TRAILERS

3 Chords and the Truth

Angelo Santos, 7minutes, World Premiere

Young country music writer Spencer struggles to have his song recognized, but his record label may be about to drop him. The film was entered as part of the the Asian Film Lab’s 72 Hour Shootout in June, with the subject of the shootout being “Lose the Label”. To address the continuing issue of whitewashing Asian roles, the film addresses the various characters and roles Asian-Americans can play. Included are a sexy Asian-American male singer, an eccentric Asian mother and an athletic, gay Asian-American

 

3 Minutes

Julie Chang, 5 minutes, West Coast Premiere

Speed dating. A tongue in cheek short about unfiltered speed daters and their checklists.

 

All Our Father’s Relations

Alejandro Yoshizawa, 56minutes, US Premiere

Three siblings, born of a Chinese father and a Musqueam mother, relate the difficulties of growing up in two ancient clashing cultures. The film also documents the Grants’ journey to their father’s ancestral village in Guangdong to reconnect with their Chinese family.

Avenues of Escape

Leon Lee, 66minutes, US Premiere

Falun Gong followers base their lives and spiritual practices upon Buddhist moral teachings. Because of their philosophy, independence and numbers, the Chinese government considers them threatening and open to persecution. This film documents the desperate lengths three Falun Gong women will go to for their freedom.

The Baby Lu’au

Jana Park Moore, 16minutes, Pacific NW Premiere

Relatives can be the worst, but you gotta stick with them anyway. An ambitious lawyer comes home to Oahu to visit her estranged family, with tumultuous results. A dark comedy about the inevitable craziness of family relationships.

Beta

Jeffrey Chin, 15minutes, World Premiere

Known as the Ellis Island of the West, Angel Island was the gateway, and prison, for approximately one million immigrants from Asia. In the modern day, a young man visits the island buildings in search of a mythical treasure.

The Bird Who Could Fly

Raphael Sbarge, 19minutes, Pacific NW Premiere

“There are moments that happen in your life with a whisper…and you may not realize that nothing will ever be the same”. A young Korean American attorney struggles to keep his family connected, in the face of his brothers’ bad choices and his mother’s religious extremism.

Blasian Narratives

Jivan Atman, 51 minutes, Pacific NW Premiere

To be multiracial is complicated, but to be simultaneously Black and Asian is to exist at the poles of the racial spectrum. It is the struggle to present the world with a genuine whole, rather than one of two halves. Through multiple performances, this “Docu-Theatre” piece explores that complexity.

Cactus

Wilder Herms, 5 minutes, World Festival Premiere

Stunning martial arts choreography in the midst of desert landscape serves this short story of Sha Mo Hua as she makes her choice. Does she just wait to escape slave traders, or should she seize the moment.

Cavities

Michael Chan, 25 minutes, Pacific NW Premiere

16 year old Winston supports himself with his self-made business, in which he enlists his best friend Franklin. When Wintson’s mother unexpectedly returns home, he is torn between trusting her, and protecting himself from her neglect. He longs for love and security, but whose got his back?

 

Cocktail Party

Regge Life, 103 minutes, West Coast Premiere

Eager to reset the Marine base on a course of good will with the people of Okinawa, newly-arrived Col. Porter sets up the first cocktail party of his tenure. But delicate relations are jeopardized when word gets out that a local woman has been assaulted by a Marine. Old wounds are opened and justice and peace are tenuous.

Coming Full Circle: The Journey of A Transgendered Korean Adoptee

Larry Tung, 24 minutes, Oregon Premiere

What is it like to “go back” to a country you never knew? Adopted as a 7-month old baby boy by white American parents, Pauline Park embarks on a journey back to Korea, over 50 years later, as a transgender activist, exploring themes of identity, belonging, destiny and fate.

 

Dhalang (The Puppeteer)

Inaya Yusuf, 4 minutes, Pacific NW Premiere

A lyrical performance short that explores Indonesian social and cultural identity through puppetry, dance and the staging of everyday reality.

