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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Staff Credits ............................................................................................. 5 Letter From The Director ...................................................................... 8 Content Policy ......................................................................................... 9 Special Showcases .......................................................................... 10-11 Live Program Schedule ..................................................................12-13 Opening Weekend ....................................................................... 14–25 Opening Night: Blind Eye Artst .........................................................14 Panel: Asian Americans & Political Representation .....................15 Panel: Asian Futurisms ................................................................... 18-19 Centerpiece Film: Aporia ..................................................................22 Closing Weekend .......................................................................... 26-31 PAPA Ensemble: Gather Together in their Name ........................26 PAPA: The Elephant in the Room .....................................................29 Retrospective: Mississippi Masala ..................................................30 Closing Night: Ricochet ......................................................................31 PAPA Mini-Residency: Libra Moon ..................................................34 Shorts Programs ........................................................................... 36-59 Film Juries ........................................................................................ 60-61 Thank Yous ..................................................................................... 62-63
PAAFF 2022 STAFF Did you know that PAAFF is a volunteer-run festival? Our devoted team of volunteer staff works countless hours on top of their day jobs to make each festival program a success. Thank you to all of our volunteers without whom this festival would not be possible! Meet our team at paaff.org/our-team.
Selena Yip Executive Director
Kacia Huynh Programming Co-Director
Arzhang Zafar Programming Co-Director Sophia Lin Partnerships Coordinator
Vinh Dang Caren Hosansky Sunny Huang Eric Hung Chetana R. Narasimha Jois Sarah Kim
Vivian Nhan Volunteer Co-Coordinator
Eireann Mannino Volunteer Co-Coordinator
PROGRAMMERS Klyde Breitton Ellis Choi Christy Choo Kelly Conrad Sunny Huang Eric Hung Chetana R. Narasimha Jois Wren Lee David Tanh
Ellie Koo Amy Lee Lingyue Sameet Mann Nova Meng Diane Park Ryan Sassano-Higgins Patricia Stewart David Tanh Eriko Tsogo Geraldine Wang Megan Zhong
Darian Ehya Social Media Coordinator & Graphic Designer Jacqui Sadashige Social Media Coordinator & Copy Editor Anthony Zhang Marketing Coordinator PROGRAM LAYOUT Darian Ehya BOARD Kris Mendoza (Interim Board Chair) Brad Baldia Rob Buscher Tricia Coonrad Michael Wingate Jones ADVISORS Patrick Chen Scott “CHOPS” Jung Fariha Khan FESTIVAL TRAILER Maestro Filmworks
LIVE EVENT PROGRAMMERS SCREENING Ellis Choi COMMITTEE Angela Arrey-Wastavino Arzhang Zafar Atif Sheikh Maya Bhagat Cat Ramirez, Klyde Breitton Philly Asian Performing Artists Ellis Choi Christy Choo Clarisse Chua Kimberly Conetta Kelly Conrad
MARKETING Kathy Chung Festival Artwork Graphic Designer
SPONSORS Presenting Sponsor
LETTER FROM THE FESTIVAL DIRECTOR the night, my friend and I ventured through the neighborhood in search of a quick bite to eat before the program started.
Welcome to the 15th Annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival! Since PAAFF’s founding, our festival programming has continued to explore and expand its understanding of Asian and Pacific Islander experiences and all of the intersecting identities within. Our program this year is no different—this year’s festival concept is aptly called “Intersections.” When I moved back to Philly in 2017, I was a freshly college-graduated 22 year old with lots of time and no direction. Despite growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood, I always loved being Asian and talking about my Chinese identity, likely due to the fact that most of my extended family lived in Chinatown and I spent my weekends there. I was president of my high school Asian club and continued to organize for Asian American student groups in college, so the logical next step was to seek out Asian American activities in Philly. With the help of a newfound best friend that year, I found my way to PAAFF. The first PAAFF event I attended was the retrospective screening of two films in Anna May Wong’s repertoire: Daughter of Shanghai and Piccadilly. The screening was at Fleisher Art Memorial, which sits on the block of Catherine Street between 7th and 8th. I had only ever been to this area with my parents to pick up banh mi and coffee from one of my favorite shops, Cafe Cuong, but had never explored the streets surrounding the restaurant. With the car parked in Fleisher’s lot and Cafe Cuong closed for
Arms linked, we made our way east on Catherine, toward 6th Street and Passyunk Avenue where all three streets make an immediately identifiable triangular intersection right in front of the fire-engine red facade of Square Pie. We continued south on 6th, admiring every first floor window decor from porcelain cats to blooming plants, until we found ourselves in front of Ba Le Bakery in New World Plaza on Washington Avenue. That night, I devoured a perfectly made banh mi dac biet in Fleisher’s sanctuary, illuminated by Wong’s outstanding performance and trailblazing career. Being a part of PAAFF’s organizing team for the last four years, listening to and watching the stories of our communities, has inspired me to tell my own story and to explore and develop so many parts of who I am today. I am a Hong Kong American. I am gender fluid. I am chronically ill. I am a community organizer, leader, cat parent, partner, artist, reader… and the understanding of these parts of my adult self can all be tied back to a place, person, or event somewhere in this city that I encountered because of this festival, its staff, and volunteers. Whether you attend PAAFF virtually, in-person, or both this year, I hope that your festival experience will give you the same opportunity it has given me to explore all the intersections of my identity and the intersections of this city I call home. With warmth and appreciation,
Selena Yip Executive Director
CONTENT POLICY FESTIVAL INFORMATION As we at Philadelphia American guide LIVE IN-PERSON with your own EVENTS research VENUE before PAAFF CONTENTAsian POLICY Film Festival endeavor to showcase Asian purchasing Arts Initiative tickets or attending a As we at PAAFF endeavor to showcase the very best Asian diasporic films, 1219 screening. Vine Street We recommend (Chinatown) watching the best Asian diasporic films, our our programming is sensitive the Philadelphia, linked trailers PA 19107 and reading any programming staffstaff is sensitive to the fact to the fact of that some of our official may online reviews as that some our official selections What to expect: a start, and visit selections may have content that an a website where possible. have content that an audience member • Ffilm’s ilm programs and installations will audience member may find offensive Feel free to contact us at PAAFF may find offensive or distressing. As be held in the blackbox theater and or distressing. As such, we provide with any questions or concerns. such, we provide our patrons with film adjoining box office area. our patrons with descriptions that descriptions that film appear on our website you for your supporthas •We Thethank building’s front entrance appear on Festival our website and in and in our Program asour a guide to and understanding. an ADA accessible ramp. Festival Programcontent as a guide to the a film’s specific and themes. festival’s specific content and themes. • Genderless bathrooms are located We refrain from attaching specific on the first floor. We refraintofrom attaching warnings individual filmsspecific primarily warnings ittowould individual films primarily because be impossible to identify • First floor windows do not open. If you need fresh air, please exit the building. because it would be impossible all content that could be distressing to identify all content that could for and identifying content warnings • Festival staff, venue staff, and event be objectionable distressing to be one sector of our or audience could volunteers are available if assistance any possible audience members. inaccurate and/or incomplete for another. is needed. Furthermore, identifying objectionable Please supplement the film descriptions • Primary language spoken by festival or distressing events for one sector provided on our website and festival staff is English. of our audience could be inaccurate guide with your own research before and/or incomplete for another. Finally, purchasing tickets or attending a PUBLIC SAFETY PROTOCOLS PAAFF staff are not qualified experts in screening. We recommend watching the In order to address ongoing and identifying what subject matter could linked trailers, reading any online reviews, increasing public safety concerns and be found to be objectionable or and visiting a film’s website where to provide an equitable and accessible distressing by a potential audience possible. Please feel free to contact us community space, PAAFF will enforce member, and would not want to at PAAFF with any questions or concerns. the following protocols during inmake a list of warnings that is not person, indoor events: We thank you forNor your comprehensive. dosupport we want to • Proof of vaccination prior to entry and understanding. generate our own subjective warnings (minimum 2 initial shots, +1 booster) with the potential of misrepresenting ONLINE • Well fitting, high-quality KN95 or N95 the films ACCESS and filmmakers. Films are accessible online through rentals. masking required at all times. Once begin watching a program, you Pleaseyou supplement the film descriptions will have 24 to complete it. For more • No eating or drinking inside provided on hours our website and festival the festival venue. information about supported browsers, availability, and geoblocking, please Anyone who does not abide by these consult our ticketing website. protocols will be asked to leave and will not be issued a refund. More public safety information can be found on our ticketing website.
