42nd Asian American International Film Festival Announces Film Lineup

42nd Asian American International Film Festival Announces Film Lineup

Presented by Asian CineVision, the 42nd Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF42), and taking place July 25 - August 3 in New York City, has announced its full film lineup. The first and longest running Asian interest film festival in the country, AAIFF42 will be presenting 12 narrative features, 9 documentary features, and 67 short films, from 19 countries.

OPENING NIGHT: YELLOW ROSE

Directed by Diane Paragas - USA

Rose, an undocumented Filipino girl, dreams of one day leaving her small Texas town to pursue her country music dreams. Her world is shattered when her mom suddenly gets picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Rose, facing this new reality, is forced to flee the scene, leaving behind the only life she knows, and embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she searches for a new home in the honky tonk world of Austin, Texas.

YELLOW ROSE will screen on Thursday, July 25 at 7:00pm at Asia Society.

CENTERPIECE: MS. PURPLE

Directed by Justin Chon - USA

From award-winning filmmaker Justin Chon (Gook, 2017), MS. PURPLE is a poignant drama about Asian American sister and brother, Kasie (Tiffany Chu) and Carey (Teddy Lee), who were raised and are now seemingly stuck in Koreatown, Los Angeles. Abandoned by their mother and brought up by their father, the siblings continue to struggle with deep emotional wounds from the difficulty of the parental dynamic. Now, with their father on his deathbed, the estranged Carey comes home to help Kasie care for him. As they reunite over their dying father, Kasie and Carey confront their shared past, attempting to mend their relationship.

MS. PURPLE will screen on Saturday, July 27 at 7:30pm at Asia Society.

Closing Night: HAPPY CLEANERS

Directed by Julian Kim & Peter S. Lee - USA

HAPPY CLEANERS is about the Choi Family living and surviving in Flushing, Queens. We observe the day-to-day lives of the Choi Family members as they navigate through their respective struggles, cultural clashes, inner angst, all while trying to keep THE FAMILY dry cleaning business afloat.

HAPPY CLEANERS will screen on Friday, August 3 at 7:00pm at Asia Society.

RETROSPECTIVE & SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

FRESH KILL

Directed by Shu Lea Cheang - USA, Taiwan

Described by the director as "Eco-Cyber-Noia," FRESH KILL centers around a non-nuclear family anchored by mothers Claire (Erin McMurtry,) Shareen (Sarita Choudhury) and their daughter Honey (Nelini Stamp.) A wild ride involving corporate conspiracies, pollution and community activism, Shu Lea Cheang's debut is a must see.

FRESH KILL will screen on Friday, July 26 at 8:30pm at Asia Society.

MERATA

Directed by Hepi Mita - New Zealand

A documentary portrait of the pioneering indigenous filmmaker and activist Merata Mita, MERATA is an intimate tribute from a son about his mother that delves into the life of the first woman from an Indigenous Nation to solely direct a film anywhere in the world. Known as the grandmother of Indigenous cinema, Merata's independent political documentaries of the 70's and 80's highlighted injustices for Maori people that often divided the country.

MERATA will screen on Wednesday, July 31 at 8:45pm at Regal Essex.

MISSISSIPPI MASALA

Directed by Mira Nair - USA, UK

Mississippi Masala is a tale of how prejudice makes victims and instigators of us all. In 1972, Indian Jay (Roshan Seth), a resident of Uganda, is forced by the bigoted Amin regime to take his family and flee the country. He vows to hate and distrust all blacks--at least until he is able to reclaim the real estate stolen from him by the Ugandan government. Flash-forward to 1990: Jay and his family have settled in Mississippi. Seth's daughter Mina (Sarit Choudhury) makes the acquaintance of African-American Demetrius (Denzel Washington), the prosperous manager of a carpet-cleaning business.

MISSISSIPPI MASALA will screen on Wednesday, July 31 at 8:15pm at Regal Essex.