The Ethnic Strategy

Chloe Hung, 9 minutes, World Premiere

It’s tough for an Asian artist to get by without exploiting her ethnicity, especially when the rent is due. Maybe selling out is inevitable. Or maybe not. A short comedy film about art, race, and good business.

 

Float

Tristan Seniuk, 24 minutes, World Premiere

Float is a day in the life film of Rocky Mang, a young Cambodian hustler in mid-90s Seattle. Behind the blustery facade is a sensitive young man who loves his family, wants his place in the world and maybe, just maybe, finds love.

Password: Water

Fractured

Maritte Lee Go, 15 minutes, Oregon Premiere

A Korean American farmer and father-to-be struggles to keep his farm afloat in the wake of a drought. He is also fending off an energy conglomerate that is buying off land to erect large drilling machines. Can one man protect his family’s health and livelihood against a large company focused on expansion?

I Am Chamorro

Wesley Somoza and John “Mo” Burnham, 107 minutes, World Festival Premiere

This film is a comprehensive history of the Chamorro people. With no written records, Chamorro history is held and preserved in its archeology, people, culture and language. Featuring research by Pale’ Eric Forbes.

I Won’t Miss You

Bernard Badion, 20 minutes, Oregon Premiere

17 yr. old Janey’s best friend dies in a car crash, and when he suddenly begins to appear in her room, their awkward, undeclared feelings begin to surface. Taking a comedic approach to a tragic subject, this film explores both a personal and universal story.

Lenora Lee dancer Wei-Shan Lai by Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang

Light

Tatsu Aoki, 57 minutes, Pacific NW Premiere

Inspired by the life of Bessie M. Lee (1894-1955), Lenora Lee Dance has collaborated with director Tatsu Aoki in this artistic expression of migration, servitude, faith and freedom. A collage of dance, music, memory and poetry, Light reminds us of the power of art to heal, transform and inspire.

Massive Monkees: The Beacon

Shannon Gee, 29 minutes, Oregon Premiere

This film showcases Seattle breakdance crew the Massive Monkees, the first American dance crew to win the R-16 Korea international competition, achieving world wide fame. Now, the crew gives back to the community through The Beacon, their dance studio located in Seattle’s International District, organizing classes and competitions to promote self-confidence, positivity, and fun for people of all ages. This film traces their beginnings in the early 2000’s, to their historic win in 2012, to the present.

Mele Murals

Tadashi Nakamura, 65 minutes, USA

Mele, hula, and graffiti? In this documentary film, graffiti (also known as “writing”) meets traditional Hawaiian art and culture. Two veteran graffiti artists return to their roots by teaching writing techniques in local Hawaiian schools. As artists, children, teachers, and spiritual leaders collaborate to paint murals, they not only preserve ancient traditions, but also add new ones to a living Hawaiian culture. This film explores finding Hawaiian identity and spirituality in the modern age, and the art that transmits it across generations.

MIKI

Weiko Lin, 25 minutes, World Premiere

After the death of his mother, an alcoholic comedian must deliver a Buddhist prayer bracelet to his ex-girlfriend. Forced to face his demons, he must make peace with his past.

Mixed Match

Jeff Chiba Stearns, 96 minutes, Oregon Premiere

We all have mixed ancestry, but for blood cancer patients whose multiple race or ethnic family background is in the recent past, finding a compatible blood marrow donor is critical – and currently still very difficult. Presented by the Oregon Cancer Alliance.

Never Forget

Jon Bling, 88 minutes, Viet Nam, Oregon Premiere

10 years after she left Vietnam, Kim must return to grieve her father’s death. Plucked from her independent, urban life in Australia, she is annoyed when her brother sends a family friend to escort her back to their village. Out of place and out of sorts, Kim is forced to rediscover what she left behind. Mostly shot in Vietnam, this film is a beautiful reflection on what it means to belong.

