For Asian and Asian American film-loving Austinites like us, there’s no better time than SXSW to catch films and events by AAPI creatives, including Austin filmmaker PJ Raval’s keynote and the “Crazy Rich Wakanda” panel featuring AAAFF board advisor Christine Hoang. To help you navigate all the exciting happenings in the city, we’ve curated a guide to AAPI-related films and events that we’re looking forward to. Check it out below:

JUMP TO:

Feature Films | Shorts & Music Videos | Panels & Events

Note: Some SXSW events require an SXSW badge for entry–be sure to double-check admission requirements for any events you hope to attend.

Feature Films

Narrative

GO BACK TO CHINA (Emily Ting)

COME AS YOU ARE
Dir: Richard Wong

Inspired by a true story – three young men with disabilities (Grant Rosenmeyer, Hayden Szeto, Ravi Patel) flee their overbearing parents for a road trip to a brothel in Montreal that caters to people with special needs, in order to lose their virginity and embrace their independence.

GO BACK TO CHINA
Dir: Emily Ting

The semi-autobiographical film follows spoiled rich girl Sasha Li (Anna Akana), who after blowing through most of her trust fund, is forced by her father (Richard Ng) to go back to China and work for the family toy business. What begins simply as a way to regain financial support soon develops into a life altering journey of self discovery, as Sasha discovers her passion for toy designing and learns to reconnect with her estranged family.

PORNO
Dir: Keola Racela

Abe is a burgeoning perv with a guilty conscience. Todd is Abe’s spazzed out BFF and partner in grime. Chaz is a girl with a boy’s name who hides her feelings behind a thick layer of goth eyeliner. Ricky is the star jock with a secret in his pants he dare not expose. When a remnant of the theater’s porno past surfaces, the kids are visited by a sex demon that gives them a taste of the dark side.

Documentary

LEAVE THE BUS THROUGH THE OPEN WINDOW (Andrew Hevia)

FOR SAMA
Dir. Waad al-Khateab, Edward Watts

A feature documentary that tells the astonishing story of a 26-year old female Syrian filmmaker, Waad al-Kateab, who filmed her life in rebel-held Aleppo through 5 years of the Syrian uprising. She fell in love, got married and had a daughter all whilst filming the violence raging around her and in particular documenting the challenges the conflict imposed on women and children.

LEAVE THE BUS THROUGH THE BROKEN WINDOW
Dir. Andrew Hevia

An American expat arrives in Hong Kong to make a documentary about an international art fair but finds himself out of his depth. He turns the camera on himself and the film becomes a deeply personal and unexpectedly comedic story about authenticity, heartbreak and that time he got lost in a shopping mall.

MR. JIMMY
Dir. Peter Michael Dowd

In snowbound Tokamachi, Japan, teenaged Akio Sakurai took refuge in his room, escaping to another world with a pair of headphones and a pile of Led Zeppelin records. Moving to Tokyo, Akio worked as a kimono salesman by day, but by night became “Mr. Jimmy,” adopting the guitar chops and persona of Jimmy Page. For 35 years, Akio recreated vintage Zeppelin concerts note-for-note in small Tokyo clubs, until the “real” Jimmy Page stopped by one night, and Akio’s life changed forever.

Sakurai will perform an acoustic set after the film’s premiere on March 8th. You can also catch him in concert at the Dirty Dog Bar on Wednesday, 3/13 (more information here).

Back to top

Shorts & Music Videos

RENEEPOPTOSIS (Renee Zhan)

Animated Shorts

All animated shorts below will be screened as part of the Animated Shorts Program:

RENEEPOPTOSIS
Dir: Renee Zhan

THE COIN
Dir: Siqi Song

Documentary Shorts

EXIT 12
Dir: Mohammad Gorjestani

GHOSTS OF SUGARLAND
Dir: Bassam Tariq

Music Videos

All music videos below will be screened at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar as part of the Music Video Program:

  • Sun. 3/10 5:15pm
  • Mon. 3/11 9:00pm

CHILDISH GAMBINO – THIS IS AMERICA
Dir: Hiro Murai

DHRUV VISVANATH – WILD
Dir: Tanvi Gandh

GAZ COOMBES – WALK THE WALK
Dir: Najeeb Tarazi

JAPANESE BREAKFAST – BOYISH
Dir: Michelle Zauner

GALENE (Emily Ma)

