Volunteers are great! The annual SFIAAFF Volunteer Appreciation BBQ went off without a hitch. The weather cooperated and we got only slightly grey skies. Charlotte Gutierrez, 2005 Volunteer Coordinator, was hostess for the day's activities: including barbecue by Taro, Khristine, Eddie, Seema, Jesse and Chi-hui; a raffle for unused vouchers put together by awesome Operations Coordinator, JC Rafferty; and well-manned bar by Guest Services Coordinator extraordinaire, Phoebe Tooke. Print Traffic Sam Rypinski, Events Assistant Philip, and yours truly - Sponsorship Manager - played back-up to the day's festivities. Music via turntable and powerbook was courtesy of the ever-supportive Brent Hall and his group of friends.

Jay Jao kindly brought his camera (photo credit above) and Ted Jocson (another great SFIAAFF photographer) came and weighed in on their thoughts about community and the 2005 Festival.

The event had the joyous feeling of a wrap party. We thank all our volunteers without whom our Festival would not be possible. :-)



A brief Festival wrap-up meeting as we prepare for the last two weeks for the temporary staff. There was a question about highlights from the 2005 SFIAAFF.

Chi-hui enjoyed the Q&A for The Motel, when the young actor was asked about the masturbation scene and what his mom thought.

I enjoyed the The Year of the Yao Q&A when the question of Yao's opinions about Asian Americans came up and Chris Chen (the lone Asian American producer onstage) was forced to answer the question as the microphone became a hot potato for the non-Asian filmmakers and MC onstage.

There were also stories of great volunteers. Which really was one of the best things about the 2005 Festival.

Now we dig in for two more weeks to thank the people we couldn't accomplish this without.


Opening Night!


I’m still a fan first, I realized this as I tried to sneak photos at both the Opening Night film and gala. Joan Chen, Michele Krusiec, and Lynne Chan were in attendance for their film, SAVING FACE. Written and directed by Alice Wu, the story is about a pregnant unwed middle-aged mother and her closeted lesbian daughter.

Joan Chen

Michele Krusiec
Working the sponsor will call desk at the Castro Theatre, I realized I had headset envy.

Joe Flores with headset

It's great to start off a film festival with a sold-out show.


The "S" is for Super



The volunteers lastnight, rocked! They stuffed a little over 1,200 bags, and we're talking small items here, in under 5 hours. Wowzers!


The end product was very many orderly piles of canvas bags.

Thank you to David, Ken, Curtis, Tracy, Paula, Bonnie, Jocelyn, Candace, Jason, Lucy, Lucy's boyfriend (sorry I didn't get your name), Derek, Alex, Tomoyo, Mario, and Amanda - you guys are fabulous!


Movement of items

Castro gift bag move

Khristine and I helped the movers move hundreds of boxes filled with items for the Opening Night gift bags into the Castro Theatre.

Tomorrow, with an army of volunteers, we stuff those gift bags.


Three days



  1. We're into the final countdown now. My next two days will be filled with tying up loose ends, writing specific sponsorship operation schedules, last minute ticket comps, and gift bags. So many gift bag items.
  2. Dealing with ticket comps for sponsors is a lot harder than you ever think it will be. Paper tickets translates directly to tracking more paperwork. One does a mail-out every single day with the hope that tickets will safely reach their destination.
  3. The Festival staff had a social on Sunday. I was the blow (a kick) that snapped the pinata.
  4. Looking forward to the guests who are scheduled to be in town for the SFIAAFF: Jessica Yu, Sung Kang, Curtis Choy, Alice Wu, Joan Chen, Michelle Krusiec, Him Mark Lai, Margaret Leng Tan, Victor Vu, IQU, Seksu Roba, and Dan the Automator. (I'm sure I'm forgetting someone...)


The Insider

Sort of. I'm not the programmer extraordinaire, but I've seen a handful of movies and I do have picks for the SFIAAFF this year.

