UCLA Asian American Studies Film Festival

Food & Family

Expired March 2, 2021 1:00 AM
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Please note: space is limited.

This screening includes a pre-recorded conversation with director-producer and UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television professor Gina Kim, screenwriter and UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television professor George Huang and actor Chin Han.

About the program:

Spamfight (2020)

A couple’s dietary difference threatens their relationship when the iconic pan-Asian processed meat of choice becomes the go-to comfort food ingredient during meal time under quarantine lockdown. A hilarious yet thoughtful provocation pointing to the histories of imperialism and the military industrial complex wrapped up in savory goodness. Part of Asian American Documentary Network’s #AsianAmCovidStories micro doc series.

Color, 2 min. Director: Jin Yoo-Kim.

Phoenix Bakery: Sweets for the Sweet (2020)

UCLA Center for EthnoCommunications’ assistant director Janet Chen showcases one of L.A.’s Chinatown’s iconic businesses and institutions, the home of the famed strawberry whipped cream cake and almond cookie, as it celebrates its 80th year and ponders its future existence as generations wane. An inspirational and heartwarming history of the Chan family’s bakery and their entrepreneurial and community-based investments as children of immigrants. Part of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center’s Chinese American History Documentary Project.

Color, 15 min. Director: Janet Chen.

Final Recipe (2013)

UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television professor Gina Kim’s culinary-centered, transnational family melodrama Final Recipe brings into relief what we all know to be true already—how our hunger for comfort food and home are often invariably linked and food competition shows will never fail in getting our taste buds salivating. So, why not stage a family reunion in the midst of the making of one thereby upping the stakes? Such a premise gives us contemporary Asian cinema’s grande dame Michelle Yeoh (who is also an executive producer) as Julia, the glamorous host of a popular Shanghai-based cooking competition where determined upstart Singaporean high school student Mark (Chinese-Canadian K-pop singer Henry Lau) comes to discover his cultural roots and his true calling in life. As Yeoh’s on-screen husband, master chef, would-be mentor and incumbent, Singaporean-born Chin Han’s David imbues swagger into his role as the potential future self of his challenger. Jumpstarting what is now the trendy food and family film coming out of Asia and its diasporas, we are excited to revisit his delicious cinematic dish.

Color, in Mandarin and English with English subtitles, 97 min. Director: Gina Kim. Screenwriter: George Huang, Gina Kim. With: Michelle Yeoh, Henry Lau, Chin Han.


The UCLA Asian American Studies Center Film Festival screens virtually February 19–28 on Eventive and Vimeo. See the complete schedule at cinema.ucla.edu.