Bold Asian American Images | September 26, 2015

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Bold Asian American Images
Saturday, September 26, 2015,  7 PM
Curator Melissa Hung and Filmmakers Tony Nguyen and Faroukh Virani in Attendance
Aurora Members Free, Non-Members $10 (Click to buy tickets)

After a 4-year hiatus, Bold Asian American Images is back at Aurora! The 12th installment of this program showcases an eclectic mix of short films curated by writer Melissa Hung, the founding editor of Hyphen magazine. This year’s program features narrative, experimental, video art, and documentary, including Faroukh Virani’s sci-fi space travel film Vimana and Tony Nguyen’s touching documentary, Giap’s Last Day at the Ironing Board Factory. In Giap, Tony goes back to a small town in Indiana to document his mother’s refugee experience and her retirement after nearly 35 years working at the last ironing board factory in America. Please join us for the Texas premieres of this and other kick-ass films.

Behind the Screens Member Event,  6 PM
Members are invited to arrive early and have time to chat with curator Melissa Hung.

Films
Dandekar Makes a Sandwich, by Leena Pendarkar
Raymond, by Nina Yuen
Moving to the Cloud, by Laura Hyunjhee Kim
Privacy Stock  Video Footage, by Laura Hyunjhee Kim
Vimana, by Faroukh Virani
Distance Between, by R.J. Lozada
Giap’s Last Day at the Ironing Board Factory, by Tony Nguyen

Aurora Picture Show Moving

Big news! We’re on the move! Aurora Picture Show, our parent org, will be moving to a new location near the Kirby/Rice University area in June. Since 2008, when it left its original home in a converted church, Aurora has been programming in spaces all around Houston. Now it will have a place to call home (while still continuing to do some site-specific programming.) Check out this story about the move in CultureMap. As Aurora gets ready for its big move, it’s also planning to take a break from some of its annual events, including Slant. This means skipping 2012, but Slant will return with a good show, we promise.

Slant 11 Recap

Slant 11 at the River Oaks Theatre! Photo by Camilo Gonzalez

It was a happy homecoming for filmmaker Soham Mehta and curator Melissa Hung at the 11th annual Slant: Bold Asian American Images last week. Though Soham now lives in New York, and Melissa in San Francisco, both grew up in Houston and consider it their home. They were thrilled to be screening at the historic River Oaks Theatre.

Inside the historic River Oaks Theatre. Photo by Camilo Gonzalez

Slant Film Festival is presented by the Aurora Picture Show and Aurora’s curator Mary Magsamen welcomed the crowd before introducing Slant’s curator, Melissa, to the stage.

Curator Melissa Hung introduces the screening. Photo by Camilo Gonzalez

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Slant Film Festival Today – Aug 11!

Today is the day! The 11th Annual Slant: Bold Asian American Images Festival screens tonight at the River Oaks Theatre. Filmmaker Soham Mehta and curator Melissa Hung will be in attendance.

Thursday, August 11, 2011, 7:30 PM
River Oaks Theatre, 2009 West Gray, Houston (Map)
$10, Free for Aurora Picture Show members
Click here to buy tickets

This annual Aurora program showcases an eclectic mix of the best new short films made by Asian American artists. From a mockumentary that follows a self-important spoken word artist to a sci-fi tale featuring a malfunctioning android, the five short films selected for Slant tell diverse stories. Curated by Melissa Hung, founding editor of Hyphen, Slant will screen for one night only. Don’t miss it!

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Films
Jaime Lo, small and shy
by Lillian Chan
PIA by Tanuj Chopra
Digital Antiquities by J.P. Chan
Asian American Jesus by Yasmine Gomez
Fatakra by Soham Mehta

For more information please call the Aurora Picture Show at 713-868-2101 or visit www.aurorapictureshow.org.

Slant 11 Preview: Asian American Jesus

We can safely say we’ve never screened anything quite like Asian American Jesus before at Slant. A mockumentary directed by Yasmine Gomez, it stars writer-performer Samantha Chanse as six different characters including a self-important spoken word artist, Truth Is Real (top row, right), who is the subject of college freshman Suzette Law’s (bottom row, left) final project for her ethnic studies class, ‘Performing the Diaspora: Asian Americans and the Arts.’

We caught up with Yasmine to ask her about the making of Asian American Jesus.

How did you get together with performer Samantha Chanse  to create Asian American Jesus?

Samantha and I became friends through the Asian American arts community in San Francisco. I had wanted to do a mockumentary film for a while, and thought spoken word would be an ideal subject. It wasn’t until I saw Sam’s one-woman play, “Back to the Graveyard,” where I was introduced to the awesomely bad Truth Is Real, that I knew I had my star. After the play, I approached Sam about creating a short film based on her incredibly funny spoken word character. We met over bowls of pho, discussed the story, and a few weeks later we were filming.

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Slant 11 Preview: PIA

PIA, directed by Tanuj Chopra, will have its Texas premiere at Slant. A sci-fi love story about the convergence of technology and the human soul, it stars Pia Shah as a malfunctioning android in the year 2063.

Tanuj is perhaps best known for directing the feature film Punching at the Sun, which premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. That film told the story of a South Asian teenager in Queens, NY dealing with anger and confusion in the aftermath of his older brother’s senseless death in a post-9/11 world. It was the first South Asian American narrative feature ever selected to the prestigious festival, and we’re thrilled to be screening Tanuj’s new work. We asked Tanuj a few questions about PIA.

What inspired the story in PIA?
PIA was inspired by an old Transformers comic storyline where Megatron and Rachet went through the space bridge at the same time and emerged as one fused entity. That storyline impacted me a lot as a kid — there was something horrific and terrifying about the idea. That was a seed for PIA — this idea of a dead human soul inhabiting the body of a female service android — and that giving rise to a new machine. This idea fascinated me and the story grew from there.

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