Asian Film Fest screens award-winning ‘Spa Night’

SPANIGHTLast weekend, Los Angeles’ OutFest — the LGBT film festival — handed out its awards for the top movies screening there, and two went to Spa Night: A special recognition for outstanding performance by Joe Seo playing a gay Korean-American, as well as the U.S. Grand Jury Prize. If you didn’t happen to be in SoCal for the fest, though, don’t worry — you can actually see that award-winner tonight.

The Asian Film Festival of Dallas has a few days left in its fest, including a screening of Spa Night at the Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station tonight at 10:15 p.m.  Seo plays a closeted gay man who discovers the underground world of gay sex while working at a spa. And if you can’t make it tonight, well, you still have a few mores days of screenings of other films to entertain you.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Best Bets • 07.08.16

Friday 07.15 — Sunday 07.31


McNally makes second appearance with Uptown Players’ ‘Only a Play’

Uptown Players’ most recent production was the drama Mothers & Sons, written by playwright Terrence McNally. Well, McNally is back at the Kalita … in a far less serious tone. It’s Only a Play is his riotous recount of behind-the-scenes as a Broadway company awaits their opening night review from The New York Times. B.J. Cleveland and Chamblee Ferguson lead the cast

Kalita Humphreys Theater
3636 Turtle Creek Blvd.

Thursday 04.14 — Thursday 07.21


Asian Film Festival of Dallas back for 15th season

The Asian Film Festival is one of Dallas’ longest-running celebrations of the visual image, and focuses on both films and filmmakers from China, Thailand, Japan and the rest of the Pacific Rim. This year’s fest — its 15th — kicks off with a party in the Foundation Room at the House of Blues, but all the films will play for a week at the Angelika Film Center Mockingbird Station.

Angelika Film Center Mockingbird Station
5321 E. Mockingbird Lane

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 8, 2016.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Gay documentary wins award at AFFD

PJ_RAVAL-headshotThe Asian Film Festival of Dallas continues through tomorrow, and they’ve just released the jury award winners. Among the honorees is Before You Know It, which screens tonight at 5:30 p.m. and won best documentary feature. (And congrats to our winners of the ticket giveaway to attend the screening!) The film is about three gay seniors, including the owner of Robert’s Lafitte gay bar in Galveston, and how they cope with retirement and aging in the gay community. The filmmaker, PJ Raval, pictured, will be in attendance tonight.

Other award winners:


Narrative short: Sahasi Chori (Brave Girl)

Documentary short: Han Rock

Animated short: Couch & Potatoes

Special jury mention: Stronger


Narrative feature: Ye-Zai

Animated feature: Block C: The Last Dark

Special festival prize for acting: Guo Shu-yao, Step Back to Glory

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

TICKET GIVEAWAY: AFFD screening of ‘Before You Know It’


In this week’s edition, I wrote about the gay films playing at the Asian Film Festival of Dallas this year, including a documentary, Before You Know It, by Texas-based filmmaker PJ Raval. Well, AFFD has set aside some tickets for Dallas Voice readers to attend the screening, which takes place tomorrow, July 17 at 5:30 p.m. with the director in attendance. If you’d like to try to win two tickets, just send an email to, and put “Documentary” or “AFFD” in the subject line, plus your name. If you’re selected, we’ll let you know by noon Wednesday and two tickets will be in your name at the box office. Good luck!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WIN! Tickets to gay movies tonight at Asian Film Fest

The Asian Film Festival of Dallas is underway, and tonight is unofficially “gay night” for it. And you might be able to come for free.

The evening starts off with Yes or No, a Thai lesbian film, at 7:30 p.m., followed by gay director H.P. Mendoza’s thriller I Am a Ghost at 9:45 p.m. (both at the Magnolia). In between, there’s even a reception at Malai Kitchen in the West Village, starting at 8:30 p.m.

Wanna see Yes or No or I Am a Ghost? The Asian Film Festival is giving away two pairs of tickets — one to Yes and one to Ghost. Simply email us your name at by 3 p.m., and say which film you wanna see. We’ll let you know by 3:15 if you won and put the winners’ name on a list at the door. Enjoy!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Movie Monday: LGBT action at the Asian Film Fest tonight

Gay movie night

The Asian Film Festival of Dallas continues at the Magnolia with tonight giving big focus to the LGBT community. Two gay films screen tonight: The Thai lesbian feature Yes or No,  at 7:30 p.m., and the horror thriller I Am a Ghost from queer director H.P. Mendoza, screening at 9:45. In between the festival fit in an LGBT mixer (with Mendoza in attendance) at Malai Kitchen in the West Village. And FYI: We are giving away tickets to both show and the mixer, so stay tuned!

DEETS: Magnolia Theater, 3699 McKinney Ave. $10.

—  Rich Lopez

Asian Film Fest opens, includes queer content

The Asian Film Festival of Dallas starts today, and runs a week with screenings of films at the Magnolia Theatre. The festival is interesting it the depth of its movies — not only from shorts to features to documentaries and from dramas to comedies to experimental, but also because Asian culture isn’t one giant lump. There are Korean films, films about Korean Americans (the comedy Wedding Palace is among the best of the lot), films from Japan and India and Thailand and Hong Kong. It’s a vast canvas on which filmmakers can paint their stories.

There’s not usually too much gay in the festival, but some. Last year was notable for two very gay films (once a contemporary comedy from director Quentin Lee, one a historical epic with a warrior-like gay protagonist), but this year’s slate has at least one film of gay interest. The Image Threads (Chitra Sutram), a film from India, which combines cyber reality with philosophy and sex in a way, to be honest, I do not fully understand. I do know, however, when I see a gay sex worker having phone sex with a john, and I recognize a severed penis when I see one (let’s not go there). The Image Threads is part of the Stranger Than Midnight Series, which highlights quirky, off-beat films usually relegated to midnight movie status (but, at least in this case, shows at 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday night). Despite a visually brilliant and inventive approach to the opaque material, I’m not quite sure what to make of it, or several other films, but I have seen some good stuff without gay content, and part of the fun of a festival like this is discovering world cinema you can’t get elsewhere. Enjoy.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones