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Saturday, April 23, 2011

DisOrient Asian American Film Festival Begins April 29th

The Chinese American Benevolent Association is pleased to announce the sixth anniversary of the DisOrient Asian American Film Festival with a selection of highly provocative and unique quality films.  DisOrient has grown from a grass roots film festival started in 2005 by Eugene native Jason Mak to an all-volunteer run community event that features films that support social justice themes and that break the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander stereotypes so often portrayed in mainstream media.  DisOrient has garnered the attention and respect of many Asian American filmmakers and is the only Asian American Film Festival in the northwest. Out of the nearly 80 submissions, the programmers had a most difficult time narrowing selections to the 18 that were selected, as this is probably one of the best offerings the festival has yet had.

A Special Free Screening of Red Sun in the Sunset is scheduled at 2 pm on Friday, April 29 in the Ford Lecture Hall of the University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. The film shares captivating oral histories of Cuban Nikkei by their descendants. The Opening Night Feature film is Jeff Chiba Stearns' One Big Hapa Family.  From the Canadian-Japanese internment camps, Chiba Stearns navigates his family's history through several generations of multiracial marriages in a humorous and profound way. All ages will enjoy this story of a Hapa (mixed Asian or Pacific Islander heritage) family, with contributions from some of Canada's most innovative animators. The film showing will be followed by a reception for VIP guests, volunteers and filmmakers at the UO Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, featuring entertainment by DisOrient Festival favorite, singer/songwriter, Dawen. Saturday's film offerings start at noon with Finding Face, an emotional documentary that depicts the horrific acid-burning attacks on women in Cambodia and many other countries. Directors Patti Duncan and Skye Fitzgerald, and Tat Marina, the brave victim whose face was disfigured due to acid, are scheduled to attend the screening and answer questions after the film.

Festival attendees will also have an opportunity to see "family friendly" short films that cover the gamut of comedy, a bit of fantasy, music, and offbeat humor. Digital Antiquities, by J.P. Chan, one of DisOrient's repeat filmmakers, brings his storytelling ability to another level. Other featured films are Tora, a Canadian-Japanese internment story with a twist, and Mother, a story about a hearing-disabled child.Voices in the Clouds is an enlightening film with breathtaking scenery on the indigenous tribes of
Taiwan. The film chronicles the filmmaker's search for his ancestral roots only to discover an undeniable spiritual connection that changes his life forever. Closing the Saturday's film line-up is the thought-provoking The House of Suh, the centerpiece film about an unresolved murder case. Explore the cultural layer of circumstances that led to the tragic outcome.  Sunday starts off with Oregon's homegrown filmmakers. Creative family-friendly shorts from local teen students from Lane Community College's Asian Pacific Islander Rites of Passage program followed by director Curtis Choy's, You! Young People. This is showcase time for aspiring directors and veterans alike.  Also featured is Left By the Ship, by directors Emma Rossi-Landi and Alberto Vendemmiati, Italian filmmakers who chronicle the lives of four Filipino Amerasians who were left behind by their GI fathers during the naval occupation of the bases in Olongapo City in the Philippines. Insightful and heartwrenching, the movie opens the viewer's eyes to the situation that arises with countless innocent children born and abandoned near the U.S. Military bases overseas.  DisOrient is proud to host the premiere of Left By the Ship in the United States.

Closing night movie features indie filmmaker David Boyle's fresh new film, Surrogate Valentine. A romantic comedy about a character played by Goh Nakamura, a real life musician, and how he misses the beat in some of his misadventures with love.  The DisOrient filmfest afterparty will be at Sabai CafĂ©' and Bar, the new Thai restaurant at the Oakway Center. Many of the filmmakers will be in attendance to discuss their films after they are screened.

Expand your horizons! Support your community. Join us and meet directors, actors, filmmakers, the staff and volunteers and avid film fans. A VIP ticket for $50 on-line/$60 at the door will entitle you to all 3 days' screenings, meeting the filmmakers, food to snack on, and an invitation to attend opening and closing night receptions. Individual tickets are also available online. For schedule and information, check out

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