Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: 35 Years of CAAMFest

By Liza Solberg

Courtesy of Willy Chen and CAAM


WHAT IS CAAMFEST, Comcast sponsorship

Upon arriving at the Castro Theater for the opening-night screening of “The Tiger Hunter,” I was kindly ushered down the block and around the corner to the back of the line. CAAMFest’s opening night was clearly a highly anticipated event in San Francisco!

Courtesy of Willy Chen and CAAM


The festival was introduced by CAAM executive director Stephen Gong, and festival and exhibitions director Masashi Niwano, two of the many committed and passionate CAAM staff members.

This was another platform to express Comcast’s appreciation of a longstanding partnership with CAAM, elegantly presented by Rebecca Simpson, executive director international strategy and programming:

“I want to express on behalf of Comcast to CAAM, my gratitude, our gratitude, to their steadfast dedication to supporting the filmmakers, the story tellers; to shining the light, that spotlight on the Asian-American community; to truly educating us on what the fabric of the American identity is … I am so proud to be just a little part of what CAAM does by providing a platform to feature Asian-American talent … and ensuring that very rich and inspiring stories are told. Thank you CAAM for all that you do and for letting Comcast be part of it. Thank you to each of you for supporting [the filmmakers] and lending your ears, your eyes and a piece of your heart to hearing their stories, because without you it wouldn’t be possible.”

Courtesy of Willy Chen and CAAM

The 35th anniversary kicked off with an inspiring film about the South Asian immigrant struggle in the U.S. Set in the 1970s, “The Tiger Hunter,” starring Danny Pudi (“Community,” “Powerless”), made me laugh and cry, and took us all on a journey that explored the definition of success and the importance of not what you do, but who you achieve it with.
Courtesy of Leanne Koh and CAAM

After a lively question-and-answer with director Lena Khan, stars Danny Pudi, John Heder, Rizwan Manji, Sam Page and a few other critical participants in the production, I was lucky to head over to the Asian Art Museum for the opening night gala.

The gala was teaming with film and entertainment enthusiasts, delicious Asian bites, drinks, dancing and the XFINITY lounge, with a photo booth to document the evening:

Courtesy of Willy Chen and CAAM
Courtesy of Willy Chen and CAAM
Courtesy of Jay Jao and CAAM

The CAAMFest 35th anniversary kick-off evening was one for the books! It was a pleasure and an honor to attend.

If you didn’t get a chance to see films like “The Tiger Hunter” at CAAMFest this year, you can always find CAAM-curated content on the International page in the “Cinema Asian America” collection and on XFINITY Asia!