THE 34TH LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES THE AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS WITH “SEARCHING” – DIRECTED BY ANEESH CHAGANTY – TAKING HOME AUDIENCE AWARD FOR NORTH AMERICAN NARRATIVE FEATURE FILM
“MINDING THE GAP,” “IN THE LIFE OF MUSIC,” AND “LATE LIFE: THE CHIEN-MING WANG STORY” ALSO WIN AUDIENCE PRIZES
“FOR IZZY,” “FISH BONES,” “CALL HER GANDA,” “MINDING THE GAP “WARU,” “IN THE LIFE OF MUSIC,” “PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF DESIRE,” AND
“BECOMING WHO I WAS” ARE HONORED WITH FESTIVAL JURY PRIZES
May 17, 2018 (Los Angeles, CA) – Presented by Visual Communications, the 34th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) came to a close this past weekend and announced their audience awards for best films at this year’s film extravaganza that began on May 3 and ended on May 12, 2018.
The thriller, mystery film “SEARCHING” – directed by first time feature filmmaker Aneesh Chaganty – won the LAAPFF Audience Award for Outstanding North American Narrative Feature Film. The film, starring John Cho and Debra Messing, was a double award winner at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, as well. Audiences at LAAPFF were impressed by the cast, the screenplay, and the direction of the film that centered on a father’s search for his missing teenage daughter and has to turn to the Internet to try and find her. Audiences were abuzz about the film throughout the eight-day festival. “SEARCHING” will open nationally in August in theaters through Screen Gems.
The personal documentary “MINDING THE GAP” – directed by Bing Liu – won the LAAPFF Audience Award for Outstanding North American Documentary Feature. Audiences were moved by the filmmaker’s intimate story of three friends who come of age in their twenties and have to face growing up and possibly giving up their skateboarding days. The film also won the LAAPFF Special Jury Prize for Best Director and was an award winner at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, as well.
In the International Narrative Feature category, the LAAPFF Audience Award went to “IN THE LIFE OF MUSIC” – directed by Caylee So and Visal Sok – for telling a powerful inter-generational tale that explores love, war, and a family’s relationship to the song Champa Battambang, made famous by Sinn Sisamouth, the King of Cambodian music. The film depicts the lives of people whose world is inevitably transformed by the emergence of the Khmer Rouge. The film also won the LAAPFF Special Jury Prize for Best Director in the International Narrative Feature category.
In the International Documentary Feature category, the audience gave the award to “LATE LIFE: THE CHIEN-MING WANG STORY” – directed by Frank W. Chen. This moving film chronicles the life of Taiwanese pro-baseball player Chien-Ming Wang, who was once so dominating on the mound that he was named New York Yankees’ starting pitcher for the inaugural game at New Yankee Stadium in 2009. But after a terrible ankle injury, Wang’s pitches lost their effectiveness, and he soon fell off major league rosters. LATE LIFE follows Wang through his grueling workout routines and unglamorous minor league pit stops as he mounts his remarkable comeback. He is helped along the way by his loyal agent, trainers, Yankees fans, and his family, creating a de-facto support network that keeps him going.
The LAAPFF Jury prizes announced on Friday, May 11th are as follows:
“FOR IZZY,” written and directed by Alex Chu, was awarded the LAAPFF Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding North American Narrative Feature, while the Best Director honor for North American Narrative went to Joanne Park for her film “FISH BONES.” Actress Adelina Amosco was selected for a Special Jury prize for Breakout Performance for her work in “THE FEVER AND THE FRET.” A Special Jury prize for Best Cinematography was awarded to Eunsoo Cho and Jose Asunción for lensing “AUGUST AT AKIKO’S.”
In the non-fiction feature section, “CALL HER GANDA” – directed by PJ Raval – took home the Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding North American Documentary Feature, and Best Director was given to Bing Liu for his personal film “MINDING THE GAP.” The jury gave a Special Jury Mention to “ANOTE’S ARK” from director Matthieu Rytz and honored Nathan Fitch for Best Cinematography for his work on “ISLAND SOLDIER.” The jury awarded the Best Editing Award to Alejandro Valdes-Rochin and Tom Maroney for their outstanding work on “SCIENCE FAIR.”
