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Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest

APALI Arts and Activism Panel Monday 7/22

The Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute, APALI on the De Anza College Campus held an Arts and Activism Panel and Workshop, Monday, July 22, 2019. Lead by Coordinators Anthony Le, Christine Chai and Lawrence Su, the event drew around 60 students, the future leaders in our community. Panalists included hip hop artist, Tony Santa Ana, Steve Yamaguma, co-chair of the Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest, Angel Trazo, children's book author and illustrator, and Tiffany Nguyen, youth organizer at Yello USA. For more info on the panel and workshop, or the work that APALI is doing, contact Anthony Le at


Planning Meeting Wednesday evening, 7/17- 7pm


Congratulations all, on a successful event!

The first panel discussion "Telling Our Stories Through Independent Film"  held on June 26, 2019 was a great success. Provacative discussions from the panelists Dianne Fukami, Matthew Abaya, Jon Osaki and Rick Quan entertained and educated the audience as to the "why's" and importance of doing independent film, and their journeys to bring their films to the big screen. Moderated by iHeart Radio's Stephen Chun, the full-house audience was treated to insights, challenges and the rewards of developing an idea, raising funds, building a team, producing, and eventually finding distribution to bring their films to an audience.

Photos from the event will be posted soon. Stay tune.


June 26, 2019
"Telling Our Stories Through Independent Film:
A Panel Discussion

Japanese American Museum of San Jose JAMsj

Wednesday evening June 26, 2019 7pm - 9pm
 Japanese American Museum of San Jose JAMsj

Filmmaking can be as simple as recording an event, such as taking a cell phone video. However, the art of Visual Storytelling delves much deeper. Visual Storytelling captures not only an event,  be it fictional or historical, but also the nuances surrounding the event that provide richness and depth, making the story that much more compelling. Such Asian stories could be a box office success like Crazy Rich Asians, a recently previewed biography of Mayor Ed Lee, or a Filipino folktale about mythical creatures. Hear from independent filmmakers who are telling Asian stories through film - why they do it and the challenges they face.

Matthew Abaya , Filmmaker, Vampariah
Dianne Fukami, Director/Co-Producer, Mineta Legacy Project
Jon Osaki, Filmmaker, Alternative Facts
Rick Quan, Television Anchor, Mayor Ed Lee

Moderator: Stephen Chun, Reporter, iHeart Radio

Panelist and Moderator Bios: CLICK HERE

7pm Networking
7:30 Panel Discussion
9pm Event concludes

Light refreshments will be served. The event is free, but please consider a donation at the door for the Japanese American Museum of San Jose. A special 1-year Membership to NAAAP San Jose is available to attendees at the rate of $30, 25% off our normal annual membership. Discounted All-Access passes for the  Silicon Valley Asian Pacific Film Fest will be available at the event.

Event Partners:

NAAAP San Jose
Kollaboration San Francisco
Silicon Valley Asian Pacific Film Fest

Japanese American Museum of San Jose JAMsj


May 9, 2019
CAAMFest Opening Night Film and Gala

SVAPFilmFest members Leianne Lamb, LaDonna Yumori-Kaku, Vickie Taketa, Nathan Louie, Victor Jang, and Steve Yamaguma attended the opening night CAAMFest Gala at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

Rick Quan filmmaker, Karen Fang author, Steve Yamaguma SVAPFilmFest, and Danton Mew stuntman and martial artist

Pictured: Vickie Taketa, LaDonna Yumori-Kaku, CAAMFest Festival & Exhibitions Director Masashi Niwano, and Steve Yamaguma

Our very own Nathan Louie (in white top hap) with Miss Chinatown San Francisco and USA.

Happening in the realm of film and media.

Sheridan Tatsuno, advisory board member, writes about "VR Storytelling" and the effects of new technologies on films, movies, video as well as other industries.

The Convergence of Storytelling and Technology

For decades, I've pursued my love for storytelling by writing business articles and books which were made into television documentaries, despite a deep suspicion in Silicon Valley that aspiring artists belong in Hollywood. Even today, I meet many "closet artists" in Silicon Valley who are frustrated in their efforts to be creative on the job, but are stuck in dead-end social marketing jobs creating ads. In an era when AI and robots are already eliminating millions of marketing, sales and other office jobs, we need more innovative thinkers and creators who can create totally new industries, not just promote stagnant markets.



Karen Fang at the CAAMFest Gala, May 9, 2019

SVAPF recently connected with film scholar Karen Fang, who has been writing about Asian and Asian American film and media for nearly two decades. She has interviewed or written about prominent filmmakers and artists like Justin Lin, John Woo, Wong Kar-Wai, Wayne Wang and David Henry Hwang, and she runs a media studies initiative at the University of Houston.  Her  2017 book, Arresting Cinema: Surveillance in Hong Kong Film, was featured at Asia’s biggest book expo, and shows how one of the world’s most successful cinemas outside of Hollywood offers illuminating insights on the pressing contemporary topics of surveillance, security, and social control. Karen is on the advisory boards of the Houston Cinema Arts Society and the Film Committee of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; has been a jury member of the CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival in Bellingham, Washington; and is a frequent contributor to the catalog of the Five Flavours festival of Asian cinema, in Warsaw, Poland.  Her newest project is a biography of celebrated Chinese American artist and illustrator, Tyrus Wong.

Check out Karen's recent book:
"Arresting Cinema: Surveillance in Hong Kong Film"

Stanford University Press, 2017