Festival offers Asian American film bonanza 

For his 10th and final season as director, Chi-hui Yang is shaping the 2010 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival according to the event's best traditions.

The 28th season, running March 11-21, features 109 films covering everything from crowd-pleasing entertainment to hard-hitting documentaries about the lives of minorities. There also will be special-interest works, including a chronicle of making an opera from Amy Tan's "The Bonesetter's Daughter" and video and live performances by Bay Area turntablists, hip-hop and electro-funk musicians.

Opening night serves up David Kaplan's feature "Today's Special," starring the “The Daily Show’s” Aasif Mandvi as a Manhattanized sous-chef rediscovering his Indian roots.

Closing night is the North American premiere of Arvin Chen's "Au Revoir Taipei," a combination love story and adventure caper through the night streets of the capital.

Yang, assistant director Vicci Ho and program manager Christine Kwon highlight Filipino films this year, from revivals of Lino Brocka's pioneering works a half a century ago to premieres including a documentary, “Ninoy Aquino and the Rise of People Power."

From Southeast Asia comes the Bollywood hit "Love Aaj Kal"  (“Love These Days”), a song-and-dance romance starring Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone playing dual roles in contemporary London and 1960s New Delhi.

Dilip Mehta and his sister Deepa co-wrote a food-oriented feature, "Cooking with Stella," a comedy-drama about the relationship between the servant and the served.

World premieres include two documentaries about international transracial adoptions: Borshay Liem's "In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee," and Stephanie Wang-Breal's "Wo Ai Ni Mommy."

Additional docs include "Lessons of the Blood," by James T. Hong and Yin-Ju Chen, about Japanese atrocities in China; and a U.S.-Philippine co-production, "The Mountain Thief," about survival in shantytowns.

Filmmaker Freida Lee Mock (“Maya Lin: a Strong Clear Vision”) will be honored; her 2010 Academy Award-shortlisted documentary "Lt. Watada" and "Sing China!" will screen. The former is about a Japanese-American Army officer who refused to serve in Iraq, the latter follows the Los Angeles Children's Choir on their tour of China just before the 2008 Beijing Olympics.


S.F. International Asian American Film Festival
Where: Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, Castro Theatre, Landmark Clay, VIZ Cinema, San Francisco
When: March 11 though 21
Tickets $10 to $12
Contact: http://festival.asianamericanmedia.org/2010/

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