Archive for November 21, 2010
How did the group process work for you – are there things that you would do differently in retrospect? If so, why?
It was extremely helpful to have everyone’s different opinions and assistance. Coming back to the group from working in partners was a time that enabled for sharing of ideas and suggestions. I was so impressed with the amount of work that each team accomplished. The programs that everyone organized were interesting and succeeded in engaging the audience. In retrospect, I think I would have tried to have more conversations with the rest of the class — whether through email or me getings outside of class-time.
What did you learn from programming and organizing the Festival?
I learned how difficult and time-consuming that organizing such a big event could be. But also how rewarding it could be. I’m really glad that Prof. Ma was able to play such a large role in the planning. It is extremely difficult to get in contact with so many filmmakers and choose a date that fits in with their busy schedules. But we were able to have 4 filmmakers participate in our programs.
Did you learn something new about the subject that is different from what you learnt in the books and films we discussed in class?
I really enjoyed the shorts program, Finding Our Voices. Not only because I helped organize it, but because it addressed an array of topics that we have not mentioned in class yet. Having Tani Ikeda, the director of Wind in a Box, and Mark Villegas, director of Lyrical Empire, was enlightening. They explained the background to their films that we lacked as viewers limited to our own interpretations.
Did your views on Asian American media change during the project?
Seeing the different works by recent Asian American filmmakers was inspiring and encouraging. The voice of the API community is growing and these films were only just a sample of what we can expect to see in the future.
Were there things that did not work, or ones that worked differently from what you expected?
I realized that the Q&A session could be so much more than just a few typical questions asked and answered, squeezed into a period of 5 to 10 minutes. Directors Mark Villegas and Tani Ikeda shared conversations/comments/questions about each other’s works at the front of the stage. The audience saw an interaction between two artists who appreciated each other’s works and learned so much more about the film/topic/process than we would have without it.
In reflecting on the Mini Asian American Film festival I am quite pleased at how the festival turned out. The group process was very successful. I enjoyed being able to focus on a particular program and work on it from start to finish rather than working a little bit on each one. Jasmine and I worked very well together on the shorts program; Finding Our Voices. We did a great job dividing up tasks like who would write the intro, the blurbs and the bios. In retrospect I think the only thing our class could have done better would have been to promote the festival more so that more people would show up. From programming and organizing the festival I learned the importance of communication not just within programming groups but between groups. I also learned that when putting together programming it’s important to have shorts that really go together and work around a central theme. It is one thing to watch films by Asian Americans in class and discuss all of the potential motives behind the film and what they might have been trying to accomplish but another to actually hear the real reasons from them first hand. One example of this that really struck me was listening to the writer of Raspberry Magic talk about how she wrote this movie because she hadn’t seen any real depictions of South Asians in mainstream media. I learned a lot about the process of filmmaking from the writers/directors/producers that joined us. It was really interesting and a little intimidating to hear about how expensive and difficult it is to finance a film. My views on Asian American media defiantly changed. Watching the movies in class and screening them on my own didn’t give me a sense of just how important independent filmmaking is. In my personal opinion even though it was not too difficult a transition moving from Broad Center to Benson I think it would have been nice to have the festival in one venue. I also think there was a bit too much time between screenings. Overall I was happy with how the festival went and all my friends who came really enjoyed it.
-written and posted by Megan Kilroy