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Film Mon Mar 24 2014
The charge of the Foundation for Asian American Independent Media (FAAIM) is "to spotlight the rich, diverse voices of Asian American independent artists from Chicago and across the nation; and through its annual Asian American Showcase, the spotlight shines on writers, filmmakers, and artists are celebrated for their contributions to the world of film and media. Now in its 19th year, the Asian American Showcase is recognized as the "oldest film festival dedicated exclusively to Asian American film" and is well-known for featuring an exciting lineup of shorts, as well as feature-length and independent films and documentaries.
Seven films are on this year's program--among the highlights is the documentary that made its Sundance debut earlier this year, To Be Takei, the story of the childhood and career of "Star Trek" actor George Takei. With interviews by notables including Howard Stern and "Star Trek" co-stars William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, the documentary explores Takei's life from his days in a Japanese internment camp to his fight against Asian stereotypes and racism in Hollywood. Another festival highlight is Documented, the CNN Films documentary that tells the story of Pulitzer Prize winner and journalist Jose Antonio Vargas and his life as an undocumented immigrant. Other films include a sneak peek of Unbroken Glass, a documentary by local filmmaker Dinesh Sabu and American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, the story of feminist and social activist Grace Lee Boggs, who will answer questions about the film via Skype.
On Saturday, Apr. 5, the festival's opening night, a reception for the art exhibit Plural Vision will be held; the exhibit, curated by SAIC alum Jenyu Wang, explores "cultural identity and representation"; also, Chicago filmmaker Masahiro Sugano's Cambodian Son, an artful and redemptive story examining identity and immigration issues, will be featured as the festival's first screening.
The Asian American Showcase runs April 5-17; all screenings are held at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 164 N. State St. For a complete showcase program and schedule, as well as ticket information, visit www.siskelfilmcenter.org or call 312- 846-2800.