Saturday, May 22, 2010

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

Visual Communications is a non-profit organization that prides itself in being the first in “the nation dedicated to the honest and accurate portrayals of the Asian Pacific American peoples, communities and heritage through the media arts.” (Mission & History)

Their mission is:
Our mission is to promote intercultural understanding through the creation, presentation and support of media works by and about Asian Pacific Americans.

Visual Communications programming include the annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. The hit movie Better Luck Tomorrow originally played at the festival when it came out and due to the great results; it ended up being played in the theaters. I went to this years’ Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and watched the movie God is D_ad. After I watched the movie, I stuck around and talked to one of the main actors and producers. But the person I interviewed was director of Visual Communications, Anderson. I paraphrased his answers and I hope you enjoy!

1. What are the goals with the Asian Pacific Film Festival?

Promote the Asian American media and to provide a venue for them.

2. What are some of the struggles?

It is a nonprofit organization so money is an issue a lot of times. There are challenges to raising money; for instance, the filmmakers are in need of money. Access can be limiting.

3. What do you think about the types of roles Asian Pacific Islander Americans play in movies/films?

It is getting better. Although they are still behind, due to technology getting more and more advanced, such as the internet, they are catching up. The Asian audience is different; they are hungry which empowers them to search more. The internet has been a great way to expose the Asian American media.

4. How do you advertise for this festival?

Social media, street teams, flyers, committee organization, and word of mouth.

5. How do you pick which films are going to play?

There is a screening committee, people submit their films, and by building relationships with previous filmmakers.

6. What is some advice you would give to fellow Asian Pacific Islander Americans wanting to work in this area?

Have a creative content for filmmaking. It is different than what it was 10 years ago, so have hope. The industry is more visually oriented. There are new ways to message your company. Be successful. Globalization does exist in this fast pace world.

I really recommend everyone to go out to the film festival!!!

"Mission & History - Default." Home - Default. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. .

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Frozen yogurt has gotten really popular very recently. Although some people think it might just be a fad, I have a feeling it might stick around for a little while.

Yogurtland is Korean owned and it is one of the many yogurt shops that opened up. But Yogurtland stands out than the rest because it has been doing the best (my opinion). Yogurtland is self-serve and offers a variety of different flavors. Although they change their flavors, the most popular ones seem to stick around longer.

Their mission statement is “to bring people together for the most flavorful, natural, and fun frozen yogurt experience while promoting a healthy lifestyle.” (Yogurtland)

Yogurtland is not only busy during the summer, but every season. I interviewed one of the managers in one of the stores in the city of Irvine and paraphrased his answers. Enjoy! =)

Why do you think Yogurtland is doing so well?

It is a new hit like boba.

How do you choose the different flavors?

They see whatever is new and order it. They also pay attention to what sells well and continue ordering the popular flavors. But it is different for every store.

Yogurtland started off really well and was constantly busy with lines out the door,
is it still just as busy?

It is not as busy as when they first started, but again every store is different especially due to location. For their store, it does fluctuate depending on the season.

Compared to other frozen yogurt stores, why do you think Yogurtland does so well?

They were the first ones to come up with the idea of being self-serve.

Although location plays a key factor on the customers, how diverse are the customers of Yogurtland?

It is very diverse. Their customers are predominately Asians; the ratio is 60% Asians and 40% Caucasians.

What is the age range of customers?

All ages

What do you think might be the next “fad”?

Possibly the Gogi Trucks because it is already popular is Los Angeles, but slowly, little by little it might get popular in Orange County.

If you have not tried Yogurtland,I highly recommend it!

Work Cited

Yogurtland The Top Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Store! Web. 20 Apr. 2010. .

Chinatown in LA

An enclave is “an enclosed territory that is culturally distinct from the foreign territory that surrounds it” (Enclave). Chinatown in Los Angeles is one of the many enclaves that exist. I had to do a project on an enclave and it was on Chinatown in LA.

Chinatown is full of businesses, many that are small family owned businesses. Although from an outside view, it seems very successful due to its busyness with a constant flow of customers, it’s not as it seems. After interviewing the only person that seemed to speak English fluently, I learned a lot about the common challenges they face.

The types of the businesses I focused on were the herb markets, little shops and the little cart full of merchandise. It seemed that those types of business were the most prominent. It was clear that the business is catered towards immigrants and tourist, which is great for them, but limits the different variety of customers. Even though incoming tourists will always stay consistent, Chinatowns is one of many places for tourism.

Chinatown is a place for immigrants to feel at home away from home, so to take that away would eventually take them away as customers. Although catering to immigrants limits their customers, it keeps their customers to stay loyal.

