From the "veiled racism" of The Deer Hunter to the more blatant kind evidenced by David Carradine's substitution of martial arts legend Bruce Lee in Kung Fu - the TV series Lee himself conceived - the issues facing Asian American cinema are explored in a major retrospective at August's Locarno International Film Festival.

This year's retrospective, provisionally titled Asian Americans - Filmmaking in the Immigrant Community, will focus on movie emigres from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. The festival, the first under the management team of director Irene Bignardi and president Marco Solari, will showcase early cinema such as 1929's Piccadilly Nachtwelt, starring Anna May Wong, as well as work from modern film-makers such as Wayne Wang, John Woo and Gregg Araki who have achieved recognition world-wide.

The aim is to "provide an overview of "one of the best-kept and most surprisingly moving secrets in American cinema: the existence of an Asian community in Hollywood from the early years of the 20th century". The festival, which runs August 2-12, is casting a spotlight on Belgian film-makers in its sidebar for new directors, the Leopards of Tomorrow.