20th Big Sky Documentary Film Festival – Asian Presence 2023

We present the Asian films that will be screened at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, which will take place from February 17 – 26, 2023 in Missoula, United States

– Feature Films-

A Thousand Fires by Saeed Taji Farouky
France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Palestine, Myanmar | 2021 – 90 minutes

“Artisanal” oilfields are commonplace in Myanmar, with many swapping crop cultivation for selling oil they’ve pumped from the ground by hand. A THOUSAND FIRES is a poetic and stark portrait of two parents who want the best for their children, in spite of their economic hardships. (BigSky 2023)


Big Fight in Little Chinatown by Karen Cho – USA, Canada | 2022 – 88 minutes

All across the globe, Chinatowns are under threat of disappearing – and along with them, the rich history of communities who fought from the margins for a place to belong. BIG FIGHT IN LITTLE CHINATOWN documents the collective fight to save Chinatowns across North America. (BigSky 2023)


– Short Films –

Ethan Lim: Cambodian Futures by Dustin Nakao-Haider – USA | 2022 – 17 minutes

Follow Chicago-based chef Ethan Lim as he creates vibrant dishes inspired by the rich, complex history of Cambodia. Drawing on his family’s half-century culinary legacy, Lim’s award-winning cooking imagines how Cambodian cuisine might have evolved had the civil war not paused its growth. This is Culinary Futurism. (BigSky 2023)

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

In small-town India, where cows are considered sacred, a teenage boy and his group of friends set off on a quest to become saviors of the holy cow, only to be caught in the web of growing Hindu nationalist extremism. (BigSky 2023)

Hope, Hopefully by Hao Zhou – USA | 2023 – 11 minutes

Zee, a non-binary aspiring nurse from China, strives to create a gender affirming life in Iowa. After graduating from nursing school, Zee works tirelessly to pass the national licensure exam in hopes of obtaining a work visa. (BigSky 2023)


My AI Lover by Chouwa Liang – China, Australia | 2022 – 16 minutes

During their special “dates” with their artificially intelligent companions, three young Chinese women reflect on the uniqueness and boundaries of such intimate relationships. (BigSky 2023)


Sunflowers by Chloe White, Soraya Umewaka – UK, Japan | 2022 – 24 minutes

Having been born the year of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, ten year old Eri has grown up in the shadow of the event that defined her hometown, despite having no recollection of it herself. When her family joins a local sunflower planting group who are hoping to rid the soil of toxins, she begins to learn more about the memories of those around her. (BigSky 2023)

When the Dust Blow Through by Yuxuan Ethan Wu – China | 2022 – 28 minutes

For the past hundred years, the ancient ruins of the Loulan Kingdom have been a source of fascination for scholars, and a target prized by thieves. WHEN THE DUST BLOWS THROUGH follows two men have been stationed in the heart of this unpopulated desert region to guard the ruins from tomb raiders. They stay for months in solitude with no communication with the outside world. As the heat, sand, and loneliness take a toll on them mentally and physically, the two start to wonder. (BigSky 2023)


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