The Manilatown Heritage Foundation produces a variety of affordable family-friendly programming at the International Hotel Manilatown Center. As a multipurpose gallery that honors the I-Hotel Eviction and Historic Manilatown legacies we stand as  both a museum to these legacies and a community gathering space offering programming relevant to today’s community.

August 4th I-Hotel Eviction Commemoration
Club Mandalay
International Hotel Historic Tours
Kommunity Kultura
Manilatown Movie Time
Remember, Recover & Reclaim with Dr. Estella Habal
What’s Wrong with Curtis Choy?

 August 4th I-Hotel Eviction Commemoration
What’s Wrong with Curtis Choy?

tuesday, august 4th at 5pm

Curtis Choy’s enduring legacy is his groundbreaking and history-making documentary, The Fall of the I-Hotel – a film that has outraged, inspired and called to action activists, artists, teachers and those who refuse to forget our history of struggle. Curtis’ eye for telling a story through subtlety and poetic vision continues to inspire us to create art for the benefit of our people.

Please join us as the Manilatown Heritage Foundation celebrates the work of this important cinema artist in an online Artist Talk with Filmmaker Curtis Choy and Activist Poet Tony Robles as the feature of our 43rd Annual Commemoration of the 1977 August 4th International Hotel Eviction.

Our program will start with a Community Screening of the iconic, The Fall of the I-Hotel and proceed with an Artist Talk and Community Discussion that will include Choy’s other ground-breaking films, What’s Wrong with Frank Chin?, Manilatown is in the Heart, Time Travel with Al RoblesThe Manilatown Series, and Dupont Guy: The Schiz of Grant Avenue.

Don’t miss this conversation that will explore the evolution of Curtis Choy’s career followed by a Community Q&A Session. Reserve your spot now on EventBrite

Until then, please enjoy watching these films of Curtis Choy:

I-Hotel Photo Credit: Crystal K.D. Huie

Tony Robles, The People’s Poet, was born in San Francisco. He is the author of “Cool Don’t Live Here No More–A letter to San Francisco” and “Fingerprints of a Hunger Strike”. He is the Carl Sandburg Writer in Residence, 2020 and San Francisco Art Commission Individual Artist Grantee, 2019-2020. He currently lives in Western North Carolina and is working on his first novel, “Fillmore Flip”, a story based on his family in San Francisco’s Western Addition.

Curtis Choy, An independent producer and film worker since the early ’70s, he has contributed to numerous independent and PBS documentaries, commercials, and feature films as a production sound mixer. He is the director of “Dupont Guy: The Schiz of Grant Avenue”, “The Fall of The I-Hotel” and “WWWFrankChin”. His sound recording can be heard on “The Joy Luck Club”, “Better Luck Tomorrow”, and Academy Award winner “Breathing Lessons”. He was previously exploited as a camera and editing technician, newsfilm cameraman, camera assistant, and boom operator. From the frozen Arctic (“The Infinite Voyage”) to the blistering Gobi (“The Silk Road”) to young government gunpunks in Guatemala (“The Gospel and Guatemala”), he’s totally fed up with flying Coach class.


  • Producer/Director: You! Young People!, Chinatown Wayback Machine, Manilatown Is In The Heart, Watada Resister, What’s Wrong With Frank Chin, The Fall of the I-Hotel, Manilatown Lives!, The Year of the Ox: The 1973 Chinatown Livestock Show, Dupont Guy: The Schiz of Grant Avenue, Snipers in the Trees
  • Producer: Screaming Yellow Hordes, the first Asian American Film Festival (1977) , The Dupont Guy Radio Show (1972-74), KPFA, KFRC
  • Production Mixer: The Joy Luck Club, Dim Sum, Chan Is Missing, Life is Cheap But Toilet Paper is Expensive, Dancing Bull, Song of the Exile, Shanghai 1920, Notes On a Scale, Yellow, one hundred percent, Three Seasons, Catfish in Black Bean Sauce, Better Luck Tomorrow, Kung Phooey!, Finishing the Game, Hysteria, Surrogate Valentine, Daylight Savings, The Crumbles


  • Corporate: Levi’s, Apple, Saab, kaiser, Silicon Graphics, Intel, etc.
  • Public TV: Were You There, The Infinite Voyage, Nova, The Ring of Truth, Forbidden City , USA, Secret Intelligence, The Machine That Changed the World, The Chinatown Files, Slanted Screen
  • Radio: The Dupont Guy Show, The Sound of Quiet Thunder


  • Bulldozed! Film and Video Festival, San Francisco
  • Filipino American Arts Exposition, Center for the Arts, San Francisco
  • Amiens Festival des Differences, France
  • Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley
  • San Francisco Fair
  • Asian American Film Festival, San Francisco/New York
  • Hawaii International Film Festival
  • Hong Kong International Film Festival
  • Global Village, New York
  • Cinema Giovani, Torino
  • Whitney Museum of Modern Art, New York


