Friday, April 21

Aunt Susan by Sophia Wang
See my nanny through my eyes. She’s more than her job description—she’s family.


Life of Zili by Cheng Zhang

A middle-aged first-generation Chinese immigrant lives independently while recovering from illness.

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Cheng Zhang is a filmmaker born and raised in China. Prior to coming to the US to study nonfiction filmmaking, she graduated from Sichuan University and Peking University studying the environment in the fields of science, engineering, sociology, and anthropology. Her film topics of interest include power and authority, social structure, and individual resilience. She has recently received an Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University.


Ended April 30, 1975 by Prakshi Malik
An attempt to connect with land in a new home is interrupted by ties to land from an old home. Like a portal, the round belly of a buried toy brings Hong back to unexploded bombies from a war that ‘ended’ on April 30,1975.


The FBI Blew Up My Ice Skates by Sara Zia Ebrahimi
Based on a true story, the film tells a story from the Iran Hostage Crisis in 1980 from the perspective of Haleh, an eight year old who just wants to enjoy her ice skates. The film raises questions about the human cost of surveillance and the criminalization of immigrant communities, linking past policy decisions with current national discussions around security and xenophobia.


The Green Thumb by Tim Pappa
This documentary short features Tzi Wei Wong, whose entire family died from disease and starvation during the Cambodian genocide. Tzi Wei expresses how freedom and solace can be found in Jesus Christ even in the face of such devastating loss and upheaval.


Foreign Students by Kenji Lui
The flamboyant life of Lin, a rich Chinese international student studying in San Francisco, is turned upside down when she learns that her family fortune is gone. A nonchalant Taiwanese girl who claims to be her sister approaches and offers assistance. This unexpected reunion soon prompt them to reexamine the ultimate goal of studying abroad.


Spa Night by Andrew Ahn

Andrew Ahn’s remarkably assured debut feature is a portrait of forbidden sexual awakening set in the nocturnal world of spas and karaoke bars in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. David Cho (Joe Seo, who won the Special Jury Award at Sundance for his breakthrough performance), a timid 18-year-old living with his financially-struggling immigrant parents, chances upon a secret spot for cruising when he takes a part-time job at an all-
male spa, and begins to realize hidden inner desires that threaten his life as a dutiful son and student. Effervescent and atmospheric, this one-of-a-kind coming-of-age story makes the steamy spa a liminal place between dream and reality, and desire and disillusionment.

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Andrew Ahn is a Korean-American filmmaker born and raised in Los Angeles. Ahn participated in the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, the Film Independent Screenwriting Lab, and the Film Independent Directing Lab with his feature screenplay Spa Night. With his producing team, Ahn completed a successful Kickstarter campaign. The project also received a Sundance Institute Cinereach Feature Film Fellow grant, Panavision New Filmmaker grant, and EFILM/Film Independent finishing grant. Ahn is an alum of Film Independent’s Project Involve and has promoted diversity in the arts by mentoring youth filmmakers through programs like Pacific Arts Movement’s Reel Voices and Outfest’s OutSet. He graduated from Brown University and received an Master of Fine Arts in Film Directing from the California Institute of the Arts.


Golden Golden by Erica Cho
Two broke 20-somethings arrive in Los Angeles to see a Filipina fortune teller known for her conjoined crystal balls. The penny-counting friends are from San Bernardino, one of the hardest hit US cities of the subprime mortgage housing crisis. What does it mean to dream when the future is foreclosed? When Nao and Loop can’t afford the fortuneteller’s steep fee, her assistant takes pity on them (mistaking the two queer Asians for middle school students.) As they gaze into the magic orbs, each is confronted with their own set of secret desires – enacted within the space of a song. For Nao: a lush, Edwardian fantasia brimming with love, poetry, and seduction. For Loop: a mundane city bus ride, first interrupted by a gaggle of musical teenagers and then suddenly, a stunning pair of queer Angels. Musically framed by Afro-futurist electronica and soulful Americana of the 1940s to 1960s, Golden Golden’s queer experimental visions open up spaces for desiring, belonging, and becoming— across Asian, Black, and Latinx imaginaries.

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