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40 Short films you shouldn’t miss at the 9th Seattle Asian American Film Festival (Part 2)

We continue with our list of films that you shouldn’t miss at the 9th Seattle Asian American Film Festival, which is taking place until 14th at Eventive.

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 2)

Kalewa by Mitchel Viernes – USA | 2018 – 16 minutes
Section: Thrills, Chills, and Things gone wrong

While he reflects on a family conflict that took place during his last night on Earth, a Hawaiian astronaut must save the world. Sifting through this complicated experience, he makes the next great leap for his planet, his family, and himself. Tonight is his last chance. (Content Warning: Death – SAAFF 2021)

Trailer:

Magic Kingdom by Nelson Ng Chak Hei – Hong Kong, USA | 2020 – 15 minutes
Section: Family Portraits

MAGIC KINGDOM is set in 1997 against the backdrop of the looming handover. Kit, a middle-aged single parent, brings his son from Hong Kong to California under the pretense of visiting Disneyland. His son, Chun, comes to realize the real intention of the trip is his own adoption. (Content Warning: Death, Gun Violence – SAAFF 2021)

Mirror by Christina Yoon – USA | 2020 – 12 minutes
Section: Haru Haru: Day by Day

A Korean immigrant with a severely scarred face visits a black market hospital in Queens to seek plastic surgery. Addressing themes of precarity in immigrant communities and the lengths individuals go to align with our identities, MIRROR encapsulates a specific and harrowing personal experience. (Content Warning: Medical Procedure, Body Image Issues – SAAFF 2021)

Trailer:

Moloka’I Bound by Alika Maikau – USA | 2019 – 9 minutes
Section: Looking past paradise: Short From Hawai’i

A wayward young man, recently released from prison, struggles to reconnect with his son and Hawaiian heritage through a conversation outside his son’s school. (Content Warning: Incarceration – SAAFF 2021)

Trailer:

Mother, Flower by Eunhye Hong Kim – South Korea | 2019 – 16 minutes
Section: Haru Haru: Day by Day

MOTHER, FLOWER is the story of a woman, Soo, who is struggling after a few months of delivering her first baby. She is forced to leave her workplace due to symptoms of her depression, then finds herself having a hard time adjusting as first-time mother with a newborn. The film questions the true meaning of “mother’s love” that is tied up with social expectations. (Content Warning: Post-Partem Depression – SAAFF 2021)

Trailer:

No crying at the dinner table by Anthony Newen – USA | 2019 – 8 minutes
Section: Viet Kieu: Vietnamese American Shorts

Just outside of Portland, Oregon, a farmer owns two-thirds of an acre by herself. She makes a living by growing and selling annual vegetables. Her philosophy on farming is a rebellion against industrialized agriculture. Instead, she aims to take care of the land she uses and her customers, as evident in her intentional farming process. – SAAFF 2021

On the way home by Yanghuixiao Gao – China, USA | 2020 – 6 minutes
Section: We need to talk about this

Sharon is on her way home from her first counseling session and continues to think about the conversation she had with her therapist. That session begins to affect her reactions to everything happening around her. (Content Warning: Mental Illness – SAAFF 2021)

Trailer:

One Meal by Yuechen Hao – USA | 2020 – 46 minutes
Section: Lingering

In Los Angeles, a young woman Nan dreams of becoming a chef at her father’s Chinatown restaurant. An invitation to move in with her boyfriend in New York presents Nan with a choice between moving east or remaining with her father, as well as pursuing her dream of becoming a chef. However, when she discovers that her father plans to leave the restaurant to her brother, she has to find another plan for her life. – SAAFF 2021

Trailer:

Parachute by Katherine Tolentino – USA | 2019 – 14 minutes
Section: Growing Pains

After three years of living in America and attending a high school for international students, Chinese teenager Wendy Zhang is struggling. Her teachers don’t care about her, her host family doesn’t understand her, and her own parents are too far away to help. With the arrival of Mei-Ling, a classmate who breezes through with ambition and bilingual fluency, Wendy find herself increasingly destabilized. (Content Warning: Violence – SAAFF 2021)

Radical Care: The Auntie Sewing Squad by Valerie Soe – USA | 2020 – 8 minutes
Section: Opening Night – 2020 COVID Shorts

This short experimental documentary looks at the Auntie Sewing Squad, a group of mostly women of color volunteers who came together following the U.S. government’s botched response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Aunties sew masks for farmworkers, day laborers, unhoused people, refugee and immigrant groups, First Nations tribes, recently incarcerated people, Black Lives Matter demonstrators, and others in need in the U.S. Using images, voices and sounds primarily generated by the Aunties themselves, in tandem with Kronos Quartet’s performance of Susie Ibarra’s “Pulsation,” this clip seeks to inspire others to work toward radical care in the time of coronavirus. (Content Warning: Discussion of Illness – SAAFF 2021)

