Congratulations to Don Young and Lisa Nguyen who wed on Saturday, October 30th. They had a beautiful ceremony at a buddhist temple in San Jose and a wedding banquet at the Golden Wok in Mountain View. Don, who is the PTV Director at NAATA met Lisa when she was a volunteer for the SFIAAFF.



Today we went to Noon to begin the process of choosing the look and feel of our Festival's campaign. The colors and themes will be echoed throughout the year's collateral. So, it's really important to us, debating and tweaking and getting "what if scenarios" to slight adjustments.

We ask questions such as: "Where is the Festival?" "Where has it been and where is it going?"

Chi-hui said it was one of the most important meetings of the year as it really drives our image and holds our marker in time.

"2003 was the year of the director and audience chair in conversation"

"2000 was the Japanimation"

Noon is great - they have really compelling images and design elements, elements that pinpoint our movements as a Festival. It feels very edge of precipice-esque this discussing and debating the relative merits of each mock-up.

"I tell you if we choose the RIGHT campaign the Festival will be perfect!"

"But what is right? What is perfect?"

What we choose, of course.


Coffee break

So I was sitting in Starbucks, drinking my 2nd coffee fix for the day and was trying to let my mind wander onto non related work issues. I was going to give myself a 15 min break. Sitting across the aisle from me was a man in khaki pants and a white button down shirt and a woman sitting across from him. After a few minutes I could tell that he was a Starbucks manager and the woman was a newly hired Starbucks employee. I tried to not eavesdrop…but my interest peaked as the do’s and don’ts (mostly don’ts) rules of Starbucks kept pouring out of the manager’s training spiel. Here were some of the rules:

-You must wear solid black or white button down shirts (no logos of any kind, turtlenecks ok).
-No hats (this includes sunglasses worn on the head as a decorative headband)
-No nose piercings
-Dyed hair color such as pink, blue, green: forbidden

-Allowed to have a cell phone on, but may not answer it while speaking with a customer
-Must leave the floor if you need to talk on the cell phone
-Phone must be on vibrate ring or off.

-You can only date someone who is on the same power level as you. (cashier+cashier=fine, cashier=manager=not fine)
-If you want to date someone who is at a higher level than you, you must be transferred
(this is so favoritism or risks of sexual harassment don’t happen)

I could keep going, but I think you get the idea. My mind returned to work as it normally does even if I’m not physically in the office. Part of my job is to hire and train seasonal staff and interns. I am always looking to improve and one area I plan to focus on this year is better training. Listening to this Starbucks manager, I thought…wow. Here’s the difference between corporate and non-profit. So many rules and regulations. We have a more of a...throw them in the deep end of the water and hope they can swim, than any formal training. We do have manuals and evaluations from past years and a timeline that we give to our new staff. But even this is more of a general, broad stroke view of their position. How they chose to budget their time and handle their work load is up to the individual. This can be good and bad. Good in that we are giving the message that we are all adults, we trust you and believe you will complete your work. Bad in some people need more guidance and feel this independent attitude leaves room for more misunderstandings, which lead to mistakes (since what’s expected was never told). So I thought about this…what is the best way to train an employee? I also thought about not just training, but what the training says about the work environment. Lots of rules indicate a tense, possibly even resentful work environment. No rules could be more relaxed but could lead to lack of accountability. Unless you have superb people on staff…which we’ve been very lucky with. (intentional pat on the back) Anyway, my fifteen minutes were up and I headed back to the office plugging this away in my mental "think about later" file.


Mill Valley Film Festival

File Under: Festival Planning

Last night, Lynne and I made our way over to Mill Valley for the Mill Valley Film Festival which had two commendable opening night films, I (heart) Huckabees and Finding Neverland. It sounds (and is frankly) glamorous that we can attend Opening Night celebrations as part of our research for work.

Unfortunately, yet expectedly our conversations usually go something like this:

Lynne: "Interesting, they had people saving those reserved seats on every row."

Me: "Yeah, did you notice if they said thank you to the sponsor in their opening speech?"

At the party, Lynne is checking the set-up of the room and I am asking the workers if they are a sponsor or vendor. Yeah, we're party animals here, really. No, really.

Mill Valley put on an excellent Opening Night and their program looks fantastic. NAATA is co-presenting A Tale of Two Sisters at the beautiful Castro Theatre and I'll be in the audience watching. See you at the movies.


Fall Asian Film Series

File Under: Programming

We sometimes forget to post because we're working on stuff (and sometimes our computers are ever-so-slow).. But exciting things are ahead for the Festival staff as we head into the fall. Mainly our Fall Asian Film Series at the lovely Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Here is the brief synopses of the programs:

October 5, 19, 26, 2004
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission Street, San Francisco

Tuesday, October 5, 7:30pm
Dir. Victor Vu (2004, Vietnam/USA, Video, 105mins)

Memories and obsessions haunt a struggling writer as he meets two mysterious women—one a spirit, the other harboring her own—in this eerie and chilling ghost story. Set in Vietnam but shot entirely in Southern California, SPIRITS is a karmic parable which uncovers a troubled history between this world and the other.
Co-presented by: East Meets West Foundation, Association for Viet Arts
In Person: Director Victor Vu
Tuesday, October 19, 7:30pm
Dir. Cheuk Kwan (2003, Canada, Video, 72mins)

In this fascinating exploration of the Chinese diaspora in the Carribean, director Cheuk Kwan uses the lens of the family-run Chinese restaurant to examine the community halls and cemeteries of Cuba’s Barrio Chino, the legendary Soong’s Great Wall restaurant in Trinidad, and the Hakka-Creole-Indian mixings of Mauritius’ food, culture and people.
Co-presented by: Chinese Culture Center.
Tuesday, October 26, 7:30pm
Dir. Prachya Pinkaew (2003, Thailand, 35mm, 105mins)

Watch out Jackie Chan—here comes Thailand’s muay thai superstar, Tony Jaa. When Ting (Jaa) journeys to Bangkok to retrieve his village’s stolen sacred Buddha, he encounters one inconceivable obstacle after another, from the circus-like gauntlet along Bangkok’s food stalls to a mind-boggling tuk tuk chase. Jaa delivers jaw-dropping flurries of elbows and knees in one of the most exciting action performances in recent memory.


$8 General Admission
$7 NAATA, YBCA Members, Students/Seniors

BY PHONE: 415.978.ARTS (2787), daily 11am – 6pm, no service fee

BY FAX: 415.978.5210, 24 hours a day, $5 per-order service fee

ONLINE: www.ybca.org , 24 hours a day, $5 per-order service fee plus $1.50 handling fee per ticket

IN PERSON: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Box Office
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Galleries and Forum
Building 701 Mission Street @ Third Street
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 12pm to 6pm, no service fee

Go and see hot Asian and Asian American Cinema before your neighbors do.