The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival opens tomorrow, but there’s a Verona reason to follow it. Samantha Futerman, who was adopted from Korean and grew up in town, has a short film in it, titled From Here, set against the backdrop of the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in America.
“When I received the news of the Atlanta spa shootings, my heart fell out of my chest,” Futerman says in an Instagram post announcing her film’s selection for the festival. “As posts flooded social media about the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes I felt the need to stay close with my community, to support, to fight and to mourn those we had lost. However, I was also met with the feeling that I somehow didn’t deserve to mourn. That as a Korean American adoptee with white parents and white siblings, I wasn’t permitted to feel upset or scared. Upon turning to other transracial Asian American adoptees, I found that I wasn’t alone. Many of us were feeling caught between worlds. We grew up not being white enough yet not Asian enough. And now, we were only enough for one thing: to be hated.”
Futerman says that she hopes her short film will raise awareness about the Asian American experience and her Instagram bio contains links to many sites that can further that education.
Futerman moved from Verona to Los Angeles in 2011 to expand the acting career that had begun with performances at the Paper Mill Playhouse and the role of Satsu in Steven Spielberg’s 2005 movie Memoirs of a Geisha. In Hollywood, she landed roles in TV shows like Up All Night, Harry’s Law and Kroll Show, The Big C and the movie 21 & Over. In 2013, she found herself in the middle of an unusual story when a young woman in France who had also been adopted from Korea reached out to say she thought they might be sisters. Futerman turned their story into the movie Twinsters.
From Here will be screened at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival next Thursday, September 30, and if you are in or around Los Angeles, you can order tickets here. The festival is a qualifying film festival for the Academy Award’s short film awards.