Asian American and Pacific Heritage Month
We're celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May with a multi-week lineup featuring dance, music, film and more! The Southeast x East (SEE) Asian Film Festival brings acclaimed international films to Samueli Theater from the Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, and beyond, along with behind-the-scenes filmmaker Q&As and bonus shorts.
AAPI Heritage Month
The fun’s not over after the film! Throughout May, shining a spotlight on to our local Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and artists. Bring the whole family for free artistic offerings on the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza, including hula lessons at Tuesday Night Dance, Live on Argyros Stage concerts, and a capstone celebration where everyone’s invited to dance the night away!
Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is presented with generous support from Charlie and Ling Zhang.
Tuesday Night Dance: Hula
May 2–30, 2023
Each month, join us on the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza to learn a new style of dance taught by a local expert instructor. Tuesday Night Dance is a fun and upbeat program designed for all ages and abilities — all are welcome and no dance experience required, so come try something new!
May's classes are all about hula! Instructor Toni Kemehana Pasion returns to the Plaza to share her knowledge on this island-based art form and new dances that will keep you coming back for more.Free event
SEE Asian Film Festival: Leonor Will Never Die
May 12, 2023
Leonor Reyes was once a groundbreaking figure in the Filipino film industry during its ragtag action cinema glory days, but now she struggles with old age, mounting bills, and the untimely death of her son. While revisiting an unfinished script about a fearless protagonist trying to avenge his brother’s murder, Leonor is struck on the head by a falling television set and knocked into a coma. As she lies unconscious in the hospital, fantasy and reality begin to blur when Leonor finds herself awake inside her script, becoming the hero of her own story. An innovative blend of pulpy action homages, playful comedy, and touching family drama, “Leonor Will Never Die” is a wonderfully imaginative tribute to the art of filmmaking. “Leonor Will Never Die" won the Amplify Award at the Toronto International Film Festival as well as a World Cinema Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. It was nominated for Best International Film at the 2023 Independent Spirit Awards.Buy tickets
SEE Asian Film Festival: Turning Red
May 13, 2023
Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” introduces Mei Lee, a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming, is never far from her daughter—an unfortunate reality for the teenager. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she “poofs” into a giant red panda!Buy tickets
SEE Asian Film Festival: Broker
May 13, 2023
Ha Sang-hyeon (Song Kang-ho from "Parasite") and his friend Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won) run an illegal business together: they steal babies from a church's "baby box" and sell them to desperate parents on the adoption black market. But when a young mother, So-young (Lee Ji-eun), returns after abandoning her baby, she discovers their scheme and goes along with them to interview potential parents for her child. “Broker" was screened at the Cannes Film Festival where it won the Ecumenical Jury Prize along with the award for Best Actor for Song Kang-ho. "Broker" is rated R for language and adult themes.Buy tickets
SEE Asian Film Festival: Song Lang
May 13, 2023
Set in 1980s Saigon, “Song Lang” is a gritty underworld noir hiding a tender, romantic heart. At the film’s core is the unlikely bond that develops between hunky, brooding Dung (Lien Binh Phat), a tough debt collector for a ruthless loan shark, and Linh Phung (V-pop star Isaac), a charismatic young opera singer for a struggling company that performs cai luong, a modern form of traditional Vietnamese folk opera. The two meet when Dung comes to forcefully collect a debt from the opera troupe, but when their paths cross again, a friendship—and then more—develops, awakening surprising, tender feelings in both men. Their story, too, soon scales operatic heights. With his first feature film, director Leon Le has delivered a rich drama: a smoldering relationship between two apparent opposites—equally uncompromising—set against the backdrop of a gorgeous, fading art form.Buy tickets
AAPI Arts Celebration
May 13, 2023
Join us for a night out on the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza featuring live music, dance performances, food trucks, and local vendors! In this celebration of local AAPI artists, everyone’s invited to enjoy sounds from DJ Donovan of OC’s FeelGood Collective, accompanied by breakdance performances by Wreckshop and B.E. (Becoming Eternal). Cambodian rock superstars Dengue Fever will headlineFree event