30 Short Films you shouldn’t miss at the Asian American International Film Festival (Part 2)

We continue with our list of short films that you shouldn’t miss at the Asian American International Film Festival which will take place in cinemas (in New York City) and online from August 3 – 13, 2022.

To see the 1st part of this list please go HERE

– Selected Films – (Part 2)

Lucky Fish by Emily May Jampel – USA | 8 minutes
Section: Fresh Starts and Sweethearts

Two Asian American teenagers meet in the bathroom of a Chinese restaurant while having dinner with their families. (AAIFF 2022)


Maneki by Brandon Okumura – USA | 13 minutes
Section: Fresh Starts and Sweethearts

Aiko, a young cashier working at a ramen restaurant, gets rejected by Jean, Aiko’s favorite regular. But when Jean returns to the restaurant and tries to bridge the gap, Aiko must reconcile her feelings as their relationship enters uncharted territory. (AAIFF 2022)

Murder Tongue by Ali Sohail Jaura – Pakistan | 18 minutes
Section: Heirlooming Large: Family Stories

It is May of 1992. The state-sanctioned “Operation” has put the city of Karachi in constant unrest. Abdul Aziz Ansari wakes up at night and is informed by his daughter-in-law, Naseema, that his son hasn’t returned home. As a knock on their door later at night summons them to the hospital, what they witness along the way is known today as the most brutal chapter of the city’s history, a sentiment of hatred towards their race, deeply rooted beneath the system. (AAIFF 2022)


Poachers by Tiffany Lin – USA | 13 minutes
Section: It’s a Mad Mad Multiverse

During the summer before they must leave for college, two best friends come across a unique business opportunity: illegally harvesting and selling succulents on the California coast. As they embark on their journey, they must figure out where they stand when it comes to breaking the law, their morality, and their friendship. (AAIFF 2022)

Reincidence by Tomomi Muraguchi – Japan | 17 minutes
Section: It’s a Mad Mad Multiverse

One day, Yoko is picked up by a stranger at a bar. He is a familiar man, but Yoko can’t remember. And the man asks Yoko a mysterious question, “The world around us is replaced with another every time we go to sleep. Were you aware?” (AAIFF 2022)


Ruby by Momo Daud – Pakistan, Canada | 12 minutes
Section: Below the Line

Ruby is a Pakistani woman who recently immigrated to Toronto, Canada. She spends her days on the phone, and in quiet reflection, the fatigue of her journey gives way to melancholic anticipation for the future. On a summer day, she waits for her husband and child to come home and dreams of the countless faces she has passed by on the streets of her new city. Her day is marked with small interactions with neighbors, some friendly, some not, and the anxiety that creeps in when her husband doesn’t pick up her calls. (AAIFF 2022)

Soft Sounds of Peeling Fruit by So Young Sheely Yo – USA | 14 minutes
Section: Below the Line

Hayoung has a secret that she will do anything to keep hidden, but one chance encounter shakes her entire world open. (AAIFF 2022)

Thank You, Come Again by Nirav Bhakta – 11 minutes
Section: It’s a Mad Mad Multiverse

In a post-9/11 world, Dharmesh, an undocumented Indian American immigrant, stands in front of the racial slur graffitied on the 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. (AAIFF 2022)


The 17 Club by Shota Mori – Japan | 21 minutes
Section: It’s a Mad Mad Multiverse

After an accident, high school girl Nanairo gains the ability to “time travel just one second.” But she is an aspiring novelist, and that is the plot of her own story. As she nears the completion of her novel by receiving advice from her friend Rinne, their separation is also drawing near. (AAIFF 2022)

The Blessing by Ziyao Liu – USA | 6 minutes
Section: Visual Communications: Digital Histories and Armed with a Camera

Using the actual footage when filming a video to send blessing for my mother’s wedding, THE BLESSING captures my struggles of having to verbalize and confront a fact I’ve been avoiding – that my father is really gone as my mom moved on in life while I was under a lot of stress from having to make this video with such short notice, trapped in the U.S. during the pandemic, and a heavy workload from online classes. (AAIFF 2022)

When the Sky Was Blue by Rae Choi – Australia | 15 minutes
Section: Growing Taller

One Sunday, between meals and chores with her family, 10-year-old Leah experiences small but striking moments of longing and loss. A series of reimagined memories, the film offers a meditative and wistful glance into the intersectional identities of being Chinese-Australian. (AAIFF 2022)

Who Are You? by Ellie (Yejin) Koo – Korea | 3 minutes
Section: Ones to Watch: Filmmakers Under 21

Through an experimental portrayal of the gendered symbolism of Taemong, created with direct animation and analog editing, the role motherhood plays as a dedication to one’s nation and the importance of dreams to Korean culture comes together in this visual phenomenon that works to communicate the complexity of gender to culture and nation. (AAIFF 2022)

Wuhan Driver by Tiger Ji – USA, China | 14 minutes
Section: Ones to Watch: Filmmakers Under 21

At the onset of the pandemic, a Chinese Uber driver struggles to make ends meet. Throughout a single night, he picks up various passengers — a paranoid young man, two drunk women, an anxious mother, an absentminded priest, and a Wall Street business man. In the face of the world’s indifference, he pushes onward, hoping for the best. Subject to an onslaught of prejudice, the driver struggles in America and longs to return to China. (AAIFF 2022)


Yae: Blind Samurai Woman by Akiko Izumitani – USA | 19 minutes
Section: Who Run the World

In 18th century Japan, a blind woman has the power to heal people in exchange for her eyesight. She hides with her father in the mountain. One day, a young samurai appears to take revenge for his father. She asks for her father’s sword to use as a blind stick and attacks, but it seems to have no effect on him. Later, she reveals her sword skills. After a death blow to him, he shows his concern for her. Knowing he had his own reason to kill her father, she decides that she needs to cut a cycle of revenge, and she uses her healing power to save him in exchange for her last light. (AAIFF 2022)


Yugen by Ruth Du – USA | 10 minutes
Section: Turning the Page

Jing experiences the unsettling and mysterious powers of nature as she grieves the death of her child. (AAIFF 2022)

To see the 1st part of this list please go HERE

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