Our intrepid team of Festival Programmers reassembled for yet another year of exciting programming, poring through a record number of submissions and programming proposals to put together a nimble and diverse slate of programs. Meet our Festival Programmers below.
Anderson Le serves as a program consultant for several film festivals including the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, the Far East Film Festival in Italy, and the Singapore International Film Festival. He also diligently works in the global promotion of independent and world cinema as Artistic Director of the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF). 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.
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.
Eric Lee works with data to tell disturbing yet insightful stories of the social injustices happening in our world. He also loves movies and moving stories. As the newest member of the LAAPFF Features team, he’s excited to be alongside other passionate cinephiles to support the new wave of AAPI voices. The only Marvel movie he’ll pay money to see is the next Hulk movie that casts an Asian American as the Hulk. He thinks it’s almost too perfect.
Eseel Borlasa loves mixtapes, films & community…2020 marks her nth year with LAAPFF. She is still rocking the white flower under a couple of different hats.
Faroukh Virani is a filmmaker/editor and a former Visual Communications Armed With a Camera Fellow! He is thrilled to be part of the VC community and mission of supporting and amplifying AAPI voices. Additionally, he is a big fan of biryani and samosas. And definitely a fan of big samosas.
Jeremy Aguilera-Gaudette was born and raised in Maine but has called Los Angeles home for the past 15 years. After 17 years managing movie theatres, Jeremy now works at Film Independent in the International Programs department. This is Jeremy’s 4th year with LAAPFF and he’s still thrilled to be part of this amazing team.
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 filmmaker with Form follows Function, a media collaborative specializing in place-based short form documentaries, emerging media, and multimedia installations. Currently, he is the Program Manager for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, as well as the instructor for Visual Communications’ Digital Histories program.
Kevin J. Nguyen is a second generation Vietnamese American with a big dream – to encourage people to live a life true to themselves and be a part of a movement of change-makers. His love for storytelling led him to a career in digital media where he has worked for publishers like Jubilee Media and BuzzFeed, and is currently the Content Lead (Community Stories) at Snap Inc. In his free time, you’ll probably find him at a restaurant taking pictures of his food or writing his next film!
Kirby Peñafiel is a veteran LAAPFF Shorts Programmer. 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. A steadfast media archivist, he sits upon hours of digitized footage and unfinished projects – which he’ll finish, eventually. He also loves his dogs.
Lindy Leong enjoys supporting community building and advocacy through the arts. She balances the challenges and joys of being a dilettante in her other lives as a film and media educator, arts administrator, and archivist. She cares deeply about building AAPI and BIPOC power in the film and media industries. And much to her chagrin, “Netflix and Chill” is actually now the new normal.
Marvin Yueh is a producer and organizer with almost a decade of experience in digital media and live events. Marvin has produced several events for the Asian American community including the first all-Asian American music showcase at SXSW, the Asian Pacific Filmmakers Experience at Sundance, and the Kollaboration EMPOWER Creative Leadership Conference (which he co-founded). Marvin currently produces podcasts through his independent production company, HappyEcstatic Media, and manages the Potluck Podcast Collective, a network of Asian American hosted podcasts.
Melanie Ramos is a Los Angeles based filmmaker. This is her fourth year as an LAAPFF Features Programmer. She is an alumni filmmaker of LAAPFF with her short films DELIVER HER (2013) and LIMBOLAND (2018).
Mia Barnett is a second-generation mixed-race Japanese American originally from Fargo, North Dakota. A freelance editor with a passion for building community, she has worked at Buzzfeed and is currently the Development Coordinator for Kizuna. She sits on the board for the Gay Freedom Band of Los Angeles as the Director of Development and enjoys playing clarinet. It is her first year programming for LAAPFF, and she is so excited to support the Visual Communications team in showcasing talented and visionary API filmmakers from the United States and around the world.
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.
Paolo Rein is emerging writer, director, actor, and activist based in Carson, California. He strives to not only lay a foundation for change within the film industry, but also to work with marginalized communities, tackle colorism & representation on screen, and shed light on social and political issues that get overlooked within today’s narratives. As an activist through the Undocumented Filmmakers Collective and his various contributions towards immigrant rights, he has continuously advocated for immigrants and formerly incarcerated folks.
Ryan H. Wu has served as an LAAPFF Features Programmer since 2016. During periods of non-quarantine, Ryan can be spotted indulging in his love for Classic Hollywood or mid-20th Century international cinema at the Billy Wilder or the New Beverly. In between watching movies, Ryan practices law as a partner at a leading class action firm, earning numerous professional accolades for his work.
Sue Ding is a documentary filmmaker and immersive media producer. Her work explores the intersection of identity, storytelling, and visual culture. She leads LAAPFF’s REORIENT showcase for interactive, immersive, and multiplatform projects, and is passionate about dessert, the desert, speculative fiction, and supporting women and POC in media.
Udval Altangerel is a filmmaker from Mongolia based in Los Angeles. She is currently an MFA thesis student at California Institute of the Arts. Her work explores the themes of archives, migration, and personal and national histories. She is excited to be cultivating her curatorial voice this year at LAAPFF.