By Mandy Day
As Pacific Arts Movement enters a new era without founding Executive Director Lee Ann Kim, the Sixth Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase begins this Thursday and will run eight days. It is the first major event for the organization since she retired earlier this month. The eight day event will feature fourteen films from ten countries.
The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Man and the Silk Road Ensemble opens the 2016 showcase on April 28th. It features performers from countries that sit along the historic Silk Road trade route led by world renowned cellist, Yo-Yo Ma. Pac Arts Artistic Director Brian Hu expressed great enthusiasm for the diverse lineup of films this year. “This year’s Spring Showcase, much like The Music of Strangers, is dedicated to all of the different melodies and vibrations in Asian cinema, coming together and forming harmonies unlike any we’ve heard before,” he said.
San Diego is also a stop on the international tour for China Now: Independent Visions. For one day (May 1st), the schedule will be dedicated to exhibiting full-length and short films from Cinema on the Edge, a collective bringing pieces from the Beijing Independent Film Festival to the world. A Filmless Festival, a documentary film about the cancellation of the 2014 Beijing Independent Film Festival by the Chinese government will be featured first. It will be followed by a screening of several animated short films and two additional documentaries, including Jue Jie’s Spark, which is about the Great Famine during Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward initiative meant to industrialize the nation during the mid-twentieth century.
One of the Asian American made films to be presented to audiences is The Lost Arcade, a documentary following the final days of Chinatown Fair, an arcade in New York City. As a gathering place for fans of classic video games, Chinatown Fair became a casualty of urban development as is seen in the film’s trailer. Producers Irene Chin and Kurt Vincent are scheduled to appear at the April 25th screening.
Films from New Zealand, Tibet, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, and South Korea are among those scheduled to entertain audiences. Selections include cinematic pieces shown at some of the world’s most acclaimed film festivals including those held in Toronto, Busan, Locarno, and Vancouver.
The SDAFF Spring Showcase will run from April 28-May 5, 2016. All films will be shown at Mission Valley Ultrastar Cinemas, Hazard Center. Ticket prices range from $12-15 for general admission. Students, seniors, and military will be able to purchase tickets for $9.50.
Watch the #SDAFFSpring 2016 Trailer
For more information about the Spring Showcase and Pacific Arts Movement, visit their website.
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