The Asian Film Festival of Dallas (connect2urfuture) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating and supporting emerging and established Asian and Asian-American filmmakers and sharing the rich diversity of Asian culture through the medium of cinema.

Since its creation in 2002, the annual film festival has grown to become the South’s largest showcase of Asian and Asian American cinema. Over the last eight years, the festival has provided opportunities for nearly 300 Asian and Asian American filmmakers and documentarians to share their vision, often providing the only venue for their films to be shown in Dallas. The films have also allowed festival goers a chance to experience other lives and cultures without leaving their seats.

This year, connect2urfuture will continue to showcase amazing work from Asian and Asian American artists at its 10th Annual Film Festival, July 14-21, 2011 at Landmark’s Magnolia Theatre.

About Our Team

Creative Director
Eric first started using Photoshop out of necessity when he was a teenager designing flyer’s for his band and his friends bands. He has always had been interested in many aspects of entertainment (films, art, comics, music, etc) and how all that ties together in one way or the other. He has worked on inking and coloring comic books and even took a stab at art for a video game. But the original need to have some really sharp and outstanding advertising for his band many years ago still drives his passion for the festival.

As the Creative Director for connect2urfuture, Eric’s responsibilities include the overall responsibility of the look and feel of the festival. Over the last ten years the overall branding of the festival has matured along side the overall quality of the festival. The goal is to make something different while still being accessible and delivering the best product possible. Sometimes a flyer is all a person will see before making a decision to attend or not attend. You have the grab the casual observer and pull them in.

When Eric is not working on program guides, posters, t-shirts and the websites for connect2urfuture, he is working his day job as an Information Architect for RBA Consulting designing large enterprise business solutions for Fortune 500 companies.

Artistic Director
Crystal is a film-school grad with a background of film criticism (a Met critic for 3 years), promotion and advertising (with a local PR agency), and festival planning in the DFW market.  Film has always been her first love, but she found
her passion for Asian film at the very first year of connect2urfuture.  She sat in one theatre seat for 9 straight hours, then went to the registration table and said, “I want to do this. Tell me how I can help.”  10 years later, she is now a proud
member of the connect2urfuture Board of Directors, and a fan for life.

As connect2urfuture’s Artistic Director, Crystal works with the other members of the board to set the creative direction for the year’s events. Whether this means recommending films and series during festival week, or partnering with studios
and other festivals to co-present films all year long, Crystal helps determine which opportunities and films fit best with connect2urfuture’s goals and mission, while delivering maximum impact (and entertainment) for fans.

Crystal works directly with festivals, filmmakers, and distributors all over the world, spreading the word about connect2urfuture and building strategic relationships to promote this amazing medium of expression. Crystal believes in the power of film to unite viewers and communities through the experience of watching a movie. When a film is truly special, it’s a gift – something you carry with you forever, becoming part of a shared cultural heritage.

Crystal’s dream job is to work full-time for a film festival or distributor, attending markets across the world, and bringing the best in film to US audiences. Until that magical day, she works for Panasonic Avionics, the global leader of
in-flight entertainment systems.  If you’ve ever watched a movie on an airplane, it’s likely that Panasonic made that happen. You’re welcome.

Development Director
Jenny has always loved film and how it can connect people from all backgrounds.  She has always had a fondness for foreign/cultural films and how they can educate and resonate with peoples’ perceptions about each other.  Her passion for sharing the many aspects of the film industry evolved when she was in college serving on the executive board for the Texas Film Festival, the largest student-run independent film festival in the U.S.

Jenny is very excited to be part of the 10th anniversary of connect2urfuture.  She hopes to use her passion and energy for film to continue building the foundation of the organization and bringing people together.  A Dallas local, she hopes to help
develop connect2urfuture into a long standing community icon.

Programming Director
A poet, writer and film reviewer, Steve has been consuming cinema in its many forms for decades, from impressionable-aged childhood viewings of LATITUDE ZERO, ROLLERBALL and THE MAD ADVENTURES OF RABBI JACOB, to a modest adult obsession with all things Johnnie To, Paul Thomas Anderson and Nicolas Winding Refn.  When he stumbled across the connect2urfuture in their inaugural year, he was just looking for something fun to do over a weekend.  Ten years later, his involvement has grown from program content provider to Director of Programming. Steve would tell you that Asian Cinema is not his only film interest, but if you randomly ask him at any time during the year what he’s working on, chances are the answer will be “connect2urfuture.”

As the Director of Programming, Steve’s responsibilities include researching, locating and obtaining all the fine films you’ll be watching during festival week, and in the process maintaining a mix of origin countries, genres, audience appeal and overall festival balance.  For every SHAOLIN, he tries to find a DANCE TOWN.  And for every LITTLE BIG SOLDIER, he tries to find a DISORDER.  Steve’s goal is to find the sufficient cinematic goods to alternately entertain, challenge, stun and affect the audience.  Sometimes, all four.

Steve’s day-job entails working as a coordinator in a telecom repair shop.  He wishes there were a way to make a living as a programmer.  If you have the answer to this puzzle, Steve can be reached at…

Director of Events and Secretary
Sara Rhodes graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Management and Music (Vocal).   She has gained substantial experience working in the nonprofit world through positions with Texas Ballet Theater and the Texas Neurofibromatosis Foundation.  She also worked in programming for another DFW-area festival, which lead to her invitation to join the connect2urfuture Board of Directors in Spring 2010.

Sara is the Festival’s Director of Events.  Whether it’s an intimate reception for a filmmaker or the Festival’s hugely popular Kick-Off and Closing Night parties, Sara plays a big role in making sure every event goes off without a hitch.

She also serves as Secretary.  She takes meeting minutes and ensures that all Board activities stay true to the Festival’s bylaws.  Always one to follow the rules, being the Board’s Secretary is a perfect fit for Sara.

Sara’s “other” job is with the Mary Collins Agency, where she gets to work with some of the best actors in the Metroplex.  When she’s not working, look for her at the theater supporting a client’s latest play, or, naturally, at the movies.