SAN DIEGO — Noted as “One of the Top Ten Reasons to Visit San Diego” by USA Today’s Pop Traveler, Pacific Arts Movement announces the 14th San Diego Asian Film Festival (SDAFF), which runs Nov. 7-1 at various locations throughout the county and at the Digiplex Mission Valley, 7510 Hazard Center Dr., San Diego.
As one of the largest film exhibitions of its kind in North America, with more than 140 films from 15 countries, the festival includes world, North American, U.S., and West Coast premieres, a tribute to UC San Diego alumni digital media pioneers Wong Fu Productions, and a red-carpet gala awards dinner.
● Opening Night on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the Birch North Park Theatre with “Finding Mr. Right,” a romantic comedy about anchor babies, material goods, and the lure of Hollywood films like Sleepless in Seattle. Starring Tang Wei (“Lust, Caution”) and shot on location throughout the U.S., this is one of China’s biggest hits of the year. Director Xue Xiaolu is scheduled to attend.
● Centerpiece film on Sunday, Nov. 10, at 6:45 p.m. at Digiplex Mission Valley with the powerful documentary “When I Walk,” in which director Jason DaSilva records his own struggle with multiple sclerosis and how it has changed his thoughts on filmmaking, accessibility, and above all, love. DaSilva is scheduled to attend.
● Closing Night on Friday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. at the New Central Library (Downtown San Diego) with the documentary “Documented.” Two years ago, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas came out as undocumented in the pages of the New York Times Magazine. A captivating look at being American, becoming an activist, and being a son to a mother he hasn’t seen in nearly 20 years, “Documented” is Vargas’ film debut. He is scheduled to attend.
● SDAFF expands its screening locations, reaching North County and Uptown and becoming a city- and county-wide film festival. For the first time since 2001, six different locations will serve as hosts to festival films, including Taiwanese Film Showcase at UCSD Price Center Theater, Digital Gym Cinema, Cinepolis Del Mar, and Encinitas Public Library. The central theater location will be located at Digiplex Mission Valley in Hazard Center.
● SDAFF pays special tribute to Wong Fu Productions. Ten years ago, UCSD students Wesley Chan, Philip Wang, and Ted Fu formed Wong Fu Productions just before YouTube took off and changed the way we see video and use the Internet. Wong Fu quickly learned the ropes of viral video content that became popular amongst high school and college students. In the next decade, they became one of the biggest forces in online media by creating a brand for video production, merchandising, live music, and more. On their 10th anniversary, SDAFF brings Wong Fu Productions back to UCSD for a discussion about their past success and future prospects. Another UCSD alumnus, Byron Qiao, is also featured at the SDAFF with his documentary “Raskal Love,” which is about surviving gang life.
● Gala Awards Dinner on Saturday, Nov. 9, at Town & Country Hotel in Mission Valley, 500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, presented by Wells Fargo. More than 700 celebrities, community and business leaders will attend as the festival announces its top independent films. Proceeds will benefit Pac-Arts’ Reel Voices, a filmmaking program for at-risk youth in the San Diego area, and other year-round programs. Scheduled to emcee: actor Leonardo Nam and celebrity host/filmmaker Angela Sun. Scheduled to attend: Daniel Dae Kim (“Hawaii 5-0”), C.S. Lee (“Dexter”), Vivian Bang (“Sullivan & Son”), and Lela Lee (“Angry Little Girls”).
● As always, the SDAFF premieres many of Asia’s hottest films. Notable North American premieres include: Hong Kong breakdancing hit “The Way We Dance,” award-winning Filipino romance “IF Only,” indie Japanese breakthrough “Homesick,” and others. SDAFF is also proud to present West Coast Premieres of high-profile festival favorites like “Ilo Ilo” (which won the Camera d’Or at Cannes), “A Touch of Sin” (by Jia Zhang-ke), the four-hour epic “Norte, the End Of History” (by Lav Diaz), and many more.
Tickets are available online for all shows and can be purchased on-site at specific screenings one hour before show time. Student/Military/Senior and Group discounts are available. For ticketing info, full film details, and schedule, visit www.pac-arts.org/sdaff, call (619) 400-5911 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pacific Arts Movement (Pac-Arts), formerly the San Diego Asian Film Foundation, is one of the largest media arts organizations in North America that focuses on Asian American and Asian international cinema. As a catalyst for social change, its mission is to create transformational experiences through pan-Asian media arts to the broadest audience possible. The SDAFF is its flagship event. For more information, visit www.pac-arts.org.
Major sponsors of SDAFF include Barona, Wells Fargo, Union Bank, Southwest Airlines, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Harrah’s Rincon Casino.