9 Films you shouldn’t miss at the 40th CAAMFest

These are nine films you shouldn’t miss at the 40th CAAMFest which will take place from May 12 – 22, 2022 in San Francisco and online (video on-demand).

Note: Films available online are geoblocked please go to the official website know more.

Anita by Longman Leung – Hong Kong | 2021 – 140

Do you know the “daughter of Hong Kong”? Her name is Anita Mui—a beloved Cantopop icon who fell into show business out of the need for survival. Anita and her sister sang to provide for their family after losing their father at a young age and after their mother’s business was destroyed in a fire. It shot Anita to stardom and set her on a legendary career as a musician and actress. Though, it all ended too quickly. This is the story of an icon and her life in the spotlight. (CAAMFest 2022)

Screening Date:
May 19, 2022 | Thursday | SFMOMA Phyllis Wattis Theater | 6:00 pm (Buy tickets here)


Blurring the color line by Crystal Kwok – USA | 2022 – 85 minutes

Asians were allowed to enroll in white schools, but was this simply an oversight? Where did the Chinese fit in the segregated South? Where did the Chinese sit on buses during Jim Crow? Filmmaker Crystal Kwok raises these very questions to discover how her grandmother and her family navigated these racial tensions after opening a Chinese grocery store in the South. Influenced by the Black Lives Matter and anti-Asian Hate movements of the present, these nuanced conversations about the past lend more than just insights into American history. (CAAMFest 2022)

Screening Date:
May 14, 2022 | Saturday | The Great Star Theater | 3:00 pm (Buy Tickets Here)


Dawning by Young Min Kim – USA | 2022 – 74 minutes

Anxiety, depression, abuse, and trauma. They are all things we don’t often talk about and rather escape. Yet, they can be common everyday people problems. When Haejin returns home to comfort her heartbroken sister, she comes face to face with her demons. Sleepless nights transpire to frightful nightmares. Or, are they memories in disguise? Whatever it is, Haejin is forced to confront her past in this psychological thriller. (CAAMFest 2022)

Screening Date:
This film will be available online from May 12 – 22, 2022 viewers will have a 24 hour window to watch the program once they hit “play”.


Delikado by Karl Malakunas – USA | 2022 – 98 minutes

Palawan, a tropical island in the Philippines, is a tourist’s dream—white sand beaches, clear blue waters, and lush, diverse forests. It is also one of the most dangerous places for an environmental crusader. Bobby, Nieves, and Tata face murder, betrayal, and politics in their race to save the beloved island also known as the “last ecological frontier.” (CAAMFest 2022)

Screening Date:
This film will be available online from May 12 – 22, 2022 viewers will have a 24 hour window to watch the program once they hit “play”.


Drifting by Jun Li – Hong Kong | 2020 – 113 minutes

Based on a true story of 19 homeless individuals in 2012 who settled for a lowly compensation after the government cleared out their belongings, ex-prisoner Fai is left with no choice but to rough it on the streets. The government doesn’t care how he got there. The government doesn’t care why he’s a junkie or why he went to jail. Should they? Fai lives in one of the poorest districts in Hong Kong, and he’s not alone. He lives with many like him—all seeking an apology from the government for upending their lives. (CAAMFest 2022)

Screening Date:
This film will be available online from May 12 – 22, 2022 viewers will have a 24 hour window to watch the program once they hit “play”.


Free Chol Soo Lee by Eugene Yi and Julie Ha – Korea, USA | 2022 – 83 minutes

In 1973, Korean immigrant Chol Soo Lee was wrongfully convicted of a gangland murder in San Francisco Chinatown. It was unfortunate happenstance for Lee, a self-described “young street punk,” that led witnesses to identify him as the killer—witnesses, who, turned out to be Caucasian tourists and assumed “all Asians looked alike.” As word spread about Lee’s conviction, it brought passionately radical Asian Americans banned together with conservative Korean immigrants. This landmark movement of pan-Asian solidarity helped to free Lee after 10 years in prison. However, was an unexpected icon ready for the outside world after his time on Death Row? (CAAMFest)

Screening Dates:
May 12, 2022 | Thursday | The Castro Theatre | 6:30 pm (Buy Tickets Here)
May 12, 2022 | Thursday | Asian Art Museum | 9:30 pm (OPENING NIGHT GALA) (Buy Tickets Here)

Leonor Will Never Die by Martika Ramirez Escobar – Philippines | 2022 – 101 minutes

Regardless of being named one of the best films at Sundance and also the recipient of the Special Jury Prize for Innovative Spirit, LEONOR WILL NEVER DIE is not a film that can be classified. It’s an homage to Filipino action films from the 70s and 80s, sure. But it’s also a subtle look at Filipino culture and ode to film as an artform. Genres collide in this wild tale of an aging filmmaker who becomes the hero of her own unfinished script, after she’s knocked into a coma by a television. (CAAMFest 2022)

Screening Date:
May 21, 2022 | Saturday | SFMOMA Phyllis Wattis Theater | 5:30 pm (Buy Tickets Here)

Maika by Ham Tran – Vietnam | 2022 – 105 minutes

The first science fiction feature film from Vietnam, MAIKA follows the friendship of a young boy and an alien girl who bond over their need for each other. Hung, an 8-year-old boy, is hurt and lonely after the recent death of his mother and his best friend moves away. His father is absent, grieving on his own while trying to make ends meet. Then, he meets an alien with super powers in the form of a young girl with purple hair. Things begin to look up from there. (CAAMFest 2022)

Screening Date:
May 22, 2022 | Sunday | The New Parkway Theater | 12:00 pm (Buy Tickets Here)


Mud Water by My-Linh Le – USA | 2022 – 60 minutes

Set in Oakland where turfing started, MUD WATER is just as much a blend of styles in dance as it is in film. A melding of dance, documentary, and narrative, two interconnecting stories find their way towards each other in this lyrical film. A man looks for his shadow after being severed from it. And meanwhile, turfers seek to win a dance battle. (CAAMFest 2022)

Screening Date:
May 22, 2022 | Sunday | The New Parkway Theater | 4:30 pm (But Tickets Here)


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