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40 Short films you shouldn’t miss at the 9th Seattle Asian American Film Festival (Part 1)

These are forty short films you shouldn’t miss at the 9th Seattle Asian American Film Festival, which is taking place from March 4th until 14th at the Eventive platform.

About:
Most programs are available on-demand for the entire festival, but selected programmings are only available for a limited time. All films are only available to viewers in United States, while some films are geo-blocked to the US West Coast or Pacific Northwest regions. Please check each film program for viewing windows and geographic restrictions. To learn more about the festival schedule and live events, please visit www.seattleaaff.org Purchase a Festival Pass or Ticket Package at bit.ly/saaffpass

Selected Films (Part 1)

100 Miles apart by Garveaux Sibulboro – USA | 2020 – 2 minutes
Section: Opening Night: 2020 COVID Shorts

Two newly engaged Filipino American healthcare workers are forced to shelter in place 100 miles away from each other during the Coronavirus pandemic as one nurse volunteers to work a COVID unit, leaving their immediate future in ambiguity. (Content Warning: Discussion of Illness – SAAFF 2021)

A cure for all things by Katherine Chou – USA | 2020 – 7 minutes
Section: Trace Your Roots

Jiawei finds a vial while cleaning out her late mother’s fridge that turns her into her ancestors and descendants. Ma is worried she made a mistake uprooting their lives and leaving everything behind. Mother and daughter cross paths through time to find answers in each other. (SAAFF 2021)

Trailer:

A Period Piece by Shuchi Talati – USA | 2020 – 12 minutes
Section: We need to talk about this

Geetha, a control and order loving Indian-American woman, finally has sex with Vehd one afternoon but things quickly turn messy when period blood stains her pristine couch and a fight erupts mid-coitus, causing her pent-up feelings to spill over. (Content Warning: Full Nudity, Sexual Situations – Trailer)

Trailer:

A Work of Love: Preserving Filam History by Ramon Dompor – USA | 2019 – 5 minutes
Section: Trace Your Roots

Dorothy Laigo Cordova founded the Filipino American National Historical Society in 1982 to document and disseminate the history of Filipino Americans in Seattle and beyond. Now, she hopes to find others to continue her work of maintaining this rare collection of Filipino American archives for future generations. (SAAFF 2021)

An unexpected goodbye by Risa Morito – USA | 2020 – 2 minutes
Section: Opening Night – 2020 COVID Shorts

A father dies suddenly from COVID-19, and his family is forced to create a new ritual when proper funerals are not allowed. (Content Warning: Illness, Death – SAAFF 2021)

An Uninterrupted view of the sea by Mika Yatsuhashi – USA | 2020 – 15 minutes
Section: Trace Your Roots

A moving collage of old photographs, archival film and FBI documents, AN UNINTERRUPTED VIEW OF THE SEA tells the story of one family’s struggle to prove their American identities during World War II. Standing in flux between the identities of “Alien” and “Citizen,” Mika Yatsuhashi explores the effect of her family’s Japanese immigrant history on her American identity today. (Content Warning: State Violence, Incarceration – SAAFF 2021)

Trailer:

And then by Jenn Ravenna Tran – Japan, USA | 2020 – 17 minutes
Section: Queer AF

AND THEN is a short film about two women who meet and grow closer to each other through insomnia, exploring a new city, and art. The short film follows Mana, a Japanese-American woman who arrives in Tokyo seeking to find a break from her life as an artist, and Haru, a Japanese woman from the countryside who dreams of becoming an artist herself one day. It is a story about missed connections, finding purpose, and the possibility of reconnecting with those we’ve lost touch with. (SAAFF 2021)

Trailer:

As Close as you can get by Lauren Fronhe – USA | 2020 – 6 minutes
Section: Opening Night – 2020 COVID Shorts

Washington one of the first in the United States to experience the COVID-19 pandemic, as the virus ravaged nursing homes throughout the western part of the state. When Hoang Dinh Nguyen fell ill with COVID-19 in his Issaquah nursing home, his family could not be with him, nor could they be with each other. Still, they found ways to connect — and sustain each other — despite keeping physical distance. This short film follows their journey and their family’s legacy of resilience and survival. (Content Warning: Death, Hospitalization, Illness – SAAFF 2021)

Big Happiness by Da Hee Kim, Matthew Koshmrl – USA | 2020 – 14 minutes
Section: Haru Haru: Day by Day

In 1988 co-director, Da Hee Kim, was adopted from South Korea as a baby, and was raised by a white family in the suburbs of Minnesota. BIG HAPPINESS centers around two dinner conversations, one with Da Hee’s adoptive parents in Minnesota, and the other with Hojung Audenaerde, another Korean adoptee in Seoul. Big Happiness is a meditation on transnational adoption, identity, and colorblindness growing up in a transracial family. (SAAFF 2021)