Throughout its history, PAAFF has provided a platform not only for Asian artists and filmmakers, but also writers, critics, academics, and activists who bring valuable insight to topics relevant to our audience and touched upon in the films we curate. As part of our ongoing series of panels and conversations, we have invited new guest speakers to share their expertise on topics such as speculative fiction, futurist movements, and how Asian Americans are represented in the U.S. political landscape. Each panelist will bring their own diverse perspective, deepening our understanding of the film industry, the power of art and media, and more.
Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists (PAPA) is a grassroots, membership-based collective that exists to build community among, and address the lack of economic and artistic opportunities for, people of Pan-Asian descent involved in the performing arts in the Philadelphia region. Born out of a desire to support and celebrate diverse Asian theater artists in Philadelphia, PAAFF has partnered with PAPA to present two captivating performances and one installation. Each performance brings a unique artistic voice to the forefront and reflects the greater diversity of this city and its stories.
PACIFIC SHOWCASE Every year, PAAFF presents a Pacific Showcase with the specific goal of celebrating indigenous artists with roots in the Pacific. This year, we have curated the greatest number of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander short films in our festival’s history, as well as an evocative and imaginative anthology feature in Teine Sā - the ancient ones. We aim to do our part to uplift indigenous art and artists, and advocate for education of indigenous histories and the struggle for sovereignty and selfdetermination, in the Greater Philadelphia Area and beyond.
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 3
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 6
OPENING NIGHT FILM: Blind Eye Artist In-Person: 6:30–9 PM
Filmmaker Virtual Brunch 10:30 – 11:30 AM
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 4 PANEL Political Representation Livestream: 12–1 PM
The Protector Livestream Q&A: 2 PM We Don’t Dance for Nothing Livestream Q&A: 7 PM Ink & Linda Livestream Q&A: 8:30 PM
Chosen Livestream Q&A: 9 PM
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 11
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 5
LIVE PERFORMANCE PAPA Ensemble: Gather Together in Their Name In-Person: 6–7:30 PM
PANEL Asian Futurisms Livestream: 11 AM – 12:30 PM The Dark Way Livestream Q&A: 1:30 PM Wisdom Gone Wild Livestream Q&A: 2:30 PM CENTERPIECE NARRATIVE: Aporia In-Person: 7–9:30 PM
Teine Sā - the ancient ones Livestream Q&A: 8:30 PM
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 12 The Bengali Livestream Q&A: 1:30 PM LIVE PERFORMANCE PAPA: The ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM In-Person: 2:30–4:00 PM RETROSPECTIVE: Mississippi Masala In-Person: 7–9:30 PM
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 13 Awards Announcements Livestream: 4 PM CLOSING NIGHT FILM: Ricochet In-Person: 6:30–9 PM
Q&A DATES TBD Black Snow Tamano Visual Poetry Collection CHECK PAAFF.ORG FOR MORE INFORMATION
PROGRAM KEY IN-PERSON AT AAI LIVESTREAM Q&A LIVESTREAM PANEL DON’T MISS THE PRE-RECORDED FILMMAKER Q&AS FOLLOWING EACH SHORTS PROGRAM!
PHILADELPHIA PREMIERE IN-PERSON OPENING NIGHT FILM, DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM
BLIND EYE ARTIST
76 mins | Documentary | USA | English | 2022 Director: Ashwin Chaudhary Justin Wadlington’s life was changed forever when a tragic accident left him blind in one eye at the age of 5. Growing up without parents in the inner city of Philadelphia, he struggled to survive, living in emergency shelters and group homes. As an adult, Justin re-discovered his childhood passion for art. Justin built a new identity as the Blind Eye Artist. In the tumultuous years of 2020 and 2021, Justin’s artwork reached the upper tiers of the art world. Now as an established artist, Justin seeks to inspire kids who grew up like him to believe that they can do anything if they put their mind to it. This film will be screened in-person and available for online rental. There will be an in-person Q&A with the cast and crew after the screening.
NOMAD 10 minutes | Documentary | USA | English | 2022 Directors: Aby Isakov, Faryal Khan, and Reesha Gandhi Nomad is an anonymous Black artist who lives in Germantown and works to uplift his community through his art. Nomad has dealt with backlash and controversy surrounding his graffiti tags, like “Black is Beautiful” and “Stop Gentrifying This Jawn.” “Nomad” works to highlight his growing presence and powerful art.
IN-CONVERSATION: ASIAN AMERICANS & POLITICAL REPRESENTATION
Moderated by: Ellis Choi
What does it mean to be represented politically? This panel is inspired in part by the documentary Chosen, which follows the campaigns of five Korean Americans running for U.S. Congress in 2020. Our panelists will discuss history, policy, the possibilities and implications of political power for Asian Americans, and the role media plays in both helping and hindering us gain and maintain a voice in the American political landscape. This program will livestreamed on 11/4 at 12:00 PM EST
(she/her) is a nurse educator and ER/ trauma nurse, additionally supporting her community through healthcare education. Ellis joined PAAFF as a programming volunteer to combine her interest in film and the Asian Diaspora, as well as to learn from and support her Asian community. MODERATOR:
KAY KYUNGSUN YU
(she/her) was the Voter Protection Director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, and served as the Chairperson of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. In 2018, Kay received the Justice Sonia Sotomayor Diversity Award and was named Attorney of the Year by the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania.
(they/them) is the Organizing Director at API PA. SunYoung obtained their Master’s Degree in Negotiations, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding, spent almost 12 years in labor organizing, and led the largest successful nursing home strike campaign in PA history. They remain a passionate advocate of workers rights, racial justice, LGBTQIA issues, and mental health.