THE SLANTED SCREEN
Directed by Jeff Adachi - USA
Hollywood has a long tradition of cultural prejudice, particularly when it comes to depicting Asian peoples. For Asian actors, only limited roles are available, and they are often pigeonholed into depicting ethnic stereotypes. The struggle against these stereotypes, as well as the dilemmas facing actors forced to succumb to them, are explored through interviews with Asian actors and filmmakers and in a series of archival film clips covering a century of American film.

  • Paired with the short film THE RIDE

Directed by Jeff Adachi and Jim Choi

THE RIDE takes viewers on a personal and intense ride through the underbelly of the criminal injustice system, seen through the eyes of SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who is one of the nation's few elected public defenders.

THE SLANTED SCREEN and THE RIDE will screen on Tuesday, July 30 at 6:15pm at the Museum of Chinese in America.

NARRATIVE FEATURES

CITIES OF LAST THINGS

Directed by Wing Ding Ho - Taiwan, France

In reverse chronology, CITIES OF LAST THINGS tells the story of an ordinary man through three extraordinary nights. Each story, set in the future, present, and past, examines his relationships with women and how they have influenced his life.

CITIES OF LAST THINGS will screen on Friday, August 2 at 8:15pm at Regal Essex.

DEMOLITION GIRL

Directed by Genta Matsugami - Japan

A high-school student, living in a small town in Japan, takes on an unusual side job to shoulder the weight of her family's financial burdens and her university costs. She is forced to face one difficult decision after the next, which eventually culminate in one night of mayhem.

DEMOLITION GIRL will screen on Monday, July 29 at 8:30pm at Regal Essex.

EMPTY BY DESIGN

Directed by Andrea A. Walter - Philippines, USA

EMPTY BY DESIGN is about the struggle of identity experienced living and growing up in multiple places surrounded by different cultures, and what it means to call a place home. The film takes place in Manila, Philippines and follows Samantha, a recent University Graduate who moves back home after her parents have passed away, and Eric, a Hollywood Stuntman and Body double who comes back to shoot a new film.

EMPTY BY DESIGN will screen on Saturday, July 27 at 5:00pm at Asia Society.

GO BACK TO CHINA

Directed by Emily Ting - China, USA

When spoiled rich girl Sasha Li blows through half of her trust fund, she is cut off by her father and forced to go back to China and work for THE FAMILY toy business. What simply begins as a way to regain financial support soon develops into a life-altering journey of self-discovery, as Sasha learns THE FAMILY business from the ground up, and more importantly, learns to reconnect with her estranged family.

GO BACK TO CHINA will screen on Friday, August 2 at 8:15pm at Regal Essex.

IN A NEW YORK MINUTE

Directed by Ximan Li - USA

IN A NEW YORK MINUTE follows three strangers as they accidentally discover the solution to their problems lies in a single pregnancy test. Amy is haunted by a past breakup that has manifested into an eating disorder. Angel is caught between a loveless marriage to an American businessman and a passionate affair with a Chinese writer. Nina moonlights as an escort in order to support herself.

IN A NEW YORK MINUTE will screen on Saturday, August 3 at 4:30pm at Asia Society.

K.D.

Directed by Madhumita Sundararaman - India

KD an 80-year old village overhears his children say they want him dead to claim their inheritance. Realising he has never lived for himself, KD runs away from home. He encounters an 8-year-old orphan and together they discover the meaning of life and friendship.

K.D. will screen on Tuesday, July 30 at 8:30pm at Regal Essex.

LAST SUNRISE

Directed by Wen Ren - China, USA

A future reliant on solar energy falls into chaos after the sun disappears, forcing a reclusive astronomer and his bubbly neighbor out of the city. As temperature goes subzero, oxygen depletes, the only hope is a miracle at their final destination, District Four. Akin to the orphan planet earth, they gravitate forward IN SEARCH OF light in the perpetual darkness.

LAST SUNRISE will screen on Sunday, July 28 at 9:00pm at Asia Society.

