Mark your calendars: Steve Arounsack’s highly anticipated documentary on the unbelievable growth of the Lao music and film scene will have its World Premiere at the 2018 Seattle Asian American Film Festival, Showtime: Friday, Feb. 23 @ 6:30pm, Northwest Film Forum and Broadway Performance Hall.
The Seattle Asian American Film Festival (SAAFF) showcases feature-length and short format films by and about Asian Americans across North America, with an emphasis on filmmakers from the Pacific Northwest.
SAAFF is the only film festival in Seattle to provide a space for Asian American voices, perspectives and histories by screening independent films that reflect the diversity and richness of the city’s Asian American community. The Seattle Asian American Film Festival is an Associated Program of Shunpike. Shunpike is the 501(c)(3) non-profit agency that provides independent arts groups in Washington State with the services, resources, and opportunities they need to forge their own paths to sustainable.
Digital media and community narratives are cornerstones of Dr. Steve Arounsack’s research. In the late 1990s, he became editor-in-chief of Lao Vision Magazine, one of the first prominent national Lao-American hybrid publications. Over the last two decades, Dr. Arounsack’s productions have been showcased on PBS, satellite television, at universities, and at exhibitions across the nation. Dr. Arounsack coordinated three Lao International Film Festivals for the Center for Lao Studies and served on the Board of Governors (2010-12) for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Emmys®). In 2012, he was award the Sony Electronics Faculty Award for Innovative Instruction with Technology. Currently, he is part of the media team that is working on the Center for Lao Studies’ “Between 2 Worlds” project, a traveling exhibition highlighting the Laotian-American experience. In over 20 years of ethnographic research, Dr. Arounsack has examined transnationalism, particularly how the Lao diaspora maintain connections to the homeland.
Among numerous distinctions, Dr. Arounsack was part of the inaugural class of prestigious national Gates Millennium Scholars (2000-2005), a fellow with the American Leadership Forum (ALF), and was Vice Chair (2009-2012) of the Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC). He earned a doctorate in Ecology from the University of California, Davis. Currently, Dr. Arounsack serves as the Director of the Keck Visual Anthropology Lab (KVAL) and is an assistant professor of cultural anthropology at California State University, Stanislaus. His courses focus on Asian cultures, transnationalism, digital media, and visual anthropology.