PHILADELPHIA PREMIERE DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM
89 minutes | Documentary | USA | English, Korean | 2022 Director: Joseph Juhn In 2020, five Korean Americans of diverse backgrounds with competing political views run for US Congress. David Kim is a young, progressive, LGBTQ candidate running in Koreatown, Los Angeles with a Trump-supporting conservative church pastor, for a father. Marilyn Strickland is a half Korean, half Black, Democratic candidate running in Tacoma, Washington, while Young Kim and Michelle Park Steel, both Republicans running in Orange County, show unapologetically strong allegiance to President Trump. Then finally, Andy Kim, an incumbent running for re-election, faces an uphill battle as no Democrat has won his district twice in a row in more than 150 years. LIVESTREAM Q&A: 11/4 at 9:00 PM EST
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Moderated by: Mehrin Masud-Elias Futurism can refer to the genre known as science fiction, aesthetic movements meant to liberate art from the confines of western and colonial paradigms, or speculative fiction and imagined visual realities that propose new worlds and ways of being. Asian Futurism, in turn, is a difficult movement to define, if it can be described as one movement at all. This discussion with several groundbreaking artists and writers will explore the queerness of time, the othering of Asian ways of being, the drag of history upon the present moment, and how these ideas are all depicted, addressed, and complicated in a multitude of Asian Futurisms. This program will livestreamed on 11/5 at 11:00 AM EST
(she/her) is a poet, writer, and lawyer from Bangladesh. Her collections of experimental poetry, Natural Alien and Apocalypsia, are in the submission process for poetry prizes. She is a co-founder of Twelve Gates Arts as well as a member of the Board of Pasión y Arte. She won the 2021 Peregrine Prize and the 2022 inaugural Universe in Verse prize from UPenn’s Kelly Writers House.
(she/her) is a PhD student of Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research and teaching focuses on South Asian literature in Urdu and English, particularly in the intersections of environmental humanities, postcolonial theory, gender and sexuality studies, and science fiction and fantasy.
(he/him) is an artist and cultural producer whose work examines the ways that images, and technologies colonize vision. Vadera’s work is influenced by science fiction, post/decolonial theory, Rorschach tests, koans, and impossible objects. Vadera’s prints, collages, sculptures, videos, and installations have been exhibited and screened at venues in the US, Canada, and India.
(they/them) is descended from ocean dwellers and author of The Heart’s Traffic: a novel in poems and recombinant and chapbooks to make black paper sing and Kundiman for Kin :: Information Retrieval for Monsters. Chen is co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities and a core member of Massage Parlor Outreach Project.
’s (she/her) latest publication is the Dungeons and Dragons adventure “In the Mists of Manivarsha” in the anthology Journeys through the Radiant Citadel. In 2020 her novelette His Footsteps, Through Darkness and Light was nominated for a Nebula Award, and her short stories have appeared in numerous magazines including Clarkesworld, Daily Science Fiction, and The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction.
(she/her) is a new media artist and professor of Digital Media and Creative Technology at Florida SouthWestern State College. She holds an MFA in Digital Arts and New Media from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her artwork has been featured in the Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery, The Front Gallery, and The 4Most Gallery, among others. She is currently the Art Director at MIPSTERZ.
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM
THE DARK WAY
48 minutes | Documentary | Iran | Farsi | 2021 Directors: Anahid Davari Women diagnosed with breast cancer in Iran require permission from their husbands for medical surgery, including mastectomy. Although there is no legal basis for this, some doctors avoid doing surgery on patients without permission from their husbands, and some men use this power to harass their wives. This causes many problems in marriages and the social life of patients. LIVESTREAM Q&A: 11/5 at 1:30 PM EST
WISDOM GONE WILD
84 minutes | Experimental Documentary | USA | English | 2022 Director: Rea Tajiri In this moving and original reflection on aging, mortality, and transformation, Rea Tajiri partners with her mother, Rose Tajiri Noda, to create a film about the final sixteen years of Rose’s life as a person living with dementia. Together, they nurture their connection through listening, art, and music. Rose performs songs from her youth, providing the soundtrack for time travel, as we witness her evolution across nine decades of living. Delicately weaving between past and present, parenting and being parented, the film reflects on the unreliability of memory and the desire to reinvent one’s own life when memories fail us. LIVESTREAM Q&A: 11/5 at 4:30 PM EST
FEELING ASIAN AMERICAN 25 minutes | Documentary | USA | English | 2022 Director: Janet S. Kim An exploration of the emotional journeys of five individuals who navigated their way through their own racial reckonings in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the height of anti-Asian hate that echoes the past and while rippling outward today, they found community, connection, and self.
EAST COAST PREMIERE IN-PERSON CENTERPIECE SCREENING AT AAI
126 minutes | Drama | Korea, Republic of | Arabic, Korean | 2021 Director: Ju Hyoung Lee Aporia tells the story of someone caught in the midst of cultural, religious, ethnic, and national conflict. After fleeing Syria, Haleem hopes to bring his wife and children and settle in Germany. During a layover in South Korea, he is found in possession of a fake passport. Haleem then finds himself struggling in an unfamiliar country, taking illegal and illicit work in the hopes of being reunited with his family. This film will be screened in-person and available for online rental.
PHILADELPHIA PREMIERE NARRATIVE PROGRAM
93 minutes | Thriller | Canada | English | 2021 Director: Lenin M. Sivam After being released from a correctional facility and moving to a small town, Evelyn struggles and searches for meaning but is interrupted by the arrival of a mysterious book about a powerful god who brings peace wherever he goes. LIVESTREAM Q&A: 11/6 at 2:00 PM EST
PHILADELPHIA PREMIERE DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM
WE DON’T DANCE FOR NOTHING – A PHOTO-MONTAGE 86 minutes | Experimental | Hong Kong English, Tagalog, Cantonese | 2021 Director: Stefanos Tai A photo-montage love letter to the Filipina domestic workers of Hong Kong, this visual recreation of memories shared by this community of 400,000 women (millions globally) follows one woman’s plan to run away. Captured on Super-16 amidst the Hong Kong Protests, the filmmakers blend stills with motion to highlight the passionate street dancing of these marginalized women and touch upon LGBTQ+ themes, issues of workers’ rights, and Hong Kong’s changing political landscape. CW: Violence LIVESTREAM Q&A: 11/6 at 7:00 PM EST
EAST COAST PREMIERE DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM
INK & LINDA
71 minutes | Documentary | USA | English | 2020 Director: Stuart C. Paul Ink & Linda is a feature-length documentary chronicling the unexpected friendship and collaboration between Inksap, a Vietnamese American urban artist in his 20s, and Linda, an elder stateswoman of the modern dance scene in her 70s–as they team up to form LA’s most unlikely street art duo. Crossing the boundaries between generations and cultures, their story defies the conventions of art and society, exploring what it means to be an artist in today’s world. It is the story of a young man finding his identity; a woman in the last chapter of her life starting a new one; and of finding family where you least expect it. LIVESTREAM Q&A: 11/6 at 8:30 PM EST
LIVE PERFORMANCE AT AAI
PAPA ENSEMBLE: GATHER TOGETHER IN THEIR NAME
