And the 2019 #HAAPIFEST Winners are...🥁🥁🥁

JOIN US FOR THE 15TH ANNUAL HAAPIFEST!

Started in 2004 by OCA-Greater Houston, the Houston Asian American Pacific Islander Film Festival (aka HAAPIFEST) was created:

  • to highlight and celebrate the diversity of AAPI culture, food, and family
  • to support AAPI artists and filmmakers
  • to share the untold AAPI experience for the Greater Houston metropolitan area through edutainment

Today, #HAAPIFEST is a FREE immersive, multi-day celebration of film, music, and art, showcased by a dedicated committee of volunteers.


FILM SCREENINGS ARE FREE TO ATTEND AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED. SOME FILMS CONTAIN MATURE CONTENT, PLEASE REFER TO WEBSITE FOR DETAILS.

  • Pre-registering for faster admission
  • Use the dropdowns to select tickets for your preferred film or event
  • Want to support OCA-Greater Houston programming? Donate or select the paid options or merchandise

Get Tickets


VENUES:

Opening Night - Thursday, June 20 @ Asia Society Texas Center | 1370 Southmore Blvd., Houston, TX 77004

HAAPIFEST - Friday, June 21 - June 27 @ Houston Marriott Westchase | 2900 Briarpark Dr., Houston, TX 77042

Arts Night - Friday, June 28 @ Chinese Community Center | 9800 Town Park Dr., Houston, TX 77036

Thursday, June 20


Bomi(native)

Ali, an elderly man, works tirelessly day after day in the salt mine where he extracts the salt himself in hopes of selling it.

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Omotenashi

The heir to a Taipei construction company takes on the renovation of an old Japanese hotel to win back his soon-to-be-married ex-girlfriend while clashing with the previous owner’s daughter.

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Friday, June 21


No

A Chinese couple tricks a lost Chinese woman into thinking they can’t speak Chinese.

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Aloha

Aloha follows one new mom's quest to find the perfect birth announcement after the delivery of her baby doesn't go quite as planned. It's a lighthearted drama that touches on a pregnancy complication that isn't always easy to discuss.

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I AM THAT

When Skylar, a cloistered nun, get word of her sister’s death, she ventures outside the convent on a pilgrimage to Chimayo, New Mexico, where her sister is buried. On her journey Skylar is joined by two other outsiders, a runaway teenager and a train-hopping drifter, whose presence and friendship challenge her life's dedication to God.

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Saturday, June 22


Difficult People

Akash, an aspiring graffiti artist lives with his father, Sudhakar, in Mumbai. While standing against his father's conventional approach, Akash struggles to find his creative expression in the vast liberating spaces of the Mumbai.

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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Whelp

In the chaotic Chinatown of U.S., a teenager and his elder sister were robbed by two robbers in a parking lot without the monitor, the teenager sacked out the robbers with his advanced feat, and triggered a series of stories from this.

READ MORE... 


Nothing On US:
Pinays Rising

In NOTHING ON US: PINAYS RISING, Pinay Rapper Ruby Ibarra makes her directorial debut showing how she orchestrated an ambitious vision for her music video of “Us”, showcasing the song’s global tropes of resistance and solidarity, serving as a Pinay anthem for women to continue rising.

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Nightcaller

In the urban jungle of Manila, the call centre capital of the world, anonymous call centre agents spill the beans on the Philippines' most in-demand job, revealing the country’s rapid westernization and cultural suppression.

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Breathing

A few workers of a stone factory without healthcare, have to hide in a dark and small room every month when the insurance agent arrives. A problem arises when they are locked in the room and a gas leak suddenly occurs…

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24-Hour Workday

24-Hour Workday exposes the conditions of long hours and wage theft that working people are currently facing. These workers come together to demand back pay and change of 24-hour shifts to split shifts, and unite with patients to mount a challenge against this state-sponsored sweatshop.

