Tag: Vancouver Asian Film Festival

Vancouver Asian Film Festival Features Captivating Storytelling

Vancouver Asian Film Festival features captivating story telling | Kelowna.com.



As the opening film this evening at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Children of Invention is an example of the changes Asian films have undergone since the festival began 13 years ago according to founder Barbara Lee.

She said when the festival began, feature films tended to be about the cultural identity crisis experienced by Asians who grew up in North America. At home, they were raised by parents who believed traditional ways should rule. Once they stepped outside, they walked into a vibrant pop cultural world where few, if any, of those traditional values had much legitimacy. As a result, Asians often felt like they were strangers in their own land.

Lee said as the years have gone by, the festival has seen fewer and fewer of those kinds of identity films on the program.

“I think we kind of got over that,” she said. “Now it’s more about: This is who I am: I’m Canadian and this is my take on it.’ It’s not so much about an identity crisis and more about saying This is how it is and listen to my story. ‘”

Lee said both Asians and non-Asians sometimes still complain that the films in an Asian film festival aren’t in Asian languages. But VAFF isn’t about showing films from Asia. VAFF focusses on showing films made by Asians living in North America where English is the dominant language.

Lee said while looking Asian equates with being a foreigner to some people, the festival is trying to overcome that stereotype by showing Asians as part of the country’s cultural landscape. The 42 films have been chosen because they tell human stories that cross cultural boundaries.

“Our stories are universal but maybe have a little bit of an Asian perspective because culturally that’s where our parents are from,” she said.

More hot picks from the festival:

Operation Babylift: the Lost Children of Vietnam: After the United States pulled out of Vietnam in 1972, close to 2,500 orphans were left behind in the country. Airlifted out, they faced enormous prejudice growing up in the United States because of the unpopularity of the war. Sunday, 1:30 p.m.


OPERATION BABYLIFT Makes Canadian Premiere


Award-winning Documentary Screens at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival

Dallas, Tx – On Sunday, November 8th , Dallas based non-profit ATG Against the Grain Productions is proud to present Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam at its Canadian premiere during the 13th Annual Vancouver Asian Film Festival (VAFF).  The award-winning documentary that was nearly five years in the making is described as “amazing…compelling and hard hitting” by Bolsavik.com and screens at 1:30 p.m. at Cinemark Tinseltown located at 88 West Pender in Vancouver, BC. Filmmaker Tammy Nguyen Lee will be in attendance for the Q&A.

Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam tells the significant, yet untold story of the $2 million U.S. initiative that airlifted over 2,500 Vietnamese orphans out of a war-torn country from the impending threat of the Communist regime.  These adoptees grew up facing unique challenges in America, including prejudice overshadowed by a controversial war and cultural identity crisis.  Featuring compelling and insightful interviews of the volunteers, parents, and organizations directly involved, the documentary takes a contemporary look at Operation Babylift and its relevance to international adoption today.

Yooksik Oum, Executive Programming Coordinator for the Vancouver Asian Film Festival, says “[Operation Babylift is] a documentary that’s intense, emotional, and uplifting. It seemed only fitting that we had to share this with our audiences at VAFF.”

Adoptee and current Canadian resident Bert Ballard says, “Even though Operation Babylift was primarily a United States based event, there are many throughout the world who were and who continue to be affected by it. I am excited for the international and Canadian premiere of the film, and I hope it broadens awareness of the experience of all of us who were a part of Operation Babylift, as volunteers, activists, and most importantly the orphans and adoptees, many of who grew up in Canada. This is a truly international film with universal appeal for all! I am honored to be a part of the project.”

Producer/Director Tammy Nguyen Lee, a MFA graduate from UCLA’s Producers Program, adds, “This is our first time screening to Canadian audiences, and we are excited and anxious to share this inspiring and universal story that is relevant to a diversity of people on so many levels.”

Tammy Nguyen Lee is a first generation Vietnamese American who fled Saigon as refugees with her mother more than 30 years ago.  Lee founded ATG Against the Grain Productions, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, to promote Asian American cultural awareness through compelling media projects, while also raising funds for international orphanages.  This is her feature documentary directorial debut. For more information please visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com or www.TheBabylift.com. Tickets and show times to the screening are available to VAFF members at www.vaff.org.