Wong Fu Production headlines Asian American Film Festival

May 8, 2007

Two weeks of free movies in 194 Chemistry start Tuesday

By: Jackson Yan

Issue date: 5/7/07 Section: Arts & Entertainment

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After answering the age-old riddle, “What do women want?” with their short film Yellow Fever, Wesley Chan, Ted Fu and Philip Wang of Wong Fu Productions decided to do what most only dream about: produce a feature-length film before graduating from college.

“It was our last year, and we really wanted to do something big,” Fu said. “Why not tackle a feature [film]?”

The three banded together just before graduating from UC San Diego to produce A Moment With You, which will be screened Tuesday at the opening of the two-week-long Asian American Association Film Festival in Davis.

“These films are Asians playing regular roles,” said junior managerial economics and film studies major Khoa Nguyen, co-director of the Asian American Association Film Festival. “It doesn’t over-sexualize Asian women and it shows that Asian guys can get the girl.”

Operated by Nguyen and fellow director Chun Wai Tam, a senior international relations and communication major, the festival is in its fourth year of operation. Run by a collection of 16 students, the group’s mission is to promote Asian American arts and film.

In addition to A Moment With You, the event will showcase other films, including Korean blockbuster Typhoon, a movie about modern-day pirates. Typhoon was the most expensive film ever produced in Korea. In addition, Red Doors, which won best narrative feature at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival, will be screened closing night May 18.

Wong Fu Productions has been on college tour throughout the country showcasing its hour-and-a-half feature, A Moment With You. They described it as an honest love story with two college guys navigating the tricky nature of love.

“We wanted to do a movie related to relationships,” Chan said. “We want people to connect with the characters’ emotions and we made it an honest and realistic view about love.”

Wong Fu Productions built a cult following outside of Hollywood with the help of youtube.com when a fan uploaded its most famous work, Yellow Fever, to the popular website. Over a million people have viewed its 15-minute short to date.




“[Yellow Fever] wasn’t meant to break barriers or reshape stereotypes,” Chan said. “It was a playful comedy, but it blew up.”

Making its mark outside of Hollywood has allowed the trio to put Asian Americans in leading roles. The group’s fan base is built from grassroots and many are grateful for its work.

“We have been working independently,” Fu said. “So there is more of an Asian American interest. We want to be able to influence Asian Americans and bring them into the field. We get e-mails saying we inspire them and we’re very grateful and most proud of this.”

The trio from Wong Fu Productions will have a question-and-answer session after the screening. Nguyen, the co-director of the film festival, expects opening night to be the most popular and foresees a packed house in 194 Chemistry.

“All the girls want to take a picture with them,” Nguyen said.

Admission to the Asian American Association Film Festival in Davis is free and open to the public. All movies will be screened in 194 Chemistry. Tickets are advised but not required and can be picked up at the Memorial Union Information Desk. Members of the Asian American Association will also be tabling outside of the Memorial Union. The festival runs Tuesday to May 18. For more information on the film festival and the scheduled movies, visit aaafilm.org.

Screening schedule: Asian American Film Festival

A Moment With You – Tuesday, 7 p.m.
A Stranger of Mine and Below the Belt – Thursday, 7 p.m.
Typhoon and Vaudeville – Friday, 8 p.m.
“A Festival of Short (Films)” – May 15, 7 p.m.
Shinobi, Kiwi – May 17, 7 p.m.
Red Doors, Student Films Contest – May 18, 8 p.m.

All screenings are in 194 Chemistry and are free of charge.

JACKSON YAN can be reached at arts@californiaaggie.com.

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