Now, SFAAFF is easy to remember, however long, but I have to keep looking up what CAAMFEST is.
CAAM, parent organization of the festival from the beginning, is the Center for Asian American Media, and the festival is - and that's the easy part - FEST. So it's CAAMFEST (www.caamfest.com)
It's coming to the Bay Area March 14-24, with an impressive lineup of six world and seven U.S. premieres, 14 films new to San Francisco, and many others, plus music performances and parties. There are 90 films and videos, 55 programs. The main venues are the Castro Theatre, Kabuki Cinemas, and New People Cinema in San Francisco, Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley.
Here are a few arbitrary picks among major features to be shown at the festival, some to be available commercially, others with distribution still pending:
- Kim Gwang Hun's "Comrade Kim Goes Flying," North Korea, Belgium and U.K.: the first feature to have been shot in North Korea in 30 years, the story is about a young woman miner's ambition to join the Pyongyang Circus (and I am not making this up). [March 16, 5:45 p.m. Kabuki]
- Lee Isaac Chung's "Abigail Harm," Hong Kong and U.S.: a fairy tale about a woman from Manhattan (Amanda Plummer) who finds an old Korean fable come to life in her apartment; with Will Patton and Tetsuo Kuramochi . [March 17, 7 p.m. and March 18, 6:15 p.m. Kabuki; March 19, 8:30 p.m. New People]
- Ron Morales' "Graceland," Philippines and U.S.: a suspense story from the streets of Manila. [March 15, 7 p.m. and March 22, 10:15 p.m. New People]
- Ken J. Adachi's "Dead Dad," U.S.: three grown siblings reunite after their father's unexpected death, forced to take responsibility for their lives. [March 16, 6:40 p.m., New People]
- Nadine Truong's "Someone I Used to Know," U.S.: former high school friends reunite for a long night in LA; with Brian Yang, West Liang, Eddie Mui, Emily Chang. [March 15, 9:15 p.m. and March 23, noon New People]
- O Meul's "Jiseul," South Korea: story of villagers hiding in a cave during the Jeju Massacre (1948-1954), in which some 30,000 people suspected of collaborating with the communists were killed by the South Korean army. [March 15, 7:30 p.m. and March 19, 8:30 p.m. Kabuki]
- Deepa Mehta's "Midnight's Children," Canada and U.S., in Hindi: historical-mystical story of children born at midnight Aug. 15, 1947, when India became independent. [March 17, 6 p.m. Castro]
- Zheng Yuan's "Beijing Flickers," China: life among displaced young people on the streets of Beijing. [March 21, 9:20 p.m. New People]