CAAMFest 2015 Award Winners

UPDATED 3/26/2015:
Congrats to our Audience Award winners: SEOUL SEARCHING (Narrative), and TOP SPIN (Documentary)!

Congratulations to the 2015 CAAMFest Award Winners!

COMCAST NARRATIVE AWARD

Miss India America | Dir. Ravi Kapoor

Jury Comments:
Miss India America exposes the superficialities and hypocrisies of the model minority stereotype through hilarious satire that demonstrates storytelling at its most honest and compelling. Smart script, superb cast, and all-around entertaining plot twists aside, the film teaches an invaluable lesson: all the material achievements in the world, no matter how mind-blowing, cannot bring happiness and fulfillment without fundamental self-acceptance and self-love. If you enjoy intelligent comedy (and lots of pretty saris), go watch this film.

Jury Members:
Wesley Chan (Co-founder of Wong Fu Productions), Wei Yang (Assistant Professor at the University of San Francisco), Abigail Licad (Editor-in-chief at Hyphen magazine)

DOCUMENTARY AWARD
9-Man | Dir. Ursula Liang

Jury Comments:
The documentary film, 9-Man, shatters what America thinks about the Asian American male identity by putting authentic, likeable characters in focus as they seek a sense of place and victory within the game of 9-man. The story is bright and active, weaving hyperlocal histories of these American Chinatowns, spiking the arc with issues that are both nuanced and complex, inviting you to invest in its outcomes through the end of the film and beyond.

Special Jury Mention:
Tashi’s Turbine | Dir. Amitabh R. Joshi
Tashi’s Turbine
is a very depictive film, placing a critical perspective on the growing energy crises in the world. The story is a beautifully told one, lending a personal face on the quest for renewable energy and how it can inspire and sustain a community.

Jury Members:
Chris Hastings (Executive Producer and Editorial Manager of WORLD Channel and worldchannel.org), Irene Faye Duller (Adjunct Faculty at USF and founder of Otherwise Co.), Geraldine Ah-Sue (StoryCorps staff and Associate Producer of Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story)

APCA STUDENT FILM AWARD

Hotel 22 | Dir. Elizabeth Lo
Jaya | Dir. Puja Maewal

LONI DING AWARD
Giap’s Last Day at the Ironing Board Factory | Dir. Tony Nguyen

Jury Comments:
Giap’s Last Day at the Ironing Board Factory is an elegantly crafted personal documentary about the last day of work for a Vietnamese refugee who worked for 35 years on the assembly line of what became the last ironing board factory in America. This is the story the filmmaker’s own mother who was relocated to a small town in Indiana in 1975 after the US withdrew from Vietnam when he was still in the womb. Using a simple and honest voice, Tony’s tender portrait does not shy away from his own ambivalence about growing up a refugee in a single parent household or the pains of assimilation in America’s heartland of Americans, and ultimately becomes a loving tribute to the resiliency of the Vietnamese American community and his mother.

Jury Members:
Debbie Lum (filmmaker, Seeking Asian Female), Stephen Gong (CAAM Executive Director), Donald Young (CAAM Director of Programs), Masashi Niwano (CAAM Festival Director)

AUDIENCE AWARD
Seoul Searching | Dir. Benson Lee – Narrative Feature
Top Spin | Dirs. Sara Newens and Mina T. Son – Documentary Feature