NEW PROGRAMS Added to CAAMFest37 Line Up

An Asian American man with short hair and glasses is laughing with a Caucasian man, with the cityscape behind them.
Jeff Chang with Rafael Casal in "We Gon' Be Alright."
New programs added include "We Gon' Be Alright," "The Sun is Also A Star," a panel at OMCA with Tina Takemoto, and more.

We’re excited to announce new programs just added to our CAAMFest37 program:

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT | 6:30pm Thursday, May 16 at New People Cinema

A group of three South Asians gleefully jump in the air.

From writer/director/producer Gurinder Chadha (“Bend It Like Beckham”, former CAAMFest Spotlight Honoree) comes the inspirational drama “Blinded by the Light,” set to the music and lyrics of Bruce Springsteen’s timeless songs.

“Blinded by the Light” is a joyful story of courage, love, hope, family and the unique ability of music to lift the human spirit. The film tells the story of Javed (Viveik Kalra) a British teen of Pakistani descent, growing up in the town of Luton, England, in 1987. Amidst the racial and economic turmoil of the times, he writes poetry as a means to escape the intolerance of his hometown and the inflexibility of his traditional father. But when a classmate introduces him to the music of “the Boss,” Javed sees parallels to his working-class life in Springsteen’s powerful lyrics. As Javed discovers a cathartic outlet for his own pent-up dreams, he also begins to find the courage to express himself in his own unique voice.

Based on Sarfraz Manzoor’s acclaimed memoir Greetings from Bury Park, “Blinded by the Light” was directed by Gurinder Chadha from a screenplay by Manzoor, Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges. The story is underscored by the music and poetic lyrics of Springsteen, who gave Chadha his blessing from the film’s inception. Jane Barclay, Chadha, and Jamal Daniel produced the film, with Berges, Hannah Leader, Tory Metzger, Tracy Nurse, Stephen Spence, Peter Touche and Renee Witt serving as executive producers. “Blinded by the Light” stars Viveik Kalra, Hayley Atwell, Rob Brydon, Kulvinder Ghir, Nell Williams, Dean-Charles Chapman, and Aaron Phagura.

Chadha’s behind-the-scenes creative team included director of photography Ben Smithard, production designer Nick Ellis, editor Justin Krish, and costume designer Annie Hardinge. The original score music is by A.R. Rahman. A presentation of New Line Cinema, “Blinded by the Light” is slated for release on August 14, 2019, and will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.


WE GON’ BE ALRIGHT | 9:10pm Sunday, May 12 at New People Cinema

An Asian American man with short hair and glasses is laughing with a Caucasian man, with the cityscape behind them.
Jeff Chang with Rafael Casal in “We Gon’ Be Alright.”

“We Gon’ Be Alright” is a series that explores the new dimensions of racial resegregation in the United States in the 21st century. Inspired by Jeff Chang’s critically acclaimed collection of essays of the same name — the Washington Post called it “the Smartest Book of 2016”— this digital series examines how a nation that has historically embraced diversity has still allowed itself to resegregate along racial and economic class lines. Even as our country inevitably changes towards one that is “majority minority,” it is becoming more separate and more unequal.

From the peak of the Civil Rights Movement to the present, resegregation has led Americans to experience widely different realities. Worse, it seems to have left us more divided than ever. The series asks: how, over the last half century, did we fall from a consensus for racial justice into renewed separation and polarization? How can Americans come together in ways that offer hope beyond the divide? 

This special program will include episodes from the first season and a moderated conversation with Jeff Chang (Writer/Producer), Bao Nguyen (Director/Producer) and Kimmie Kim (Showrunner/Producer). Co-presented by Independent Television Service (ITVS)KQED

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR | 6pm Wednesday, May 15 AMC Kabuki 8

A mixed race African American woman on the left is smiling at a mixed race Asian American man.

 CAAMFest37 brings one of the first opportunities to experience director Ry Russo-Young’s THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR, a film that is destined to be the love story for today’s generation.

“What if I told you I could get you to fall in love with me…?” College-bound romantic Daniel Bae and Jamaica-born pragmatist Natasha Kingsley meet—and fall for each other—over one magical day amidst the fervor and flurry of New York City.  Sparks immediately fly between these two strangers, who might never have met had fate not given them a little push.  But will fate be enough to take these teens from star-crossed to lucky in love?  With just hours left on the clock in what looks to be her last day in the U.S., Natasha is fighting against her family’s deportation as fiercely as she’s fighting her budding feelings for Daniel, who is working just as hard to convince her they are destined to be together.

A modern-day story about finding love against all odds, “The Sun Is Also a Star” explores whether our lives are determined by fate or the random events of the universe. The film stars Yara Shahidi (“Grown-ish”) as Natasha and Charles Melton (“Riverdale”) as Daniel, along with John Leguizamo (“John Wick: Chapter 2”).

Directed by Ry Russo-Young (“Before I Fall”), the film is based on the acclaimed bestseller by Everything, Everything author Nicola Yoon. The Sun Is Also a Starwas #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and has received multiple accolades, including: 2016 National Book Award Finalist; Amazon’s Best Book of 2016 in YA; Amazon’s Top 20 Children’s Books of 2016 in YA; the New York Times Notable Children’s Books of 2016; and Entertainment Weekly’s 10 Best Books of 2016.

The screenplay is by Tracy Oliver (“Girls Trip”).  The film’s producers are Leslie Morgenstein and Elysa Koplovitz Dutton.  Pamela Hirsch served as executive producer.  Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures present An Alloy Entertainment production, “The Sun Is Also a Star,” due in theaters nationwide May 17, 2019.  This film has been rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and language.


A short-haired Japanese American woman wearing black framed glasses glances at the camera with a cool stare.

Join us for a lively conversation with award-winning Artist/Filmmaker, Tina Takemoto. With two films (SWORDED LOVE and WAYWARD EMULSIONS) at CAAMFest37 and a selected artist of OMCA’s Queer California Exhibition, we are thrilled to celebrate Takemoto’s innovated and bold artistry and storytelling.  This program is part of OMCA Friday Nights and is free to public. 

Check back here and on the festival website for more news about CAAMFest37!