Sunday, September 28, 2008

Asians and Me in Washington, DC

Almost as soon as I got home from OIAF, it was time to unpack, repack, and then fly down to DC for the Asian Pacific American Film Festival! The skies poured down rain all weekend, but I still had a great time with my brothers Alan and Larry, and Alan's wife, Valerie (or, "Valan," as they refer to themselves). My degree project was shown in Friday night's short film showcase (fittingly named "Displace Must Be the Place"). Most of the films (mine was the only animated one) featured amusing and interesting views on the Asian-American experience. The final short, "The State of Sunshine," was a powerful film on the desperate lives of 2 illegal immigrants in America. It reminded me that even with little to no budget, perhaps the most important tool in a filmmaker's box is the story. After the showing was over, there was a short Q & A session with myself and the 2 other filmmakers who were in attendance. I was not prepared at all, and was nervous to speak in front of the audience. Overall, everybody from the festival was extremely welcoming and nice, and the audience had some nice feedback for me.

After the film festival, there was still time left in the weekend for some delicious food eating and Smithsonian museum touring. I was attacked by a pterodactyl in the Museum of Natural History.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ottawa International Animation Festival 08

Sorry for the delay in posts!  It's been a crazy month or so of non-stop traveling.  There were inhumanely long bus rides, passing out in airports from exhaustion and boredom, bad food and good food, and a whole lot of adventure and reuniting with friends.

First stop- Ottawa!  A large MassArt group went up to Ottawa this year.  So many students, in fact, that us alums got put on the SMFA and Art Institute bus.  As usual, we saw some amazing animation that you won't be able to see anywhere else.  I did, however, find one of our favorites online:

Casa de Maquinas - an amazingly complicated and beautiful animation of puppets and stop motion wizardry (and CG?  We originally thought that it was all CG, but the film's program listed it as "puppets").

We got to see our competitors in the school reel showcase, and we were all very impressed with the other students' work.  (Although, my friends and I were the least impressed with the RISD reel, and they ended up winning the competition.)  Kara's film got a great reception, and we were so proud of her.  On the Sunday night that we left Canada, it was announced by the festival that her film won the Undergraduate Student competition!  It's mind-boggling to think of how many films she beat out to win the prize.  I'm so happy that something so good came out of the dark events that she narrated in her film.

As usual, we were exhausted from watching endless hours of animation every day for 4 days straight, but it was inspiring and has helped to rekindle my desire to start a new film.