Do you remember when the Visual Communications L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival began? That was way back in 1983 and I wasn’t in attendance, but it was only a weekend of films and videos. Now it’s not a week, it’s two-weeks and the festival has several venues: the Directors Guild of America in West Hollywood, CGV Cinemas and the Art Theatre in Long Beach. Tonight, 2 May 2013, the festival opens with a gala screening of the 2013 documentary “Linsanity.”

Love Jeremy Lin? Want to support Asians in athletics or a homeboy (born in Los Angeles, but raised in Palo Alto)? Get tickets and go insane over this 88-minute documentary that debuted at Sundance in January.

There are plenty more films, so check out the festival’s online program.

Of course, a film festival isn’t just about watching films; it’s also about education and inspiration. There are panel discussions on casting (3 May at DGA), writing (4 May at DGA), remapping Los Angeles (4 May DGA) and women as the next generation of producers (5 May DGA).

Visual Communications also has three filmmaker programs you might want to check out:

  • Project Catalyst which helps showcase projects to the people who can help the creators get it made (financiers, producers, agents, etc.)
  • VC Film Development Fund: Last year six established Asian Pacific American filmmakers were selected and given funds to develop and product a narrative feature-length film.
  • Armed with a Camera Fellowship: This program helps emerging media artists with funds, networking opportunities, facilities and equipment to create a five-minute digital short to premiere at the L.A. Asian Pacific Film Fest.

All work and no play makes for a dull festival, right? So there are parties including karaoke and receptions.

The L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival runs from 2 May to 12 May. Get ready, get out and celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage month.