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AAS 2012

Film Descriptions:


Follow Your Heart: China’s New Youth Movement
Directed by Duncan Jepson. 2007. 89 minutes.
2:15 PM -- Thursday, March 15, 2012

In highlighting China’s national hiphop movement this film illustrates how a generation of Chinese youth embraces technology, art, and consumer culture to express individuality in ways that clash with both traditional and modern Chinese values.

Distributed by: Third World Newsreel


Making Mao
Directed by Terranova. 2009. 52 minutes.
5:05 PM -- Thursday, March 15, 2012

This film examines the creation of the Mao-centered iconography that permeated the visual, performing, and popular arts as China struggled thru its metamorphosis into a modern nation.

Distributed by: Films Media Group


SUBVERSES China In Mozambique
Directed by Ella Raidel. 2011. 45 minutes.
11:15 AM -- Friday, March 16, 2012

Many Chinese are investing and living in Africa. SUBVERSES gives insight to China’s presence in Mozambique through the voices of slam poets, construction workers and
Chinese who are telling their reverse stories about these investments.

Distributed by: Sixpack Film


The Water Cries
Directed by Wang Meng. 2009. 25 minutes.
3:20 PM -- Friday, March 16, 2012

The Water Cries is a series of sixteen programs surveying water-related concerns, such as over-consumption, shortages, pollution, desertification, and drought in China. We’ll be presenting the opening episode of the series.

Distributed by: Asia Pacific Films


Beijing Besieged By Waste
Directed by Wang Jiu-liang. 2011. 72 minutes.
3:55 PM -- Friday, March 16, 2012
Online Q&A with Kevin Lee (VP of Programming and Education, dGenerate Films)

Photographer Wang Jiu-liang travels to more than 500 landfills, fearlessly documenting Beijing’s unholy cycle of consumption through poignant observational visits with the scavengers who live and work in the dumps.

Distributed by: dGenerate Films


Directed by Edward A. Burger. 2009. 24 minutes.
8:30 PM -- Friday, March 16, 2012

Alms explores the basics of Chan Buddhist monastic life through the eyes of the head chef of a monastery in Southern China. Witness how this community functions as a self-sufficient microsociety in which every element of daily life is an expression of this distinctive Buddhist school.

Distributed by Commonfolk Films


Google China Standoff
Directed by Marije Meerman. 2011. 48 minutes.
11:05 AM -- Saturday, March 17, 2012
In Person Q&A with Ying Zhu (Producer, Google China Standoff)

The Chinese government blocks and censors information that it deems detrimental in the name of “Chinese national interest.” Google China Standoff calls attention to the restricted nature of cyberspace and the visibility of the state in regulating, virtually, national borders.

Distributed by: VPRO Sales


When China Met Africa
Directed by Marc and Nick Francis. 2011. 60 minutes.
2:05 PM -- Saturday, March 17, 2012

This film examines China’s expanding footprint in Africa through the stories of three people in Zambia: a Chinese farmer, a Chinese multinational’s road project manager and Zambia’s trade minister.

Distributed by: Bullfrog Films


Diary of an Ethnologist in China
Directed by Patrice Fava. 1988/2009. 46 minutes.
5:05 PM -- Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ethnologist Patrice Fava’s filmmaking centers around surviving Chinese traditions, mainly of Taoist origin. His recently reissued 1988 documentary, which won the Nanook award at the Bilan du Film ethnographique in Paris (1989), offers viewers a look back to these Chinese traditions as practiced in the late 1980’s.

Distributed by: CNRS Images

AAS South Asia Films

Mumbai: Traffic
Produced by Danish Radio. 2011. 60 minutes.
3:55 PM -- Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mumbai is growing so fast that the infrastructure is collapsing and could put an end to economic growth. Public trains are filled to the bursting point, and traffic is nearing a complete gridlock. An eight lane highway is being built out to the sea to ease matters. Part of the Cities On Speed Series produced by Danish Radio.

Distributed by: Filmakers Library


The Fruit of Our Labor: Afghan Perspectives in Film
Produced by Community Supported Film. 2011. 114 minutes.
7:30 PM -- Thursday, March 15, 2012
Online Q&A with Michael Sheridan (Educator/Director of Community Supported Film)

This collection of short, character-driven documentaries made by Afghans show daily realities of contemporary Afghanistan, and reveal Afghan culture through intimate conversations at home and workplaces. Knocking on Time’s Door (6 min), Bearing the Weight (13 min) and Water Ways (11 min) are selected to screen at AAS.

