Visual Communications Presents
The 36th Annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
September 24 to October 31, 2020

 Highlights Include:
World Premiere of THE GIRL WHO LEFT HOME

The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF), presented annually by Visual Communications (VC), announced that the 36th edition of the Festival will take place online from September 24 to October 31, 2020.

Originally slated to take place in May 2020, the Festival postponed its in-person spring presentation due to COVID-19, and shifted to present the first Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Virtual Showcase. The organization felt it was important to showcase Asian American and Pacific Islander stories during that time, due to the rise in anti-Asian American sentiment and violence.  

VC continues to move forward, and as part of their commitment to create spaces for expression, engagement, and empowerment, the 36th edition of LAAPFF moves forward from September 24 to October 31, and will virtually present the works of more than 225 filmmakers across five weekends.

“Visual Communications is grateful for these storytellers who believe in the power of media to build and connect communities,” said Francis Cullado, Executive Director of Visual Communications. He added, “VC thanks these artists and community members for utilizing their creative powers to oppose racism and amplify change.”

Haven Everly as Christine Santos in a scene from Mallory Ortega’s THE GIRL WHO LEFT HOME.
Photo courtesy LAAPFF.

The online Festival will showcase the long awaited World and Local premieres of I’LL MEET YOU THERE (dir. Iram Parveen Bilal); ONE MEAL (dir. Yuechen Hao); ACCEPT THE CALL (dir. Eunice Lau); THE GIRL WHO LEFT HOME (dir. Mallorie Ortega); FINDING YINGYING (dir. Jiayan “Jenny” Shi); and THE CELINE ARCHIVE (dir. Celine Parreñas Shimizu).

LAAPFF will also present the timely stories of Ramona S. Diaz’s A THOUSAND CUTS; Baljit Sangra’s BECAUSE WE ARE GIRLS; and Ursula Liang’s DOWN A DARK STAIRWELL.

Join LAAPFF for kick-ass narratives like THE PAPER TIGERS (dir. Bao Tran),along with international cinema selections DEATH OF NINTENDO (dir. Raya Martin) and PATUTIKI: THE GUARDIANS OF MARQUESAN TATTOO (dirs. Christophe Cordier & Heretu Tetahiotupa).

In the lead-up to Election Day, the Festival aims to present diverse and important American stories. Watch Larissa Lam’s FAR EAST DEEP SOUTH, Kelly Ng & Hui Tong’s CURTAIN UP!, and Jason DaSilva’s WHEN WE WALK.

As part of an ongoing partnership with HBO® and theircommitment to magnify emerging filmmakers, the Festival is excited to premiere the winners of this year’s HBO APA Visionaries Short Film Competition: Tiffany So’s FINE CHINA, Johnson Cheng’s LONELY BLUE NIGHT, and Thomas Percy Kim’s SI. With the theme of “Breaking Barriers,” this year’s competition drew a record number of film submissions that provided a unique lens into the challenges and victories of overcoming obstacles. The evening of these premieres will have appearances from 2020 HBO APA Visionaries Ambassador Shannon Lee, performing artist NIKI, and more.

Additionally, the Festival is proud to debut the works of VC’s own ARMED WITH A CAMERA Fellows and DIGITAL HISTORIES artists. LAAPFF will also spotlight the next volume of PACIFIC CINEWAVES, reflecting experiences of Native Hawaiians & Pacific Islanders.

“I am proud to continue VC’s legacy with this Festival,” said Eseel Borlasa, Programmer & Festival Operations Director of Visual Communications. “As we navigate through this unprecedented year, we utilize new tools and resources to keep uplifting stories that reflect our diverse AAPI perspectives and the many talents in our communities.  I’m especially proud that we can align these stories to amplify the work of our partner organizations in the community.”

The Festival will continue partnerships spotlighting works from the UNDOCUMENTED FILMMAKERS COLLECTIVEOKAERI, and KAYAMANAN NG LAHI.

LAAPFF has long prided itself in creating spaces for creators to connect and converge. In this edition, C3:CONFERENCE will become a virtual space for artists to conversate and celebrate each other.

Little Tokyo has long served as the Festival home. LAAPFF is grateful for the local partners who have provided spaces for the Festival to gather. Because attendees are unable to connect in person, LAAPFF will present LT@Home, aseries bringing stories of Little Tokyo to viewers’ homes. The series kicks off with the world premiere of THE ATOMIC CAFE: THE NOISIEST CORNER IN J-TOWN (dirs. Akira Boch & Tadashi Nakamura).

The full LAAPFF schedule will be released on Tuesday, September 15.
For more information, please visit