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15 Short Films you shouldn’t miss at the 40th CAAMFest

These are fifteen films you shouldn’t miss at the 40th CAAMFest which is taking 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.

All I want is everything by Alexandra Cuerdo – USA | 2021 – 17 minutes
Section: Great Expectations

Alice Kim strives for top universities and a prestigious job in the medical field. Unfortunately, her grades won’t make the cut, and her undocumented status adds a roadblock to many of her plans. But she’s willing to take any means necessary to achieve her ambitions—even if that includes dealing with forgery, fraud, drugs, and crime in the most chaotic, colorful parts of New York City. (CAAMFest 2022)

Trailer:

Americanized by Erica Eng – USA | 2021 – 17 minutes
Section: Homegrown

Eng is boundless: she’s Chinese-American, a basketball player, and a high-school student. Unfortunately, she struggles with her hyphenated cultural identity, sits on the bench during basketball games, and doesn’t fit in with anyone in her class. As her sophomore year steadily comes to a close, she endeavors to find a place for herself—and make sense of intersecting worlds that don’t accept her. With its firm sense of place and self, Americanized is a sincere foray into coming-of-age and self-acceptance. (CAAMFest 2022)

Trailer:

Coming out with the help of a time machine by Naman Gupta – USA | 2021 – 15 minutes
Section: Spectral Drivers

Sid plans to come out to his conservative, community-oriented parents at a local diner. If anything goes wrong, Sid could lose the support of the people who matter to him most. Luckily, he has the power of time travel on his side—and he’ll do everything in his power to emerge from this encounter unscathed. Coming Out With the Help of a Time Machine gives a heartfelt sci-fi twist to tales about family dynamics and acceptance. (CAAMFest 2022)

Trailer:

Don’t worry about it by Melissa Kong – USA | 2021 – 12 minutes
Section: Spectral Drivers

After her father dies from cancer, a young woman’s obsessive-compulsive disorder slips out of her control. She enters an intensive therapy program and grapples with her fears and regrets. But she is determined to overcome her struggles with a bright outlook—otherwise, she might succumb to them. Don’t Worry About It is a clever dramedy that confronts grief and mental illness. (CAAMFest 2022)

Ever Wanting (For Margeret Chung) by TT Takemoto – USA | 2021 – 6 minutes
Section: Boundless

Among the ranks of white military heroes, nurses, and physicians stands Margaret Chung: the first female Chinese American doctor and a queer woman. Her resolve peaks and catapults in the complex streets of San Francisco as she navigates her senses of identity and belonging. When her life falls into situations of drug use and difficult surgery, she wagers her career and wellbeing to arise from her tribulations stronger. A fascinating experimental tableau made out of hand-processed 16 millimeter film, 35mm millimeter film emulsion, ink, paint, glue, tape, found footage, and digital video, Ever Wanting (for Margeret Chung) commemorates a pivotal figure in medical and queer history. (CAAMFest 2022)

Trailer:

It takes the hood to save the hood by Harvey Magsaysay Lozada – USA | 2021 – 41 minutes
Section: People Power

This project explores UNITED PLAYAZ’s role in developing a coalition with community-based organizations in San Francisco’s South of Market (SoMA) neighborhood and providing mutual aid to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. See first hand how local s/heros continue to adapt and respond to the community’s needs while processing how the pandemic has personally affected them. (CAAMFest 2022)

Ka Ho’I: The Return by Mitchell Viernes – USA | 2021 – 20 minutes
Section: New Journeys

In Ka Ho‘i, an aging Hawaiian War Veteran grapples with the nightmares of his past, and the even scarier thought of being forgotten as the world around him seems to leave him in the dust. One night, he hears a familiar voice calling him from the beach, and what he encounters is beyond anything he could have imagined. A beautiful film combining Hawaiian mythology and contemporary issues, Ka Ho’i reminds us that wherever a Hawiaan goes, there too, is Hawaii. (CAAMFest 2022)

Trailer:

Last Hawaii Sugar by Dèjá Cresencia Bernhardt – USA | 2021 – 22 minutes
Section: Pacific Showcase