LUCKY GRANDMA

Directed by Sasie Sealy - USA

Set in New York City's Chinatown, an ornery, chain-smoking Chinese grandma goes all in at the casino, landing herself on the wrong side of luck - and in the middle of a gang war.

LUCKY GRANDMA will screen on Sunday, July 28 at 6:45pm at Asia Society.

SONG LANG

Directed by Leon Le - Vietnam

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 (popular V-pop singer Isaac), a charismatic young opera singer for a struggling company that performs cai luong, a modern form of traditional Vietnamese folk opera.

SONG LANG will screen on Thursday, August 1 at 8:30pm at Regal Essex.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

AMERICAN HASI

Directed by Laura Asherman - USA, India

After losing his day job, comedian Tushar Singh decides to pursue stand-up comedy full-time. Singh maps out a 35-day tour of India, taking part in India's flourishing stand-up scene and drawing on his unique perspective as THE SON of conservative Hindu parents in Huntsville, Alabama.

AMERICAN HASI will screen on Thursday, August 1 at 6:00pm at Regal Essex.

BEI BEI

Directed by Marion Lipschutz

From the moment Bei Bei Shuai steps out of jail on the arm of her lawyer Linda Pence, their lives are consumed by an impending murder trial. If they lose, Bei Bei will go to jail for 45 years to life, setting a precedent that will affect all pregnant women who, intentionally or not, terminate their pregnancies. But if they win, it will be a landmark in blocking a long standing stealth movement to end abortion, at any stage of pregnancy.

BEI BEI will screen on Monday, July 29 at 8:30pm at Regal Essex.

EATING UP EASTER

Directed by Sergio M. Rapu - Chile, USA

In a cinematic letter to his son, native Rapanui (Easter Island) filmmaker Sergio Mata'u Rapu

explores the modern dilemma of their people, descendants of the ancient statue builders, as

they face the consequences of their rapidly developing home.

EATING UP EASTER will screen on Friday, August 2 at 6:15pm at Regal Essex.

JERONIMO

Directed by Joseph Juhn - USA, Cuba

Born in 1926 to Korean indentured servant parents in Cuba, Jeronimo joins the Cuban revolution and crosses paths with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, before turning to his Korean roots and identity.

JERONIMO will screen on Tuesday, July 30 at 6:00pm at Regal Essex.

LOVE BOAT: TAIWAN

Directed by Valerie Soe - USA, Taiwan

LOVE BOAT: TAIWAN is a coming-of-age film that looks at the Taiwan Love Boat, one of the longest running summer programs in the world, where college-aged Taiwanese Americans get closer to their history, their culture and each other. Throughout its history the Love Boat has served as a political tool for Taiwan's government, as a means for Taiwanese American parents to ensure the preservation of Taiwanese bloodlines, and as a site for romance for young Taiwanese Americans, reflecting Taiwan's history as well as the history of the Taiwanese American community.

  • Paired with the short film SPRING BUD

Directed by Candy Chan - China, USA

Through the power of education, one woman's vision transforms the lives of a thousand girls in China's rural Shaanxi Province.

LOVE BOAT: TAIWAN and SPRING BUD will screen on Wednesday, July 31 at 6:00pm at Regal Essex.

RITUALS OF RESISTANCE

Directed by Tenzin Phuntsog, Joy Dietrich - Tibet

RITUALS OF ASSISTANCE looks at the evolving generational responses by pacifist Tibetans under 65 years of Chinese occupation. Through first-hand oral accounts by three Tibetan exiles living in Nepal, the U.S., and India, the film traces the three paths of resistance from the active and the brutal, to the realm of the symbolic and sacrificial.

  • Paired with the short film THE LITTLE GODDESS

Narrative - Directed by Gauri Adelkar - India

Durga and her family depend on the 'Bahurupi' - a dying folk art practiced in rural India - to survive. Every day they transform into mythological characters and perform skits in which Durga is the star performer.