Performed by: Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists Gather Together in Their Name is a citywide project led by Jungwoong Kim and Shavon Norris. In this iteration, they explore and process the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the pan-Asian community. Combining dance, comedy, theatre, and spoken word, this multidisciplinary sharing meditates on grief, mutual aid, joy, and the value of community. PRESENTED BY:
Facilitators: Jungwoong Kim and Shavon Norris Ensemble members: Danie Burgess, Meena Chen, Mieke D, Liana Irvine, Jo Lin, Mary Zhou In-Person: 11/11 at 6:00–7:30 PM EST at Asian Arts Initiative
US PREMIERE NARRATIVE PROGRAM
TEINE SĀ - THE ANCIENT ONES 60 minutes | Supernatural Horror Anthology New Zealand | English, Samoan | 2021
Directors: Matasila Freshwater, Miki Magasiva, Anapela Polota‘ivao, Mario Faumui, Mario Gaoa The old goddesses of Polynesia are stirring, summoned into the modern world by women who get more than they bargained for in these 5 tales of the unexpected. From the legendary fire gods to the wrath of the notorious spirit woman Telesa, the power of the ancient world meets the challenges of the new as the Teine Sā walk the earth again. LIVESTREAM Q&A: 11/11 at 8 PM EST
71 minutes | Documentary | USA | English, Bengali | 2021 Director: Kavery Kaul Fatima Shaik embarks upon an unlikely quest when she travels from New Orleans, the city of her birth, to India, home of her grandfather Shaik Mohamed Musa. An African American writer whose family has lived in Louisiana for four generations, she travels with Kolkata-born filmmaker Kavery Kaul to a part of India where no African American (or any American) has ever gone. Her search for the past is fraught with uncertainty as she looks for her grandfather’s descendants, the land he claimed to own, and the truth behind the stories she grew up with. LIVESTREAM Q&A: 11/12 at 1:30 PM EST
LIVE READING AT AAI
PAPA: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
Reading by Playwright Priyanka Shetty
The Elephant in the Room is a witty dark comedy about just your typical Indian metalhead and software-engineer-turned-actor who must navigate life as an immigrant arriving in Trump’s America. When Priyanka makes the bold move to defy her family by quitting her IT job and moving to the U.S. to pursue an acting career, things don’t quite turn out how she imagined. Gear up for a funny, tumultuous ride through immiscible cultures, unforgettable love, irreparable loss, and the desperation of not belonging anywhere. PRESENTED BY:
In-Person: 11/12 at 2:30–4:30 PM EST at Asian Arts Initiative
IN-PERSON RETROSPECTIVE FILM AT AAI
118 minutes | Narrative Feature | USA | English | 1991 Director: Mira Nair The vibrant cultures of India, Uganda, and the American South come together in Mira Nair’s Mississippi Masala, a luminous look at the complexities of love in the modern melting pot. Years after her Indian family was forced to flee their home in Uganda by the dictatorship of Idi Amin, twentysomething Mina (Sarita Choudhury) spends her days cleaning rooms in an Indian-run motel in Mississippi. When she falls for the charming Black carpet cleaner Demetrius (Denzel Washington), their passionate romance challenges the prejudices of both of their families and exposes the rifts between the region’s Indian and African American communities. CW: sexual content This film will be screened in-person.
PHILADELPHIA PREMIERE IN-PERSON CLOSING NIGHT FILM AT AAI
76 minutes | Documentary | USA | English | 2022 Directors: Jeff Adachi and Chihiro Wimbush When a young woman is shot by an undocumented immigrant on Pier 14 in San Francisco, the incident ignites a political and media furor that culminates in Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States. In the eye of this storm, two public defenders fight to reveal the truth. This film will be screened in-person and available for online rental. There will be an in-person Q&A with the cast and crew after the screening.
EXPANDING SANCTUARY 20 minutes | Documentary | USA | English, Spanish | 2022 Director: Kristal Sotomayor Expanding Sanctuary covers the ordinary, extraordinary transformation of an immigrant worker, Linda Hernandez, who yearns for her mother’s presence at the dawn of her new marriage and new life. In her quest to bring her mother to the United States, what begins as a perfunctory but necessary step in order to obtain her mom’s visa, changes the character’s life and world-view entirely. The film documents this shift as she becomes a passionate organizer and emerges with her newfound voice, power, and agency. This journey, which started simply as a woman’s wish to be close to her mom on her wedding day, gives her renewed purpose in life. Now, the goal she hopes to obtain is no longer solely for her, rather her work, in solidarity, benefits the entire community of immigrant laborers that surrounds her.
INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE NARRATIVE PROGRAM
84 minutes | Horror/Thriller | Russia | Yakut | 2020 Director: Stepan Burnashev Gosha is a self-employed trucker, who delivers goods to remote parts of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). His services are expensive, and he supplies fake low-quality vodka to his native community. After one trip, he exchanges vodka for meat and fish – the only currency the locals can use to pay him. His greed lures him into driving back to the city without a partner-driver. During the journey, his truck breaks down. He is stuck in the middle of nowhere and the only living soul for hundreds of kilometers. CW: Violence, Gore LIVE Q&A DETAILS AVAILABLE AT PAAFF.ORG
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE NARRATIVE PROGRAM
TAMANO VISUAL POETRY COLLECTION: NAGISA’S BICYCLE 60 minutes | Drama Anthology | Japan | Japanese | 2021 Director: Tetsuichiro Tsuta An omnibus film about bicycles and bicycle races. A Japanese rural town by the sea and people there are vividly depicted by the up-and-coming director Tetsuichiro Tsuta. LIVE Q&A DETAILS AVAILABLE AT PAAFF.ORG
IN-PERSON INSTALLATION AT AAI
PAPA MINI-RESIDENCY: LIBRA MOON Performed by: Messapotamia Lefae
Libra Moon is a series of autobiographical contemporary dance pieces about identity, queerness, and compassion that combines devised fictional autobiographical storytelling, contemporary dance, immersive surrealist installation art, and projected animations. In this latest iteration, the audience will be immersed in the Filipino folklore of the Aswang through a contemporary dance film, which will explore family estrangement, identity, and myth. Presented as a part of the Philadelphia Asian Performing Artist Mini Residency Program.
Lead artist and performer: Messapotamia Lefae Choreographer: Cameron Lussier
In-Person: 11/3–13 at Asian Arts Initiative
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ISS THE DON’T M FILMMAKER RDED O C E R E NG EACH PR I W O L L Q&AS FO S PROGRAM! SHORT
TOGETHER: FAMILY SHORTS 50 mins | Curated by: David Tanh
The world can be a big and scary place, especially for those who feel lost or alone. A few kind words, a hug, or a helping hand can do a lot to help a person get through the day. Through animation and live action, scenarios both real and fanciful, this collection of short films reminds us of the importance of community and inspires us to support one another. Pre-recorded Q&A available with rental.
Director: Wanci Hua | Taiwan | English | 2022 Aki, a beginner chef, must make a delicious meal for the emperor’s banquet. When things don’t go as planned, he turns to his friends for support.
Directors: Insun Park, Jin Pei Lua | USA | English | 2022 Nari is a Korean American girl who wants to enjoy her lunch just like her friends, but her noodles are far from being American. Her noodles take the form of a dragon and seek her attention. Afraid of judgment from her peers, she tries her best to contain the noodle dragon.
A MORNING WITH AROHA
Director: Nicholas Riini | New Zealand | English | 2021 Aroha wants to share her creativity with her neighbors. Her imaginations come to life for everyone to enjoy.
Director: Jenielle Ramos Salarda | USA | English, Tagalog | 2022 Vina, Queen in the Santacruzan festival, struggles to get ready after hearing negative comments about her appearance. Supportive sister Joy encourages Vina to embrace herself as she is by discussing the historical context and origin of these harmful comments before leading the festivities.
