CAAM Member Spotlight – Ravi Chandra

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Hark! CAAM is truly blessed to have many wonderful supporters and we’d love to show the world how awesome they really are. This is a shout out to you, CAAM members! Thank you for being your amazing self! Dear world, please meet…..

RAVI CHANDRA

Who are you?
My name is Ravi Chandra, I’m a psychiatrist and occasional writer.

Where’s home?
San Francisco has become my home – I’ve lived in the Bay Area longer than I’ve lived anywhere else in the world. I’m most comfortable and happy here, and feel rooted in the Asian American community. Actually, I guess the “Asian American Community” is really my home, more metaphysically speaking.

What’re you up to in the world and in the community?
I work half-time at a community mental health agency in the Richmond District (RAMS, inc) that serves predominantly the Asian and Russian immigrant populations, with services in over 20 languages. I have a lot of Vietnamese, Cambodian and Russian-speaking patients there. I also work half-time in my own private practice, where I primarily do therapy.

What’s your all-time favorite CAAM/Festival film?
I’d have to say A GENTLE BREEZE IN THE VILLAGE, a film about children in a small, rural town in Japan. The emotions are so sweet and tender, the drama so low-amplitude but meaningful! It’s the best I can think of with the quality I’ll call “tender”. Tender films are my favorite – they emphasize the warmth of human relationships, and also their strength and frailty. Beyond that, the list of close runner-ups is very long, from documentaries like NEW YEAR BABY, THE MUSHROOM CLUB, FIRST PERSON PLURAL, to international and Asian American films like SAVING FACE, CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES, THE MOTEL, ROBOT STORIES, DEAR DOCTOR, and a whole bunch I can’t even remember right now! I see just about everything, and take the festival week off from work so I can devote myself to SFIAFF!

Why’d you become a member?
CAAM benefits me in so many ways – the films I’ve seen at SFIAAFF really influenced my decision to become a psychiatrist and to work with Asian Americans, immigrants, and refugees. CAAM’s programs inform, inspire and motivate me year-round to educate myself, grow, and be a better human being. Of course I’d want to be a member and support this wonderful organization!

What’s your most memorable CAAM/Festival moment?
Wow, that’s a hard question – I’ve had many memorable moments watching films. But the most memorable moments are simply meeting up with festival friends, talking about films, and just enjoying each other’s company. I’ve gained so many friends because of CAAM, and because I blog for CAAM (MEMOIRS OF A SUPERFAN), I get the chance to interview some really talented people, like Eric Byler (CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES), Gina Kim (NEVER FOREVER), Deann Borshay-Liem (IN THE MATTER OF CHA JUNG HEE), Stephanie Wang-Breal (WO AI NI MOMMY), and Mora Mi-Ok Stephens (THE ELECTIONEERS). I get to be “Superfan” because of all these people and the Super people who work for CAAM!

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