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NOTE: On December 6, San Francisco (and a few surrounding counties) will once again be on a stay-at-home order. This will last indefinitely. Click here for more information.
The CAAM Fest (formerly known as the Asian American Film Festival) offers a variety of works from Asian American artists. This year's festival runs from May 14-24, 2020.
In addition to films, this annual event now features music and food. All events showcase the talents of Asian and Asian American artists.
You can see more than 120 films, from documentaries to shorts, at this year's event. You can also catch several classic Hong Kong films throughout the festival. Filmmakers from around the world will be on hand to show and discuss their works.
Opening night is on Thursday, May 14. The opening night activities include one of the festivals most anticipated films followed by an opening night gala. The festival wraps up on Sunday, May 24.
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You will find events all around town in both San Francisco and Oakland. Here are a few more details about each portion of the festival.
Top venues this year include the Roxie Theater (3117 16th Street) and the Alamo Drafthouse (2550 Mission Street) in the Mission. There are also a large number of films at the New People Cinema at 1746 Post Street in Japantown.
In Oakland, you will find films at the New Parkway Theater at 474 24th Street.
The CAAM Fest features a handful of up and coming artists during their event. Music is the focus in a few of the documentaries as well as some live performances.
You can't have a festival without food! The annual CAAMFeast takes place before the opening night events. It's an awards ceremony and fundraiser for CAAM.
I recommend buying tickets in advance for all shows. While you might get tickets at the door, many of these performances sell out in advance. After ordering, you can pick up your tickets at Will Call at the venue's box office 45 minutes before the show.
You can also buy packs of tickets for more than one show, which allows you to save a little money.
For sold out performances, they will also have a handful of tickets on sale at the door. A line for these tickets will form about one hour before each performance. They are on a first come, first served basis. If you really want to see a sold out show, then make sure to arrive early for your chance to pick up tickets right before the performance. Tickets will be handed out starting 10 minutes prior to the start.
Since the events are shown all over the Bay Area, I recommend staying in the central hub of the city, Union Square. There are dozens of options in this part of the city and public transportation is easily accessible. Click here for my top recommendations in Union Square.
Many of the films also show in the Japantown's Sundance Kabuki Theater. Click here for recommendations on where to stay in this district and some ideas for other things to do here.
Memorial Day Weekend: Stay the weekend and celebrate Memorial Day with several fun things to do. This weekend offers special Memorial Day Rememberance Ceremonies as well as special cruises, events, and festivals. Find a full schedule for this year here.
SF Theater Performances: Every year, you will find several theater performances in March. They range from award-winning shows such as Hamilton and Into the Woods to smaller productions in more intimate settings. Click here for a list of shows this month in SF!
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