This year, LAAPFF also recognized outstanding international films. In the International Narrative Competition, the Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding International Narrative Feature went to “WARU,” co-directed by a group of all female directors – Chelsea Cohen, Ainsley Gardiner, Casey Kaa, Renae Maihi, Awanui Simich-Pene, Briar Grace- Semith, Paula Whetu and Katie Wolfe. The Best Director Award went to Caylee So and Visal Sok for “IN THE LIFE OF MUSIC,” and a Special Jury Mention was awarded to “KISS & SPELL,” directed by the late Stephane Gauger. The Best Acting Award in this competition was given to Timothy Castillo for his performance in “NEOMANILA.”
In the International Documentary Feature competition, the jury awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding International Documentary Feature to “PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF DESIRE,” directed by Hao Wu. The Special Jury Prize for Best Director was bestowed on Jin Jeon and Moon Chang-Yang for their film “BECOMING WHO I WAS.” That same film and those filmmakers were also given the Best Cinematography Award, and the award for Best Editing was given to Hyewon Jee and Wongjung Bae for “SINGING WITH ANGRY BIRD.” This year, the jury created and gave a Special Jury Mention for Most Urgent and Cautionary Film to “THE CLEANERS,” directed by Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck.
LAAPFF is proud to be an Academy Award® qualifying Festival for the Short Film Awards. Recipient(s) of the Film Festival’s Golden Reel Award for Narrative Short Film will be eligible for consideration in the Animated Short Film/Live-Action Short Film category of the Academy Awards®. The film that won this year’s Golden Reel Award and is now eligible to qualify in the Animated Short Film/Live-Action Short Film category of the Academy Awards® is “SILENCE (MAUN),” directed by Priyanka Singh. The jury also gave out a Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Directing to Paris Zarcilla for “POMMEL.”
The Golden Reel for Outstanding Documentary Short Film went to “THREE BOYS MANZANAR,” directed by Preeti Deb.
The annual Linda Mabalot New Directors/New Visions Award went to director Georgia Fu for her film “MISS WORLD,” presented for demonstrating an innovative and creative use of cinematic language.
The 34th LAAPFF jurors included: Kennedy Kabasares, Ada Tseng, Marie Jamora, Hayley Pappas, Alex Demyanenko, Blessing Yen, Freeson Wang, Tanuj Chopra, Brian Yang, Christine Bacareza Balance, Yu Gu, AJ Calomay, Micki Davis, Dean Yamada, and Lucy Mukerjee Brown.
COMPLETE LIST OF WINNERS:
LAAPFF AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS
NORTH AMERICAN NARRATIVE FEATURE
SEARCHING Directed by Aneesh Chaganty
NORTH AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
MINDING THE GAP Directed by Bing Liu
INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE FEATURE
IN THE LIFE OF MUSIC Directed by Caylee So and Visal Sok
INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
LATE LIFE: THE CHIEN-MING WANG STORY Directed by Frank W. Chen
LAAPFF JURY AWARD WINNERS
NORTH AMERICAN NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION AWARDS
Grand Jury Award FOR IZZY, Directed by Alex Chu
Best Director Joanne Park, FISHBONES
Breakout Performance Adelina Amosco, THE FEVER & THE FRET
Best Cinematography Eunsoo Cho & Jose Asunción, AUGUST AT AKIKO’S
NORTH AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION AWARDS
Grand Jury Award CALL HER GANDA, Directed by PJ Raval
Best Director Bing Liu, MINDING THE GAP
Special Mention ANOTE’S ARK, Directed by Matthieu Rytz
Best Editing Alejandro Valdes-Rochin & Tom Maroney, SCIENCE FAIR
Best Cinematography Nathan Fitch, ISLAND SOLDIER
INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION AWARDS
Grand Jury Award PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF DESIRE, Directed by Hao Wu
Best Director Jin Jeon & Moon Chang-Yong, BECOMING WHO I WAS
Best Editing Hyewon Jee & Wonjung Bae, SINGING WITH ANGRY BIRD
Best Cinematography Jeon Jin & Moon Chang-yong, BECOMING WHO I WAS
Special Jury Mention – Most Urgent and Cautionary Film
THE CLEANERS, Directed by Hans Block & Moritz Riesewieck
INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE COMPETITION AWARDS
Grand Jury Award WARU, Directed by Chelsea Cohen, Ainsley Gardiner, Casey Kaa, Renae Maihi, Awanui Simich-Pene, Briar Grace-Smith, Paula Whetu & Katie Wolfe
