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5 Films you shouldn’t miss at the 13th Austin Asian American Film Festival

These are five films you shouldn’t miss at the 13th Austin Asian American Film Festival, which will take place online and onsite from June 4th – 20th, in Austin (Texas), USA.

This year the festival will take place online and some screenings will have drive-in screenings. For more information about this please go here: https://www.aaafilmfest.org/2021-aaaff

Selected Films:

Fan Girl by by Antoinette Jadaone – Philippines | 2020 – 100 minutes

Sixteen-year-old Jane (Charlie Dizon, Four Sisters Before the Wedding), a die-hard fan of leading man Paulo Avelino (himself), takes her devotion to a new level by stowing away in the back of his truck. Initially outraged to discover the interloper at his suburban estate, Paulo decides to test Jane’s ardor by exposing her to the less savory elements of his offscreen life, drawing her into a singularly unnerving game of cat and mouse. A bold break with writer/director Antoinette Jadaone’s track record of hit love stories (You’re My Boss, Love You to the Stars and Back, etc.), FAN GIRL demonstrates equal facility with the darker side of romantic fantasies. — Josh Martin, Features Programmer (AAAFF 2021)

Drive in Screening: June 4th, 2021 – Community First! Village Drive-In Cinema – 7:30 pm
Available online: From June 4th (Friday), 2021 – 12:00 AM until June 6th (Sunday), 2021 – 11:59 PM

Trailer:

Memories to choke on, drink to wash them down by Leung Ming-kai, Kate Reilly – Hong Kong | 2019 – 78 minutes

Four stories of Hong Kong: an Indonesian caretaker faces a dilemma when her elderly charge insists on an outing downtown, against her employer’s explicit orders; two brothers reminisce during a reunion in their mother’s hole-in-the-wall toy shop; a pair of teachers—one local, one foreign—bond over yuenyeung and other standbys of Hong Kong culinary culture. The last story is an excursion into a documentary, following a young barista/actress and her improbable candidacy in the 2019 District Council elections, held against the backdrop of the city’s pro-democracy protests. Leung and Reilly’s debut is steeped in nostalgia but also bracingly contemporary, paying bittersweet tribute to Hong Kong’s contested past, whirlwind present, and ambivalent future. — Josh Martin, Features Programmer

Available online: From June 8th (Tuesday), 2021 – 12:00 AM  until June 12th (Saturday), 2021 -11:59 PM

Trailer:

The Shepherdess and the seven songs by Pushpendra Singh – India | 2020 – 96 minutes

THE SHEPHERDESS AND THE SEVEN SONGS brings to life an allegorical tale from the contested northwest Indian region of Jammu and Kashmir. Alluding to the repetitive and looping structure of poems and folklore, the movie follows the life of Laila, a strong willed woman forced to marry a herder in a nomadic tribe. As the tribe crosses state boundaries and runs into trouble with the authorities, Laila catches the unwanted attention of the local police with her alluring beauty. Laila embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she thwarts the advances of a rogue officer while she tries to figure out her relationship with her husband. – Yuxi Lai, Shorts Programmer (AAAFF)

Available online: From June 10th (Thursday), 2021 – 12:00 AM until June 14th (Monday), 2021 – 11:59 PM

Trailer:

Try Harder! by Debbie Lum – USA | 2021 – 85 minutes

The college admissions process is perhaps the most grueling, tiresome, and stressful period for high school students. At Lowell High School, a top-rated public school in San Francisco with a predominantly Asian American student population, the college application process is even more competitive and heavy. TRY HARDER! is a smart, heartwarming documentary that thoroughly navigates the desires and anxieties when it comes to education and career goals beyond high school. Director Debbie Lum manages to get raw and honest testimonies from Lowell’s students, examining how experience, race, and class all unfairly factor into unpredictable college admissions acceptance in the United States, and how bright, incredible students at schools like Lowell often feel like they aren’t good enough due to the stiff competition of college admissions. — Jenny Nulf, Programs Director (AAAFF 2021)

Available online: From June 6th (Sunday), 2021 – 12:00 AM until June 10th (Thursday), 2021 – 11:59 PM

Trailer:

Wuhan Wuhan by Yung Chang – USA, Canada | 2021 – 90 minutes

Working from over 300 hours of on-the-ground footage, filmmaker Yung Chang (Up the Yangtze, China Heavyweight) assembles a multifaceted look at Wuhan during the first stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, when its nine million residents spent two and a half months under strict lockdown. Besides the doctors and nurses at the front lines of the pandemic, Chang highlights less familiar elements like a furloughed father-to-be serving as a volunteer driver for essential workers, or the ad hoc community that springs up inside a makeshift hospital. Never flinching from the physical and mental toll but shot through with warmth and humor, WUHAN WUHAN is an invaluable record of one city’s experience with the unprecedented. — Josh Martin, Features Programmer (AAAFF 2021)

Available online: From June 9th (Wednesday), 2021 – 12:00 AM until June 13th (Sunday), 2021 – 11:59 PM

Trailer:

For more information please go to: https://www.aaafilmfest.org

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