If you’re not excited about the cutting edge of Asian film and you have a Netflix account then shame on you! Its time to dip your toe into the boon of creativity that Asia is bursting with. Great films like Life of Pi (2012), Stoker (2013), and The Raid: Redemption (2011) may have crossed your path recently enough but they come from a long heritage of cinematic genius.
Japan’s Akira Kurosawa, Taiwan’s Ang Lee, and South Korea’s Park Chan Wook are now household names to those that appreciate filmmakers, and some films have reached equal acclaim through handling the controversial with skill and nuance such as Battle Royale (2000) with its teenage gladiator-like premise, which only 10 years later has been sidled up to by the similarly themed dystopian fantasy The Hunger Games. In the area of horror, the standout Japanese film Audition (1999) brought subtlety back to the genre like few films have since Kubrick’s The Shining, through its slow burning drama leading up to a deeply unsettling climax that made some popular horror directors quake in their splatter guard ponchos.
Now that I’ve whet your palette, I give you the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Fest (LAAPFF)! In its 29th year, it is responsible for breaking Justin Lin, who presented Better Luck Tomorrow (2002), Fast 5 (2011), and Finishing the Game (2007) in previous years. LAAPFF is the only Asian American film festival that has a project market, Project Catalyst, for up and coming feature length film makers.They also host exclusive events and screenings and are known for breaking filmmakers into Hollywood.
This year’s festival will include special guests: Keo Woolford (Hawaii 5-0, director of The Haumana), Amanda Plummer (Pulp Fiction, is starring in Abigail Harm), Brian Yang (Hawaii 5-0, a producer of Linsanity is starring in Someone I Used To Know), Dat Phan (Winner of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, is Co-starring in Sake-Bomb), Jason Tobin (Better Luck Tomorrow, is starring in Chink), and Brea Grant (Heroes, is starring in Best Friends Forever).
Buy a ticket or volunteer! If you live in the area and want to be a pitch in, click here to register today!