RITUALS OF RESISTANCE and THE LITTLE GODDESS will screen on Sunday, July 28 at 12:30pm at Asia Society.

SEADRIFT

Directed by Tim Tsai

SEADRIFT documents the immigrant and refugee experience in the American South; something that the mainstream media almost never talks about. Focusing on Vietnamese immigrants who moved to the Gulf Coast of Texas after the end of the American conflict in Vietnam, we're placed in the center of a world of racial tensions and constant violence that eventually ends in death.

  • Paired with the short film THE TALE OF KIEU

Narrative - Directed by Ray Leve - Vietnam

In the years following the Fall of Saigon (1975), an exodus occurred in numbers of hundreds of thousands. Life under the Iron Fist was catastrophic - plagued by grave conditions of poverty and oppression. To escape Vietnam was to take to the seas and it was there that many had also perished.

SEADRIFT and THE TALE OF KIEU will screen on Tuesday, July 30 at 8:15pm at Regal Essex.

THE UGLY MODEL

Directed by Doris Yeung - USA

From the outside, Philly based Korean American adoptee and fitness model Kevin Tae-jin Kreider seems to have it all, Looks, Muscles, Chutzpah, Confidence and Charisma. He has a popular Instagram and vlog and has modeled around the world for the likes of Men's Health, Gillette and Abercrombie & Fitch. Yet since childhood, he has always felt ugly and second best as an Asian male in America. THE UGLY MODEL examines the paradox of a handsome male model who feels ashamed, ugly and emasculated because of his Asian ethnicity in America.

THE UGLY MODEL will screen on Friday, July 26 at 6:30pm at Asia Society.

WHEN WE WALK

Directed by Jason DaSilva - USA

WHEN WE WALK is a compelling story of one man's struggle to maintain his relationship with his son while also trying to maintain what's left of his independence as he lives with a severe form of muscular dystrophy.

WHEN WE WALK will screen on Saturday, August 3 at 2:30pm at Asia Society.

SHORT FILM PROGRAMS

Laugh Through It: Comedy Shorts
In this year's comedy shorts lineup, we plunge into a twisted exhibition, a panicked seminarian, a daughter's interrogation, a dramatic dependency, a sensei's heartbreak, an automated love story and a newfound respect for chicken.

  • EXTINCT

Directed by Veronica Dang - USA

Black Mirror meets Odd Couple

  • MASTERS OF DIVINITY

Directed by Eugene Suen - USA. South Korea

An ex-seminarian and now-struggling filmmaker begins to panic after his wife tells him that God wants her to quit her job

  • SIGH GONE

Directed by Jeannie Nguyen - Vietnam

Without the guide of her "lost love", Thuy is on the verge of death by boredom. Having no agenda, she finds odd ways to entertain herself in the bustling city of Saigon, Vietnam.

  • FORBIDDEN TIKKA MASALA

Directed by Rahul Chaturvedi - Canada, India

A coming-of-old-age story that follows a devoutly religious vegetarian who finds a new lease on LIFE AFTER mistakenly eating chicken at her retirement party.

  • THE INTERVIEW

Directed by Bobby Yan - China, USA

In order to meet her boyfriend, a young woman must pass a complex and incredulous series of questions from her mother, in what becomes, The Interview.

  • MR. YOSHI'S TERRIBLE DAY

Directed by Ken Lin - USA

After a humiliating defeat in front of his students, a delusional "chi-energy master" struggles to regain his purpose. Inspired by true events.

  • A LIFT STORY

Directed by Viplav Shinde - India

Santosh Kumar, a country boy who has found a job as a house help in Mumbai's up market residential tower, falls in love with the female automated voice of the elevator believing THE VOICE talks only to him and exists in real.

The Laugh Through It: Comedy Shorts program will screen on Thursday, August 1 at 8:00pm at Regal Essex.

