The Austin Chronicle

Austin Asian American Film Festival Headliners Announced

By Spencer Beghtol, October 3, 2016, 4:00pm, Picture in Picture

The Austin Asian American Film Festival announced its headliners last week. In its ninth year, the festival includes a cross-section of features and shorts with a cash prize for best narrative and documentary shorts.

Opening the festival is Tyrus, the Pamela Tom documentary about Chinese immigrant Tyrus Wong. Wong, who went from the notorious immigrant holding center on Angel Island as a 9-year-old to a Disney animator helping Bambi find its visual style, provides commentary on his unique style. Still active at 105 years old, the doc is a celebration of his achievements.

Documentarian Ben Wang's film, Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story, gets the centerpiece slot. It explores Zheng’s life from being the youngest prisoner at San Quentin State Prison through his time as a respected advocate for prison reform. Learning English, getting a college degree, and publishing poetry all while in prison, Zheng became a nationally recognized activist for youth violence prevention. The doc chronicles his journey to redemption.

AAAFF closes with After the Storm, Hirokazu Koreeda’s feature about a sudden reunion between a wastrel private eye, his elderly mother, his ex-wife, and his unfamiliar son in the wake of a typhoon. Highlighting the intricacies of family life, the film garnered rave reviews at Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

The Austin Asian American Film Festival takes place November 3-6 at the Blanton Auditorium. Tickets, passes, and badges can be found on the Austin Asian American Film Festival website.

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