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San Diego Asian Film Festival Celebrates 5 Years

By Keiko Beatie

The San Diego Asian Film Festival, now in its 5th year, will commence this October 21, 2004, opening with the independent feature film from Hawaii, The Ride.  The Festival runs form October 21 to October 24, with most films screening at the Mann Hazard Center 7 Theaters in Mission Valley.  The Ride was a hit at the Hawaii International Film Festival where an estimated 15,000 festival attendees watched outdoors on the big screen at Kuhio Beach Park in Waikiki.  Nathan Kurosawa directed the film about a young cocky mainland surfer whos lost his soul and respect for the essence of the sport. A surfing accident knocks him unconscious and he finds himself transported back in time to Hawaii in the year 1911. Just by chance the young surfer meets and becomes friends with a young Duke Kahanamoku, an Olympic Gold medalist known as the father of modern surfing. 

SDAFF is a competition film festival premiering shorts, documentaries, features, animation, and music videos.  Films have the inclusion of being made by or about persons of Asian decent. The festival is also the first Asian American film festival that highlights an all-animation shorts program by Asian artists. The festival offers workshops, panels, receptions and gala opening and closing night events.

Executive Director LeeAnn Kim sees this as a pivotal point of growth for this festival. A dedicated staff has brought together an exciting program for the San Diego community. The previous five years has seen SDAFF grow and become an integral part of the film festival presentations offered to the people of San Diego. San Deigo is now the second largest city in California, surpassing San Francisco.   

With the highly acclaimed documentary The Magical Life of Long Track Sam, set for the special closing night film, The San Diego Asian Film Festival has reached a diverse and well rounded program.  Directed by Ann Marie Fleming, The Magical Life of Long Track Sam has garnered awards and accolades at many film festivals across the country and shares a young womans fascination with her grandfather's life as a vaudeville entertainer.  The heart, humor and insightful documentary is well executed and the special effects are a treat as they are woven into the story.

This year's watermark festival is the largest ever with more than 150 film and video titles screening from 12 countries.

Here is a listing of the dynamic films screening this year:
Ong Bak: Muay Tai Warrior- Tai Boxing at its best.  Thailand
Josee, the Tiger and the Fish: Sweet comedy romance involving a disabled woman and a college student Japan
Arahan: Contemporary comedy/martial arts film from South Korea
Homerun: A loving brothers desire and quest to win his sister a new pair of shoes Singapore
Silence of the Sea: A man whos left his homeland of Iran and wants to go home.  This film was a Sundance Film Festival Selection Iran
Steamboy: One of the most expensive anime to date.  A boy inventor receives an object of unbelievable power, in demand by a greedy corporation Japan
North Korea: Beyond the DMZ: A Korean American girl traces her family roots to North Korea.  Once there her realizations of the humanistic values separate the politics of Communism. Us/Korea
Basketball Diplomacy: From Moa to Yao: Houston Rockets forward Yao Ming follows his foot steps as his journey from China to the capitalistic United States.  US/China

The Festival is well known for its hospitality and amazing guests who travel from far and wide to visit this fun and well attended event.  Some of the guests on hand for this year Festival are:
Dat Phan, winner of NBC-TVs Last Comic Standing
Lisa Ling, The View and National Geographic
Sung Kang, Actor Better Luck Tomorrow
Vienna Teng, Recording artist
Kelly Hu, Actress X-Men, Scorpion King
Jon Cho, Actor Better Luck Tomorrow
Harlemm Lee, Winner, NBC-TVs Fame

Come celebrate the San Diego Asian Film Festival.  The Festival has many types of passes and tickets available to attend the Festival.  Please visit www.sdaff.org for more information.

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Related Keywords:The San Diego Asian Film Festival, Nathan Kurosawa , Duke Kahanamoku, The Ride


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