CAAMFest 2013

3/15/13 to 3/23/13

Each year, the Center for Asian American Media brings us the best in contemporary cinema from Asia and the Asian diaspora. The thirty-first installment of this adventurous festival (formerly the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival) at the PFA Theater features films and documentaries from China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, and a real rarity, a feature film from North Korea.

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Past Films

  • Touch of the Light

    • Saturday, March 23 6:30 pm

    Chang Jung-Chi (Taiwan, 2012). Taiwan's official entry to this year's Academy Awards and a production of Wong Kar-wai's trend-setting Jet Tone company, Touch of the Light presents the true story of a blind musician who leaves his small village to become the first visually impaired music student at his university. (110 mins)

  • Comrade Kim Goes Flying

    • Saturday, March 23 8:45 pm

    Kim Gwang Hun, Nicholas Bonner, Anja Daelemans (Belgium/North Korea/U.K., 2012). Plucky coal-miner Comrade Kim abandons her life in a suspiciously cheerful industrial village to head to Pyongyang and become . . . a circus trapeze artist. This sprightly, fairytale-like romantic comedy shows off a side of North Korea you've probably never imagined. (83 mins)

  • Invoking Justice

    • Friday, March 22 7 pm

    Deepa Dhanraj (India, 2012). Defiantly eschewing Western portraits of Muslim women, Deepa Dhanraj (Something Like a War) explores the first women's jamaat-traditionally a male institution-in South India, where women are raising their voices and enacting new interpretations of Sharia law to demand gender equality. (85 mins)

  • Postcards from the Zoo

    • Friday, March 22 8:45 pm

    Edwin (Indonesia, 2012). Raised in Jakarta's zoo, the orphan Lana knows only the world of animals, until she meets a handsome magician who leads her to the outside world, where far stranger beings await. A captivating, poetic portrait of Indonesia's capital city, from the director of The Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly. (96 mins)

  • The Land of Hope

    • Thursday, March 21 7 pm

    Sion Sono (Japan, 2012). An earthquake and nuclear crisis forces two Japanese families to decide what is worth sacrificing in the name of safety in this alternately naturalistic and surreal work, the first feature inspired by the 2011 Tohoku-Fukushima disaster. From the director of Suicide Club and Love Exposure. (133 mins)

  • 15

    • Wednesday, March 20 7 pm

    Royston Tan (Singapore, 2003). Royston Tan and Valerie Soe in conversation. High-velocity angst in an artificial Eden, Royston Tan's irreverent first feature dredges up an underworld of teen dropouts, druggies, and dead-enders. Screening in our series Afterimage: The Films of Singapore's Royston Tan. (93 mins)

  • Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

    • Tuesday, March 19 7 pm

    Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand, 2010). This Palme d'Or-winner melds the last dying encounters of a farmer, Boonmee, with a gorgeously rendered landscape enlivened by the presence of ghostly apparitions. This is not magical realism, but realistic magic. (113 mins)

  • Beautiful 2012

    • Sunday, March 17 4 pm

    Kim Tae-yong, Tsai Ming-Liang, Gu Changwei, Ann Hui (China, 2012). Beauty comes to the forefront in this omnibus collection of shorts from four of Asia's greatest filmmakers. Includes Tsai Ming-Liang's Walker. (90 mins)

  • Old Romances

    • Sunday, March 17 6 pm

    Royston Tan (Singapore, 2012). Royston Tan in person. “Old places are like old lovers to me, you never forget them,” says director Royston Tan. In this sequel to the documentary Old Places, Tan takes us on a fond outing to experience Singapore through the recollections of everyday citizens. Screening in our series Afterimage: The Films of Singapore's Royston Tan. (77 mins)

  • 881

    • Sunday, March 17 7:45 pm

    Royston Tan (Singapore, 2007). Royston Tan in person. Singapore's resident bad-boy Royston Tan pays tribute to his country's kitschiest love-getai, stage musicals that are part small-time Vegas revues and full-time campy fun-in this delirious comedy involving the Papaya Sisters, who dream of winning a national contest. Screening in our series Afterimage: The Films of Singapore's Royston Tan. (105 mins)

  • Mekong Hotel

    • Saturday, March 16 4 pm

    Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand, 2012). Jennifer Phang in person. The Cannes-winning director of Tropical Malady returns with another mystical, magical blend of documentary, narrative and fable, set in the crumbling Mekong Hotel near the Thai/Laos border. With Jennifer Phang's new short, Advantageous. (84 mins)

  • Harana

    • Saturday, March 16 5:50 pm

    Benito Bautista (U.S., 2012). Benito Bautista, Florante Aguilar, Emma Francisco in person. In this award-winning feature documentary, director Benito Bautista and guitarist Florante Aguilar bring to light the long-abandoned Philippine art of harana (serenade). Three of the tradition's last surviving practitioners perform songs never before captured on film. (103 mins)

  • Beijing Flickers

    • Saturday, March 16 8:20 pm

    Zhang Yuan (China, 2012). In the latest film from controversial filmmaker Zhang Yuan (Beijing Bastards), the displaced youth of Beijing may be down and out, but they find solace in a makeshift family-one another. With short Shanghai Strangers, directed by Joan Chen. (120 mins)

  • Seeking Asian Female

    • Friday, March 15 7 pm

    Debbie Lum (U.S., 2012). Debbie Lum in person. An aging white man with “yellow fever,” finds a young Chinese bride named Sandy through the Internet, but they soon discover that their dreams of perfect love do not match bitter reality. An honest, intimate documentary about culture, love, and the immigrant experience. (84 mins)

  • Sunset Stories

    • Friday, March 15 9:10 pm

    Ernesto Foronda/Silas Howard (U.S., 2012). Ernesto Foronda in person. Two ex-lovers reluctantly reunite to retrieve a lost cooler in this electric ramble across nocturnal Los Angeles, starring Monique Gabriela Curnen (Finishing the Game; The Dark Knight) and Sung Kang (Fast and Furious; The Motel). (87 mins)