Mid-Week Intermission Friend Edition: Ray Loyd of Austin Asian American Film Festival

POSTED ON MAY 4, 2021 BY LONG

We always love featuring our friends at Austin Asian American Film Festival, but this month we had a special excuse… Dive into Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month with Ray Loyd, AAAFF Aritstic Director, as he shares in this Mid-Week Intermission what the 13th annual fest is up to, other local fests you’ll want to check out, and his list of AAPI film recommendations you’re gonna want to marathon.

 

Hey! My name’s Ray.

I’m the Artistic Director of the Austin Asian American Film Festival (AAAFF), so I head up Creative and Marketing Operations for the fest. We’re a nonprofit organization with a small, passionate staff, an amazing group of volunteers, and a supportive board of directors. Our mission is to champion Asian and AAPI cinema by bringing it to the Austin community.

Before I was on staff, I attended an AAAFF screening of WHO KILLED VINCENT CHIN? as an audience member 4 years ago and was instantly inspired by the team and what they were doing. Soon after, I joined the programming team and eventually moved into my current role where I get to dive into design, video, content, and marketing strategy. Outside of the fest, I’m also a Video Producer at Alamo Drafthouse where I’ve gained a lot of my recent experience. It’s really a privilege to be able to say that celebrating movies is the core of my professional life these days.

This year, the 13th annual Austin Asian American Film Festival is a hybrid fest happening from June 4th to the 20th. Of course, we’re disappointed that it isn’t our typical in-person experience, but excited about the opportunities that a virtual festival can offer (example: all of Texas can access our films straight from their home!). But don’t worry, once we’re able to plan in-theater events again, we will (shout out to our usual home, AFS Cinema). As for the other part of the fest this June? We’ll be hosting a few safe, special outdoor events that will be announced very soon, so stay tuned…

Also, if you’re looking to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May, AAAFF has partnered with Visual Communications to help curate free films and conversations for the Asian Pacific Virtual Showcase. It’s a great program presented by AAPI film fests across the country.

The Long Center has played a part of my Austin moviegoing experience, too. I’ve sweated it out and had a blast at the popular Sound & Cinema series in past summers. But one of my fondest AAAFF memories there was the CRAZY RICH ASIANS Night Market event in 2018. It was great to see everyone’s excitement for the movie, but just as wonderful that AAAFF and so many local organizations and vendors came together to serve the AAPI community.

I know I’ve talked a lot about myself and AAAFF here, but I also want to plug some other great film festivals in town who always inspire and support us: aGLIFFCine Las AmericasCapital City Black Film FestivalOUTsider FestIndieMeme, and many more. They truly make the Austin film scene special.

Final cheeseball thought: Movies have the power to make us feel seen or to learn about the world through another lens. But that only happens when diverse stories are told!

AAPI Movies that I Love (and Hope that You’ll Love, too)

CHAN IS MISSING
BETTER LUCK TOMORROW
SAVING FACE
THE NAMESAKE
MINDING THE GAP
MINARI
JADDOLAND

For more info about AAAFF and the upcoming June festival head to aaafilmfest.org. To check out some of my work, head to raycloyd.com.

Lots going on in the Austin film scene — hope you get to tune in to one of the above film fests as you stay tuned for more live events from us and our partners around town.

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