Joy Ride to open CAAMFest film festival in San Francisco - Asian Art Museum
From left: Sabrina Wu, Ashley Park, Sherry Cola and Stephanie Hsu in 'Joy Ride' Credit: ED Araquel/Lionsgate

The Center for Asian American Media invites all communities to experience CAAMFest in its annual presentation of Asian and Asian American films and culture.  The festival runs May 11-21 and will be a fully in-person event for the first time in several years.

“CAAMFest 2023 is a call to gather, so that we may witness our transformations, restore our bonds, and lift each other up in the audacity of our stories….”

Opening night at the Castro Theatre will feature Joy Ride, directed by Adele Lim and featuring Oscar nominee Stephanie Hsu. Opening night gala will be held at the Asian Art Museum in SF.

The all-day Filmmaker Summit will be held at CCSF – Chinatown branch. The reception afterwards is scheduled for Cathay House in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown.

Friday evening features a short documentary, Benkyodo: The Last Manju Shop in J-Town, about Japantown’s first and last Japanese American confectionery.  This film covers the last six months of the confectionery’s 115 year history.  Film directors are Akira Boch and Tadashi Nakamura. Venue is the Japanese Cultural and Community Center in J-Town.

Nurse Unseen is a moving documentary directed by Michele Josue, showing at the Great Star Theater, also on May 12. It has been described as a “love letter honoring the history and humanity of Filipino nurses who have been the backbone of the American caretaking system.”

On May 13 at the Roxie Theater is Retrospective:  Strawberry Fields, a powerful narrative directed by master storyteller Rea Tajiri.  The director is expected to attend for a post-screening Q & A. This film explores the lasting impact of POW incarceration of thousands of Japanese Americans, their parents and their children during World War II.

May 14  the Castro Theatre will showcase a highly praised film, The Last Summer of Nathan Lee, directed by Quentin Lee.  Director and cast of the film are expected to attend the screening for a Q & A.

Be sure to catch Fanny: The Right to Rock at the SF MOMA Phyllis Wattis Theater on May 19.  Directed by Bobbi Jo Hart, this film introduces us to the “[music] legends we knew nothing about ‘til now.” This all-female rock band recorded and resisted during the 1970s. The Fannies will perform in Yerba Buena Gardens on Saturday, May 20.

Sunday all day, the New Parkway Theater features short films and narratives including Rites and Wrongs, and Waiting for the Light to Change.

And at 7th West on May 21 is the closing event, Juicy Fruity Party, featuring the iconic Soulovely and deejays galore.

Tickets and the complete schedule are now posted at

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.