COSTA MESA, CA | Throughout the month of May, Segerstrom Center for the Arts is celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by shining a spotlight on our local Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and artists. The monthlong celebration includes dance classes, live music, film screenings and fun activities for everyone in the Orange County community to enjoy! Artistic offerings include hula lessons at Tuesday Night Dance, Live on Argyros Stage concerts, the Southeast x East (SEE) Asian Film Festival and a capstone celebration where everyone’s invited to sing and dance the night away.

The celebration kicks off with our Tuesday Night Dance classes that will be all about hula. Tuesday Night Dance is a fun and upbeat program designed for all ages and abilities–all are welcome and no dance experience required. Instructor Toni Kemehana Pasion returns to the Plaza to share her knowledge on this island-based art form and new dances every week.

The festivities continue with the Southeast x East (SEE) Asian Film Festival, bringing acclaimed international films to the Samueli Theater from the Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, and beyond, along with behind-the-scenes filmmaker Q&As and bonus shorts. Films include the award-winning Leonor Will Never Die, recognized as an imaginative tribute to the art of filmmaking, and Disney Pixar’s Turning Red, which tells the story of 13-year-old Mei Lee as she explores the chaos of growing up. The Center is also screening the South Korean drama Brokera beautiful meditation on found family, and the award-winning Song Lang, which explores the unlikely bond between two men in 1990s Saigon. The SEE Asian Film Festival is presented by Segerstrom Center for the Arts and Some Folks Productions in partnership with Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA).

The SEE Asian Film Festival will conclude with an AAPI Arts Celebration held on the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza. Everyone is welcome to enjoy a night out with performances from local DJ Donovan of The FeelGood Collective, breakdance performances, and a live concert from Cambodian-rock superstars, Dengue Fever! 

Tuesday Night Dance and the AAPI Arts Celebration events are free with RSVP. The SEE Asian Film Festival movie screenings are $10 per film. Reservations can be made online or by calling the Box Office.

Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is presented with generous support from Charlie and Ling Zhang.

Free Plaza Programming Presented by Samueli Foundation




Leonor Will Never Die | Friday, May 12 at 7:30PM

Leonor Reyes was once a groundbreaking figure in the Filipino film industry during its ragtag action cinema glory days, but now she struggles with old age, mounting bills, and the untimely death of her son. While revisiting an unfinished script about a fearless protagonist trying to avenge his brother’s murder, Leonor is struck on the head by a falling television set and knocked into a coma. As she lies unconscious in the hospital, fantasy and reality begin to blur when Leonor finds herself awake inside her script, becoming the hero of her own story. An innovative blend of pulpy action homages, playful comedy, and touching family drama, “Leonor Will Never Die” won the Amplify Award at the Toronto International Film Festival as well as a World Cinema Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. It was nominated for Best International Film at the 2023 Independent Spirit Awards.


Join us after the film for a panel discussion and Q&A with the filmmakers behind the movie!


Turning Red | Saturday, May 13 at 10:00AM

Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” introduces Mei Lee, a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming, is never far from her daughter—an unfortunate reality for the teenager. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she “poofs” into a giant red panda!


Broker | Saturday, May 13 at 1:30 PM

Ha Sang-hyeon (Song Kang-ho from “Parasite”) and his friend Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won) run an illegal business together: they steal babies from a church’s “baby box” and sell them to desperate parents on the adoption black market. But when a young mother, So-young (Lee Ji-eun), returns after abandoning her baby, she discovers their scheme and goes along with them to interview potential parents for her child. “Broker” was screened at the Cannes Film Festival where it won the Ecumenical Jury Prize along with the award for Best Actor for Song Kang-ho. “Broker” is rated R for language and adult themes.


