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Welcome to the 19th San Diego Asian Film Festival

October 9, 2018

What a crazy rich summer it’s been for Asian American cinema. Two features directed by and primarily featuring Asian Americans cracked the top four in weekly box office, and one has gone on to becoming the highest grossing romantic comedy in a decade. With any historic achievement though comes the question: what’s next? We can wait for Hollywood to now invest in more Asian American stories, but we’ve seen that enthusiasm fizzle before.

Instead, let’s turn to the bedrock of Asian American cinematic talent: the independent filmmakers. Let’s acknowledge the veterans who never needed a #goldopen to announce their artistry. Directors like H.P. Mendoza, Stephanie Wang-Breal, Tanuj Chopra, and Patrick Wang, who all return in 2018 with tenacious new features that look and sound like nothing else in mainstream cinema. And let’s continue to herald the emergence of new talents in documentary, animation, narrative, and experimental filmmaking, those working in the feature and short forms, who realize that Hollywood needs them more than they need Hollywood.

And in the end, we are reminded we need them too. These are the filmmakers whose independence as artists fuel their nothing-to-lose spirits and dare them to make singular statements. After a historic summer, we return to our regular, bold, spectacular programming in the fall. Filmmakers, audiences: welcome back to the San Diego Asian Film Festival.

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