Austin, TX – A pioneering Chinese American artist behind one of Disney’s great animated classics, the extraordinary life journey of a teenaged convict turned activist, and the latest film from a world-renowned Japanese filmmaker headline the 2016 Austin Asian American Film Festival (AAAFF), now in its ninth year of showcasing the best in Asian and Asian American cinema!
This year’s festival will be held from November 3-6 at its new Blanton Auditorium venue, centrally located on the UT campus at 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Austin, TX, 78701. Festival badges and passes are available now, with early bird discounts until September 30. Individual tickets will be available in October with the announcement of the full lineup.
The 2016 headliners are:
TYRUS (Opening Film) – Tyrus Wong went from the notorious immigrant holding center on Angel Island as a ten-year-old boy to the drawing boards of Walt Disney Studios, where his concept art became the key but unacknowledged visual influence on BAMBI. Still active at age 105, Wong has lived long enough to receive his due credit—not least from Pamela Tom’s wide-ranging documentary, which celebrates Wong’s achievements in animation and far beyond.
BREATHIN’: THE EDDY ZHENG STORY (Centerpiece) – A 16-year-old immigrant receives a seven-years-to-life sentence for kidnapping and armed robbery. Where some might give in to anger or despair, Eddy Zheng educated himself and organized courses for his fellow inmates, earning support from the public and enmity from prison officials. This portrait by Ben Wang captures Zheng in all his complexity, tracing his remarkable journey from an adolescent criminal to a respected advocate for prison reform and youth violence prevention.
AFTER THE STORM (Closing Film) – Japan’s most acclaimed living filmmaker delivers his latest feature, hailed by audiences in Cannes and Toronto as well as its home country. Hirokazu Koreeda follows last year’s OUR LITTLE SISTER with another sensitive take on a divided family, in which a typhoon forces a sudden reunion between a wastrel private eye, his elderly mother, his ex-wife, and his unfamiliar son. Starring Hiroshi Abe (STILL WALKING), Yōko Maki (LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON), and Kirin Kiki (OUR LITTLE SISTER), AFTER THE STORM confirms Koreeda’s place alongside Ozu as a preeminent chronicler of family life, Japanese or otherwise.
The full festival lineup will include a cross-section of feature films from Asian and Asian American filmmakers, and the extensive shorts program will be accompanied for the first time by a cash prize for best narrative and documentary shorts, to be awarded by a jury of local community figures and film professionals. For details and updates, visit the AAAFF website at aaafilmfest.com.
Austin Asian American Film Festival (AAAFF)
Thursday to Sunday, November 3-6
Blanton Auditorium, 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Austin, TX, 78701
A selection of Asian and Asian American films from established masters and exciting newcomers alike, including the documentary TYRUS (about famed ex-Disney artist Tyrus Wong) and Hirokazu Koreeda’s AFTER THE STORM. Festival badges and passes available now, with early bird discounts until September 30. Regular tickets will be available in October. For details and tickets, visit aaafilmfest.com.
The Austin Asian American Film Festival (AAAFF) promotes Asian and Asian American cultures and experiences through the media arts by showcasing top quality cinema and supporting the creative talents of Asian American artists. www.aaafilmfest.com