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Down on the Sidewalk in Waikīkī

A soft-spoken Janitor, frustrated with cleaning up after an endless parade of tourists in Waikīkī, reflects on a traumatizing memory that stirs a voice from within. 

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和 / Harmony

A young, ambitious business woman must make a decision on what is most important to her personally and professionally.

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Seadrift

In 1979, a fatal shooting in Seadrift, Texas ignites a resurgence of the KKK and a maelstrom of hostilities against Vietnamese refugees.

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Minidoka

A young Japanese American activist traces his family history of incarceration during World War II and applies lessons learned to today’s politics.

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Norman Mineta and His Legacy: An American Story

Norman Mineta's story follows his experience as a Japanese American inside a U.S. concentration camp to his rise to prominence making him one of the most influential Asian Americans in U.S.  history. A bipartisan visionary who championed political civility, he is a change maker whose legacy includes a lifelong commitment to social justice.

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Drawn From Life

Raj is a talented artist who had struggled with depression and anxiety, but now works to help others through his art by sharing his personal experiences.

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For Izzy

The lives of a recovering addict and her single mother change forever when they move in next door to a widowed father and his adult daughter with autism.

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VINCENT WHO?

A film about the murder that awakened a people and ignited the Asian American civil rights movement.

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Freedom Summer

In the hot and deadly summer of 1964, more than 700 student volunteers joined with organizers and local African Americans in a historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in one of the nation's most segregated states — even in the face of intimidation, physical violence, and death.

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Did I Hit You?

A 60-year Chinese immigrant grandmother enrolls in a child development class where she confronts her past abusive parenting techniques. The film honors the simple dynamics of a child asking questions to a parent but as an adult.

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Sever

A daughter must face her dwindling familial relationships when she comes home to care for her bedridden mother.

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Maelstrom

A year ago, fifteen-year-old Anna lost her mother. Now, in a couple of days, Aunt Young, sister of the deceased mother, will become Anna’s guardian. But packing proves difficult for Anna, as is her relationship with her dad, Rick, who deals with grief differently from Anna.

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Tundra

A mother struggles to cope with the loss of her missing daughter.

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Champagne Social

An indecisive couple struggles on their plans for New Years Eve and a simple question spirals into a fear driven examination of their long winded, broken relationship.

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Search History

Grace, a Korean-American, gifts her grandmother a 23+me kit for her birthday. But as her gesture is met with protests from her family, Grace secretly sends in her grandmother’s DNA, discovering a dark past that ultimately helps her connect to her heritage and roots.

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Come & Take It

This short documentary film captures the transformation of a young woman to leadership of America’s most irreverent anti-gun violence movement called #CocksNotGlocks. After concealed carry of handguns is legalized on the University of Texas campus, Jessica Jin posts clever humor on social media, and with the help of a tight-knit group of young female students, a movement is born: The Great Texas Dildo Revolt.

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Ms. Purple

Kasie, who’s stuck in LA’s Koreatown, works as a karaoke hostess getting paid for her companionship by drunken men. When her dad’s hospice nurse quits she reconnects with her estranged brother, Carey, forcing them to enter a period of intense self-reflection as their single father who raised them nears death.

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Sunday, June 23

One

Everyone is living life by oneself while being in an infinite white space. One’s environment is created and based on one’s deepest memories. One starts to forget.

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Travel Ban: Make America Laugh Again

Travel Ban is about being brown and immigrant in America seen through the eyes of comedians of Middle Eastern background.

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Nisei Bowl

It’s Wednesday morning at the Bonwood bowling alley and the senior bowlers file into their weekly ritual. Their spirit and stories weave a history - then and now - of the Japanese-American community in Salt Lake City.

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Mẹ

Mẹ, mother in the northern Vietnamese dialect, follows two generations of moms as they create a new dish for the family restaurant. Reimagining their parent’s pho shop, the next generation carries on the family legacy through Vietnamese cuisine.

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Back in the Water House

A story about motherhood, Back in the Water House follows mother-daughter artists Sulieti Fieme’a Burrows and Tui Emma Gillies as their relationship is further strengthened by tapa - a Tongan traditional cloth made from the inner bark of a mulberry tree.

