AABANY Goes to Brooklyn for AAIFF Comedy Night, August 13

The 44th Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) rolled into town on August 11, billed as “the nation’s first and longest running festival dedicated to celebrating independent Asian, Asian diaspora, and Pacific Islander cinema.” Because we are not yet entirely out of the pandemic, AAIFF is being presented as a hybrid event with some screenings held in person and others made available on demand. One of the in-person programs took place on the third night, August 13, an evening featuring AAPI comics performing stand-up, fittingly called “Comedy Night.”

In a part of Brooklyn that the current generation calls Gowanus, nearly two dozen AABANY members joined a standing room crowd at Littlefield, a performance space that once was a warehouse (probably back in the days when this part of town was still known as Park Slope). The show was produced and hosted by Claire Yoo, an Events Coordinator for AAIFF who also happens to be President of Harvard College Stand Up Comic Society. Before you can say, “What? Harvard Students know how to laugh?” Claire took to the stage and launched into a profanity-laced opening monologue that filled the room with appreciative laughter, getting the entire audience properly riled up for the hilarity to come. (And don’t worry, Claire, we won’t tell your dad — who was in the audience — about your foul mouth.)

The line-up featured an assortment of top comedy talent, including award-winning writers from popular shows such as “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Patriot Act with Hasan Minaj,” and NPR’s “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me.” The diversity of the comedians reflected East Asian, South Asian, and HAPA voices as well as LGBTQ+ perspectives that we rarely hear from in mainstream media. As one of our attendees, Lauren Kim of Fordham Law School, deftly summarized, “It was excellent, tons of fun, and every single comic was hilarious.” Indeed, they were! None of our performers bombed on stage. If anything, the level and quality of the comedy seemed to go higher and higher from one comic to the next. (Apologies to Moss Perricone, the first comic to go. We don’t mean to say you weren’t funny or that the other comics were funnier than you. Oh, wait … maybe we are saying the second part.)

By the way, we should mention that our host, Claire, was an AABANY intern during Fall 2020. During her internship she learned that AABANY is a community partner of AAIFF and asked how she could get involved with Asian CineVision, the non-profit that organizes AAIFF each year. We hooked her up, and just a few months later … she is the producer and host of the largest comedy show she has ever put together. Congrats, Claire! Great job! (And Asian Cinevision, you are welcome!)

Thanks to all the AABANY members and friends, including President Terry Shen and his wife, Stella, who joined us. We hope everyone will support AAIFF and its mission to promote and spotlight AAPI artists, writers, performers, producers, and filmmakers. Read about the AAIFF films we are co-sponsoring this year here.

Join AABANY for the 2020 Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF43)

AABANY will be a community partner for two film screenings for the 2020 Asian American International Film Festival this fall. These two film screenings include:

Aswang (Dir. Alyx Ayn Arumpac)

This film is geoblocked to the USA.

Since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016 and announced his campaign to rid the Philippines of drug addicts and dealers, as many as 20,000 Filipinos have been murdered. ASWANG confronts these executions and their devastating aftermath.

Coded Bias (Dir. Shalini Kantayya)

CODED BIAS explores the fallout of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s startling discovery that facial recognition does not see dark-skinned faces and women accurately and her push for legislative protection against biased AI.


This year, the festival is entirely online; you can watch from home with an internet connection. Each film or event will have a link to purchase your tickets. After you purchase, you will receive an email with a link to view the film. You may purchase anytime within the dates of our festival (October 1 to October 11, 2020). For more information and FAQs, please visit the “How to Festival” section of their website.

Please click the links above to purchase tickets and learn more about the films. AABANY members will receive a 20% discount code to all festival screenings once they register for the event on the AABANY website.

Click here to register for “Aswang” on the AABANY website.
Click here to register for “Coded Bias” on the AABANY website.

For more information on the AAIFF, please click here.

Join AABANY for the 2019 Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF)

AABANY will be co-sponsoring three film screenings with Asian CineVision for the 2019 Asian American International Film Festival this summer. These three film screenings include:

Jeff Adachi, the Sam Francisco Public Defender and filmmaker who passed earlier this year has been a pioneer in the justice system and API cinema. To celebrate his legacy, two of his documentaries will be shown, along with a tribute by Corey Tong and John Woo before the screening.

Seadrift follows the story of what begins as a dispute over fishing territory into an eruption of violence and hostility against Vietnamese refugees along the gulf coast. Seadrift examines a shooting of a white crab fisherman by a Vietnamese refugee, and its aftermath, which continues to reverberate today.

AABANY’s reenactments site also has information on Vietnamese Fishermen v. Ku Klux Klan, which is the trial that ensued from these conflicts in Seadrift, TX.

Shorts: Identities is a series of eight documentary shorts which all tackle the question: “What does it mean to be Asian, to be a part of the Asian Diaspora?” These shorts confirm that there is no singular answer to this question, and cover topics as wide-ranging as Cambodian doughnut shops (Doughnuts for Dollars) to the young Harvard student who started the non-profit, PERIOD org (Period Girl).


The screening for A Tribute to Jeff Adachi will be held at the Museum of Chinese in America, while the Shorts: Identities and Seadrift screenings will be held at Regal Essex, Theater B.

Please click the links to register and learn more about the films. AABANY members will receive a discount code once they register for the event on the AABANY website. 

For more information on the AAIFF, click here

2018 Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF)

AABANY will be co-sponsoring six film screenings with Asian CineVision for the 2018 Asian American International Film Festival this summer. These six film screenings include:

Each screening will be followed by a Q&A with its respective filmmakers. All screenings will be held at Village East Cinema. 

Please click the links to learn more about the films. AABANY members will receive a discount code once they register for the event on the AABANY website. 

For the AAIFF schedule, click here

Remarkable stories are told every year at the Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF), the first and longest running festival for Asian American cinema in the country. At the upcoming 40th AAIFF, held from July 26th to August 5th, AABANY is cosponsoring two films. Come see Defender, the intense and personal story of San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who strives to combat racism, police brutality, and injustice against minorities while showing the critical role of the public defender in the justice system, and Save My Seoul, which follows two Korean-American brothers while they unravel the dark complexity of the sex trade in Seoul, and the broken culture that causes it.

Check out the trailer for Defender above.

All AABANY members can use the discount code AABANYaaiff40 to see these films at a 25% discount. Visit http://aaiff.org/2017/ for more info. We hope to see you there!