“A part of me is very dedicated to a Pan-Asian American portrayal, especially for those stories that are often more invisible, or marginalized, or not on the surface of what the media or mainstream stories would usually talk about or share,” he said. Chinsen said in a statement. telephone interview. She said, for example, showcasing the experience of Asian American Pacific Islanders as in the festival’s central narrative, “Waikiki,” which tells the story of an indigenous Hawaiian hula dancer on a journey of self-exploration.
BAAFF selects films in several ways. They research films themselves, have a programming selection committee and open applications to filmmakers to submit their work.
The festival kicks off with “A Tale of Three Chinatowns” by director Lisa Mao, which examines the survival of three cultural centers – in Washington, DC, Chicago and Boston – through gentrification. The one-night-only screening is followed by a live question-and-answer session with the filmmakers. On the closing night, BAAFF ends with questions and answers and the screening of “Qui est Lun * na Menoh?” a film retracing the life of Japanese artist from director Jeff Mizushima.
“The two [films] are very different and very poignant in different ways and say a lot about what we need to hear and talk about now, ”Chinsen said. “Being that we are the Boston Asian American Film Festival, we have served to try to bring national conversations closer together and to access Asian American films and filmmakers.”
BAAFF offers three categories of films: feature films, documentaries and short films. Of the three, Chinsen sang the success of the short film lineup from previous festivals, this year with “Koreatown Ghost Story” with Margaret Cho and “Noor & Layla” by director Fawzia Mirza. The festival’s flagship documentary is “Sky Blossom: Diaries of the Next Greatest Generation” by director Richard Lui, which follows the lives of several “caring heroes,” children who have taken on caretaker roles within their families. Following this documentary, BAAFF will organize a live question-and-answer session with filmmakers.
BAAFF offers three types of viewing passes: a $ 100 all-access festival pass, a $ 30 short film pass, and a new $ 24 Filipino Friday pass, which allows viewers to watch three Filipino-American selections – “Wherever We May Be,” “The Girl Who Left Home,” and “Lumpia with a Revenge.” For Filipino Friday, BAAFF has teamed up with Catering by Jules and Bits & Bits by Kristine for viewers to order Filipino dinner boxes to enhance their viewing experience.
On the occasion of his 13th birthday, Chinsen said that the main theme of the festival is “rising together”. The festival logo nods to Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” with a raised fist placed atop the wave.
“We are trying to empower our own community through cinema,” said Chinsen. “We rise together [to] tell those stories and put more emphasis on the diversity of who we are and the things we experience. Also, the idea of rising together [includes being] part of communities of color here in Boston and nationwide so that we can all reclaim our power and exist fully.
Representation was also an important factor in the preservation of films, Chinsen said. She wanted to show a global Asian American experience to expose its complexities and hopefully provide a deeper understanding to groups that exist outside of that experience.
“I had never heard the language [Cantonese] my family is talking on TV, ”Chinsen said. “It made it feel like I wasn’t that foreign and it wasn’t that uncommon. Seeing him on TV was huge; it’s so empowering to just feel heard and seen that you belong.
BOSTON ASIAN-AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL Oct 20-24, 7:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Short programs Oct 21-31, midnight-10 p.m. Feature films at $ 10, short programs at $ 10. Student / senior discount of $ 8. Virtual. baaff.org
Riana Buchman can be contacted at [email protected]