The winner of the SFIAAFF presents the Southwest Airlines I LUV FILM Contest – the search for the next Festival blogger – Jamie Lai has returned down to Los Angeles after a long weekend trip up to San Francisco for the 26th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, but before she goes back to her daily life, she blogs about her experience up north. For more information about the contest, click here.
Thanks to the super star SFIAAFF staff that made my trip fun and easy. Mimi, Mijoung and John – you are truly awesome!
And thanks to my friends who made “xoxo” such a fun experience: Emily (aka “The Lu”), Dave Diggz, Stephanie, Angela, Jerry “Fast Money” Chan, and the Bochelle. And everyone who voted for ‘xoxo’— you are very cool and fabulous people.
SPOTTED: A green t-shirt clad volunteer usher who I’ll dub “Madame Castro” who so kindly found me a seat on Opening Night. Little did I know, but ushering is a disguise for her unofficial job as designated matchmaker for all the eligible singles at SFIAAFF.
Not shy about prying into my personal life, she found out I was ‘single’ and insisted that I could find my match among all the good looking Asian men at the festival that night. After eliminating the notably married Director Wayne Wang, she insisted that I introduce myself and charm festival director extraordinaire Mr. Chi-hui Yang who she said was very nice, successful and important. (Note to Chi-hui and festival staff: I didn’t know that one of the festival volunteer job descriptions included festival pimp!). Later I found out that while traveling in one of the cool ZiP cars, Madame Castro told two guys from LA that there was a single girl at the party who needed an escort (me, in case you haven’t caught on). Those guys are my friends and when they saw me they realized she was talking about me!
The opening night film was absolutely fabulous. I lived in Iowa for three years and it was so great to see Yinyun Li’s short story A THOUSAND YEARS OF GOOD PRAYERS (which was set in Iowa) make it to big screen because it’s a truly touching story about a relationship between a daughter and her father. Being a gal with a father who was recently hospitalized – it was truly moving and kudos to the filmmakers and the festival.
My favorite, favorite movie at the festival was PLANET B-BOY directed by Benson Lee. Truly, truly, if there’s a movie I think people should take time to see when it comes out to see this month, they should see that. I think it comes out March 21st and it’s really an entertaining documentary that will touch and inspire you. And what made it such a great festival experience was hearing the passion and conviction Benson Lee had for the project and there were audience members who are b-boyz who had such great things to say not only about the project but about what it is to b-boy. If you didn’t catch it at the fest, drag your friends and see it!
I did catch other movies and attended parties at the festival. WEST 32ND was an amazing experience – the Castro was packed and excited. HAROLD AND KUMAR was hilarious. BLOOD BROTHERS was a visually stunning piece and I have a weakness for guns and murder. Now I’m back in Los Angeles and looking forward to Visual Communications Film Festival where my friends will premiere a short film omnibus called EAT– hope you can join me and check it out!
Jamie (aka Angry Asian Grrl)