Directors: Aiken Chau | Canada | Cantonese | 2021 A fly wreaks havoc on a family’s dinner at a restaurant.
Directors: Sharon S. Park | USA | English | 2022 When an Asian American film student goes on a trip with her emotionally-distant immigrant father to visit her mother’s gravesite, she makes a shocking discovery about her father’s abandoned past.
A FLEETING MOMENT
Director: Allyanna Demafeliz | USA | 2021 An animated short film that follows the journey of two raindrops, and how they come to terms with what it means to be alive.
Director: Sung Eun Park | USA | N/A | 2022 A woman is paid with a surprise visit when she ends up in the afterlife.
SIDEWAYS DREAMING 71 mins | Curated by: Kacia Huynh
We grow up wishing for dreams to come true – dreams for ourselves, dreams for others, and even dreams for the world. Some dreams are warmly embraced while others are frantically pushed away, and in the hopes of chasing one dream, we can discover another. This collection of short films looks at the various dreams we face in the pursuit of finding ourselves along the way.
Pre-recorded Q&A available with rental.
DE CLOSIN NIGHT
Director: Shicong Zhu | USA | English, Mandarin | 2021 Siyi, a Chinese student in an American theater school, is on the brink of losing the first role she gets in college because of her accent. To win back her closing night, she is determined to get rid of her accent no matter what it takes.
Directors: Gabriella Canal, Michael Fearon | USA English, Korean, Spanish | 2021 A matriarchal Korean family farm navigates an uncertain future.
Director: Kent Donguines | Canada English, Tagalog | 2022 While keeping a secret from his family overseas, Paco struggles to uphold his responsibilities and aspirations.
Director: Kelly Yu | USA | Mandarin | 2021 A young land developer returns to his childhood home in the countryside for the first time in a decade to convince his father to sell a failing plum orchard. When the two find themselves unable to understand one another, they turn to the dusty old karaoke machine in search of a common language.
WHEN LIFE CHANGES
57 mins | Curated by: Eric Hung and Ellis Choi Whether we are adolescents, young adults, middle-aged, or older adults, life is constantly changing. Much of the time, these shifts take place so slowly that we barely register them. These short films capture moments when characters realize that life has suddenly changed, and that their identity, thoughts, and actions must also be altered. Be prepared for wild twists, the discovery of superpowers, the breaking of generational divides, and facing ghosts from the past.
Pre-recorded Q&A available with rental.
WHITE NOW PLEASE
Director: Kyle Lau | USA | English, Cantonese | 2021 Twelve-year-old Asian American Bryan Chen wants to be a hero, so he tries to become the thing he knows all heroes need to be… white.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE…
Director: Urvashi Pathania | USA | English | 2021 When a stern immigrant father catches his daughter kissing a girl, he makes a drastic choice.
Director: Hae-Sup Sin | Switzerland | Korean | 2022 A middle aged Swiss-Korean woman flies to Korea during the pandemic after receiving news of her mother’s death. Due to restrictions, she spends her obligatory quarantine in her abandoned parental home. There, she gets confronted by a familiar, yet unfamiliar feeling from her past and present.
FAMILY DYNAMICS, HEALING CONNECTIONS 83 mins | Curated by: Chetana R. Narasimha Jois
Families can be the source of our highest highs and deepest pains, and they profoundly shape our life experiences. These shorts dramatize families of multiple Asian identities, in 4 countries, and across 3 continents. As we journey with them through family celebrations, chance encounters, daily life, and a burglary, we are reminded of the strength and joy that families bring to our own lives. Pre-recorded Q&A available with rental.
Director: Tianyi Jiang | China | Mandarin | 2022 On Chinese New Year’s Eve 2019, a young journalist receives the opportunity to report on COVID-19 in Wuhan, but her mom refuses to let her go.
Director: Kwang Min Lee | USA | Korean | 2022 An immigrant youngster from South Korea tries his best to make friends in a new environment. While spending the day with his friend, an unexpected encounter with his father on the street leaves him with a dilemma.
Director: Prakshi Malik | USA | English, Hindi | 2020 Disaster brews when Seher gets accepted to a boarding school—a dream come true—on the evening of a big family dinner.
Directors: Jennifer Te Atamira Ward-Lealand New Zealand | English, Maori | 2021 When a burglary goes wrong, a meth addict must choose between his family and his next fix.
WHERE NO ONE LIVES
Directors: Li Anne Liew | USA English, Mandarin | 2022 One night, three lonely neighbors find themselves in search of connection, forgiveness, and company in an old apartment building.
WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN
Directors: Meneka Das | United Kingdom English, Hindi | 2022 Thirty-something Indian sisters Rumi and Nina journey to London in pursuit of their musical dream, but working at an Indian takeaway wasn’t part of the plan.
DIFFERENT THAN BEFORE
Director: Mayumi Yoshida | Canada English, Mandarin | 2022 Sarah is celebrating her engagement with her sister Amanda, her parents, fiancé, and friends at a Chinese restaurant. When a group of racist hecklers shout rude comments and racial slurs at them during karaoke, Father (Baba) must decide what is best for his family.
78 mins | Curated by: Christy Choo Mental illness, addiction, and depression can leave us feeling vulnerable. By diving into love, loss, and grief, these shorts explore some of our most difficult experiences and intense emotions - in doing so, they also remind us of what makes us human.
Pre-recorded Q&A available with rental.
Directors: Jess Dang | USA | English | 2022 A recovering compulsive gambler responds to her past trauma after 100 days of abstinence.
Director: Yuri Sapre | USA | English | 2022 A depiction of the filmmaker’s experience being mentally ill, exploring both the good and bad sides of neurodivergence for viewers that don’t understand how it feels, those that do, and those that experience it.
Director: Kitty Hu | USA | English | 2022 As we grow older, we can better connect with our inner child and understand memories, triggers, and emotions. Over time, this can give us a softer version of ourselves and grant us more agency in the narratives we create about ourselves.
Director: Maruia Jensen | New Zealand English, Maori | 2021 When a construction worker from South Auckland loses the last connection he has with his dead Mum, he spirals into a state of depression, prompting an intervention from beyond the grave.
BREEZE IN THE SEA
Director: Jingtao Xu | China | Mandarin | 2022 The story of a man and a black cat.
IDENTITY IN STRUGGLE 54 mins | Curated by: Klyde Breitton
How is identity shaped in times of political struggle? Pan-Asian Americanism was created as a project of resistance from protest movements during the turbulent 1960’s-70’s. Whether forced upon by others or self-created, our identities are in constant flux as the weight of historical moments push us to examine who we are. These shorts look at characters who negotiate their identities during political conflict and emerge forever changed.
Pre-recorded Q&A available with rental.
Director: Prabin Kumar Rawat | Nepal | Nepali | 2019 Set during the outset of the Nepali civil war, “Kalam” follows a teenager who remains in his village to play in a football tournament. As people flee, the violence brewing throughout the country reaches his village. Based on a true story, “Kalam” is about childhood, migration and lost dreams.
Director: Alil Sohail Jaura | Pakistan | Urdu | 2022 May 1992. The state sanctioned “Operation” has put Karachi at unrest. Abdul Aziz Ansari is awakened by his daughter-in-law because his son hasn’t returned home. A knock on the door summons them to the hospital. What they witness is known today as the most brutal chapter of the city’s history.
