2012 Boston Asian American Film Festival kicks off fourth year

The Boston Asian American Film Festival (BAAFF), a production of the Asian American Resource Workshop, will take place from Oct. 25 to 28. Screenings will be at Emerson College’s Bright Family Screening Room in the Paramount Center, at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge and at the Somerville Theatre in Somerville.

This fourth edition of the festival features more than five Boston/New England premieres, exclusive Q&As with filmmakers and various cosponsored events around Boston.

“Mr. Cao Goes To Washington,” a film by documentary filmmaker S. Leo Chiang, will be screened at the Boston Asian American Film Festival on Oct. 27. The film is a compelling portrait of rookie congressman Joseph Cao who traverses party lines in the pursuit of his ideals and beliefs. (Image courtesy of BAAFF.)

“This year’s selection includes an energetic, thought-provoking range of contemporary films which speak to the breadth and depth of Asian American cinema as it stands today, and we are proud to continue to present these works to the Boston area,” said Festival Director Susan Chinsen. “From romantic comedies to thoughtful documentaries, to serious dramas and innovative short films, the festival celebrates the power of cinema to inspire, provoke and educate our diverse audiences.”

The festival opened on Oct. 25 at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge with Quentin Lee’s “White Frog,” a twist on the coming-of-age genre film. Starring some of film and television’s most acclaimed and recognizable actors — including Booboo Stewart, Joan Chen, B.D. Wong and Harry Shum, Jr. — “White Frog” is an incisive look at the modern American family centered on a young autistic boy coping with the death of his older brother, and ultimately a universal story of the power of family and friendship in the face of difference and tragedy.

This year, the festival will present two powerful documentaries which each have relevance to the Boston community.

BAAFF’s timely Centerpiece Presentation during this primary election season is “Mr. Cao Goes To Washington,” a film by acclaimed documentary filmmaker S. Leo Chiang (“A Village Called Versailles”). The film is a compelling portrait of rookie congressman Joseph Cao who traverses party lines in the pursuit of his ideals and beliefs, and is a refreshing and thoughtful look at how personal choices can affect the community at large. “Pui Chan: Kung Fu Pioneer,” the debut documentary film by actress and martial arts master Mimi Chan (best known as the  model for Disney’s “Mulan”), is the ultimate tribute to one of the men who brought Chinese martial arts to the United States. Grandmaster Pui Chan’s Wah Lum Kung Fu Academy and Athletic Association has since become the most important and well-established martial arts system in the United States, and this film hopes to draw in enthusiasts, students and filmgoers alike to a celebration of shared cultural heritage.

The 2012 BAAFF features two specially curated short film programs. “Fear Buffet” is a set of six short films that offer different takes on all things frightful. “Reel Food” offers eight family-friendly shorts on the lighter sides of life.

BAAFF will be cosponsoring a special screening of “I Am A Ghost” on Oct. 26, 7 p.m., at the Somerville Theatre with Boston’s Shudder Fest Horror Film Festival. H.P. Mendoza’s piercing thriller deftly demonstrates the versatility of the Asian-American horror feature film and is the winner of Best New Horror Director by SF Weekly.


Festival Screening Times

Friday 10/26
5 p.m. Sunset Stories
7 p.m. Wedding Palace
7 p.m. I Am A Ghost
9:30 p.m. Fear Buffet (Shorts Program)

Saturday 10/27
2 p.m. Pui Chan: Kung Fu Pioneer
4 p.m. Model Minority
7 p.m. Mr. Cao Goes to Washington, with short film Real Talk
9 p.m. Yes, We’re Open

Sunday 10/28
12:30 p.m. Pui Chan: Kung Fu Pioneer
3 p.m. Reel Food (Shorts Program)
5 p.m. Shanghai Calling

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