October 5, 2023
Is it strange that three of the Asian American features this year have the word “home” in their titles? Or that films from around the world, whether AGRA from India or CONCRETE UTOPIA from South Korea, or the classics THE FALL OF THE I-HOTEL and HITO HATA and the contemporary HOME IS A HOTEL, are explicitly about housing crises, real and imagined? Housing is on the mind, especially in a city recently named by US News & World Report as the country’s most expensive city to live in. Asian and Asian American cinemas are traditionally obsessed with family, but today we can’t take for granted the houses, condos, and SROs that provide the shelter and stage our domestic narratives.
This year’s San Diego Asian Film Festival has a new home. After 22 wonderful years at the Hazard Center in Mission Valley, we were briefly swept asea, a consequence of Hollywood shuffles made complicated by the WGA and SAG strikes. But now we are back ashore, the new tenants of the grand Edwards Mira Mesa, in one of San Diego’s most vibrant Asian neighborhoods. In a city where rent is high and movie theaters take up prime real estate, we’re grateful to be here in the heart of what they call “Manila Mesa,” across the street from an H Mart and by a Banh Mi Blvd. So welcome in – shoes optional – cozy up to a film and make yourself at home.
– Brian Hu, Artistic Director