Event, Film

Film Screening: Enter the Dragon Recap

Film  Screening: Enter the Dragon | Photo: PHOTOFEST

Martial arts movie icon Bruce Lee would have turned 70 in 2010. The Freer Gallery of Art honored this legendary performer with a screening of one of his classics and an exclusive dance performance by a choreographer inspired by his work. The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Provost’s Office and Graduate School presented the first event in this two-part series, a film screening of Enter the Dragon.

Bruce Lee’s most popular film also served as his epitaph: he died shortly after filming it. He plays a master Shaolin warrior sent to infiltrate the fortress of a villainous former Shaolin disciple under the guise of participating in a martial arts contest. A big-budget Hollywood production set mostly in Hong Kong, it shows off Lee’s astonishing physical abilities and abundant charisma in a succession of dazzling fight scenes. As film critic Jeffrey M. Anderson writes in Combustible Celluloid, “It’s easy to see why Lee was — and still is — such a big star. He had a charm and charisma that few have. The camera loved him. He had that special undefinable quality that James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart and a few others have.” (Dir., Robert Clouse, United States, 1973, 99 min.)

Related Event—Power Moves: From Bruce Lee’s Intercepting Fist to Hip Hop and Beyond.
The second event in this two-part series features choreographer/dancer Peggy Choy as she re-envisions the legacy of martial artist and film star Bruce Lee, through presentation of her recent work that fuses Asian martial arts with diverse forms of dance from Korean court dance to hip-hop. Choy and her dancers generate a vivid playing field of dynamic movement while exploring Bruce Lee’s intentions behind creating Jeet Kune Do or “the way of the intercepting fist”.
See the original listing of this event by clicking here.
See photos from this event by clicking here.

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Chinese American, Event, Film, General APA

Film Screening: Enter the Dragon

Film Screening: Enter the Dragon | Photo: PHOTOFEST

Martial arts movie icon Bruce Lee would have turned 70 in 2010. The Freer Gallery of Art honors this legendary performer with a screening of one of his classics and an exclusive dance performance by a choreographer inspired by his work. The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Provost’s Office and Graduate School are proud to present the first event in this two-part series, a film screening of Enter the Dragon.

Time:
Friday, December 10, 2010
7:00 p.m. 

Location:
Meyer Auditorium
Freer Gallery of Art
Jefferson Drive at 12th Street, SW

Metro:
Smithsonian
(Blue or Orange line)

This event is free and open to the public.

Bruce Lee’s most popular film also served as his epitaph: he died shortly after filming it. He plays a master Shaolin warrior sent to infiltrate the fortress of a villainous former Shaolin disciple under the guise of participating in a martial arts contest. A big-budget Hollywood production set mostly in Hong Kong, it shows off Lee’s astonishing physical abilities and abundant charisma in a succession of dazzling fight scenes. As film critic Jeffrey M. Anderson writes in Combustible Celluloid, “It’s easy to see why Lee was — and still is — such a big star. He had a charm and charisma that few have. The camera loved him. He had that special undefinable quality that James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart and a few others have.” (Dir., Robert Clouse, United States, 1973, 99 min.)

Related Event—Power Moves: From Bruce Lee’s Intercepting Fist to Hip Hop and Beyond.
The second event in this two-part series features choreographer/dancer Peggy Choy as she re-envisions the legacy of martial artist and film star Bruce Lee, through presentation of her recent work that fuses Asian martial arts with diverse forms of dance from Korean court dance to hip-hop. Choy and her dancers generate a vivid playing field of dynamic movement while exploring Bruce Lee’s intentions behind creating Jeet Kune Do or “the way of the intercepting fist”.
Meyer Auditorium, Freer Gallery of Art. Sunday, December 12, 2010, 2:00 p.m.
Website: Power Moves: From Bruce Lee’s Intercepting Fist to Hip Hop and Beyond

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Chinese American, Event, Film, Indian American, Literary, South Asian

SALTAF 2010, South Asian Literary and Theatre Arts Festival Recap

South Asian Literary and Theater Arts Festival 2010

Co-Chairs: Kiran Meegada, Latha Reddy, Mridula Srinivasan
Contact: saltaf@netsap.org

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program and NetSAP-DC presented the tenth annual South Asian Literary and Theater Arts Festival (SALTAF). The partnership between NetSAP and the Smithsonian has established SALTAF as a premier showcase for South Asian-themed literary and theater arts in North America.

