“Whether we are producing media, or whether we are in an advocacy role.. Our work is not over” - Linda Mabalot (Visual Communications Executive Director 1985-2003)

As we celebrate the 52+years of Visual Communications and approach the 39th edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF), we are humbled to continue the work guided by these words from our former Executive Director, Linda Mabalot. We begin a new Festival season by rededicating our upcoming work to Linda’s regenerative impact and cultural abundance to VC and our communities. We are called to be in closer community with Artists and Allies in order to build a Festival that fosters wellness and joy.

The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) is the largest film festival in Southern California dedicated to showcasing films by and about Asians & Pacific Islanders around the world. LAAPFF was established in 1983 by VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS, the first non-profit organization in the US dedicated to the honest and accurate portrayals of the Asian American and Pacific American peoples, communities, and heritage through the media arts. In addition to VC Archives, Armed With A Camera and Digital Histories filmmaker programs, LAAPFF is an extension of VC’s utilization of media and the arts as important vehicles to organize and empower communities. The festival reflects VC’s intention to build connections between peoples and generations through the development of film, video and audio storytelling. Through LAAPFF and its year round programing, VC continues to be a pillar of arts advocacy and activism; connecting attracts Industry thought leaders, entertainment celebrities, civic and community organizers and leaders, industry professionals, and film enthusiasts in a week-long celebration of the ongoing accomplishments by artists from Asian and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander communities. In doing so, the festival has been recognized as one of "The 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World" in 2021 by MovieMaker Magazine. LAAPFF is a proud Academy Award®-qualifying film festival for the Short Film Awards.

To further understand our festival values, and the relationships we that we build with Festival Artists, Audiences, and Festival Partners/Supporters, please visit https://vcmedia.org/festival

Our 39th edition of LAAPFF will be Thursday May 4 through Saturday May 13. The Festival will feature a robust lineup of in-person programming, along with select virtual programming for guests at home in Southern California and beyond. LAAPFF, over the years, has featured a variety of programming, including:
* Narrative Features, Documentary Features
* Narrative Shorts (Live action/Animation/Experimental)
* Documentary Shorts (Live action/Animation/Experimental)
* Itsy Bitsy Shorts (content created for children, 0-5 years old)
* Kid Shorts (content created for children, 6-12 years old)
* From Visions to Reel (content created by young emerging filmmakers, ages 16-24)
* Cinema Musica (Music videos, and music-centered narratives and documentaries)
* Pacific Cinewaves (content from Hawai’i, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Guåhan (Guam), Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Samoa, and throughout the Pacific region)
* REORIENT: Emerging Media (Cutting edge virtual reality, mixed reality, interactive installations and beyond).

LAAPFF has brought established, emerging, and award-winning artists to the public's attention, including Anthony Banua-Simon, Andrew Ahn, Gregg Araki, Rhi Bergado, Shonali Bose, Lino Brocka, Aneesh Chaganty, Justin Chon, Tanuj Chopra, Davy Chou, Milda Chu, Sujata Day, Christopher Kahunahana, Chen Kaige, Christine Choy, Curtis Choy, Michael Kang, Lena Khan, Stanley Kwan, Ciara Lacy, Ang Lee, Chris Chan Lee, Justin Lin, Bao Nguyen, Miko Revereza, Roxy Shih, Miike Takashi, Renee Tajima-Peña, Alika Tengan, Justin Tipping, Ham Tran, Wayne Wang, Chelsea Winstanley, Hao Wu, Wong Kar-wai, John Woo, Ruby Yang, Christopher Makoto Yogi, Jessica Yu, and many more.

The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival has celebrated filmmaking achievement through presentation of juried and balloted awards.

AWARDS FOR FEATURE FILMS may include:
GRAND JURY AWARD – NARRATIVE FEATURE FILM
GRAND JURY AWARD – DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM
FESTIVAL AUDIENCE AWARD (Narrative and Documentary Feature)
EMERGING FILMMAKER AWARD – Presented to a director screening their first or second feature without US distribution at LAAPFF 2023.

AWARDS FOR SHORT FILMS may include:
GOLDEN REEL AWARD* (Narrative/Animation Short and Documentary Short)
LINDA MABALOT NEW DIRECTORS/NEW VISIONS AWARD

*Recipients of the GOLDEN REEL AWARD for Narrative/Animation Short Film will be eligible for consideration in the Animated Short Film/Live Action Short Film category of the ACADEMY AWARDS® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy® rules.

