Oct 19, 2009

Song Wins Special Jury Award at the San Diego Asian Film Festival!


A Song For Ourselves won the Short Film Special Jury Award last weekend at the San Diego Asian Film Fest. SDAFF has a super official awards gala that Eric Tandoc and I were lucky enough to attend. "Lucky" meaning that the San Diego JACL generously sponsored our tickets and let us sit at their table. Eric made the most of the free beer while I popped an anti-anxiety pill.


There was a gala after-party which was "cool, but it's not what i'm use too" so i celebrated the night with the homies from AnakBayan LA & SD over some late night carne asada fries:

Mass Movement in the building! Eric's film Sounds Of A New Hope screened to a packed house.

Oct 9, 2009

Screenings in New Orleans, DC and Philly This Weekend

Three big screenings this weekend! All the films that are playing with A Song For Ourselves in these festivals are excellent, please try and catch one in your city. Unfortunately, I'll be stuck in my room working on film school applications.

DC APA Film Festival
Saturday, Oct. 10th @ 12p
Playing with Manilatown Is In The Heart This screening is FREE!

Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
Sunday, Oct. 11th @ 1p Playing with Sounds of a New Hope by Mass Movement's own Eric Tandoc

New Orleans Film Festival
Sunday, Oct. 11th @ 5p Playing with A Village Called Versailles (I've heard this film is amazing. This will definitely be a special screening since it will be in New Orleans)

Oct 6, 2009

Taiyo Na performs "War of the Flea" with Nobuko Miyamoto and Charlie Chin in NY

Last Saturday at the Basement Workshop Reunion in New York the homie Taiyo Na performed "War of the Flea" alongside Nobuko Miyamoto and Charlie Chin. Taiyo has always mentioned Chris Iijima as one of his biggest influences and inspirations as an artist so I can't imagine how amazing it must have been for him to sing Chris' lyrics with his old music partners.

Listen and download the original "War of the Flea"

Here's the filthy Senz of Depth Remix featuring Bambu off the A Song For Ourselves Mixtape:

Oct 3, 2009

Honolulu Weekly Cover Story

One of the coolest parts of the Hawai'i trip was going to Boots & Kimo's to eat this (banana pancakes swimming in macadamia nut sauce)... Photobucket ...and then walking over to Foodland and seeing this: Photobucket
The small print along the yellow fist reads "Long Live Chris Iijima"!
Read the whole article here.

Oct 1, 2009

Flicks from Hawai'i Premiere on Honozooloo

Photobucket I had the privilege of meeting a grip of inspiring and talented people while in Hawai'i and photographer Aaron Yoshino was one of them. I became a fan of his photos earlier this year through his website honozooloo.com. After hanging out with all these filipinos, it was really good to see a fellow buddhahead making a name for himself and doin it big! SEE ALL THE PHOTOS AT HONOZOOLOO.COM Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Sep 16, 2009

Hawai'i Premiere/Concert on Sept. 24th!

The Hawai'i Premiere & Concert of A Song For Ourselves is going down on Sept. 24th at NEXTDOOR in Honolulu!


It's gonna be a full-blown Cali invasion with performances by Bambu & DJ Phatrick, Power Struggle, and EyeASage. But most importantly, the event is a fundraiser for the Chris Iijima Scholarship Fund at the University of Hawai'i Law School.
For more info and to purchase tickets or donate to the fund, please go here.

Jul 15, 2009

Screening at New York's Asian American International Film Festival

Song will be playing at the Asian American International Film Festival in New York on July 25th and 26th.

Sat. July 25th - 4:45p
Museum of Chinese in America
*Part of "Life on the Edge" shorts program

Sat. July 26th - 12 noon
Chelsea Cinemas
*Precedes Manilatown is in the Heart: Time Travel with Al Robles

May 22, 2009

Fatgums X Bambu Release Party Video

i finally cut some of the footage eric and i shot at last month's release party for fatgums and bambu's "a peaceful riot" ep. as you can see and hear, it was an amazing day at the beatrock store, one of those events that really makes you thankful for the community we've created down here:

May 20, 2009

Under The Influence


someone made the mistake of nominating me for angry asian man's 30 most influential asian americans under 30, and the angry guy picked me! it's a huge honor to make this list which includes karen o from yeah yeah yeahs and the co-founder of youtube. i really have to thank phil yu (aka. angry asian man) for always covering my back, his blog is phenomenal and continues to inform and unite asian americans across the country. speaking of karen o, "zero" is one of my favorite songs this year:

May 16, 2009

Visual Communications Interview

during their film festival, visual communications (vc) posted an interview with me on their website. i literally grew up at vc as both my parents were working there when i was born and had to take me to the office with them.  

May 10, 2009

LA Asian Pacific Film Festival Part 2

here's more from the LA asian american film festival that ended last thursday. song screened in a very strong shorts program at the festival. from left to right; director of no joke burma li-anne huang, director of parallel adele adele pham and festival director abe ferrer:
eric answering questions after the world premiere of his film sounds of the new hope: Photobucket
eric and his mom:
cindy, aj from xylophone films, eric and anna at the after-party: Photobucket
thanks to everyone who came out to the "what's the matter with asian american film?" panel. i hope me and spencer didn't offend anyone too much: Photobucket
some heavy hitters like scholar oliver wang (talking below) attended and participated in the panel. others who came out were asian american film legends robert nakamura, renee tajima-pena and curtis choy: Photobucket
after the panel - from left to right: jeff liu from vc, spencer, me, lou nakasako, alex tse (writer of watchmen) and dustin nguyen (the asian guy from 21 jump street!): Photobucket