Resilience by Jamie Wu – USA | 2019 – 14 minutes
Section: We need to talk about this

As the sole bread-winner of the family, Lisa is caught between silently suffering and standing up for herself in light of her boss’ sexual harassment at work. (Content Warning: Sexual Harassment – SAAFF 2021)

Trailer:

Sing me a Lullaby by Tiffany Hsiung – Canada, Taiwan | 2020 – 29 minutes
Section: Trace Your Roots

Ru Wen was separated from her parents at the age of five. Forty years later, she is still unable to connect the fragmented pieces of her childhood. That is, until her youngest daughter Tiffany started asking questions. Armed with a pocket translator and a couple of Chinese names scribbled on a napkin, Tiffany travels from Toronto, Canada to Ru Wen’s birthplace of Taipei. What she discovers there begins to reverberate across her relationships with the women who have come before her. – SAAFF 2021

Trailer:

Song o Day by Anthony Newen – USA | 2019 – 8 minutes
Section: Viet Kieu: Vietnamese American Shorts

Just outside of Portland, Oregon, a farmer owns two-thirds of an acre by herself. She makes a living by growing and selling annual vegetables. Her philosophy on farming is a rebellion against industrialized agriculture. Instead, she aims to take care of the land she uses and her customers, as evident in her intentional farming process. – SAAFF 2021

Songbird by Heather Hawthorn Dolye – Canada | 2020 – 14 minutes
Section: Grief Like No Other

A young married couple finally conceive their first child, but it ends in a heartbreaking miscarriage. As they process the loss together, they discover that grieving their child is much harder than expected. (Content Warning: Discussion of Child Loss – SAAFF 2021)

Srkana (The Stop) by Dinesh Das Sabu – USA | 2019 – 13 minutes
Section: Lingering

On the Oklahoma-Texas border, a small community of Sikh immigrants run a truckstop. Shot in a carefully composed yet unobtrusive style, SRKANA observes the rhythms of life in this diasporic community of mechanics, clerks, and drivers over the course of 24 hours. Truck drivers pass through, stopping at the only Indian restaurant in western Oklahoma, and the community beds down on the windswept plains at nightfall. Time passes, some people remain, others leave.

Trailer:

Standing above the clouds by Alika Maikau – USA | 2019 – 9 minutes
Section: Looking past paradise: Short From Hawai’i

A wayward young man, recently released from prison, struggles to reconnect with his son and Hawaiian heritage through a conversation outside his son’s school. (Content Warning: Incarceration – SAAFF 2021)

Trailer:

Thank you, come again by Nirav Bhakta – USA | 2020 – 11 minutes
Section: We need to talk about this

Dharmesh, an undocumented Indian American immigrant, sees a racial slur graffitied on his family’s convenience store and crashes past grief and into his subconscious, somewhere between reality, memory and imagination. (Content Warning: Immigration Injustice, State Violence – SAAFF 2021)

The Uprising by Lauren Fronhe, Corinne Chin, Ramon Dompor – USA | 2020 – 9 minutes
Section: Opening Night – 2020 COVID Shorts

The killing of George Floyd in May 2020 sparked protests around the world in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. As millions of people mobilized in their city’s streets to express outrage and sadness, Amanda Morgan, Omari Salisbury and Marcus Henderson felt called to join the movement in Seattle. Hear on-the-ground interviews and watch live footage from these historical protests for racial justice. (Content Warning: Identity-Based Prejudice, State Violence, Police Brutality, Death – SAAFF 2021)

Unpot by Huieun Park – USA | 2020 – 26 minutes
Section: Haru Haru: Day by Day

UNPOT follows the story of Kyung-Ja, a woman living wth Alzheimer’s disease, and describes her last day before she is sent to a nursing home. For her children and others around her, caring for her takes a toll. But she has her own world and her last desires before entering a more confined life. (Content Warning: Illness – SAAFF 2021)

Trailer:

Yellow Peril: Queer Destiny by David Wayne Ng, Jen Sungshine, Kendell Yan
Canada | 2019 – 20 minutes – Section: Queer AF

An award-winning experimental documentary that explores the nuances of queer diasporic, Chinese culture. The narrative follows the story of the Vancouver-based drag artist “Maiden China” (aka Kendell Yan). She and her communities talk personas, performance, and connection intertwined with stunning visuals and poetry. (Content Warning: Nudity, Identity-Based Prejudice – SAAFF 2021)

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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