Festival Stars, Where Are They Now? (Part II)

Geraldine catches up with the Narrative filmmakers of the 2008 SFIAAFF to find out where their films have been since last year's fest.

Ling Li in Wayne Wang’s The Princess of Nebraska.

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…


Filmmaking legend Wayne Wang was at it again with his newest films, The Princess of Nebraska and A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, and SFIAAFF was honored to be able to present them both at last year’s festival. Wang certainly didn’t disappoint in his stunning ‘return’ to Asian American storytelling, as the buzz about these two sister films – both inspired by YiYun Li’s book of short stories – continued far and beyond SFIAAFF audiences. Since their Bay Area presentation at the festival last year, The Princess of Nebraska and A Thousand Years of Good Prayers have been traveling around the world, being released around Europe, South America and all across Asia. As far as the films’ distribution goes, Wang stayed faithful to the initial conception of ‘digital accessibility’ of The Princess of Nebraska by releasing it as the first feature film presented on Youtube’s “Screening Room”. And as for A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, it has finished its theatrical run by Magnolia Pictures, so keep an eye out for when it comes out on DVD!

Richard Wong’s World Premier of Option 3 at last year’s SFIAAFF was met with a lot of intrigue and enthusiasm. However, audiences didn’t stop at San Francisco. Since its premier at SFIAAFF, Option 3 has been circulating across various Asian American film festivals across the U.S., and even earned itself a well-coveted technical award at the VC film festival in LA. …And there’s only more to look forward to! Wong recently teamed up with Option 3’s music composer H.P. Mendoza on an exciting upcoming project: a sonorous and visually stunning musical set in San Francisco, entitled Fruit Fly. This time around, however, Mendoza takes the seat as director with Wong as Director of Photography. Fruit Fly is expected to be released sometime in the coming year, so fans, brace yourself! Cause it’s gonna be hot!

SFIAAFF was thrilled to host the U.S. premier of director Jessica Yu’s and writer/actor Jimmy Tsai‘s wildly successful Ping Pong Playa last year. Since its kick-off at SFIAAFF, Ping Pong Playa has been featured in some major film festival circuits, from Chicago to New York City, Pittsburgh to Los Angeles, Vancouver to Honolulu, even finding its way across the Pacific to Kaohsiung, Taiwan. But, if you happened to miss its limited theatrical release in the U.S. and Canada, don’t despair because starting January 6th, Ping Pong Playa will be available everywhere on DVD! So, keep your eye out! Also some things to look out for are some new projects Jimmy Tsai and team are working on. The first is a crime-thriller set along the Mexico-U.S. border that Tsai describes as “a horror movie that we [Tsai] see as the next THE FLY.” The second project promises to be full of ‘serious humor’ and raucous laughter. It is the first season of a webisode series, brought to you by a team of young and fresh filmmakers, “basically about washed-up Power Ranger-types who have grown sick and tired of each other. And there’s lots of cussing, political incorrectness, and alcohol consumption going on—a recipe for some serious humor. Serious.” …Seriously awesome!!