Reaction to Festival
I was nervous when I joined this class, I had never studied Asian American culture or history and I felt particularly clueless and afraid to speak up. I know people mentioned this in the festival debrief, but it is so unusual for a class to become friends. I definitely think the festival added to the building of this community. Whether I was wandering around Pitzer, hanging up signs with Mel or meeting with Pricilla and Kayla to go over the movie blurb, or setting up the merchandise for Seeking Asian Female with Lauren I knew that I was among friends and not only classmates. Our night (Seeking Asian Female) went particularly well I thought, there were at least 40 people in the audience and many people stayed and participated in the Q and A. Maikiko did an excellent job answering peoples questions based on previous answers Debbie Lum had given. Though it is frustrating Debbie could not be there in person I think Maikiko was an impressive substitute.
I felt somewhat sorry for Greg Cahill because of the tiny turnout for Two Shadows. However, I really enjoyed meeting him and talking with him, which I’m sure, would have been harder had it been a full house. I think it is incredible how many opportunities this festival gave us to meet directors and producers. Most classes do not have this community building, outside activity aspect and I am very happy that I chose to take this course. I interned with a film festival last year in Spain but unfortunately I was given almost no responsibilities. This experience was in stark contrast to the last, the success of this festival literally rested on our (including professor Ma’s) shoulders from viewing the films to ordering them to introducing them. After the festival I realized that I would enjoy working for a film festival or creating one in the future. I also realized that it is possible to have serious themes along side comedy within one festival.
I just wanted to add how incredible I thought Two Shadows was as a film. I felt that it had a very personal, insider perspective. Though at moments the protagonist was over acting, I liked her attitude. It felt like a real story and yet it’s realness made it terrifying. It took an American girl who was used to feeling relatively safe into a world where hit men could sneak into your apartment and poison you without fear of repercussion. It inspired me to watch more lower-budget, experimental, feature-length narratives. I have to be honest, I sometimes write them off for a sleeker cinematic look. However this class has taught me the significance of anti-slick and I’ve been noticing it and appreciating it more in my own work.
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