Celebrating #CAAMFest35’s Women Filmmakers

Meet some of the women filmmakers bringing bold storytelling to CAAMFest 2017! In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting our feature films made by women.

In addition to a diverse selection of narrative and documentary stories, women take the lead in CAAMFest’s Opening Night, Closing Night and both Centerpiece films, as well as a filmmaker spotlight dedicated to the intimate and stunning work of Emiko Omori.

THE TIGER HUNTER​ – Opening Night Film

Join us for the Bay Area premiere of Lena Khan’s first feature film, THE TIGER HUNTER. Follow COMMUNITY’s Danny Pudi as Sami, a young Indian engineer who moves to the U.S. in the 70s to gain wealth, live up to the notoriety of his legendary tiger-hunting father, and above all, win the favor of his childhood sweetheart.

THE CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT​ ​- Closing Night Film

Filmmakers Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu tackle a complicated and forgotten story of a significant piece of U.S. history — the only legislation barring an entire group of immigrants based on ethnicity and race. Through powerful and illuminating testimonies from subjects, scholars and experts, a wider, deeply American story comes to life, one that embodies the issues of globalization, immigration, labor and civil rights that continue to dominate headlines today.

WHO IS ARTHUR CHU?​ ​- Centerpiece Documentary

WHO IS ARTHUR CHU? Eleven-time Jeopardy! winner, vocal advocate for equal rights, “villain,” writer, tweeter, family member and Asian American. CAAMFest’s Centerpiece Documentary from filmmakers Yu Gu and Scott Drucker explores the past and present of Arthur Chu as he follows his passions and defines his identity.

 

WINDOW HORSES: THE POETIC PERSIAN EPIPHANY OF ROSIE MING​ ​- Centerpiece Narrative

Rosie Ming is an aspiring poet who leads an otherwise dull existence in Vancouver with her loving and overprotective Chinese grandparents. An unexpected invitation to a poetry festival in Shiraz, Iran, turns her perception of the world, her poetry and most importantly, her family, on its head.

SPOTLIGHT – EMIKO OMORI

Documentarian Emiko Omori’s award-winning career spans decades, including CAAM’s first festival in 1982. CAAMFest spotlights two of Omori’s films that uncover fascinating stories and perspectives.

RABBIT IN THE MOON​, an award-winning documentary on Japanese American internment, explores Omori’s own childhood experiences within the camps and the complex, political tensions between the generations held there.

WHEN RABBIT LEFT THE MOON​, a poetic follow-up to RABBIT IN THE MOON, is a short film that pays tribute to the generation of Omori’s parents.

 

95 AND 6 TO GO| KIMI TAKESUE

95 AND 6 TO GO is filmmaker Kimi Takesue’s moving tribute to her grandfather, Tom, a recently widowed 90-something living in Hawaii. Takesue captures the intimate and mundane moments of Tom’s life, who reciprocates with advice and bits of wisdom that unravel his own story of love and loss.

BACHELOR GIRLS | SHIKHA MAKAN

Single, independent women in the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai are met with the cold shoulder when they try to find decent housing. Because of their “unmarried” status, these bachelor girls are portrayed as spinster women who are a nuisance to their building and neighbors. This insightful documentary explores the values of Indian society and how they affect women in the modern age.

BAD RAP | SALIMA KOROMA

Asian American rappers Awkwafina, Dumbfoundead, Rekstizzy and Lyricks break ethnic and music-industry stereotypes in the documentary, BAD RAP. This musically-minded presentation will feature live performances from the highlighted artists.

EVER THE LAND | SARAH GROHNERT

Set in the lush forests of New Zealand, the indigenous Maori tribe, Ngāi Tūhoe, embarks on a landmark construction project of a sustainable living building. Visually stunning and full of spirit, this documentary captures the development of the building, its vital ties to the tribe’s culture and the reclamation of their land and community.

FINDING KUKAN | ROBIN LUNG​

Robin Lung takes us on a winding journey to rediscover the long-lost Academy Award-winning documentary KUKAN, which afforded America a rare glimpse of China before and during the life-altering events of World War II. FINDING KUKAN explores questions of racial and gender prejudice, leaving us with much food for thought.

GUANGZHOU DREAM FACTORY | CHRISTINE BADGLEY

The prospect of striking it rich in China has captured the imagination of people from Dakar to Nairobi, but how much of this “Chinese dream” is accessible to people from African countries? From the “suit king” of Cameroon to a victim of visa fraud, GUANGZHOU DREAM FACTORY reveals their stories.

 IN SEARCH OF PERFECT CONSONANCE| RUBY YANG

The latest documentary by Academy Award-winning director Ruby Yang follows hopeful young musicians from across Asia as they form a community under the tutelage of dedicated mentors. The Asian Youth Orchestra, founded during a time of tense pan-Asian relations and rejection of classical music in parts of Asia, illustrates how a shared passion for music can promote peace. Includes live performance.

RELOCATION, ARKANSAS – AFTERMATH OF INCARCERATION​ | VIVIENNE SCHIFFER

A touching testament to the strength of those who overcame injustice and reconciled their identity in a complicated America, RELOCATION, ARKANSAS follows Japanese Americans as they travel to southern Arkansas, revisiting former Japanese internment camps in order to move forward from a painful past.

WHO KILLED VINCENT CHIN? | CHRISTINE CHOY & RENEE TAJIMA-PEÑA

In 1982, Vincent Chin was beaten to death with a baseball bat by two white men in Detroit. Chin’s killers were convicted, but never served a day in prison for their crime. Thirty-five years later, we revisit this Academy Award-nominated documentary that explored the impact of his death and flaws in the justice system in the wake of the outcry from the Asian American community.

BROWN GIRLS | SAM BAILEY

With its BROAD CITY meets INSECURE vibes, this new web series paints an intimate portrait of two young women of color navigating their relationships, families, sexual orientations and the messiness of being in your mid-20s.

CARDINAL X​ | ANGIE WANG

In 1984, Angie Wang is both a co-ed and the biggest supplier of Ecstasy on the West Coast. After losing her scholarship to a prestigious college in San Francisco, she starts manufacturing the drug to make ends meet. All the while, she straddles the increasingly fractured line of her double life.

LIGHT​ | LENORA LEE & TATSU AOKI

Dance, memory, music, and poetry collide in a visual and aural landscape. Inspired by the life of Bessie M. Lee, LIGHT paints a powerful and intimate portrait of an early 20th century migrant who spent two years in servitude and was vital in grounding New York’s Chinatown community.

WEXFORD PLAZA​ | JOYCE WONG

Strip mall security guard Betty and restaurant bartender Danny strike up a friendship in their unhappy suburban universe in this dark, quirky comedy. When they have an unexpected encounter that goes beyond the friend zone, we see the impact, intentions and emotional baggage each side brings to the table.