Two weeks ago, I had my first class in the Ithaca Pan Asian American Film Festival course. The IPAAFF is a course that looks at how media and society have contributed to the continuing belief that Asian Americans are foreigners and the perpetuation of racist stereotypes. The course also looks at how independent filmmakers are breaking through the boundaries set by Hollywood and society on who is Asian/Asian American.
To me, being a part of the IPAAFF is a chance to make connections and bring not only diverse minds together, but also diverse people as well. As someone who does not personally identify as Asian/Asian American but has family members who do, being a part of a film festival that works to bring recognition to the Asian community and tell their stories through a creative outlet is something that can help me and others better understand the culture and the challenges that they face. I see the goal of the IPAAFF not only on a personal level, but on a social level as well.
By being a part of this course, I can help to promote the ideas of the filmmakers and help them showcase to the general public their films on Asians/Asian Americans, how filmmakers have been influenced by certain aspects of their lives, and how the filmmakers came to the realization the importance of diversifying the filmmaking industry. Through IPAAFF, I’ll be able to see how the new generation of filmmakers will tackle content that has to deal with history, family, social issues, community, and identity. And lastly, by being a part of this film festival I hope to give the audiences watching the films the same experience the directors of the film gave to me: a new understanding.