Beyond Queer: LGBTQ+ Shorts
We are more than our gender identity, sexuality or race. These shorts show the beautiful depth of the queer Asian diaspora. From the gorgeous exploration in "Kiss of the Rabbit God," the hilarity of relationships in "I Think She Likes You," to the reawakening of love in middle age in "Halwa," this block showcases that we are all more than our labels.

  • SPINSTERHOOD

Directed by Jhanvi Motla - USA, India

Sara Chatterjee is forced to come out to her family when her girlfriend Spencer discovers she secretly goes on dates with men to appease her parents.

  • SAFE AMONG STARS

Directed by Jess X. Snow - USA

A queer Chinese-American woman struggles to tell her immigrant mother why she left school. She teleports into her own galaxy where no violence can touch her.

  • KISS OF THE RABBIT GOD

Directed by Andrew Thomas Huang - USA

A repressed Chinese restaurant worker falls in love with an 18th century Qing dynasty god who leads him on a journey of sexual awakening and self discovery.

  • HALWA

Directed by Gayatri Bajpai & Nirav Bhakta - USA

An Indian Immigrant woman decides to rekindle her relationship with her childhood companion through facebook messages until her abusive husband finds out.

  • ABLUTION

Directed by Omar Al Dakheel - USA

The bond between a disabled Muslim father and his son is tested when love is pitted against religion.

  • PEPPER

Directed by Jayil Pak - South Korea, USA

When the Korean Goddess of Birth ushers one boy's soul to grant a couple their son, an unforeseen ghost alters her plan.

  • LIONHOOD

Directed by Jason Karman - Canada

A portrait of two teenaged hockey players which explores the intensity of adolescence - a time of unrestrained physicality and surging hormones, resulting in unchecked impulses and unseen emotions.

  • I THINK SHE LIKES YOU

Directed by Bridey Elliott - USA

When Justine and Julia pick Jake up at a bar, it's not quite the threesome he was expecting.

The Beyond Queer: Queer Shorts program will screen on Saturday, July 27 at 2:15pm at Asia Society.

Thicker than Water: Shorts

In this eclectic, intimate selection of shorts, familial and national bonds are stretched to a breaking point. The siblings, cousins and neighbors of nail-biters like BESIEGED, and OUR HOME HERE are barely afloat in a sea of confusion, mistrust and isolation. Many are traveling or have arrived at a new place, like the Filipino immigrant family at the center of KAAWAY, and have only the other person as an anchor. Will they find a safe shore, or go under together?

  • MAUKA TO MAKA

Directed by Jonah Okano & Alika Maikau - USA

Set in K?ne?ohe on the island of Oahu, two cousins grapple with their own internal struggles while trying to sell drugs to make a living.

  • KAAWAY (ENEMY)

Directed by Wester Demandante - USA

In 1996, a Filipino boy is stuck behind enemy lines after a brawl at school.

  • HEDIEH

Directed by Sahar Sotoodeh - Iran

Hedieh is a 14 year old girl who escapes from the school service in Iran. Her friend is now forced to explain Hedieh's whereabouts in this tense classroom drama.

  • OUR HOME HERE
    Directed by Angela Chen - USA
    Parallel stories of broken relationships between parents and their children striving for the American Dream all revolving around one explosive night at a fast food joint.

  • BESIEGED

Directed by Mengchen Niu - China

A jealous actor begins to sabotage his musically gifted brother after he realizes they are auditioning for the same film role.

The THICKER THAN WATER Shorts program will screen on Monday, July 29 at 6:15pm at Regal Essex.

The Phone or the Pen?: Art and Technology Stories

In OUROBOROS, A DAY OF THE ARTIST, BUFFALO NICKEL, BEAST, HAVE A NICE DAY, and FIREBIRD we see how people struggle to find themselves in the modern world. Often, technology can keep you hemmed in and distanced from loved ones, but art and passion can set you free. In these films, we see art and tech interwoven into various lives, which help hold onto or further distance people from their families, both blood and chosen.

