On November 9, Pacific Arts Movement (Pac Arts) will kick off its annual awards gala with a celebrity-lined red carpet to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the San Diego Asian Film Festival (SDAFF). Masters of Ceremony for the awards ceremony will be Hollywood stars Leonardo Nam (West World; The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) and Tamlyn Tomita (The Good Doctor; The Joy Luck Club). In honor of the largest platform of Asian cinema on the west coast, more than 500 entertainment, business and community leaders will recognize the SDAFF’s top independent films, enjoy spectacular live entertainment like rock violinist Jason Yang and meet with celebrity guests.

Over the last 20 years,  SDAFF has displayed the best in Asian and Asian American cinema from around the world. To honor that tradition, former Pac Arts Executive Director and Founder Lee Ann Kim will revisit the history of the festival and  the gala will also commemorate the Asian American Film Canon⁠ by the LA Times and SDAFF Artistic Director Brian Hu, comprised of the genre’s best films over the past two decades. Awards will honor exceptional program highlights from the festival representing seven categories as well as the George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker Award.

Proceeds support Pac Arts’ year-round educational programs, such as Reel Voices – a documentary filmmaking program that empowers local high school students to become socially-conscious storytellers.


  • Andrew Ahn (Filmmaker, Spa Night, Driveways)
  • Hudson Yang (Actor, Fresh Off The Boat)
  • Karin Anna Cheung (Actress, Better Luck Tomorrow)
  • Kieu Chinh (Actress, The Joy Luck Club, Journey From The Fall)
  • Lee Ann Kim (Founder, Pacific Arts Movement/San Diego Asian Film Festival)
  • Leonardo Nam (Actor, West World, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift)
  • Michelle Krusiec (Actress, Filmmaker, Saving Face)
  • Parry Shen (Actor, Better Luck Tomorrow)
  • Tamlyn Tomita (Actress, The Joy Luck Club)
  • Vivian Bang (Actress, Always Be My Maybe)
  • Wesley Chu (Author, New York Times #1 Bestseller)


  • Organization: Pacific Arts Movement
  • Dates/ time: November 9, 2019
    • 5:00PM: Cocktail Hour
    • 6:30PM: Dinner and Awards Program
    • 9:30PM: After Party
  • Location: The US Grant (326 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101)
  • Tickets: Available at sdaff.org

Available here. Purchase by Friday, November 1.
To learn more about Pac Arts membership, email [email protected].

  • $200 for Pac Arts Members
  • $250 for general admission
  • FREE After Party for SDAFF All-Fest Passholders
Ever since I watched Takeshi Kitano's "Hana-Bi" for the first time (and many times after that) I have been a cinephile. While much can be said about the technical aspects of film, coming from a small town in Germany, I cherish the notion of art showing its audience something which one does normally avoid, neglect or is unable to see for many different reasons. Often the stories told in films have helped me understand, discover and connect to something new which is a concept I would like to convey in the way I talk and write about films. Thus, I try to include some info on the background of each film as well as a short analysis (without spoilers, of course), an approach which should reflect the context of a work of art no matter what genre, director or cast. In the end, I hope to pass on my joy of watching film and talking about it.