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Weaving The Future

Andy is a young Samoan who left behind his dream of studying art to chase a new passion: tourism.

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A Farewell

Danni, a young Chinese girl, goes against her parents' wishes and embarks on a journey in the suppressed but mesmerizing world of Islamic culture in modern China.

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Chai Tea

Chai Tea is about Ash (Aishwarya) who is a first generation South-Asian American struggling with figuring out how she fits in society, contemplating what it means to be an Asian-American.

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DIVIDED

A short film following two sisters escaping North Korea during the Korean War, "Divided" sheds light on the story of many forgotten victims who have sacrificed their lives for the pursuit of freedom south of the parallel.

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Playing Frisbee in North Korea

Through interviews with North Korean refugees, long time aid workers, scholars, and experts on the topic, this documentary provides an authentic, inimitable perspective of the lives, struggles, and humanity of the North Korean people.

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Passage to Womanhood

A group of Muslim trans women stand their ground against social marginalization in secular Malaysia. Redefining femininity in Islam they are painting painting their own portrayal of womanhood.

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Half Widow

Amid the backdrop of the Kashmiri conflict, a young woman must come to grips with the disappearance of her doting husband and embarks on harrowing journey of self-discovery.

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American Girl

When the time comes to put away childish things…

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Play Pretend

A young girl must combat the racial discrimination she faces at her school armed only with her stuffed teddy bear companion.

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Aiga

In the wake of their mother’s death, Leiloa must teach her younger brother to cope without Mum’s cooking.

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My Brother’s Pigeons

My Brother’s Pigeons highlights the right of all creatures to live freely, demanding us to learn that this universe is not in our disposal.

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And Then They Came For Us

Executive Order 9066 paved the way for a profound violation of constitutional rights: the forced incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans. The award-winning documentary brings history into the present, retelling this challenging chapter of the U.S.'s past through the perspective of Japanese American activists speaking out against the Muslim registry and travel ban. The film features newly rediscovered photographs of Dorothea Lange.

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A Village Called Versailles

When the Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in August 2005, the little-known, tight-knit Vietnamese community of Versailles residents rebuilt their neighborhood faster than most other damaged neighborhoods in the city, only to find themselves threatened by a new toxic landfill slated to open just two miles away. Forced out of Vietnam by the war 30 years ago, many residents faced the threat of losing their homes being once again.

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A Sari for Pallavi

When Traditional Thini gets into a fight with her cousin Promiscuous Pallavi over what to wear to an Indian wedding, a hilarious culture clash unravels.

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Nailed It

“Nailed It” chronicles the genesis and legacy of the 40 year Vietnamese nail salon and its influence on an $8 billion-dollar American industry. For mixed-race Vietnamese filmmaker Adele Pham, it’s personal, as she confronts her cultural conflicts and discovers her place within the community, by peeling back the layers of this niche trade seen by everyone but known to few.

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Monday, June 24

Dancing Through Life: The Dorothy Toy Story

This documentary revisits the life of 102-year-old Dorothy Toy Fong, who travelled across the world to perform in her unique dance style as part of the Asian-American dance duo, Toy and Wing.

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Havana Divas 古巴花旦

Caridad and Georgina, octogenarian Cantonese Opera singers who grew up in Havana’s Barrio Chino, trace their place in the history of Cuba’s Chinese diaspora and their role in preserving the last vestiges of this community’s culture.

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My Mother, Myself & I

Four vignettes, four mother-son moments, one unspoken truth. This relationship evolves throughout the years as they tread lightly on the issue of traditional Chinese family values and the social taboos of sexual infidelity and homosexuality.

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High Point Summer

Sopheak began this video diary early in the summer of 2006. He planned to document his life as a refugee from war-torn Cambodia and to explain the meaning of the term, "thug life." However, his summer is ultimately defined by tragedy.