May 6, 2009

LA Asian Pacific Film Festival Part 1

mass movement tv invaded opening night of the LA asian pacific film festival last week. none of the photographers wanted to take our picture in front of the backdrop so we had to ask someone to take one with my camera.
eric nakamura felt sorry for us so he interviewed me for the directors chair site
dj phatrick and o-dub on the 1's and 2's Photobucket
beau sia lookin hecka hard in a shimmery green scarf Photobucket
e.t. with michael chen the star of the opening night film children of invention directed by tze chun
sometimes there's a lot of hollywood bullshit at these kinda things, it is LA. but i can always depend on a handful of down-to-earth filmmakers have fun with. from left to right: michael velasquez (who did all the photo effects in song), patrick epino, phuong tang and tim jieh. Photobucket

May 5, 2009

Al Robles Rest In Power

we lost a true community treasure on saturday. that night, while i was seeing his face and hearing his voice, al robles passed away. i was at the LA asian pacific film festival, eric had just premiered his film and we were watching manilatown is in the heart: time travel with al robles. the film ended with al reading a poem as photos from his life were projected on screen. when the film was over, the lights went on and director curtis choy walked up to the front of the theater and announced that al had just died.
please visit alrobles.manilatown.org to learn more about this wonderful man and the work and art he brought to his community.
i had the privilege of talking with al a couple of times. the most memorable was when me, eric and my dad were filming at manzanar and al (in plaid shirt) and bill sorro (far left) along with a couple of friends walked up and started taking with us. it was a surreal experience talking to two legends in the middle of the desert. two years later bill sorro passed away and now al is gone.
rest in power al. thank you for all the inspiration.

May 1, 2009

SONG Gets Mention in LA Weekly

Photobucket song got at really dope write-up by ernest hardy in the la weekly this week!  peep game:
"Also recommended is Tadashi Nakamura’s hugely moving short A Song for Ourselves, which celebrates the life and legacy of the late Asian-American musician-activist Chris Iijima, an unsung hero of America’s progressive political movement. The film illuminates the roles Asians played in the 1960s civil rights movement, forging political alliances while asserting their own identities, while the portrait of Iijima himself — his oldest son’s anguish at not having his father around; his wife’s teary confession that the world makes no sense without him; his own words on how he came to create himself — will make your heart ache."

Thank You Claremont!

had a lot of fun screening the film and building with the students of asian american 187 at the claremont colleges.  shouts to soon-to-be prof. nancy park (standing to the right of me) for inviting me to her student initiated course on asian american arts & activism:
note to any students who plan to bring guest speakers to campus, a spiderman gift bag goes a long way!

Apr 26, 2009

SONG screening at LA Asian Pacific Film Festival on 5/2

a song for ourselves will be screening at the LA asian pacific film festival on may 2nd, 2:30p at laemmle's sunset 5 theater.   song will be part of the shorts program titled "passion for the people".   four other films will be screened including academy-award winning director jessica yu's latest film! 
for tickets and more information on the program please go to here.  this show has a very good chance of selling out so please get your tickets now!

Apr 24, 2009

SONG Mixtape Mentioned in District

a song for ourselves and the mixtape got mentioned in this article about bambu in district. don't forget to come out to the a peaceful riot release party tomorrow at beatrock! Photobucket

Apr 21, 2009

I'm an Uncle...Again!

my niece mina and her new baby brother gus.  

Apr 16, 2009

Giant Nakamura

"i heard your dad couldn't get you into ucla film school?  yeah, he didn't let me in either..."  that was one of the first things that eric nakamura, creator & president of giant robot, said to me when we sat down for lunch at his restaurant gr/eats.  those were comforting words coming from someone who has been able to shape an entire culture through his magazine, 4 stores, and restaurant.  
you gotta respect eric's entrepreneurial vision and execution.  i mean dude built 3 businesses right in the middle of his community (he grew up blocks away from sawtelle).  as big and busy as he is, eric still found time to help another nakamura from the westside navigate through his quarter life crisis!
check out the "papershapers" show that eric curated at the scion gallery in...that's right culver fuckin city! (the show ends may 2)

Apr 12, 2009

Channel APA Interview

this berry embarrassing interview was done during the sf international asian american film festival last month for channel apa. the interview was so weak i don't think they even posted it. oh well, at least the new era and my hundreds tee look clean!

Apr 6, 2009

New York New York - Big City of Dreams

The Shack
my dood kori (also a close friend of the iijima's) came out from "the a" for the new york premiere. here he is in the 40 min. line that you'll always see infront of shake shack:
Photobucket but it's so fuckin worth the wait! kori went with the double stack. that ball of fried goodness in the middle is really a portobello mushroom and cheese, all battered and fried together: Photobucket when the previously described shroom burger explodes in your mouth...this is the result... Photobucket
The Premiere at Manhattan Country School
MCS was so packed they had to open two other classrooms to accommodate everyone who showed up. the screening was a huge success! chris iijima's family, friends, former students and new fans all gathered in the school where chris taught for many years.
Photobucket the women responsible for the event: chris' former student and now active parent and staff at MCS akemi kochiyama (left) and director of the school Michele Sola
Lunch at the historical Iijima apartment
chris' sister lynne invited me, kori and miya to visit their father tak iijima, a 442 vet and one of the OG's of the early asian american movement. this is the same washington heights apartment where chris was rasied and also where one of the first progressive asian american organizations in the country, asian americans for action (AAA), held their meetings.
Kickin' it
it wouldn't be a new york trip if i didn't see the old CAPSA crew. its been a minute since our bandana and bullhorn days, here we are all sold out and booshie:
also got a chance to hang out with the homie aliwong.com, new york's newest comic sensation: Photobucket