UCLA Asian American Studies Center Film Festival Feb. 19-28

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The UCLA Film & Television Archive and UCLA Asian American Studies Center (AASC) celebrate the legacy of Asian American studies with the UCLA Asian American Studies Center Film Festival, presented virtually on Feb. 19-21 and 26-28.

The online program includes six features, 13 short films, one television episode and one webisode offering powerful imagery and poignant commentary about meaningful issues facing Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Virtual audiences will hear from filmmakers and actors on their creative journeys, as well as from scholars, artists and community leaders on themes that apply to today’s world.

“For 51 years, the UCLA Asian American Studies Center has continuously worked to give voice to Asian American scholars, students and communities so that society at large can have a deeper understanding of our experiences and perspectives,” said Karen Umemoto, Ph.D., director of the Asian American Studies Center. “Partnering with the UCLA Film & Television Archive to present this festivalis an opportunity for all of us to be immersed in the lives of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through moving images.”

The virtual festival is a continuation of the 2020 in-person UCLA Asian American Studies Center 50th Anniversary Film Festival, cut short after opening weekend due to stay-at-home measures implemented in Los Angeles County due to COVID-19.

UCLA Asian American Studies Center Film Festival

“Down a Dark Stairwell”

Feb. 19, 4 p.m. PTComplexities of Race

Short films: “Liquor Store Babies” (2018), “Thank You, Come Again” (2020), “The Dope Years: The Story of Latasha Harlins” (2021)

“Down a Dark Stairwell” (2021) Special sneak preview screening; space is limited and restricted to viewers within the United States.This film will premiere on PBS’ “Independent Lens” on April 12. In Cantonese, Mandarin and English with English subtitles. Pre-recorded conversation to follow with filmmaker Ursula Liang and filmmaker Allison A. Waite. Moderated by filmmaker, UCLA Asian American Studies Department professor and UCLA Center for EthnoCommunications director Renee Tajima-Peña.

“The Toll of the Sea”

Feb. 20, 3 p.m. PT – Anna May Wong: Asian American Icon

“Anna May Wong: The First Asian American Movie Star” (2020). The episode of “Unladylike2020,” a series that premiered as part of PBS’ “American Masters” series.

“The Toll of the Sea” (1922), silent, musical accompaniment provided by Cliff Retallick. Preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Conversation to follow with Anna Wong, niece of Anna May Wong, and actor, writer, director Michelle Krusiec. Moderated by UCLA School of Theater, Film andTelevision associate dean and professor Sean Metzger. The conversation will include the following clips:

“Anna May Wong Visits Shanghai, China” (1936). Stock footage shot for, but never used in, Hearst Metrotone News of Wong arriving on a Dollar Line boat, surrounded by a group of cameramen and newspapermen.

“Hollywood,” Season 1, Part 2 (2020). Clips from Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan’s “Hollywood” courtesy of Netflix.

“Moananuiākea: One Ocean, One People, One Canoe”

Feb. 21, 2 p.m. PT – Environmental Justice and Spirit of Aloha, Part 1

Short films: “Back to the Source” (2020), “Standing Above the Clouds” (2019), “This Is the Way We Rise” (2020).

Conversation to follow with filmmaker Jalena Keane-Lee, director of photography Chapin Hall and filmmaker Sandra Carbonell-Kiamtia. Moderated by Alika Bourgette, University of Washington Ph.D. student.

Feb. 21, 5 p.m. PT – Environmental Justice and Spirit of Aloha, Part 2

“Moananuiākea: One Ocean, One People, One Canoe” (2018). Available to view between Feb. 19 and 22 on the archive’s Vimeo page.

Conversation with filmmaker Nāʻālehu Anthony and moderator Noah Patterson Hanohano Dolim, UC Irvine Ph.D. student. For details and to RSVP for the Zoom webinar, click here.

“Chinatown Rising”

Feb. 26, 4 p.m. PT – Finding Home/Lands

Short films: “The Price of Cheap Rent” (2020), “Gone” (2019), “Reopening” (2020), “Cambodia Town: Not for Sale” (2019), “Kamaʻāina (Child of the Land)” (2019).

“Chinatown Rising” (2021). Special sneak preview screening; space is limited. This screening is restricted to viewers within the United States. Pre-recorded conversation to follow with filmmakers Harry and Josh Chuck. Moderated by UCLA professor in Urban Planning and Asian American Studies and UCLA Asian American Studies Center director Karen Umemoto.

“Fruit Fly”

Feb. 27, 3 p.m. PT – Visions of Fire: LGBTQ+ Voices

Program will be introduced by UCLA Film & Television Archive Director May Hong HaDuong.

Short films: “Shu Mai Online” (2020), “Razor Tongue: Episode 1” (2019), “Unspoken” (2019), “Fruit Fly” (2009), 10th Anniversary Sing-Along Edition.

Post-screening conversation to follow with filmmaker H.P. Mendoza and actress, filmmaker, producer Rain Valdez. Moderated by UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television associate dean and professor Sean Metzger.

“Final Recipe”

Feb. 28, 5 p.m. PT – Food & Family

Short films: “Spamfight” (2020), “Phoenix Bakery: Sweets for the Sweet” (2020), “Final Recipe” (2013).

Pre-recorded conversation to follow with director/producer and UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television professor Gina Kim, screenwriter and UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television professor George Huang and actor Chin Han.

For details and updates on in-person guests, visit this link.

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