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February 15, 2017
 

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Written by: Richard J. Dalton

Seattle Asian American Film Festival Announces 2017 Program

Seattle, Wash. – The Seattle Asian American Film Festival (SAAFF) presents its 5th annual festival February 23--26, 2017, at SIFF Cinema Egyptian (Opening Night) and Northwest Film Forum in Capitol Hill, Seattle. 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.

 

Highlights Include:

  • Opening Night:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
 

To see the full schedule, purchase tickets, and 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 SAAFF

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.





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