45th Asian American International Film Festival – Opening & Centerpiece Film

Free Chol Soo Lee directed by Eugene Yi and Julie Ha will Open the 45th Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF). The festival will also host the New York Premiere of Kamila Andini’s Yuni as its Centerpiece film. The AAIFF will take place in cinemas and online from August 3 – 13, 2022 in New York, United States.

This year the AAIFF will have a hybrid edition with in-person and online screenings. The festival will kick off on August 3, 2022 with an exclusive in-person screening of Free Chol Soo Lee directed by Eugene Yi and Julie Ha at the Asia Society and Museum (725 Park Ave, New York). Yuni directed by Kamila Andini will be screened on August 6, 2022 at the same place at 7:30 pm. The film was Indonesia’s entry for the 2022 Academy Awards and also earned the Toronto International Film Festival 2021 – PLATFORM PRIZE.

Opening Film

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

FREE CHOL SOO LEE is a documentary which excavates the essential story of 1970s San Francisco, when 20-year-old Korean immigrant Chol Soo Lee is racially profiled and convicted of a Chinatown gang murder. Sentenced to life, he spends years fighting to survive until investigative journalist K.W. Lee takes interest in his case, igniting an unprecedented social justice movement that would unite Asian Americans and inspire a new generation of activists. (AAIFF 2022)

Kayla Wong director of the AAIFF comment on the film: “”This film uplifts our deeper purpose of this year’s festival: to bring stories that may have been lost in history to shed light on how to move forward collectively. Bringing Chol Soo Lee’s story back to public attention decades later serves as an homage to the social justice movements that have shaped where we are and adds another layer of history to how we might approach today’s rise in anti-Asian violence and injustices. Through the film, we are forced to witness a system that favors the few instead of the many that existed in 1973, while witnessing its continuation in 2022″

Centerpiece Film

Yuni by Kamila Andini – Indonesia, France, Singapore, Australia | 2021 – 95 minutes

The film tells the story of Yuni, a smart, teenage girl with big dreams of attending university. After two marriage proposals, she sparks gossip about a myth that a woman who rejects three proposals will never marry. Yuni must choose between the myth of a final chance at marriage, or her dream of future happiness. (AAIFF)


Associate Director Eunice Chen commented: “AAIFF45 marks an important milestone anniversary. ACV prides itself in a legacy rooted in championing the voices of Asian diaspora artists. This year’s festival continues to celebrate the collective Asian American and Pacific Islander identity by reflecting on ACV’s achievements since 1977!”

More in-person events and the full lineup of AAIFF45 will be announced throughout the month of July. Early bird Gold and Cine Pass will be on sale on July 11 at with limited-time pricing that ends on July 20, 2022

For more information, please visit:

About the 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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