  • 2009 – Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary, L.A. Pacific Film Festival (Manilatown Is In The Heart, Time Travel With Al Robles), finalist
  • 2008 – commendations from US Congress, California legislature, Mayor of San Francisco
  • 2008 – Bill Sorro Award (Art & Culture), Manilatown Heritage Foundation
  • 2005 – S.F.I.A.A.F.F. Best Documentary Feature (What’s Wrong With Frank Chin?)
  • 2003 – S.F.I.A.A.F.F. Festival Spotlight on Curtis Choy
  • 2002 – Rockefeller Media Fellowship
  • 1988 – James D. Phelan Art Award in Filmmaking
  • 1985-86 – Atlanta Film Festival, 1st; Palo Alto Film Festival, 1st; National Housing Festival, 1st; Big Muddy Film Festival, Best of Fest; San Francisco International Film Festival, Hon. Mention (The Fall of The I-Hotel)
  • 1978 – The American Film Institute IFP Grant (Manongs: Tenants of the International Hotel)
  • 1975 – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Documentary Award (Dupont Guy: The Schiz of Grant Avenue)


  • Yellow Pearl, 1972
  • Time to Greez!, 1975
  • Moving the Image, 1991
  • The World is Yours, 1998
  • Where Are You From?, 2012

Professional Affiliations : NABET 532, 51, CWA, IATSE 776, 16, 695, IBEW 45, Film Arts Foundation, Visual Communications, AIVF, OMPA, Cinema Audio Society

 Club Mandalay
Tentative august 28th at 7pm: Live stream performance

International Hotel Historic Tours
By Appointment

tourwebDiscover the mystery of San Francisco’s forgotten neighborhood, Manilatown. Witness the merging of time, the past to the present, of San Francisco’s International Hotel. Visit a Filipino-American community gathering space in San Francisco. Share in the history of San Francisco’s rich history. Manilatown Heritage Foundation offers tours for K-12 students, college, adults, and everyone! Bring your class, student group, organization, club and friends to experience the complex history of Manilatown and the International Hotel. $5 donation per person. Schedule a tour today! Email us at for more information on scheduling your visit.

Kommunity Kultura
Saturday, august 15th at 4pm

Kommunity Kultura is back at Manilatown via Zoom!
Please join us for our next workshop on Saturday, August 15th at 4pm.

Kommunity Kultura is our traditional Philippine music, movement and cultural education program usually taking place at San Francisco’s International Hotel Manilatown Center but coming to you on this date online via Zoom. Each of our family-friendly workshops focus on a new topic, are oftentimes hands-on, and are accessible to all ages and levels of ability.

This month we are thrilled to be presenting Ethnomusicologist Dr. Bernard Ellorin as he leads a comprehensive workshop on the Tagunggu Gong Ensemble music of the Sama, Bajau and Tausug ethnic groups of the Sulu Archipelago, Philippines. Dr. Ellorin will provide a general overview of the interconnectedness of the Tagunngu music and the Igal/Pangalay performing arts genres.

Participants will come away with a deeper understanding of the melodic and rhythmic patterns found in these group’s traditional repertoire as Dr. Ellorin presents an in-depth explanation of the musical practices of this region based on his ethno-graphic research with traditional native practitioners.

Please join us for this enlightening community event by registering on EventBrite

Bernard Ellorin PhD. , is an adjunct faculty of music at Miramar College and MiraCosta College in San Diego County, California. He received his PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa in 2015. Ellorin’s academic and community work spans over 28 years of educating Filipino American and non-Filipino American communities on Filipino diasporic performing arts. From 2012-2013, Ellorin was a research fellow with the Fulbright Research and Study Abroad Program conducting a comparative study on the contemporary musics of the Sama-Bajau in Semporna Distrct, Sabah Malaysia and Batangas City, Philippines. He is currently the music director for the SAMAHAN Filipino American Performing Arts & Education Center and its Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensemble.

Kommunity Kultura is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency

Manilatown Movie Time
Saturday, september 12th at 6pm

The Manilatown Heritage Foundation is proud to present Manilatown Movie Time a series of specially programmed Filipino film screenings and community discussions. Hosted by Carlos Zialcita, Manilatown Movie Time is designed to showcase Philippine and Filipino-American related movies, filmmakers, actors and crews, infusing their art and insight into our vibrant, diverse community through film. Each Manilatown Movie Time screening will features the following:
  • A community discussion led by writer, poet, actor and Ethnic Studies Professor Oscar Penaranda
  • A presentation on the importance of Filipino Films in the Filipino-American Community
  • Meet & Greets with Actors, Directors, Cinematographers, and Filipino movie enthusiasts.

REMEMBER, RECOVEr, RECLAIM with dr. estella habal

Please join us for the  Remember, Recover, Reclaim Manilatown series hosted by Dr. Estella Habal, I-Hotel Original Defender, San Jose State University Professor Emerita, and author of the definitive book on the International Hotel Eviction, San Francisco’s International Hotel: Mobilizinbg the Filipino American Community in the Anti-Eviction Movement. This series will remember our Filipino ancestors who labored, organized, worshiped, danced, lived and died in San Francisco’s Manilatown neighborhood. We will recover these stories and reclaim our heritage.