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
Julie Chang, 5 minutes, West Coast Premiere
Speed dating. A tongue in cheek short about unfiltered speed daters and their checklists.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.
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?
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.
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.