Skip to Content


Mission Statement

To bring attention to the creative output from Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities and encourage the artistic development of AANHPI talent, arts, and films in the greater Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Region.

To raise public awareness of APA talent, arts & media
To encourage and promote the artistic development of APA artists of all creative arts
To provide arts education opportunities, with particular outreach to APA youth and adults
To raise awareness and act as a catalyst for the discussion of issues affecting APA communities
To bring diverse people together, to promote artistic and social interactions
To sponsor and operate an annual film festival

History of the DC APA Film Festival

From 1983 to 1996, Asian American Arts and Media (AAAM) presented Asian American film festivals throughout the Washington, D.C. area. APA Film, the parent organization of the DC APA Film Festival, along with the Smithsonian Institution’s Program for APA Studies (now the Asian Pacific American Center) and fiscally sponsored by the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL) as the fiscal sponsor, revived that long-standing tradition in October of 2000 with the first iteration of the DC APA Film Festival held primarily at the Cineplex Odeon Foundry Theater in Georgetown with the opening night at the Freer Gallery of Art, now the Smithsonian’s Asian Art Museum. Over twenty years later, this festival has become a testament to the DMV’s continuing interest, support, and recognition of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander artists who have continuously contributed to the canon of media arts since its inception.

From the original website:

The annual DC APA Film Festival will publicize the work of a growing community of APA media artists and filmmakers based in North America and showcase their unique visions of APA experiences and issues. In addition, the festival will also highlight works produced in the DC metro area by local APA filmmakers. The festival will exhibit exciting and innovative APA films with themes such as:

  • cultural identity
  • human relations
  • race relations
  • family life
  • gender issues
  • popular culture in the context of the APA experience

With a diversity of issues addressed, the DC APA Film Festival will share with the Greater Washington metropolitan area a perspective that is noticeably missing.

We are thankful for the foresight and insight of the creators of that first festival