25 Years of Asian-American Film

Jeff Yang writes an interesting history of the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM, formerly NAATA) for the SF Chronicle today, roughly a month after the end of the 25th annual Asian-American Film Festival in the Bay Area. His narrative gets at some great points about the direction of media, as well as film’s importance in representing the shifting nature of Asian-American identity.


I’ll admit it: Two years after its name change, I still find myself referring to the Center for Asian American Media by the organization’s original acronym, NAATA. I’m just so used to the nickname’s catchy two-syllable rhythm (though the jury was always out on whether the correct pronunciation was “Natta” or “Notta” — tomayto, tomahto). Also, whenever I mention “CAAM’s film festival,” people think I’m talking about the South of France.

So yeah, there are downsides.

But there are upsides, too. The new name reflects CAAM’s ambitious plans to expand its mission and audience as never before. And ultimately, as staffers point out, the change was more or less inevitable. […]

[Read the full article on SF Chronicle]


1 Response to “25 Years of Asian-American Film”

  1. 1 Jenny April 24, 2007 at 9:09 am

    I was at SFIAFF this year; it was my first time to their festival and I was astounded by how huge of an event it was, especially for an area that is host to several big film festivals. As someone who is heavily involved in an Asian American Film Festival in DC (http://www.apafilm.org), I was elated to see so many people congregate to support Asian cinema. It would be awesome if you and Jan could make it to our festival this year in DC, it’s going to run from Sept 27-Oct 6 this year, and I can already guarantee an amazing program lineup and some fantastic events in the works.

    P.S. – I’ll be at Tribeca this weekend to catch Michael Kang’s new film “West 32nd Street”: http://www.w32nd.com/

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