Director: Myra Aquino | Philippines | Tagalog | 2021 In The Philippines during World War II, a young woman struggles to find purpose after losing her father.
TOGETHER, WE RISE: LGBTQ+ SHORTS 72 mins | Curated by: Eric Hung and Wren Lee
Throughout history LGBTQ+ people have found strength in their communities. From the ball culture in New York City in the 1980s, to families both given and found, to friends and spiritual leaders, community can provide unconditional love, acceptance, and allyship. From a comedic science fiction take on the coming-out story to a film about embracing your gender identity, this showcase explores how community and connection empower LGBTQ+ people across the globe. Pre-recorded Q&A available with rental.
Director: Urvashi Pathania | USA | English, Hindi | 2022 A non-binary South Asian teenager uses Bharatanatyam dance to explore their gender identity.
Director: Nicole Teeny | USA | English | 2020 Forced to hide their relationship while making the Hajj, El-Farouk, a gay imam, and his husband Troy co-founded Unity Mosque in Toronto, one of the first queer-affirming and gender-equal mosques. Despite death threats, the mosque forges on, playing a lifesaving role in the lives of its members.
Director: Erika Nakayama | Japan | Japanese | 2021 Ayumi and Sayaka are a closed lesbian couple living together in Japan. They are looking forward to having a wedding photo shoot on their five-year anniversary, but it’s not easy finding a photo salon that serves LGBTQ couples equally.
COMING OUT WITH THE HELP OF A TIME MACHINE
Director: Naman Gupta | USA | English | 2021 When coming out to his traditional and god-fearing parents, Sid uses his time machine to reset the day trying to make sure everything goes perfect.
Directors: Nicolas Jara, Yen Dinh | USA | English | 2021 Tiffany, a K-drama fanatic and Thanh, an anime and gaming nerd, are roommates fresh out of college. Hoping to help her roommate put themself out in the romantic world, Tiffany secretly makes Thanh a dating profile. Thanh must decide whether to speak up or let Tiffany walk all over them.
Director: Caroline Guo | USA | English, Mandarin | 2021 On the night of their first anniversary in Beijing, a young Chinese woman is confronted with a lifechanging decision: whether she should keep herself and her Asian American girlfriend hidden from her traditional family with the upcoming Chinese New Year, or live out her dream as her true self.
64 mins | Curated by: David Tanh and Kelly Conrad Are you a night owl, or perhaps someone seeking thrills, chills, and dark desires? Either way, this collection of shorts—with everything from man-eating dinosaurs to incessant nose bleeds to a stranded whale—is bound to keep you up through the night and leave you with more questions than answers. Pre-recorded Q&A available with rental.
Director: Ken Ochiai | Japan | English, Japanese | 2021 In the 1930s, a Japanese American father and daughter must play a deadly game of shadow tag to escape from a demon child, Kageboshi.
Director: Pavit Panag | USA | N/A | 2022 A short film that deals with loss and a metamorphosis of self following the act of letting go—featuring a woman looking to revive her lover by sealing a deal with a creature.
Director: Sreejith Nair | USA | English | 2022 A father and daughter living in prehistoric times embark on a dangerous mission to return the lost egg of a Rajasaur, India’s most dangerous dinosaur.
Director: Moe Katakura | USA | N/A | 2022 A boy meets a stranded whale at the beach.
THE EVILEST MAN
Director: Kangming Li | China | Chinese | 2022 In order to escape the bionic crisis, a group of people flee to a village and live in seclusion for decades. One day, a few homicides occur and villagers believe there may be an android in the village. Two people are elected to uncover who the android is.
JAL-JINAE/SPEND YOUR LIFE WELL Director: Janice Chi | USA | N/A | 2022
A girl with chronic nosebleeds takes an especially long bathroom break.
I CAN’T FORGET HIM
Director: Kevin Kai Wing Yiu Hong Kong | Cantonese | 2022 In a fantasy rom-com that marries traditional Hong Kong superstition with local queer culture, young rentboy GaGa goes on vacation with his drug dealer best friend. The trip goes haywire when he goes on a date with a mysterious legendary poet from 2000 years ago, Qu Yuan.
MOMENTS OF TIME
76 mins | Curated by: Kacia Huynh History is anchored and remembered by big events we cannot ignore, but it’s the smaller moments that help us to move forward. Rewind the clock through this collection of short films and glimpse how individual challenges and intimate circumstances can both haunt and guide us toward a better future.
Pre-recorded Q&A available with rental.
Director: Miida Chu | USA English, Cantonese | 2021 A young, indentured Chinese prostitute must overcome her toxic dependency on the brothel madam on the eve of the 1885 anti-Chinese riot in Eureka, California.
442 THE NISEI SOLDIERS
Director: Ryosuke Hoshiyama | USA English, French, German | 2021 Chased by a fanatical Nazi officer, two Japanese American soldiers seek refuge in the woods of Bruyères, only to find themselves in the home of a French widow.
Director: Cindy Chu | USA Mandarin, Cantonese | 2022 Two Chinese restaurant workers find love while chasing their American dreams in 1980’s NYC.
LAST HAWAIIAN SUGAR
Directors: Deja Cresencia Bernhardt | USA English, Hawaiian, Samoan | 2021 Nua, a twelve years-old, Samoan, is the product of the immigrant camp that “Big Sugar” brought to work the sugarcane fields. Nua’s story is both a metaphor for the effects of industrialized farming and a rare look into the final days of commercial sugar production in Hawaiʻi.
82 mins | Curated by: PAAFF Programmers
EYES AND HORNS
Director: Chaerin Im | Korea, Republic of | N/A | 2021 Inspired by Picasso’s Vollard Suite, the transformation of the masculine Minotaur leads to the destruction of the boundaries between sexes.
Director: Chris Johns | USA | English | 2021 A cinéma vérité documentary that offers a glimpse into this largely unknown and complex world through the eyes of cultural and scientific experts, each of whom guide us through what stands to be lost if Hawai‘i’s snails go extinct.
LIVING THE SILENT DREAM
Director: Deddy Raksawardana | USA | English | 2022 A film about the history of the Indonesian community in Philadelphia, “Living the Silent Dream” tells the story of the struggles faced by the Indonesian community in achieving the American Dream.
Directors: Shae Xu | China | Mandarin | 2020 After they’ve long since drifted apart from each other, a high school music teacher meets an old colleague. When they decide to perform together as piano-duet partners, unspoken feelings inevitably resurface.
Directors: Minami Goto | Japan | Japanese | 2021 A young woman descends upon a household seeking revenge for her sister’s attack, and is presented with two possible targets. Both protest their innocence once the battle commences.
CYMK (COLORS YOU MAY KNOW)
Directors: David Chai | USA | English | 2021 Inspired by the terrible killings, hatred, and division of 2020, here’s a friendly reminder from your besties at House of Chai to embrace our differences and love one another.
NHPI: COMING HOME 92 mins | Curated by: Sunny Huang
These films by Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander filmmakers explore what it means to come home, whether by exploring their heritage, protecting their homes, or returning to their people. Pre-recorded Q&A available with rental.
A JOURNEY HOME
Director: Catherine Killough | USA | English | 2022 An animated short honoring the many meanings of home: as Arkansas, as the Marshall Islands, and as Earth that needs to be protected for the next generation.
