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2013 Seattle Asian American Film Festival


  • Friday, January 25
  • Saturday, January 26
  • Sunday, January 27

Friday: 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM (SOLD OUT)

Co-presented by: API Chaya


Director: Eliaichi Kimaro
82 minutes (2011)
Feature Film

Eliaichi Kimaro is a mixed-race, first-generation American with a Tanzanian father and Korean mother. When her retired father moves back to Tanzania, Eliachi begins a project that evocatively examines the intricate fabric of multiracial identity, and grapples with the complex ties that children have to the cultures of their parents.

A LOT LIKE YOU won Best Documentary at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival and Top 10 Audience Choice Award at SIFF. Discussion panel with Kimaro, LeiLani Nishime (Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Washington) and Wes Kim (Director of the Northwest Asian American Film Festival 2003–2007) will follow.

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Directors: Martin Tran & Daniel Strothman
4 minutes (2012)
Short Film

Inspired by the music of the Blue Scholars. Even after the popcorn is finished and the lights come back on, do we ever really leave the cinema? A finalist in the Blue Scholars Short Film Competition, CINEMETROPOLIS is a love letter to the movies, hip hop, Seattle, and our childhood imagination.



Director: Blaine Ludy
Writer/Producer: Yuji Okumoto
10 minutes (2011)
Short Film

After a fifteen-year stretch in prison, JC Lee realizes that there are no joyful reunions awaiting him. While trying to reconnect with his estranged gay son, Troy, JC discovers that life doesn’t get any easier when he is out.

OUT was an official selection of SIFF, San Diego Asian Film Festival and Las Vegas Film Festival.

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Director: Andrew Ahn
12 minutes (2011)
Short Film

Nick is a gay Korean-American man living in Koreatown, Los Angeles with his partner Brian and their dog, Chloe. When Nick attends his baby nephew’s “dol,” a traditional Korean first birthday party, he finds himself yearning for a life just out of reach.

DOL was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival.



9:30 PM – 11:30 PM: Opening night party at Wing Luke reception room immediately after the screening and panel discussion of A LOT LIKE YOU. Food and beverages catered by Thai Curry Simple and Georgetown Brewing Company.



Saturday: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ($10 includes 1 feature film and 3 shorts)

Co-presented by: Filipino Community Center



Directors: Emiko Omori and Curtis Choy
58 minutes (2008)
Feature film

Al Robles is the link to the disappearing manong generation, the bachelor society that came from the Philippines in the 1920s and 30s as workers. We accompany Al in his wanderings in San Francisco’s Chinatown and Manilatown while he tells the manong’s tales of isolation, struggle and merriment. This film was a finalist for the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary at the L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival.

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Director: Rock Chang & Scott Eriksson
12 minutes (2012)
Short film

Eighteen years after Khmer Rouge, two Cambodian brothers, one strong enough to be able to now live with his traumatic memories (Rithy) and the other unable to function in life because of the trauma (Bunthon), each argue their very different ideas about how to deal with Bunthon’s empty painful life.

HOW WAR ENDS was an official selection of the Boston Asian American Film Festival, International Film Festival Manhattan and NewFilmmakers L.A. Sunset-Gower Studios.



Director: Jocelyn Saddi-Lenhardt
5 minutes (2012)
Short film

Ligaya, a once vibrant, young Filipina woman, struggles through an identity crisis when her estranged husband announces his imminent return to the States. Torn between her traditional mindset and her self-reliance, she becomes angry and resentful at her son, who may be the only logical piece in her fractured world.

MOTHER & CHILD won best short film at the Chicago Filipino American Film Festival.




Director: Mahen Bala & John W. J. Cho
5 minutes (2011)
Short film

Since the 1940s, Low Kok Kee and his print shop have been faithfully serving the photography and printing needs of the local community in Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. With the advent of the digital age and a fluctuating appetite of the young and hip, Low is philosophical about his business in decline.





3:00 PM – 4:30 PM (SOLD OUT)

Co-presented by: The Seattle Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), Minidoka Pilgrimmage and the NVC Foundation.


