realistic, fascinating and illuminating. Written, directed and acted
with the penetrating shorthand of a short story. This is a relationship
picture that plays like an emotional thriller."
--Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
cinematic storytelling... The deft shading Byler elicits from his
thesps is of a piece with his dramatics and his understated, artful
approach to compositions and movement.."
--Robert Koehler, Variety
SOMETIMES" MAKES ENTERTAINMENT INSIDERS'
Top 10 Films of 2002"
deliberate, and insightful, Eric Byler’s Charlotte Sometimes
is one of the best films I have seen this year. It is the Sex, Lies
& Videotape for a new generation."
--Jonathan Hickman, Entertainment Insiders
the most sophisticated exploration of Asian American sexuality in
recent memory. 'Charlotte Sometimes' navigates psychological cruelty
and vulnerability with remarkable subtlety and tenderness."
--San Francisco Intl. AA Film Festival
resounding success. ...A well constructed, engaging piece of finely
wrought emotion that avoids preaching and manages to heighten our
sympathy for all of the characters involved with the mistakes they
make rather than the things they do right."
--Palpatine, Ain't It Cool News
acted by a convincing (and attractive) ensemble cast that hums with
chemistry, Charlotte Sometimes' shifting triangular relationships
with their added context of Asian-American cultural bipolarity,
and Byler's treatment of sex as a very hot, urgent, but ultimately
selfish and manipulative act are especially intriguing aspects of
the film." --Todd Harbour, Mobius/Kamera.co.uk
Award for First Narrative Feature:
2002 South by Southwest Film Festival
Jury Prize for Narrative Filmmaking:
2002 Florida Film Festival
US ASIANS:What American festivals/events has your film been screened and
what were the responses?
I’ve had wonderful experiences at mainstream festivals like South
by Southwest, Los Angeles, Florida, Hamptons International, and Hawaii
International. We’ve won two jury prizes and an audience award at
Our Spirit Award nominations also came out of the festival circuit - so
responses have been good.
US ASIANS:Has the American public united in supporting "Charlotte Sometimes?"
I assume by American do you mean non-Asian?
A lot of non-Asians really like the film. Most of them
view “Charlotte Sometimes” as a refreshing change. They’re
intrigued by the idea that there are people in this country whose stories
have yet to be told. I’m surprised at how little they mention the
word Asian in reviews, or in Q/A’s - other than to ask in some polite
way if I am Asian. But I think they recognize how much it adds to the
film. It makes me feel justified in insisting the movie keep its Asian
But I guess I shouldn’t say they’re “united”
because of the anger the film has caused. Certain people seem to tolerate
aspects of the film that fit their preconceptions, but they object to
virtually everything else. The characters that Jacqueline and Michael
play, for instance, depart from previous portrayals of Asians in mainstream
media – and they don’t adhere to Caucasian characterizations
either. I can understand why some viewers don’t know what to make
of this. The film doesn’t reach out to them the way that most others
US ASIANS:What are your views on diversity in films and television?
I think we’re doing a lot better today than when I was a kid, but
we still need more.
US ASIANS:What other things do we need and what actions need to happen?
As a community we need to make some noise. We should point out inequities
in mainstream entertainment, and support APA films when they come out.
Our filmmakers need to catch up with other filmmakers
in making films that are interesting on an artistic or human level, as
opposed to an ethnic level. There’s only so much mileage in marketing
We have to tell the stories that we care about, and not
worry about what the mainstream wants from us. In the process, we’ll
come up with a variety of unique and personal films, some of which will
be strong enough to cross over.
US ASIANS:What Asian/Asian Pacific American festivals/events has your film
been screened and what were the responses?
San Diego and Washington DC have been the only two so far. But there were
large APA turnouts at the Hawaii International Film Festival and Cinema
Paradise in Honolulu.
It’s fun screening “Charlotte
Sometimes” to an Asian / Pacific audience. People are excited
because many of them have never seen themselves represented in this way.
There’s sort of an implicit “holy shit!” during certain
scenes. You can also hear it in the laughter.
It feels good to know I’ve helped create an experience like that,
because I know how exciting it can be. Years back, I felt the same way
when I saw the world premiere of Chris Chan Lee’s “Yellow.”
Eric Byler with Konrad Ng (programmer
at Hawai'i International Film Festival. Picture was
taken in November 2003 by Ed Treschuck
Eric Byler with Konrad Ng (programmer at Hawai'i
Intl. Film Festival. Picture was taken in November
2003 by Ed Treschuck
ASIANS:Could you share in more details about your experience(s)
at the Hawaiian International Film Festival?"
It was part film festival and part high school reunion.
The audience at the first screening included friends, teachers,
and people who were like second parents to me. I was covered
with leis, and I wore them the whole night even though they
were hot and slightly itchy.
Jacqueline had met and invited Roger Ebert.
He really liked the film and afterwards he offered to take
us out to dinner. I had planned to hang with my friends,
so it ended up being a huge dinner with Roger, Jacqueline,
and 20 other people.
Roger published a wonderful review a day
later, and told everyone at the festival to go and see the
second screening. Of course, the second screening was a
madhouse. We had to switch theaters to fit everyone. It
was a fun week.
US ASIANS:Which organizations have been the most beneficial in the success
of "Charlotte Sometimes" and your career?
There are many. The film program at Wesleyan University in Connecticut,
and the Lodestone Theater Ensemble were my official training grounds.
CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) and Visual Communications
(VC) have supported me for years. NAATA (National Asian American Telecommunications
Association), and VC have provided some great festival experiences. And
of course IFP (Independent Feature Project), not just because of the nominations--
their festival in Los Angeles and everything they do is wonderfully organized