L.A. Asian Pacific Film Fest to Focus on ’92 Riots

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A scene from Dai Sil Kim-Gibson’s “Wet Sand.”

Visual Communications (VC), the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, presents the 33rd edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival from April 27 to May 4.

Special presentations will include “Flash Point 2017: 25 Years After the Los Angeles Uprising.” Los Angeles has not been the same since April 29, 1992. With racial tension peaking and riots sparking across the city, it became clear that Angelenos were demanding a drastic change in the relationship between police officers and racial minorities. A quarter-century later, there is still a question of the treatment of people of color and the socio-political factors in Los Angeles.

The festival is partnering with the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs for this historic weekend, utilizing art and media to examine the socio-political factors that provoked the violence and its impact in the racial and economic climate in L.A. and across the U.S. today.

The events begin Friday, April 28, launching a full weekend of programming, including two panels featuring a discussion of the evolution of community organizing as well as the role media (particularly film) has played in creating and reflecting social change. A screening of Dai Sil Kim-Gibson’s landmark “Wet Sand: Voices from L.A.” will kick off the April 29 day of events, including panel discussions with filmmakers Kim-Gibson and Charles Burnett; Funmilola Fagbamila of Black Lives Matter; author Robin D.G. Kelly; filmmakers Justin Chon and Renee Tajima Peña; comedian/artivist Jenny Yang; and journalist Phil Yu.

The gala screening of Chon’s “Gook,” which takes place during the unrest, will close out the April 29 anniversary. On Sunday, April 30, filmmaker Grace Lee will present the interactive project KTOWN 92 and featured artists Grace Misoe Lee and Patrick Martinez will discuss their process and how the Los Angeles Uprising influenced their work.

“This unique and special partnership between Visual Communications and the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs is shaping up to be very important,” notes Tammy Borrero, director of events at UCLA Luskin. “Our Asian Pacific American filmmakers and creative talents are key to a holistic approach to re-imagining and implementing policies to move L.A. to a pluralistic, socially equitable society. ‘Flash Point 2017’ is a vital and essential place to check in on our progress and move things forward to our desired goals.”

For program information and to purchase tickets, visit http://festival.vconline.org.

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