Thank you to everyone who made it out to this year’s Bold Asian American Images screening of short films in Houston. It’s been four years since I’ve curated this program for the Aurora Picture Show and it was wonderful to be back.
I had not been to Aurora Picture Show’s new space (Well, new to me. They moved in 2012.) and was glad to see that the organization has a home after being nomadic for five years. The screening included works by Leena Pendarkar, Nina Yuen, Laura Hyunjhee Kim, R.J. Lozada, Tony Nguyen, and Faroukh Virani.
We were lucky to have two filmmakers in attendance, Tony and Faroukh. Faroukh’s sci-fi film Vimana took us on a journey to a distant planet. Two astronauts struggle with how to complete their mission after their captain dies on the spaceship. Tony’s award-winning documentary, Giap’s Last Day at the Ironing Board Factory, tells the story of his mother, a Vietnamese refugee, and her family adapting to life in small town America.
Though very different on the surface, these films both tell stories of loss, family, and home — themes that ran through many of the other works in the program. We had a lively Q&A with the audience after the screening.
Tony Nguyen and Faroukh Virani
Faroukh grew up in Houston and now lives in Los Angeles, so this was a homecoming for him and he brought his mom to the screening. For Tony, this was his first time in Houston, so earlier in the day, I took him on a tour of some local sights, like the Beer Can House.
Houston is my hometown, and though it may look like strip mall after strip mall in its vastness, there are so many interesting, quirky places and good eats. I love taking people around.
Many thanks to the Aurora Picture Show for its continued support of this program. This was the 12th edition of Bold Asian American Images! And thank you to the Houston Press for this interview.
First photo by Alfred Cervantes of the Houston Film Commission.