Each year, TaiwaneseAmerican.org is pleased to support the premier Asian American Film Festival in San Francisco. Now known as CAAMfest, the Center for Asian American Media’s annual festival features not only amazing works in film, TV, and digital media, but now also includes showcases in music and food.
This year, we’ve chosen to officially co-present three films. Building on the success of a web series introduced last year, two of our very own Taiwanese American actors, the beautiful Lynn Chen and Michelle Krusiec, return alongside Sheetal Sheth in Nice Girls Crew 2. TaiwaneseAmerican.org is also pleased to present audiences to two films from Taiwan, Go Grandriders and Touch of the Light.
Tune in to our TaiwaneseAmerican.org Facebook Page for chances to win pairs of free tickets to some of these screenings!
March 16, 2013 8:00 pm at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas
March 22, 2013 8:00 pm at New People Cinema
Read more. Buy tickets here: http://caamfest.com/2013/films/nice-girls-crew-season-2/
They’re baaaack! After a sizzling and successful debut in 2012, Sheetal Sheth, Lynn Chen and Michelle Krusiec return in this CAAM-produced, web-based comedy about three best frenemies and their cray cray antics in a book club. Sophie (Chen) is the human Rainbow Brite, wreaking sunshine even as she reveals her inner Dexter. Geraldine (Krusiec) is the badly permed, cult-leader potentate, whose talents range from interpretative dance to balancing martinis. And Leena (Sheth) is the unabashed thug-ess in heels, whose constant refusal to actually read any books is matched only by her trademark tardiness.
In Season 2, the book club moves to Sophie’s home, where the young entrepreneur capitalizes on a booming cupcake business and hires a personal assistant, Donatello (the dashing Leonardo Nam, The Perfect Score; The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift). Leena takes an immediate interest in this hunky new help, providing a very loose interpretation of the term manservant. Meanwhile, Geraldine goes deep into the world of motivational speaking, morphing into a self-ordained self-help guru and spreading words of wisdom and weirdness to all who will listen. We’re also introduced to Geraldine’s worldly, slightly raunchy mother, played by the iconic actress Tsai Chin (Joy Luck Club).
Sheetal Sheth, Lynn Chen, and Michelle Krusiec will be in attendance, along with Tanuj Chopra and Christine Kwon.
March 15, 2013 7:20 pm at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas
March 23, 2013 2:00 pm at Great Star Theater
Read more. Buy tickets here: http://caamfest.com/2013/films/go-grandriders/
In Go Grandriders, a group of senior citizens embark on what may be the most daring adventure of their lives: a thirteen-day tour—entirely on motorcycle—around the island of Taiwan. A number in the group have heart problems, two have had cancer, and their average age is 81. The trip brings harrowing escapes (one rider falls asleep at the wheel, while another is knocked off his bike by a truck), pure exhilaration (including a gleeful romp in the waves when riders reach Taiwan’s east coast), and somber reflection, as riders recall their youths fighting in the Sino-Japanese War.
Along the way, the Grandriders travel to nursing homes, eliciting cheers, tears and admiration from other elders as they describe the tour. As their captain announces, “Elders are not only capable but energetic. No one is too old to realize their dreams.” His own unyielding dedication to the group not only lands him in the hospital multiple times during the tour, but also brings him back to greet the riders at each leg of the trip. Other characters we meet along the way include a merry grandfather whose only sadness is missing his weekly trip to the night market with his grandson, and a pastor married to a cancer survivor, who consider the trip their belated honeymoon. Defying society’s expectations, the Grandriders’ journey will inspire and delight audiences both young and young at heart.
March 17, 2013 12:00 pm at New People Cinema
March 23, 2013 6:30 pm at Pacific Film Archive Theater
Read more. Buy tickets here: http://caamfest.com/2013/films/touch-of-the-light/
Blind pianist Huang Yu-Siang stars as himself in Chang Jung-chi’s debut feature Touch of the Light, based on Siang’s own true story. Taiwan’s official submission for the Foreign Language Oscars, this crowd-pleaser earned both commercial and critical success in Taiwan, as well as picking up audience awards at the Taipei and Busan film festivals.
Siang is a piano prodigy born visually impaired in rural Taiwan. The fictionalized narrative follows him as he enters a university in Taipei to study music and is confronted with the challenges of living amongst sighted peers. Meanwhile, the beautiful Jie works nearby as a bubble tea vendor, and dreams of becoming a dancer one day. A chance encounter between Siang and Jie not only kindles a flame in Siang (who’s drawn to her kind voice), but also may just unshackle the two from their respective prisons.
While the film is officially “presented by Wong Kar Wai,” the film’s visual style is more reminiscent of the works of Shunji Iwai, with soft backlight bathing the characters in an embracing glow. But the true strength of the film is Siang, whose performance—not to mention his soaring piano renditions—inject authenticity and persuasive power into the film, all while encouraging us to listen, to feel and to find our own way.
This festival is a treasure trove of great Asian American works from established as well as emerging talent. We invite you to attend to join TaiwaneseAmerican.org staff who will also be attending the Opening Night film and Gala event featuring the eye-opening and exciting documentary about the Jeremy Lin story, LINSANITY, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival! We’ve seen a preview screening, and we’re so excited about it, we can’t wait to see it again!
Buy tickets here: http://caamfest.com/2013/films/linsanity/