CAAMFest San Jose successfully concludes after four days of exclusive previews and film premieres, conversations with celebrated media makers and lively parties. Celebrating its thirteenth year in San Jose, CAAMFest San Jose brings the innovative spirit and forward thinking programming of CAAM’s annual CAAMFest to the South Bay in celebration of the impact and influence of the nation’s third largest Asian American community. This year’s festival brought over 2,000 guests to the Downtown San Jose area.
CAAMFEST SAN JOSE HIGHLIGHTS
Jumpstarting the festival was the CAAMFest San Jose Kick Off Party on Thursday, September 17. Presented in partnership with Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI), the Kick Off welcomed guests, volunteers and festival-goers to the four-day festival. Tucked away in the newly revamped SoFA Market, the Fountainhead Bar provided an industrial chic ambiance where attendees were treated to some architecture-inspired cocktails.
Moving over to Camera 3 Cinema, CAAMFest San Jose officially opened Friday, September 18 with an exclusive Season Two preview of the groundbreaking ABC comedy series FRESH OFF THE BOAT, starring Randall Park, Constance Wu and Hudson Yang. Special guest Executive Producer Melvin Mar provided a warm welcome before the show and participated in an extended post-screening conversation with Masashi Niwano, CAAM’s Festival and Exhibitions Director. Mar offered a look into his background and the origins of the show, and shared his deep appreciation for the support that the show has received, both from the community and the ABC network. Mar also spoke about the diversity of talent both in front and behind the camera: most of the Season One episodes were directed by women and the writing staff includes Chinese Americans, Chinese-Vietnamese Americans, Indian Americans as well as individuals of other ethnicities.
The night continued with the Opening Night Party at the San Jose Museum of Art. In the spirit of FRESH OFF THE BOAT’s ‘90s flair, Richie Menchavez of TRAKTIVIST.com provided throwback hits as guests noshed on savory and sweet bites like Taro Shrimp Cakes and Coconut Cassava Bars, courtesy of local favorites Attic Restaurant, Catered Too!, Chola Desserts and Ginger Café.
Saturday and Sunday welcomed two full days of inspired programming at Camera 3 Cinema. CAAMFest San Jose’s Centerpiece, Artist Spotlight ventured into the comic book landscape with a dynamic multimedia presentation showcasing award-winning Korean American filmmaker and comic book writer Greg Pak and his remarkable career. Pak shared his artistic process, from writing for diversity to collaborating with artists, colorists and even musicians to create his unique transmedia pieces. Acclaimed writer and cartoonist Gene Luen Yang joined him on stage to discuss Pak’s transition from film to comics, followed by CAAM’s own mini Artists’ Alley featuring the works of local artists Jason Shiga and Thien Pham in addition to Pak and Yang’s.
San Jose State Alumni and Bay Area’s own Emmy-Award winning Producer Felicia Lowe presented an encore screening of her CAAMFest 2015 selected film, CHINESE COUPLETS. Audiences were truly touched by the deeply personal film featuring Lowe’s own mother, whom she calls the “hardest story for her to crack.”
Audiences were also treated to the passionate and powerful documentary IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST; humorous and heartfelt LGBTQ film BABY STEPS; twisted psychological thriller SOMEONE ELSE; spirited Closing Night film QUEEN; as well as encore screenings of CAAMFest 2015 programs, LUCKY CHOW and HOLLOW. Special guests included filmmakers Tony Vainuku (IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST), Felicia Lowe (CHINESE COUPLETS) and Nelson Kim (SOMEONE ELSE); artists and writers Gene Luen Yang, Thien Pham, Jason Shiga and musician Goh Nakamura.
2015 CAAMFEST SAN JOSE AUDIENCE AWARD
The Audience Award gives our valued audience members the opportunity to vote for their favorite film of the festival. The 2015 CAAMFest San Jose Audience Award winner is: CHINESE COUPLETS, directed by Felicia Lowe.
SPECIAL THANKS TO CAAMFEST SAN JOSE SUPPORTERS
CAAMFest San Jose Sponsors
Corporate: Xfinity, AT&T, Cadillac, San Jose Museum of Art
Foundation and Public Support: Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose, Office of Councilmember Ash Kalra, District 2
Community: Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI)
Hospitality and Venues: Hilton San Jose, Hyatt Place San Jose, Camera 3 Cinema, The Fountainhead Bar, Japanese American Museum of San Jose, Nomikai, SoFA Market
Media: ABC 7 News, KTVU Fox 2, NBC Bay Area, San Jose Metro, Star 101.3, Wild 94.9, 106 KMEL, Angry Asian Man, Hyphen Magazine
CAAMFest San Jose Advisory Council
Anissa Basoco-Villarreal, MPA, District Director, Office of Assemblymember Nora Campos, District 27; Mrs. Daisy Chu; Kansen Chu, CA State Assembly, District 25; Rose Dhaliwal, Council Assistant, Office of Vice Mayor Rose Herrera; Jerry Hiura, Contemporary Asian Theater Scene (CATS); Sherrill Ingalls, Director or Marketing and Communications, San Jose Museum of Art; Reiko Iwanaga, Executive Director, Contemporary Asian Theater Scene (CATS); Rabiah Khalid, Advocacy Manager, Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI); Margaret Le, Assistant Chief of Staff, Office of Mayor Sam Liccardo, City of San Jose; Ron Muriera, Commissioner, San Jose Arts Commission; Mindy Nguyen, Council Assistant, Office of Councilmember Ash Kalra, District 2; Kathy Sakamoto, Executive Director, Japantown Business Association; Edwin Tan, Ph.D., District Director, Office of Congressman Mike Honda, CA-17; Esther Tokihiro, Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator, Santa Clara County Office of Education; Cam Vu, Associate Director of Development, Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI); Ann Woo, Director, International Performing Arts Center
View more photos on the CAAMedia Flickr.