CAAMfest, Introduced

February 19, 2013

The San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival -- renamed CAAMfest -- takes place March 14-24 in the Bay Area and will include film, video, music and food, bringing the art, stories and people of film to life. Hyphen will be along for the ride, bringing you film reviews and event coverage on our blog throughout March.

The festival, presented by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), includes opening night doc Linsanity by San Francisco native Evan Jackson Leong. The after party takes place at the Asian Art Museum, where there will be food, drinks, good company and plenty of terracotta warriors to check out.


Hyphen catches up with Evan Jackson Leong, director of Linsanity.

The closing night film, Memories to Light, showcases Asian American home movies spanning six decades. Whether on 8mm or Super-8, the videos show the collective experiences of everyday Asian Americans on the big screen.

Other festival highlights include:

Film still from Midnight's Children.

Midnight’s Children by director Deepa Mehta based on the Salman Rushdie novel.

* Astro Boy, the lovable robot boy from Japan, was the first official anime released in the US. The special exhibition will feature rare TV episodes, manga, video cames, and the film.

Film still from Astro Boy.

* The Monkey King: Uproar in Heaven, an animated film, will be the first 3D film shown at the festival. Based on the story of a monkey key in Journey to the West

* The CAAM original web series, Nice Girls Crew, will premiere its second season at the festival, produced by Festival and Exhibitions Director Christine Kwon and director Tanuj Chopra. 

* Two documentaries, Let’s Play Music! Slack Key with Cyril Pahiniu and Friends and E Haku Inoa: To Weave a Name, are sponsored by Pacific Islanders in Communications. 

Film still from E Haku Inoa: To Weave a Name.

* A Royston Tan retrospective, featuring several of Singaporean filmmaker Tan’s works -- 15, 881 and Old Romances -- and a conversation with filmmaker Valerie Soe and Tan.

Memory of Forgotten War, a documentary produced by Deann Borshay Liem and Ramsay Liem, about the Korean War and its aftermath. The screening will be followed by a discussion about the "unknown war" with distinguished academics, artists, and community leaders.

* Debbie Lum’s Seeking Asian Female, an intimate documentary on “yellow fever.”

* Late Summer, Ernie Park's narrative that features an African American cast and takes place in the American South.

Film still from Late Summer.

* Dosa Hunt, a film about a group of people searching for the best dosa in NYC, stars pianist Vijay Iyer, the rap group Das Racist, and others. Afterwards, Indian Bastards From Hell, featuring members of Das Racist, will perform.

Film still from Dosa Hunt.

Directions in Sound, a musical event of Asian American performers, this year features Dengue Fever with lead singer Chhom Nimol, and Jhameel. DJ Vinroc will be spinning.

* Thy Tran of the Asian Culinary Forum curates two “tasting salons” -- (Bitter)sweet: the Art of Tasting featuring chocolatier Wendy Lieu (Socola) and Lisa Murphy (Sosu), and Mixing Masala featuring Paawan Kothari of SF’s The Chai Cart.

* Ready, Set, Pitch! A selected group of media producers will pitch their idea to a jury of professionals in front of a live audience. The winning pitch receives a CAAM challenge grant.

* There will also be many short films curated into themed programs such as On Bodies and Queer Convergence, that includes a mix of experiences and new filmmakers -- sure to delight, inspire and even puzzle. Enjoy.

For information and tickets, go to the CAAMfest site. Film venues include the New People Cinema and Sundance Kabuki Cinema in San Francisco’s Japantown, the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, the Castro Theatre in the Castro, and the historic Great Star Theater in San Francisco’s Chinatown.


Momo Chang is Hyphen’s features editor. She was a juror for the documentary competition in the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival in 2012. She is contributing a small part to a forthcoming documentary, Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story (dir. Ben Wang), of which Festival and Exhibitions Director Christine Kwon is a producer and director Deann Liem Borshay is executive producer.

Hyphen is an official media partner of CAAMfest 2013.




Momo Chang

Senior Contributing Editor

Momo Chang is the Content Manager at the Center for Asian American Media, and freelances for magazines, online publications, and weeklies. Her writings focus on Asian American communities, communities of color, and youth culture. She is a former staff writer at the Oakland Tribune. Her stories range from uncovering working conditions in nail salons, to stories about “invisible minorities” like Tongan youth and Iu Mien farmers. She has freelances The New York Times, WIRED, and East Bay Express, among other publications.