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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 17, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 07
Seattle Asian American Film Festival presents 5th annual festival February 23-26

LGBTQ in Focus (Shorts Program) on Saturday, February 25
Arts & Entertainment
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Seattle Asian American Film Festival presents 5th annual festival February 23-26

LGBTQ in Focus (Shorts Program) on Saturday, February 25

The Seattle Asian American Film Festival (SAAFF) presents its 5th annual festival February 23-26, at SIFF Cinema Egyptian (805 E Pine St) (Opening Night) and at the Northwest Film Forum (1515 12th Ave) (Friday through Sunday) on Capitol Hill. The 55 films on the program feature the best in recent independent cinema by and about Asian Americans. SAAFF's theme this year is #StarringUs, which underscores SAAFF's mission to spotlight Asian American voices, perspectives, and histories by screening independent films that reflect the diversity and richness of the Asian American community.

OPENING NIGHT will feature a collection of films by Seattle-area filmmakers, including veteran television executive Matt Chan, creator of A&E's 'Hoarders,' and 'TEDx' storytellers, Tay and Val. The festival will also feature a Saturday afternoon screening of LGBTQ shorts.

HIGHLIGHTS of the festival include:

OPENING NIGHT
THURSDAY, February 23 - 7:30pm @ SIFF Cinema Egyptian
o A Taste of Home - Ever wonder how chop suey came about? Which came first, pasta or Chinese noodles? How did they get those fortunes into the fortune cookies? Join host Val Tan as she travels through 100 years of the Seattle Chinatown International District (C-ID) in search of 'A Taste Of Home,' which features five of the oldest Chinese American food establishments in the C-ID. (54 Mins)

o Who Killed Donnie Chin - On July 23rd, 2015 Donnie Chin was murdered in Seattle's Chinatown. He was the Guardian Angel of the neighborhood and his murder remains unsolved. (8 Mins) o Year of the Dragon - Seattle poet Troy Osaki channels the spirit of Bruce Lee in a powerful monologue, revisiting the challenges the action star faced as an actor of color. Along the way, Osaki unpacks the Asian American experience. (4 Mins)

FRIDAY, February 24 - 8pm @ NWFF
o Massive Monkees: The Beacon - The Massive Monkees Crew started in the mid-'90s as a group of kids bonding around a love of hip-hop and dance at a local rec center. After winning world championships and earning many other accolades in the break dance community, the crew now runs their own studio, The Beacon, in the heart of Seattle, where they teach, mentor, and inspire people of all ages. (30 Mins)

FRIDAY, February 24 - 9pm @ NWFF
o Breathin': The Eddy Zheng Story - Arrested at 16 and tried as an adult for kidnapping and robbery, Eddy Zheng served over 20 years in California prisons and jails. (60 Mins)

SATURDAY, February 25 - 12pm @ NWFF
o Painted Nails - Witness the American dream crumble when Van, a Vietnamese nail salon worker, discovers her health problems, including two miscarriages, are the result of toxic chemicals in the products used in her salon. She courageously becomes involved in the fight for safe cosmetics and transforms from a self-described shy woman who speaks minimal English to a forthright advocate who testifies before Congress. (57 Mins)

SATURDAY, February 25 - 2pm @ NWFF
LGBTQ IN FOCUS (Shorts Program) - Featuring seven short films: Best Buds; Coming Full Circle: The Journey of a Transgendered Korean Adoptee; Gaysians; Girls Like Girls - Hayley Kiyoko; Nu'ó'c; Separar; and Two-Sided Ride.

o Best Buds - Two best friends get more than what they had bargained for during their weekly hot box ritual. (11 Mins)

o Coming Full Circle: The Journey of a Transgendered Korean Adoptee - What is it like to go 'back' to a country you never knew? Pauline Park was born into a poor family in post-war Korea. Adopted by white American parents, she left Korea as a 7-month old baby boy and grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 54 years later, she embarked on a journey of discovering and connecting to her past, where her birth name literally means 'the second son.' This film follows Pauline as she visited Korea for the first time after she left. (24 Mins)

o In Gaysians, five queer and trans Asian Americans from New York City explore their relationships with their family and culture in this illuminating patchwork documentary. (12 Mins)

o Girls Like Girls - Hayley Kiyoko - A story of love. (5 Mins)

o Nu'ó'c - A Vietnamese-American teen attempts to piece together and understand their mother's experience as a Vietnam War refugee. The journey pulls us into a fantastical series of iconic historical photographs and images, ultimately highlighting the complexity of fully understanding another's experiences - and opens up possibilities for building relationships based on simply being present. (5 Mins)

o Separar - A clean home, a few drinks, and a long overdue conversation. Where does a relationship go when it has no where else to go? (11 Mins).

o Two-Sided Ride - Alex, a Gay hopeless romantic, drives for a ride-booking company in hopes of a love connection in the big city. His trials and tribulations lead him to lose his way until fate takes over. (9 Mins)

(Co-presented by Three Dollar Bill Cinema and Asian Adult Adoptees of Washington)

SUNDAY, February 26 - 11am @ NWFF
o Meh's Tammakhoung - A young man grows closer to his grandma through her papaya salad recipe. This film is directed by a member of the ACRS Southeast Asian Young Men's group, which serves high school and middle school aged Southeast Asian young men from refugee and immigrant families. (11 Mins)

SUNDAY, February 26 - 12pm @ NWFF
o Tyrus - Pamela Tom's award-winning tour-de-force documentary about 105-year-old Chinese-American visual artist, Tyrus Wong, and his breathtaking scope of work across multiple artistic media and his personal and professional journey navigating racial bigotry in 20th century America. Seventeen years in the making, Tom's film makes meticulous use of Tyrus Wong's exquisite art, archival footage, illuminating interviews, and commentary from Wong himself to document how his unique style, melding Chinese calligraphic and landscape influences with contemporary Western art, helped the Disney animated film, Bambi (1942) specifically, and early Hollywood in general establish their signature visual styles. TYRUS makes a critical contribution to the documentary tradition and to American society in correcting a historical wrong by spotlighting this seminal, but heretofore under-credited figure. (77 Mins)

SUNDAY, February 26 - 6pm @ NWFF
o Tiger Hunter - The story of Sami Malik, a young Indian man, who travels to 1970s America to become an engineer in order to impress his childhood crush and live up to the legacy of his father - a legendary tiger hunter back home. When Sami's job falls through, he takes a low-end job and joins a gang of oddball friends in hopes of convincing his childhood sweetheart that he's far more successful than he truly is. (94 Mins)

To see the FULL schedule, to purchase tickets, and to get the latest updates, visit http://seattleaaff.org/2017/schedule.

Most films will be followed by panel discussions or Q&A with the films' directors.

TICKETS: Opening Night: $15 | $13 (students and seniors) - Regular Tickets: $11 | $8 - Festival Pass: $75

About Seattle Asian American Film Festival
SAAFF showcases works by Northwest Asian American filmmakers, as well as films from across North America dealing with Asian American people, issues, and themes. SAAFF is the only film festival in Seattle to provide a space for Asian American voices, perspectives, and histories by screening independent films that reflect the diversity and richness of the Asian American community. For more information about SAAFF, visit seattleaaff.org.

Courtesy of Seattle Asian American Film Festival

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Twenty years of RENT:

An interview with Skyler Volpe

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Seattle Asian American Film Festival presents 5th annual festival February 23-26

LGBTQ in Focus (Shorts Program) on Saturday, February 25

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Annex Theatre presents Scary Mary and the Nightmares Nine
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One of the most inventive Gay coming-of-age films ever is finally out on DVD and VOD!

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