Monday, July 21, 2008

Bolinao 52 in Seattle

The first appearance in the Pacific Northwest for Bolinao 52 brought warm reception and strong bonding with the Asian local community.  We were invited by Chris Tran, an event coordinator, to Seattle for a fundraiser to benefit Asian Counseling and Referral Service,  ACRS, in its 35th year, was set up to provide services for Asian Pacific community in and around the Seattle area. They provide programs that assist primary low-income, immigrant, refugee, American born Asians and Pacific Islanders.  ACRS helps their clients in various programs to attain the highest level of self-sufficiency in western society, while maintaining their cultural identity.
The screening took place at the Seattle Town Hall, an old converted church in downtown Seattle.  Guests speakers such as Salman Rushdie, Robert Sheer and Cindy Sheehan passed though here.  Without flashy, modern decor and
 stylized architecture, the Town Hall held a mystic feel to it. A VIP reception started the evening with light appetizers and wine.  This event was also to commemorate the new home of ACRS, a 82,000 square feet facility in  the Rainier Valley area. I spotted the small bottles of water and wine bottles with the Bolinao 52 image on them.  Chris Tran, the detail maven, made labels from the poster of the event.  And he had the items imprinted with these labels.  I felt flattered for the details but a bit uneasy about the commercial implication.  
We had approximately 175 attended the screening.  What more significantly was the discussion portion following the film.  Almost everyone stayed and asked in depth, good questions.  The film made an impression on many people in audience which was diverse.  Some were Vietnamese Americans.  A man stood up and said he was a boat person himself and now working on a book about his own experience.  Another woman gave me a book about Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome suffered by Vietnam War veterans and explained that the film does draw a correlation.  I felt that this film has something for everyone in the audience.
Me and Elisa Del Rosario, Capital Campaign Director of ACRS 
Pike Place Public Market

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