BAAFF at Pao Arts Center starts Thursday with ABACUS
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Films take center stage at the Pao Arts Center. Join us for a curated selection of documentary films showcasing both contemporary and historic Asian American experiences every first Thursday in March, April, and May.
Free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 1, 6:30PM - Abacus 
Thursday, April 5, 6:30PM - TBA
Thursday, May 3, 6:30PM - Finding Kukan
Click to Watch Trailer


Thursday, March 1, 6:30PM
Pao Arts Center (99 Albany Street Boston, MA, 02111)
88 mins | Documentary | Directed by Steve James

From acclaimed director Steve JamesAbacus: Small Enough To Jail — the little-known story of the only U.S. bank prosecuted in relation to the 2008 financial crisis — is now an Academy Award® nominee! 

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail tells the incredible saga of the Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown, New York. Accused of mortgage fraud by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., Abacus becomes the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The indictment and subsequent trial force the Sung family to defend themselves – and their bank’s legacy in the Chinatown community – over the course of a five-year legal battle. More about the film:
Click to Watch Trailer


Thursday, May 3, 6:30PM
Pao Arts Center (99 Albany Street Boston, MA, 02111)
76 mins | Documentary | Directed by Robin Lung

Filmmaker Robin Lung investigates the case of Li Ling-Ai, the un-credited female producer of KUKAN, a landmark color film that revealed the atrocities of World War II China to audiences around the world. KUKAN has the rare honor of being the first ever American feature documentary to receive an Academy Award® in 1942.  

Lost for decades, Lung discovers a badly damaged film print of KUKAN, and pieces together the untold, inspirational tale of the two renegades behind the making of it -- Li Ling-Ai and cameraman Rey Scott. 

FINDING KUKAN uses rare and unseen archival footage to create an unforgettable portrait of a female filmmaking pioneer, and sheds light on the long history of racial and gender discrimination behind the camera, which continues to reverberate in Hollywood today. More about the film:
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Boston Asian American Film Festival · 42 Charles St. Suite D · Boston, MA 02122 · USA