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Welcome to the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

In these challenging moments, we continue to move forward in celebrating you and our communities as key contributors to 50 years of Visual Communications. The organization was born because our Founders began searching for visual resources to build a greater consciousness of Asian Pacific histories and experiences in America. Fueled by the burgeoning Civil Rights and Anti-War movements, they set out to showcase Asian Pacific American lives by creating educational kits, photographing community events, audiotaping stories, and collecting historical images.

In our continued work to create spaces for expression, engagement, and empowerment, we proudly present the 36th annual LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL, reflecting a lineup that centers conversations that are most critical and compelling at this time.

The online Festival showcases the long awaited world and local premieres of  I’LL MEET YOU THERE (dir. Iram Parveen Bilal), ONE MEAL (dir. Yuechen Hao), ACCEPT THE CALL (dir. Eunice Lau), THE GIRL WHO LEFT HOME (dir. Mallorie Ortega), FINDING YINGYING (dir. Jiayan “Jenny” Shi), and THE CELINE ARCHIVE (dir. Celine Parreñas Shimizu).

We also present the timely stories of Hao Wu & Weixi Chen’s 76 DAYS, Ramona S. Diaz’s A THOUSAND CUTS, Baljit Sangra’s BECAUSE WE ARE GIRLS, Ursula Liang’s DOWN A DARK STAIRWELL, and Richard Lui’s SKY BLOSSOM: DIARIES OF THE NEXT GREATEST GENERATION.

A special presentation of Loira Limbal’s THROUGH THE NIGHT deepens our Festival’s pursuit of connecting our communities through shared universal experiences. Along with Deann Borshay Liem’s GEOGRAPHIES OF KINSHIP and Lisette Marie Flanary’s TOKYO HULA, we present these stories that transcend borders and nations to foster profound connections with each other.

Join us for narratives featuring THE PAPER TIGERS (dir. Bao Tran) and WAIKIKI (dir. Christopher Kahunahana), along with international cinema selections A BEDSORE (dir. Shim Hye-jung), DEATH OF NINTENDO (dir. Raya Martin), GOODBYE MOTHER (dir. Trinh Dinh Le Minh), KIM JI-YOUNG, BORN 1982 (dir. Kim Do-Young), NOODLE KID (dirs. Ning Huo & Gary Shih), PATUTIKI: THE GUARDIANS OF MARQUESAN TATTOO (dirs. Christophe Cordier & Heretu Tetahiotupa), THE LEGEND OF BARON TO’A (dir. Kiel McNaughton), and THE LONG WALK (dir. Mattie Do).

As we countdown to Election Day, the Festival aims to present diverse and compelling American stories. Mobilize and engage with Yi Chen’s FIRST VOTE, and watch Larissa Lam’s FAR EAST DEEP SOUTH, Kelly Ng & Hui Tong’s CURTAIN UP!, and Jason DaSilva’s WHEN WE WALK, and Pacific Art Movement’s THE PARADISE WE ARE LOOKING FOR. And from the LAAPFF Virtual Showcase earlier in May, we bring back THE DONUT KING (dir. Alice Gu), THE MISEDUCATION OF BINDU (dir. Prarthana Mohan), and KA HUAKAʻI: THE JOURNEY TO MERRIE MONARCH (dir. Gerard Elmore).

Visual Communications is grateful for HBO® and their commitment to magnify emerging filmmakers. The Festival is excited to premiere the winners of this year’s HBO APA Visionaries Short Film Competition. With the theme of “Breaking Barriers,” the 4th HBO Asian Pacific American Visionaries short film competition drew a record number of film submissions that provided a unique lens into the challenges and victories of overcoming obstacles. In the spirit of celebrating community and amplifying voices, the three finalist films, Tiffany So’s FINE CHINA, Johnson Cheng’s LONELY BLUE NIGHT, and Thomas Percy Kim’s SI will premiere at the Festival. The evening will have appearances from the 2020 HBO Visionaries Ambassador Shannon Lee, performing artist NIKI, and other guests.

We are proud to debut the works of VC’s Armed With a Camera and Digital Histories programs. We also spotlight experiences of Native Hawaiians & Pacific Islanders through this year’s edition of Pacific Cinewaves.

With every year, we look to the short film category for impressive strides from emerging and established filmmakers. This year’s lineup reflects a nuanced commentary of our present world, from filmmakers in our backyard and beyond. Narrative short films MICHELLE (dir. Kenya Gillespie) and I’M NOT YOUR F***ING STEREOTYPE (dir. Hesome Chemamah) embody the spirited fight to stand up for ourselves. Documentary short films THIS IS THE WAY WE RISE (dir. Ciara Lacy), BUT YOU’RE NOT BLACK (dir. Danielle Ayow) and TO CALM THE PIG INSIDE (dir. Joanna Vasquez Arong) reflect unique experiences around the globe.

We also look forward to our partnerships with the Undocumented Filmmakers Collective, Okaeri, and Kayamanan Ng Lahi, to spotlight their filmmakers and the amazing things they are making happen.

The Festival prides itself in creating spaces for creators to connect and converge through our C3:Conference for Creative Content. This year, the conference becomes C3:CONVERSE – a virtual space for creators to conversate and celebrate each other.

Our home is Little Tokyo. We are grateful for our local partners who have provided spaces for us to gather. Because we are unable to connect in person, we present our LT@Home series to bring stories of Little Tokyo to your home. We kick off the series with the world premiere of ATOMIC CAFE: THE NOISIEST CORNER IN J-TOWN (dirs. Akira Boch & Tadashi Nakamura).

Come together with us as we recognize the works of more than 250 filmmakers. Visual Communications is grateful for these storytellers who believe in the power of media to build and connect communities. As artists and community members, we thank you for utilizing your creative powers to oppose racism and amplify change.

Our deepest gratitude to our families, friends and supporters who continue to believe in what we collectively make happen. The Festival would not be possible without your support.

Our communities, while ever transforming, continue to act in solidarity. The Festival is co-presented with our partners who empower communities through media. Thank you for your allyship.

Lastly, thank you to our VC Staff for your passion to create our ideal communities within our physical and virtual worlds. We look forward to the day when we can celebrate each other in person.

In this time of isolation, we stay connected. Welcome to the 36th edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival!

~Visual Communications Staff

Celebrate 50 Years with Visual Communications!

For our 50th anniversary, we are postponing our planned in-person, live celebration to a future moment when we are able to be safely together. However, we continue to channel our communities’ spirit of resilience and are planning a PAST//FORWARD virtual event for us to connect. We hope you can join us on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 for a virtual presentation to celebrate VC’s past, present, and future by (re)connecting with people and communities who make great things happen.

Throughout the Festival, please consider making a donation to our VC50 Celebration Campaign, or purchase an All Access Festival Pass + VC50 Donation. Visual Communications is a 501(c)3 charitable non-profit organization. Your donation is 100% tax deductible and goes directly towards supporting VC’s year round artist programming.