SACRAMENTO, Calif — The Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival is back this weekend for its sixth celebration!
After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year, organizers say the line-up of films will better reflect current interests, based on the responses they've received from the community.
"We're leaning into documentaries and also showing a lot of fun films about food and family, which has been a popular theme," said Jason Jong, the executive director of the Sacramento Asian Pacific Cultural Village.
Other dominant themes will include Black and Asian solidarity, culture and belonging, as well as justice and courage.
The Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival was first launched in 2003 as a project of the Sacramento Asian Pacific Cultural Village. Jong said after experiencing the cultural arts scene in the Bay Area, he came back to his hometown in Sacramento and felt an urgency to bring communities together. One way he and others thought to do that was through a film festival.
"A film festival had so many elements that are open for exploration as a medium that is attractive to all communities," Jong said.
He says, so far, his team has seen success.
Jong said films have the power to shed light on both the similarities and differences within Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities. They offer a way to celebrate culture and heritage in a way that transcends time.
"We might be five generations deep, we might be recent refugees or immigrants. There's so much breadth and depth of that diversity within our community so it's important to find opportunities to celebrate that, to explore that, but also to connect to other communities," Jong said.
Shaline Jane, an AANHPI advocate and media personality, said it's important for the film festival to be in a city that's among the most diverse.
"This emerging event, us emerging within film and media, it's like we're riding history right now. And it's great that Sacramento can be at the heart of it and... really highlight and showcase these amazing people nationwide," Jane said.
Jane emphasized the importance of representation in the film industry. She said while the event will amplify AANHPI voices, the event is meant for anyone and everyone.
"We want people to walk away feeling acknowledged and seen... so they can see a part of themselves and that we bring more empathy and compassion for others," Jane said. "Just because we're different, there's still a thread that all of us can share. Through love or food or culture, our behaviors and families, they'll find so many things that they can get connected to," Jane said.
The event will be held on Saturday and Sunday, May 21-22 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on both days. You can buy your tickets and see the program HERE.