This past festival’s schedule can be found if you click here.

SALTAF 2010 | Photo by Manish Alimchandani

This year’s festival featured panel discussions, readings, and film screenings by internationally acclaimed writers and artists, including:

  • Award-winning writer Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is the bestselling author of Arranged Marriage, One Amazing Thing, and other novels which focus on the themes of women, immigration, and the South Asian experience. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Houston.
  • Born in Sri Lanka and educated at Oxford, the San Francisco-based poet Pireeni Sundaralingam is a PEN USA Rosenthal Fellow. She is also the editor of the first anthology of contemporary South Asian American poetry, Indivisible, as well as the author of the forthcoming Margin Lands.
  • Writer and artist Naeem Mohaiemen‘s photography and video projects have shown at venues such as Laboral Center for Art & Technology and Zurich Shedhalle, and will show next at Sharjah Biennial 2011. He is editor of the just published Between Ashes and Hope: Chittagong Hill Tracts in the Blind Spot of Bangladesh Nationalism.
  • Washington, DC-based journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran, author of the acclaimed Imperial Life in the Emerald City, is National Editor at The Washington Post. He has written extensively on the Middle East and has been widely praised for his reporting on that region.
  • The San-Francisco-based writer, performer, and activist Canyon Sam, author of the 2010 PEN-award winning lyrical memoir Sky Train, has performed across the United States and Canada. Her creative nonfiction has been published in numerous periodicals and anthologies.

The two films showcased were:

Shakti Rising (Shakti Pirakkudhu), created in association with writer and director Usha Rajeswari of Prakriti Jiva Media, is a special tribute to the undying spirit and power of women throughout the world. Based on the true-life stories of a group of women from Madurai, India and their association with Madura Micro Finance Ltd., this inspirational film offers a case study of success and triumph.

Udaan, created in association with director Vikramaditya Motwane and producers Sanjay Singh, Anurag Kashyap, and Ronnie Screwvala, is a story about 17-year-old Rohan who is expelled from boarding school and returns home to his stern and abusive father. Rohan has dreams of becoming a writer but is instead forced to work in his father’s metalworks factory and attend engineering classes at a local university. From the ashes of conflict Rohan has to decide whether or not his dream of becoming a writer is too strong to give up.

See photos by Manish Alimchandani from this year’s event by clicking here.
See the original event listing by clicking here.

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Event, Film, Indian American, Literary

SALTAF 2010, South Asian Literary and Theatre Arts Festival Program Schedule

South    Asian Literary and Theater Arts Festival 2010

10:00 – 10:15 Registration
10:15 – 10:20 Opening remarks (Dr. Richard Kurin, Under Secretary of History, Art, and Culture & Acting Director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program)
10:20 – 10:25 Introductory Remarks and Program Announcements by 2010 SALTAF co-chairs
10:30 – 11:30 Panel 1: Global (Dis)Placements
Canyon Sam
Naeem Mohaiemen
Rajiv Chandrasekaran
 

11:35 – 12:35 Book Signings by the Museum Book Store : Naeem, Rajiv, Canyon 

11:30 – 11:40 ~Break~ 

11:40 –  1:30 Movie 1: Shakti Rising 

1:30 – 1:50 Panel discussion with Dr. Tara Thiagarajan, Director – Usha Rajeswari 

1:50 – 2:00 ~Break~ 

2:00 – 2:55 Panel 2: The Poetics of Placement
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Pireeni Sundaralingam
 

2:55 – 3:00 ~Break~ 

3:00 – 4:00 Book Signings by the Museum Book Store: Chitra and Pireeni 

3:00 – 5:15 Movie 2: Udaan (Flight) Introduced by Director, Vikramaditya 

5:15 – 5:20 Closing Remarks
5:30 ~End~
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Chinese American, Event, Film, Indian American, Literary, South Asian

SALTAF 2010, South Asian Literary and Theater Arts Festival

South Asian Literary and Theater Arts Festival 2010

Co-Chairs: Kiran Meegada, Latha Reddy, Mridula Srinivasan
Contact: saltaf@netsap.org

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program and NetSAP-DC present the tenth annual South Asian Literary and Theater Arts Festival (SALTAF). The partnership between NetSAP and the Smithsonian has established SALTAF as a premier showcase for South Asian-themed literary and theater arts in North America.

