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PAAFF Community Series

On November 13 and 15 Fleisher will host the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival’s community program. As part of the festival’s dedication to community, the program will feature free film screening and theater performances in Fleisher’s historic Sanctuary space. All programs are free and open to the public, but the festival does ask that you RSVP in advance. Follow the links below for more information on the screenings and performances and to RSVP for a spot.

5:00 p.m.-6:15 p.m.

Shorts Program: Metamorphosis
61 minutes

Naan & Balsamic Vinaigrette
Dir. Urvashi Pathania | 6 mins | USA
A story about love, loss, and those ephemeral salad days.

Dir. Sophia You | 3 mins | USA
A seemingly free-spirited dancer encounters an inexplicable problem, which starts to weigh down her creativity and artistic flow.

Monster Me
Dir. Yeon Jin Lee | 13 mins | USA
An ancient monster emerges from the “Old Faithful” geyser at Yellowstone, attacking an artist in residency there, and wreaking havoc in Jackson Hole.

Unfair & Lovely
Dir. Anita Kalathara | 4 mins | USA
Influenced by years of color shaming, a dark-skinned Indian American woman uses lightening creams and other methods to whiten her skin.

#justB Kenson’s Story
Dir. Kenson Alik | 3 mins | Marshall Islands
A Marshall Islander named Kenson is diagnosed with Hepatitis B and moves to Hawaii in search of treatment. Now, Kenson and his wife educate the Pacific Islander community in Hawaii about the disease, challenging myths about it and doing all they can to promote testing and care.

Water in the Cup
Dir. Ikuo Kato | 6 mins | Japan
A human being is like water in a bottle. But if the bottle breaks, where does the water go?

Heaven is My Country
Dir. Tristan Hsu | 27 mins | USA
A high school freshman named Jin moves into a new town, where gets reacquainted with his older cousins. They help him adjust, but as the year progresses, Jin encounters voices, specters, and other happenings. As he tries to find a sense of self amidst the unsettling histories of this Asian American community, something from his past is haunting him as well.

Filmmakers expected in attendance for post-film Q&A.

6:30 p.m.-7:35 p.m.

Living in the Story
52 mins | Documentary | USA | English
Directed by Lynn Estomin

Living in the Story documents 35 years of art making by the distinguished photographic artist Patrick Ryoichi Nagatani, one of the most brilliant photographic artists of our era. In the late 1970s, he pioneered the Contemporary Constructed Photographic Movement in Los Angeles, developing a new visual vocabulary by constructing tableau photographs from sets, sculptures, models, and paintings. The film portrays an artist deeply concerned and well informed about world events who uses imagery, storytelling, and narrative fiction to raise awareness about modern anxieties with an emphasis on the threat of nuclear weapons technology. Nagatani has also explored healing techniques and states of consciousness in which the material world is transcended. Despite the serious content of his subject matter, his innovative images are compelling and entertaining. An engaging raconteur and teacher, Nagatani talks in the film about his projects, his unorthodox photographic techniques, and his subtle weaving together of fiction and fact. Scott Nagatani’s hauntingly beautiful music score provides the film’s soundtrack.

Director Lynn Estomin expected in attendance for post-film Q&A.

7:45 p.m.-9:15 p.m.

August at Akiko’s
75 mins | Drama | Hawaii | English
Directed by Christopher Makoto Yogi

August at Akiko’s is a mystical film that lives in the seams between dream, reality, and memory with a time signature all its own. Armed with just his suitcase and a sax, cosmopolitan musician Alex Zhang Hungtai (Dirty Beaches, Last Lizard) returns home to the Big Island of Hawai‘i after being away for nearly a decade. Amidst possessed sax solos and brooding strolls, Alex stumbles upon a Buddhist bed & breakfast run by a woman named Akiko (Akiko Masuda). Hungtai’s wild sax and Akiko’s Buddhist bells form the base for a rich soundtrack surrounding the unexpected new friendship and wrapping around the audience like a sonic web.