As part of the second annual Ithaca Pan Asian American Film Festival and a member of the marketing and finance committee I am excited for all of our efforts to come together and become part of history again. This festival is important to me because it aims to celebrate and showcase culture and art within the community by shedding light on Asian American experiences.
When I first became involved in the IPAAFF class I was unsure of what to expect and the role I would have on the community. Most of the time I get a lot of backlash about being involved in Asian American organizations simply because I am not Asian. People will often look at me and say “You’re not Asian, how can you be Vice President of Asian American Alliance.” Or, “Are you even Asian?” However, to me, being a part of Ithaca Pan Asian American Alliance is about immersing and educating yourself about culture. It is about creating a community with everyone who is involved and making a safe space. IPAAFF is not exclusive in any way nor does it aim to separate and isolate individuals. Rather, it helps to build a community for everyone to work together.
The Ithaca Pan Asian American Film Festival has shifted from a class to a commitment, because it involves something I love with people I admire. Seeing the amount of support from not only faculty and staff but the Ithaca community as a whole has allowed IPAAFF to bring in these workshops and film makers. This festival has evolved from a week-long event at Cinemapolis to a condensed weekend on the Ithaca College campus shared with the whole community. Everyone is working incredibly hard to put together live performances, workshops, filmmaker Q&A’s and the closing gala. IPAAFF is a part of my life and I wouldn’t change this experience for anything. I am excited for the beautiful posters plastered along campus, the cheers of excitement, the smiles of joy spread across the audience’s faces as they prepare for one of the biggest student/faculty collaborative events on campus.