The Seattle Asian American Film Festival (SAAFF) proudly presents its 8th annual festival February 20-23, 2020, at Broadway Performance Hall (1625 Broadway) and Northwest Film Forum (1515 12th Ave). It’s been a year of exciting news for Asian and Asian American films, filmmakers and actors, and local film festivals like SAAFF are where they get their start. The 64 films in SAAFF’s 2020 program truly demonstrate the talent of up-and-coming filmmakers and the richness and diversity of Asian American storytelling. This year, SAAFF offers 12 outstanding feature-length films and 8 exciting shorts programs, including 4 free screenings.
The four-day festival kicks off Feb. 20 at Broadway Performance Hall with SEADRIFT, a timely and provocative documentary about early Vietnamese refugees in Texas whose foray into crab fishing incited the wrath of the Ku Klux Klan. Opening night continues at historic Washington Hall (153 14th Ave) with dancing, live spoken word, and hip hop performances emceed by Aleksa Manila of Pride ASIA. The party features National Poetry Slam Champion and Top 100 iTunes rapper G YAMAZAWA of Durham, North Carolina, as well as local hip hop favorite, rogue pinay. With a deep love of hip hop discovered as an immigrant youth, rogue pinay wrote verses as a way to reconnect with their roots and claim space as a queer Filipina with a lot on their mind.
From Feb. 21-23, SAAFF will screen several documentaries making their Seattle premieres. LOVE BOAT: TAIWAN by filmmaker Valerie Soe playfully recounts the experiences (and escapades) of Taiwanese American youth who took part in Taiwan’s unique heritage program, while JERONIMO chronicles the fascinating life of Jeronimo Lim Kim, a Korean Cuban man who joined the Cuban Revolution with law school classmate Fidel Castro… and even worked with Che Guevara. BETWEEN TIDES takes a fascinating look at multi-ethnic Bonin Islanders as Japanese nationals under a U.S. Navy occupation following World War II. One of SAAFF’s centerpiece films, GEOGRAPHIES OF KINSHIP by celebrated filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem, details the historical circumstances that led to the transnational adoption of 200,000 Korean children and the personal reckonings of four Korean adoptees.
SAAFF’s shorts programs are the perfect opportunity to take in many films in one screening. Don’t miss the “Southeast Asian Showcase”; “What Haunts You” (FREE); “Queer AF” (a collection of films centering the Queer experience); “Borders and Belonging” (immigration stories); “Family Portraits” (familial joys and heartaches); “Mastering the Craft” (FREE); “Looking Past Paradise: Shorts from Hawai’I”; and “DirectHer: Films Made by Women”.
Feature narratives include THE ILLEGAL about a young Indian student who drops out of film school to work as an undocumented worker in the U.S. Another highlight is the centerpiece film, SONG LANG, which won Best Narrative Feature Jury Prize at the Seattle Queer Film Festival. Set in 1980s Vietnam, it tells the story of a loan shark and traditional Vietnamese opera singer who discover hidden depths within each other that change both their lives. Anyone who grew up in a family business will want to check out SAAFF’s closing film HAPPY CLEANERS which is about a Korean American family in Queens who lose their dry cleaning business.
SAAFF festival passes and individual tickets are available now for purchase at seattleaaff.org. The schedule is available at seattleaaff.org/2020/schedule.
Opening Night including film and party: $35
Opening Night film only: $16
Opening Night party only: $20
Regular Tickets: $13 (general) | $11 (students/seniors)
Festival Pass: $90 (entrance to all film screenings and opening night party at Washington Hall)
VIP Festival Pass: $120 (early entrance to all film screenings, VIP clearance to opening night party with VIP bar, VIP room access during the festival, and VIP party)
Visit http://seattleaaff.org/2020/schedule for tickets, passes, and the full schedule. Most film screenings will be followed by panel discussions or Q&A with the directors and cast in attendance.
About Seattle Asian American Film Festival
Seattle Asian American Film Festival showcases works by Northwest Asian American filmmakers, as well as films from across North America dealing with Asian American people, issues, and themes. SAAFF is the only film festival in Seattle to provide a space for Asian American voices, perspectives, and histories. For more information about SAAFF, visit seattleaaff.org. For tickets, go to seattleaaff.org/2020/schedule. Shunpike is SAAFF’s fiscal sponsor.
Courtesy of SAAFF