TAPA: THE CLOTH THAT BINDS US
Director: Nancy Thompson | USA | English | 2022 A journey through the life of a young Pasifika woman as she learns the traditional practice of making tapa cloth, passed down through generations. She incorporates the core values of this process into her existences in the modern world.
KÅNTAN HERERU - A BLACKSMITH’S SONG Director: Sean Aguon Lizama | Guam | English | 2021 Guam’s only living master blacksmith shares the importance of his craft to daily life in the past and tries to find a place for it in a modern landscape.
KE KAHEA: AN INVITATION INTO SACRED SPACE Directors: Justyn Ah Chong | USA English, Hawaiian | 2022
After receiving a kahea (calling) from ancestral lineages to create kapa for unearthed iwi kūpuna (skeletal remains), Aʻiaʻi Bello extends the calling to women in the community. Those that step forth learn to transform the wauke plant into sacred kapa and find themselves changed in the process.
Directors: Jade Jackson | New Zealand English, Samoan | 2021 Based on the treatment of Pacific Island families during the New Zealand Dawn Raids of the 1970’s, this short takes an intimate look into a police raid, as told through the eyes of a young girl Losa and her father Lupematasila.
PILI KA MOʻO
Directors: Justyn Ah Chong | USA | English | 2021 The Fukumitsu ʻOhana (family) of Hakipuʻu are native Hawaiian taro farmers whose land remains a kīpuka (oasis) of traditional knowledge. They are tossed into a world of complex judicial proceedings when a large settler-owned corporation destroys their familial burials to make way for development.
KA HOʻI – THE RETURN
Director: Mitchell Merrick | USA English, Hawaiian | 2021 An aging Hawaiian war veteran grapples with the nightmares of his past and fears of being forgotten as the world around him changes. One night, he hears a familiar voice calling him from the beach, and what he encounters is beyond anything he could have imagined.
REALMS OF REMEMBRANCE 47 mins | Curated by: Arzhang Zafar
Ghosts of half-forgotten places, blips of hidden history, and echoes of inner lives all swirl and dance together in this collage of experimental shorts tied together by their focus on dreams, memory, and longing for what’s been lost. Through captured sound and moving image we can perhaps hold onto those fleeting moments and thoughts, however real or unreal they may be. Pre-recorded Q&A available with rental.
THE WALK HOME
Director: Chenjing Liaw | USA | English | 2021 On a walk through the city, a woman reflects on the route she frequently traveled as a child.
NANAY CLEO’S DREAM
Director: Jon Cuyson | Philippines | Tagalog | 2021 Envisioning her seafarer son in danger, Nanay Cleo, a visually impaired Babaylan – a pre-colonial Filipino shaman – summons her power to protect him at all costs.
REFLECTIONS ON CAPTURED MEMORY
Director: Brandon Vanbach | USA | English | 2021 A personal rumination on the relationship—or lack thereof—between a Vietnamese immigrant mother and her American-born son.
THE FEELING OF BEING CLOSE TO YOU Director: Ash Goh Hua | Singapore English, Mandarin | 2022
Documenting an attempt at healing the trauma of touch between mother and child.
EMPIRE OF MY MELODIOUS MIND Director: Jeannette Louie | USA English, Mandarin | 2022
In the space of a moment, inside a cabinet, perception embarks on an epic journey through the terrain of memories that form the identity of an American-born Asian.
STATE OF BEING
Director: Ouree Lee | USA English, Korean | 2021 A reflection on growing up in Kentucky as a Korean American woman.
VISIONS & VOICES OF IRANIAN WOMEN
87 mins | Curated by: Arzhang Zafar
This collection of disparate shorts—each unique in its own right— is held together by the glue of Iranian women filmmakers at the helm. Whether documentary or fiction, personal or universal, their stories represent the visions and voices of those demanding to be seen and heard. Pre-recorded Q&A available with rental.
Director: Mahtab Pishghadam | Iran | Farsi | 2022 Yasi and Raha are two girls rejected by everyone and everything. Raha, trapped in solitary confinement, fears the possibility that her virginity will be taken by a man more than she fears death. Meanwhile, Yasi does everything in her power to prevent her girlfriend from being executed.
Director: Hoda Sobhani | USA | Farsi | 2021 An attempt to revive a friendship that has faded away due to circumstances that imprisoned one and forced the other to emigrate.
THE DOLL (AROUSAK)
Director: Elahe Esmaili | Iran | Farsi | 2021 After consulting with his relatives, a 35-year-old father consents to the marriage of his 14-year-old daughter. As individuals with differing perspectives, their family members grapple with the decision.
Directors: Maryam Khodabakhsh | Iran | Farsi | 2021 On the night of a couple’s migration, the child of their friend who has been entrusted to them gets lost, and then a secret is revealed...
THIS WOMAN’S WORK
61 mins | Curated by: Kelly Conrad and Wren Lee While historic decisions like the reversal of Roe v. Wade often make headline news, the day-to-day labor performed by women to adapt to a world that often feels unsuited to them is rarely publicized by the media. Whether attempting to leave an abusive relationship or navigating the loss of her young child, this showcase highlights the uphill battles faced by women across the globe—struggles with the power to create connection and resistance.
Pre-recorded Q&A available with rental.
Director: Shu-Ying Chung | USA | English | 2022 An immigrant struggles with guilt after calling the police on her abusive husband, which results in his deportation.
Director: Lillian Xuege Li | USA English, Mandarin | 2021 How can a woman become herself when she has been shaped by and taught to sacrifice for the gaze of others? Lin (Lan Zhong) has many roles: a mother, a wife, a waitress, an immigrant. She is also a woman with a secret, who finally decides to rebel.
Director: Liang-Chun Lin | USA | Mandarin | 2021 A rookie filmmaker on a TV production tries to survive a constraining environment where people don’t respect her boundaries. During the wrap party, she begins to process what she experienced.
Directors: Ali Daraee | Iran | Farsi | 2022 A young mother loses her baby due to negligence. But since the presence of the father is required for burial permission in Iran, the young mother strives to find her missing husband and becomes more involved in diverse and serious issues.
CONTEMPORARY VIDEO ART EXHIBITION PRESENTED BY 12G AND PAAFF
49 mins | Curated by: Ayesha Ali Ahmed, Jenna Hamed, Mir Masud-Elias, Bhairavi Mehra, Atif Sheikh, Anula Shetty, Ayesha Syed, Jaret Vadera, and Arzhang Zafar Pre-recorded Q&A available with rental.
MILES & KILOMETRES
Director: Sonali Gulati | USA | N/A | 2021 A lingering haiku of migration, separation, dislocation, and exile.
Director: Shirin Maleki | Iran | English, Farsi | 2022 A poetic exploration of the fragmented experiences of an immigrant going through liminal otherness of temporary residencies.
COOKBOOK OF GESTURES
Director: Sarah K. Khan | USA | N/A | 2018 An homage to the embodied knowledge of women cooks and farmers.
AL ATLAL (THE RUINS)
Directors: Raed Rafei | Lebanon | Arabic, English | 2021 A drawing of an ancient bathhouse sparks a visual poem inspired by the Arab poetic tradition of “standing by the ruins.” (CW: sexual content, nudity)
Director: Iman Jabreh | USA | Arabic | 2021 In this abstract short film, collection of Palestinian keffiyehs and various scarves create an abstract landscape..
