Slant 11 Preview: Jaime Lo, Small and Shy

Jaime Lo, small and shy, by Lillian Chan

In our lineup for Slant this year, we have one animation, Jaime Lo, Small and Shy, by Toronto-based Lillian Chan. Drawn in a charming style, the story is told from the perspective of a quiet little girl who spends her days and nights drawing. The 8-minute film is also about what happens to a family when one parent must go overseas for work. We talked to Lillian about her film.

What inspired you to make Jaime Lo?
Jaime Lo
is part of a series by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) called Talespinners that touches on different stories from Canada’s multicultural communities. Growing up as a Chinese Canadian in Canada (and from a suburb with a large Chinese population), I wanted to share a story that addresses a quite common experience from my community, where the father works abroad while the rest of the family stays here. There’s actually a Chinese term for it : astronaut dads!

Telling the story through the eyes of a young girl like Jaime, especially one who liked to draw, seemed liked the perfect starting point for an animator like myself.

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Slant 11 Preview: Digital Antiquities

Slant is proud to have the Texas premiere of J.P. Chan’s Digital Antiquities, a sci-fi tale set in the year 2036 about a young man named Kai desperately trying to get some information off this old round shiny thing called a CD. He seeks out Cat, the cranky proprietor of a shop of outdated technology, who begrudgingly helps him on his quest.

J.P. Chan is no stranger to Slant. His films Dry Clean Only, Beijing Haze, and I Don’t Sleep I Dream, have played in prior years of the festival. We caught up with J.P. recently to hear more about his latest film.

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Soham Mehta in Person at Slant 11

Filmmaker Soham Mehta, who grew up in Houston.

We are thrilled to announce that filmmaker Soham Mehta will be attending Slant in person on August 11 at the River Oaks Theatre. Though now based in New York, Soham grew up in Houston (where he founded the theater troupe Shunya), and got his film degree at UT Austin.

We will have the Houston premiere of his latest film, Fatakra, which just won a Student Academy Award. Click here to learn more about the film and Slant 11.

Slant 11 Preview: Fatakra

Slant is proud to screen Soham Mehta’s Fatakra at our festival this year. Fatakra (which means “firecracker” in Gujarati) has been playing at festivals around the country (including SXSW) to critical acclaim and we’re delighted to present its Houston premiere. It recently won a Student Academy Award. Not too shabby, Soham!

The film tells the story of Naveen (Samrat Chakrabarti), an immigrant who left his family behind three years ago to work in Texas. Now, his wife and young son are joining him in the States, and the reunion is filled with tension and high emotion.

Soham told Austin 360 in an interview, “I was looking for stories about relationships that had a separation and were now coming together. I went through different story ideas, and this was the most obvious choice, because in a way it is the experience of my parents and many people like them. So in a way it allowed me to pay tribute to their experience but not just make a tribute film because it had an emotional core that I could relate to.”

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Slant 11 on August 11 at River Oaks Theatre

The 11th Annual
Slant: Bold Asian American Images Festival

Thursday, August 11, 2011, 7:30 p.m.
River Oaks Theatre, 2009 West Gray, Houston (Map)
$10, Free for Aurora Picture Show members (Click here to buy tickets)
Filmmaker Soham Mehta and curator Melissa Hung in attendance

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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Jaime Lo, small and shy by Lillian Chan
Jaime Lo, a shy Chinese Canadian girl, observes the world around her through her drawings. When Jaime’s father is sent to Hong Kong for a year-long work assignment, Jaime must use her creativity to cope with his absence.

Fatakra by Soham Mehta
Naveen left India to chase his dreams in America. Three years and a recession later, his wife and son join him. Sparks fly as a family reunites.

PIA by Tanuj Chopra
In San Francisco, in the year 2063, much of human labor has been replaced with service androids called PIAs. One night, a mysterious and malfunctioning PIA appears at Syama Raval’s front door.

Digital Antiquities by J.P. Chan
In the year 2036, a woman in an antique electronics shop meets a desperate young man seeking to recover data from an old CD.

Asian American Jesus by Yasmine Gomez
In this mockumentary, Samantha Chanse plays six different characters including Truth is Real, a self-professed ‘mad scientist of the spoken word,’ and the subject of college freshman Suzette Law’s final project for her ethnic studies class.

Special thanks to Hyphen and River Oaks Theatre for their help with this program.

Asian American Jesus, by Yasmine Gomez

Digital Antiquities, by J.P. Chan

Fatakra, by Soham Mehta

Jaime Lo, small and shy, by Lillian Chan

PIA, by Tanuj Chopra

Save the Date: Slant 11 on August 13

Slant is moving! No, not away from Houston. But on the calendar. For the past 10 years, Slant has taken place in May or June. This year, we’re in August. Mark your calendar for Saturday, August 13. We’ll see you at the movies then.

UPDATE: We’ve moved it again. It will now be August 11. 11 years of Slant on August 11!

Slant 10 Recap

Slant Film Festival celebrates 10 years. Photo by Camilo Gonzalez.

Q&A after the screening with filmmaker J.P. Chan. Photo by Han Wang.

Thanks to everyone who made it out to our 10th annual festival. We had a great time hiding out from the Houston heat by watching intriguing movies and performances indoors. We kicked things off on Friday, May 21 with a screening of 7 short films. Filmmaker J.P. Chan was in town from New York and after the screening he answered questions about knives, his day job, and how he bypassed film school and just started making films.
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