Distributed by: Community Supported Film


Dancing With The Goddess: Ras-Garba Traditions of Gujarat
Directed by Purnima Shah. 2011. 70 minutes.
12:10 PM -- Friday, March 16, 2012

This ethnographic film focuses on ritual dances related to goddess worship in Gujarat, India. It covers a variety of regional performances associated with the Navaratri festival.

Please direct film inquiries to:


Woman Rebels
Directed by Kiran Deol. 2010. 37 minutes.
2:35 PM -- Friday, March 16, 2012
Online Q&A with Kiran Deol (Director/Producer, Woman Rebels)

Over the course of a ten year revolution in Nepal, forty percent of the guerilla army fighting against the government were women. Woman Rebels follows the story of one such woman -- codename ‘Silu’-- on her journey from the jungles to Parliment.

Distributed by: New Day Films


Bön: Mustang to Menri
Directed by Tad Fettig. 2011. 52 minutes.
9:05 PM -- Friday, March 16, 2012

This film is about a boy’s journey from Mustang to Menri and how now as an educated Geshe, he will give back to his village. Interwoven with ancient Bön and life at Menri Monastery, it shows Bön’s unique place in Tibetan history, and how and why the work monks, lamas, and Geshes do is important.

Please direct film inquires to:


Please Don’t Beat Me, Sir!
Directed by Shashwati Talukdar. 2011. 75 minutes.
8:30 AM -- Saturday, March 17, 2012
Online Q&A with Shashwati Talukdar & P. Kerim Friedman (Director and Producer, Please Don't Beat Me, Sir!)

Indian society calls them “born criminals.” They call themselves “born actors.” And through street theater, they are fighting back -- against police brutality, discrimination and history. This film follows the lives of young Chhara actors and their families as they take their struggle to the streets, hoping their plays will spark a revolution.

Distributed by: Four Nine and a Half Pictures


Is This The Mahabharata?
Director of Animation, Ravichandran Arumugam.
Produced by Dr. Brenda Beck. 2011. 37 minutes.
12:05 PM -- Saturday, March 17, 2012
In Person Q&A with Dr. Brenda Beck (Producer, Is This The Mahabharata?)

One part of a 26 episode 2D animation depicting South Indian epic folk stories reminiscent of the Bhavagad Gita... and much more. Is this a folk Mahabharata? You decide.

Distributed by: Ponnivala Productions


Directed by Sonali Gulati. 2011. 71 minutes.
8:15 PM -- Saturday, March 17, 2012
Online Q&A with Sonali Gulati (Director/Producer, I Am)

After eleven years, an Indian lesbian filmmaker chronicles the journey home to finally confront the loss of her mother whom she never came out to. By meeting parents of other gay and lesbian Indians, she pieces together the fabric of what family truly means, in a landscape where being gay was, until recently, a criminal and punishable offense.

Distributed by filmmaker.

AAS Korea Films

Directed by Tammy Chu. 2010. 75 minutes.
8:10 PM -- Thursday, March 15, 2012
In Person Q&A with Jessica Windt (Producer, Resilience)

This award-winning documentary takes a look at a side of adoption rarely told - what happens after the reunion. Resilience follows a Korean birth mother and her American son as they reunite and attempt to build a relationship after 30 years apart.

Distributed by: 7th Art Releasing


In The Matter of Cha Jung Hee
Directed by Deann Borshay Liem. 2010. 63 minutes.
3:55 PM -- Saturday, March 17, 2012
In Person Q&A with Deann Borshay Liem (Director/Producer, In The Matter of Cha Jung Hee)

After 40 years, filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem, a Korean adoptee who came to the US in 1966 as Cha Jung Hee, returns to her native Korea to find her “double,” the mysterious girl whose place she took in America. This moving and provocative film probes the ethics of international adoptions and reveals the cost of living a lie.

