The seventh annual Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest (SVAPFF) is being presented as a hybrid festival of in-person and virtual events with a selection of films screening live at the new AMC Dine-In Sunnyvale Theatre on Friday, Oct. 1 and Saturday, Oct. 2. The Online festival will run from Oct. 1 – 10. This year’s theme is Asian. American. Amazing! svapfilmfest.org
The Online film festival also features an outstanding selection of 50+ Asian American films with category themes: Amazing Stories, Current Social Issues, Experimental/Avant Garde, Family Sacrifices, Friendships/Relationships, Fun Package, Healing, Interesting Shorts, PG+, and the feature, “try harder!”.
The festival is excited to bring the best films from Asian American filmmakers. There are two filmmakers who meet our high standards twice over– Lia Chang, who produced When the World Was Young and Hide and Seek, and Marc Pomerleau, who directed Seeking Home and Empress Yee and the Magical History of Chinatown.
Hide and Seek and When the World Was Young, two short films written and directed by Garth Kravits and executive produced by Lia Chang of Bev’s Girl Films, are official selections of the seventh annual Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest (SVAPFF) and will screen online.
Hide and Seek stars Lia Chang and Garth Kravits, is co-written by Lia Chang and Garth Kravits and executive produced by Lia Chang/Bev’s Girl Films. Hide and Seek is a short film that speaks to the societal challenge that women, and especially women of color, endure every day. To look in the mirror and to hope to see a face other than your own. One that is closer to what magazines, television and movies define as beautiful or even normal. What face do you see when you look in the mirror? Hide and Seek is in the Current Social Issues lineup. Click here for tickets.
When the World Was Young stars Virginia Wing, Jason Ma and Lia Chang. The cast also features Jo Yang, Daniel Dunlow, Michelle Miller and Mark York. When siblings Benjamin and Audrey return home to confront their Mother’s memory loss, they discover a hidden key to her past.
Written and directed by Garth Kravits, the film is Executive Produced by Bev’s Girl Films, with producers Garth Kravits of Cut & Dry Films and Eric Elizaga. When the World Was Young features original compositions by Kristen Rosenfeld. Hair and makeup by Dorothy Bhadra. When the World Was Young is in the Friendships/Relationships lineup. Click here to purchase tickets.
To purchase tickets for the Online Festival, visit tinyurl.com/svapffvirtual and select your packages. Online tickets are $5.00 per package or $25 for a festival pass to see all the films.
Virginia Wing (Virginia) is a Chinese-American actress whose ancestors came to the “Gold Mountain” from Canton (now Guangdong) in the mid-1800s, lured by the Gold Rush and the building of the railroads. She is currently writing about growing up Southern in the Mississippi Delta, where she was born and raised. Professionally, she has run the gamut from opera, theatre, cabaret, TV, film, playwriting, directing and producing to script analysis. She modeled in her youth and is in the Breck Girl Hall of Fame. She was the model in the Mitsouko by Guerlain ad in the 60s, which won awards internationally. She was a nominee for Best Actress in the Hollywood NAACP Image Awards. She is most proud of this film because the characters did not have to have Chinese accents, did not have to speak Chinese or refer to themselves as being Chinese. They were not written as Exotic or Other, but as Americans who happen to be Chinese, caught up in a universal story. At last! Click on the Performing Arts Legacy Website for more about Virginia Wing.
Jason Ma (Benjamin) is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award for his work as a composer/lyricist. Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters and many international venues. Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and an award-winning filmmaker. She is the co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, and The Last Dragon. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short indie films Hide and Seek (Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Best Actress Nomination), Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World Was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also a portrait and performing arts photographer and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia writes about arts and entertainment on her Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog. The Lia Chang theater portfolio collection, 1989-2011, is housed in the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) collection located in the Library of Congress’ Asian Reading Room.
Jo Yang (Amah) began her professional stage acting career in the Pacific Northwest and now lives and works in New York City. Recently she appeared as Sook Ja in New York Theatre Workshop’s production of “Endlings” before it was abruptly shut down by the pandemic in Mar 2020. She is grateful that the play had its world premiere and a full run at The American Repertory Theatre the year prior. Less than six degrees of separation bring Virginia Wing and Jo together on this project as they also worked with each other at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Festival. As well as theatre, Jo’s credits extend across the board, in film, tv, radio, commercials and print. She has recurring roles on “The Affair” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, speaking Mandarin. Her Film/TV credits are listed here.
Garth Kravits is an actor, singer, musician, composer and award winning filmmaker, director and editor. Garth is currently in rehearsal for the new Off-Broadway musical, A Turtle on the Fence Post. He made his Broadway debut in the Tony award winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone and originated the role of Ritchie in the Broadway show Gettin’ the Band Back Together’. His Off-Broadway credits include Old Jews Telling Jokes, Toxic Audio and Smart Blonde. He has appeared regionally in Gettin’ The Band Back Together, Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play, and It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, (Bucks County Playhouse) Kravits has appeared on TV in “Mr. Robot,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” HBO’s “Divorce,” “30 Rock,” “The Blacklist,” “Nurse Jackie,” “The Carrie Diaries,” “Hostages” and in the new TV shows “The Hunters” (Amazon Prime) and “Tommy” (CBS).
The SVAPFF Opening Night Fundraiser will feature a screening of The Paper Tigers at AMC Dine-In Sunnyvale 12 at 6:30pm, and will include a Q&A with the Director Bao Tran and Producer Al’n Duong, a bento dinner, and meet and greet. Sunnyvale 12 is located at 150 E. McKinley Ave, Sunnyvale, CA. Price is $65. Click here for tickets.
Saturday’s screenings will start at 10:00 am. Films include Try Harder, The Donut King, Reparations, and Amazing Local Filmmaker Shorts.
There will also be live performances from the Grant Ave Follies Show and Asian drag queens, Rice Rockettes. Saturday’s price per show is $20. Visit www.tinyurl.com/svapffLive
In addition, the Dr. Jerry Hiura Inspiration Award recipients will be shown in between screenings in their artistic interpretation of “What it Means to be AAPI”.
Through the darkness of the pandemic and the current divisive hatred, a new sense of self-awareness, purpose and determination has emerged. Everyday heroes have taken the lead to bridge relations, cultures, histories and stories for better understanding, enlightenment, and compassion. They join the many unsung heroes throughout the history of the AAPI in America, whose contributions and cultural additions to society have largely gone unnoticed. The SVAPFF wishes to tell these stories and pay tribute to those Amazing Asian Americans and the next generation of innovators, creators, and contributors. We are Asian. We are American. We are Amazing!
Covid requirements of the CDC, State of California, Santa Clara County and the AMC will be followed. Please plan to provide proof of Covid 10 vaccination at the time of registration or at check in at the theater.
The Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest (formerly, San Jose J-Town FilmFest) is a celebration of the multi-ethnic community and rich history of Silicon Valley. An all volunteer-run effort by a diverse team of community members, the film festival showcases independent films primarily by Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) filmmakers and offers quality programming, giving the community a chance to interact with the creative talents behind these films.
The film festival is a project Contemporary Asian Theater Scene, fondly know as CATS. Founded over 20 years by three visionaries who realized that Asian American artists needed a voice. Dr. Jerry Hiura, Steve Yamaguma, Miki Hirabayashi created CATS with the dream of supporting, mentoring and, ultimately, presenting Asian American artists and cultural disciplines to the south bay.
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