Asians on Film Festival at JANM

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The marriage of Bud (Steve Alden Nelson) and Hiro (Sab Shimono) is explored in David Au's comedic short "Family Gathering."

The marriage of Bud (Steve Alden Nelson) and Hiro (Sab Shimono) is explored in David Au’s comedic short “Family Gathering.”

The 2016 Asians on Film Festival will be held from March 10 to 13 at the Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo.

The Asians on Film Festival grew out of the website asiansonfilm.com, now a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting under-recognized Asians and Asian Americans working in the film industry. The annual festival showcases nearly 100 of the best short films submitted to the website over the past year.

The festival, now in its fourth year, has grown dramatically with over 300 submissions last year and 17 festival awards. The festival has also expanded to include special screenings of “Best of Fest” throughout the year in other cities with a goal of having screenings in Asia and Europe this year.

Among this year’s honorees are actors Will Yun Lee and Kieu Chinh for being two positive influences in Hollywood. Lee’s credits include the TV series “Witchblade,” “Bionic Woman,” and “Hawaii Five-0” and the films “Die Another Day,” “Elektra,” and “The Wolverine.” Chinh’s credits include the TV series “MASH,” the TV-movie “The Children of An Lac,” and the films “Catfish in Black Bean Sauce,” “Face,” “Journey from the Fall,” and “21.”

A pre-festival private party will be held on Wednesday, March 9, at 7 p.m. at 424 in Beverly Hills. Opening night red carpet is on Thursday, March 10, at 5 p.m. at JANM, followed by shorts programs at 7 and 9 p.m.

Shorts programs continue on Friday, March 11, at 4, 6, 8 and 10 p.m.; Saturday, March 12, at 4, 6, 8 and 10 p.m.; and Sunday, March 13, at 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., followed by an awards ceremony at 10:30 p.m. and closing night after party at Far Bar in Little Tokyo at 11 p.m.

Spike Leffke and Jordan Wong in a scene from Takashi Shiraishi's "More Than One."

Audrey (Spike Leffke) and Daniel (Jordan Wong) have a troubled relationship in Takahisa Shiraishi’s “More Than One.”

Shorts with Japanese/Japanese American themes include:

• “American Hikikomori” (U.S., 20 minutes), which explores the emotional struggles of a Japanese teenager, Isamu Fujihara, when he moves to America. Director Landis Stokes, producer Kana Watanabe and cast members Yuto Serata, Naoyuki Ikeda, Akiko Shima, and Nadja Hoyer-Booth will be in attendance. March 11 at 10 p.m.

• “Family Gathering” (U.S., 21 minutes), a comedy centered on an extended Asian American family of a certain age celebrating the same-sex marriage of Hiro and Bud; homophobia is not a problem because these people are too self-involved to create anything but embarrassment for Hiro. Directed by David Au. Starring Keiko Agena, Alberto Isaac, Dian Kobayashi, Steve Alden Nelson, Sharon Omi, Sab Shimono. March 10 at 7 p.m.

• “More Than One” (U.S., 20 minutes). Daniel is a young man who’s forced to reconcile the differences of his dreams with the reality of his present in order for him to live a truthful life. He lives with his college girlfriend, Audrey, and their relationship is far from stable. As they grow individually, their goals change, their values change and they become alienated from one another. When Audrey discovers she’s pregnant, Daniel’s resolve is tested when she tells him she wants an abortion. Starring Jordan Wong, Spike Leffke, and Tanny Jiraprapasuke. Director Takahisa Shiraishi and actor/writer Wong will be in attendance. March 11 at 8 p.m.

Opening and closing events are free. General admission is $12 per screening. All-day pass is $35 and all-festival pass is $108. For a complete schedule and reservations, visit: http://asiansonfilmfestival.com/2016/schedule/

Isamu isolates himself from society in a scene from “American Hikikomori.” (Photo courtesy of Landis Stokes)

Isamu (Yuto Serata) isolates himself from society in a scene from Landis Stokes’ “American Hikikomori.”

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