As an Asian American, the IPAAFF, to me, is a place for Asian American films to be viewed in the light that they deserve. Asian American filmmakers and actors don’t receive the respect and representation that they should and this is where IPAAFF comes in. Through the IPAAFF, I can support my fellow Asian Americans in their film endeavors. The IPAAFF, to me, is a place for Asian Americans to share and view movies and films from documentaries to short films to full length movies, but the IPAAFF is much much more than just a movie screening to support Asian Americans. It’s also a forum for discussion and a platform to share and promote ideas to discuss not only what it means to be Asian American, but also what being Asian American means in the film industry.
The IPAAFF is a great place to meet new people and reach out to other Asian Americans. As a community event, the IPAAFF brings the Asian American community a little closer together and is as much about community as it is about movies; hence, the pan in Pan Asian American, this event helps bridge the many Asian American communities because the film festival features all Asians and is open to all people.
I had the pleasure of attending the event for the first time and it was one of the first times I saw a movie starring an Asian man that spoke English with words that matched their mouth. I also had the pleasure of attending and performing at the closing Gala one year, so I can confidently say with firsthand experience that the event is more than movies; it’s social change and a good bit of fun too. I’m a firm believer that significant change has to come from the bottom up and this is exactly what the IPAAFF is for – creating meaningful change in the way Asian Americans are seen in film from the bottom up.