Monday, May 10, 2021

TwoOhSix Picks - CAAMFest 2021

CAAMFest 2021 is a (mostly virtual) Asian and Asian American focused film festival based in San Francisco with live virtual film screenings, on-demand screenings, and some in person screenings at the Fort Mason FLIX drive in theater. This will be my first year covering the festival and I am excited to watch what looks like some really amazing films. See below for my TwoOhSix Picks, the movies you do not want to miss.

The Fabulous Filipino Brothers - Directed by Dante Basco

Some films are limited to on site drive in screenings or may be geo locked to certain regions so click on the movie titles to check availability on the CAAMFest website.

Drive All Night - Directed by Peter Hsieh
Prolific stage play writer Peter Hsieh turns his skills towards directing his first feature film. I'm expecting this to be a glossy looking noir style film reminiscent of something from Nicolas Winding Refn which I definitely mean to be a good thing.

The Fabulous Filipino Brothers - Directed by Dante Basco
This looks like a really fun family comedy from long time actor Dante Basco who brought in his real life family for his debut directorial effort.

Inbetween Girl - Directed by Mei Makino
I'm sensing a theme with my picks as this is also Mei Makino's debut feature film after writing and directing shorts and teaching filmmaking to youths in the Austin area. You can't go wrong with a good teen coming of age story and this one looks like a really fun and sweet journey.

We all know that during WWII the United States government rounded up Japanese people and sent them to concentration camps but what do we really know about the people, the land they were sent to, and the indigenous people who originally inhabited those lands. Nothing, right? This documentary aims to fix that.

The Race Epidemic - Directed by Tony Shyu
Renowned director Tony Shyu takes on one of the biggest problems plaguing our country today. To blame a country and then generalize a region of diverse ethnicity is ignorance turned to hate. I truly hope that films like this can turn the tide back so we can focus on education and community.

Snakehead - Directed by Evan Jackson Leong
After the success of his documentary Linsanity (also available during the festival),  Leong sets his sites on a crime thriller that focuses on a young woman who enters the country illegally and is forced into prostitution before climbing the ranks of a criminal organization. Yup. I'm in.

Pooya Mohseni and Lynn Chen in See You Then Directed by Mari Walker

These movies I have seen prior to the festival. Definitely ones you want to check out.

Better Days - Directed by Derek Tsang
Better Days is a good movie featuring a stellar performance by Zhou Dongyu. The movie might be a bit long and the story a bit melodramatic although overall I feel like it's worth the investment. - Full Review

The Donut King - Directed by Alice Gu
The documentary is an inspiring story of prosperity and ingenuity that also digs into the heart of immigration and racism in 1970's America, the perils of fleeing a country under siege, and the pitfalls of living the so called "American dream." - Full Review - Director Interview

See You Then - Directed by Mari Walker
To be able to see a movie created by a trans woman featuring two women, one trans, in lead roles that tells such an authentic story is essential to modern American cinema. - Full Review

Try Harder - Directed by Debbie Lum
Director Debbie Lum exposes how flawed and biased our education system really is and even when it comes to our best and brightest students. - Full Review

Wuhan Wuhan - Directed by Yung Chang
 Director Yung Chang pieces together a compelling and inspiring story out of footage compiled at the onset of one of the worst natural disasters we have ever seen. - Full Review - Director Interview

To keep track of all my reviews and festival coverage please go to: TwoOhSix at CAAMFest 2021.

Also, look for director interviews on the Podcast!

About CAAMFest 2021:
From May 13-23, 2021, CAAMFest will bring you the best in Asian and Asian American stories through live virtual film screenings, on-demand screenings, and at San Francisco’s only drive-in theater at Fort Mason FLIX.

The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) is dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. For more than 40 years, CAAM has introduced audiences to new voices and communities, advancing our collective understanding of the American experience through programs specifically designed to engage the Asian American community and larger public.

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