*To further understand our festival values, please visit https://vcmedia.org/festival. There, we will share how those values inform the Jury Process

The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival uplifts films and mediaworks that are principally made by and/or about Asian Pacific Islander individuals and communities around the world.

Films shared for consideration must include an artist of Asian or Pacific Islander heritage on their creative team.

Films shared for consideration must have been completed on or after January 1, 2022.

Films invited to the festival should have hardcoded subtitles in their exhibition file to ensure a D/deaf and hard of hearing audience can experience your film. If your film is invited to screen at LAAPFF, your film must be subtitled in English (even if your film is in English). It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to provide subtitles for their exhibition file and promotional screeners. LAAPFF will not be responsible for subtitles. Films without subtitles will not be included in the Festival lineup.

FILM CATEGORIES
Feature Film (Narrative, Documentary)
Fiction or non-fiction films of any genre principally created by and/or about Asian and/or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders with themes involving, but NOT limited to: Asian and/or Pacific American, Asian and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander diasporic culture, history and experiences. Works eligible for this category MUST have a running time of at least 41 minutes and are expected to be presented at the Festival as a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) or as otherwise required. If your film is invited to screen at LAAPFF, your film must have hardcoded subtitles in English. It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to provide subtitles for their exhibition file and promotional screeners. LAAPFF will not be responsible for subtitles. Films without subtitles will not be included in the Festival lineup.

Short Film (Narrative, Documentary)
Fiction or non-fiction films of any genre principally created by and/or about Asian and/or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders with themes involving, but NOT limited to: Asian and/or Pacific American, Asian and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander diasporic culture, history and experiences. Works eligible for this category MUST have a running time not to exceed 40 minutes and are expected to be presented at the Festival as a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) or as otherwise required. If your film is invited to screen at LAAPFF, your film must have hardcoded subtitles in English. It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to provide subtitles for their exhibition file and promotional screeners. LAAPFF will not be responsible for subtitles. Films without subtitles will not be included in the Festival lineup.

Indigenous Storytelling/Pacific Cinewaves Feature Film (Narrative, Documentary)
Fiction or non-fiction films of any genre principally created by and/or about Indigenous Peoples – descendants of the original stewards of a geographical region before people of different cultures or ethnic origins arrived (e.g., Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islanders, Ifugao, Hmong, and more). Works eligible for this category MUST have a running time of at least 41 minutes and are expected to be presented at the Festival as a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) or as otherwise required. If your film is invited to screen at LAAPFF, your film must have hardcoded subtitles in English. It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to provide subtitles for their exhibition file and promotional screeners. LAAPFF will not be responsible for subtitles. Films without subtitles will not be included in the Festival lineup.

Indigenous Storytelling/Pacific Cinewaves Short Film (Narrative, Documentary)
Fiction or non-fiction films (and music videos) of any genre principally created by and/or about Indigenous Peoples – descendants of the original stewards of a geographical region before people of different cultures or ethnic origins arrived (e.g., Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islanders, Ifugao, Hmong, and more). Works eligible for this category MUST have a running time not to exceed 40 minutes and are expected to be presented at the Festival as a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) or as otherwise required. If your film is invited to screen at LAAPFF, your film must have hardcoded subtitles in English. It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to provide subtitles for their exhibition file and promotional screeners. LAAPFF will not be responsible for subtitles. Films without subtitles will not be included in the Festival lineup.

Children/Youth Short Film
Films that are children/family friendly. Works eligible for this category MUST have a running time not to exceed 40 minutes and are expected to be presented at the Festival as a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) or as otherwise required. If your film is invited to screen at LAAPFF, your film must have hardcoded subtitles in English. It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to provide subtitles for their exhibition file and promotional screeners. LAAPFF will not be responsible for subtitles. Films without subtitles will not be included in the Festival lineup.

Please enter your film ONCE to the category most suitable for your film. If our programmers think your film may be suitable for another LAAPFF program category, it will be recommended for further consideration.

If you enter your film into the wrong category, you are responsible for any changes in fees. If the new category has a higher fee, you are responsible for paying the difference or risk ineligibility. We do not offer refunds.

***Please note changes to the following programs***

Episodics
Series of multiple videos in episodic form intended for digital platforms, including but not limited to mini-series, web series, serialized television, etc. Our Episodics program this year will be a curated online artist conversation that celebrates a select series. If you have an existing series that amplifies VC values and would like to share the series with LAAPFF audiences, please email festival@vcmedia.org with subject line "EPISODICS" and include your series link, synopsis, and credit list.

