Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival

Documentary Program: Prison Food

Reading Terminal Market 12th & Arch Streets, Philadelphia, PA, United States

Free Screening Director: Aditya Thayi 44 mins | Documentary | Philippines, Indonesia | Indonesian, Tagalog Who says prison food needs to be boring? In this series, Filipino-American Chef Johneric Concordia heads to some of Asia’s most notorious prisons to see what’s cooking behind bars. He meets inmates running the prison kitchens and discovers a hotbed …

Documentary Program: Prison Food Read More »

Free

Documentary Program: Surviving Bokator

Lightbox Film Center 3701 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA, United States

US Premiere Director: Mark Bochsler 91 mins | Documentary | Cambodia | Central Khmer, English What started as a genocide survivor’s dream to revive an ancient sport becomes an inspiring mission to heal a nation. Surviving Bokator is a heartfelt story about reclaiming cultural identity and building bridges between generations. Filmed over five years, the …

Documentary Program: Surviving Bokator Read More »

Documentary Program: Drawn Together

Institute of Contemporary Art 118 S 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA, United States

Free Screening Drawn Together: Comics, Diversity, and Stereotypes Director: Harleen Singh 40 mins | Documentary | USA | English Drawn Together: Comics, Diversity and Stereotypes follows the journey of three talented artists as they use comics and cartoons to challenge racial, religious, and gender stereotypes and inspire others to breakthrough socially and self-imposed limitations. Keith …

Documentary Program: Drawn Together Read More »

Documentary Program: Futbolistas 4 Life

Institute of Contemporary Art 118 S 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA, United States

Free Screening Director: Jun Stinson 40 mins | Documentary | USA | English Futbolistas 4 Life is about Oakland teens from Latinx immigrant families and the healing power of soccer. The film takes you into the lives of two high schoolers: one is a college hopeful and DACA applicant navigating the reality of his immigration …

Documentary Program: Futbolistas 4 Life Read More »

Documentary Program: Havana Divas

Institute of Contemporary Art 118 S 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA, United States

Free Screening Director: S. Louisa Wei 90 mins | Documentary | Hong Kong | Chinese Caridad Amaran and Georgina Wong learned the art of Cantonese opera in 1930s Havana. Caridad’s mentor was her foster father, Julian Fong, who immigrated to Cuba in the 1920s after his family forbade him from performing opera. Georgina’s father was …

Documentary Program: Havana Divas Read More »

Documentary Program: Forbidden City, USA

Institute of Contemporary Art 118 S 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA, United States

Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Arthur Dong’s documentary Forbidden City, USA takes you inside the glamorous world of Chinatown nightclubs in World War II San Francisco. You will meet the “Chinese Fred Astaire,” the “Chinese Sophie Tucker,” and the “Chinese Sally Rand.” Eighty years before the all-Asian cast of Crazy Rich Asians made box office headlines, the …

Documentary Program: Forbidden City, USA Read More »

Free

Documentary Program: Anote’s Ark

Lightbox Film Center 3701 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA, United States

The  low-lying  Pacific  nation  of  Kiribati  faces  a  daunting  challenge:  imminent  annihilation  from  sea-level  rise.  As  Anote  Tong,  Kiribati’s  President,  races  to  find  a  way  to  protect  his  nation’s  people  and  maintain  their  dignity,  many  iKiribati  are   seeking  safe  harbor  overseas.  Set  against  the  backdrop  of  international  climate  negotiations  and  the  fight  to  recognize …

Documentary Program: Anote’s Ark Read More »

Documentary Program—Getting Lao’d: The Rise of Modern Lao Music & Films

Fleisher Art Memorial 719 Catharine St, Philadelphia, PA, United States

East Coast Premiere Director: Steve Arounsack 40 mins | Documentary | Lao People’s Democratic Republic | English, Lao After 25 years of silence, the private Lao music and film industries are reawakening. Filmed over 10 years, Getting Lao’d follows a new generation of young pioneers as they reimagine Lao media in a communist country. The …

Documentary Program—Getting Lao’d: The Rise of Modern Lao Music & Films Read More »

