Houston Chinese Community Center Screening Recap

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In September and October of 2010, we embarked on our first international tour, flying to Australia for seven screenings in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. In November, we went to our second country for three screenings in Canada. We then headed to Texas, which some would argue is a whole other country in itself! The adage that everything is bigger in Texas holds true; twelve-lane highways, large swaths of open roads and great expanse of blue sky greeted us when we landed in Houston for the start of our Texas tour.

Our first stop was at the Houston Chinese Community Center. We’ve seen a number of Chinese community centers while on tour, but this one was certainly the largest! Situated on 6 acres of land, the Houston CCC featured a full-sized gym and plenty of classrooms. From the CCC web site, it provides “services and programs for over 7,000 multi-cultural families each year through educational, cultural and social service programs.”

Houston Chinese Community Center

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Simon Fraser University Screening Recap

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Autumn Gem at Simon Fraser University

We’re currently in Texas and getting ready to leave lovely San Antonio for Texas A&M in College Station. Catching up on our screening recaps, we’d like to tell you about the great screening we had at Simon Fraser University last week in Vancouver, British Columbia. As you can see in the photo to the right, we had a huge turnout. Originally, our screening was to be held in a different auditorium, but SFU received so many RSVPs that they had to move the location to the Woodward’s building in downtown Vancouver. The venue was recently opened or renovated, so our film was among the first to use the new space.

Before the screening, we walked around the Vancouver Chinatown, which reminded us of the one in San Francisco. We went to the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Public Park, which would have worked great as a filming location for Autumn Gem! Rae and I also tried to look for buildings that were featured in some of our favorite TV shows, including Battlestar Galactica, MacGyver and The X-Files. Vancouver has a bustling film industry, and there are many filming locations scattered throughout the city and surrounding area.

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In Texas

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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.

Richmond City Council Screening Recap

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Autumn Gem at Richmond City Council Chambers

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.

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University of Victoria Screening Recap

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Autumn Gem at the University of Victoria

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.

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Pacific Northwest Screening Tour Underway!

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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.

Bellarmine Forum at Loyola Marymount University

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Autumn Gem at LMU

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.

Professors Gail Wronsky (English) and Susan Barber (Film and Television Studies) introduced us at our screening, which had about 35-40 students, academics and community members.

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