I-SEA International Southeast Asian Film Festival

2 i sea film fest poster Fri, November 20, 2015, 8:00 am to Sun, November 22, 2015, 8:00 am

Lisa Geduldig                                 Publicist
Ph: (415) 431-7363/Cell: (415) 205-6515 •–media.html

For Immediate Release            Contact: Lisa Geduldig –
October 15, 2015                (415) 205-6515 – Please don’t publish

Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN) Presents….
The Inaugural SF International Southeast Asian (I-SEA) Film Festival

November 20-22, 2015: San Francisco
•Nov 20 @ 7-11pm Opening Night screening and party: ATA, 992 Valencia St, SF 94110
•Nov 21-22, 11am-9:30pm: New People Cinema, 1746 Post St, Japantown, SF 94115


Facebook: & Twitter: @ISEAFilmFest

San Francisco, CA… The Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN) is commemorating the 40th anniversary of US military involvement in Southeast Asia by launching its inaugural SF International Southeast Asian (I-SEA) Film Festival. The selected films seek dialogue with local and international communities, drawing connections between wars then and now, overseas and on our streets. The films screened represent a diverse range of topics including gender identity, love, horror, experimental, and documentaries. The group previously ran the SF Global Vietnamese Film Festival in 2012 and 2013 and this year is rebranding as I-SEA and branching out to include films from all over Southeast Asia.
There are hundred of thousands of people of Southeast Asian descent in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and other parts of the world. The San Francisco Bay Area has a vast Southeast Asian American population: one of the largest Vietnamese communities in the country as well as sizeable Cambodian and Laotian communities. California is the home to the largest concentrations of Southeast Asian immigrants in the world. According to the 2010 US census, almost 1 million Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, Filipino and Hmong live in California (with the largest population being Vietnamese): approximately 40% of the Southeast Asian American population in the United States.

DVAN, which was founded in 2007 to promote artists from the Vietnamese diaspora and foster their relationship to the Vietnamese American community in the Bay Area and beyond, strives to fill the gap of the underrepresentation of Southeast Asian films in San Francisco. The festival organizers have worked with experts in Southeast Asian cinema including professors, curators and filmmakers in the United States and Southeast Asia to put together a world-class film going experience.
The I-SEA Film Festival will center on the stories and imaginations of those in Southeast Asia and in the Southeast Asian diaspora and will features films from countries including Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The festival will be held on Friday, November 20 from 7-11pm (Opening Night screening and party) at Artists’ Television Access in San Francisco’s Mission District and Saturday-Sunday, November 21-22 from 11am to 9:30pm at the New People Cinema in Japantown. The festival will feature the latest works by emerging and established filmmakers, including features, documentaries, shorts, and experimental cinema as well as special artist panels. There will be 14 screenings: 11 features and 3 short programs. 1,000 people are expected to attend the festival.
The festival features work by award-winning directors (Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or, Prince Claus Foundation, Macarthur “Genius" award), Oscar nominees, rebels and art-world stars, and showcases world-class feature films, cutting-edge experimental shorts and controversial documentaries.
Opening Night Screening Event & Party. Friday, November 20, from 7-11 pm. ATA.
Screening: “Ways of Seeing”? – Family home movies, moving and still images from the French colonial era, and scene excerpts from Hollywood films and declassified CIA propaganda films frame the varied histories of Southeast Asians. Co-presenters include Center for Asian American Media's Memories to Light, Stephen Gong and awarding winning Laotioan writer Bryan Thao Worra.
(With SUP! Southeast Asian Streetfood Pop-up and music by DJ Richie Traktivist)

All films (except Opening Night) take place at New People Cinema in Japantown.

Festival highlights (& directors’ bios):

The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer, Indonesia), Sat, Nov 21 @ 11am.
Joshua Oppenheimer’s powerful companion piece to the Oscar®-nominated The Act of Killing. Through Oppenheimer’s footage of perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide, a family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered, as well as the identities of the killers.??

Cemetery of Splendour (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand), Sat Nov 21 @ 2.30pm   
Soldiers with a mysterious sleeping sickness are transferred to a temporary clinic in a former school. The memory-filled space becomes a revelatory world for housewife and volunteer Jenjira, as she watches over Itt, a handsome soldier with no family visitors. Jen befriends young medium Keng who uses her psychic powers to help loved ones communicate with the comatose men. Doctors explore ways, including colored light therapy, to ease the mens’ troubled dreams. Jen discovers Itt’s cryptic notebook of strange writings and blueprint sketches. There may be a connection between the soldiers’ enigmatic syndrome and the mythic ancient site that lies beneath the clinic. Magic, healing, romance and dreams are all part of Jen’s tender path to a deeper awareness of herself and the world around her.

Chanthaly (Mattie Do, Laos), Sat Nov 21 @ 6:30pm  
A young girl, raised alone by her overprotective father sequestered in their home in Vientiane, Chanthaly suspects that her dead mother's ghost is trying to deliver a message to her from the afterlife. After a change in the medication treating her hereditary heart condition causes the hallucinations to cease, Chanthaly must decide whether or not to risk succumbing to her terminal illness to hear her mother's last words. First Laotian horror film; screened at Cannes in 2014; San Francisco premiere  

Killing Fields of Dr. Haing (Arthur Dong, Cambodia, USA). Sat, Nov 21 @ 8pm.
Dr. Haing S. Ngor, the only Asian to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, for the heartrending role of Cambodian photographer Dith Pran in Roland Joffé’s 1984 film The Killing Fields. Though he continued acting, Ngor retrained the spotlight on Cambodia, traveling worldwide to speak out against Pol Pot’s regime and the Vietnamese occupation of his country that followed. He became such a powerful voice that specters of conspiracy still haunt his untimely 1996 death. Veteran doc-maker, Arthur Dong, unspools Ngor’s phenomenal life with original animation, rare archival material and newly shot footage inspired by his autobiography Survival in the Killing Fields. Following the screening, join director Arthur Dong for Q&A.


Finding Phong (Swann Dubus/Tran Phuong Thao, Vietnam/USA), Sun Nov 22 @ 6pm
Phong grew up in a small town in the center of Vietnam – the youngest of six children. From the time he was a young boy, he felt like he was a girl with a mismatched boy's body. Not until he moved to Hanoi to attend university at age 20 did Phong discover that he was not the only one in the world with this predicament. His dream to 'find himself' by physically changing sex becomes a reality several years later. The movie follows Phong's struggle during these years, with excerpts from his intimate video journal, along with his encounters with family, friends and doctors – all of whom must come to terms with the boy's determination to become a complete girl.


For Calendar Editors:
WHAT:    Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN) Presents….
The Inaugural SF International Southeast Asian (I-SEA) Film Festival

WHEN:     November 20-22, 2015  

WHERE:    Friday, November 20, 2015 from 7 to 11 pm. Opening Night Screening and Party. Artists' Television Access (ATA), 992 Valencia St, SF 94110
      Saturday-Sunday, November 21-22, 11am to 9:30pm.
      New People Cinema, 1746 Post St, Japantown, SF 94115
TICKETS:     •General Admission (Opening Night and Films): $12.
      ($9 Early Bird, before November 10.)
      •4-pack deal: $35    
•All Access Festival pass: (unlimited access to 14 screenings and the Opening Night Gala): $125.


PRESS:    For further press info/to arrange interviews, please contact Publicist,
Lisa Geduldig at (415) 431-7363 or cell: (415) 205-6515 or