2022 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival May 5 – 13

Announced Monday, May 2, 2022, Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) announced its schedule of panel discussions as part of the festival’s C3 Programming (Conference for Creative Content. These discussions will take place during the 38th edition of the festival on Saturday May 7 at the Directors Guild of America (DGA).  Tickets to this free event can be found at https://festival.vcmedia.org/2022/c3/

The conversations will be anchored by a fireside chat with acclaimed director Andrew Ahn (Spa Night, Driveways) in conversation with Dino-Ray Ramos of Diaspora, talking about Ahn’s latest and most anticipated project FIRE ISLAND. The two will discuss queer representation in Asian media in the past decade and how it has evolved throughout the years leading to the release of FIRE ISLAND this summer. This fireside chat will take place Saturday, May 7 starting at 3 p.m. Pacific Time at DGA Theater.

Additional Discussions on Saturday, May 7 As Part of C3 Include:

Muslim Cinematic Futures
The day of panel discussion will begin with Muslim Cinematic Futures, a live worldbuilding session that allows Muslim artists and culture workers to open a portal to the future design a radically aspirational media arts ecosystem that uplifts authentic and nuanced stories of Muslim life, abundance and joy – and will draft the roadmap to arrive there. Panelists include: Karim Ahmad, Restoring the Future; Aqsa Altaf, Zafar; Fawzia Mirza, Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night; Faroukh Virani, Subscribe / Follow
  This panel will be at 12PM at the DGA Theater. This panel is preceded by a pre-reception hosted by Restoring The Future. The collaboration will allow festival guests and allies to connect.

Crossings, Conversations, and Convictions: A Look at Generational Grassroots Movements
Filmmakers Deann Borshay Liem (CROSSINGS), Lan Nguyen (CAMBODIA TOWN THRIVES and CONVERSATIONS AT THE REGISTER), and Eugene Yi (FREE CHOL SOO LEE) joined by moderators and UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs professors, Lee Ann Wang and Karen Umemoto to discuss the social movements explored in their respective films and the importance of taking action.
This panel will be at 2PM at the DGA Theater.

Nickelodeon: Remolding the Industry: Journeys Into Animation
A moderated discussion centered on personal career journeys in the animation industry. From getting their start, to advocating for themselves, and how the industry landscape has changed, panelists from Nickelodeon Animation and Paramount Animation Studios will share their career paths. Additionally, panelists will discuss representation in the industry behind the scenes and on the screen.
This panel will be at 4PM at the DGA Theater.         

All panel discussions are free and tickets are available at https://festival.vcmedia.org/2022/c3

The festival also announced the jurors for the Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature and Short Film competitions. Awards are Academy Award®-qualifying Awards. Recipient(s) of the Film Festival’s Golden Reel Award for Narrative Short Film will be eligible for consideration in the Animated Short Film/Live-Action Short Film category of the Academy Awards®.

The Narrative Feature competition jurors include:  Thomas Lim is Head of the LA office for Sun Entertainment Culture, a prominent Hong Kong company that has produced commercially successful films such as the “SPL” action movie series, and “Operation Mekong.” In Hollywood, Sun financed and produced films such as “Palm Springs” which sold to Hulu for the record sale at Sundance in 2020 and was nominated for two Golden Globes, Netflix movie “The Starling” (starring Melissa McCarthy), “Cowboys” which won Best Script and Best Actor at Tribeca 2020, and “The Desperate Hour” (starring Naomi Watts) which premiered at TIFF 2021.

Melissa Bisagni is a film curator, consultant and festival programmer specializing in Indigenous and Asian American film. She is the Festival Director for the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival and a member of the Four Quarters Collective along with Nzingha Kendall, Joanna Raczynska and KJ Mohr. She served for 15 years as the Film & Video Program Manager at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, where she continues to work in Museum Learning and Programs.

Valerie Castillo Martinez is a Filipina American filmmaker who founded her company IndieFlip, to make films that deal with underrepresented subjects, cross-cultural themes and flipping the usual narratives. Her emphasis in innovative storytelling, collaboration and international co-productions has led to some of her films’ successes. Her shorts have played in top-tier festivals such as Berlin, Venice, Toronto, Busan and SXSW and won numerous awards worldwide.

