San Diego Asian Film Festival celebrates its sweet 16

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San Diego Asian Film Festival celebrates its sweet 16

Samantha Aviotti and Faith Orcino

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Non-profit media arts organization Pacific Arts Movement will present the 16th annual San Diego Asian Film Festival from Nov. 5 through Nov. 14.

The largest exhibition of Asian cinema in the western United States will screen the award winning film, “Miss India America.” The event will host over 130 films from 20 countries, screening at 5 different venues: UltraStar Mission Valley, La Paloma Theatre, San Diego Marriott Mission Valley, Museum of Photographic Arts and UCSD Calit2 Atkinson Hall Auditorium.

Aside from incredible award-winning films, the festival will include panels with actor-comedian Dr. Ken Jeong, well-known for his role in “Community” and the “Hangover” films, and Buzzfeed Videos producer Eugene Lee Yang. They will share information about their current projects and the growing opportunities for Asians in today’s media.

“ABC reached out to us after the success of the “‘Fresh off the Boat’ panel and premier last year,” Brian Hu, Artistic Director of Pac-Arts who has been involved with the organization since 2011, said.

He mentioned that the panels are one of their fastest selling events, known for being very electric and intimate. Hu also said that he wants the festival to appeal to the large audience and bring in a more diverse crowd who can get over the stigma and fear of approaching other films in different languages.

When asked about the process for bringing a variety of films for the local crowd, Hu said, “We allow ourselves to be surprised.”

According to him, they receive several hundred film submissions and only about 10 percent to 15 percent of them go through to become a part of the festival program. While most of their entries are first-timers, he said it makes him happy to see returning creators.

In advising students who are interested in pursuing a career and education on film production, Hu said, “Short programs are the best way to find out [about] a school’s film program.”

Ticket prices may range higher for special events, but general admission is $12 per movie ($9 for members). For those on a budget, the SDAFF is offering free movies at 4 p.m. on weekdays and festival six-packs. Special discounts for students, military, senior and groups will be available at the door.

If purchasing online, use the code Sweet16A to get 16 percent off movie tickets. The San Diego Asian Film Festival offers a unique opportunity to experience world premieres of exciting new films from around the globe.

For more information, visit the festival website at

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