The Austin Asian American Film Festival has a mission to tell Asian and Asian American stories via media arts. The best in independent and mainstream film will be showcased by the AAAFF from December 7-10 at the AFS Cinema, highlighting the best in new Asian and Asian American cinema.
“This year’s program celebrates the past, present and future of Asian and Asian American cinema,” says AAAFF Programming Director Anand Modi. “Filmmakers from around the world are investigating history, reckoning with contemporary life, and presenting their visions of the coming years and decades. Once again, we’re excited to present work by established and emerging filmmakers who are telling important stories and exploring the boundaries of what movies can be.”
The festival kicks off with Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu’s “The Chinese Exclusion Act,” a film that examines the early Chinese American experience. For the first century of its existence, the U.S. had no legal restrictions on immigration. This all changed in the latter part of the 1800s, when anti-Chinese agitation by politicians, industrialists, laborers, and media led to federal laws targeting Chinese abroad and those already in the country. “The Chinese Exclusion Act” is a sweeping chronicle of the entire exclusion era, through historian interviews and never-before-seen archival material.
Another anticipated title is “Who Killed Vincent Chin?” In 1982, Vincent Chin was brutally beaten by unemployed autoworker Ronald Ebens. Four days later Chin died, and Ebens was sentenced to three years’ probation and fined $3,000, but never saw a day in prison. Christine Choy and Renee Tajima-Peña’s film explores the economic decline of the auto industry and the failures of the justice system through the public outcry and national mobilization of a pan-Asian American civil rights movement.
The Austin Asian American Film Festival offers badges, single tickets and free screenings. Visit aaafilmfest.com for more information.