We arrived yesterday in Houston, Texas, following our screening at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. We had a great screening at SFU and at the Houston Chinese Community Center on Saturday. Now, we are at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where we have a screening at 3:30pm in the Retama Auditorium inside the University Center. We’ll have recaps of the past few screenings within the next few days.
The day after our screening at the University of Victoria, we took another ferry — this time from Schwartz Bay to Tsawwassen — to head into Vancouver. Both Rae and I have been to Vancouver once before to attend Expo 86. Yes, twenty-four years ago as kids, we were both attending the same World’s Exposition here in Vancouver. If we had a time machine, it would have been interesting to see if our families ever crossed paths at the Expo.
We had always wanted to set up a screening in the Pacific Northwest, since (1) we have friends and family living in the Washington and Vancouver areas and (2) there is a large Asian population in these areas. At a wedding a few months back, we were introduced to Amy Yu, the sister of one of my aunts. Amy lives in Richmond and was instrumental in setting up the screening at the Richmond City Council Chambers on November 9. She, along with Liesl Jauk from Cultural Services and countless others, attracted a huge crowd of over 140 people to the screening. The room was filled to capacity, and if more people tried to arrive, they would have been turned back! Fortunately, everyone who arrived was able to find a seat and see the film.
On November 8, 2010, we woke up very early in the morning to catch the 8:30 am ferry — the only one leaving that day — from Anacortes, Washington to Sidney, British Columbia. Located over 70 miles north of Seattle, the Anacortes Ferry Terminal was quiet and nearly deserted when we arrived at 6:00 am. We went into town for some breakfast before queuing the rental car up to get onto the ferry.
The boat ride was pretty fun; we saw the sun rise as we made our way through the various islands between the United States and Canada. The trip took about three hours, with one stop at San Juan Island. I saw a lone seal or seal lion swimming in the harbor as we made our way out of San Juan; with a thick layer of blubber, it must have still been warm in the chilly water!
Our first stop on our second international tour of Autumn Gem was at the University of Victoria, located on Vancouver Island. My parents are accompanying us on this leg of our tour, and their knowledge of the area has proven to be very useful thus far.
Autumn Gem is featured in UTSA Today, the online newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio. We’ll be screening there on Sunday, November 13, 2010 from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm.
Here’s the article, copied below.
UTSA East Asia Institute to screen documentary on China’s first feminist
By Kris Rodriguez
Public Affairs Specialist
(Nov. 10, 2010)–As part of UTSA Diversity Month, the UTSA East Asia Institute will host a free screening of the documentary “Autumn Gem: The Story of China’s First Feminist” at 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 14 in the University Center Retama Auditorium (2.02.02) on the UTSA Main Campus. Directors Rae Chang and Adam Tow will attend the screening to meet the public and discuss their project.
The film is about Qui Jin, a Joan of Arc-style character, who defied tradition to become the leader of a revolutionary army fighting against the corrupt Qing dynasty. The radical women’s-rights activist challenged traditional gender roles and emerged as a national heroine celebrated in China today.
Jin envisioned a future where women would free themselves from the confines of tradition and arise as strong and active citizens of a new and modern nation. She spoke out against foot binding and other oppressive practices and demanded equal education for girls.
Chang graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in art and anthropology. Her short films have been presented at APAture Film Night in 2003 and the Women of Color Film Festival in 2004.
Tow is a digital media producer and Web consultant who graduated from Stanford University in 1997 with a degree in symbolic systems. An accomplished photographer, his work has been published in the New York Times, Stanford magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle.
The UTSA East Asia Institute promotes appreciation and understanding of East Asian societies and cultures through research, outreach, networking, education, student-faculty exchange, and business development and cooperation. The institute organizes seminars, workshops, lectures, conferences, film festivals and art exhibitions as well as bringing in performing art groups from China, Japan, Korea and other Asian nations. The institute encourages faculty research collaborations within UTSA and with participating East Asian university researchers. For more information, call 210-458-4943 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s been a location change for our Simon Fraser University screening this coming Friday, November 12, 2010. The new location is at:
Room 3200 SFU Woodwards
149 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 5K3
Enter from Cordova courtyard.
Please RSVP and register online at http://cgi.sfu.ca/~hccweb/cgi-bin/OnlineRegistration/site/event/detail.php?id=165
Our final tour of 2010 is underway! Rae has been in Oregon for the past four days, screening at Portland State University, Williamette University and Oregon State University to large student and community crowds. She’s heading up to Seattle to meet with me; I was in New York earlier this week for a business meeting and was unable to accompany her on the first leg of our tour.
We have a screening on Saturday at the Northwest Chinese School. Then, it’s off to Canada for three screenings at the University of Victoria, Richmond City Council and Simon Fraser University. Our SFU screening was recently mentioned in the World Journal, and it’s shaping up to be a very large screening with over 200 people in attendance.
Following our Canada trip, we fly to Houston to begin the Texas leg of our tour. It will be Rae’s first time in the Lone Star State!
Check out our screenings page for more details.
Our last screening on this Fall SoCal 2010 tour was held at the University of Southern California. I think the last time I was on campus was back in high school, when my school did a tour of West Coast colleges and universities.
Our sponsor was the USC US-China Institute, with Clayton Dube, Linda Truong, and Ada Tseng helping to organizing the screening. These three originally came from UCLA, which is the rival school to USC. That’s akin to the Stanford-Berkeley rivalry up here in the Bay Area. We joke at the beginning of our presentation how we show how Stanford and Berkeley can co-exist in matrimony. It always gets a laugh out of the crowd, especially when they can relate to it themselves.
Our fourth and penultimate screening was held at Loyola Marymount University. Autumn Gem screened as part of the 2010 Bellarmine Forum. This year’s focus was on Women’s Art and Activism and featured a weeklong series of panels, performances, and art exhibits. Our film screened on the opening day in the Ahmanson Theater inside University Hall. When we first walked into University Hall, Rae remarked that it looked like an office building1. Sure enough, it used to be owned by Hughes Aircraft as its corporate headquarters before being purchased and converted to university use in 2000.
The 48th annual Western Conference of the Association for Asian Studies was held between October 22-23 at California State University, Northridge. The theme of this year’s conference was “Translating Asia: Past, Present, & Future.”
Northridge experienced a large 6.7 magnitude earthquake back in January 17, 1994. I may be mixing up my earthquakes, but I seem to recall being home in San Diego during that time. Duck and cover is something ingrained in every California’s mind, but I remember distinctly being frozen in fear in my bed as the quake went on for just under a minute. The earthquake’s epicenter was just two miles away from CSUN’s campus, and it caused $400 million dollars in damages; the rebuilding project was finally completed in 2007. As a student at Stanford in the mid-90’s, I saw how long it took for repairs to be completed; it seemed every quarter there was another building that was closed to do earthquake repairs or retrofitting.
Back in February, 2010, we attended a talk by filmmaker Arthur Dong at the South Pasadena Public Library prior to our film screening at UC Irvine. Following Arthur’s showing of Hollywood Chinese, we spoke with several of the organizers, including City Librarian Steve Fjeldsted, about bringing Autumn Gem to South Pasadena. We gave him a DVD and communicated with him over the next several months, ultimately setting up the screening we held on October 21, 2010.
First of all, big shout of goes to Steve, members of the South Pasadena Chinese-American Club and the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, for bringing out over a hundred people! It’s always great to have large crowds come out to our screening, and it’s a bonus when they all stay to the end for the Q&A. We made some contacts as well, so there’s a good chance we’ll be coming back in 2011 for additional SoCal screenings.