Two Miles East, documentary about 2008 F-18 crash, scheduled last week of May during May Madness Film Festival

2008 F-18 crash - R. Belanger

May 12, 2020 update: Documetary is now available on Vimeo as a $5 rental at

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Annual Asian Film Festival has moved online with a new name – May Madness. During the last week of May, the Film Festival will include an encore presentation of the documentary film “The Paradise We Are Looking For”, a collection of four short documentaries.

One of the documentaries, “Two Miles East”, revisits the 2008 F/A-18 jet crash in University City to contemplate the civilian relationship with the military and re-examine the suburban dream. When the film debuted in late 2019, the Voice of San Diego described it as quiet and somber storytelling; a patchwork vignettes of press conferences, the communities affected by the loss, cockpit recordings and the vast horizon over the ocean seen from a re-enactment plane. The documentary includes community reactions and scenes of University City and of the four jacaranda trees dedicated on December 8, 2018, the 10th anniversary of the crash, at the community memorial and tree dedication held at University Village Park on Florey and Cather.

The Paradise We are Looking For, which includes the short documentary Two Miles East, is on the schedule during May Madness Week 4, May 24 – 31, 2020. The film features four short documentaries about San Diego from four emerging cinematic voices who grew up in San Diego, have studied here, or who have once called it home.

The Paradise We are Looking For, a collection of four short documentaries: 

  • Two Miles East: Norbert Shieh’s stirring film essay recalls a 2008 University City plane crash that cast a somber shadow over a military city.
  • The Morning Passing on El Cajón Boulevard: Quyên Nguyen-Le’s introduces us to the City Heights mortuary workers who help refugee families grieve.
  • Bidyoke: Joseph Mangat’s rousing observational piece thrusts us into the electric immigrant space of a karaoke-restaurant in National City.
  • Reunion ’99: R.J. Lozada interviews former classmates at his 20th high school reunion in the South Bay, and finds that memories, including his own, are not always reliable.

Close out May Madness on Sunday, May 31st at 6:30PM PT with a Q&A featuring filmmakers Norbert Shieh, Quyên Nguyen-Le, RJ Lozada, & Joseph Mangat with guest moderator Erin Chew.

From Pacific Arts Movement : Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been dunking on American history for over a century and we have the replay to prove it. Let’s rewind to the nail-biting drama, the Cinderella stories, the everyday heroes who took control of their own destinies. This May, in celebration of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we trace that history the best way we know how: through films that look to the past to imagine a more just, empowered, or enriched future. Each week, we’ll provide a playlist of films you can stream from home, moving forward across the decades.

Watch whichever films catch your eye, though you won’t want to miss the films for which we’ll be holding filmmaker Q&As. Your online rentals or purchases directly support the filmmakers or the distributors who have invested in their stories. Every week, we also suggest a short film you can access for free. Watch at

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