Director: Steve Nguyen and Choz Belen
Time: 40 minutes (2012)
Feature film

HIBAKUSHA is an animated drama featuring Kaz Suyeishi, an 84-year-old woman, who recalls her most vivid and horrific experiences as a 17 year old student in the morning of August 6, 1945, when the atomic bomb dropped on her hometown in Hiroshima, Japan. A Q&A with Directors Steve Nguyen and Choz Belen will follow.

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Directors: Sharon Yamato and Ann Kaneko
25 minutes (2012)
Short film

Stanley Hayami was a talented young teenager caught between his dream of becoming a writer/artist and duty to his country. Based on Hayami’s own diary and letters, this documentary chronicles his life behind barbed wire and as a soldier in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during WWII.

A FLICKER OF ETERNITY was an official selection of the United Nations Association Film Festival and New York Asian American International Film Festival.



Director: Matthew Hashiguchi
4 minutes (2012)
Short film

Born in San Francisco in 1924, Yutaka Kobayashi was labeled stupid for refusing to learn Japanese. At the start of WWII, his attempts to enlist in the US Army were refused because of his Japanese heritage. He was later sent to the Topaz Internment Camp, but it was during this dark period that he experienced compassion and kindness from where he least expected it.

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Director: Dan Matsushita
5 minutes (2012)
Short film

A class of post-WWII, first generation Japanese American students journey through the trials, discoveries and promise of a burgeoning nation on the move.





5:00 PM – 6:00 PM (SOLD OUT)

Co-presented by: OCA Seattle and Chinese American Citizens Alliance Seattle




Director: Valerie Soe
17 minutes (2012)
Short film and discussion

Through text, brief interviews, and images of the empty spaces of Port Townsend, Washington’s former Chinatown, the film examines anti-Chinese violence and the lost Chinese community in the Pacific Northwest in the late 1800s. The film documents Chinese American resistance and draws connections between past and present race relations in this country.

THE CHINESE GARDENS was an official selection of the Dallas VideoFest 25 and Claremont Colleges Asian Americans in Media Film Festival.

Discussion panel with Valerie Soe, director of CHINESE GARDENS and Bettie Luke, Chinese Expulsion Remembrance Project 2011 Chair, will follow.

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6:30 PM – 8:00 PM ($10 includes 1 feature film and 1 short)

Co-presented by: Kollaboration Seattle



Director: Akira Boch
73 minutes (2012)
Feature film

THE CRUMBLES is an indie rock slice-of-life tragicomedy about Darla, an overly serious musician whose stagnant life is shaken up when her long lost best friend Elisa shows up and crashes on her couch… indefinitely. While they both share dreams of rocking the globe, it becomes a monumental struggle just getting out of the garage.

THE CRUMBLES won the Audience Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

Q&A with Akira Boch will follow.

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Directors: Darlene Sellers and Heath Ward
8 minutes (2012)
Short film

Chop Socky Boom is a misfortunate web comedy that follows the adventures of five misfit Seattle actors cast in an action kung fu show. Portraying the signs of Rat, Pig, Rabbit, Rooster and Dragon, the five traverse the challenges of the low budget film making process, all the while doing battle with their own individual demons.



8:00 PM – 9:30 PM ($10 includes 1 feature film)

Co-presented by: Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) Seattle




Director: Iris Shim
90 minutes (2010)
Feature film

Yoon Myung and Tai Sook Suh immigrated to America for a better life for their children, but their pursuit of happiness became riddled with misfortune in 1993, when their son Andrew shot and killed his older sister’s fiancé. How could a man with a promising future be convinced to commit murder?

THE HOUSE OF SUH was the winner of the 2010 Hamptons International Film Festival Investigation Discovery Award for Excellence in Journalism, 2010 San Diego Asian American Film Festival Grand Jury Award, and 2010 Philadelphia Asian Film Festival Best Documentary & Audience Award.

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Sunday: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM (SOLD OUT)

Co-presented by: The Seattle Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), Seattle Dojo and the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington.




Director: Yuriko Gamo Romer
66 minutes (2012)
Feature film

MRS. JUDO: BE STRONG, BE GENTLE, BE BEAUTIFUL documents the life-long journey of Keiko Fukuda’s decision to defy thousands of years of tradition, choose her own path, and become the only woman in history to attain judo’s pinnacle of 10th degree black belt.