Free

Documentary Program: JIZOLIBIDO

US Premiere Director: Yoshiaki Kasatani 61 mins | Documentary | Japan | Japanese Atelier Yamanami is a care facility for the disabled located in Koka, Shiga Prefecture in Japan. Currently, 88 users are registered as artists, all of whom possess a unique way of expressing themselves through various media and whose works are highly valued …

Documentary Program: JIZOLIBIDO Read More »

Free

Documentary Program: Living in the Story

Fleisher Art Memorial 719 Catharine St, Philadelphia, PA, United States

Director: Lynn Estomin 52 mins | Documentary | USA | English Living in the Story documents thirty-five years of art making by the distinguished photographic artist Patrick Ryoichi Nagatani, one of the most brilliant photographic artists of our era. In the late 1970s, he pioneered the Contemporary Constructed Photographic Movement in Los Angeles, developing a …

Documentary Program: Living in the Story Read More »

Free

Documentary Program: Being Bruno Banani

Asian Arts Initiative 1219 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA, United States

East Coast Premiere Director: Susann Wentzlaff & Jörg Junge 90 mins | Documentary | Tonga | German & English Being Bruno Banani tells the unique story of the first and only Tongan luger who managed to qualify in an amazingly short amount of time for the Sochi 2014: XXII Olympic Winter Games. Through his name, …

Documentary Program: Being Bruno Banani Read More »

Documentary Program—Revolution Selfie: The Red Battalion

Asian Arts Initiative 1219 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA, United States

East Coast Premiere Director: Steven de Castro 120 mins | Documentary | Philippines | English Revolution Selfie expands the horizons of documentary storytelling while broadening our understanding about the lesser-known fronts in the global “War on Terror.” Filmmaker Steven De Castro paints a portrait of the 48-year-old Maoist guerilla army in the Philippine hinterlands. But …

Documentary Program—Revolution Selfie: The Red Battalion Read More »

Documentary Program: Leitis in Waiting

East Coast Premiere Director: Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson, and Kumu Hina Wong-Kalu 70 mins | Documentary | Tonga | English Leitis in Waiting is the story of Joey Mataele and the Tonga Leitis, an intrepid group of native transgender women fighting a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and intolerance in their South Pacific Kingdom. The …

Documentary Program: Leitis in Waiting Read More »

Documentary Program: Yassa Daruman

Asian Arts Initiative 1219 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA, United States

US premiere Director: Kenichi Omori 91 mins | Documentary | Japan | Japanese As part of the celebrations to commemorate the 450th anniversary of Mihara Castle’s construction, the youth from the Yassa Daruman neighborhood have undertaken a glorious project: to spread the popularity of Yassa Daruman, Mihara City’s official mascot, around the country. Inspired by …

Documentary Program: Yassa Daruman Read More »

Documentary Program: In Search of a Nation

Asian Arts Initiative 1219 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA, United States

Director: Prakash Angdembe 105 mins | Documentary | Bhutan, India, Nepal  | Nepali Desh Khojdai Janda’s film documents the more than 120,000 forgotten Nepali-speaking Bhutanese citizens from Bhutan who spent two decades in refugee camps (some of whom are still living there) in Jhapa and Morang, Nepal. Their years of repatriation struggle to their homeland …

Documentary Program: In Search of a Nation Read More »

Documentary Program: Origin Story

East Coast Premiere Director: Kulap Vilaysack 106 mins | Documentary | Laos | English, Lao In her directorial debut, actor/writer/podcaster Kulap Vilaysack explores her tangled family tree to find out who she is. When Vilaysack was 14, she took her father’s side in an argument and her mother replied, “Why are you defending him? He’s …

Documentary Program: Origin Story Read More »

Documentary Program: Corridor Four

Asian Arts Initiative 1219 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA, United States

Director: Stephen Tringali 81 mins | Documentary | USA | English Get Tickets The image of the American hero is challenged in this heartfelt portrait of 9/11 Pentagon first-responder Isaac Ho’opi’i. A nationally recognized K9 Unit Officer, Isaac Ho’opi’i was responsible for saving numerous people from the Pentagon during the terrorist attacks on September 11, …

Documentary Program: Corridor Four Read More »