As the 33rd Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF’10) came to a close on Wednesday, July 21 at the Chelsea’s Clearview Cinemas in New York City, actors Louis Ozawa Changchien and Karin Anna Cheung presented awards to five lucky filmmakers before the festival’s Closing Night screening of Quentin Lee’s The People I’ve Slept With.
Taiwanese director Chung Lee won the Excellence in Short Filmmaking Award, which was accepted on his behalf by his wife Annie Hsu. Lee’s short film Mochi explores the tangled and complex relationship between Yulia, a live-in caretaker, and her antagonizing employer, a bitter old man whose offensive behavior alienates himself from his only son. The award for Best Emerging Director in Documentary Feature went to Stephanie Wang-Breal for Wo Ai Ni Mommy, a documentary that follows a young Chinese girl’s transition from China to her adoptive home in Long Island, New York.
Swedish-Taiwanese filmmaker Hakon Liu received the award for Best Emerging Director in Narrative Feature for Miss Kicki, a story that follows a middle-aged Swedish woman and her estranged teenage son through their misadventures in Taipei.
Eric Byler and Annabel Park’s 9500 Liberty won the Audience Choice Award. Byler and Park’s film focuses on debates of immigration law through the policy debates in a West Virginian town.
The ceremony closed with Gina Chun accepting her reward for the CinemaMe Short Film Competition. The contest, sponsored by Toyota, asked non-professional filmmakers to offer their take on Asian American film in under five minutes. Chun will be awarded a grand prize of $3,000 for her film The Receiver, a video diary that recounts a conversation between an aspiring filmmaker and her disapproving grandmother.
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As a photographer and videographer, Lia is frequently tapped to collaborate with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden.
Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, VIBE, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle, Timeout.com, Villagevoice.com, Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog. In July, selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space will become part of THE LIA CHANG THEATER PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.
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