One (Memorable) Day in SF

Rooftop view from the International Hotel, Manilatown.
Rooftop view from the International Hotel, Manilatown.

Bay Area filmmakers, students and novices alike brought out their camera gear and artistic visions together for One Day in San Francisco, a collaborative media production that’s a part of the larger One Day on Earth project.

CAAM teamed up with Hyphen magazine to film local narratives from San Francisco’s Asian Pacific Islander communities and beyond, stretching through the city’s many neighborhoods such as Chinatown and South of Market to seek perspectives on life in San Francisco.

The day started very early for Hyphen contributor Eugene Huang, who rode along with taxi and private drivers. Making his way through routes in the city, Huang interviewed with a camera mounted on each vehicle. His day included ride-alongs with taxi drivers The Love Drive and rapping cabbie M.C. Mars, as well Lyft and Sidecar drivers.

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Interviewing parent advocates for Chinese for Affirmative Action.

Later in the morning, CAAM members Mariama Nance and Natalie Wong met up with District Supervisor Jane Kim at Victoria Manalo Draves Park. Supervisor Kim met with constituents to collect signatures for her upcoming re-election campaign. We had a chance to interview Kim on her perspectives about San Francisco’s communities and her roots in the city.

In Chinatown, a team of folks including One Day in SF local producer Winnie Wong, met at the Chinatown City College campus to speak to residents about public education in San Francisco. Huang and others interviewed Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) Parent Advocates project participant Warren Wong and CAA Community Advocate Betty Cao. At the Clayton Hotel Senior Residential Building, Wong also had a chance to sit down with Shau Ao Situ, the manager of the senior’s residence in Chinatown, which houses about 18 elderly Chinese widows.

Pedaling on bike, longtime Hyphenator Seng Chen met with Ellie McCutcheon and Leah Shahum from the San Francisco Bike Coalition. With a camera mounted on a bike, they rode through the Panhandle and Golden Gate Park, taking a break at the Dutch King’s Day celebration at Ocean Beach. Later in the afternoon, they rode back to the Mission to catch the Bicycle Film Festival and interviewed festival director Brent Barbur and producer Dayna Crozier.

Mid-day, a crew all gathered together at the iconic I-Hotel Manilatown Center. The usually buzzing community was serene on Saturday, with downtime to set up for a large event the next day. CAAM and Hyphen team members Arianna Caramat, Ines Chan, Hardeep Jandu, and Tim Huey gathered here. Cameraperson Caramat spoke about her desire for to interview Evelyn Luluquisen and Tony Robles from the Manilatown Heritage Foundation. “The I-Hotel is a special place for me,” Caramat said. “After college I didn’t know what to do, and this place opened up to me as a safe haven. The relationships I’ve made here have become huge life lessons.”

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At the International Hotel Manilatown Center.

Luluquisen and Robles gave depth to the long-term history of the I-Hotel and presented their perspectives on its significance to the Filipino American community. “Manilatown stretches all over the place [in San Francisco],” Robles said. “And it’s not just a Filipino heart, it’s a Black heart too, a Chinese heart. The hearts of students. We all came out here, in support of the heart that was the elders living upstairs.”

The interviews took place on the first floor of I-Hotel, but we got to preview Luluquisen’s favorite spot in San Francisco—the rooftop view of the city from the International Hotel.

Back in SoMa, CAAM staff member Jennifer Chu and Nance interviewed Marie Romero and shot footage at Arkipelago Bookstore in the South of Market area. Romero is the founder and owner of Arkipelago Bookstore, which is one of the only Filipino bookstores outside of the Philippines. Later, they interviewed Bindlestiff Studio House Manager Ed Mabasa. Bindlestiff is one of the few theatre spaces in the country dedicated to Filipino American and Filipino artists.

One Day in San Francisco CAAM and Hyphen Team:
Winnie Wong, Eugene Huang, Mariama Nance, Jennifer Chu, Timothy Huey, Natalie Wong, Seng Chen, Ines Chan, Arianna Caramat, Hardeep Jandu.

Main Image: Rooftop view from the International Hotel, San Francisco.

Gallery Images: Prepping and filming on April 26, 2014, for One Day in San Francisco.

– Hardeep Jandu and Momo Chang.