Day Sixty by Andy Wong – Canada | 2020 – 3 minutes
Section: Opening Night – 2020 COVID Shorts

DAY SIXTY is a film made by Canadians of Asian descent at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as attacks against Asian Americans spiked. It documents this moment in time when Asian Americans communities supported each other against racist violence. (Content Warning: Identity-Based Prejudice – SAAFF 2021)

Desperation by Wendy Wang – USA | 2020 – 7 minutes
Section: Thrills, Chills, and Things gone wrong

Anarchist protests and revolts explode in a dystopian Los Angeles, where the rationing of food and power supply has heavily impacted the remaining survivors. After two robbers break into Akari’s home and find her hoarded supplies, she fends for the last meaningful thing in her life. (Content Warning: Violence, Illness – SAAFF 2021)

ETA by Justin Ricafort – USA | 2020 – 5 minutes
Section: Family Portraits

Ronnie, a middle-aged Filipino father, moonlights as a rideshare driver. What begins as a regular night leads to the most awkward of rides when the passenger is his college aged son and his drunk friend. As the ride progresses, Ronnie and Josh’s baggage takes control of the night, leading to a battle of death stares, expectations, and adult responsibilities. (Content Warning: Alcohol Intoxication, Vomiting – SAAFF 2021)

Trailer:

Fishbowl by Annie Ning – USA | 2020 – 13 minutes
Section: We need to talk about this

On a visit to her family in America, a grandmother is left to find companionship with a pet fish as she slowly comes to terms with losing her independence. (SAAFF 2021)

Trailer:

Have you forgotten me? by Bañkot Sangra – Canada | 2019 – 4 minutes
Section: Closing Night: Collective Memory, Community Spaces

In this emotionally compelling short, acclaimed director Baljit Sangra shines light on North American’s oldest running Sikh Temple and the struggle it represents. Children of East Indian immigrants share letters and stories of their parents and the temple they could find a home in. (Content Warning: Identity-Based Prejudice – SAAFF 2021)

Hawaiian Soul by Aina Paikai – USA | 2020 – 19 minutes
Section: Looking past paradise: Short From Hawai’i

Hawaiian Soul is the story of George Helm, a talented Hawaiian musician and leader in the 1970’s native rights movement, who used his voice to inspire a revolution of consciousness. This short-film shares moments of George’s journey into music and activism from childhood to his adult life, right up to the precipice of his leap into protecting Kahoʻolawe, an island used for target bombing practice by the US Navy that eventually put a stop to. This is an origin story of our Hawaiian hero. (Content Warning: State Violence – SAAFF 2021)

Trailer:

Hello from Taiwan by Tiffany Frances – USA | 2019 – 16 minutes
Section: Family Portraits

After a year of separation, a young Taiwanese American girl and her mom struggle to reconnect with her dad and two older sisters across familial and cultural divides. (Content Warning: Child Abduction – SAAFF 2021)

Trailer:

Here & Gone by AJ Smith – USA | 2020 – 5 minutes
Section: Thrills, Chills, and Things gone wrong

Isolated from the outside world, a woman struggles to escape a toxic relationship with her husband. Her attempts to flee are halted when she begins to hear disturbing voices from the radio. However, she finds herself trapped in a psychological loop, reliving her past and unable to find closure. (Content Warning: Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, Mental Illness)

Herselves by Kristy Choi – USA | 2020 – 9 minutes
Section: Family Portraits

HERSELVES is a documentary that unearths the complexities of the relationship between a Korean American daughter and her immigrant mother. As the filmmaker creates her own images of her mother’s life before motherhood, difficult questions of freedom, authorship, and filial responsibility emerge. (SAAFF 2021)

In Loving Memory by Mayumi Yoshida, Diana Bang – Canada | 2019 – 15 minutes
Section: Haru Haru: Day by Day

Having been fatherless almost her entire life, Kaylie would have it no other way. But with the recent death of her biological dad, hidden pent-up emotions are brought to the surface when her mom forces her to attend his wake with the promise of an inheritance. Now she must navigate decades of grief and neglect as family secrets are revealed and discoveries are made. (Content Warning: Death, Swearing, Drug Use, Alcohol Intoxication – SAAFF 2021)

In this land we’re briefly ghosts by Chen-Wen Lo – Mynamar, Taiwan, USA | 2019 – 16 minutes
Section – Southeast Asian Showcase

It’s Myanmar in 2013. A 12-year-old Burmese child soldier, imprisoned for deserting battle, is forced to either kill her older brother, a fellow deserter, or die alongside him. Based on actual events. (Content Warning: War, Death, State Violence – SAAFF 2021)

Trailer:

To watch the film please visit the Eventive platform here: https://watch.eventive.org/saaff2021

For more information please go to the official page of the festival here: https://seattleaaff.org/2021

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