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CAAMFEST, previously known as the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF), is back again
this March. CAAMFest is an 11 day celebration of film, music, food and digital media from the world's most innovative
Asian and Asian American artists. Again, this time more than 100 Asian and Asian American films and videos from
around the globe make the program.
This year, SFIAAFF takes place from March 10 to 20, 2016 in San Francisco and Oakland. Films
screen at The Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street, San Francisco; the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street in San
Francisco; The Alamo Drafthouse At New Mission, 2550 Mission Street; New People Cinema, 1746 Post Street in San
Francisco; Chinese Historical Society Of America, 965 Clay Street, San Francisco; City College Of San Francisco -
Chinatown/North Beach Campus, 808 Kearny Street, San Francisco; The New Parkway Theater, 474, 24th St. and Oakland Museum of California.
CAAMFest showcases the work of new Asian and Asian American artists and pays tribute to the pioneers who have
paved the way for Asian Americans in media and entertainment. From the rich cultural legacy of the opening
film TYRUS, to the multi-platform portfolio of local artist H.P. Mendoza, CAAMFest 2016 attempts to demonstrate
the growing breadth of Asian American voices today.
Let's check below to see what CAAMFEST is offering this year.
Opening and Closing Nights
The opening film of this year's fest is Tyrus, an inspirational documentary about
the art, life, and enduring impact of 105 yearold pioneering Chinese American artist Tyrus
Wong, best known for the conceptual artwork that gave Walt Disney's Bambi its distinctive
and unforgettable look. Tyrus will be shown at the majestic Castro Theatre, and is part of a
special spotlight series, in partnership with Pixar Animation Studios and the Walt Disney
Family Museum, Asian Americans In Animation.
As for the closing night, we have another documentary called Right Footed. It is an
inspiring documentary about expert martial artist, disability rights
activist and the world's only armless airplane pilot, Filipina American Jessica Cox. Director
Nick Spark explores Cox's incredible journey as she overcomes adversity, finds romance
and awakens hope in others around the world.
Filmmaker in Spotlight
The spotlight this year is Mabel Cheung, one of Hong Kong's most prominent
directors. Her international acclaim reflects over 30 years of award-winning works,
beginning with her "Migration Trilogy." CAAMFest presents two of Cheung's influential
films: her newest feature and CAAMFest's Centerpiece Narrative A Tale of Three Cities,
chronicling the epic love story of Jackie Chan's parents and The Soong Sisters, originally
released in 1997 and considered one of the highlights of Cheung's career.
In Addition to Cheung, this year the fest also has another spotlight director: H.P. Mendoza.
Paying homage to the ancestry and history of the Asian
American experience, the slate of Taiwanese, Chinese and Chinese American films at
CAAMFest 2016 is rich in culture and perspective. From the smooth brushstrokes of Tyrus
Wong in Pamela Tom's opening night film Tyrus, to the harsh growing pains of Sunny Yu's
The Kids, this year's filmmakers showcase the bold and courageous stories in the lives of
Chinese and Chinese Americans.
Notable selections include Chinese movie Thanatos, Drunk,Please Remember Me and
It is good to hear that this year, CAAMFest is bringing Hong Kong renowned filmmaker Mabel Cheung to the
San Francisco Bay Area. However, similar to last year, a first glance at the festival guide still gives
viewers an impression that the festival is still placing a stronger emphasis on Asian American filmmakers
than films from Asia these years. Again, it is hard to say whether it is a good change or not, but with
fewer big shots attending the fest, the stardom effect is inevitably much weaker. It looks like the festival
definitely needs to widen its film acquisition source a bit in order to keep the event competitive.
Who will be attending the festival? From what we got so far, the list is still incomplete, yet some
notable names would be Mabel Cheung (spotlight), Singapore director Roystan Tan, Chinese actress
Joan Chen and Hollywood director Justin Lin.
Tickets go on sale beginning late February. For more information or tickets do check out caamedia.org.
written by: staff (02/2016)
information provided by: CAAM