How I Can Relate to IPAAFF by Rudy Outar

The Ithaca Pan Asian American Film Festival is an opportunity. It is an opportunity for Asians and Asian Americans to present something very close to them. They get to present their ideas of the world: how they perceive it and how they feel they are being perceived.

It is also an opportunity for me to help make history for the city of Ithaca, New York and potentially the entire upstate region. That is what this film festival is about. It is about giving people a chance to do something great, whether it be showing us their films or helping to organize the event.

I am not Asian or Asian American. I was born in Venezuela in South America and my parents are from Guyana, a small country adjacent to Venezuela. I come from a West Indian culture, which includes practicing Hinduism and listening to reggae. All that being said, it does not mean I cannot relate to some of the issues that face Asian Americans, which includes under and misrepresentation.

I want to play my part and help a minority group achieve their goals. Even something which may seem as small as a film festival for a small city in an obscure region of New York can have a monumental impact.

IPAAFF has given me a chance to work with some really great people, both professors and students alike. It is amazing to see how people of so many different cultures, Asian and non-Asian, can come together and create this film festival. This will be the first Asian American Film Festival for the city of Ithaca and it is amazing to see how many people really want this to happen. This is going to be an experience for everyone involved that we hope will leave an impact on people.

With this film festival, I hope to create a stronger bond between the community of Ithaca, including all the schools: high schools, universities, and colleges, and all of the surrounding area. I want this film festival to amaze people into wanting to create change, so minorities and Asian Americans can feel proud to be who they are.

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