Saturday, March 17, 2012

Phil attends the SFIAAFF 30 Opening Nght Gala at the Camera 3-March 16, 2012

Hello folks and welcome to the opening night of the San Fransisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF) at the Camera 3 Cinemas here in Downtown San Jose! This year marks the 30th anniversary of the festival, as well as the 11th anniversary of the festival being shown in San Jose! Before the screening of the opening film, the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) executive director Stephan Gong thanked all their sponsors, without whom this festival would not happen. Then both director Michael Kang and star/screenwriter Kimberly-Rose Wolter were called up to introduce their film to the audience and thanked us for coming out to see the film on this cold, wet, rainy Friday night. Then the lights dimmed and we watched the South Bay Premiere of the comedy film KNOTS.

The film's about Lily (Wolter), who is a beautiful, quirky, marriage-phobic woman who left her family and their family business in Hawaii and relocated to Los Angeles. When she and her boyfriend James (Henry Dittman) travel back for vacation, he pops the big question which sends her back to her loving family: her mom Miriam Wolf (Illeana Douglas), and her younger sisters Hoku (Janel Parrish), who just happens to be pregnant and bubbly Twinny (Mia Riverton). Reluctantly, she helps out with the family business ironically called "Tying the Knot." While back home she runs into her ex-boyfriend Kai (Sung Kang), who Twinny is dating. Things become complicated when old feelings resurfaces, but will Lily's fear of commitment ruin her friendship with Kai and her family's business as well?

The film was a fun, light-hearted comedy that boasts some really hilarious moments combined with love and inspiration. The family dynamic between the mom and her daughters was very well done. The on-screen chemistry between all the lead actresses was believable, thanks to perfect casting. Wolter not only starred in the film, but also written the script (she also starred in and wrote TRE, which won the Special Jury Prize at SFIAAFF ‘08). Born and raised in Hawaii, Wolter knew a lot about Hawaiian customs and knew locations that would best suit the film. Director Kang is no stranger to the festival, having both the comedy THE MOTEL (SFIAAFF ‘05) and noir film WEST 32ND (SFIAAFF ‘08) showcased at the festival. With this film, he continues his streak of bringing us films that shows us his talents.

After the screening, we all went to the gala afterparty which was held at the San Jose Museum of Art. There was plenty of food, drinks, and wine to enjoy. Some of my favorite treats were the dessert snacks from Charlie's Cheesecake Works and Jade Chocolate, as well Chinese cuisine from Ginger Cafe. Both Charlie's and Ginger are located here in the South Bay, while Jade is located in San Fransisco. Check out their websites to learn more about their businesses.

Tonight was an amazing night, and this was just the beginning! The festival continues for the rest of this weekend so come out to the Camera 3 and partake on the fun! To view the film schedule and to purchase tickets, visit the CAAM website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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