Film Center’s biggest Asian American Showcase screens 12 features, many major festival winners

The Asian American Showcase make its strongest showing yet in its 11th year, bringing a most-ever 12 features. All of them Chicago premieres and half are coming off major festival awards.

The Showcase runs now through April 11 at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

“This is really an exceptional year for us for features,” festival director Tim Hugh said.

“People are starting to open up their eyes that there is a bigger audience for Asian American films. The fact that these films continue to get greenlighted shows that producers are noticing that there is a wider appeal.”

The Showcase opens with Eric Byler’s second feature “Americanese,” fresh from the South by Southwest Film Festival, where it picked up the narrative audience award and a special jury prize for outstanding ensemble cast. Byler’s first film, “Charlotte Sometimes,” won the SXSW audience award four years ago.

Chris Tashima and Alison Sie star as an Asian American professor and his half-Asian girlfriend unable to let go of their dying relationship. With Joan Chen and Kelly Hu. March 31 at 8 p.m. Reception at 6 p.m.