The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Fest (LAAPFF) was last month, and I got to catch a few screenings. I liked the format of the festival, the screenings were spread out over several theaters in the city, which was nice because it was an excuse to explore some new places. I had never been to CGV Cinemas in Koreatown before, and I was kind of dreading the drive/parking situation but it was so simple and the lot validates for three hours which was awesome. The other venue I went to was the Downtown Independent which was also cool, and coincidentally right in front of The Smell!
Miss India America
Lily Prasad, high school valedictorian and all-around over-achiever gets thrown for a loop when her boyfriend disrupts her life plan by leaving her for Miss India Golden State. What other course of action could there be for someone who's not accustomed to losing than to join the Miss India Golden State pageant and aim for the title of Miss India National? My favorite line in the movie happens when one character is trying to break up a fight between the others and she says something like "Come on!! Our parents are doctors and engineers!" and another character replies "Uh, my mom's an astrophysicist." Every one in Lily's community is either the best at something, or trying to be the best at something and the whole film was a really interesting commentary on the pressure to not only succeed but to be the most successful. I loved it, and I hope it gets a wider release so that more people can see it.
This sci-fi film is set in Vietnam in 2030, where water levels have risen so high that the population has been forced to live in houseboats and vegetables are scarce. When Sao's husband is murdered her investigation brings her to her ex-lover, who happens to be the main scientist on a floating farm with unconventional practices. This film was a really great blend of romance, sci-fi, and murder mystery. It was a little long, and the pacing was a little slow at times but overall I enjoyed it, and I definitely want to check out more Vietnamese cinema now.
I remember seeing the Kickstarter for this film, and being absolutely floored by the premise of this documentary. Basically, through YouTube Samantha Futerman and Anais Bordier discovered that they were identical twins separated at birth and adopted by couples in different countries. The documentary follows everything from their first Skype conversation, to meeting for the first time, to traveling to Seoul together and meeting their respective foster moms. The crazy Sister Sister aspect of the film highlights the ways in which technology made their reconnection possible. If it weren't for the internet they never would have found each other, and now thanks to the internet they can be in constant contact all day long even on separate continents. I also really liked the way the film dealt with the differences in their approaches to their adoptions. This is the film I've been talking about non-stop since I saw it, and when it gets a wider release I'm dragging everyone to see it because it's amazing.
That's my LAAPFF round-up! I wished I could have seen more, but we're in the midst of festival season so the LA Film Fest is fast approaching and I already can't wait to see those films! If you want to check out the preview I wrote for Hollywood Times Square you can check that out here.