Free Chol Soo Lee, directed by Eugene Yi and Julie Ha.

The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) presents its annual film festival May 12 – 22 in San Francisco. In so doing, CAAMFest builds on 40 years of celebrating Asian and Asian American film making.

CAAMFest will feature in-person events across San Francisco and Oakland, after two years of pandemic restrictions. The Castro Theatre and Asian Art Museum host on opening night, with closing night at the New Parkway Theater in Oakland. Other screening venues include Great Star Theater in SF Chinatown and SFMOMA.

Opening night features Free Chol Soo Lee, directed by Eugene Yi and Julie Ha. Wrongly convicted of a gangland murder, a Korean immigrant is freed after ten years. Is he able to adjust to life on the outside?

Bad Axe is the story of filmmaker David Siev returning to his hometown in Michigan. How does a Cambodian-Mexican family maintain quality of life and hope in a town characterized by deeply set racism?

Leonor Will Never Die, directed by Martika Ramirez Escobar, is a wonderfully imaginative story of what happens when a filmmaker accidentally becomes the heroine of her own script.

Closing night belongs to Every Day in Kaimuki, directed by Alika Tengan. Relocating from a quiet Hawaiian town to the swirl and whirl of New York City is a challenge for a man who is accompanying his girlfriend.

Separate spotlights will feature Hong Kong Cinema Showcase, Pacific Showcase, and Directions in Sound.

Panel discussions include “Conversations on Chinatown”, and “Paving the Way for Pacific Islanders”, among others.

Look for outstanding documentaries such as In Search of Bengali Harlem, directed by Vivek Bald and Alaudin Ullah. Visiting the areas where his parents grew up, Ullah makes an impressive discovery.

Like A Rolling Stone, directed by Suzanne Joe Kai, tells the fascinating story of Ben Fong-Torres, first music editor of Rolling Stone magazine.

For the full list of narratives, documentaries and short films – along with panel discussions and spotlights – visit

Jeanne is a published poet and essayist. She holds degrees from Wayne State University and the University of San Francisco. Jeanne has taught in the CS, UB and OLLI programs at universities in the City. Her books in print include MY OWN SILENCE and WORD DANCING from Taurean Horn Press.