Melissa Hung’s Slant Film Festival Opens in San Francisco

Don’t go to Slant: Bold Asian American Images expecting to catch a kung-fu fight or a documentary on sushi chefs in Japan. The film festival is a showcase of real, homegrown Asian American cinema. Known for its mix of rollicking off-beat comedies and sassy stereotype-smashing, Slant began seven years ago at the Aurora Picture Show, a microcinema in Houston, Texas. It is traveling to San Francisco for the first time, where it will play at the 4 Star Theatre on July 21.

The festival, which specializes in short films, is curated by Melissa Hung, founding editor of Hyphen, the national Asian American culture magazine based in San Francisco.

Aurora Picture Show has also collected some of the best films from past years of Slant onto one DVD. Be the first to own a copy of the Best of Slant DVD at the pre-release party at Kearny Street Workshop on July 19 .

The festival’s events include:

Best of Slant DVD Pre-Release Party
Thursday, July 19, 7 pm
Kearny Street Workshop, 180 Capp St
$2 o $5 Suggested Donation (no one turned away for lack of funds)

Slant has screened more than 100 short films since its start. That’s 100 films you missed out on. But don’t cry. Be the first to own a copy of the Best of Slant DVD at the pre-release party, hosted by Kearny Street Workshop.

Screening 1: Children, Young & Grown
Saturday, July 21, 7 pm
4 Star Theatre, 2200 Clement St
$8

Children try to find safety from a harsh world, whether it’s the little boy practicing his karate moves in Siu Ta’s Kata Practice, or the children in Tze Chun’s Windowbreaker , who build traps to protect their home. Vivid imaginations take hold in the summer in Suzi Yoonessi’s whimsical Dear Lemon Lima and in Kimi Takesue’s The Summer of the Serpent.

Two films also explore the relationships between parents and their grown children. A mother and son take a final journey together in Jae-Ho Chang’s The Last Vacation while a movie director confronts his estranged father in Lead Role: Father by PJ Raval.

Slant curator Melissa Hung will be in attendance.

Screening 2: Best of Slant & More!
Saturday, July 21, 9 pm
4 Star Theatre, 2200 Clement St
$8

In celebration of the Best of Slant DVD compilation, this program includes some greatest hits from past years of the festival. Wes Kim’s Profiles in Science takes a quirky look at one man’s pursuit of scientific knowledge. A pie maker tries to explain himself in Nobu Ailman’s faux documentary I Pie (A Love Story) . Maritess V.S. the Superfriends, an animation by Dino Ignacio, tells the plight of the Superfriends’ Filipina maid. And Doan La’s comedy Dragon of Love chronicles one man’s dating disaster when he meets the woman of his dreams.

But there’s more! This program will also feature Josh Kim’s The Police Box, a charming story of romantic crushes told in four minutes; Frank Yeean Chan’s cycling adventure Russian Hill Roulette ; and Ling Liu’s Officer Tsukamoto, a documentary about the unsolved 1970 murder of a police officer.

Filmmakers Frank Yeean Chan, Ling Liu and Dino Ignacio, as well as curator Melissa Hung, will be in attendance.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/16997.

The 4 Star Theater has been independently owned since 1992. A supporter of Asian American arts, it is also home of the 10th Annual San Francisco Asian Film Festival, playing November 8-18. www.4starmovietheatre.net or www.hkinsf.com.

Founded in 1998, the Aurora Picture Show is part of the micro-cinema movement that began in the mid-1990’s and is the only facility of its kind in the Southwest. Aurora supports non-commercial, independent and artist-made film, video and new media through fifty programs a year. www.aurorapictureshow.org

Slant is co-sponsored by Hyphen magazine, Kearny Street Workshop, Manja.org and the Center for Asian American Media.

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