Sunday, September 28, 2008 • 12:30PM

NON/FICTION

Skate Free
Shanti (Los Angeles Premiere)
Running Dragon (Downtown Premiere)
Officer Tsukamoto (Los Angeles Premiere)

“Non/Fiction” brings together three shorts that tread the boundary of fiction and non-fiction. As the closing program of our first ID Film Fest, these three shorts are each intensely intelligent and informative.

Skate Free is a spoken word piece by Director/Poet Tony Toka that explores the ideas of being successful, having a job, and the American Dream; versus getting high, tuning out, and being an artist.

Shanti is one of the very first films about Fijian Indian Americans. Directed by Merlyn M. Bilas, the documentary reveals the main subject Chandra’s dreams for her life in the United States after arriving as a 21-year-old bride in a pre-arranged marriage. As she is diagnosed with breast cancer, Chandra’s life takes a life-changing turn that allows her to finally achieve “shanti” peace.

Running Dragon is part documentary and part narrative that tells the story of an aspiring Los Angeles actor, born of a Vietnamese woman and an American soldier, who was adopted as an infant into an All American family. By accident, he discovers his Vietnamese birth mother and plunges into a semi-voluntary quest to explore his “ethnic” heritage. Identity crisis has never been funnier and more satiric.

Officer Tsukamoto is a gripping and illuminating documentary about the cold case of a rookie Japanese American police officer Ronald Tsukamoto who was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop in a political turbulent Berkeley in 1970. The documentary brings viewers to the night of the killing and into the short life of the fallen officer to give viewers a glimpse of the identity crisis of racial clashes that defined the era of Black Panther Party and post-Vietnam war which is relevant to this day of seeming tolerance.