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Chinatown Rebels

  • 150 mins

Please note: This Program is sold out, but tickets may be available on the day of the event at rush.

Post-1906 earthquake redevelopment shaped SF Chinatown’s facades into a caricatured tourist attraction, perpetuating stereotypes for the white colonial gaze. Nonetheless, this ingenious tourism strategy stopped the City leaders from moving Chinatown permanently to the outskirts and preserved Chinatown as an enduring immigrant haven. Half a century later, amid the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the Civil Rights Movement, the fight for the I-Hotel and Golden Dragon massacre of 1977, Chinatown had a cultural awakening and the Disneyland-like facades were met with renewed discontent.  

“Chinatown Rebels” brings together three defiant gestures in film and television that challenge Chinatown’s tourist gaze and stereotypes. “Dupont Guy: The Schiz of Grant Ave” (1976) by Curtis Choy and “Bean Sprouts” (1980) by Loni Ding reflect the anxieties and hope of 1970s’ Chinatown, grappling an increasingly multicultural and multinational San Francisco, while embodying the ambiguities of Chinese-ness, Chinese America, and Chinatown. Student film “Fortune” (2023) by Shirley Yumeng, offers an intimate glimpse into one of Chinatown’s beloved Ross Alley; once emblematic of the bachelor society and its subversions, Ross Alley now stands as a testament to Chinatown’s evolving identity. 

Today, with new developments in the neighborhood, Chinatown is once again at a crossroad. Join us on the iconic Chinatown Grant Avenue (Aka “Dupont Street”) for a film screening and panel discussion led by Chinatown community and culture shapers. Engage with the planning and visioning of the nation’s oldest Chinatown, a place that continues to reinterpret and reinvent itself; exemplifying and inspiring the festival’s theme of rooted resurgence.

Doors open at 5pm; program 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

Curators: Fay Darmawi, SF Urban Film Fest and Hoi Leung, Chinese Culture Center


Fay Darmawi (moderator), Founder and Executive Director, SF Urban Film Fest

Hoi Leung, Curator and Deputy Director, Chinese Culture Center

Joanne Lee, Executive Director, Edge on the Square

Stephen Gong, Executive Director of the Center for Asian American Media

Cynthia Huie, Owner, On Waverly


In this program

Black and white image of Asian Man 60s smoking a cigarette out of window in brick building. The window is access to landing of a fire escape.


Directed by Shirley Yumeng He

An experimental short-film meditation on the liminality of Chinese-American identity.

Asian man in sunglasses and black leather smoking a cigarette while riding on a motorcycle and stopped at crest of a hill, behind him in the bright hazy distance a steep street, telephone poles and buildings

Dupont Guy: The Schiz of Grant Ave

Directed by Curtis Choy

This 1975 Oscar winner explores cross-cultural currents of San Francisco’s Chinatown.

Closeup young Asian girl in sequin costume holding baton and metal sport whistle glinting in her mouth

Bean Sprouts, Clips from Episodes 1 + 4

Directed by Loni Ding

Chinese American children and their friends, dealing with themes of personal identity, intercultural contacts and generational relations in the settings of school, family and community.

Dates & Times


Edge on the Square

Fri, Apr 19
6:00 pm