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February 28th – March 7th, 2014 – Transpacific Intimacies: Three Film Screening Series, organized by Feng-Mei Heberer (2014-2015 Center for Transpacific Studies Fellow)

The Pacific Rim has attracted new attention ever since President Barack Obama called it a rising center of global power. “Transpacific Intimacies” responds to the attention the New Pacific has recently gained and offers a different perspective on the much-hailed new economic, political, and cultural opportunities arising from power shifts around the Pacific Rim. This special 3-day film event features a selection of narrative and documentary films from Asia and Asian America that rewrite the abstract concepts of nationhood and citizenship from the concrete perspective of people from the Transpacific region today. How do intimate stories, loving bodies, and curious feelings travel alongside the dominant flows of money, commodities, and workforce? How do they challenge and also maintain a deep-seated East-West dichotomy that continues to dominate a common sense partition of the world? Event co-produced with generous support from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

In the Family
Dir: Patrick Wang
(USA – 2011, 169min., English language)

The Albert and Dana Broccoli Theatre, School of Cinematic Arts (SCA112)
Friday, February 28th – 7 PM
Followed by a Q&A with Patrick Wang

Written, directed, produced, and co-starred by Patrick Wang himself, In The Family tells the story of same-sex couple Joey (played by Wang himself) and Cody and their six year old son Chip. Set in Tennessee, the plot begins with the family’s everyday life in which Joey works as a contractor and Cody as a teacher. However, the loving intimacy between the three is violently interrupted when Cody, Chip’s biological father, dies in a fatal car accident. Now, Joey has to face a custody battle with Cody’s sister over whose right it is to raise the boy. The legal system, social prejudice, U.S. Southern culture, queer sociality, and interracial love are just some of the major topics underlying the dense narrative of Wang’s masterpiece. Yet they are never explicitly addressed nor incorporated into a politics of identity and civil rights but rather framed as a part of our complex everyday reality that we hereby learn to recognize and decipher.

Official Website – In the Family

Patrick Wang graduated at MIT with a degree in Economics and a concentration in Music and Theatre Arts. In The Family is his first feature film. It was nominated as Best Feature for the Independent Spirit Award and won multiple awards, among them the “Golden Hammer” Award from “Hammer to Nail,” the online film magazine, and Best Narrative Feature awards at the San Diego Asian Film Festival, the Spokane International Film Festival, and the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. Wang also was named by Filmmaker Magazine as one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”

In the family image

YxineFF “Best of Shorts Night”

The Albert and Dana Broccoli Theatre, School of Cinematic Arts (SCA112)
Friday, March 7th – 4 PM
Reception in Harold Lloyd Lobby hosted by the Vietnamese Student Association

YxineFF, the first Vietnamese online film festival, offers recent award-winning short films from Vietnam and Cambodia.

YxineFF (Yxine Film Fest) is an annual online international short film festival targeting young independent filmmakers and cinema lovers. As a a voluntary, non-profit and independent project initiated by a handful of Vietnamese and Vietnamese overseas cultural practitioners, YxineFF’s first edition commenced in May 2010 and has since attracted more than 2.5 million views per year.

Official Website – YxineFF

Seeking Asian Female
Dir: Debbie Lum
(USA – 2012, 84min., English/Mandarin language with English subtitles)

The Albert and Dana Broccoli Theatre, School of Cinematic Arts (SCA112)
Friday, March 7th – 7 PM
Followed by a Q&A with Debbie Lum

Seeking Asian Female is the story of an Asian American filmmaker and her unlikely friendship with one of her worst nightmares: a white American man with a hopeless case of “yellow fever” who seeks – and appears to find online! – his perfect, exotic young bride from China. This feature documentary captures the newlyweds’ attempt to build a marriage from scratch and reveals both troubling and humorous complications for all three: husband, wife, and filmmaker.

Official Website – Seeking Asian Female

Debbie Lum is a San Francisco-based filmmaker. Lum has worked as an editor and producer on many award-winning documentary and fiction films. Seeking Asian Female is her feature-length directing debut. She recently completed the PBS Producer’s Academy, holds an M.F.A. in Cinema from San Francisco State University and a B.A. in Religious Studies from Brown University.

About the Organizer: Feng-Mei Heberer is a PhD candidate in Critical Studies at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where she works on Asian transnational filmmakers. She is curating several Asian film festivals both in the U.S. and Germany.