The 43rd Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF43) announced its feature film lineup. This year’s festival will take place completely online for the very first time, from October 1st – October 11th.
Through the program this year, AAIFF continues its efforts to bring communities together, motivate civic engagement, and activate change. Within the total of 16 titles, the feature lineup highlights 9 women-directed films and 9 first or second features from emerging directors. Additionally, the feature lineup consists of 2 special presentations, 9 international films, 2 World premieres, 5 East Coast premieres, and 2 New York City premieres.
DEATH OF NINTENDO
Directed by Raya Martin – Philippines/USA – English/Tagalog
Set in ’90s Manila in the Philippines, four friends go through a life-changing summer, playing video games and dealing with new dilemmas: puppy love, horror, and circumcision.
Directed by Sujata Day – USA – English
A former Scripps Spelling Bee champion must reconcile with her estranged brother when he returns home to help care for their sick mother.
This film is only available for one day and geoblocked to the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut).
Directed by Ran Jing - China – English/Mandarin
A Chinese architect cares for her younger brother while he recovers from Hepatitis C as a way to obtain a work visa in the U.S.
Directed by H ong Khaou - UK/Vietnam – English/Vietnamese
Returning to Vietnam, the country his family fled in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, for the first time in 30 years, Kit embarks on a promising personal journey to make sense of himself in a place he’s no longer familiar with.
Directed by Chihiro Amano – Japan – Japanese
A novelist and her noisy neighbor develop a feud that captures the attention of the social media outrage machine. This movie is based on a true story.
THE PAPER TIGERS
Directed by Bao Tran - USA – English
Three childhood Kung Fu prodigies have grown into washed-up middle-aged men, one kick away from pulling their hamstrings. Now they must juggle their dead-end jobs and dad duties with overcoming old grudges to avenge their master’s death.
Directed by Li Dong – Canada – English/Mandarin
A week before her college graduation, an Asian Canadian tech prodigy is accused of plagiarism and must fight to prove her innocence in a secret trial held before an academic tribunal.
TAKE OUT GIRL
Directed by Hisonni Mustafa – USA – English/Cantonese/Spanish
To give her family a chance at a better life and save her family’s failing restaurant, Tera Wong, a desperate 20-year-old Asian woman, parlays her Chinese food delivery expertise into a profitable drug hustle.
TWILIGHT’S KISS (SUK SUK)
Directed by Ray Yeung – Hong Kong – Cantonese
Now in their twilight years, two men must choose between their desires for each other and the families they have proudly created.
A THOUSAND CUTS
Directed by Ramona Diaz – Philippines/USA – English/Tagalog – Special Presentation
This documentary goes inside the escalating war between the government and the press in the Philippines, following Maria Ressa, a renowned journalist who has become a top target of President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on the news media.
Directed by Alyx Ayn Arumpac – Philippines – Filipino – Special Presentation
Since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016 and announced his campaign to rid the Philippines of drug addicts and dealers, as many as 20,000 Filipinos have been murdered. ASWANG confronts these executions and their devastating aftermath.
Directed by Shalini Kantayya – USA – English
CODED BIAS explores the fallout of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s startling discovery that facial recognition does not see dark-skinned faces and women accurately and her push for legislative protection against biased AI.
Directed by Hui Tong – USA – English/Mandarin
A group of Asian American kids in New York’s Chinatown prepare the musical production of Frozen Kids as they begin to grapple with their own cultural expectations and identities.
THE DONUT KING
Directed by Alice Gu – USA – English/Chinese/Cambodian
THE DONUT KING follows the rise and fall of a refugee who escapes genocide in his native Cambodia and overcomes poverty by building an unlikely empire of donut shops.
EXPORT MY LOVE (外嫁新娘)
Directed by Jinglin Li – USA/China – English/Mandarin
Four Chinese single mothers try their best to find love and new husbands in the U.S., a country they’ve never been to.
FAR EAST DEEP SOUTH
Directed by Larissa Lam – USA – English/Cantonese
A Chinese American family’s search for their roots leads them to Mississippi, where they stumble upon surprising family revelations and uncover the racially complex history of the early Chinese in the segregated South.