By Momo Chang, representing the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM)
This blog is an edited version of an article that appeared on the Center for Asian American Media’s website.
We’re thrilled to announce a robust slate of Best of CAAMFest films, on XFINITY On Demand this month! The Center for Asian American Media is celebrating our 35th year of the festival. The festival began in 1982 premiering films such as “Chan Is Missing,” “Sewing Woman” and other iconic films. And up until 2012, it was known as the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. Read all about our history here.
Celebrate our 35th anniversary with these CAAM-curated films all month long on XFINITY. To watch the films, go to XFINITY On Demand. On the International page, look for CAAM: Asian American Filmmakers under the Featured section. Or, say “CAAM” to your X1 Voice Remote to see the featured collection. You can also search for the films on On Demand by their titles.
Tag your posts about these films using #xfinityatCAAM!
THE BEST OF CAAMFEST SHOWCASE
“A.K.A. Don Bonus” | Dir. Spencer Nakasako
Sokly Ny, a.k.a. Don Bonus, an under-privileged immigrant minority student, narrates his life–both the good and the bad–as he embarks on his final year of high school in the San Francisco Bay Area. As his graduation approaches, so is the criminal trial of his brother.
“American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs” | Dir. Grace Lee
Meet Grace Lee Boggs, a 97-year-old Detroit who has been putting together movements and strategies for social change for most of her life. An activist and a philosopher, her goal is to not only push for change for the better, but to always keep this new American Revolution going.
“Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm” | Dir. Jim Choi
Changing Season chronicles a transitional year-in-the-life of famed farmer, slow food advocate and sansei David “Mas” Masumoto, and his compelling relationship with daughter Nikiko, who returns to the family farm with the intention of stepping into her father’s work boots.
“The Debut” | Dir. Gene Cajayon
High-school senior Ben is struggling with a feud he has with his father, who will not stand for his son’s pursuits in the arts. However, during his sister’s 18th birthday celebration, Ben reexamines his Filipino heritage, as well as his
relationship with his family, his friends and himself.
“Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings” | Dir. Tadashi Nakamura
In this intimate documentary, ukulele rock star Jake Shimabukuro explores his childhood of being raised by a single parent, how he first became interested in playing the iconic Hawaiian instrument, and how he became the international star he is today.
“Margarita with a Straw” | Dir. Shonali Bose
A young woman with cerebral palsy nabs the opportunity to study abroad at New York University. While out and away from her home country of India, she goes on a journey of self-discovery via unexpected love.
“Nice Girls Crew” (Season 1) | Dir. Tanuj Chopra
“Nice Girls Crew” (Season 2) | Dir. Tanuj Chopra
All grown up and finding themselves in the city of Los Angeles, the ladies seek refuge from their isolation in a book club where they never actually talk about the book. Their subjects of interest? Sex, cannibalism, drugs and just about everything else you’d expect in such good company.
“Off the Menu: Asian America” | Dir. Grace Lee
Food is more than just to satisfy our appetites and keep us alive. It’s also a marker of our identities. Filmmaker Grace Lee travels to places like Texas, New York, Wisconsin and Hawaii, all the while documenting how family, tradition, faith and geography shape our relationship with food.
“A Village Called Versailles” | Dir. S. Leo Chiang
Vietnamese refugees have thrived the last three decades in a New Orleans neighborhood they call Versailles. The
documentary explores how these residents resisted against a government-installed, toxic landfill in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and in the process, experienced a transformation in their neighborhood.
Cherry Blossom Showcase
Cherry blossoms, or sakura in Japanese, is ubiquitous with the start of spring. These Japanese films in the Cherry Blossom showcase show the diversity of Japanese cinema, ranging from stories about families, love, youth and also an Oscar-winning film.
“Departures” | Dir. Yojiro Takita
A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals. He hides is new profession from his wife and neighbors, but soon learns that dealing with death brings out the humanity in us all. “Departures” won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
“Jitensha” | Dir. Dean Yamada
In the midst of a young man’s struggle to find meaning in his life, his bicycle becomes dissembled bit by bit.
When a list of addresses is presented to help him locate each of the missing pieces, in the process of doing
so, the young man begins to reassemble himself as well.
“Juliet Juliet” | Dir. Ken Ochiai
Two rivals are competing for the starring role in their all-girls high-school’s upcoming theater festival. However,
when a male transfer student enrolls in the school, the competition between the two girls is kicked up a notch.
“Persimmon” | Dir. Dean Yamada
Tamotsu is expecting a persimmon to dry out, while he holds out for a man on his deathbed who is inching near death. When the fruit refuses to dry out, Tamotsu must come to terms with life–both in the persimmon and in the man–to take their natural courses.
“Sumo Road” | Dir. Ken Ochiai
A friendless, overweight exchange student decides to try out for a sumo team at a Japanese university. However,
in order to solidify his spot on the team, he must come face to face with the team’s leader, in an epic sumo match.
“Tsuyako” | Dir. Hikari Mitsuyo Miyazaki
In postwar Japan, Tsuyako, a factory worker and mother must decide between duty and love, her family and her freedom.
Momo Chang is the Content Manager at the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) website, a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. CAAM does this by funding, producing, distributing and exhibiting works in film, television and digital media. This blog is an edited version of an article that appeared on the Center for Asian American Media’s website.