Our Top Picks for the 35th Annual L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival

While 2018 was a milestone year for Asians on in film in major media, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) has been proudly following and fostering Asian talent in film for the last 35 years.

From May 2-11 in Los Angeles California, filmmakers, actors, fans will come together once again to celebrate authentic storytelling on screen. Here are our top picks for this year’s festival.

MS. PURPLE

Ms. Purple movie still
Photo submitted

As the centrepiece film of the festival, Ms. Purple examines a woman’s relationship with men as she tries to support her terminally ill father by working as a hostess at a karaoke bar.

Director and actor Justin Chon (Gook, Dr. Ken), teams up with Chris Dinh (Living with Models, Single By 30) to tell the story of family trauma from a Korean-American lens.

Chon will be speaking at the festival’s C3 conference (Conference for Creative Content) on May 4th, during a fireside chat about the filmmaker’s past, present, and what’s next for Asian Americans in the industry.

SCREENING: Saturday, May 4 – 8:00 pm
Aratani Theatre @ JACCC

COME AS YOU ARE

Come as You Are movie still
Photo submitted

Three young men with disabilities hit the road to a Montreal brothel catering to people with special needs.

Sure to be a hilarious adventure, this film stars our friend, Chinese-Canadian Actor, Hayden Szeto (The Edge of Seventeen, Tiger Tail), Ravi Patel (Master of None), and Scott Rosenmeyer. The film is directed by Richard Wong.

(Stay tuned for our second interview with Hayden Szeto to be released this spring on Cold Tea Collective! Check out our first interview with Hayden here.)

SCREENING: Monday, May 6 – 7:30 pm
Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center 

KARAOKE MAMAS

Karaoke Mamas movie poster
Photo submitted

We’re excited for this one about a 62-year-old Korean divorcée, who jumpstarts her new life by joining a karaoke contest with her friends in order to win a new TV.

This short film is written and produced by superstar Korean-Canadian sisters Diana Bang (The Interview) and Andrea Bang (Kim’s Convenience).

Produced in collaboration with fellow Vancouver-based producers and directors, Phil Planta and Theo Kim, Karaoke Mamas brings the story of these vivacious ajummas to life and will make you wonder what your Umma does on weekends with her friends.

SCREENING:Monday, May 6 – 8:30 pm
Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center
PROGRAM: The Tipping Point

IN A NEW YORK MINUTE

In A New York Minute movie still
Photo submitted

Three strangers accidentally discover the solution to their problems may lie in a single pregnancy test. Amy Chang (Billions) plays a character haunted by a past breakup. Yi Liu (We Speak NYC) is Angel, a woman caught between a loveless marriage to an American businessman and a passionate affair with a Chinese writer. Nina, played by Celia Au (Wu Assassins), moonlights as an escort to support herself.

First time writer and director Ximan Li leads a female-driven production crew to create an intimate character study that interprets love from three different points of view. The film also features Ludi Lin and Cheng Pei Pei.

SCREENING: Tuesday, May 7 – 9:00 pm
Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center

EMPTY BY DESIGN

Empty by Design movie still
Photo submitted

Two millennials find themselves back in the Philippines after years of being away. Feeling isolated, their friendship helps them find a sense of connection.

The closing night film is the result of good friends coming together to tell a beautiful story. This is the first feature film by writer, producer, director Andrea A. Walter, joining forces with bestie and fellow boba-fiends Osric Chau (Supernatural, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency), Christopher Pang (Crazy Rich Asians, Marco Polo), Dante Basco (Hook, A Million Little Things), Rhian Ramos (The Rich Man’s Daughter) and Madeleine Humphries (InstaDad).

SCREENING: Friday, May 10 – 7:00 pm
Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center

Tickets still available for select films and events at www.vcmedia.org/festival.

We’ll be doing LIVE updates from the 35th Annual LAAPFF, so don’t forget to follow Cold Tea Collective on social media:

Instagram @coldteacollective

Twitter @coldteamedia

Facebook – Cold Tea Collective

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People chatting at the Making It documentary screening.

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