To view the festival’s schedule, please click here.

Featured guests (left to right): Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Pireeni Sundaralingam, Naeem Mohaiemen, Rajiv Chandrasekaram, and Canyon Sam

Time:
Saturday, November 13, 2010
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. 

Location:
Baird Auditorium
National Museum of Natural History
10th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW

Metro:
Smithsonian or Federal Triangle
(Orange or Blue line)

This event is free and open to the public

This year’s festival will feature panel discussions, readings, and film screenings by internationally acclaimed writers and artists, including:

  • Award-winning writer Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is the bestselling author of Arranged Marriage, One Amazing Thing, and other novels which focus on the themes of women, immigration, and the South Asian experience. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Houston.
  • Born in Sri Lanka and educated at Oxford, the San Francisco-based poet Pireeni Sundaralingam is a PEN USA Rosenthal Fellow. She is also the editor of the first anthology of contemporary South Asian poetry, Indivisible as well as the author of the forthcoming Margin Lands.
  • Writer and artist Naeem Mohaiemen‘s photography and video projects have shown at venues such as Laboral Center for Art & Technology and
    Zurich Shedhalle, and will show next at Sharjah Biennial 2011. He is editor of the just published Between Ashes and Hope: Chittagong Hill Tracts in the Blind Spot of Bangladesh Nationalism.
  • Washington-DC-based journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran, author of the acclaimed Imperial Life in the Emerald City, is National Editor at the Washington Post. He has written extensively on the Middle East and has been widely praised for his reporting on that region.
  • The San-Francisco-based writer, performer, and activist Canyon Sam, author of the 2010 PEN-award winning lyrical memoir The Sky Train, has performed across the United States and Canada. Her creative nonfiction has been published in numerous periodicals and anthologies.

A feature film Shakti Rising (Shakti Pirakkudhu), created in association with writer and director Usha Rajeswari of Prakriti Jiva Media, is a special tribute to the undying spirit and power of women throughout the world. Based on the true-life stories of a group of women from Madurai, India and their association with Madura Micro Finance Ltd., this inspirational film offers a case study of success and triumph.

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Event, Filipino American, Film

Filipino Martial Arts: From Kali and Escrima to Boxing

Panel Discussion and Film Showing
Filipino Martial Arts: From Kali and Escrima to Boxing

Filipino Martial Arts:  From Kali and Escrima to Boxing

From escrima to boxing, martial arts is an integral part of Filipino and Filipino American culture. Many Filipino immigrants like Pancho Villa and Flash Elorde became famous for their boxing skills and became a source of pride for many Filipino Americans. Legendary escrima master, Leo Giron, founded one of the nation’s first schools of escrima and is known as the father of the Larga Mano style of Filipino martial arts. His protégé, Dan Inosanto, continues to inspire and teach many disciplines of martial arts.

This program featured the documentary film, The Great Pinoy Boxing Era (Corky Pasquil and Agrafino Edralin) and hosted a panel discussion and demonstration on Filipino martial arts. The Great Pinoy Boxing Era is an insightful portrayal of the Filipino men who came to the U.S. not only as farm laborers and as prize-winning boxers during the 1920s and 1930s. The film was followed by a presentation from Professor Linda España-Maram along with presentations and demonstrations by internationally renowned martial artists Dan Inosanto and Rosie Abriam. Gem Daus of the University of Maryland-College Park served as moderator.

Panelists:

Dan Inosanto

Stockton–born Dan Inosanto is a famous Filipino American martial artist and instructor and an authority on Jeet Kune Do, a martial arts discipline passed on to him by his late teacher Bruce Lee. In addition to Jeet Kune Do, Mr. Inosanto teaches martial arts, shoot wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Silat, and other arts at the Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts in Marina del Rey, California. Mr. Inosanto is an untiring teacher who has taught some of the best instructors and fighters in the world today.

