March means spring, hoops and most importantly, film! CAAMFest – aka the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival – the nation’s largest showcase of new Asian American and Asian films runs from March 13-23 and will provide a preview of the many films and stars we’ll be hearing more from in the coming months.
This month on Xfinity Asia, we will be featuring daily blog posts from CAAMFest – look out for highlights and photos from this grand gathering of directors, actors and industry. On Cinema Asian American video-on-demand, we’ll be featuring “The Best of CAAMFest” – seven hit films from the festival’s past, all available to view for free. These include two from indie sensation Quentin Lee – his raunchy sex comedy “The People I’ve Slept With” and the early, trailblazing “Shopping For Fangs”, co-directed with ‘Fast & Furious’ Justin Lin. Two pioneering documentaries that explore the lives of young SouthEast Asian American men in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District are also on view: Spencer Nakasako’s “Refugee” and “AKA Don Bonus” – classics in the genre. Look out for many other hits, including Loni Ding’s ground-breaking portrait of Japanese American soldiers during WWII, “The Color of Honor” and JP Chan’s short film series “The Three Uses of a Knife Trilogy.”
“Shopping For Fangs,” Dirs. Quentin Lee and Justin Lin
Two stories involving Asian Americans in Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley “discovering their dark sides” intersect in this post-modern, anti-consumerism feature from co-directors Quentin Lee and Justin Lin.
“Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings,” Dir. Tadashi Nakamura
“Life on Four Strings” is a documentary film of an inspiring, inventive, and transformative ukulele virtuouso, Jake Shimabukuro.
“The People I’ve Slept With,” Dir. Quentin Lee
A promiscuous woman who finds herself with an unplanned pregnancy and needs to figure out who the baby daddy is…now!
“Color of Honor,” Dir. Loni Ding
“The Color of Honor” portrays the complex variety of responses of Japanese American men during WWII. While reviled and interned in their home country for their ethnic heritage, they were also confronted with the rise of fascism abroad.
“AKA Don Bonus,” Dir. Spencer Nakasako
A raw and revealing video diary by a Cambodian-born teenager who turns the camera on himself. Under the guidance of veteran filmmaker Spencer Nakasako, Sokly Don Bonus Ny offers a stark look at coming of age in San Francisco’s inner city where he confronts the reality of the American Dream.
“Refugee,” Dir. Spencer Nakasako
Three young Cambodian Americans, raised on the streets of San Francisco’s tough Tenderloin district, return to Cambodia for the first time since they fled with their families as young children. But after their journey, they will never be the same.
“Three Uses of a Knife Trilogy,” JP Chan
This trio of short films from New York filmmaker explore secrets, lies and unexpected truths in Chan’s trademark dry, surrealistic humor. Included are the films: “I Don’t Sleep I Dream,” “Dry Clean Only” and “Take It Or Leave It?”.