MRS. JUDO: BE STRONG, BE GENTLE, BE BEAUTIFUL was an official selection of the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival and DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival.

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Director: Veena Hampapur
5 minutes (2012)
Short film

The short film centers on the life of Yeshodhara, a vibrant woman who immigrated to the United States from India thirty years ago. The film illustrates how her lifelong love of professional sports has served as a vehicle to create a community and sense of belonging for herself.





Director: Steve Nagano
9 minutes (2012)
Short film

This film explores the work of Mario Reyes, a Mexican American photographer for the Japanese American newspaper Rafu Shimpo, and how he became an integral part of the community.





Director: Jeff Man
5 minutes (2012)
Short film

Following his sudden death in 2005, Eddie Oshiro’s legacy is discovered inside his tiny studio apartment — a collection of decade’s worth of photographs taken by Oshiro himself documenting his Little Tokyo community in Los Angeles. THAT PARTICULAR TIME is a portrait of Oshiro and those he impacted in his life.



Director: Micki Davis
5 minutes (2012)
Short film

Mario Borja, a craftsman and amateur historian, reconstructs a lost history of his people from the British Naval archives to a Pacific crossing. He brings his crew back to Guam in a hand built outrigger called a Sakman.





3:00 PM – 4:00 PM (SOLD OUT)

Co-presented by: The Seattle Ukulele Players Association (SUPA)


Director: Tadashi Nakamura
52 minutes (2012)
Feature film

JAKE SHIMABUKURO: LIFE ON FOUR STRINGS is a compelling portrait of an inspiring and inventive musician whose virtuoso skills on the ukulele transformed the instrument’s understood potential. Through intimate conversations with Shimabukuro, Life on Four Strings reveals the cultural and personal influences that have shaped the man and the musician.

JAKE SHIMABUKURO: LIFE ON FOUR STRINGS was an official selection of the San Diego Asian Film Festival, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and Hawaii International Film Festival.

A Q&A with Director Tadashi Nakamura will follow.

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4:30 PM – 6:00 PM ($10 includes 1 feature film)

Co-presented by: The Vietnamese Friendship Association (VFA) and Asian Pacific Islander Americans for Civic Empowerment (APACE).



Director: S. Leo Chiang
71 minutes (2012)
Feature film

MR. CAO GOES TO WASHINGTON follows the unexpected journey of Rep. Joseph Cao — the first Vietnamese American elected to the US Congress, the only non-white House Republican of the 111th Congress, and the only Republican to vote for President Obama’s Health Care Reform Bill. Will Cao keep his integrity and idealism intact?

MR. CAO GOES TO WASHINGTON won Best Documentary at the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival and the Audience Award for Documentary Feature at the New Orleans Film Festival.

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6:30 PM – 8:00 PM ($10 includes 1 feature film)

Co-presented by: The Seattle Chapter of the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP).



Director: Porter Erisman
75 minutes (2012)
Feature film

An inspiring look at China’s first Internet entrepreneur as he grew his company, Alibaba Group, from a small apartment into a global company, challenging – and beating – eBay in China along the way. CROCODILE IN THE YANGTZE explores the era when the internet brought China face-to-face with the West.

Called a “gripping … real-life version of “The Social Network” by Inc. Magazine, CROCODILE IN THE YANGTZE was an official selection of the Vancouver International Film Festival and Sonoma International Film Festival.

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8:30 PM – 9:30 PM (Sold Out)



Director: Timothy Tau
15 minutes (2012)
Short film – World Premiere

This documentary tells the story of the actor Keye Luke, who played 200+ roles over 50 years, including the original Kato of the Green Hornet, and Charlie Chan’s son, Lee Chan. Luke was the first Asian American actor to play secret agents, doctors, and lawyers instead of villains or servants.

Discussion panel to follow with Bettie Luke, relative of Keye Luke and sister of Wing Luke, and Wes Kim, Director of the Northwest Asian American Film Festival 2003–2007.

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9:30 PM – 11:00 PM: Closing night party at Wing Luke reception room immediately after the screening and panel discussion of KEYE LUKE. Food and beverages catered by Phnom Penh Noodle House and Georgetown Brewing Company.