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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.

Getting Lao’d: The Rise of Modern Lao Music and Films
40 minutes | Documentary | Lao People’s Democratic Republic | English, Lao
Directed by Steve Arounsack

After 25 years of silence, the private Lao music and film industries are reawakening. Filmed over 10 years, Getting Lao’d follows a new generation of young pioneers as they reimagine Lao media in a communist country. The film features many of the country’s most prominent musicians and filmmakers, and is perhaps the most comprehensive examination of the media landscape in Laos.

Many neighboring countries in Southeast Asia have seen their music and film industries remain vibrant. Media in Laos, however, remains shrouded in mystery due to its landlocked geography and restrictive political environment. This documentary provides an extremely rare look at a new generation that tipped the cultural fulcrum. It is a story about a small country with a big heart.

Screened with short film Phetmixay Means Fighter.
Dir. Rita Phetmixay | 12 minuntes | USA
Lao American refugee Phoutone Phetmixay shares his experiences as an anti-communist rebel in Laos in this short documentary. Through trials and tribulations, Phoutone is able to survive a series of challenging encounters before escaping to the United States to start a new life.

Director Rita Phetmixay expected in attendance for post-film Q&A.

6:30 p.m.-7:45 p.m.

61 minutes | Documentary | Japan | Japanese
Directed by Yoshiaki Kasatani

Atelier Yamanami is a care facility for the disabled located in Koka, Shiga Prefecture in Japan. Currently, 88 users are registered as artists, all of whom possess a unique way of expressing themselves through various media and whose works are highly valued abroad. This documentary explores these artists’ “relationship between their mental states and their art.”

Screened with short film Morgan.
Dir. Eiko Fan, Aidan Un | 6 mins | USA

Morgan has very limited mobility. He can swing his feet a little, and he moves his middle finger to paint large paintings. He cannot speak but his eyes can direct the computer to tell what he wants to say a little. His paintings speak of his unique ability and intention to express himself.

Directors Eiko Fan and Aidan Un expected in attendance for post-film Q&A.

8:10 p.m.-9:45 p.m.

Theater performance: Voided by Pratima Agrawal
80 minutes | Live Performance
Written by Pratima Agrawal | Directed and Performed by Pratima Agrawal

What is it like to be an unconventional Indian woman trying to exist in a marginalizing world? Voided is a solo performance inspired by Pratima’s own experiences and the true story of Kalpana Chawla (the first Indian female astronaut in space and one of the crew members who died in the 2003 Columbia accident). It is the exploration of culture, status quo, and representation that dares to color outside the lines.

Pratima is a local performing artist, teaching artist, and administrator. While she considers herself to be from Austin, she moved to Philadelphia four years ago by way of Bethlehem for the city’s vibrant theatre and arts scene and is inspired by the progressive community voices within and outside of the arts. She finds purpose in working on projects that challenge her as an artist and push the boundaries of art and humanity. She also volunteers for the Philadelphia Ready for 100 clean energy campaign and is a Sixers fan. She would like to thank all her collaborators for their artistry and continued support.

Co-presented by Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists.