Home Pop & Screens Texas-made documentaries shine at Austin Asian American Film Festival

Texas-made documentaries shine at Austin Asian American Film Festival



After a year-and-a-half-long hiatus, the Austin Asian American Film Festival is settling into a new summer time slot and returning to the Austin Film Society Cinema.

This year’s festival takes place June 13-16, and showcases 11 feature films and 17 shorts from Asian and Asian American filmmakers.

Seven of the films are by women directors, including “Empty by Design,” the festival’s centerpiece presentation. A U.S./Philippines co-production directed by Andrea A. Walter, “Empty by Design” finds Samantha (Rhian Ramos), a mixed-race young woman, returning to the Philippines after years in the U.S. and struggling to adjust to a culture she knows little about.

Texas gets the spotlight in two documentaries. Nadia Shihab returns to her hometown of Lubbock to make “Jaddoland,” a quiet portrait of her mother, Lahib Jaddo, an artist from Iraq, and a meditation on the nature of belonging and assimilation.

Tim Tsai’s “Seadrift” offers a smartly nuanced look back at a 1979 shooting in the Texas Gulg Coast town of Seadrift, when a Vietnamese refugee killed a white crab fisherman. Though the dispute arouse over fishing territory — and ignited an intimidation campaign from the KKK — Tsai unravels the cultural and social complexities surrounding the settlement in South Texas of Vietnamese refugees.

Both Shihab and Tsai will be on hand for their films and participate in a post-screening Q-and-A.

Want more documentaries?  The festival offers a free screening of short docs at 11 a.m. June 16.

Festival badges are $75, film passes are $50, and student film passes, $40. See aaafilmfest.org/attend for a complete festival lineup.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent articles

So what does a giraffe on horseback salad sound like?

  The movie that never happened finally has the soundtrack that never happened either. "Giraffes on Horseback Salad" is a recently published graphic novel from local author,...

Call and Response: A Conversation with Jeffrey Gibson

  Jeffrey Gibson is a New York-based artist specializing in painting. He is an enrolled member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and is...

Shana Hoehn reimagines American iconography

  “I wanna tell you a story, every man oughta know, if you want a little lovin’, you gotta start real slow.” Roy Head’s honeyed voice...
Print Friendly, PDF & Email