Asian American film series returns to Santa Barbara’s Alhecama Theater

The 13th annual Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) Asian American Film Series returns in person this month with two free screenings at the historic Alhecama Theater on July 22 and 29, both at 6 p.m. American Affinity Group made up of members of the local AAPI community who volunteer their time to help SBTHP organize events that commemorate and celebrate Asian American cultures, history and heritage.

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SBTHP has presented the Asian American film series since 2010 with the goal of not only exploring the history and cultures of the Asian communities that once thrived in and around the Santa Barbara Presidio neighborhood, but also elevating the films that speak to the experiences of Asian Americans. in the western United States.

The first film in this year’s series, A Vanished Dream: My Japanese Grandfather’s War Story, follows the family story of photojournalist Regina Boone. Boone’s grandfather was a Japanese immigrant arrested the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which was never heard from again. The film follows her on her quest to uncover the mysteries of her disappearance.

The second selection of films from the AAFS, that of director Isaac Halasima boatman, spotlights five-time Olympic medalist and Hawaiian native Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, who broke records and brought surfing to the world while overcoming a lifetime of personal challenges.

Regina Boone, Isaac Halasima and boatman Producer David Ulich will be on hand for Q&A after the screenings.

With films on a smaller scale and sometimes more personal and even local, last year’s selections included Sonzai: Japantown Santa Barbara by filmmakers Barre Fong and Koji Ozawa. Sonzai tells the story of Santa Barbara’s Nihonmachi, which housed hundreds of people of Japanese descent before World War II and Japanese internment. Inside the El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park Visitor Center is an exhibit celebrating the Japanese American community filled with personal family photos graciously donated by members of the Nihonmachi community.

For more on the Asian American film series, visit

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