24th SF Asian American Film Fest

The 24th San Francisco Asian American Film Festival starts tonight onwards and it promises to be as manic and comfy as ever. What a roller coaster ride it's been!

Nine years ago the festival had a record four Asian American narrative feature films, with the rest of the slate filled with documentaries, shorts and a large number of international features. This year it has 12, culled from about 250 submissions, beginning with Thursday's opening night film at the Castro Theatre, Eric Byler's "Americanese," an adaptation of Shawn Wong's breakthrough novel "American Knees."

"There were twice as many (submissions) as last year," says Yang, the festival's director. "What's amazing is there is almost no market in the traditional sense for these films, yet they are being made. ... So we need to do a better job of getting the films beyond the festival. It's the only way that Asian American cinema is going to grow. That's so critical right now."

FYI, Third I will be co-presenting the following:

3rd i South Asian Shorts 2006
Sun 3/19 2:30 PM, Kabuki 8 Theatres, 1881 Post Street, San Francisco
Sun 3/26 6:45 PM, Camera 12 Cinemas, San Jose

An exciting and inspiring array of South Asian short films from India, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States

Water (Director, Deepa Mehta in person)
Sun 3/19 | 6:00 PM | Castro Theatre
In the long-awaited and magnificent conclusion to her “Elemental Trilogy,” Deepa Mehta builds upon her explorations of desire (FIRE, SFIAAFF Closing Night ’97) and nationalism (EARTH), to take on religion and the resilient power of the human spirit


Sat 3/18 | 9:15 PM | Castro Theatre
The works of Bengali novelist Sarat Chandra Chatterjee have proved a popular source of material for Indian cinema over the years, most notably the recent lavish production of DEVDAS by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Equally beloved has been the love story PARINEETA, filmed four times beforehand. It is now brought to life by veteran producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra


Punching At The Sun
Fri 3/17 | 7:00 PM | Kabuki 8 Theatres
Sat 3/18 | 7:00 PM | Pacific Film Archive
Fri 3/24 | 7:00 PM | San Jose Camera 12

Set during the sweltering heat of summer in post-9/11 Queens, PUNCHING AT THE SUN concerns a South Asian teen, Mameet Nayak, who is consumed with both personal and social demons after his older brother, a local streetball legend, is murdered in their family’s corner store


View From A Grain Of Sand
Mon 3/20 7:00 PM, Kabuki 8 Theatres
Three remarkable Afghan refugee women consider the effects of the past 30 years of Afghan politics in Meena Nanji’s new work, which continues her exploration of “the global diaspora of post-colonial peoples and the disruption of cultural values, traditions and ideologies that result from these migrations”


Memories in the Mist
Sat 3/18 4:30 PM, Pacific Film Archive
Tue 3/21 7:30 PM, Kabuki 8 Theatres

A shy Calcutta office clerk is haunted by memories of his father in this Buñuelian fable of family relationships, class, and global politics from Buddhadeb Dasgupta, director of THE WRESTLERS (SFIAAFF '01) and “India’s foremost director today” (International Film Festival of India)

We hope to attend most of them save for Parineeta which I couldn't sit through, even at home. Enough with the hokey melodrama already! Writing the reviews should be fun, the better half (Shari) permitting of course :-)

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- March 16, 2006 9:33 PM // Bay Area , Film