Asian American International Film Festival screenings in NYC and AALDEF happy hour

AALDEF is co-sponsoring two films at the annual Asian American International Film Festival:

You Don’t Know Jack

Director: Jeff Adachi, San Francisco Public Defender

Saturday, July 25 at 3:30pm

Whatever It Takes

Director: Christopher Wong

Executive Producer: Renee Tajima-Pena, 1990 Justice in Action Award recipient

Saturday, July 25 at 6pm

Both films will be shown at the Chelsea Clearview Cinemas (260 West 23rd Street) .

Discounted tickets for AALDEF members are $10. Please also consider a $5 donation (or more!) to help support AALDEF’s legal and educational programs.

After the second film, join us for a happy hour gathering, organized by the AALDEF Young Professionals Committee.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Megan Lau at 212.966.5932 ext. 208 or

Check out the entire film festival schedule at

YOU DON’T KNOW JACK reveals the inspiring story of Jack Soo, who grew up in Oakland as Goro Suzuki. Soo, a six-foot-tall man who was turned down for hundreds of roles because he was too tall for an Asian, is an extraordinary example of someone who followed his dreams to be an actor, but refused to play stereotypical roles. Soo played the role of a police detective in the 1970s TV sitcom “Barney Miller,” one of the first Asian Americans to appear regularly on primetime TV. An intimate look at comedy, community, and ethnic identity, the film features rare photographs of Soo’s life and career and fond recollections by his daughter, fellow cast members, high-school friends, and fans. Filmmaker Jeff Adachi has created a film that demands not only that we know Soo and his legacy, but also that we learn from his spirit, which was alive and unyielding, in spite of the discrimination of his time.

WHATEVER IT TAKES chronicles the struggles and triumphs of the very first year of the Bronx Center for Science & Mathematics, an innovative public high school set in NYC’s South Bronx. This deeply emotional, character-driven documentary focuses on Edward Tom, the school’s dynamic rookie principal, and Sharifea Baskerville, a talented but troubled ninth-grade girl. The personal stories of this school’s students and staff call to mind larger themes of school reform and the need for educators, parents, and policymakers to prioritize the transformation of the public school system so that all children can receive a quality education.