By Bert Eljera
A critical look at how Asian-American teens survive the treacherous world of peer pressure, drug dealers, juvenile hall and dysfunctional families, Model Minority was declared winner at the 2012 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
The 90-minute film is one of five Asian and Asian-American movies shown in the festival, which opened Thursday and ends on Sunday. The filmfest includes panel discussions with movie directors and actors, plus of course, the usual parties.
“Our mission is to bridge the gap between independent film audiences and filmmakers, as well as to connect emerging filmmakers with established industry professionals,” organizers said.
The other Asian and Asian-American films are Aftershock, a 135-minute film from China, which looks at the aftermath of the 1976 Great Tangshan Earthquake, one of the deadliest disasters of the 21st century.
Sunny, a film from South Korea, depicts the behavior of young free-swearing girls in jean jackets, and nobody messes with them.
Another Asian-American film, Bang Bang, is about a troubled Asian-Vietnamese youth seeking an escape from gangster life when his rich-kid friend wants to make his way into the gang.
A film from India, Big in Bollywood, tells the story of 27-year-old American-born Omi Vaidya, a struggling actor in L.A., who miraculously lands a dream role in the Bollywood film “3 Idiots”.
Curious to better understand the world of Bollywood, four of Omi’s buddies armed with cameras fly to Mumbai to document his big premiere. Within a week of release, “3 Idiots” skyrockets to box office success, becoming the most successful Indian film in history and transforming Omi into an overnight megastar.
The festival offers film screenings, celebrity tributes and interviews, panel discussions, a screenplay competition, red carpet parties, and filmmaker reception. There will be a closing night ceremony and awards on Sunday.
The festival showcase feature films, shorts films, foreign films, documentaries, animation, music videos, television pilots, a Nevada filmmakers showcase, experimental films, and screenplay competitions.