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Festival Curatorial Statement 
CAAMFest 2023: A Call to Gather

It is in true joy and anticipation that we invite our communities back to CAAMFest 2023 on May 11-21, 2023 to celebrate Asian and Asian American talent in film, music, food, and ideas.

For the first time since 2019, our festival will be a fully in-person experience. Thinking about the return of this year’s festival, and what that means to us is a truly profound thought especially in the context of where we have just come from in three(+) years of isolation.

But one thing is undeniable. We are changed by the events of the pandemic. We feel differently. We think differently. We engage with each other in completely different ways. The invitation to come to CAAMFest 2023 heavily considers this. In fact it was in the center of curatorial decisions, in the way we would work, asking ourselves what our community needs from these spaces – what was worthy of their time. 

In these years of unprecedented vulnerability, we are bearing more. We are radically transparent. We are more dedicated to purpose. We are reliant on each other to transform. We are allowing ourselves to unravel. We are determined to heal. We are coming for our joy.

so that we may witness our transformations, restore our bonds, and lift each other up in the audacity of our stories. These last few years have deeply altered us and we are only starting to journey towards each other again. 

See you in May!




Dipti Ghosh, Board Co-Chair

Vincent Pan, Board Co-Chair

Myong Leigh, Board Vice Chair

Brent Quan Hall, Secretary

David Lei, Treasurer

James Bao, Board Member

Christine Chen, Board Member

Richard Chin, Board Member

David Hee Lee, Board Member

Hanson Li, Board Member

Naja Pham Lockwood, Board Member

Paula Madison, Board Member

Matt Mui, Board Member

Frank Nakano, Board Member

Jennifer Thuy Vi Nguyen, Board Member



Stephen Gong, Executive Director
My great-great-grandparents came to the Bay Area in the 1850s.

Donald Young, Director of Programs
I’m a Scorpio, a former pole vaulter, and now a proud father of a daughter who hurdles.

Sapana Sakya, Talent Development & Special Projects
I am a Virgo Pig , I love food, culture & languages; I spent 8 weeks at Everest base camp (way too long) and was a stunt person (very briefly) in my production career! 

Czarina Garcia, Media Fund Manager
I’m a Scorpio sun and Libra moon. I love to travel and I learned how to read/write in Arabic after living in the Middle East when I was younger! My Arabic is dusty now but I’m hoping to get back into it and relearn it sometime soon.

Christian Yau-Weeks, Programs Assistant
I can out-eat anyone at hot pot and can also play some sick jazz trumpet!

Frances Pomperada, Director of Development
I am a water sign, and my perfect afternoon pick-me-up is a hojicha latte with a red bean bun.

Jonathan Hsieh, Development & Partnerships Manager
I could not live without music and salt & vinegar chips. 

Robin David, Individual Giving Officer
I am a Libra and Earth Dragon who enjoys collecting cabbage memorabilia. 

Anteeniya Bell | Development Associate
I’m a Capricorn and the two things I never get tired of consuming is Thai tea and poké. 

Grace Hwang Lynch, Communications & Engagement Director
I’m a Gemini, and I love food and books. When I’m not working, I can be found cooking or writing–or writing about cooking.

Jennica Gonzales, Marketing Coordinator
I’m fortunate to say that since I was 22, I have committed to travel to 2 countries per year!

James Ott, Finance & Administration Director

Marisa Mariscotti, Business Manager
I once briefly shared a stage with Mikhail Baryshnikov and played in the same tournament as Jeanette Lee.

Lauren Lola, Office, Distribution & Outreach Coordinator
I published my debut novel when I was 22.



Thúy Tran, Festival and Exhibitions Director
I can’t eat onions, but I’ll order onion rings just for the fried part.

Jo Boston, Events Production Manager
My usual order at In-n-Out is a Flying Dutchman over Animal Style Fries with green chilies 🙂 and I’m a Pisces sun, Leo rising, and Virgo moon.

Jess Ju, Festival Programs Associate
I’ve been fortunate to have traveled to over 30 countries by the time I turned 30.

Darian Gemora, Operations Manager
I’m a Hip-Hop dance teacher on the side and enjoy doing pottery and travel on my free time. 

John Dorman, Operations Assistant
I can do a kickflip in flip-flops 

Maricel Almiranez, Events Production Coordinator
I’m an Aries sun and I take my coffee black which I think correlates with Aries’ need for boldness.

Pa-Zong Lee, Public Relations & Media Coordinator
I’m a Gemini and lover of the performing arts. I’m a chicken wing connoisseur and a Potter Head #RavenclawHouse.

Catherine Calangian, Graphic Design Assistant
I love plants and taking care of my houseplants brings me joy.

Donita Battad, Volunteer Coordinator
I don’t have a sweet tooth whatsoever, but I loooovvvveeee Milk Tea (but do not like boba pearls).

Jo Love Cruz, Guest Services & Travel Coordinator
My birthday is in June, and so are my son’s + husband’s. Each year we celebrate on the same day exactly two weeks apart! 

Joshua Gomes, Marketing Assistant
I survived The Last Dab hot sauce from Hot Ones 🔥🔥🔥

Jesse Dubus, Print Traffic Manager 

Waverly Chao, Events Design & Tech Coordinator (Filmmaker Summit)
I’m named after the character and street in SF Chinatown, à la The Joy Luck Club

irene faye duller, Arts & Letters
A scorpio♏️ fire🔥 Dragon 🐲,  and lover of eggs. 

Jonathan Woo, Operations Coordinator

Larsen and Associates, Publicist 

Girl Friday, Special Events Production

Mitch Vaughn, Boxcubed

Ben Armington, Boxcubed

Michella Rivera-Gravage, Website Producer 

Otherwise, Festival Branding & Design 

Filmbot, Festival website 



Ashleigh Budiwarman, Festival Intern 

Sophie dela Cruz, Social Media Intern

Pia Yoon, Communications Intern



Alison Chang
Amy Lee
Anna Xian
Atsushi Murase
Ava Tong
Bedatri Choudhury
Ben Leong
Erika Gee
Hải Võ
Jason Nou
Jerry Dear
Julian Sabolboro
Lakhi Siap
Rachna Vanjani
Rebecca Lee Lerman
Rosemarie Nahm
Rucy Cui
Tiffany Mateo-Tolentino Delago
Trang Tran


CAAM recognizes that we occupy the unceded ancestral homeland of the Ramaytush Ohlone peoples. We pay our respects and deep gratitude to the Ramaytush Ohlone elders of past, present, and future who have stewarded this land through the generations, continuing to work everyday to preserve their customs, wisdoms, and home.