DATE: FRI, AUG 11 & SAT, AUG 12 at 8 PM
Friday, August 11, 8 PM
SHORTS: MADE IN NYC: LOVE LETTERS TO NEW YORK
With almost 8.5 million people spread across five boroughs, compelling New York City stories are being told every day. Living in the city that never sleeps, Asians are continually working to shape the city’s modern landscape. This program highlights the diverse aspirations, failures, and energy of Asians in the Big Apple. Screening made possible by: Asian American Arts Alliance; Asian American Film Lab; Asian American Bar Association of NY (AABANY); OCA-NY; NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME).
CRAIG NISPEROS / USA / 2017 / 12 MINS
Craig, a modern day immigrant, struggles with being away from his home and his family. Even in a city of millions, loneliness is inescapable.
GNANASHEKARAN NATARAJAN / USA / 2016 / 23 MINS
When Kate receives mysterious messages from an unknown caller, she must enlist the help of two friends to track him down. But they are quickly sucked into an unexpected conflict, as the view from Kate’s apartment turns from spectacular to deadly.
MANJARI MAKIJANY / INDIA / 2016 / 10 MINS
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Director Manjari Makijany’s I SEE YOU explores this idea through the shocking story of a terrorist, who, armed with a suicide vest, quickly finds himself conflicted when he comes face to face with an innocent child.
MICHAEL MANESE / USA / 2017 / 15 MINS
Working for a wealthy family in Manhattan, Rosa, an undocumented immigrant from the Philippines, struggles to make ends up as she desperately works to bring her son to America. Her job as a domestic worker proves more difficult as she is tasked with juggling the logistics of her boss’s girlfriends. After befriending both of them, she’s cornered into making a decision – either be quiet and accept his money or tell the women she cares about of his manipulative lies.
HOWIE LAM / USA / 2016 / 13 MINS
In this poetic short, Director Howie Lam presents a question to his viewers: “What do you do when you can't let go of the person you love?” His film explores this by presenting us a desolate backdrop of New York City and analyzing a man’s internal struggle between reality and fantasy.
KAYLA WONG / USA / 2016 / 15 MINS
All-knowing Rita is determined to break down her dad’s traditionalism by setting him up on a date. But he flips the script on her by forcing her to go on a date with her childhood friend.
LAWERENCE CHEN / USA / 2016 / 13 MINS
An ex-professional football player and current club bouncer, Steve Noa does not look like he belongs in a white collar law firm, but that is exactly where he desperately wants to be. When his lucky break comes through, he’s willing to go all out to land the job.
Saturday, August 12, 8 PM
I CAN I WILL I DID
Directed by Nadine Truong
USA / 2017 / 110 mins / English with English subtitles / New York City Premiere
When bullied to the brink of despair, depressed foster youth Ben, tragically, gets hit by a car, robbing his ability to walk. Downhearted, the empty shell of a teenager gives up on life, until he meets Adrienne, a wheelchair bound fellow patient and her dog Bruce at the hospital who breathes hope into his life and introduces to him her grandfather, Taekwondo Grand Master Ik Jo Jang who not only teaches him how to walk again, but also how to take charge of his own life.
Nadine Truong’s I CAN I WILL I DID creatively tells the story of adolescence, the importance of relationships, friendships, loss, growing, forgiving, and the search for one’s meaning on the journey of life with the help of Old Greenwich Taekwondo Master Kang who stars in and worked on the screenplay of the film. While not a traditional flashy martial arts film, this is the story of an upcoming martial artist who finds his bearings learning the hard way, that martial arts is not about the flashy movements, but lessons instilled in the mind and in the heart; for the young and the old, the offender and victim alike and gives prominence to the saying, “every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”
Complemented with a beautiful score and cinematography, I CAN I WILL I DID tugs at the heart strings as themes of inner darkness, love, resurgence, and forgiveness are explored, as Ben learns the meaning of Master Kang’s philosophy of I can, I will, and I did. Whether one practices martial arts or not, everyone is sure to relate to the life lessons it bestows of respect for one another, focus, discipline, and concentration in whatever one does in life. AAIFF’40 marks the film’s New York City premiere.
Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts dba Flushing Town Hall is a not for profit organization which receives major support from the National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Mayor Bill de Blasio; Queens Borough President Melinda Katz; New York State Assembly Members Ron Kim, Ed Braunstein and Nily Rozic; New York City Council, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the Queens Delegation, and Council Members Costa Constantinides, Daniel Dromm, Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Peter Koo, Karen Koslowitz, and Paul A. Vallone; Howard Gilman Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, and Lily Auchincloss Foundation.
Support is also provided by Astoria Bank, Cathay Bank, Celestial Love Foundation, Michael Cheng, FTH’s Chinese Cultural Committee, Chinese Radio Network, Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou / New York Institute of Culture and the Arts, Con Edison, Crossings TV, Epos Development, Farrell Fritz, Flushing Bank, Barbara Garii, Gerson Properties, Simon Gerson, the Glow Foundation, Howard Graf & Kathy Donovan, Graf & Lewent Architects, Heather & Scott Harrison, Raymond D. Jasen, Nelson Lee, James S. Liao, the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Materials for the Arts, William McClure, Metro Plus Health Plan, New York Community Bank, New York Shandong Association, the NYC & Company Foundation, Queens College, Georgiana Reese-Benatti, Mike Sperendi & Jan Schneider, St. Joseph’s College, Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York, Veronica Tsang, and Tony & Tai Wang/WAC Lighting.