Saturday, February 22, 2014

CAAMFest Press Announcement

CAAMFest 2014 photo IMG_20140213_105357_zps8c941294.jpgLast week, the Center for Asian American Media held a press conference to announce the programming for CAAMFest 2014, which will run March 13-23 at venues in San Francisco, Berkeley & Oakland. Masashi Niwano, Festival Director, cheerfully called it their "most epic" festival. There are over 120 films from 20 countries. Opening night is How To Fight in Six Inch Heels, a slapstick comedy set in the fashion world, which was a big hit in Vietnam last year. It will have its US premiere at the festival, followed by a gala at the Asian Art Museum. Centerpiece films are a documentary about civil rights activist Grace Lee Boggs & Cold Eyes, a Korean crime thriller. Archival selections include 2 Cantonese-language feature films made in San Francisco in the 1940s, which will be screened in a theater in Chinatown. Stephen Gong, Executive Director, warned us that a Hula documentary about the Merrie Monarch Festival is likely to sell out early.

Closing night takes place at the New Parkway Theater in Oakland & features the documentary Delano Manongs, about the key role of Filipino farm workers in the formation of the United Farm Workers. Live events include a music showcase featuring the US debut of Suboi, Vietnam's Queen of Hip-Hop. There are also food-related programs. A fundraiser on March 8th will present chef Martin Yan & local chocolatier Wendy Lieu of Socola Chocolates. Samples of their chocolates were passed out during the press conference. The Sriracha chocolate truffles caused some debate.

Press conference attendees saw a preview screening of How to Fight in Six Inch Heels. The filmmakers are so paranoid about illicit copies that they had us watch a watermarked version. The farcical story concerns an over-achieving Vietnamese-American fashion designer who goes to Vietnam for one frantic week to spy on her fiance, whom she suspects of infidelity. All the characters behave with a cartoonish determination, & the film often seems aimed at giddy 13-year-old girls. There's plenty of slapping, falling down & problems caused by eating. At one point a character even gets into a taxi & delivers the line, "Follow that cab!" A gag about a fortune teller practicing an inappropriately hands-on form of divination was plain weird. The heroine has not one but two gay sidekicks, whose swishy behavior is past its sell-by date.

§ Press Announcement for CAAMFest 2014
Thursday, February 13, 2014, 9:00 am
New People Cinema

§ CAAMFest 2014
March 13-23
San Francisco | Berkeley | Oakland
(formerly the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival)

§ CAAMFeast: Stories, Food & You
Saturday, March 8, 2014, 6:00-9:00 pm
One Kearny Club

§ How to Fight in Six Inch Heels
Ham Tran, dir. / Vietnam / 2013 / 90 mins /
In Vietnamese & English

Castro Theatre
March 13, 2014 7:00 pm

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