Monday, August 23, 2021

SCREENSHOT:ASIA Film Festival, October 6 - 10 at Pitt.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will host the first SCREENSHOT:ASIA Film Festival from October 6 through 10th. It has already announced a screening of Who Killed Vincent Chin? and a discussion of Asian horror.

A brief summary of the festival and its ambitions:
The Festival brings together students, faculty, long-term Pittsburghers, and recently arrived residents. By screening films from across Asia, we hope to create a dialog based on shared cinematic experiences, letting our audiences learn about and embrace different cultures, peoples, and ways of being in the world. Asian residents are the fastest-growing ethnic community in Pittsburgh; new arrivals include Asian and Asian American students who stay after graduation; professionals brought in by tech, biomedical, and other emerging industries, and refugee communities from Bhutan, Iraq, and Syria. By partnering with community groups—including nationality rooms and other local festivals—we will encourage on and off-campus investment in the success of the events. Additionally, screenings will bring new populations to campus, giving residents who may not know the University their first on-campus experience.

The project is also a way to engage students in practical, professional arts programming experience. Through internships, participation in the ‘Film Festivals’ course, and volunteering, students will learn how to create and execute a high level, city-wide programming event. Students will be part of all committees and areas of engagement. They will help decide which films should be screened, make decisions on graphics and marketing, and work with filmmakers, distributors, and theaters. The project allows students to learn on the ground project management.

By screening films by lesser-known artists from overseas and emerging Asian American film professionals, the Screenshot: Asia Film Festival will impact our participants and audiences in several crucial ways: firstly, it will help our audiences understand marginalized experiences inside and outside of the United States and consider the unique challenges to minority filmmakers. Secondly Screenshot: Asia will provide a space for Asian and other minority film students to meet and learn from underrepresented filmmakers from the U.S. and abroad. We know that representation matters and learning about minority professionals encourages students of color to participate in the industry. By creating networking sessions and filmmaker discussions with students, the program will help bridge the gap between potential women and minority filmmakers and the industry.
The festival was supposed to debut last fall but COVID cancelled those plans. It will succeed and expand upon the long-running Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival, which ceased operations in 2018 after rampant sexual harassment by its director was exposed.