Distributed by: New Day Films

2012 Japan Films

Die For Japan
Directed by Jeffrey Dym. 2012. 20 minutes.
9:10 AM -- Friday, March 16, 2012

While American World War II propaganda often focused on killing the enemy, Japanese propaganda focused more on dying for the nation. This film exams Japanese World War II propaganda as depicted in kamishibai—Japanese paper plays, a form of street entertainment popular in Japan at the time.

Please direct film inquiries to:


Mizuzawa in Japan’s History
Directed by David W. Plath. 2011. 15 minutes.
9:40 AM -- Friday, March 16, 2012
In Person Introduction and Q&A with David Plath (Producer, More About Mizuzawa)

Completed shortly before disaster hit Northeastern Japan on 11 March 2011, this film is built around a conversation between noted Japan scholars -- anthropologist Keith Brown and historian Ronald P. Toby who discuss the long and special role of this region in Japanese history.

Distributed by: The Media Production Group


A Grandpa From Brazil
Directed by Nanako Kurihara. 2008/2011. 60 minutes.
12:55 PM -- Saturday, March 17, 2012
Online Q&A with Nanako Kurihara (Director/Producer, A Grandpa From Brazil)

A Grandpa from Brazil focuses on the journey of Ken’ichi Konno, a 92-year-old Japanese man who migrated to Brazil in 1931. In telling Ken’ichi’s story, the film also traces the history of Japanese immigration to Brazil and the current “reverse immigration” from Brazil to Japan.

Distributed by filmmaker.


Light Up Nippon
Directed by Kensaku Kakimoto. 2012. 28 minutes.
3:15 PM -- Saturday, March 17, 2012
In Person Response with Theodore C. Bestor (Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology, Harvard University)

Light Up Nippon documents the mission of a group of volunteers to set off fireworks on the night of August 11, 2011 in more than 10 towns and cities hit by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. The film tells a bittersweet story, of the pursuit to remind everyone the original meaning of fireworks: as both a memorial to the victims and as a sign of hope.

Distributed by: The Japan Foundation

2012 AAS SE Asia

Families of Philippines
Directed by Eleanor Marquisee. 2011. 37 minutes.
8:30 AM -- Friday, March 16, 2012

This documentary shows the lives of two children and their families in the Philippines from morning to night -- how they go to school, what they eat, and what are some of their activities. One family lives in a rural area on the Island of Cebu and another family lives in Manila.

Distributed by: Master Communications


A Quiet Revolution: Singapore’s World Class Education System
Produced by Baney Media/Moving Bits. 2011. 60 minutes.
8:15 PM -- Friday, March 16, 2012

Many say Singapore has the best education system in the world. This documentary shows how this system has produced amazing results and how it differs from the U.S. educational philosophy.

Distributed by Filmakers Library


Into The Current: Burma’s Political Prisoners
Directed by Jeanne Hallacy. 2011. 55 minutes.
1:30 PM -- Friday, March 16, 2012
In Person Q&A with Tin Maung Htoo (Executive Director, Canadian Friends of Burma) and Paul Copeland (Toronto Burma Roundtable)

Into The Current tells the story of Burma’s unsung heroes -- its prisoners of conscience, and the price they pay for speaking the truth about military dictatorship. Using footage secretly shot in Burma, the film uncovers the stories and sacrifices of ‘ordinary’ people of exceptional courage, and the leaders who inspire them.

Distributed by: Ellen Bruno Films


The Insular Empire: America in the Mariana Islands
Directed by Vanessa Warheit. 2010. 59 minutes.
9:55 AM -- Saturday, March 17, 2012
Online Q&A with Vanessa Warheit (Director/Producer, The Insular Empire: America in the Mariana Islands)

This documentary is about America’s historic and ongoing colonial relationship with Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Although most Americans don’t believe the US is an empire, by many standards, these “insular areas” are American colonies. And most Americans know nothing about them.

Distributed by: New Day Films


Kites and Monsters
Directed by Robert Lemelson. 2011. 22 minutes.
9:10 AM -- Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kites and Monsters follows Wayan Yoga, a young Balinese from boyhood to manhood, discovering the influential and protective aspects of culture that may guide developmental neuropsychiatric processes. The protective buffer of his family guides him successfully into normative Balinese adulthood.

Distributed by: Documentary Educational Resources










Last updated March 20, 2012
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