Asian American women filmmakers showcase powerful and personal work
Theater Two at the Directors Guild of America was filled with a capacity crowd on Sunday May 5, 2013 at the 2013 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival special event, Howzit! A Visual Communications Tribute to Linda Mabalot.
Master of Ceremonies Kennedy Kabasares opened the event by introducing members of the late arts activist and legendary Visual Communications Executive Director's family, Dora Doeux, Natividad Andres, and Al Doeux. The three gave their personal accounts of memories of the Sacramento Valley childhood that included working the land with family, neighbors, extended family and friends.
Dom and Saachiko Magwill, Alice Tuan, and filmmaker Quentin Lee also gave personal tributes, followed by Walt Louie's touching film tribute to Linda Mabalot. Janice D. Tanaka presented director Asiroh Cham as the first Linda Mabolot Legacy Scholarship recipient. Cham's documentary Journey (2011) follows filmmaker Julia Thi Underhill's travel to Vietnam and Cambodia in a quest for more knowledge of her mixed-Cham roots.
Susan Tuan's black and white narrative short New Year (2006) examines the tense interracial personal dynamics of a stranded, newly-arrived Chinese immigrant motorist and an older African-American gas station attendant in the 1950s, yet ends in a surprisingly light-hearted comedic dance number.
Karen Lin's experimental narrative short Perfection (2004) stars Ming-Na Lee as a career woman whose existence is very unlike the popular board game she once conquered as a child. Her lifetime of constant striving after an unattainable cultural ideal has her coming apart at the seams, contrary to her outward infallabilty.
Prithi Gowda's Televisnu (2010) is a surreal techicolor journey of one young call center worker in India who finds a wormhole in her broken computer which leads to her questioning her upcoming arranged marriage in two weeks - after falling for one of the young men who works alongside her. Her life's decisions might cost her family (especially her father's) happiness, while fulfilling her own.
The event closed with a few emotional words from current Visual Communications Executive Director, Shinae Yoon. "Linda speaks to me every day in the office..." she said, while wiping away tears. "Her voice is still so strong!"
For more information, visit the official Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival website.