Nikkei filmmakers showcase work at CAAMFest

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CHEERS ­— “Kampai: For The Love of Sake” is just one of the Nikkei-oriented films that will be screened March 10 through 20 in the San Francisco Bay Area. photo courtesy of CAAMFEST

CHEERS ­— “Kampai: For The Love of Sake” is just one of the Nikkei-oriented films that will be screened March 10 through 20 in the San Francisco Bay Area. photo courtesy of CAAMFEST
CHEERS ­— “Kampai: For The Love of Sake” is just one of the Nikkei-oriented films that will be screened March 10 through 20 in the San Francisco Bay Area. photo courtesy of CAAMFEST

The Center for Asian American Media’s CAAMFest, formerly the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, returns to the San Francisco Bay Area Thursday, March 10 through Sunday, March 20.

According to a statement, the festival celebrates “film, music, food and digital media from the world’s most innovative Asian and Asian American artists.”

The festival notes that Mirai Konishi’s “Kampai: For The Love of Sake” follows “three sake connoisseurs — a British sake brewer, an American journalist and the president of a century-old Japanese sake brewery — (who) seek to better understand the mechanics of the present-day sake industry.” (Japan; 2015; 95 minutes) Screens Friday, March 11 at 6:40 p.m. at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, which is located at 2550 Mission St., San Francisco and Saturday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. at New People Cinema, which is located at 1746 Post St. in San Francisco’s Japantown.

Arrested at 16 and tried as an adult for kidnapping and robbery, Eddy Zheng served more than 20 years in state prison. Ben Wang’s “Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story” (USA; 2015; 58 minutes) depicts Zheng — the prisoner, the immigrant, the son, the activist — on his journey to freedom, rehabilitation and redemption. Screens Friday, March 11, 6:30 p.m., at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in San Francisco and Saturday, March 19, 8:10 p.m., at The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St. in Oakland, Calif.

“Mele Murals” by Tadashi Nakamura follows artists Estria Miyashiro and John Hina as they “travel to the rural town of Waimea, Hawai‘i, where they attempt to connect ancient Hawaiian traditions and graffiti with the youth of tomorrow.” (USA; 2015; 60 minutes) Screens Friday, March 18 at 7 p.m. at the Oakland Museum of California, which is located at 1000 Oak St. at 10th St.) in Oakland, Calif., and Saturday, March 19 at 12:10 p.m. at New People Cinema.

Matt Yamashita’s “Sons of Halawa” documentary features Pilipo Solatorio, who CAAM describes as “the last native Hawaiian from Halawa. He lives harmoniously with nature and attuned to the spirit of the land. The teachings of his ancestors are at risk of being lost unless he finds a successor to continue his traditions. Only through their roots will future generations flourish.” (USA; 2015; 56 minutes) Screens Sunday, March 20 at 12:30 p.m. at New People Cinema.

“Born With It,” a short film by director Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, who is of Japanese descent, is part of the shorts program “Portraits From the Schoolyard,” which the festival says highlights the “emotional swings” youth face as they mature. (Japan; 2015; 17 minutes) Screens Wednesday, March 16 at 6:20 p.m. at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

Justin Lin’s “Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift” celebrates its 10th anniversary, serving up what the festival describes as “the biggest thematic departure from ‘The Fast and The Furious’ franchise.” “Troubled American teen Sean discovers high-octane Tokyo street racing, and things get complicated when he falls for his rival’s girlfriend. (USA; 2006; 104 minutes) Screens Sunday, March 13 at 9:40 p.m. at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

“The Name of the Whale,” by Japanese filmmaker Fumito Fujikawa, depicts “junior high student Yuta is assigned the task of excavating fossils as a summer school project,” the festival states. “The contentment this assignment brings him is abruptly shattered when pieces of his everyday life begin to fall apart, and Yuta must soon find the balance between his old and new worlds.” (Japan; 2015; 91 minutes) Screens Thursday, March 17 at 6:20 p.m. at Alamo Drafthouse and Sunday, March 20 at 5 p.m. at New People Cinema.

“Mad Tiger,” by Jonathan Yi and Michael Haertlein, features “two band mates of the Japanese performance art band Peelander-Z.”(USA; 2015; 82 minutes) Screens Friday, March 11 at 9:40 p.m. at the Alamo and Saturday, March 19 at 5 p.m. at New People Cinema.

The “In Conversation With Randall Okita” presentation takes place Saturday, March 12 at 12:30 p.m. at the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, which is located at 2665 Mission St. in San Francisco. The event features a discussion on a variety of Randall Okita’s short films: “The Weatherman and the Shadowboxer,” “Machine with Wishbone,” “Fish in Barrel” and “No Contract, Portrait as a Random Act of Violence.” “Okita has lived and worked in Japan, Vancouver and Toronto,” the festival states.

The cost of tickets for all regular screenings are as follows: General admission tickets $14; tickets for students, seniors (65 and older) and disabled adults $13 (limit one per program with ID only). Tickets for CAAM members $12 (limit two per program per membership ID). Pricing excludes special events and galas. Tickets are available for purchase online, and can be purchased in-person at CAAMFest’s box office at Alamo Drafthouse starting Thursday, March 3. For more information, visit
caamfest.com.

CAAM is a nonprofit organization that is “dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. CAAM does this by funding, producing, distributing and exhibiting works in film, television and digital media.”

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