Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

#LAAPFF15 Presents Encore Screening of Samantha Futerman and Ryan Miyamoto’s TWINSTERS at CVG Cinemas 2 on April 28

Visual Communications (VC), the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, is presenting the 31st edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) running April 23-30, 2015. This annual film celebration will be presented across Los Angeles from Little Tokyo to the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles to Koreatown and to West Hollywood featuring 134 films from over 20 countries. 

VC proudly celebrates 31 years as Southern California’s largest and most prestigious film festival of its kind.  The LAAPFF launches the pre-celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month through this year’s slate of over 130 films from both Asian Pacific American and Asian international directors from over 20 countries.  For over three decades, the Festival has presented more than 3,700 films and shorts by Asian American and Asian international artists.  This year, a total of 134 films comprised of 32 feature films and 102 shorts will be showcased throughout the eight-day fest.

 (L-R) Lisa Arendarski, Executive Producer, Ryan Miyamoto, Co-Director/Producer/Cinemtographer, Samantha Futerman, Co-Director/Producer/Documentary Subject and Co-Founder of Kindred Foundation, Michael Scott Allen, Executive Producer and Glee’s Jenna Ushkowitz - Executive Producer / Co-Founder of Kindred Foundation. Photo Credit: Grace Chang/ Courtesy of: LAAPFF/Captured With Grace Photography

(L-R) Lisa Arendarski, Executive Producer, Ryan Miyamoto, Co-Director/Producer/Cinemtographer, Samantha Futerman, Co-Director/Producer/Documentary Subject and Co-Founder of Kindred Foundation, Michael Scott Allen, Executive Producer and Glee’s Jenna Ushkowitz – Executive Producer / Co-Founder of Kindred Foundation. Photo Credit: Grace Chang/ Courtesy of: LAAPFF/Captured With Grace Photography

Twinsters
The Festival Centerpiece documentary presentation is the LA premiere of the award winning TWINSTERS from Samantha Futerman and Ryan Miyamoto, which screened on Saturday April 25 at the Aratani Theatre at the JACCC, and will have an encore screening on Tuesday, April 28 at 4:30pm at CVG Cinemas 2, 621 Western Avenue (between 6th Street and Wilshire Blvd.), Los Angeles, CA 90005. The filmmaking team will in the house for a post-screening Q&A

TWINSTERS is the real-life story of actress Samantha Futerman and budding fashion designer Anaïs Bordier – twin sisters separated shortly after birth and respectively adopted by American and French families. Discovering their existence for the first time via social media, their unique experiences are documented through a series of video blogs, Skype conversations and real-time footage. Every intimate moment is captured from their first meeting to the DNA test results, home visits and their first visit back to Seoul. The film explores the idea of family, adoption, nature vs, nurture, and the power of social media, ultimately redefining conventional definitions of “family.”

Click here to purchase tickets.

Filmmaker Bio
Samantha Futerman and Ryan Miyamoto make their directorial debut with the feature length documentary, TWINSTERS.
Samantha is a Korean American adoptee from New Jersey. She attended the Professional Performing Arts School in New York City and graduated from Boston University in 2009 with a BFA in Theatre Arts and Anthropology. In 2011 she moved to Los Angeles to further pursue her career. Her feature film credits include MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA and 21 & OVER. She can also be seen on Showtime’s THE BIG C and KROLL SHOW on Comedy Central. After her extraordinary experience of discovering her twin sister, Samantha felt compelled to share her story and fell into the role of director by happenstance.

Ryan was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Television, Film and New Media. His work can be seen on National Geographic, Discovery Channel, ABC, CBS, NBC, Disney, and Redbull Productions. To help aid the production’s needs, Ryan not only served as cinematographer, but expanded his role to a directorial position along side Samantha.

Director’s Statement
Samantha: In 2013, I had been given an opportunity to begin a new journey in life, one that included my first connection with a living, blood relative and potential identical match. And somewhere in the pit of my gut, I desired to share my sister and my story with the world. This was met with complex levels of doubt and infinite reasons to abort the idea. How could I risk the consequence of damaging my relationship with this relative stranger? But despite any and all uncertainty, I turned to the one person in existence that fully understood the complexity of the situation, Anaïs. I asked, “Do you want to share our story?” She said, “yes,” and we never looked back. As I fell deeper into the experience, I turned to my best friends who also played the roles of filmmakers. In the heat of the battle, they demonstrated nothing but love and dedication, turning this project into a true family film.

Ryan: After Sam decided to document her experience, she asked me to be the Director of Photography. This involved filming during Sam’s most significant moment meeting her potential twin sister for the first time. I was hooked the second I saw the first Skype interaction between Sam and Anaïs and I knew I had to be on the production. It was good timing because I needed to get away. I thought that I had signed up for a 10-day job as a cinematographer in London to film the reunion, but when we got back to the states, I knew the film wasn’t over. There was more to explore with the girls and I was invested in the story. The production ended up becoming a two-year process, documenting the girls’ journey of falling in love. From the start, Sam told me to keep filming no matter what happened, which naturally led me to co-directing her emotional experience. Although my previous concentration in filmmaking was in camerawork, I was excited to help showcase the outside perspective of their progression into sisterhood and honest love story.

For program information, a complete listing of sponsors and partners, and to purchase tickets, log on to  www.vconline.org/festival or contact Visual Communications at (213) 680-4462 x59.  Tickets are on sale now. 

The 2015 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is sponsored by PLATINUM: Comcast NBC Universal; Sony Pictures Entertainment; GOLD: Directors Guild of America; Nielsen; SILVER: HBO; BRONZE: FilmLA; Creative DCP; SAG Indie; STAR: Modern VideoFilm; Motion Picture Editors Guild; SAG-AFTRA; Union Bank; Writers Guild of America/West; Yu & Co.; VENUE SPONSORS: Aratani Theatre/Japanese American Cultural & Community Center; Directors Guild of America; Japanese American National Museum; Downtown Independent; CGV Cinemas; The Great Company; MEDIA SPONSORS: AngryAsianMan.com; KPFK – FM; LA-18 KSCI; LA Weekly; MYX TV; Yelp; GOVERNMENT: National Endowment for the Arts; Los Angeles County Arts Commission; Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; California Arts Council; Cal Humanities; FOUNDATION: Aratani Foundation; James Irvine Foundation; Weingart Foundation; Parsons Foundation; SAG-P IACF; Asian Pacific Community Fund; Sony Pictures Entertainment;  RECEPTION: Asahi; Kirin; LA-18 KSCI; Stella Artois; Ketel One; MYXTV; IN KIND: Telepath Corporation; IKON Office Supplies; Meiji; LA18; HBO; Red Giant.

cropped-lia-chang_photo-by-carlos-flores-3.jpgLia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon and Taxman. She has guest starred on “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “New York Undercover.” Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington and Roscoe Orman. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

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Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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