Asian CineVision and the 39th Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF16) is thrilled to present the New York premiere of TOTO, directed by John Paul Su and starring actor Sid Lucero. TOTO is a story about the sheer power of the dream for a young Filipino hotel room service attendant.
|Sid Lucero in NYC promoting TOTO (Lambert Parong/Kababayan Media)
Antonio “Toto” Estares hails from Tacloban, a place ravaged by Typhoon Yolanda. He works at a hotel in Manila, and tries every which way to get to the U.S. so he can support his family – which he’s been doing since his father died and left them penniless. His father had made it to Las Vegas, undocumented, to become a stage act and promised to petition his family, but he ended up a dishwasher who drank and gambled away everything. The only thing Toto inherited from his father is the obsession of the dream and fulfill his ill mother’s hope.
Toto makes one failed attempt after another to get a U.S. visa, risking friendships, relationships, his job, a lot of borrowed money, his dignity, and his heart. What he doesn’t realize is that, in a way, he’s already made it to America. The hotel is America. Its Americans guests represent the good, the bad, and the ugly that make America. After Toto meets the bad and gets ripped off, he loses hope. Yet it’s a good American that helps Toto, in a most unexpected way.
Although the failures of his father follow him, and even haunt him, it’s the power of his father’s dream that fuels him, not just for himself, but for those he loves, to help better their lives and achieve their own dreams. Some call it the American Dream, but for those beyond the U.S. it’s simply “the dream”. After all, there’s a TOTO that resides in all of us.
Director, John Paul “JP” Su is a NYU Tisch alum, who won the Directors Guild of America’s Best Asian-American Student Filmmaker Award for his short film PAGPAG (The Refuse). He is a Disney/ABC-DGA Directing Program alumnus, and currently one of the selected directors of NBCUniversal’s Emerging Directors Program. TOTO is his debut feature film.
TOTO will screen at at Village East Cinema on .
The post screening panel will consist of director, writer, producer John Paul Su, writer and producer Donald Martin, Francisco Castelo, director of photography Clarissa Delos Reyes, actor and executive producer Blake Boyd, actor Liza Diño, and actor Carlo Cruz.
To learn more about the full schedule of events, visit http://aaiff.org/2016/.
Festival Ticket Information
Tickets for general admission are $15. Tickets for seniors (65+), students and handicapped (must present valid ID) are $11. Tickets for ACV members and Community Partners are $11.00. Tickets are available for purchase on AAIFF’s website. For Opening, Centerpiece, and Closing Night Events, please check website for ticket details.
General Festival Information
The Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) is a presentation of Asian CineVision. The festival is a celebration of inspiring Asian and Asian American works in film and video from innovative artists around the world. AAIFF 2016 takes place in Manhattan and Queens. Manhattan venues include: Asia Society (725 Park Avenue); Village Cinema East (181-189 2nd Avenue); Museum of Chinese in America (215 Centre Street); and the Writers Guild of America (250 Hudson Street). Queens venues include: Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Ave, Astoria); and Flushing Town Hall (13735 Northern Boulevard, Flushing).
About Asian CineVision:
Asian CineVision (ACV) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit media arts organization devoted to the development, exhibition, promotion, and preservation of Asian and Asian American film and video.