  • OUROBOROS

Directed by Trevor Choi - Hong Kong

This is a story about a struggling stage director Choi trying to adapt Susan Or's web fiction.

  • A DAY OF THE ARTIST

Directed by Byung Hoon Lee - Korea

A day of film composer on the deadline.

  • BUFFALO NICKEL

Directed by Youthana Yuos - USA

A bored and lonely Indian AMERICAN WOMAN unwittingly calls upon the powers of a Social Media Influencer who offers her a chance to change.

  • BEAST - DANCE MOVIE

Directed by Johnson Cheng - USA

Carson, California is home to the reigning Krump champions of the world. They call themselves the "Beast Fam" -- a crew made up of suburban Filipino and Mexican American youth who found both family and salvation through the electric street dance of Krump.

  • HAVE A NICE DAY

Directed by Lau Kok Roi - Hong Kong

Babar, a Pakistani immigrant left with nothing, finds as he comes out of jail that his wife, Hina, and son, Ali, had left their home. Reluctantly, he seeks help from his good friend Numan, and learns that Hina wants to divorce him.

  • FIREBIRD

Directed by Mimi Lee - USA

An Asian-American artist loses her identity as she navigates her way through a social-media driven world.

The The Phone or the Pen? Art & Technology Shorts program will screen on Thursday, August 1 at 6:15pm at Regal Essex.

Otherly Worlds: Genre Short Films

Things aren't always what they seem. What begins as everyday, quickly becomes an exploration of legends, beasts, future technologies, alter-egos, and the supernatural. Join us as we experience a twist on stories of triumph, friendship, deception, and self-discovery.

  • ALTERNATE EGO

Directed by David Chai - USA

This film explores the possible dangers of social media and how the profile we see on our friend page could just be an alternate ego.

  • THE LIE GAME

Directed by Jyothi Kalyan Sura - USA, India

After losing her boyfriend to depression, a computer scientist creates and anti-depression AI application and looks for funding to complete it. Following a string of failed interviews, she enters her final interview which turns into a bizarre challenge of lie detection.

  • QUANTUM

Directed by Ryan Willard - USA, Philippines

When a boy battling a brain tumor is ready to give up, his little sister helps him discover a message of hope.

  • THE VISIT

Directed by Roxy Shih = Taiwan, USA

A pregnant woman and her husband visit her lonely, aging grandmother in the rural mountains of Taiwan only to witness the older woman's mysterious disappearance.

  • DISAPPEAR

Directed by Namroc Doan - USA

A daughter gets manipulated by her mother to pull off a heist and struggles with the fallout of the crime.

  • BALIKO

Directed by Chris Chung - UK

Mara, a once renowned photographer, journeys deep into the mountains IN SEARCH OF a mystical beast never photographed before. But while searching for a mythical beast, the beast she truly discovers is inside herself.

The Otherly Words: Genre Shorts program will screen on Sunday, July 28 at 2:30pm at Asia Society.

Off the Beaten Path Shorts

In this collection of short films, we find ourselves in surreal spaces, odd predicaments, and obscure inner worlds, where bizarre and whimsy collide and we discover places we could never have imagined.

  • ALBATROSS SOUP

Directed by Winnie Cheung - USA, Japan, Hong Kong

Albatross Soup is an animated short hybrid documentary film based on an entertaining yet disturbing lateral thinking puzzle. Over 50 people have been recorded trying to guess this riddle using only "yes" or "no" questions.

  • BRUNCH WARS

Directed by Kamran Khan - USA

Three best friends meet every month for a cook off where they each prepare a dish and try and outdo one another. But this time, revenge is ON THE MENU when unresolved issues from their past bubble to the surface.

  • BUNNY MAN

Directed by Athena Han - Canada

A group of Taiwanese friends enjoy their meal in a Chinese restaurant while discussing the differences between FOB (fresh off the boat) and CBC (Canadian born Chinese). Then a mysterious Bunny mascot enters and disturbs the night.