Emerging Media
Content including but not limited to virtual/augmented/mixed reality, site-specific installations, and cross-platform projects. If you have an existing project that amplifies VC values and would like LAAPFF audiences to engage with the work, please email festival@vcmedia.org with subject line "EMERGING MEDIA" and include your project link, synopsis, and credit list.

ENTRY DEADLINES & FEES (two tiers)
Signed entry form, screener, and entry fee must be filed via FilmFreeway.com; to be RECEIVED by one of these dates:
EARLY DEADLINE: Sunday November 30, 2022 at 11:59pm PST
FINAL DEADLINE: December 31, 2022 at 11:59 pm PST

FEATURES:
EARLY DEADLINE: Sunday November 30, 2022 at 11:59pm PST | $40 USD entry fee
FINAL DEADLINE: December 31, 2022 at 11:59 pm PST | $45 USD entry fee

SHORTS:
EARLY DEADLINE: Sunday November 30, 2022 at 11:59pm PST | $30 USD entry fee
FINAL DEADLINE: December 31, 2022 at 11:59 pm PST | $35 USD entry fee

INDIGENOUS STORYTELLING/ PACIFIC CINEWAVES FEATURES:
FINAL DEADLINE: December 31, 2022 at 11:59 pm PST | $25 USD entry fee

INDIGENOUS STORYTELLING/ PACIFIC CINEWAVES SHORTS:
FINAL DEADLINE: December 31, 2022 at 11:59 pm PST | $25 USD entry fee

CHILDREN/YOUTH SHORT FILMS
EARLY DEADLINE: Sunday November 30, 2022 at 11:59pm PST | $30 USD entry fee
FINAL DEADLINE: December 31, 2022 at 11:59 pm PST | $35 USD entry fee

The Festival does not provide waivers. Our entry fees are fair. 100% of earned income from entries will go towards programmers and screeners to remunerate those who put labor and effort to view films and build the festival. A waiver would be extractive of our efforts. We encourage all artists to share films by the early deadline.

RENTAL FEES
The Festival does not pay rental fees. We are deepening our practice of directing resources straight to the artists.

SHIPPING
Digital media of invited entries must be sent to the Festival pre-paid at a date to be determined prior to the Festival.

GRANT OF PERMISSION
Signatory of Film Producer grants Visual Communications permission to screen the aforementioned work at the 2023 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival if accepted, and warrants that all necessary steps have been taken to obtain the rights to use, exhibit, and display the work. Signatory also gives Visual Communications permission to solicit and use stills, excerpts, and other materials from such accepted work for promotional purposes.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Hui Tan

    I deeply appreciate the opportunity from Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, which also provide a great platform for our filmmakers to communicate and learn from each others!

    July 2022
  • I recently publicly confessed that LAAPFF is in my festival bucket list. For years, I have been browsing through the website from time to time to see the programs which, for me, are so delicately done with much respect to Asian and Pacific Islander cultures.

    Our selection in LAAPFF is a blessing and a wonderful memory we will always cherish. Though we were not able to come over in person, we still hope that someday, we will have another chance to present a film in person.

    The communication is always welcoming and the warmth showed to first timers in LAAPFF like me is very much valued. Words aren't enough to show my appreciation.

    More than a review, this comes with our gratitude. As an independent filmmaker from across the miles, I am simply touched by the generosity of spirit. LAAPFF's team is an inspiration.

    From our team and the Panay Bukidnon community who're an integral part of our film, madamo gid nga salamat kag padayon kita tanan!

    June 2022
  • Nicole Dizon

    As a Producer and first-time Writer/Director, the LAAPFF staff communicated often and guided me through the process. I appreciate their spirit of inclusion, their supportive staff, and intentionality. They fostered a sense of community that makes everyone feel seen and at home. They offered fantastic opportunities to meet other filmmakers, curated lovely programs, used screening venues around the city that celebrated AAPI heritage (e.g. Historic Filipinotown), and even shared my social media posts on their Instagram stories to help promote the film. I’m excited to submit to future iterations. Thank you so much, Visual Communications, for selecting my short, MORENA, to do its World Premiere with you! It was an honor.

    June 2022
  • Lanca Li

    Needless to say, LAAPFF, the VC fest, is one of the best festivals to join and be part of. Throughout the years the festival team has always been supportive and kind to API filmmakers and community members. A true inspiration. Thank you for everything!

    June 2022
  • yoo lee

    Thank you Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival for setting the bar so high and hosting us. The festival is so well organized and having the film premiere at Director's Guild of America was such an honor not to mention all the events you catered to make it extra special. Very honored to have been your 2022 cohort!

    May 2022