I interviewed a couple different store owners/employees and paraphrased their responses. They wanted to keep their names anonymous, but I hope you enjoy!

At the herb market I asked about their advantages and their challenges.
The market consists of a variety of types of herbs.

They benefit because their local customers buy their products consistently. Their customers benefit by these markets because other markets do not sell a lot of the same products.

Unfortunately they had a couple of challenges, such as: customers hesitate on buying the herbs, language barrier, and their biggest challenge is that the herbs are not FDA approved. Due to Prop 65, they have to put up signage informing their customers that their herbs are not FDA approved causing more hesitation.

The little shops mostly consisted of toys, counterfeit products, plants, jewelry, products for good luck, and tourist types of merchandise. I asked them about their advantages and their challenges.

They also benefit because they have a consistent flow of local customers. Due to Chinatown being a tourist place, they do get a lot of tourists and they are the ones that bring in most of their business.

Their challenges are the language barrier and all the other neighboring stores sell similar if not same products which cause competition within one another.

I also interviewed the small businesses that were frequent were the little carts full of merchandise. It’s just like the small stores but in a cart. The carts usually consisted of plants, jewelry, baby pets, products of good luck, and tourist types of merchandise. I also asked them their advantages and challenges.

They benefit also by having the consistent flow of local and tourist customers.

Their challenges were the language barrier, people always tried to bargain the prices, and the competition with neighboring little shops and the other carts that sold similar merchandise.

Chinatown is a great place to go to shop, eat, and walk around. I recommend people stepping out and visiting different enclaves. It not only is a good reason to go out but a great way to be a little more aware of others’ cultures and heritage.

Work Cited
"Enclave - Definition of Enclave - Synonyms, Pronunciation, Spelling from." Free Dictionary.
Web. 01 May 2010. .

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rosemary Tran

I would like to present my beautiful friend inside and out, Rosemary Tran! She is one of my girlfriends that I met a couple years ago through mutual friends. One thing we had in common was the blonde hair we both had and still kind of have. Anyways, she is an undergraduate student at UCLA and soon to be alumni!!! She was part of the Miss Vietnam of Southern California. I wanted to interview her because Asian Pacific Islander American pageants have gotten pretty popular. It takes a lot of confidence, intellect, and beauty inside and out. I asked a couple questions and I paraphrased her answers, so I hope you enjoy!!!

1. How do you identify yourself?

“Young Vietnamese woman”, not necessarily Vietnamese American, very recently she has been in touch with her Vietnamese culture and is proud to be a young Vietnamese woman.
She took a couple Asian American Studies classes at UCLA and learned a lot and related to a lot as well. One class that struck out to her was her Vietnamese American Experience class. She learned a lot and it opened her eyes about her parent’s experiences and her own experiences. She started to have a different perspective on her own experience and realized that she grew up with racial profiling and that it had occurred to other people too.

2. How/why did you get involved with the Vietnamese beauty pageant?

It is a scholarship pageant and because her vice president from her high school was involved and only had great things to say about it. She also was at a place in her life where she wanted to do something that she thought she would never do something out of the ordinary.
Although she did not win, she was in the top ten. She wanted to win, not just to win but for the scholarship and to get a chance to go visit Vietnam. By going to Vietnam, she would have been able to meet her relatives and learn more about her culture.

3. What is the goal of the beauty pageant?

In general it is to showcase your confidence and showcase how well you can carry yourself. It is not just about beauty, it is about being a woman and showcasing that confidence. It is also about how well you speak and present yourself with confidence.
The pageant helps portray how comfortable and confident you are. She learned to be more confident about herself. The beauty pageant is not just about being beautiful on the outside, in fact there are requirements before joining.

4. What are some of the requirements?

There is a GPA requirement of a minimum of 2.5
Could not be pregnant or have any children
Between the ages of 16 – 26
Currently enrolled in school or recently graduated within one year
There is a time commitment

5. Did you enjoy it? Would you do it again?

She had a lot of fun and made some best friends.
The experience alone was unforgettable and she said that she would do it all over again, but not another one.

6. What are some advices you can give to fellow young Asian Pacific Islander American

To take an Asian American studies class, pertaining to their particular culture. By taking a class, it allows you to respect your culture that much more and appreciate it.
Growing up she did not feel “cool” being Asian, and she wanted to be like “everybody else”, but then she got to the stage where she’s happy to be different and likes to be set apart from everybody else because that alone is a positive thing.
Another advice is to embrace yourself and your features, your most powerful features and find your most positive features about yourself and love what you got.

I want to thank Rosemary Tran!! <3