Christopher Wong’s Whatever It Takes, Sarba Das’ Karma Calling and Nian Liu’s Li Tong are among the films featured in the Asian American International Film Festival’s (AAIFF) weekend of free community screenings, which will be held in Harlem, Manhattan Chinatown and Flushing, Queens from July 30-August 1, 2009.
The Festival continues its partnership with the Maysles Institute in Harlem with a screening of the documentary feature Whatever It Takes on Thursday, July 30th at 7:00 p.m. The film, which won the Audience Choice Award at this year’s Festival, follows the first year of principal Edward Tom at the Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics, a small, specialized school that is still working to patch the cracks in America’s public education system.
Venturing out to the Queens Library in Flushing, the Festival will showcase two feature films, Li Tong by Nian Liu and Karma Calling by Sarba Das. Both were Festival highlights: Karma Calling was the only feature to be screened twice during AAIFF, and Li Tong’s director, Nian Liu, won the jury award for Best Emerging Director in Narrative Feature. Following the feature presentations will be a collection of short films from the Festival program, Home Is Where the Heart Is. The screenings will begin at noon on Saturday, August 1st.
“This is a great opportunity for anyone who missed the main Festival to see some of its best films,” commented John Woo, Acting Executive Director of Asian CineVision. “It’s also part of our resolution to overcome the financial pressure that faces the arts this year. AAIFF was conceived as a space for emerging artists to showcase their work, and with these screenings, we ensure that this space is preserved within New York communities- especially within underserved communities that have a great need for cultural and artistic expression.”
A complete listing of screening events and venues follows:
AAIFF COMMUNITY SCREENINGS, JULY 30 – AUGUST 1, 2009
Whatever It Takes, dir. Christopher Wong
USA / 97min / Documentary
The first year of the Bronx Center of Science and Mathematics is documented in this film. While the school’s stated mission is to patch the cracks in New York’s education system, it’s clear that the odds are stacked against its success.
343 Lennox Avenue and 127th St., Harlem
Thursday, July 30 @ 7:00 p.m.
$7 suggested admission
Li Tong, dir. Nian Liu
China / 74min / Narrative
A restless young girl loses her bus pass one day after school. Her meandering trip home is the thread of this poignant “day in the life” tale, which wends its way through the various homes, personae and urban landscapes of contemporary Beijing.
Karma Calling, dir. Sarba Das
USA / 90min / Narrative
The Raj family is definitely not comprised of stereotypical model minorities living the American Dream. On top of the family’s troubled finances, the family hosts a recently widowed relative who is an endless source of comic disasters.
Shorts Program, Home Is Where the Heart Is
Immigration is more than a series of border crossings. Whether in New York, San Francisco, or Taiwan, the immigrants in these shorts must reconcile their places in the new world with their foundations in the old. Their lives, by choice and by force, plot a new course for the meaning of “home.”
Featuring The Veiled Commodity, dir. Dickson Chow and Vinh Chung; A Green Mountain the Drawer, dir. Hwa Jun Lee; 20 30 40, dir. Mei-Yu Lee; Here to Stay, dir. ManSee Kong; Lower East Side: An Endangered Place, dir. MA Shumin.
Queens Library, Flushing Branch
41-17 Main St., Flushing, Queens
Saturday, August 1 @ noon
AAIFF 09 Closing Night Awards and H.P. Mendoza’s Fruit Fly
AAIFF Karma Calling, You Don’t Know Jack and Children of Invention
Jeff Adachi’s You Don’t Know Jack and Tzi Chun’s Children of Invention Screen at AAIFF 09
Multimedia: AAIFF 09 Opening Night Screening of Claustrophobia
Schedule at a Glance: Asian American International Film Festival AAIFF 2009
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Asian American International Film Festival 09 runs 7/23-7/26
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Wat Misaka, First Person of Color Drafted in NBA
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Mark Shaw, A Retrospective at Monroe Gallery of Photography in Santa Fe
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