San Diego Asian Film Festival Tells Stories With Film and Food

Asian filmmakers, artists and chefs will take the spotlight at the San Diego Asian Film Festival, combining tasty food and inspiring film at its upcoming Spring Showcase, running April 19 to 26.

“Once again, Asian filmmakers took our breath away with wide-ranging works that demonstrate the diversity of experiences and sensibilities on three continents,” said Brian Hu, artistic director at Pacific Arts Movement, which sponsors the festival. “But this year more than ever, that variety of perspectives is seen in works directed by women, who helmed a majority of our film lineup.”

The program will feature a variety of highlights, including films, art installations and food such as Mina Shum’s comedy “Meditation Park,” starring Sandra Oh, and the West Coast premiere of Heather Lenz’ Sundance film “Kusama: Infinity,” which highlights the incredible career of Japanese avant garde artist Yayoi Kusama. The festival lineup also includes the documentary “Yasmin-San,” one of the first retrospectives on the career of Malaysian filmmaker Yasmin Ahmad.

Another program highlight is “Ulam: Film & Feast,” a Filipino kamayan-style feast and special Q&A event with Alexandra Cuerdo, the director of the documentary “Ulam: Main Dish.” The documentary follows second generation Filipino American chefs and attempts to understand how their unique immigrant experience shapes their culinary philosophy. The festival collaborated with local Filipino chefs, asking them to create modern and localized interpretations of their native cuisine.

“We want to tell Asian American stories through food,” Hu said about the event. “‘Ulam’ reminds us that there’s no better way to do so than to bring together artists in the community and have them each bring a dish. This is potluck storytelling.”


For more information on the San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase, film lineup and participating chefs, visit its website.