In no particular order:
  • SAVING FACE (Opening Night, March 10, 7pm, Castro Theatre) -- Joan Chen does a great comical turn as a middle-aged mother who is coming to terms with her own choices about an indiscretion and the fact that her daughter is a lesbian, played by Michelle Krusiec. (Director and cast are scheduled to be in attendance at the screening and also at the Asian Art Museum.)*
  • TURTLES CAN FLY (Tuesday, March 15, 6:30pm, AMC Kabuki 8 Theatres) -- An amazing film that stars Kurdish-Iraqian child non-actors and their (very rough) lives the weeks leading up to the US invasion of Iraq. This is the movie from Iraq that you've heard so much about.*
  • MUSIC VIDEO ASIA (Monday, March 14, 8:45pm, AMC Kabuki 8 Theatres) -- Videos from your favorite Asian/Asian American Indie rock artists, including Guitar Wolf, Dealership, Citizens Here and Abroad, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.*
  • DUMPLINGS (Saturday, March 12, 9:45pm, Castro Theatre and Sunday, March 13, 8:10pm Pacific Film Archive) -- Directed by Fruit Chan and starring Bai Ling(who has now promised to be in attendance!!!) Dumplings in an excerpt of the life of a former abortion doctor and her specialty "youth rejuvenating" dumplings which she sells at a high premium. My favorite cinematographer, Christopher Doyle, shot this - he's known for intense color washes and interesting angles. He makes everything look gorgeous.*
  • SOCERESS OF THE NEW PIANO (Sunday, March 13, Castro Theatre) Documentary about the toy pianist, Margaret Leng Tan. Tan will be in the audience and will give a performance before the screening! How cool is that?
  • THE MOTEL (Closing Night, Thursday, March 17, AMC Kabuki 8 Theatres) Great coming of age film from director Michael Kang. It follows an adolescent, Ernest, as he bumbles his way through the mundanity of living in suburbia at the motel that his family runs. he meets a new motel resident and they become friends as they both struggle with where they are in their respective lives. Super hotty, Sung Kang, from BLT will be in attendance as will the actor who plays the protagonist, Ernest, and director Michael Kang.*

* I've seen this movie.



San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival
Presented by Asia Street on International Channel

UNLEASHED - Starring Jet Li
France/UK 2005 | 102mins | 35mm Color

Special Sneak Screening
MON 03.14 9:45PM
AMC Kabuki 8 Theatres

Jet Li teams with director Louis Leterrier (THE TRANSPORTER) and
arguably the most eagerly anticipated of Li's films made outside of Hong Kong/China.

Raised like a dog and forced to fight in death-matches all his life, Danny (Li) gets a new leash on life when he befriends a blind piano teacher (Morgan Freeman) and his young friend (Kerry Condon). He is forced to choose between his newly found humanity and the life he escaped when re-captured by his former master Bart (Bob Hoskins).

UNLEASHED boasts an original soundtrack by Massive Attack and action sequences-choreographed by the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping (THE FIST OF LEGEND, THE MATRIX)-that should satisfy Jet Li fans who have been disappointed by Hollywood productions that have failed to take advantage of his tremendous physical abilities. But those scenes are also woven into a dramatic narrative that showcases some surprisingly nuanced acting from the action star. UNLEASHED may well be Jet Li's most accomplished performance to date.

The San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, runs March 10-17, 2005 at the AMC Kabuki 8 Theatres, 1881 Post Street, and the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street in San Francisco; and the Pacific Film Archive, 2575 Bancroft Way in Berkeley and March 18-20 at the Camera 12 Cinemas, 201 South Second Street in San Jose.

For more information, please telephone (415) 865-1588 or visit www.naatanet.org/festival.

[From a press release Chi-hui Yang sent out earlier this morning.]


We start soon - 8 days until showtime.

Tomorrow I hang banners at the Kabuki 8 Theatres and I can already feel it clicking in, this automatic-drone mode of just doing.

Here's hoping we see you at the movies!