Today kicks off the first day of the LA Asian Film Festival. The opening welcomes the premier of "Shanghai Calling" at the Directors Guild of America.
I have had the pleasure of volunteering at the LA Film festival for the past five years. It started with an outing between two other friends. We wandered into the festival on opening night thinking that we could watch the movie on general admission. We quickly found out that the opening night tickets actually went for thirty dollars (that explained all the fancy dressed people...). Our energy deflated, we were all set to go home when the nicest thing happened. One of the staff members decided to admit all us in to see the movie for thirty dollars. All three of us for thirty dollars. The movie we watched was the 2007 premiere of "Finishing the Game". I always felt bad that I never saw that generous staff member again. The experience of that night opened my mind to a whole new realm of movies. "Finishing the Game" featured many prominent asian actors that I had never been exposed to before.
The next year, I looked into volunteering and I have continued ever since. I've always managed to volunteer during the opening night. In exchange for a few hours of manual labor and such, I get to see and experience the hustle of the asian american movie industry. Every year the festival gets bigger and lucrative.
This year, I arrived in time to hand out water bottles to actors and actress, helped out the box office, and made some cotton candy. Yup, cotton candy. That was an experience that will always bring a smile to my face.
I encourage everyone in the LA area to check out this festival. There are plenty of movies that may perk your interest.