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CHERRY

Christian Flores wakes up after a long night of partying to find that his Toyota MR2 has been towed. However, Christian did manage to score a girl’s number in his drunken haze, which he also loses. Christian has the rest of the weekend to figure out how he’s going to get the money to get his car out, all while trying to find out who the girl is.

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Sideways Smile

A sexually repressed Asian American woman fakes orgasms because she has never had one. At the urging of her new roommate, she reluctantly enrolls in a class with a bunch of strangers to learn how but immediately regrets her decision after receiving her first homework assignment.

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Miss Tokyo

Joanna Masuko is humiliated when her grandmother suggests she take her childhood friend, Bryan, as a date to her sister’s wedding. After a succession of disturbing and lackluster events, she reluctantly ventures to his house, only to discover – to her great delight – that he’s not the Asian nerd she used to know.

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Following Jamie

Social media influencer Jamie Chen moves to LA and befriends Quinn, a shy waitress with dreams of performing on Broadway. Quinn realizes that Jamie cares more about gaining online followers than an actual friendship.

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Tuesday, June 25

Kaaway

Two 11-year-old Filipino boys, Jonathan, who was born and raised in the U.S., and Calag, born and raised in the Philippines, get into a fight at school and are forced to spend the day at the same house.

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Tank Man

Tank Man is the story of the iconic gentleman who stood in front of and stopped a line of tanks after the Tienanmen Square massacre of June 4, 1989. All that is know of this man are the images that were recorded of his acts. This film is a speculation of what he went through the day he took his courageous steps 30 years ago.

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Jeremiah

An Asian-American high school football player is forced to confront his deepest fears after a strange encounter with a mysterious figure.

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Call Her Ganda

When 26-year old Filipina transgender woman and sex worker, Jennifer Laude, is found dead, the perpetrator is quickly identified as 19-year-old U.S. marine Joseph Scott Pemberton. Three women pursue justice, activist attorney Virgie Suarez, transgender investigative Meredith Talusan, and Jennifer’s mother Julita.

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Last Taxi Dance

In a ballroom called Paradise, in the aftermath of World War II, a proud Hawaiian singer dances with a returned U.S. soldier and debates the dignity of the American dream. But when his dance tickets run out, she is left with a harsh choice – for when the dancing stops, this man will die.

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An Affair Remains

A man and a woman meet after retrieving the remains of their spouses. The spouses had been having an affair for over 30 years and died together in a car crash.

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Last Choice

"Last Choice" is a hybrid documentary exploring the phenomenon of hikikomori, or social withdrawal, in Japan. Based on real events that took place during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, the film tells the story of an ultimate dilemma which embodies the fear and struggle of society.

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Sluggish Life

A man lives alone in a dark house between millions of eggs; he wants to call someone but he does not succeed until the phone rings…

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Neon Girl

Amy’s best friend visits unexpectedly while she was video chatting with an anonymous person, wanting to address school rumors, but ends up arguing. Amy’s drunk mother intensifies the quarrel, and everything is recorded by the person behind the screen. Amy then receives a series of viral videos…

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Lollipop

A 14-year-old Saudi girl experiences the onset of puberty, which means she must begin wearing a full black Niqab, and when her tormentor at school swipes her jacket a case of mistaken identity exposes the perversity of that girl’s father.

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SWIMMING

Struggling with her sexual identity, Michelle, a Chinese American teenager girl, cuts herself while her Chinese-born immigrant mother, busy with the new born baby, thinks everything is fine with Michelle.

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Wednesday, June 26

Donuts for Dollars

This film details the daily lives of Cambodian-owned donut shop workers, owners, and family members while highlighting both the success and struggles.

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Forbidden Tikka Masala

This story follows Gayatri, a devout vegetarian who finds a new lease on life after mistakenly eating chicken at her retirement party. Already challenged with adjusting to retirement, her life becomes chaotic as she searches for the chicken recipe she craves, taking her on an adventure that will forever change her.

