Announcing CAAMFest FORWARD! Drive-In Ticket Sales Begin

CAAMFest FORWARD October 14-18
Find out what’s coming to our fall film festival, featuring in-person and virtual programming, October 14-18, 2020

We are counting the days until our newest reimagined and (mostly) virtual festival experience, CAAMFest FORWARD. From October 14-18, 2020, our upcoming festival will take CAAMFest to new heights with two unique drive-in experiences, over a dozen live virtual programs, and over 40 films available for you to watch on on-demand. 

Since May, we have produced over 30 unique virtual programs that amplify the diverse voices and experiences of the Asian American community. Thanks to the many of you who attended CAAMFest Online: Heritage at Home, our May event brought together over 100 filmmakers and over 10,000 attendees from all across the globe. 

CAAMFest FORWARD is the next evolution of our film festival. Our slate of films includes eight World Premieres, eight U.S. Premieres, and 23 Bay Area Premieres. We’re also happy to announce that 65% of featured filmmakers identify as female, and our lineup of films showcase themes and partnerships with other BIPOC creative communities. 

“When programming, it was important for us to meet the moment and create a festival with broad cultural reach to build bridges and platforms for historically underrepresented filmmakers,” says Festival Director Masashi Niwano. “Our festival is called CAAMFest FORWARD, so our programming is a snapshot of the filmmakers moving us forward.”

Top Left: “Lea Salonga in Concert With the Sydney Symphony Orchestra”, Top Right: “Coming Home Again”, Bottom Left: “Definition Please”, Bottom Right: “76 Days”

Key CAAMFest FORWARD Programming

  •  Two Days of Drive-In Experiences at Fort Mason Center, Oct 14 and 15: Working closely with Fort Mason Center and following the City of San Francisco’s health guidelines, public programs will be exciting and safe for the community. The drive-in experiences will also include food available for purchase from Off the Grid.
    • Drive-In Day One: A Celebration of Filipina Musical Talent, Oct 14: In celebration of Filipino American History Month, CAAM will showcase two world premiere projects that celebrate a music icon and a rising star:
      • Lea Salonga in Concert with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra: CAAM-funded live concert features Lea Salonga, who burst onto the Broadway musical scene with her 1991 Tony Award-winning performance as Kim in Miss Saigon. This new Great Performances program presents Salonga in peak performance at the Sydney Opera House, singing a selection of songs from her Broadway career as well as her hits from the animated movie blockbusters Aladdin and Mulan
      • 7000 Miles: Homecoming: A new music documentary directed by Evelyn Obamos that chronicles the Bay Area’s own hip hop star Ruby Ibarra and her band the Balikbayans as they take a trip back to the Philippines. Ruby Ibarra is a Filipino American rapper, music producer, and spoken word artist from San Lorenzo, California. She raps in Tagalog, Waray, and English.
    • Drive-In Day Two: A Celebration of Hong Kong Cinema, Oct 15: In partnership with Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO), CAAMFest FORWARD will feature five feature films (four new films and one classic) from Hong Kong filmmakers. Two of the films will be showcased during our second night at Fort Mason Center. 
      • A Simple Life, Dir. Ann Hui On the cusp of its 10th anniversary, we are proud to present this award-winning film starring Deannie Ip and Andy Lau. In September 2020, auteur Ann Hui was recognized with the Golden Lion (Lifetime Achievement award) at the prestigious Venice Film Festival. 
      • My Prince Edward, Dir. Norris Wong Marking its premiere in the U.S., this romantic dramedy stars Stephy Tang and Chu Pak-hong, who portray a pair of lovers preparing for their perfect wedding. But will a shocking secret ruin their big day? 
  • Opening Night Film: Coming Home Again, Dir. Wayne Wang, Oct 16: Based on a personal essay by Chang-rae Lee that was published in The New Yorker, Coming Home Again is an intimate family drama about a mother, a son, and the burden of family expectations. Chang-rae, a first generation Korean American, has returned to his family home in San Francisco to care for his ailing mother. Wanting nothing more than to fulfill his role as the supportive son, Chang-rae must come to terms with his own conflicted emotions towards his mother. This is a CAAM Production and U.S. Premiere.
  • Closing Night Film: 76 Days, Dirs. Hao Wu, Weixi Chen, and Anonymous, Oct 18: CAAMFest Alum Hao Wu (The Road to Fame) is back with a powerful new documentary that captures the struggles of patients and frontline medical professionals battling the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan, China. Just weeks after its successful Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) premiere, we are thrilled to showcase this important film that will become a lasting work that explores the impact of the pandemic globally.
  • Centerpiece Film: Definition Please, Dir. Sujata Day, Oct 17: CAAMFest alum Sujata Day is back with her directorial debut. Sujata plays Monica, a former Scripps Spelling Bee champion, who lives at home with her ailing mother, must reconcile with her estranged brother in order to take the first steps in realizing her dreams and moving on with her life. This knock-out Asian American dramedy includes a cast of rising talent: Jake Choi, Anna Khaja and Ritesh Rajan.
  • CAAMFest On-Demand, October 14-18: CAAMFest On-Demand will feature 40+ films available for people to watch at their own convenience between the festival dates. Most of the films will include pre-recorded Q&A’s, and shorts will be curated into 8 programs. All films will be available to watch online.
  • FORWARD Symposium, October 15: CAAM’s FORWARD Symposium is a two-session program examining Asian American storytelling and the impact CAAM has had on the field and community over the past 40 years. The symposium’s panels will feature recognized documentary filmmakers, mediamakers, experts, thought leaders, and Asian American Studies scholars. Check back soon for more details about this event!

Ticket Sales

Tickets for the drive-in experiences will go on sale on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 5 pm PDT. Tickets for the live streaming and CAAMFest On-Demand screenings will go on sale Monday, October 5, 2020. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the CAAMFest website.

Thank You to Our Supporters!

CAAMFest FORWARD is made possible with corporate support from AARP; Cooper, White & Cooper, LLP; Motion Picture Association; San Francisco Symphony; Pacific Islanders in Communications; Comcast NBCUniversal; Film SF; IW Group; Nielsen; California Bank & Trust; and Filmbot. Special thanks to charity partner St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the following institutional funders and government agencies: Corporation for Public Broadcasting, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, National Endowment for the Arts, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

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