Parvesh Cheena is an Indian American actor and producer, known for Shining Vale (2022), Centaurworld (2021) and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015).


The Documentary Feature Competition Jurors Include:

Emory Chao Johnson (they/them) is an artist settled on the land of the Tongva (Los Angeles, CA, USA) working primarily in documentary filmmaking. Their approach to documentary is grounded in empathy and compassion. F1-100, a short documentary directed by Emory, has received accolades from various festivals including CAAMFest, LAAPFF, OutFest, Palm Springs International ShortFest, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, and Seattle Asian American Film Festival.

Dinesh Sabu is an independent documentary filmmaker. His work has appeared on PBS, NBC, HBO, and at numerous festivals around the world. Dinesh co-produced his feature directorial debut Unbroken Glass with Chicago’s renowned Kartemquin Films, (Minding the Gap, The Interrupters),  where he also served as cinematographer of American Arab (2013), which premiered at IDFA in 2013.

Clarissa de los Reyes was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. She has an MFA in Film Production from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and is an alumna of the Berlinale Talent Campus. Her short films have screened at various film festivals around the world including Palm Springs International, Busan, Fribourg and more.

Short Film Competition Jurors Include: Christen Marquez has produced projects that spark empathy, empowerment, and action. She was a part of the Producing team for Belly of the Beast, a documentary feature film about modern day coerced sterilization taking place in California womenʼs prisons, which won the 2021 Emmy for Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary. Her work has been seen on Discovery, Nat Geo, PBS, CNN, Netflix, and Disney+.

– Rachelle Samson works in arts administration and recently joined the Firelight Media team as the Development Officer. She is passionate about supporting BIPOC artists from underserved communities and connecting people and organizations to one another through stories and experiences. Rachelle has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 10 years with the Asian American & Pacific Islander communities in Los Angeles in various capacities including community outreach, public programming, and development.

– Hanxiong Bo was born and raised in Beijing, and is based in Los Angeles. He received his BFA degree in Film and Media Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his MFA degree in Film Directing from the University of California, Los Angeles. His latest short film DRIFTING premiered at the 67th San Sebastian International Film Festival and won the New Directors/New Visions Award at the 36th Los Angeles Asian Pacific film festival.

Complete details on the 38th edition of the festival can be found at https://festival.vcmedia.org/2022/


Its mission is to develop and support the voices of Asian American and Pacific Islander filmmakers and media artists who empower communities and challenge perspectives. Founded in 1970 with the understanding that media and the arts are powerful forms of storytelling, Visual Communications creates cross cultural connections between peoples and generations. Instagram: @VCMediaorg

About the 38th Los Angeles Pacific Film Festival

Presented by Visual Communications, runs from May 5 – 13, 2022,  as a hybrid event, taking place virtually and in person at select cinemas in the Los Angeles area. The largest festival of its kind in Southern California, LAAPFF is a proud Academy Award®-qualifying film festival for the Short Film Awards. For program and ticket information, please visit festival.vcmedia.org.

The Festival is proud to be partnering with our following screening venues across Los Angeles:

Aratani Theatre @ Japanese American Cultural & Community Center – Little Tokyo (DTLA): 244 S San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tateuchi Democracy Forum @ Japanese American National Museum: 111 N Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Directors Guild of America: 7920 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046

Visual Communications is supported by:
Foundation: Aratani Foundation, Asian Pacific Community Fund, California Community Foundation, California Humanities, Getty Foundation, John Randolph Haynes Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Keiro, Mellon Foundation, Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, LA Arts Recovery Fund, National Film Preservation Foundation, SAG-AFTRA Producers IACF

Government: California Arts Council, California Civil Liberties Public Education Program, California Revealed, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, Japanese American Confinement Sites (National Park Service), National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities

Corporate: Comcast NBCUniversal, Creative Industries Hawaiʻi, Directors Guild of America, The Foundation for Global Sports Development, Greenberg Traurig, HBO Max, Pacific Islanders In Communications, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Media


Gregg W. Morris using the LAAPFF press release for content. GWM can be reached at gregghc@comcast.net, profgreggwmorris@gmail.com