Narrative Shorts

MANILA IS FULL OF MEN NAMED BOY
Dir: Andrew Stephen Lee

NICE TALKING TO YOU
Dir: Saim Sadiq

YOUTH
Dir: Farida Zahran

Texas High School Shorts Program

The two narrative shorts below will screen during the Texas High School Shorts programs:

GALENE
Dir: Emily Ma

YELLOW FEVER
Dir: Michelle Liang

VR

This VR experience will be shown during the SXSW Virtual Cinema Program at the JW Marriott Griffin Hall:

  • 3/11 11:00am
  • 3/12 11:00am
  • 3/13 11:00am

HOME AFTER WAR
Dir: Gayatri Parameswaran, Felix Gaedtke

Back to top

Panels & Other Events

PJ Raval

Film Keynotes

PJ Raval
Mon. 3/10 | 11:00am-12:00pm | Austin Convention Center rm. 18ABCD

Named one of Out Magazine’s “Out 100”, PJ’s documentary film credits include Trinidad (Showtime, LOGO) and Before You Know It (PBS). PJ was a jury member for the Austin Asian American Film Festival in 201X.

Meetups

Asian American Artists and Entrepreneurs
Tue. 3/12 | 3:30-4:30pm | Fairmount Violet
Speakers:

  • Chloe Dao (fashion designer; Project Runway Season 2 winner)
  • Christine Hoang (founder, Color Arc Productions; AAAFF Board Advisor)

Bridging Diversity in the Film Industry
Sun. 3/10 | 11am-12pm | Fairmont Verbena
Speakers:

  • Angele Cooper (Alpha Female Films)
  • Allie Lane (Alpha Female Films)

Panels

Crazy Rich Wakanda: Building Buzz and Selling Seats
Mon. 3/11 | 3:30-4:30pm | Austin Convention Center rm. 13AB
Featuring:

  • Joi Childs
  • Christine Hoang (Color Arc Productions)
  • Frederick Joseph (We Have Stories, Inc.)
  • Nancy Wang Yuen (Biola University)

From creating viral social media movements like the #BlackPantherChallenge that crowdfunded $950,000 to send 73,000 kids to see the Black Panther movie worldwide, to organizing the largest Crazy Rich Asians Activation Event in the United States, this panel will discuss how they did the grassroots work to advance the #RepresentationMatters movement with calls to action that mobilized the community to buy tickets & sell out theaters for Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians.

Ensuring Diversity and Inclusion in the New Media Economy
Sat. 3/9 | 12:30pm-1:30pm | Austin Convention Center rm. 16AB
Featuring:

  • Erika Alexander (Color Farm Media)
  • Wendy Anderson
  • Gabriela Lugo (Revek Entertainment)
  • David Morgan (Multicultural Media Correspondents Association)
  • Jeff Yang (CNN)

This panel session is the next installment in our Media Diversity Solutions Discussion Series and is designed to provide journalists, storytellers, curators and media platform developers of color insights into current challenges and opportunities to profitably create, curate, and distribute news and scripted programming. The goal of this panel is to give the audience insights on what it takes to overcome these challenges, and to give MMCA greater awareness about how to most effectively work with media industry leaders and policymakers to support and scale efforts to increase media diversity.

Inclusion & Representation in Action in the Entertainment Industry
Sat. 3/9 | 3:30-4:30pm | Austin Convention Center rm. 11AB
Featuring The CW Network employees:

  • Nikechi Carroll
  • Nicole Maines
  • Candice Patton
  • Vincent Rodriguez III

Inclusion and representation are two of the most important issues facing the entertainment world today. The CW network dares to defy with its new social campaign celebrating all identities, all orientations, all choices and all possibilities.

The Blind Cook: MasterChef Winner, Christine Ha
Wed. 3/13 | 3:30-4:30pm | JW Marriott Salon FG
Featuring:

  • Christine Ha (The Blind Goat)
  • Jeff Yang (CNN)

This inspirational conversation will feature Christine Ha’s journey from overcoming odds as first-ever blind contestant to win “MasterChef” and become a NYT best-selling author and now a culinary envoy on behalf of the American Embassy as part of cultural diplomacy programs in Jordan, Serbia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, and Croatia.

Back to top