Song Lang | Saturday, May 13 at 5:00PM

Set in 1980s Saigon, Song Lang is a gritty underworld noir hiding a tender, romantic heart. At the film’s core is the unlikely bond that develops between hunky, brooding Dung (Lien Binh Phat), a tough debt collector for a ruthless loan shark, and Linh Phung (V-pop star Isaac), a charismatic young opera singer for a struggling company that performs cai luong, a modern form of traditional Vietnamese folk opera. The two meet when Dung comes to forcefully collect a debt from the opera troupe, but when their paths cross again, a friendship—and then more—develops, awakening surprising, tender feelings in both men. Their story, too, soon scales operatic heights. With his first feature film, director Leon Le has delivered a rich drama: a smoldering relationship between two apparent opposites—equally uncompromising—set against the backdrop of a gorgeous, fading art form.


Bonus Short: Summer Winter Summer

Before the film, join us for a special screening of the short “SummerWinterSummer” and a talk with director and writer Thy Tran.

In “SummerWinterSummer” after Martin disappears without an explanation, Duy spends sleepless nights wandering around the city, meeting strangers online, hoping to find some kind of connection to help him fill the void. Without considering the consequences, Duy ventures into the night and finds himself in darker places than he can imagine. “SummerWinterSummer” is an official selection of CAAMFest and the San Diego Asian FF, two of the biggest Asian American film festivals in the US. “SummerWinterSummer” was also nominated as Best Short at the Viet Film Fest.


AAPI Arts Celebration | Saturday, May 13 at 7:00PM

Join us for a celebration on the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza featuring live music, dance performances, food trucks, and local vendors! In this capstone celebration, everyone’s invited to enjoy sounds from DJ Donovan of OC’s FeelGood Collective, a creative movement inspired by music, dance and art. He will be playing the best of R&B hits accompanied by breakdance performances by Wreckshop and B.E. (Becoming Eternal), two emerging dance groups from Southern California that compete in local and national Breakin Battles. Cambodian rock superstars Dengue Fever will headline!

The Cambodian rock band Dengue Fever was founded in 2002 with saxophonist David Ralicke (Beck/Brazzaville), drummer Paul Dreux Smith, and bassist Senon Williams (Radar Brothers). They have performed in front of thousands of fans at such noted music festivals as WOMAD (UK, AUS, NZ), WOMEX (Spain), Melbourne Festival (AUS), Glastonbury (UK), Bumbershoot, (USA), Transmusicales (France), Roskilde (Denmark), Electric Picnic (Ireland), Peace and Love (Sweden), Treasure Island (USA) among many others. Their songs have appeared in films such as City of Ghosts, Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers, The Hangover 2, the Showtime series, Weeds, HBO’s hit series True Blood, and numerous independent documentaries.

The festival offers a perfect opportunity for people of all backgrounds to come together, learn about AAPI culture, and celebrate diversity.

Tuesday Night Dance: Hula | Tuesdays, May 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 at 6:30PM

Toni Kemehana Pasion is an Inland Empire-based dancer, educator, and community organizer who specializes in Indigenous Hawaiian and Philippine dance practices. She is a Lecturer of Dance at the University of California Riverside, company choreographer at Infuse Dance Studio and dance instructor for the Philippine American Intercultural School-Inland Empire. Toni’s work intentionally represents how indigenous worldviews, dance, and storytelling can serve as tools for connection amongst diverse groups of people.


AAPI Heritage Month Celebration

Southeast x East (SEE) Asian Film Festival

Samueli Theater


Leonor Will Never Die – May 12, 7:30PM

Turning Red – May 13, 10:00AM

Broker – May 13, 1:30PM

Song Lang – May 13, 5:00PM


Tickets $10 per film


AAPI Arts Celebration

Julianne and George Argyros Plaza

Saturday, May 13 at 7:30PM
Free with RSVP


Tuesday Night Dance: Hula

Julianne and George Argyros Plaza

Tuesdays, May 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 at 6:30PM
Free with RSVP


Box Office
In person – The Box Office
600 Town Center Drive
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Saturday and Sunday: Closed

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