Preserving art through film by Taylor Walker

I decided to help organize the Ithaca Pan Asian American Film Festival (IPAAFF) because I have always had a knack for event planning and a keen interest in the behind the scenes work of film festivals. From selecting films to organizing the event, film festivals have always intrigued me. As someone who is majoring in cinema and photography and plans to pursue a career in filmmaking, understanding the structure of film festivals and the selection process is important to me.

Although I will be helping with all aspects of IPAAFF, my specific role in coordinating IPAAFF is community outreach and academic panels which will still provide me with backstage knowledge of the operation and execution of a film festival. At some point in my career, I plan on working in a film festival and my experience with IPAAFF will be a great segway into pursuing this dream.

Additionally, as a female filmmaker of color who wants to properly portray other marginalized individuals in film, I feel helping with IPAAFF is crucial to me in truly understanding and recognizing the importance of not only multi-faceted representation of marginalized individuals, but also awarding films that represent the complexity of marginalized people. Historically, films created by people of color and starring people of color have consistently been disregarded by prominent film festivals and awards. Film festivals such as IPAAFF are important to preserve because film festivals specifically dedicated to art created by marginalized individuals are relatively new in relation to the history of film. IPAAFF provides an opportunity for not only Asian American filmmakers, but also other Asian American artists to showcase their work. Knowing the history of Asian Americans in film being portrayed as the enemy and reduced to stereotypes makes IPAAFF and other film festivals that award and celebrate Asian American art necessary.

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