Visual Communications (VC), presenters of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF), announced today the LAAPFF VIRTUAL SHOWCASE, a free digital showcase of films and panels to unite with audiences during this unprecedented time. The online showcase will highlight artists whose stories are critical at this moment in dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic. This first time event begins May 1st and will run through May 28 as part of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
The LAAPFF was slated to launch its 36th edition on April 30th, 2020 in theaters in Los Angeles. However, when local and state health authorities advised on minimizing the number of social gatherings due to COVID-19, VC decided to postpone the physical, in-theater screening events and focus on developing an online virtual experience. With everyone at home, this will enable the landmark festival to reach a national audience, as well.
In addition, radical reaction to the virus has thrust the Asian Pacific American community directly into the spotlight with a rise in anti-Asian American sentiment and violence. Coupled with the month of May being Asian Pacific Heritage Month, the timing of this festival becomes even more important for the Asian Pacific Community and all communities across the nation.
"Visual Communications acknowledges that this virus has been racialized and has incited hateful acts towards Asian Americans," stated Francis Cullado - Executive Director of Visual Communications. "While seeing anti-Asian sentiments that perpetuate perilous narratives, VC and the Festival will continue to be a space for expression, engagement, and empowerment. Our LAAPFF VIRTUAL SHOWCASE of these films underscores our determination to stay connected during this moment of isolation. And, we hope to bridge all communities through film and discourse and hopefully, instill understanding."
The LAAPFF VIRTUAL SHOWCASE will launch May 1st with its Opening Day Film - the premiere sneak preview of Episodes 3 and 4 of the upcoming groundbreaking PBS Documentary Series ASIAN AMERICANS. Both episodes will be available from 8AM PST to 8PM PST in the LAAPFF VIRTUAL SHOWCASE for personal viewing. Then at 5PM PST/8PM EST, there will be a special online Q&A with the filmmakers and special guests will take place to discuss the film and current issues. View the trailer for ASIAN AMERICANS here.
The LAAPFF VIRTUAL SHOWCASE will also feature the festival World Premiere of FIRST VOTE on May 5. Directed by Yi Chen, this insightful film focuses on the current Asian American experience at the election polls in the United States. Through in-depth honest and revealing conversations with four Asian American voters in battleground states, the filmmaker also contemplates exercising her own right to vote in America - a first time for her. An online post Q/A discussion with director Chen and subjects from the film will take place at 5PM PST on May 5. The complete lineup for the LAAPFF VIRTUAL SHOWCASE will be announced on Monday, April 27th. For additional details, please visit festival.vcmedia.org.
Photo courtesy PBS/CAAM/WETA
[The First Ever Asian Pacific American/Asian International Film Screenings Online Featuring Groundbreaking With Filmmaker Discussions and Talk-backs Available Nationally]