Rosie Abriam

Rosie Abriam is a Gura-Fifth Degree of the Kamatuuran School of Kali. Kali is a martial arts originating in Southeast Asia. Ms. Abriam learned kali while growing up in San Francisco, California, where she was raised by her Filipino American parents who taught her the value of self-esteem and education as keys to success in life, and to “never to forget your family, your culture , and your community.” Ms. Abriam is currently the president and CEO of the Center for Asian Pacific American Women (CAPAW).

Linda España-Maram

Linda España-Maram is an associate professor of Asian American Studies at California State University, Long Beach. She is the author of Creating Masculinity in Los Angeles Little Manila, a book analyzing the politics of popular culture in the lives of Filipino laborers from the 1920s to the 1940s. In her book, Dr. Espana-Maram discusses the participation of Filipino men in leisure activities such as boxing and how the talented pinoy boxers were seen by the immigrant workers as heroes and symbols of pride and hope for equality in an unwelcoming America.

Gem Daus

Gem Daus teaches Filipino American Studies at the University of Maryland- College Park, where he developed courses which allowed students to explore history and identity in connection with story-telling, community building and political advocacy. Mr. Daus has a Master of Arts in Organization Development from Marymount University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Virginia. He is also the Executive Director for the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care.

This film, “The Great Pinoy Boxing Era” is also distributed by the Center for Asian American Media.

Check out photos from the event on Flickr!

Click Here to View the Archived Video.

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Chinese American, Film, History

Uncommon Courage documentary receives widespread recognition

Uncommon Courage: Breakout at Chosin

The Smithsonian Channel premiered the documentary Uncommon Courage: Breakout at Chosin on Memorial Day, 2010, recognizing the efforts of Maj. Kurt Chew-Een Lee during his time as a Marine Corps lieutenant in the Korean War.

“One of the Marine Corps’ greatest moments…” – The Washington Post

As a Chinese American during the time of heavy racial bias in 1950, Lee led 500 American troops through a wintry blizzard to rescue from capture some 8000 Marines who had been surrounded and outnumbered by the North Korean and Chinese military.

“His bravery at the battle of the Chosin Reservoir — a Chinese American officer battling Chinese army troops who had surrounded the American forces — is part of Marine Corps lore.” – the LA Times

His accomplishments as a Marine earned him the Navy Cross, the highest medal award by the U.S. Navy and second only to the Medal of Honor. But his efforts also places Asian Pacific Americans visibly in American history and perhaps paving the way in changing attitudes and recognition of Asian Pacific Americans in the U.S.

The one-hour documentary, which will rerun a few times on the Smithsonian Channel, garnered national attention from news outlets such as the Washington Post and the LA Times, as well as blogs such as Angry Asian Man and 8Asians.

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Crafts, Event, Family, Film, Folklife Festival, General APA, Performance

2010 Smithsonian Folklife Festival featuring Asian Pacifc Americans: Local Lives, Global Ties

2010 Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Asian Pacific American Connections. Dancers from the Madison Chinese Dance Academy in Potomac, Maryland, take part in celebrating Mekong American heritage at the 2007 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Photo by Richard Strauss, Smithsonian Institution.

For the first time in 44 years, the 2010 Folklife Festival will focus on Asian Pacific Americans from the Greater Washington, DC area, who are a microcosm of the 15 million APAs who live all across the United States. The festival will take place June 24-28 and July 1-5 on the National Mall. This annual festival attracts over a million visitors from around the country and the world, with another 6 million visiting the website and about 40 million learning about it through other media coverage.

Many thanks to over 100 generous donors who contributed to the APA segment of the festival. APA programming at the 2010 Smithsonian Folklife Festival will educate audiences about what it means to be a person of Asian descent living in the United States today. It will bring together an array of 100 tradition-bearers from diverse communities to highlight the richness of APA cultures through demonstrations of music, dance, cuisine, visual arts, martial arts, spirituality, and technology, as well as discussions and scholarly forums on issues relating to Asian Pacific American identity, history, and culture.

Save the dates and please join us for this historic event. For more information, visit our website or the Folklife Festival website.

Also, check out how to volunteer at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

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Event, Film

Choc’late Soldiers from the USA—Sex, Race and Rhythm

Choc'late Soldiers from the USA: Sex, Race and Rhythm

Join us for the world premiere of Choc’late Soldiers from the USA, a landmark documentary that explores how African American soldiers and British civilians formed an unexpected bond during World War II.

