LAAPFF 2016 Festival Gala Presentations Announced

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Dramatic Comedy “THE TIGER HUNTER” Starring Danny Pudi, Rizwan Manji, Jon Heder, Karen David, Kevin Pollak, Sam Page and Iqbal Theba Kicks Off the Seven Day Film Fest Presenting the Best of Asian American and Asian International Films

Dramatic Feature “PALI ROAD” Directed by Jonathan Lim Starring Michelle Chen, Sung Kang, Elizabeth Sung and Jackson Rathbone Bookends the Fest as the Closing Night Offering

Acclaimed Documentary “TYRUS” – A Film by Pamela Tom Will Be Featured as the Festival’s Centerpiece Offering

March 15, 2016 – LOS ANGELES   Visual Communications (VC), the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, announced the Opening, Closing and Centerpiece film programs for the upcoming 32nd edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) running April 21-28, 2016. This annual film celebration will be presented across Los Angeles from Little Tokyo to Downtown Los Angeles to Koreatown and to West Hollywood featuring over 130 films from over 20 countries. 

VC will celebrate 32 years as Southern California’s largest and most prestigious film festival of its kind.  The LAAPFF launches the pre-celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month through this year’s slate of over 130 films from both Asian Pacific American and Asian international directors from over 20 countries.  For over three decades, the Festival has presented nearly 5,000 films and shorts by Asian American and Asian international artists. 

Opening this year’s Festival at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo is the World Premiere of dramatic comedy THE TIGER HUNTER from the amazing new director Lena Khan.  The film centers upon Sami Malik (Danny Pudi of NBC TV's - COMMUNITY), a young South Asian man who travels to America to become an engineer in order to impress his childhood crush and live up to the legacy of his father — a legendary tiger hunter back home. When Sami's job unexpectedly falls through and he ends up living in a tiny co-op with two oddball roommates, he must resort to constructing an elaborate charade with the misfit accomplices in hopes of convincing his sweetheart that he's far more successful than he truly is...or perhaps ever could be. As Sami tries to pull off the farce of a lifetime, what ensues is a series of adventures involving outlandish schemes, an arch-nemesis in an absurd office environment, and a somewhat functional Dodge Charger with a character of its own. Together, although their plans may contradict each other with terrible consequences, Sami and his rag-tag group must work together while meeting the usual host of obstacles — the "usual," that is, if back-alley brawls, trips to prison, or catastrophic LSD-related misunderstandings are just your usual, everyday fare. The film also stars Rizwan Manji, Jon Heder, Karen David, Kevin Pollak, Sam Page and Iqbal Theba.

Jonathan Lim’s powerful drama PALI ROAD starring Michelle Chen, Sung Kang, Elizabeth Sung and Jackson Rathbone will close out the eight-day festival at the Directors Guild of America on April 28, 2016.  PALI ROAD centers on Lily (Michelle Chen), a Chinese doctor doing her residency in a Hawaiian hospital under Dr. Kayne (Sung Kang).  She had fallen in love with schoolteacher Neil (Jackson Rathbone) — at least this is what she remembers. But after a terrible car accident, Lily wakes up to discover, in horror, a married life with Dr. Kayne, that includes a 5-year-old son she has never seen. With everyone around her denying Neil's existence, Lily begins to question her own sanity, but memories of Neil force her to embark on a journey to retrace her past and discover the truth.

The LAAPFF Centerpiece offering this year is the moving and insightful documentary TYRUS from director Pamela Tom which brings the life of Chinese American painter, production illustrator, lithographer, and kite builder Tyrus Wong to the big screen.  Wong is best known for his concept art for Walt Disney's feature animated film BAMBI. His strikingly beautiful concept paintings and sketches continue to influence the work of generations of animators and production designers. TYRUS celebrates not only the beauty of his art, but reveals to a larger audience a lesser known part of the Chinese American experience — that of its artists and creators.

“We are excited and proud to present these three films as our celebrations,” states VC Executive Director Francis Cullado.  “Having Lena Khan’s THE TIGER HUNTER as our Opening, Jonathan Lim’s PALI ROAD as our Closing Night, and Pamela Tom’s TYRUS as our Centerpiece film certainly highlights the amount of Asian American directorial talent out there. The big word this year in Hollywood has been ‘diversity’ and Visual Communications and the Festival is one of the ways we address this issue. For us at the Festival, it’s not just about diversity – it’s about inclusivity. We will be releasing more of the Festival line up in the next week and everyone will be able to celebrate inclusion and diversity on the screen, as it should be.”

For program information, a complete listing of sponsors and partners, and to purchase tickets, log on to or contact Visual Communications at (213) 680-4462.  Tickets are available to the general public on Monday, March 21st.

The Festival is proud to be partnering with our following screening venues across Los Angeles:

●      Aratani Theatre @ Japanese American Cultural & Community Center – Little Tokyo | 244 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA90012
●      Tateuchi Democracy Forum @ Japanese American National Museum – Little Tokyo | 111 N. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
●      Downtown Independent – Downtown LA (DTLA) | 251 S. Main Street, (between 3rd and 2nd Streets), Los Angeles, CA90012
●      CGV Cinemas – Koreatown – Mid-Wilshire | 621 Western Avenue (between 6th Street and Wilshire Blvd.), Los Angeles, CA 90005
●      The Great Company – Downtown LA (DTLA) | 1917 Bay Street (between Wilson and Mateo Streets), Los Angeles, CA90021
●      Directors Guild of America – West Hollywood | 7920 Sunset Blvd. (at Hayworth), West Hollywood, CA90046

The 2016 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is sponsored by:

PLATINUM: Comcast NBC Universal; Sony Pictures Entertainment
GOLD: HBO; Directors Guild of America; Nielsen; Wells Fargo
SILVER: FilmLA; Pechanga
BRONZE: Go Little Tokyo; SAG Indie
STAR: Motion Picture Editors Guild; SAG-AFTRA; Writers Guild of America/west; Simple DCP; 
VENUE SPONSORS: Aratani Theatre/Japanese American Cultural & Community Center; Directors Guild of America; Japanese American National Museum; Downtown Independent; CGV Cinemas; The Great Company; USC Pacific Asian Museum; Far Bar; Far East Lounge
MEDIA SPONSORS:; LA18 KSCI-TV; MYX TV;; International Documentary Association
GOVERNMENT: National Endowment for the Arts; Los Angeles County Arts Commission; Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; California Humanities
FOUNDATION: Aratani Foundation; James Irvine Foundation; SAG-P IACF; Asian Pacific Community Fund; M.A. & Josephine R. Grisham Foundation
RECEPTION: The Park’s Finest; Asahi; Kirin; Stella Artois; LA18 KSCI-TV; Twinkle Brown Sugar; AFC Soy Foods
IN KIND: The Park’s Finest; HBO; Bruce Tea; Peter Ly;; FestPro; Telepath Corporation; IKON Office Supplies; Meiji; LA18 KSCI-TV