San Diego Asian Film Festival celebrates its sweet 16


Hannah Simone (right) and Tiya Sircar (left) star in “Miss India America,” the opening night film for the 16th annual San Diego Asian Film Festival on Nov. 5 at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Sherwood Auditorium. Photo from

Jennifer Manalili

The San Diego Asian Film Festival will kick off Nov. 5 and run through the 14th with this year’s edition of the festival featuring more than 130 films from more than 20 countries, according to their official website.

Utilizing five different venues from all over San Diego, the festival will include screenings at the La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas, the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park, University of California, San Diego, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Sherwood Auditorium which will house this year’s opening and closing night films and the UltraStar Mission Valley at Hazard Center which will act as its home base for much of the week.

Kicking off the 10 days of festivities will be the opening night film “Miss India America,” which the website describes as evoking comedy reminiscent of “Legally Blonde” and “Miss Congeniality.”

As a part of their Asian American Panorama series the festival will also include panels. On hand for one of them will be Buzzfeed’s Eugene Lee Yang as part of a “Digital Pioneer: Buzzfeed” panel at UCSD that will discuss the significance of producing content online and how it’s helped shape the importance of Asian representation in media and opportunities for new filmmakers. While “Getting Intimate with Dr. Ken” is a panel that invites audience goers to spend an hour with “The Hangover” movies and “Community’s” own Ken Jeong. Jeong will be on hand to discuss his new ABC show “Dr. Ken,” a comedy based on Jeong’s own previous experience as a physician before becoming an actor.

Student, senior and military ticket discounts will be available, as well as festival packs and passes and group tickets. A handful of movies will include free screenings as well.

Founded in 2000, the film showcase has grown tremendously, now boasting the title of being the largest exhibition of Asian cinema in the western United States.

Every year, the festival is able to bring West Coast, and in some ways world premieres of movies from around the globe to San Diego, giving fans and audiences the unique chance to discover international cinema in their own backyard.

The film festival is organized by the Pacific Arts Movement, a non-profit media arts organization that’s dedicated to sharing Asian American and international films in hopes of inspiring, entertaining, and supporting representation with the goal of creating “a more compassionate society,” according to their website.

For more information on the film festival including showtimes, film synopsis, trailers and to view a complete schedule visit