  • CHEAT

Directed by Yeo Joon Han and Boris Kalaidjiev - China

A woman tries to help a man overcome his suicidal thoughts by telling him her grandmother story.

  • IN FULL BLOOM

Directed by Maegan Houang - USA

In Full Bloom is a surrealist short film about overcoming the loss of a partner within the parameters of living as a female Vietnamese immigrant.

  • WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE WATER AND THE MOON

Directed by Layla Jian Luo - China, USA

During an attempted abortion, a girl gives birth to a live jellyfish.

  • HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE CORRECTLY

Directed by Xindi Lou - USA

A troubled, neurotic teenager pins all hope for an existential breakthrough on winning the love of her rebellious hospital roommate.

The Off the Beaten Path Shorts program will screen on Friday, August 2 at 6:00pm at Regal Essex.

Made in NY Shorts

New York City is where we started and where we continue to champion storytellers. We're thrilled to present a diverse slate of shorts created by NY based filmmakers.

  • AN AMERICAN FAMILY

Directed by Kieu-Anh Truong - USA

Three people. One kitchen. A family

  • END OF SUMMER

Directed by Serena Kuo - USA

A teenager's college move-in day takes an unexpected turn when her father is struck by a heart attack in the middle of the desert.

  • DUE

Directed by Anna Mikami - USA

After assaulting a police officer to save his undocumented friend, a man chooses to live his last night of freedom in pursuit of the American dream with his pregnant girlfriend.

  • SECRET LIVES OF ASIANS

Directed by KEFF - USA

What does the "model minority" do after dark? (A screwball noir in 5 languages.)

  • 24 HR WORKDAY

Directed by Zishun Ning - USA

In New York State, many home attendants--mostly immigrants and women--are forced to work grueling 24-hour shifts taking care of seriously-ill patients, with only half of the pay.

  • GHOST

Directed by SJ Son & Woody Fu - USA

An Asian man learns he has more in common with a ghost than he thought.

The Made in NY Shorts program will screen on Sunday, July 28 at 4:35pm at Asia Society

Identities: Documentary Shorts

What does it mean to be Asian, to be a part of the Asian diaspora? There's no singular answer and the following shorts dive into various aspects of what makes up our identities. From what we cook for others to how we compete, these documentary shorts give us a glimpse of other lives.

  • KOPITIAM

Directed by Sancheev Ravichandran - USA

Kopitiam follows the life of a COFFEE SHOP owner, Kyo Pang, and explores the daily struggles that she goes through in order to overcome her past while creating an unusual and perhaps unknown type of food in the area.

  • ME

Directed by Derek Kwan - Canada

Two generations of moms create a new dish for THE FAMILY restaurant carrying on their legacy through Vietnamese cuisine.

  • NIGHTCALLER

Directed by Alexander Humilde - Philippines, Canada

Welcome to the call centre capital of the world.

  • DONUTS FOR DOLLARS

Directed by Daniel Luu - USA

"Donut for Dollars" is about Cambodian donut shops, one of the most extraordinary ethnic economic niches in Los Angeles and all of Southern California. This video is part of the UCLA Center for Neighborhood's goal to communicate scholarly empirical urban research to a broader audience, to use visual narratives to capture the lived experience of people and communities.

  • FLY TO THE DREAM

Directed by Takahisa Shiraishi - Japan

"At the beginning of 2018, four of Japanese Wheelchair junior players traveled to Los Angeles, California, for an international friendly match where American and Canadian top players were waiting for them. Their mission is not only playing tennis but also traveling abroad without their parents and creating friendship with players from other people by speaking English."

  • UNSPOKEN

Directed by Patrick G. Lee - USA

Through letter-writing, a community discussion, and a drag performance, six queer and trans Asian Americans grapple with their queerness and consider what family acceptance might look like.

