Raspberry Magic is an American independent drama film about a young girl, Monica Shah, and her belief that she can save her parents' marriage by winning the science fair. Her science project uses touch therapy to grow raspberries in a forest. She explores whether it is nature or nurture that can make them grow. “What’s the purpose of family if they can’t be there?”
The simple truth at the heart of this movie is the universality of loss, pain, love and family.
Leena Pendharkar is an award-winning writer and director. Her feature film debut, Raspberry Magic, about a young girl’s connection to nature, has screened in over 20 film festivals and was called “heartwarming with a strong crossover appeal” by Variety. It also received the Audience Award at the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, and the Silver Remi at WorldFest Houston. The movie has been released theatrically and through Amazon, Netflix and Hulu VOD. Ms. Pendharkar holds a master's degree in documentary film production from the UC-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She teaches classes related to film production, screenwriting and interactive design at Loyola Marymount University and Otis College of Art and Design.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
DejaView Movie Lounge
VINCENT WHO? (2009)
Curtis Chin, producer and co-director, led a discussion following the film screening
In 1982, at the height of anti-Japanese sentiments arising from massive layoffs in the auto industry, a Chinese-American named Vincent Chin was murdered in Detroit by two white autoworkers. Chin's killers, however, got off with a $3,000 fine and 3 years probation, but no jail time. Outraged by this injustice, Asian Americans around the country united for the first time across ethnic and socioeconomic lines to form a pan-Asian identity and civil rights movement.
VINCENT WHO? explores this important legacy through interviews with the key players at the time as well as a whole new generation of activists whose lives were impacted by Vincent Chin. It also looks at the case in relation to the larger narrative of Asian American history, in such events as Chinese Exclusion, Japanese American Internment in WWII, the 1992 L.A. Riots, anti-Asian hate crimes, and post-9/11 racial profiling.
Ultimately, VINCENT WHO? asks how far Asian Americans have come since the case and how far they have yet to go. For in spite of Vincent Chin’s monumental significance in both the Asian American experience and the civil rights history of America, the vast majority of people today (including most Asian Americans) have little or no knowledge of him. By sparking interest in Vincent Chin with this film, we hope to contribute toward the day when “Vincent Chin” becomes a familiar name not only among Asian Americans, but all Americans. We believe that the Vincent Chin case and the resulting Asian American civil rights movement should assume an important place in this country’s history.
For more information: www.vincentwhofilm.com
Prince William County, Virginia becomes ground zero in America’s explosive battle over immigration policy when elected officials adopt a law requiring police officers to question anyone they have “probable cause” to suspect is an undocumented immigrant.
9500 Liberty reveals the startling vulnerability of a local government, targeted by national anti-immigration networks using the Internet to frighten and intimidate lawmakers and citizens. Alarmed by a climate of fear and racial division, residents form a resistance using YouTube videos and virtual town halls, setting up a real-life showdown in the seat of county government.
The devastating social and economic impact of the “Immigration Resolution” is felt in the lives of real people in homes and in local businesses. But the ferocious fight to adopt and then reverse this policy unfolds inside government chambers, on the streets, and on the Internet. 9500 Liberty provides a front row seat to all three battlegrounds.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
DejaView Movie Lounge (in the East Quad) on LMU campus
Waiting for Superman (2010)
Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim reminds us that education “statistics” have names: Anthony, Francisco, Bianca, Daisy and Emily, whose stories make up the engrossing foundation of Waiting for Superman. As he follows a handful of promising kids through a system that inhibits, rather than encourages, academic growth, Guggenheim undertakes an exhaustive review of public education, surveying “drop-out factories” and “academic sinkholes,” methodically dissecting the system and its seemingly intractable problems.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
DejaView Movie Lounge (in the East Quad) on LMU campus
Saving Face (2004)
Actresses Michelle Krusiec and Lynn Chen led a discussion following the film screening
Saving Face follows Wilhelmina (“Wil”), a young Chinese American surgeon, as she deals with her unwed mother's pregnancy, and the obligations of her dancer girlfriend Vivian. Wil struggles with allocating time between her mother (Gao) who is shunned by the Chinese American community of Flushing for being pregnant and unwed and thus has come to live with Wil, and her girlfriend, Vivian, whom she presents to her mother as only a friend. At the same time, Gao must decide whether the demands of her father's reputation, or the demands of her own heart, are more important. She soon realizes that she must marry a man named Cho to regain her father's “face” and not be an embarrassment to her family. Wil then finds out that her mother is in love with someone else and rushes to break up her wedding. At the same time Wil loses Vivian because she is afraid of going public. Vivian leaves for Paris. After three months, Vivian's and Wil's mothers reunite the two at a party and Vivian and Wil end up kissing in front of everyone in the center of the dance floor.
For more information, visit: http://www.sonyclassics.com/savingface/
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Ahmanson Auditorium UHALL 1000 on LMU campus
The Debut (2001)
Included a panel discussion following the screening with four cast members
The Debut is an independent feature-length film directed and co-written by our Loyola Marymount University alum and Filipino American filmmaker Gene Cajayon. The Debut is based on a ten-minute short film Cajayon had made as his thesis project at LMU. It is the first Filipino American film to be released theatrically nationwide, although regionally and every few months starting in March 2001 in the San Francisco Bay area ending in November 2002 in New York City. It is also one of the first feature films to take place within the Filipino American community, one of the largest Asian ethnic minorities in America.
Dante Basco (Biker Boyz, Hook) plays Ben Mercado, a talented high school senior who enrolls in a prestigious arts institute in order to realize his dreams of becoming an artist. However, his plans come into conflict with those of his strict immigrant father Roland (Tirso Cruz III), a postal worker intent on seeing Ben become a doctor. Their long-simmering feud—for Ben, a struggle to be accepted by America and therefore reject his Filipino heritage; and for Roland, a quest to give his children a better life than he had—threatens to boil over and ruin the elaborate eighteenth birthday party of Ben’s sister Rose (Bernadette Balagtas). However, it is at the party where everything starts to change for Ben. The celebration emerges as a cultural stew of old world traditions and contemporary urban lifestyle, challenging Ben’s sense of misplaced identity, his choice of friends, even the way he regards his father. He also finds an unexpected confidante (and perhaps a love interest) in Rose’s best friend Annabelle (Joy Bisco). However, the evening’s challenges to Ben are just beginning to surface. The arrival of the Mercado family’s overbearing patriarch (Eddie Garcia) exacerbates tensions between father and son, while the temptation to ditch the relatives to be with his friends at a kegger across town tugs at Ben throughout the evening. Worse, his budding romance with Annabelle is complicated by the presence of hot-headed Augusto (Darion Basco), a former boyhood friend-turned gangsta wannabe—and Annabelle’s ex. In one night, Ben will face the true nature of his relationships with his family, his friends and himself.