Alison Kobayashi in her short film From Alex to Alex, which screened at the 2008 SFIAAFF.
By Geraldine Ah-Sue
Yes indeed! There was a major buzz going around the air as 2008 SFIAAFF movie-goers cheered in excitement over the amazing films that were presented in last year’s program. With a selection of over 120 films to choose from, the gamut between film-lovers and film-novices all crowded theaters to meet with some major filmmakers, watch a series of bold new cinema, and fondly reminisce on some beloved past cinematic treasures. But even still, after almost a year has passed the 2008 SFIAAFF, the buzz continues. Here, CAAM gives you a run-down of some of the current happenings of your favorite 2008 SFIAAFF films, where they’ve been, and where they’re headed…
Since A. Moon’s Dream of Me made a most-welcomed stop at last year’s SFIAAFF, it’s been on a non-stop whirlwind of major screenings and festivals, making rounds at the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, Antimatter, the DC Asian Pacific Film Festival and the Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival … and there are only more screenings to come! As for distribution offers, Moon is no fool when it comes to the integrity and circulation of this extremely intimate piece, and insists on self-distribution as a way to “exert some control on its circulation in the world due to its personal content.” However, aside from the great success that Dream of Me has seen and continues to accumulate, Moon is also working on some exciting projects to come! After SFIAAFF, Moon was inspired to finish a piece she has been sporadically working on through the years – her first narrative entitled Object Loss. She is also currently at work on two 16 mm experimental films, one about “the condition of being a representation of a tree, and the other is a found footage film utilizing scenes from old pornographic films.” It’s all happening, so keep in the loop to find out more!
Not only was Alison S.M. Kobayashi’s tender portrayal of teenage love in From Alex to Alex a huge success at the 2008 SFIAAFF, it’s been blowing audiences away at every stop that it continues to make. Based on a letter Kobayashi found from Alex to Alex, the gender-ambiguous characters remain fluid in both production and reception, and as Kobayashi exclaimed, “I am very happy that this gender ambiguity opens up the characters to be read in different ways.” From Alex to Alex has been presented at the Flaherty International Film Festival, the Aurora Picture Show in Texas, the International Amsterdam Film Festival, and just recently at the Anthology Film Archive in New York, and is currently being distributed by VTape in Toronto. Besides From Alex to Alex, Kobayashi will soon be on the karaoke video scene (!), after having just completed a commission for the Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival’s Empy Orchestra project, where artists were paired with local karaoke singers to produce an original karaoke video. YES! Kobayashi has also begun work on a larger ongoing video titled Women of the Future, which is her “own projection and fantasy of a potential future dominated by women.” As we know from last year’s SFIAAFF, Kobayashi doesn’t disappoint, so keep an eye out to see what’s new!
Mark V. Reyes’ God Only Knows has seen its share of awards, and then some. Since its presentation at the 2008 SFIAAFF, God Only Knows won Best Short at the NY Asian American Film Festival and the award for Visual Excellence at the Cleveland International Film Festival. In the meantime, Reyes also picked up an award for Best Director at the Cinemalaya Film Festival during the film’s premiere in the Philippines. Since SFIAAFF, God Only Knows has been in 20 other film festivals world-wide, including Tribeca in NY, Pusan in Korea and is currently making its way to the Asiana Short Film Festival, which is also in Korea. As for distribution, God Only Knows is currently be distributed by Ouat! Media based in Toronto. Upcoming projects include a mysterious first feature that Reyes is currently working on …!
After Meeting Amber blew us away last year, filmmaker Azharr Rudin decided that it was time to release it alongside the rest of its 5 other titles in their complete series, the “Amber Sexology.” Rudin wrote, “SFIAAFF was in a sense visionary for taking the film. I am glad that the film found its audience. Thank you SFIAAFF!” … Um, THANK YOU!! As for distribution, Rudin is no stranger to the people, and is keeping it real by self-distributing all 6 titles of the Amber Sexology, including Meeting Amber, which are also available on www.myspace.com/sinemazharr. As for some of Rudin’s upcoming projects that we can all look forward to, he has just completed his first feature film, entitled Punggok Rindukan Bulan (This Longing), which premiered in Kuala Lumpur, Pusan and Vancouver. As the film is finding its way through the film festival circuit, be sure to keep an eye out for Rudin’s newest film for when it hits the Bay Area!
More “Festival Stars, Where are they Now” To Come…