38th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival – Awards 2022

These are the winners of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival which took place from May 5 – 13, 2022 in Los Angeles, United States.

Narrative Feature Awards

Grand Jury Award

The Assault (Штурм) by Adilkhan Yerzhanov – Kazakhstan | 2022 – 90 minutes

In a remote village buried in snow, a group of armed masked men seize an elementary school, taking it hostage. While the adults of the school are preoccupied with their own mundane daily routines, the sudden gunshots and students’ screams make them run for their lives. After realizing that the math teacher, Tazshi, did not let his students out of the classroom, he realizes he has to go back. The SWAT team sent from the city will take at least a couple of days to arrive, so Tazshi forms his own rescue team: his ex wife, a town police officer, the principal, an alcoholic war veteran, and local mobsters. Adilkhan Yerzhanov, a prominent Kazakh director, delivers yet another timely film in the universe of Karatas, the fictional village in Kazakhstan. (LAAPFF 2022)


Special Jury Recognition

Phu Truong, Diep Anh Chu and Tin Tin for their performance in MAIKA (Maika Cô Bé Đến Từ Hành Tinh Khác), directed by Ham Tran – Vietnam | 2020 – 105 minutes

Veteran filmmaker Ham Tran (JOURNEY FROM THE FALL; HOW TO FIGHT IN SIX INCH HEELS; BITCOIN HEIST) gives us Vietnam’s first family sci-fi film, and introduces us to 8-year-old Hung who is grieving the loss of his mother. After a meteor falls to earth, he meets an alien girl from the planet Maika, searching for her lost friend. The alien helps Hung make new friends and heal a broken heart. But danger lurks. This is a fun for the whole family ride, that you’ll never forget. (LAAPFF 2022)


Special Jury Recognition

Leonor Wil Never Die by Martika Ramirez Escobar – Philippines | 2022 – 100 minutes

Martika Ramirez Escobar’s feature directorial debut is a genre-bending ride. It coasts between the fiction and real life of Leonor, a retired filmmaker who falls into a coma after a television lands on her head, compelling her to become the action hero of her unfinished screenplay. It’s storytime with your Lola (Pilipino for Grandmother) with a hint of Alice In Wonderland.  The film made its world premiere at Sundance where it won the Special Jury Prize for Innovative Spirit in Sundance. (LAAPFF 2022)

Documentary Feature Awards

Grand Jury Award

Bad Axe by David Siev – USA | 2022 – 101 minutes

With New York closing its doors, director David Siev travels back to his family home in Bad Axe, Michigan. This raw, slice of life documentary delivers a heart achingly beautiful story of a Cambodian-American family being tested by the Covid-19 pandemic, social crises, civil unrests and challenges of running a small restaurant in a predominantly conservative community. (LAAPFF 2022)

Special Jury Recognition

Singing in the Wilderness by Dongnan Chen – China | 2021 – 98 minutes

In the mountains of Southern China, a small community of Christian-Miao people have kept their religion and traditions safe until the Chinese propaganda machine discovered their “hidden talents.” After sensationalizing their local religious choir and broadcasting them on national TV, their quiet village suddenly became a tourist attraction. Dongnan Chen masterfully captures the extraordinary and permanent transition of this village and its people.  (LAAPFF 2022)

Delikado by Karl Malakunas – Philippines | 2022 – 94 minutes

Palawan appears to be an idyllic tropical island but… To save the island paradise, three environmental crusaders confront murder, betrayal and their own demons. Through dynamic documentary storytelling, we follow a charismatic lawyer who leads good men to their deaths, an ex-illegal logger who seeks redemption, and a grandmother politician who defies assassination threats (LAAPFF 2022)


Free Chol Soo Lee by Julie Ha and Eugene Yi – USA, South Korea | 2022 – 84 minutes

Incorporating extensive archival footage with poignant interviews, the documentary recounts the landmark movement sparked by Chol Soo Lee’s wrongly-convicted murder in San Francisco. Activists and the Asian American community unite during this 1970’s social movement as they fight for Chol Soo Lee’s justice. (LAAPFF 2022)

Short Film Awards

Golden Reel Award (Narrative/Animation)

Eureka by Miida Chu – Usa | 2021 – 15 minutes

In 1885, the racial tension has reached a boiling point in Eureka, CA. Longlong, an 18-year-old indentured prostitute, clinches this as an opportunity to rebel against the brothel madam. She must reconcile her hatred with her toxic dependency on the madam, and discover what freedom really means outside. (LAAPFF 2022)


Golden Reel Award (Documentary)

Holy Cowboys by Varun Chopra – India, USA | 2021 – 24 minutes

A Hindu teen and his friends tread the world of retributive justice of a ‘cow protection’ vigilante group to end consumption of beef, exploring what it means to be a savior of the holy cow in modern day India. (LAAPFF 2022)


Linda Mabalot New Directors | New Visions Award

Long Line of Ladies by Rayka Zehtabchi, Shaandiin Tome – USA | 2022 -22 minutes

Long Line of Ladies is a stigma-breaking, female-directed short documentary that gives viewers a glimpse into the story of the Karuk tribe of Northern California. It takes a significant step forward, normalizing period conversations by highlighting a culture that celebrates and uplifts its young women when they come of age. (LAAPFF 2022)


Special Jury Recognition

All I want is everything by Alexandra Cuerdo – USA | 2022 – 17 minutes

ALL I WANT IS EVERYTHING is a coming-of-age crime drama about a good Asian girl gone very, very bad. Fiercely driven Alice Kim battles class, race, and family pressure to become a drug dealer in New York City’s wild underground rave scene. (LAAPFF 202)


Sunrise in my mind (ថ្ងៃរះក្នុងចិត្) by Danech San – Cambodia | 2021 – 14 minutes

Pich, a young woman working at a beauty salon in Phnom Penh, spends most of her nights at work chatting and gossiping with her coworkers and customers. One night, she gives into her restrained interest in Lay, who spends his evenings driving city streets by motorbike as a delivery man. (LAAPFF 2022)


The Return by Hena Ashraf – India, USA | 2021 – 18 minutes

A writer-director struggles with her profound sense of loss after the sudden death of her father, who dies while visiting his homeland of India. Hena wrestles with coming to terms with their strained relationship, by the only way she knows how: making a film. (LAAPFF 2022)


Emerging Filmmaker Award

Yasir Masood for his film Istikhara, New York – USA | 2022 – 86 minutes

Reza, a twenty year old aspiring broadway actor and a food delivery courier hustles to make ends meet. Navigating through the complicated relationships with his worried parents, undecided lovers, and motley crew, he struggles to find peace within himself while facing the reality of daily life in New York. (LAAPFF 2022)

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