Last Hawaiian Sugar is a short drama set on the final remaining sugar cane plantation camp on Maui. NUA, twelve years-old, Samoan, identifies with the world through her intensely spiritual connection she has with the land. She is the product of this immigrant camp that ‘Big Sugar’ brought here to work these fields. On the very day Nua learns the mill is closing she struggles to tell her mother about the abuse she suffers. When her mother isn’t able to hear her cries for help Nua resolves to sabotage the final sugarcane burn as she prepares to say goodbye to the only home she’s ever known. Nua’s story is a metaphor for what’s happened to the land due to industrialized farming, a rare look into the final days of commercial sugar production in Hawai’i and the complicated relationship the islands have with it. Last Hawaiian Sugar is a contemporary story reckoning a deep Hawaiian history. HC&S produced its final harvest in 2016. This mill, on Maui, was permanently closed soon after and the last employees of the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. were laid off. (CAAMFest 2022)

Lucky Fish by Emily May Jampel – USA | 2021 – 8 minutes
Section: Great Expectations

Maggie’s family has her entire life planned out: she’ll get into a good university, meet a “nice boy,” get married at a fancy wedding, and raise precocious children. But she wants more for herself than predetermined clichés. When she encounters an enchanting girl at a local Chinese restaurant, she must reflect upon the values and desires that whisper within her. Through poignant dialogue and vivid imagery, Lucky Fish champions the adolescent desire to flourish. (CAAMFest 2022)

Trailer:

My name is Lai by Lucy Saephan – USA | 2021 – 7 minutes
Section: Homegrown

Lai, a first generation Mien American elder, shares the events leading up to her arrival to the U.S. as a refugee survivor of war. Lai retraces moments of her life from memories as a young child, to being a newly arrived refugee finding her way in the U.S. Through these memories, Lai reflects on her life, passing on cultural traditions, fears of losing her independence, and hopes for the future. (CAAMFest 2022)

Pain of the Anonymous by Daichi Amano – Japan | 2021 – 27 minutes
Section: Spectral Drivers

Struggling to find work and entrenched in a personal health crisis, a former middle school teacher accepts a position as an online content moderator. She is faced daily with death, violence, and abuse—and reminders of unspeakable past traumas. As she becomes absorbed in her work, she endangers her stability, relationships, and psyche. Pain of the Anonymous explores how dehumanization and sympathy clash in a world numb to the plight of its people. (CAAMFest 2022)

Shifting Sands by May Thyn Kyi – Maynmar | 2021 -15 minutes
Section: People Power

Every year, thousands of young people flock to Yangon from Myanmar’s rural dry zone to work in the factories that have sprung up on the outskirts of the country’s former capital. Ma Nwet Yin Win is one of them. She and her sister left their home on an alluvial island in the Ayeyarwaddy River twenty years ago. Climate change has made life there difficult, but fighting for workers’ rights in Yangon is no less daunting. (CAAMFest 2022)

Thank you, come again by Nirav Bhakta – USA | 2021 – 11 minutes
Section: Boundless

In a post 9/11 world, Dharmesh, an undocumented Indian American immigrant stands in front of a racial slur graffitied on the store front of his family’s convenience store. Trapped within the confines of his late family’s American dream, he comes crashing through shades of grief into his subconscious, between reality, memory and imagination, until reaching the acceptance of his father’s demise from an attempted border crossing. (CAAMFest 2022)

Trailer:

Tho by Heather Muriel Nguyen, Jake Villadoid – USA | 2021 – 7 minutes
Section: Boundless

As Thơ ventures into romance as a Vietnamese-American panromantic asexual/ace, her boyfriend Dylan pressures her to be both sexual and straight, insisting that sex is love and that he’s worthless without it. When she begins a new relationship with the more emotionally-detached Leo, she once again finds her asexuality to be an issue for her partner. But this time, Leo sees her asexuality as an obstacle to fulfilling her purpose as a woman. Questioning whether she’s actually who she thinks she is, Thơ is forced to be valued by them or fight for herself. (CAAMFest 2022)

Zona by Masami Kawai – USA | 2020 – 15 minutes
Section: New Journeys

Kana, an elderly immigrant woman, lives in a crumbling Los Angeles incapacitated by drought. The wealthy can sequester themselves in sheltered communities with abundant resources—but Kana and other individuals without means must scavenge for water, entrenched by danger and manipulators. After a neighbor begs her for water, Kana risks the hazards of the city to aid her fellow man. Zona powerfully advocates for the resilience of immigrants and critiques societal responses to the ongoing climate crisis. (CAAMFest 2022)

For more information, please visit: https://caamfest.com/40/

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