Skip to Content

Opening Night Gala

Join us on Thursday, May 12th to celebrate 40 years of CAAMFest and our return to in-person events. Meet us at the Castro Theater for FREE CHOL SOO LEE, a documentary that explores a largely forgotten but landmark moment when Asians and Asian Americans banded together to save a man from false incarceration. After the film, we’ll keep it classy and lit at the Asian Art Museum with music by Ensemble Mik Nawooj and DJ Chungtech. We’ll have delicious food from local vendors plus a few other surprises. It’s an eventful night for a momentous occasion, and it’s just the start of our return to festival.

6:00pm: Doors open at the Castro Theatre
6:30pm: Film screening starts
8:30pm: Q&A with Free Chol Soo Lee filmmakers
9:30pm: Opening Night Gala at the Asian Art Museum
10:00pm: Ensemble Mik Nawooj Performance
12:00pm: Gala ends


Led by composer/pianist, JooWan Kim, Hip Hop Orchestra Ensemble Mik Nawooj (EMN) creates Metamusic by sampling principles of Hip-Hop and Classical. Executed with resident MCs, a lyric soprano, woodwinds, French horn, strings, piano, and drums, the music is rigorous, nuanced, accessible, and free from the dogmas of Western European concert music aesthetic. The result is seamless tête-à-tête with “textures swimming through the sound…like the world’s fastest ping-pong game” (Pitchfork) and is considered the “cutting edge of hip-hop” (Huffington Post).

Christina Chung FYI AKA Chungy IRL is a designer and mostly patient person who is process oriented, thrives in collaboration, is options and solution seeking, and gets creative with the constraints. She’s been an educator and admin in Oakland where everyday was the ultimate real-life design challenge. Her students have taught her about what it means to be resilient with empathy, passion, and determination. Regularly obsessed with Y2K & early internet chat room days (#ripAOL), Chungy is forever chasing the distinct feeling of being a free-spirited ESPRIT kid where courageous creativity knew no bounds.

Preceded By

Opening Night + Gala: Free Chol Soo Lee

Directed by Julie Ha and Eugene Yi

Asian American activists and Korean immigrants rally to free a death row inmate in a landmark movement in the Bay Area.

Dates & Times


Asian Art Museum

Thu, May 12
9:30 pm