The Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival is a volunteer run festival which celebrates and elevates the Asian American experience by presenting films directed by and/or featuring Asian and Asian Americans. This year’s film festival, which runs from November 12 – 22, features several films, shorts, and documentaries by Japanese and Japanese American filmmakers. Here are some highlights from the festival:
- Gehenna: Where Death Lives (2016). Directed by Hiroshi Katagiri (costume designer and special effects sculptor, The Hunger Games, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), this feature-length horror film screens at I-House Philadelphia on Friday, November 11 at 9:20 PM.
- Black Thread (2016). Directed and starring Yuji Okumoto (The Karate Kid II), this short supernatural action film is part of a free action/supernatural/sci-fi short series, and screens at I-House Philadelphia on Friday, November 11 at 11:30 PM.
- Three Stories (1982). Directed by Eiko Fan, this documentary showcases Eiko Fan’s wearable wooden sculptures, and is a time capsule of the artist’s life 35 years ago. It screens at CCP on Monday, November 14 at 4:30 PM.
- Women Directors in Experimental Japanese Film (1985). Curated by Collaborative Cataloging Japan, this 80 minute screening features films by experimental directors Mako Idemisu and Shigeko Kubota. It screens at CCP on Monday, November 14 at 5:45 PM.
- Harry on the Clouds (2016). Directed by Aya Shiroi, this animated short — about a grieving mother who’s visited by her son’s spirit — is part of the “Loss and Longing” free short film series. It screens at Fleisher Art Memorial on Wednesday, November 16 at 5:00 PM.
- Almost Asian (2015). Directed by actress Katie Malia, this comedy web series offers snapshots of Katie’s personal and professional struggles as she awkwardly attempts to maneuver through life as a half-Asian woman. It screens for free at at the Asian Arts Initiative on Friday, November 18 at 5:00 PM.
- All The Way (2016). Directed by Alli Nakamura, this documentary short spotlights a Japanese American seniors bowling league in Salt Lake City, UT, and screens on Friday, November 18 at 7:30 PM at Asian Arts Initiative.
- Mixed Match (2016). Directed by Jeff Chiba Stearns, this feature-length documentary combines live and animated footage to tell the story of how race plays a role in medical care — specifically, for multiracial Americans with bone cancer searching for a bone marrow transplant. It screens at the Asian Arts Initiativeon Saturday, November 19 at 12:15 PM.
- A Dialogue: Living Harmony (2014). Directed by Chigumi Obayashi, this documentary tells the story of how the city of Usuki is pioneering the slow food and organic farming movements in Japan. It screens at the Asian Arts Initiative on Saturday, November 19 at 2:30 PM.
- Mele Murals (2016). Directed by Tadashi Nakamura, this documentary spotlights the young Hawaiians who are reclaiming their culture through graffiti art. Director Tad Nakamura and Hawaiian graffiti legend Prime are expected in attendance for a post film Q&A and live mural painting. Admission also includes entry to the Closing Night Reception catered by Poi Dog and the unveiling of a limited edition Hawaiian ice cream flavor from Little Baby’s Ice Cream. It screens at the Asian Arts Initiative on Sunday, November 20 at 6:30 PM.
View the full festival list here. We hope you have an opportunity to check out what promises to be a great series of feature films, documentaries, and shorts.