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ULAM: Main Dish

ULAM: Main Dish is the first food documentary following the rise of the Filipino food movement via the chefs crossing over to the center of the American table.

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Confucius Plaza

CONFUCIUS PLAZA exhibits a son (Shing Ka) retelling his father’s story to his lover (Devon Diep) that could be passed down within the family of generations. A look inside one of the 762 apartments of this Confucius Plaza located at 33 Bowery in New York’s Chinatown.This film details the daily lives of Cambodian-owned donut shop workers, owners, and family members while highlighting both the success and struggles.

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The Last Tip

THE LAST TIP a loyal patron (Geoff Lee) reminisces into his past of his sweetheart (Celia Au) at their favorite restaurant one last time before its official close of business. The film was produced 24 hours during the closing of Chinatown’s 69 Bayard Restaurant Corp.

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Love Express (達·愛)

LOVE EXPRESS a love story of two train commuters (Tim Liu, Margaret Ying Drake) who finds themselves in a newfound companionship blossoming into something deeper.

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Thursday, June 27


Please Translate

Please Translate explores how language can act both as a barrier and an effective tool to help bridge the relationship between a Chinese immigrant mother, and her American-born daughter. In a film about sacrifice, hardships, and ultimately a mother’s love, Please Translate exemplifies that nothing—not even linguistic differences—can stand in the way of the special bond between mother and daughter.

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Origin Story

When Kulap Vilaysack was 14, she took her father’s side in an argument and her mother replied, “Why are you defending him? He’s not your real dad.” Twenty years later, she’s finally ready to learn what that means.

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Seadrift

In 1979, a fatal shooting in Seadrift, Texas ignites a resurgence of the KKK and a maelstrom of hostilities against Vietnamese refugees.

READ MORE... 

Our Time Machine

When artist Maleonn realizes that his father suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, he creates “Papa’s Time Machine,” a magical, autobiographical stage performance featuring life-size mechanical puppets. Through the production of this play, the two men confront their mortality before time runs out and memories are lost forever.

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Friday, June 28


Tested

Nabbing a spot in one of NYC's best public high schools can change kids' lives--but who gets in? Only the few who conquer the SHSAT.


Justice For Vincent

Chinese American Chin was bludgeoned to death in 1982 by two autoworkers who mistook him for being Japanese. The murderers were let off with a shocking $3,000 fine and a three-year probation, a sentence that outraged the Chinese community. In a rare show of force, the traditionally passive Asian communities banded together in protest, sparking the first Pan-Asian civil rights movement in America.


Nothing On US: Pinays Rising

In NOTHING ON US: PINAYS RISING, Pinay Rapper Ruby Ibarra makes her directorial debut showing how she orchestrated an ambitious vision for her music video of “Us”, showcasing the song’s global tropes of resistance and solidarity, serving as a Pinay anthem for women to continue rising.

READ MORE... 


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Whelp

In the chaotic Chinatown of U.S., a teenager and his elder sister were robbed by two robbers in a parking lot without the monitor, the teenager sacked out the robbers with his advanced feat, and triggered a series of stories from this.

READ MORE... 

Nisei Bowl

It’s Wednesday morning at the Bonwood bowling alley and the senior bowlers file into their weekly ritual. Their spirit and stories weave a history - then and now - of the Japanese-American community in Salt Lake City.

READ MORE...


Bomi(native)

Ali, an elderly man, works tirelessly day after day in the salt mine where he extracts the salt himself in hopes of selling it.

READ MORE... 

A Sari for Pallavi

When Traditional Thini gets into a fight with her cousin Promiscuous Pallavi over what to wear to an Indian wedding, a hilarious culture clash unravels.

READ MORE... 

Mayor Ed Lee

This is an hour long documentary about the first Asian American Mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee. It follows him from growing up poor in Seattle, before moving to the Bay Area where he went from civil rights attorney to city bureaucrat to Mayor. It focuses on how his apolticial character made him both popular and effective. The documentary also details his untimely death and the legacy that he leaves.

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