SEASON SEVEN – 2012
Silk Screen presents a variety of events for all ages with the goal of educating communities about Asia, the arts, and its culture. The 7th year of Silk Screen Asian Arts Organization’s programs have been quite successful. The 7th Annual Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival (May 11-20, 2012):
During the festival, Silk Screen featured 48 screenings of films from Asia or by Asian American filmmakers. The festival featured award-winning entries from festivals around the world, at 3 locations in Pittsburgh.
The Opening Night film was The Lady, the biopic of Myanmar activist Aung San Suu Kyi, from the award winning director, Luc Besson. The screening was followed by the colorful Opening Night Gala, attended by over 500 guests in traditional and ethnic dress at the Rivers Club. Many claim this year’s gala was the most vibrant and diverse event in town. Various ethnic foods from restaurants around Pittsburgh such Thai Cuisine, Taj Mahal, and Sushi Kim were served as guests watched performances by the Yanlai Dance School, the Steel Dragon Lion Dance group, the Pitt Nrityamala Dancers and other ethnic performance groups. This year, guests could enjoy a Screening Room which featured trailers and movie posters from this year’s film line-up. Sally Wiggin, News Anchor for WTAE-TV, kept the evening’s speakers and performers moving along as the Gala’s emcee, and Global Beats DJ, Carla Leininger, commenced the event with music ranging from Brazilian pop to Indian Bhangra.
The number of screenings and films was the highest to date. There were 25 films with 48 screenings over 10 days. For the first time there was a Question & Answer session with filmmakers from Indonesia.
The 2nd Annual Closing Events included a Finale Film Sunny and a Reception at Filmmakers’ Melwood Screening Room. The event was a spirited end to the festival.
SEASON SIX – 2011
During the 6th Annual Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival, Silk Screen featured 48 screening of films from Asia or by Asian American Films at 4 locations in Pittsburgh. Nine of these had scheduled Q&A sessions for audience members with visiting filmmakers. The festival featured award winning entries from: New York Asian Film Festival, San Francisco Asian Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival and many other world renowned film events. The new addition of a Closing Night Film Event, took place at The Andy Warhol Museum. This is a renewed relationship with the museum, with hopes of continued programming in many areas.
The Opening Night Film was I Am from the award winning director, Onir. The screening was followed by the colorful Opening Night Gala, attended by over 500 guests in traditional and ethnic dress at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Many claim this year’s gala was the most vibrant and diverse event in town.
SEASON FIVE – 2010
The 5th Annual Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival was held May 7-16, 2010. It featured 36 screening of films from Asia or by Asian American Films. Three of these had scheduled Q&A sessions for audience members with visiting filmmakers including: Joseph Mathew Varghese – director, Samrat Chakrabarti – actor, Gerry Balasta – director, Manu Narayan – actor, Ami Sheth – actress. The festival featured award winning entries from: New York Asian Film Festival, San Francisco Asian Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival Hawaii International Film Festival and many other world renowned film events.
The Opening Night Film Cooking with Stella from the Canadian brother sister team of Dilip and Deepa Mehta was followed by the colorful Opening Night Gala, attended by over 500 guests in traditional and ethnic dress at the Omni William Penn Hotel. The average attendance per screening increased this year, despite a decrease in programming from previous years. Visitors came to Pittsburgh from all over the country.
Season Four – 2009
Despite the economic downturn of early 2009, Silk Screen maintained its momentum. As recommended by foundations and other sponsors the 2009 programming roster was reduced to fit within the means available. The film festival showed only 40 screenings and invited only 8 filmmakers for the festival. Due to the quality of films presented, the average attendance per screening increased.
Silk Screen continued to provide year round Asian arts & cultural programming. Events were often presented in collaboration with other Pittsburgh arts organizations such as: Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Toonseum, University of Pittsburgh's Confucius Institute, Winchester Thurston School, University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center, Net-IP, Indian Nationality Room and others.
Season Three – 2008
The 2008 Silk Screen Asian Film Festival was an even larger success. Film attendance increased nearly 50% from 2000 to almost 3000. Youth attendees (ages 12-26) substantially increased from previous years. The 25 films shown from May 9-18, 2008, included award winning selections from: Toronto International, San Francisco International, Asia Pacific, Cannes, Berlin International, Sundance, Los Angeles and San Francisco Asian-American Film Festivals. A new addition to the festival, was the screening of the Anime Film 5 Centimeters Per Second by highly popular Makoto Shinkai. Silk Screen also introduced the RAGS Audience Choice Award presented to Richie Mehta for Amal. Q&A sessions with filmmakers during the 2008 festival had great support. Filmmakers came to Pittsburgh from India, California, New York City and Canada for both the opening and closing weekends. Silk Screen Festival hopes this opportunity will increase the potential for on-going filmmaking, sight scouting, recruitment of staff and development of relationships with Pittsburgh’s growing film industry.
Season Two – 2007
The second annual Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival presented multiple showings of 20 films at 5 venues from May 11-20, 2007, and added a new element with three Asian music concerts: Suphala – a female tabla artist, Masayo Ishigure – one of the world’s most accomplished koto players, and the Chinese ensemble – Melody of Dragon. Once again the festival was very successful in achieving its goals, with great press coverage, a diverse and enthusiastic audience, and recognition from Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, the Indian Consul General, and the Japanese Ambassador to the United States.
In July of 2007, Silk Screen received the “Work of Arts” award from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. This award was in recognition for the partnership with Wall to Wall Studios, a professional organization committed to aiding non-profits in branding success. Wall to Wall Studios was instrumental in creating the Silk Screen logo, brand, website and marketing materials.
Season One – 2006
In May 2006, Silk Screen held its first annual Asian American Film Festival. This was the first event of its kind in the Pittsburgh region. The Festival opened with a Opening Night Gala, where over 350 guests enjoyed performances and food from across Asia. The eight-day Festival showcased 22 films, drawing an audience of over 2,000 people. Ten actors and directors came to Pittsburgh to present their films and engage with the public in various events during the Festival. National press coverage was achieved in The Wall Street Journal.