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Highlights

Your Guide to the Projects by AAPI Filmmakers at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival

This year’s lineup features 22 remarkable projects by AAPI filmmakers who are working to share their authentic stories with the world, and today, we invite you to explore each and every one of them. 

Dive into new works by Sundance alums including Tony Bui (Three Seasons) and Khozy Rizal (Basri & Salma in a Never-Ending Comedy), 2024 Festival Awardwinners like Dìdi (弟弟), Pisko the Crab Child is in Love, and The Stag, plus emerging AAPI artists who presented their projects for the first time in front of Festival audiences, such as Ramona S. Diaz (And So It Begins), Shiori Ito (Black Box Diaries), and Jianjie Lin (Brief History of a Family). 

Whether you’re in the mood for a relatable coming-of-age story, a harrowing yet inspiring documentary, or an awardwinning short film, these projects by AAPI artists are essential to creating a new American cinema. You might even consider purchasing the Short Films Pass: Online to check out the 11 short films presented by emerging AAPI artists. You’ll be thankful you did!

Features 

And So It Begins

Director: Ramona S. Diaz

Section: Premieres

Available to watch in person and online

Amidst the traditional pomp and circumstance of Filipino elections, a quirky people’s movement rises to defend the nation against deepening threats to truth and democracy. In a collective act of joy as a form of resistance, hope flickers against the backdrop of increasing autocracy.

Agent of Happiness

Director: Arun Bhattarai

Section: World Cinema Documentary Competition

Available to watch in person and online

Amber is one of the many agents working for the Bhutanese government to measure people’s happiness levels among the remote Himalayan mountains. But will he find his own along the way?

Black Box Diaries

Director: Shiori Ito

Section: World Cinema Documentary Competition

Available to watch in person and online

Journalist Shiori Ito embarks on a courageous investigation of her own sexual assault in an improbable attempt to prosecute her high-profile offender. Her quest becomes a landmark case in Japan, exposing the country’s outdated judicial and societal systems.

Brief History Of A Family 

Director: Jianjie Lin

Section: World Cinema Dramatic Competition

Available to watch in person

A middle-class family’s fate becomes intertwined with their only son’s enigmatic new friend in post one-child policy China, putting unspoken secrets, unmet expectations, and untended emotions under the microscope.

Dìdi (弟弟) (U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble)

Director: Sean Wang

Section: U.S. Dramatic Competition

Available to watch in person and online

In 2008, during the last month of summer before high school begins, an impressionable 13-year-old Taiwanese American boy learns what his family can’t teach him: how to skate, how to flirt, and how to love your mom.

Girls Will Be Girls 

Director: Shuchi Talati

Section: World Cinema Dramatic Competition

Available to watch in person and online

In a strict boarding school nestled in the Himalayas, 16-year-old Mira discovers desire and romance. But her sexual, rebellious awakening is disrupted by her mother who never got to come of age herself.

It’s What’s Inside

Director: Greg Jardin

Section: Midnight

Available to watch in person and online

A pre-wedding party descends into an existential nightmare when an estranged friend shows up with a mysterious suitcase.

A film still from The Greatest Night in Pop that shows a large group of artists assembled under a sign for USA for Africa.

The Greatest Night In Pop

Director: Bao Nguyen

Section: Special Screenings

Available to watch in person and online

In 1985, 46 music icons, including Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, Diana Ross, and Stevie Wonder, came together for the most star-studded recording session in history. This is the untold story of the legendary global pop song “We Are the World” — which very nearly didn’t happen.

Three Seasons

Director: Tony Bui

Section: 40th Edition Celebration Screenings And Events

Available to watch in person

Although the hearts, goals, and desires are different for everyone in a culturally-shifting Ho Chi Minh City, four individuals paint a vivid picture of the past, present, and future of a city eking into a new era.

Nocturnes 

Director(s): Anirban Dutta and Anupama Srinivasan

Section: World Cinema Documentary Competition

Available to watch in person and online

In the dense forests of the Eastern Himalayas, moths are whispering something to us. In the dark of night, two curious observers shine a light on this secret universe.

Union 

Co-director: Stephen Maing (co-director: Brett Story) 

Section: U.S. Documentary Competition

Available to watch in person and online

The Amazon Labor Union (ALU) — a group of current and former Amazon workers in New York City’s Staten Island — takes on one of the world’s largest and most powerful companies in the fight to unionize.

Shorts

14 Paintings 

Director: Dongnan Chen 

Section: Documentary Short Film Program

Available to watch in person and online 

A field study of 14 paintings from China’s Dafen village, as the government rebrands the copy-painting district as a hub for original art.

Baigal Nuur – Lake Baikal 

Director: Alisi Telengut

Section: Animated Short Film Program 

Available to watch in person and online 

The formation of Lake Baikal in Siberia is reimagined, featuring the voice of a Buryat woman who can still recall some words in her endangered Buryat language (a Mongolian dialect).

Basri & Salma in a Never-Ending Comedy 

Director: Khozy Rizal

Section: Short Film Program 5

Available to watch in person and online 

A married couple who own an Odong-Odong spend their days entertaining other people’s children. Between relatives, self-doubt, and an explosive confrontation, they uncover why they have not been blessed with a child.

Bold Eagle 

Director: Whammy Alcazaren

Section: Midnight Short Film Program 

Available to watch in person 

Trapped at home with hallucinogenic drugs and his talking cat, an “alter” anonymously performs lascivious acts on the Internet, seeking refuge in the strong arms of strange men, hoping to masturbate his way to true happiness.

Dream Creep 

Director: Carlos A.F. Lopez

Section: Midnight Short Film Program 

Available to watch in person and online 

A couple awakens in the night to sounds emanating from an unlikely orifice.

Larry 

Co-director: Takeshi Murata (co-director: Christopher Rutledge) 

Section: Animated Short Film Program 

Available to watch in person and online 

A dog loses grasp of its shape and time while balling like Shaq.

Pasture Prime 

Director: Diffan Sina Norman

Section: Short Film Program 2

Available to watch in person 

A widow falls for a younger man she meets at the Cowboy Church.

Pisko the Crab Child is in Love (Special Jury Prize for Directing)

Director: Makoto Nagahisa

Section: Short Film Program 1, Award Winner Short Film Program

Available to watch in person and online 

Pisko’s father is a crab, while her mother is human. Pisko falls in love with her teacher but is heartbroken when he leaves her because she is half-crab. Pisko finally finds love and companionship with her friend Kubokayo.

SHÉ (SNAKE) 

Director: Renee Zhan 

Section: Midnight Short Film Program 

Available to watch in person and online.  

Fei is the top violinist in her elite youth orchestra. When another Chinese violinist arrives to challenge her place, Fei’s internal demons take external form. They whisper to her, urging her to be the best, no matter the cost.

The Stag (Short Film Jury Award for International Fiction)

Director: An Chu

Section: Short Film Program 2, Award Winner Short Film Program 

Available to watch in person and online 

At a deer farm in Changhua County, a middle-aged man is asked to cut off a stag’s antlers in front of his two kids.

Thirstygirl

Director: Alexandra Qin

Section: Short Film Program 2 

Available to watch in person and online

On a road trip with her younger sister, Charlie struggles to hide a secret sex addiction. 

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