BAAFF 2017 Features Over 30 Films


The Boston Asian American Film Festival (BAAFF), a production of the Asian American Resource Workshop (AARW), announces a provocative and entertaining program of independent cinema highlighting recent, significant works by and/or about Asian and the Asian diaspora. The festival theme this year is Liberty & Justice, a showcase of inspiring stories about the challenges and victories of self-empowerment and civic responsibility as individuals and community leaders.


The theme of Liberty & Justice is especially relevant in our changing world–locally, nationally, and globally. The anchor films for the festival commemorates the 135th anniversary of the passing of The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066–led to the mass incarceration of Americans of Japanese descent in 1942, and the 25th anniversary of the LA Uprising following the Rodney King verdict in 1992.


BAAFF’s hope is to reflect, learn from, and move towards a more free and just society for all Americans, regardless of race, background, citizenship status, gender, class, and/or other intersecting identities. Together, as friends, citizens, and neighbors, we are calling to protect and preserve liberty and justice for all.


This year, the festival takes place October 19-22, 2017 in Boston at ArtsEmerson’s Bright Family Screening Room in the Paramount Center and in Cambridge at the Brattle Theatre.


The 2017 festival will open with a New England Premiere – a special presentation of The Jade Pendant. Filmed in Utah, “The Jade Pendant” is directed by Hong Kong veteran Leong Po-Chih (“The Detonator,” “Out of Reach”) and follows the journey of a young girl who, fleeing an arranged marriage in China, finds herself on American shores. Her tragic love story is set against the 1871 burning of Chinatown in Los Angeles and the largest mass lynching in American history. The film is targeted to release theatrically October 24, on the anniversary of the Chinese Massacre of 1871. The opening film will screen at 7:30PM on Thursday, October 19th at the Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle Street Cambridge, MA.


The festival’s centerpiece film will feature Resistance at Tule Lake, directed by filmmaker Konrad Aderer. Resistance at Tule Lake tells the long-suppressed story of 12,000 Japanese Americans who dared to resist the U.S. government’s program of mass incarceration during World War II. Branded as ‘disloyals’ and re-imprisoned at Tule Lake Segregation Center, they continued to protest in the face of militarized violence, and thousands renounced their U.S. citizenship. Giving voice to experiences that have been marginalized for over 70 years, this documentary challenges the nationalist, one-sided ideal of wartime ‘loyalty.’ Director Konrad Aderer will be present for this screening on Saturday, October 21 at 6:30pm at the Paramount Center, 559 Washington St, Boston, MA.


The Boston Asian American Film Festival will close with the film Gook, a narrative film by independent filmmaker and actor, Justin Chon. Gook follows two Korean American brothers, Eli and Daniel, who own a struggling shoe store. Set during the first day of the LA Riots, the film follows their unique and unlikely friendship with a young 11-year-old African American girl, Kamila and the reality of defending their store while contemplating the future of their own personal dreams and the meaning of family. Gook has won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and premiered in Boston at the Independent Film Festival of Boston. Producer James Yi will attend the screening and participate in a Q&A, Sunday, October 22nd at 5:30pm, Paramount Center.


Also, on Saturday October 21st, there will be a free panel discussion and featured performance by Flying Orb (Lowell, MA), Beyond Orientalism: The Boston Forum. Presented by New England Foundation for the Arts, Saturday, October 21, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m, Paramount Center. Beyond Orientalism is a national initiative to explore the topics of misrepresentation onstage and in the media, diversity and inclusivity in the performing arts as it relates specifically to API (Asian Pacific Islander) issues, and practical action steps to advance racial equity. This event will be a launch for the first network of API artists and arts organizations in the Greater Boston area. The event will be livestreamed on the HowlRound TV network at


For more information, a full festival lineup, and tickets, visit: or