November 5-16, 2015
San Diego, US
What’s It All About?
Founded in 2000, the San Diego Asian Film Festival has grown to become the largest exhibition of Asian cinema in the Western United States. In its 16th edition, the festival will be hosted at five venues across San Diego, and will include screenings at the La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas, the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park, University of California, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Sherwood Auditorium and the Hazard Center.The film festival is organised by the Pacific Arts Movement, a non-profit media arts organisation that’s dedicated to sharing Asian-American and international films with an aim to inspire, entertain and support representation to create a compassionate society.
Last year, Vikas Bahl’s Kangana Ranaut-starrer Queen represented India in the Asian Pop section, whereas Ravi and Geeta Patel’s comedy documentary Meet The Patels was part of Asian-American Panorama section. This year, three films have been shortlisted for screening. While Miss India America directed by Ravi Kapoor will be the opening film of the festival, Snake Skin and Radhe Radhe: Rites Of Holi are part of the Discoveries and Asian American Panorama sections, respectively.
Watch Out For
Opening Film Miss India America
The directorial debut of Ravi Kapoor, Miss India America is a rom-com featuring Kosha Patel, Meera Simhan, Hannah Simone and Tiya Sircar. The story revolves around Lily Prasad (Tiya Sircar), who aims to win at all costs. She’s a high school valedictorian who arrogantly toms-toms her triumphs to everyone. But when she loses her boyfriend, Karim (Kunal Sharma) to the reigning Miss India National, she concocts a plan to win Karim back. Lily is appalled when she finds that the path to glory is challenged by not just a drop-dead beauty of a nemesis (played by Hannah Simone from New Girl), but also the internal nausea of having to win despite all consequences.
Shorts For Shorties!
Benson Lee’s Seoul Searching is set in the 1980s, when the Korean government created a special summer camp for foreign-born teenagers where they could spend their summer in Seoul to learn about their motherland. Though the intentions of the programme were honourable, the activities of the teens were not, which led to the cancellation of the programme. The film is a teen comedy and coming-of-age film based on a true story about one of the summer camps that took place in 1986.
Closing Night Film
Made in Japan
This is a documentary by Josh Bishop that tracks the remarkable story of Tomi Fujiyama, the world’s first Japanese country music superstar. It is the story of how Fujiyama’s unusual tale began, a multicultural journey through music, marriage and the impact of the corporate world on the dreams of one woman.