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WRITER: DISA LUBKER
CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
International Programs
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-2026
e-mail: lois-gray@uiowa.edu

Release: March 25, 2002

Asian American Film Festival features 'Intersections' March 29-31

The second annual WAVES: An Asian/American Film Festival returns to the University of Iowa March 29-31 in Room 101 of the Becker Communication Studies Building (BCSB) featuring the theme "Intersections." Organizers hope the three-day event featuring a number of Asian and Asian American films will contribute to diversity within the UI and community. The festival is free and open to the public.

The event features films that emphasize the commonality among people and cultures. Among the films to be showing that weekend will be "Green Dragon," "Monsoon Wedding," "Suzhou River," "and Iron Ladies," representing countries including India, China, Thailand, and the United States.

The film festival kicks off Friday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Room 101 of the Becker Communications Studies Building with "Green Dragon," starring Patrick Swayze, and highlighting the immigration of tens of thousands of Vietnamese refugees during the Vietnam War. "Green Dragon" made its debut at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and makes its final film festival screening in Iowa City before having it's theatrical release nationwide. The festival ends with the screening of "Iron Ladies," a film from Thailand based on the true story of a group of transgendered individuals in Thailand's national volleyball circuit. A complete schedule of film screenings and related events is online at http://www.uiowa.edu/~waves.

The goal of WAVES is to showcase unreleased Asian and Asian American films to give Asians in the community a voice and provide a deeper awareness of Asian culture in the community, said Sherwin Loh, WAVES director of programming and one of the main organizers of the event.

"WAVES is programming a variety of feature and short films to highlight the theme of Intersections," Loh said. "These films will depict how Asian and non-Asian cultures, despite their differences, can come together and share common perspectives. In addition, we are inviting filmmakers to speak about their films and conducting a forum where filmmakers and students can address larger topics in Asian and Asian American cinema."

This year WAVES has invited filmmakers Hye Jung Park and J. T. Takagi. Working together, they directed "#7 Train: An Immigrant Journey", a short film on Queens, N.Y., the most ethnically diverse region in the U.S. An opportunity to meet and discuss with the filmmakers will follow the screening of their film on Saturday, March 30.

The film festival was first held in the spring of 2001 to promote Asian and Asian American filmmaking. Undergraduate and graduate students from the Cinema and Comparative Literature Department and the Asian American Coalition came together to initiate the series, which generated an enthusiastic response from students, faculty, administrators and members of the greater Iowa City community. More than 500 people attended last year's three-day event that brought to light many unknown aspects of Asian cinema to American audiences.

Sponsors of the WAVES Film Festival include UI International Programs, the Center for Asian Pacific Studies (CAPS), the Institute for Cinema and Culture, the UI Cinema and Comparative Literature Department, the Women's Resource and Action Center, the Indonesian Student Association, Associated University Women, the Bijou Theater and the Asian American Coalition (AAC).

For information regarding the festival, send an email to wavesfilmfestival@hotmail.com, or call Sherwin Loh at (319) 353-4150. Those who need special accommodations to attend any of the film screenings can contact Blythe Burkhardt at (319) 335-1436.