Friday Night at VAFF

I checked out Day 2 | Program 3 “Places And Spaces”

Fri. Nov. 5th, 9:30 PM

Five award-winning short films featuring environmental settings were scheduled: I Don't Sleep I Dream, Ajumma! Are You Krazy???, Empire Corner, Takeo and Works of Art. However, Works of Art, had some technical difficulties, so Sikate, by local filmaker Angelina Cantada was substituted, and Works of Art ran afterwards. Bonus! … because I had missed the 7:00 showing of “Promised Lands” that had featured Philipine-North American film makers.

Just prior to entering the 9:30pm show, I bumped into Mabel Elmore MLA, who promptly introduced me to her partner Angelina Cantada, and another friend Jason Karman whose film “I'm in the Mood for Love” played Saturday at 1:30 pm.

see Jason's trailer:

I Don’t Sleep I Dream (2009 15min USA) – directed, written,/and produced by J.P. Chan

– A surreal nightmare where a woman is dreaming about a car accident and its results – or is she? This film had lovely tension, and kept the audience on the edge of its sleep… wondering what was going to happen next. Some lovely ironic twists and lots of self-reflection.

Ajumma! Are You Krazy??

2009 | 26 min | USA

Director/Writer: Brent Anbe | Producers: Laurie Foi, Ashley Smith

– a quirky comedy about middled aged ladies with a crush on a Korean actor. Set in Hawaii, the local scenery and cultural accents are used to great advantage. You have to laugh at these Ajumma (older women) but in the end you really do care about them, as their misadventures are exactly what you wish you could do yourself! I really enjoyed the cross-cultural twists, as Hawaiian culture is a real polyglot incorporating many Asian connections within the dominant American mainstream.

Empire Corner

2010 | 12 min | USADirector/Writer/Producer: J.P. Chan

This movie was moody, and contrasts immigrant Asian culture in New York City with the established Black American culture. They live side by side, in the same geographical city, but can be worlds apart. But sometimes it just takes a little chance for individuals to cross those boundaries. Slow but insightful.


2009 | 19 min | USA

Director/Writer: Omar Samad | Producer: Manmeet Kuckreja

– Lots of anger in this movie, set on a lonely road in rural USA. Violence collides because of cultural misunderstandings. Family secrets are revealed slowly and explosively… shivers!


2010 | 10 min | Canada | English & Tagalog with English subtitles

Director/Writer: Angelina Cantada | Producers: Ita Kane-Wilson, Olesia Shewchuk

This movie is seductive. I loved the moods and the character development, as live-in caregiver Sikat looks after the two white children, of a Canadian family. She expresses the joy she has because her own son and husband are coming to Canada, a child she hasn't seen for 5 years. But there are reverberations both in the Canadian family and her own. This story was so nicely set up, I didn't want this film to end…

Works Of Art

2009 | 18 min | USA

Director: Andrew Pang | Writer: Paul Juhn | Producers: Philippe Cu Leong, Helen Yum

Some films present stereotypes of Asian characters, this film presents the stereotypes as confronted by Art Hahn, a struggling actor in New York City. Then in typical overbearing Asian parent fashion, with a twist, his friend asks him to take his place in meeting the prospective bride for a possible arranged marriage, which he doesn't have time for. Art meets the girl, courtesies are exchanged. But all is not what meets the eye. This is a delightful short film. I really enjoyed the slow unvealing of character, especially of the female date who questions Art and his manerisms and challenges his perspectives. A lovely surprise ending, that had me wanting to see more!

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