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Since 2010, SBTHP has presented the Asian American Film Series, a free event held on Fridays in July at the Alhecama Theatre. In an effort to explore the history and cultures of the Asian communities that once thrived in and around the Santa Barbara Presidio area, the series includes films that speak to the Asian American experience in the US. The films have addressed a broad range of historical and modern topics, such as the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, Chinese American adoptions, and the contributions of key Asian American figures.

This event is free to attend for all SBTHP members, with a suggested $5 donation for non-members. Seating is first come, first served! 

This film series is made possible by the generous support of the George H. Griffiths and Olive J. Griffiths Charitable Foundation.

15th Annual Film Selections

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Photographic Justice: The Corky Lee Story

July 5, 2024 · 6 p.m.

For 50 years, Chinese American photographer Corky Lee documented the celebrations, struggles, and daily lives of Asian American Pacific Islanders with epic focus. Determined to push mainstream media to include AAPI culture in the visual record of American history, Lee produced an astonishing archive of nearly a million compelling photographs. His work takes on new urgency with the alarming rise in anti-Asian attacks during the Covid pandemic. Jennifer Takaki’s intimate portrait reveals the triumphs and tragedies of the man behind the lens.   

 

Q&A with Jennifer Takaki (Director) & Linda Hattendorf (Editor) will follow the screening

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Nurse Unseen

July 12, 2024 · 6 p.m.

NURSE UNSEEN explores the little-known history and humanity of the unsung Filipino nurses risking their lives on the frontlines while facing a resurgence of anti-Asian hate in the streets. The film unearths the colonial ties between the Philippines and the United States that have led to Filipino nurses becoming the unknown backbone of the U.S. and global healthcare systems.  

Q&A with Michele Josue (Director, Producer & Editor) will follow the screening.

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Like a Rolling Stone: The Life and Times of

Ben Fong-Torres

July 19, 2024 · 6 p.m.

LIKE A ROLLING STONE is an inspirational portrait of the life and career of Rolling Stone magazine’s first music editor and legendary writer, during the great rock and roll era, when music meant more than entertainment. The film is told from Ben’s deeply personal point of view from the man who quite literally had the backstage pass. Long overdue – in fact, more than half a century – filmmaker/journalist Suzanne Joe Kai is pleased to finally tell his true story.  

Q&A with Suzanne Joe Kai (Director, Producer, Writer) and Doug Blush (Executive Producer) will follow the screening.   

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Finding Her Beat

July 26, 2024 · 6 p.m.

For thousands of years women have been locked out of Taiko drumming. Not anymore. In the dead of a Minnesota winter, Asian drumming divas smash gender roles and redefine power on their own terms. FINDING HER BEAT that dives into the rhythms and struggles that lead to an electrifying historic performance that changes everything.  

A special taiko drumming performance will follow the screening.

Previous Selections

2023

Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066

Liquor Store Dreams

The Donut King

Chinatown Rising

2022

A Vanished Dream: Wartime Story of My Japanese Grandfather

Waterman

Free Chol Soo Lee

2021

Harana

Grasshopper for Grandpa

Sonzai: Japantown Santa Barbara

2020

Flower Drum Song

Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings

Meditation Park

I Am Bruce Lee

2019

Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority

For the Sake of the Children

ULAM: Main Dish

Bittersweet Roots: The Chinese in California's Heartland

2018

Never Give Up! Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice

Meditation Park

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Delano Manongs: Forgotten Heroes of the United Farm Workers & the Chinese Exclusion Act

2017

Off the Menu: Asian America

Comfort

My Life in China

Allegiance

 

2016

Chinese Couplets

Documented

Transcending - The Wat Misaka Story

Tyrus

 

2015

9man

Harana

Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings

 

2014

Anita Ho

Linsanity

My Grandfather’s Drum

 

2013

The Cats of Mirikitani

I am Bruce Lee

Somewhere Between

 

2012

Dim Sum Funeral

Of Civil Wrongs and Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story

Snow Falling on Cedars

 

2011

American Pastime

The Debut

The Joy Luck Club

The Slanted Screen

 

2010

Flower Drum Song

Forbidden City

Picture Bride

Sewing Woman

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