Best Director Caylee So & Visal Sok, IN THE LIFE OF MUSIC
Best Actor Timothy Castillo, NEOMANILA
Special Mention KISS & SPELL, Directed by Stephane Gauger
SHORTS NARRATIVE COMPETITION AWARDS
Golden Reel Award (Excellence in Narrative/Animated Short Film)
SILENCE (MAUN), Directed by Priyanka Singh
Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Directing
Paris Zarcilla, POMMEL
SHORTS DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION AWARDS
Golden Reel Award (Excellence in Documentary Short Film)
THREE BOYS MANZANAR, Directed by Preeti Deb
LINDA MABALOT NEW DIRECTORS/NEW VISIONS AWARD
Linda Mabalot New Directors/New Visions Award (Innovative Use of Cinematic Language)
MISS WORLD, Directed by Georgia Fu
ABOUT VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS
Visual Communications’ mission is to develop and support the voices of Asian American & Pacific Islander filmmakers and media artists who empower communities and challenge perspectives. The organization turns 50 in 2020. Learn more at www.vconline.org.
ABOUT LA ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL
Presented by Visual Communications, the 34th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival took place May 3 – May 12, 2018. LAAPFF is the premiere showcase for the best and brightest of Asian Pacific American and international cinema. The largest festival of its kind in Southern California, LAAPFF is also a proud Academy Award®-qualifying film festival for the Short Film Awards. For program information, a complete listing of sponsors and partners, and to purchase tickets, please visit festival.vconline.org.
The Festival is proud to be partnering with our following screening venues across Los Angeles and Southern California.
- Aratani Theatre @ JACCC – Little Tokyo (DTLA) 244 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
- Aratani Hall at JANM (Japanese American National Museum) 100 N Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
- Tateuchi Democracy Forum @ NCPD 111 N. Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
- Downtown Independent – Downtown L.A. (DTLA) 251 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
- CGV Cinemas – Koreatown – Mid-Wilshire 621 Western Avenue (between 6th Street and Wilshire Blvd.), Los Angeles, CA 90005
- Directors Guild of America – West Hollywood 7920 Sunset Blvd. (at Hayworth), West Hollywood, CA 90046
- CGV Cinemas 621 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005
- Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center 1000 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015
- AMC Dine-In Sunset 5 8000 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046
- East West Players 120 Judge John Aiso St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
The 2018 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is sponsored by:
Directors Guild of America
Department of Philippines Tourism
Center Theatre Group
City National Bank
Creative Artists Agency
The Famous Group
Writers Guild of America
Go Little Tokyo/METRO
Kondo Wealth Advisors
GOVERNMENT: National Endowment for the Arts; California Arts Council; Dept. of Cultural Affairs; Los Angeles County Arts Commission; City of Los Angeles; HCNC; Councilmember David Ryu, District 4
FOUNDATION: Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences; Aratani Foundation; Asian Pacific Community Fund; Screen Actors Guild-Producers Industry Advancement & Cooperative Fund
MEDIA: KORE Asian Media; Angry Asian Man; This Filipino American Life; Potluck Podcast Collective; Pacific Rim Video Press; International Documentary Association; Giant Robot Media
IN KIND: Asahi; Boos Philly; Far Bar; First Street Catering; The Park’s Finest; Passion Planner; Chung Jung One; OkiPoki; Meiji; The Freezin’ Point; AFC Soy Foods; Cafe Dulce; Found Coffee; Creme Caramel; Yachak; La Colombe Draft Latte; Little Fluffy Head; Tanduay Rum; Ralph Smyth; Sun Noodle; G&B Coffee; Kindness & Mischief; KIND; Spitz; Fugetsu-Do; LT Vibes; Wolf and Crane; KASIH; Five Star Moving; Miyako Hotel; Hotel Indigo; Ninong’s Pastries & Cafe
VENUE: CGV Cinemas; Downtown Independent; Directors Guild of America; Japanese American Cultural & Community Center; Japanese American National Museum; Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center; AMC Sunset 5; East West Players; 341 FSN