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Linsanity at CAAMFest 2013.jpg
Linsanity was shown opening night of CAAMFest in 2013 in San Francisco.
LocationSan Francisco
San Jose
Hosted byCenter for Asian American Media
No. of films130

CAAMFest, known prior to 2013 as the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF),[1][2] is presented every March in the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States as the nation’s largest showcase for new Asian American and Asian films.[3] It annually presents approximately 130 works in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Jose. The festival is organized by the Center of Asian American Media.[4][5]


CAAMFest traces its roots to Asian CineVision’s New York Asian American Film Festival, begun in 1978. From 1981 to 1984, ACV spun off a traveling version of their festival that toured the U.S. CAAM partnered with ACV to showcase their traveling festival in San Francisco, adding in other films by local filmmakers to help round out the program.[citation needed]

The San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF) was founded in 1982[6] as a joint production between Asian CineVision and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). There was no festival in 1985;[citation needed] beginning in 1986 the festival was organized by CAAM.[citation needed] Although the festival originally began with exclusively Asian American work, over the course of the 1990s, they expanded to include works from Asian filmmakers,[7][8] reflecting an attention to the increasingly transnational forms of media moving between Asia and America.[9] With the expansion of the festival, CAAM announced in January 2013 the name change of the SFIAAFF to CAAMFest.[10] The new Festival will showcase film as well as other avenues of artistic expression and community engagement, such as music, food, and interactive workshops.[6][11]


While the majority of the films at the festival screen at the Sundance Kabuki in Japantown and the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, many films are also screened at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley and at the Camera 3 Downtown Cinemas in San Jose.[12][13]

Awards and premieres[edit]

To underscore its commitment to supporting Asian American filmmakers and recognizing their achievements, the SFIAAFF inaugurated in 2005 a juried competition in two categories as well as audience awards. In 2010 Emmy-nominated documentary Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy made its world premiere at the SFIAAFF and went on to win Best Documentary at the festival.

The documentary film Linsanity premiered at CAAMFest on March 14, 2013 and won several audience awards. The Vietnamese comedy film How to Fight in Six Inch Heels had its U.S. premiere at CAAMFest on March 13, 2014.


  1. ^ "CAAMFest 2013 Preview: Curating Beyond Region". VCinema.
  2. ^ CAAMFest opens with film featuring San Jose native - SFGate
  3. ^ "CAAMFest: Former SF Asian American Film Festival Offers Films, Food, Music" Archived 2014-07-12 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ SF International Asian now CAAMFest. Synapse
  5. ^ CAAMFEST: A Festival of Asian American Film, Music and Food | Synapse
  6. ^ a b New and Improved! Asian American Showcase Rebrands as CAAMFest | International Documentary Association
  7. ^ Asian Film Festival Celebrates Diversity & History with San Francisco’s CAAMFest by Kevin M. Thomas | Progressive Pulse
  8. ^ Mak, Liz. "Top Picks from the 2014 CAAMFest" Archived 2014-07-15 at the Wayback Machine KQED, 12 March 2014.
  9. ^ Wang, Oliver. "CAAM History". Retrieved 29 January 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ CAAMFest 2014: Asian American Showcase Brings Rich Spectrum of Docs to the Bay Area | International Documentary Association
  11. ^ 2013 CAAMFest Coverage Introduction Film Festival - Way Too Indie
  12. ^ "AsianConnections - Awards announced - San Francisco's CAAMFEST Celebrates Asian and Asian American Film, Food and Music". Archived from the original on 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
  13. ^ Big Screen Berkeley: Asian American Film Festival | Berkeleyside

External links[edit]