44th Asian American International Film Festival – Opening Film 2021

Snakehead by Evan Jackson Leong will open the 44th Asian American International Film Festival. The festival will take place in-person and online from August 11th – 22nd, 2021 in New York city.

The opening ceremony will take place on August 11th at 8:00 in Regal Essex Crossing & RPX (115 Delancey St, New York). There will be a Q&A with cast and crew after the screening. Tickets for both the in-person Opening Night screening and the online screening are now available at  ***Proof of vaccination required to attend the screening and reception.***

The festival is offering Early Bird Gold Pass (admission to all in-person and online program) for $ 175 USD and Early Bird Cine Pass (access to all online programs) for $ 90 USD, until August 4th. After Gold Passes will cost $250 USD and Cine Passes will cost $ 150 USD. More in-person events and the full lineup of AAIFF44 will be announced by the end of July. For more information please go to:

Snakehead by Evan Jackson Leong – USA | 2021 – 93 minutes
Cast: Shuya Chang, Jade Wu, Sung Kang, Perry Yung, Yacine Djoumbaye

Sister Tse is brought to New York by a Snakehead, a human smuggler. Although she is indebted to the crime family responsible for her transport, her survival instincts help her gain favor with the matriarch, and she rises quickly in the ranks. Soon Tse must reconcile her success with her real reason for coming to America—to find the child that was taken from her. In the end, Sister Tse must draw on the strength she has found in transforming her victimhood into power.

About the director:
Evan Jackson Leong — Evan Jackson Leong is a sixth-generation Chinese American native of San Francisco. Leong has worked with his mentor, director Justin Lin, on BETTER LUCK TOMORROW, which screened at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, and THE FAST & THE FURIOUS. He was also a co-producer of Lin’s FINISHING THE GAME: THE SEARCH FOR THE NEW BRUCE LEE, which premiered at Sundance in 2007. He would return to Sundance in 2013 with his own film, the documentary LINSANITY. SNAKEHEAD is his first narrative feature.

About the Asian American International Film Festival:
The Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) is proudly known as “The First Home to Asian American Cinema.” Organized by Asian CineVision, it’s the first and longest-running festival dedicated to showcasing the moving image work by media artists of Asian descent for and about the Asian diaspora experience. The Festival takes place in New York City, the second-largest Asian-American market in the U.S. Every year, AAIFF attracts audiences from all five boroughs of New York City, the tri-state region, and around the world.

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