Time:
Tuesday, November 10, 2009, 6:30 p.m.
 
Location:
Marion and Gustave Ring Auditorium
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Independence Avenue and Seventh Street, SW
 
Metro:
L’Enfant Plaza
(All lines except Red)
Maryland Avenue exit

The filmmakers, Sonny Izon and Gregory Cooke as well as veterans who appear in the film will offer commentary and respond to audience questions. For reservations, please leave your name and the number attending this program at 202.633.0070.

Presented by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture as a part of the Picturing the Promise: The History, Art, and Culture of Mid 20th-Century African American Life public program series.

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Event, Film, Literary, South Asian

SALTAF 2009 | South Asian Literary and Theater Arts Festival

SALTAF 2009 marks the sixth year that the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program joins forces with the Washington, DC, chapter of the Network of South Asian Professionals (NetSAP-DC) to bring you another unforgettable event.

Kamila Shamsie, Burnt ShadowsKunal Basu, The Japanese Wife.Ru Freeman, A Disobedient GirlTania James, Atlas of Unknowns
Dilip MehtaDilip Mehta's The Forgotten WomanParesh MokashiHarishchandrachi Factory

Time:
Saturday, November 7, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
 
Location:
Baird Auditorium
National Museum of Natural History
10th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
 
Metro:
Smithsonian or Federal Triangle
(Orange and Blue lines)

Mark your calendars now, because you are not going to want to miss a single minute of SALTAF this fall!

SALTAF 2009 is the sixth year that the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program joins forces with the Washington, DC, chapter of the Network of South Asian Professionals (NetSAP-DC) to bring you another unforgettable event.

Our literary guests are confirmed and we couldn’t be more thrilled …

  • Kamila Shamsie, whose latest novel, Burnt Shadows, is an astonishing story about two unlikely families intertwined for generations;
  • Dr. Kunal Basu, whose latest title is the 12-story collection, The Japanese Wife, whose eponymous opening tale is the basis of Aparna Sen’s latest film of the same name;
  • Ru Freeman, whose debut, A Disobedient Girl, weaves two seemingly disparate stories about a houseservant yearning for more and a mother on the run with her young children; and
  • Tania James, another debut novelist, whose Atlas of Unknowns, explores the divergent lives of two sisters, one who travels to America and the other who remains back in their native Kerala.

THIS JUST IN …

  • Dilip Mehta will be joining the festival in person with his award-winning documentary, The Forgotten Woman, which begins where his older sister Deepa Mehta’s 2006 Academy Award® nominee for Best Foreign Language film, Water, ended. This documentary captures the heartbreaking stories of some of the 20 million Indian widows who are abandoned by their families and literally turned out into the streets after losing their husbands. No mere companion piece to Water, this resonating portrait is characterized by “more than enough visual beauty, graceful compassion and understated anger to stand on its own,” wrote critic Nathan Lee in The New York Times.
  • And we’re thrilled to announce that director Paresh Mokashi will be here to present the Washington, DC premiere of Harishchandra’s Factory, India’s official entry for the Foreign Language Film category of the Academy Awards. Go, Oscar, go! And how fitting to be showcasing a film about the making of India’s first full-length feature, Raja Harishchandra, brought to the screen by a tenacious, pioneering ex-printer named Dadasaheb Phalke. It’s 1911 and the unemployed Phalke decides to take his family on a rollicking adventure of filmmaking, unheard of in the long decades before Bollywood films became household fixtures. The rest, as they say …

CLICK HERE FOR THE DAY’S SCHEDULE …

UPDATES
[October 8, 2009] Alas, alas … we’ve had some mighty disappointing news about The Japanese Wife, the latest feature from acclaimed filmmaker Aparna Sen (Mr. and Mrs. Iyer). We just heard from Ms. Sen’s representative that due to earlier strikes in the Hindi film industry, the film will not be finished in time for SALTAF. We wish Ms. Sen the best and hope to see her at a future SALTAF.

[October 27, 2009] Due to a family tragedy, Daniyal Mueenuddin will not be able to join us. His phenomenal debut collection, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, wowed readers this year and was recently announced as a National Book Award finalist. We wish him the very best of luck and hope to cross paths soonest at another Smithsonian event.

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