Never Give Up! Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice

Holly Yasui and Will Doolittle, 57 minutes

A film for our times. Minoru Yasui, a true patriot, initiated a legal challenge by deliberately violating military orders under the U.S. War Relocation Authority. Spending nine months in solitary confinement, the U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled against him. The case was reopened in 1984 and his conviction was overturned in 1986, based on evidence that the federal government had falsified evidence in his trial.

One Good Turn

Nathan Adolfson, 15 minutes, World Premiere

Is there redemption at the end of this story? Maybe, maybe not. Or maybe it’s just a tale of lending a hand. One Good Turn is an unusual (as in set in bright sunshine) film noir.

The Orange Story

Erika Street, 18 minutes, Oregon Premiere

A historical film interspersed with archival sound, images, and film. Koji, an elderly Japanese-American shopkeeper, is forced to sell his store when he and other people of Japanese ancestry are interned during World War II.

Picture Taipei

Jason Poon, 19 minutes, Pacific NW Premiere

Sometimes we wish we could chuck our jobs and everyday lives and travel to someplace wonderful. Aimee travels to a city she’s never been to, Taipei. The photos she takes connects her with the people she meets, who help her find fresh meaning in her life.

Resistance At Tule Lake

Konrad Aderer, 78 minutes, Pacific NW Premiere

How do you respond when your government turns against you? For the 110,000+ persons of Japanese descent interned during WWII, this question became an immediate reality. Though most viewed internment as a hardship to be endured, many also resisted by protesting and organizing within the camps. For the most vocal of these protesters, Tule Lake was eventually designated as a segregation camp, a place to separate out the most troublesome internees. This documentary tells their stories of resistance and struggle.

Seppuku

Daryn Wakasa, 24 minutes, Hong Kong, Pacific NW Premiere

Little spirit Bettari leads Mari, an Olympic hopeful, through a mystical portal to…a desert camp? Mari must break free from the traumatic legacy of this camp in this Japanese-American cinematic folk tale.

Song On Canvas

Keo Woolford, 15 minutes, Oregon Premiere

“Never forget how to…dream for your life.” Thomas’ deceased mother visits him and guides him back to a dream he’d long given up on, resulting in his renewed creativity and an homage to her dreams.

Tatara Samurai

Yoshinari Nishikori, 135 minutes, Oregon Premiere

A cinematically stunning film set in feudal Japan, Tatara Samurai is a coming of age story of Gosuke, groomed to become the next Murage (Master Blacksmith) of Tatara Village, famous for its steel. Having survived vicious raids on his village, Gosuke is drawn instead to become a samurai, but he must discover honor and compassion on his own terms. “Drawing the sword means death…are you prepared?”

Toenail

Jingyi Shao, 18 minutes, Pacific NW Premiere

Life changes and comes full circle when Frank’s wise, aging father faces a medical crisis. Roles are reversed and Frank, the dutiful but ambitious son, learns what truly matters.

Trickle Down

Jimmy Cuong Chi Duong, 15 minutes, World Premiere

A thought-provoking film very apropos to today’s climate of hostility and online incitement to hate. When an ethnic group is targeted for robbery and murder, how does one family respond?

Vampariah

Matthew Abaya, 83 minutes, Pacific NW Premiere

Mahal is a kickass hunter of Aswang, vampires of Filipino folklore. Vampariah is a thoughtful horror story that stays true to its roots. This is tale with a twist that raises issues of justice, gender and identity as well as pre-contact loss of tradition.

Year of the Dragon

Quinn Russell Brown, 4 minutes, USA

To the world, Bruce Lee is a star, an icon, a legend, whose stature has only grown since his death. It is easy to forget, then, that before his rise to stardom Lee was held back by a Hollywood unwilling to cast an Asian hero. Poet Troy Osaki recounts this story in passionate spoken word from Seattle’s historic Chinatown.