Asian Films Galore: Asian American International Film Festival
For those who missed out on the New York Asian Film Festival this June, don’t worry because the Asian American International Film Festival is right around the corner. Founded in 1978, the AAIFF is the first and longest festival dedicated to showing films by Asian media artists and about the Asian community.
Held this year from July 23–26, this event will feature screenings of over 80 Asian-centric films from around the world as well as sessions with film directors, discussions, workshops and awards. It’s a perfect opportunity for aspiring filmmakers, cinema aficionados and those looking for plain ol’ good time.
Most of the films are 'shorts,' ranging from 15 to 30 minutes. But don’t be fooled by its brevity — the films span an impressive variety of genres.
There are the requisite movies about relationships and the culture gap. “26, Best Korean Girl” shows a woman defying her mother’s ideas on marriage, while “Conflict Resolution” explores a love triangle between a man and two Asian women.
Food connoisseurs will eat up (pun intended) “Pastry,” a film about a daughter tracing life and love through the symbolism of an egg tart. Fans of documentaries will enjoy one of the higher-profile movies, “Paper Heart,” which follows Charlyne Yi on a journey across America filming a documentary on the subject of love, meanwhile falling for her real-life boyfriend, Michael Cera (our favorite "Superbad" cutie).
Read on for more highlighted films and a clip of "Paper Heart:"
The festival doesn’t shy from controversial issues either. “You Can Call Me Nikkie” features a transsexual protagonist while “Beautiful Sisters” delves into the issue of eyelid surgery for young Asian American women.
“I Love Lakers” and “Arithmetic Lesson” both feature young children dealing with difficult home situations, while “America’s Next Top Immigrant” satirizes "America’s Next Top Model" to show the plight of their parents — immigrants competing for the American Dream.
Many of these films are compiled in ‘shorts’ collections, with themes such as “Love, Lust & Desire,” “Family Matters” and “Fun and Fantasy.” Another highlight of the festival is the "72 Hour Shootout," where teams have three days to produce an entire short film based on this year’s theme, “TIME'S UP.”
Here is a sneak peak of "Paper Hearts:"