SAAFF 2018 – Portraits of Us
$12 General Admission
The Seattle Asian American Film Festival (SAAFF) showcases feature-length and short format films by and about Asian Americans across North America, with an emphasis on filmmakers from the Pacific Northwest.
SAAFF is the only film festival in Seattle to provide a space for Asian American voices, perspectives and histories by screening independent films that reflect the diversity and richness of the city’s Asian American community.
Northwest Film Forum is proud to co-present Portraits of Us, a collection of short films profiling extraordinary people, with SAAFF.
* Ticketing for this event is through SAAFF, not NWFF!
The Flip Side (Val Wang, US, 2016, 25 min)
The Flip Side presents the increasingly globalized circus world, where disparate people and acrobatic cultures come together, clash, and ultimately transform each other. We meet Daqi, a Chinese circus artist who leaves home at age 9 to train at an elite state-run circus academy. Restless after ascending to the zenith of the Chinese circus world, he leaves his stable job to perform with Cirque du Soleil. Though Daqi possesses extraordinary technical skills, he has a difficult journey ahead to develop an artist’s expressive power. He eventually collides with Shana Carroll, a trapeze star who began with the San Francisco-based Pickle Family Circus, where she trains with a Chinese coach and even marries the coach’s Chinese protégé, then has a stint with Cirque du Soleil. Daqi grows as an artist when he joins Shana’s circus troupe, 7 Fingers, whose intimate circus shows are based on the individual artists’ stories.
Lady Eva (Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson & Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, US, 2016, 11 min)
In Lady Eva, a brave young transgender woman sets off on a journey to become her true self in the conservative Pacific Island Kingdom of Tonga – with a little inspiration from Tina Turner along the way. The story is told in the context of her involvement in the Miss Galaxy beauty pageant, where Tonga’s “leitis” participate even when family members do not approve.
Getting Lao’d: The Rise of Modern Lao Music and Films (Steve Arounsack, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 2017, 40 min)
After 25 years of silence, the private Lao music and film industries are reawakening. Filmed over 10 years, the documentary Getting Lao’d: The Rise of Modern Lao Music and Films follows a new generation of young pioneers as they reimagine Lao media in a Communist country. The film, featuring many of the country’s most prominent musicians and filmmakers, is perhaps the most comprehensive examination of the rise of modern music and films in Laos. Many neighboring countries in Southeast Asia have seen their music and film industries remain vibrant. Laos, however, remains shrouded in mystery due to its land-locked geography and communist regime. This documentary provides extremely rare insights on a media landscape that tipped the cultural fulcrum. This is a story about a small country with a big heart.