  • PASSAGE TO WOMANHOOD

Directed by Inaya Yusuf - Malaysia

A group of Muslim trans women stand their ground against social marginalization in secular Malaysia. Redefining femininity in Islam they are painting painting their own portrayal of womanhood.

  • PERIOD GIRL

Directed by Jalena Keane-Lee - USA

PERIOD GIRL is a short documentary that follows Nadya Okamoto, a 20 year-old Harvard sophomore who started the non-profit PERIOD Org, as she opens up about some of the personal trauma that helps fuel her work.

The Identities: Documentary Shorts program will screen on Wednesday, July 31 at 6:00pm at Regal Essex.

Generations Shorts

Whether it be biological or chosen, family is powerful. These shorts explore how generations come together; clash and grow, for better or for worse.

  • MOONWALK WITH ME

Directed by Erin Lau -USA

A story about a Korean American girl named Juno who is haunted by her father's disappearance. Upon his return, Juno must decide to keep her drifting father grounded or to let him go.

  • THE MOON AND THE NIGHT

Directed by Erin Lau - USA

In rural Hawaii, a teenage girl must confront her father after he enters her beloved pet in a dog fight.

  • STAY

Directed by Foroud Avazpour - Iran

An old man suffer from amnesia and his children take him to the past if to find the present.

  • THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US

Directed by Jeffrey Wu - USA, China

While visiting his grandmother in Beijing, a grandson explores how Alzheimer's is changing his family and what it means to reconcile intergenerational relationships through language and culture in the face of irreversible memory loss.

  • AH GONG

Directed by Clifford Miu - Taiwan

Eleven year old Chris arrives at the hospital only to realize that his mother and uncles have decided to pull the plug on his beloved grandfather.

  • PLEASE TRANSLATE

Directed by Kelsy Lua - USA

Please Translate explores how language can act both as a barrier and an effective tool to help bridge the relationship between a Chinese immigrant mother, and her American-born daughter.

  • LIFELIKE

Directed by Haruna Tanaka - Japan

Kamehachi, a jobless carver of Buddhist statues, earns his living by making lifelike figures for freak shows. A member of a local well-to-do family requests Kamehachi to make a doll of his fatally ill daughter Tsubaki to copy her mortal beauty as is.

The Generations Shorts program will screen on Saturday, August 3 at 6:15pm at Asia Society.

For Youth by Youth Shorts

Featuring filmmakers under the age of 21, we celebrate the next generation of Asian diaspora storytellers in this shorts block.

  • TUNDRA
    Directed by Carol Nguyen - Canada
    A mother dreams and hallucinates about her daughter, trying to cope with her loss.

  • MR ORANGE & BABY SNOT
    Directed by Kana Rosemarie Hutchens - USA

Mr. Orange lives a lonely life but finds companionship one day in the strangest place.

  • FOR HERE OR TO GO
    Directed by Ryan Nguyen - USA

A Vietnamese family discusses working in their restaurant as a way of preserving their culture and how they cope with the passing of its founder, a loving husband and father of four children.

  • LUNCHBOX
    Directed by Tisya Sharma, Tian Yi (Amy) Shi, Annabelle Richens - Australia

Sunny is having a tough time at school when her friends make fun what she has for lunch. Her mum helps her embrace her culture through food.

  • DEAD HORSE BAY

Directed by Sophia Wang - Canada

An abandoned beach in New York City draws artists in with it's history infused trash.

  • DEPENDENT
    Directed by Drake Presto - USA

Filipino daughters open up about their homelives and family experiences living with military fathers.

  • AMERICAN BORN CONFUSED DESI
    Directed by Anvita Gurung - USA

An insider's look at the challenging world of expectations and stereotypes surrounding second generation Indian American youth.

The For Youth by Youth Shorts program will screen on Monday, July 29 at 6:30pm at the Museum of Chinese in America.

For the full schedule, please visit asiancinevision.org/aaiff. Passes and tickets are currently on sale. The 42nd Asian American International Film Festival will run July 25 - August 3.




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