3-8 CLENCH MY FISTS
Directors: Sarah Trad | USA | Arabic, English | 2020 Using footage from Lebanese films and audio from archival Lebanese funeral laments, this video collage explores growing up in an Arab family affected by death and grief.
IN A SINGLE THOUGHT
Directors: Darshika Singh | India | N/A | 2020 In the stasis of time, every moment passes in the dual thesis of examination and observation.
Director: Nazanin Noroozi | USA | N/A | 2021 Handmade cinema is used to transform personal and public archives into a narrative told by others addressing trauma and displacement.
OCCUPYING A CHAIR
Director: E Rady | USA | N/A | 2022 “Occupying a Chair” puts the subject in a scene resembling an interrogation. But with solidarity, no evil can hide.
Director: Sarker Protick | Bangladesh | N/A | 2022 ”Raśmi” (“a ray of light” in Bangla) is an arrangement of images and soundscapes that explores ideas of personal truth and fiction.
JURIES NARRATIVE JURY ROY WOL (he/him) is a 2022 Cannes Producer Network fellow, SXSW mentor, twotime IFP fellow, PGA mark-holding filmmaker. Roy Wol is a third culture kid (TCK) and the co-founder of the critically acclaimed production company, Studio Autonomous. His productions include SXSW winner “The Garden Left Behind” staring trans Latina Carlie Guevara; 2022 MPAC Award winner “Americanish” starring Palestinian American comedian Mo Amer; Academy Nominee Milcho Manchevski’s “Bikini Moon” starring Condola Rashad, amongst others. ARAM SIU-WAI COLLIER (he/him) is a filmmaker, educator, and film festival programmer. He is currently the Artistic Director at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. His feature, documentary, and experimental films have played festivals across North America and internationally. Aram is a mixed-race Asian Canadian/American (Chinese and English/Dutch/German) originally from San Francisco native and now based in Toronto, Canada. HANNA HUANG (she/her) is a 1.5 gen Taiwanese American who grew up along the Texas-Mexico far away from the comforts of bubble tea shops. Along with being a producer behind the new mini-documentary series Stories Within, she is the Executive Director of Austin Asian American Film Festival, Mayoral appointee to the City’s Austin Asian American Quality of Life Commission, and longtime AAPI cultural arts and educational programs professional. She finds herself very fortunate to be able to tell her parents that her undergraduate Asian American studies degree is one she makes use of every day.
DOCUMENTARY JURY NADINE PATTERSON (she/her) is a filmmaker and media arts activist who works at the crossroads of narrative and documentary cinema. She earned her Master of Arts in Filmmaking at London Film School. She operates the production company, Harmony Image Productions (HipCinema), with her mother Marlene G. Patterson. She is a co-founder of SIFTMedia 215 which supports the career growth of Women of Color in film. She is currently developing a dramatic series on the Black inventor/ engineer Lewis Latimer. ANULA SHETTY (she/her) is an award-winning filmmaker and new media artist. She is a 2020 CAAM (Center for Asian American Media) Fellow and a recipient of a Pew Fellowship. She was previously awarded three Media Arts Fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and was nominated for a USA Artist Fellowship. She received a Project Involve Fellowship, two Independence Foundation Fellowships and a Leeway Foundation Transformation Award for her art and social change work. Anula received her MFA in Film & Media Arts from Temple University.
JURIES ELLISON SHIEH (they/them) is a multi-disciplinary artist, filmmaker, and organizer based in the unceded ancestral lands of the Duwamish tribe (also known as Seattle). They are deeply committed to exploring human connections through mixed media, and uplifting the stories and voices of historically excluded communities. By day they work at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, and by night they are the Festival Co-Director of the Seattle Asian American Film Festival.
SHORTS JURY SARAH TRAD (she/her) is a Lebanese-American artist, curator, and cultural critic based in Philadelphia. Working in fibers, video, and computer art, she focuses on themes of how Arab identity intersects with queerness, mental health, memory, and future alternate realities. She is the Co-Director of Programming for the MENA Film Festival in Vancouver. Sarah’s work has been screened at the Gimli Film Festival, Toronto Arab Film Festival, Antimatter Media Art Festival, Rendezvous With Madness Festival, Everson Museum of Art, and Currents New Media. CATCHING ON THIEVES (she/her) is a multimedia artist who creates to both understand what is to be & to stay alive. She writes of spies & prophets, Y2K conspiracies & the relationship between abstraction, perception & interoception. She was resident at the Queer Materials Lab, Translab, The Performance Intensive, PAPA, PAAFF, & the upcoming Session 9 of the Raw Materials Academie hosted at the ICA in Spring 2022. She is founding a church devoted to the worship & study of art called The Church of the Quarter-Closed Eyes. AYESHA SYED (she/her) is the Social Media Manager at Twelve Gates Arts. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Textile Design at Jefferson University.
THANK YOUS PECO AARG David Cheung BCG Shannon Zhan PA Dept of Drug & Alcohol Programs Hepatitis B Foundation Independence Public Media Foundation Philadelphia Cultural Fund PA Council on the Arts Asian Mosaic Fund Asian Arts Initiative Dave Kyu Anne Ishii Rodney Camarce Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists Cat Ramirez Joseph Ahmed Chantal Vorobei Thieves InterAct Theatre Cambodian Association of GP Sarun Chan Laos in the House Catzie Vilayphonh WHYY Ann Letizi-Beatty Philly Asian and Queer
National Federation of Filipino American Associations Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival Nancy Nguyen VietLead Aleks Martray Big Picture Alliance Sarah Mueller Kristal Sotomayor cineSPEAK Rana Fayez YallaPunk Indonesia Diaspora Network Modero Dance Company Asian Am. Chamber of Commerce Samip Mallick SAADA Asian Americans United PAACH Councilwoman Helen Gym Sharon Pinkenson Joan Bressler Nicole Shiner Greater Philadelphia Film Office Djung Tran, Esq. APABA-PA Lailanie Gadia
A-Doc Phuong Nguyen The Womens Film Festival Scott CHOPS Jung Kris Mendoza Lexi Morrison Chisom Chieke Maestro Filmworks PhillyCAM Kris Mendoza Lexi Morrison Maestro Filmworks John Chin PCDC Wynton Wong Brett Kodama Anna Zeng Center for Asian American Media Francis Cullado Eseel Borlasa Abe Ferrer Visual Communications Kayla Wong Asian Cinevision Ellison Shieh Andrew Koh Victoria Ju Seattle Asian American Film Festival Susan Chinsen
THANK YOUS Boston Asian American Film Festival Brian Hu San Diego Asian Film Festival Hanna Huang Austin Asian American Film Festival Debbie Chen HAAPIFest Melissa Bisagni DC APA Film Festival Maori Holmes Imran Siddiquee Sara Zia Ebrahimi Blackstar Film Festival Marangeli Mejia Rabell Kristal Sotomayor PHL Latino Film Festival Aram Siu Wai Collier Toronto Reel Asian Louis Massiah Alexia Chororos Scribe Video Center Atif Sheikh Aisha Khan Ayesha Syed Twelve Gates Arts Fariha Khan University of Pennsylvania Asian American Studies Program
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