Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Film Screenings Past Events


Thursday, January 14, 2010
7:00 PM—10:00 PM

Bringing the Circle Together: Ghost Riders

events/colorturtlesmall.jpg Free Screening of Ghost Riders

The Bigfoot Memorial Ride, an annual 300-mile journey on horseback, helps the Lakota Nation "wipe the tears" shed for the massacre of Lakota men, women, and children at Wounded Knee in 1896, and for more recent hardships. Participants convey the ride's spirit of sacrifice and remembrance, and the Lakota people's determination to build a better future. Guests for the night include the filmmaker. Special guest Producer and Director V. Blackhawk Aamodt will speak after the screening.

Bringing the Circle Together: A Native American Film Series

Bringing the Circle Together: A Native American Film Series is a FREE monthly film series located in downtown Los Angeles at the National Center for Preservation of Democracy. Directly across from our host sponsor, the Japanese American National Museum. The film series was established to provide quality documentaries by and about Indigenous cultures of the Americas, and bring together a central gathering place where discussion and awareness of issues can be shared with the Native community and its supporters.

The film series is held at the National Center for Preservation of Democracy located at 111 North Central Avenue, between 1st Street and Central Avenue, in downtown Los Angeles. The NCPD can be reached via train, bus, or parking in the area. Screenings will begin at 7pm, and it is advisable to arrive at least 15-20 minutes prior for seating. Each film will include a raffle at the end of the screening. (pdf for directions). Doors open at 6:30pm.

The film series is hosted by Lorin Morgan-Richards and is generously sponsored by the following organizations:

The Japanese American National Museum
Department of Cultural Affairs
American Indian Community Council
InterTribal Entertainment
Hecho de Mano
Nahui Ohlin

For more information about the film series please visit
or by email at

Sunday, November 15, 2009
2:00 PM—4:00 PM

Up for Grabs

events/baseball100.jpg This bitingly funny documentary tells the true tale of absurdity that surrounded the million-dollar baseball from Barry Bonds' record-setting 73rd home run. Did you know the guy who ended up with the ball was Japanese American? The filmmakers will join us for a Q&A after the screening.

Up for Grabs (Best Documentary - Audience Award, Los Angeles Film Festival)

Thursday, October 1, 2009
8:00 PM—11:00 PM

ID Film Festival

events/idlogo100_.jpg The second annual ID Film Festival showcases films that challenge and celebrate what it means to be Asian.

$5 for members; $8 non-members per program. Or you can buy a festival pass for $30. (Unless otherwise noted.) For more information about the festival, go to:

  • Seikaku (Directed by Jaysn Kim)

  • Sunsets (Directed by Michael Aki & Eric Nakamura): A special never-before-seen new cut. This film is part of our Class of 1997 retrospective.

  • MORE INFO ABOUT THE FILMS: (By Gillian Sand)
    Sunsets, the first feature by filmmakers Michael Aki and Giant Robot’s Eric Nakamura, opens the festival with a brand new cut. Premiered as part of the Class of 1997 at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival over a decade ago, Sunsets has never been commercially released. ID Film Fest presents this rare opportunity to look at this first feature by two talented filmmakers.

    Shot on grainy black and white 16mm film, the very medium of rebel cinema, Sunsets chronicles the ennui, drunken bouts and petty crimes of three young men, a white guy, a Hispanic and a Japanese American (played by filmmaker Aki himself) growing up in Watsonville. The film is very much a coming-of-age story that is compelling in its purity and rawness. Smart, funny and irreverent, this little seen film shows a rare slice of Asian American cinema never been attempted before. A critic has asserted that the film is “smarter and more credible than anything Gregg Araki has come up with.”

    Sunsets is preceded by the “Seikaku,” a compelling documentary short about a Japanese tattoo artist in Los Angeles. The short was produced as a student project for UCLA's Ethnocommunications program.

    10 PM - Opening Reception.

    Other ID Film Festival Screenings

    Day 2 of the ID Film Festival

    Final Day of the ID Film Festival

    Sumo East and West: Sept. 26, 2009- Sept. 26, 2009, Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA
    Saturday, September 26, 2009
    2:00 PM—5:00 PM

    Sumo East and West


    SUMO EAST AND WEST is a feature documentary about Westerners in the ancient Japanese sport of sumo. The film traces this cultural upheaval from sumo’s introduction to America by Japanese immigrants in the 19th century, through the success of US-born sumotori such as Akebono and Konishiki, to efforts to establish it as a popular sport in the US today.

    Shot in Japan, Hawaii, Los Angeles, and Atlantic City, SUMO EAST AND WEST was directed and photographed by Ferne Pearlstein, winner of the 2004 Sundance Documentary Cinematography Prize for “Imelda.”

    Former professional sumotori who rose through the ranks alongside Akebono and amateur sumo star, Wayne Vierra, to follow in special Q&A. The Sumo East and West DVD is available at the Museum Store.

    Thursday, August 13, 2009

    Summer Film Festival: Crossroads: Boyle Heights

    events/boyle100.gif To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Frank H. Watase Media Arts Center, the National Museum will continuously screen Crossroads: Boyle Heights.

    This documentary was compiled from life histories of past and present neighborhood residents of Boyle Heights. It was originally produced for exhibition, BOYLE HEIGHTS: The Power of Place (2002), at the Japanese American National Museum.

    55 min.

    [Purchase a copy of Crossroads: Boyle Heights at the Museum Store Online]

    This special showing will be screened at the Terasaki Orientation Theater.
    Saturday, August 1, 2009

    Summer Film Festival: Big Drum: Taiko in the United States

    events/big_drum100.gif To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Frank H. Watase Media Arts Center, the National Museum will continuously screen Big Drum: Taiko in the United States.

    Featuring America's pioneering taiko figures, this DVD documents the development of American taiko as presented in the National Museum's exhibition of the same name. It includes interviews and footage of drum-making and performances that reflect the ongoing transformation and diversification of this exciting performing art.

    2 hrs

    [Purchase a copy of Big Drum: Taiko in the United States at the Museum Store Online]

    This special showing will be screened at the Terasaki Orientation Theater.



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