If you’ve been attending SFIAAFF for the last several years, you’re probably no stranger to the name Eric Byler. His first feature, CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES, was one of the hits of SFIAAFF ’03, and garnered Independent Spirit Award nominations for the film and for lead actress Jacqueline Kim‘s performance. His second feature, AMERICANese, was the opening night film in SFIAAFF ’06. His films stand out among Asian American features for their decidedly adult looks at relationships, and their hard-earned emotional truths.
Byler has a long history with the Festival, dating back to 1997, when he attended the Festival with his friend and writer Jeff Liu, looking to catch some screenings and see what this whole Asian American film movement was all about. That was the year that four Asian American narrative features world premiered at the Festival, from Justin Lin and Quentin Lee’s SHOPPING FOR FANGS to Chris Chan Lee’s YELLOW. Byler met Jacqueline Kim at the Festival, and began discussing ideas for a project. Byler, Liu and Kim drove back to LA together and continued talking about their ideas, which eventually became CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES.