and Armed With A Camera’s support of his 2016 short SAMEER AND THE GIANT SAMOSA.

Jeremy Gaudette has been passionate about films for as long as he can remember. For over 15 years, he has managed cinemas from Maine to LA and continues to find comfort in a darkened theatre. He is excited to be part of the incredible LAAPFF programming team for a third year.

Joel Quizon is a Los Angeles based/Manila roots filmmaker, arts organizer, music curator and DJ. He has created and collaborated on live music events, multi-disciplinary performances, and film screenings. He is a producer/director with Form follows Function, a media collaborative specializing in place-based short form documentaries, emerging media, and multimedia installations. He is a music curator and DJ focusing on Filipino music and experimental sounds. He is the Digital Histories Instructor for the 2019 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

Kirby Peñafiel is a veteran Shorts Programmer for the LAAPFF. His love for film is only matched by his love for community. Rooted in LAAPFF, he started as a volunteer and has worn many hats since. He stays to help and prepare future community leaders. He also loves his dogs.

Lindy Leong enjoys supporting community building and advocacy through the arts. In her other lives, she is a film and media educator, arts administrator, and archivist. She still wants you to see films in an actual theater before you “Netflix and chill” it. There are no excuses now. You can “Netflix and chill” it at the actual theater because Netflix financed the film you are watching.

Melanie Ramos has been a contributor to the festival programming for the last few years. She is a Festival alumna having two of her short films play in past editions. As a filmmaker herself, she was drawn to the Festival’s mission to support the voices of Asian American and Pacific Islander filmmakers and give them a platform to tell their stories. She is very excited to help present the line up of feature films in this year’s Festival.

Micki Davis is a multimedia artist, educator and, most notably, an Armed with a Camera Alum!  She values Visual Communications for its commitment to the Pan-Asian and Pacific communities here in Los Angeles and is committed herself to advocacy of these perspectives in the arts. If she’s not at the movies, she’s on the karaoke mic.

Ryan Wu is a native Angeleno who spends his days representing consumers and employees in class actions. In the evenings, he finds time to feed his cinephilia and help program the festival.

Sue Ding is a documentary filmmaker and immersive media producer. Her work explores the intersection of identity, storytelling, and visual culture. Sue is also passionate about dessert, the desert, speculative fiction, and supporting women and POC in both traditional and emerging media.

Sumiko Braun is a filmmaker and actor best known for her role in the cult classic SHARKNADO. She currently works in post-production with Sony Pictures Entertainment. A former Visual Communications Armed with a Camera fellow, she is thrilled to be involved with the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

Trent Nakamura is a filmmaker, film educator, and advocate for LGBTQ+ and POC representation in media. When he’s not programming with LAAPFF, Trent is coordinating Educational Programs with Outfest, dreaming about his future dog, and scouting out the best coffee shops and restaurants in Los Angeles.