CAAMFest Shorts: Delights and Surprises

Featuring 60 shorts in eight curated collections, CAAMFest 2015 Shorts explores what it means to fall in and out of love, find a place to call home, and what the future could look like. Spanning the spectrum of experienced pros to debut filmmakers, each short encompasses a narrative rich with unique storytelling, engaging dialogue and thoughtful scenes.



Here’s a sampling of films from our eight shorts programs this year.


FALLING digs at the heart of what it means to fall and be in love. In the styling of their much hailed 2011 short film “Strangers Again,” Wong Fu Productions’ “After Us,” follows a girl as she goes through the stages of rebuilding herself post-breakup. It’s a nostalgic and sentimental story for all and any who have felt heartbreak before.


FAMILY TIES expresses the joy and struggle that comes with reconnecting with family; where a whirlwind of doubt, rejection, trust and love emerge through the generations of silence and disconnect. In “Jaya,” (Puja Maewal) a young girl finds herself in a struggle between reclaiming her own identity while seeking acknowledgment from the father who abandoned her.


Unconventional and bold, FLIPSIDE showcases shorts that highlights all of life’s complexities – showing you that things aren’t always as they seem or what you assume. For instance, it’s been said a standup comedian draws upon their pain for humorous content. Justin Tan’s “Give It Up” shows a performer making audiences laugh out loud, intercut with the struggles and turmoil he deals with offstage.


THE HOME PROMISED analyzes what it means to be on the search for home. Poignant and evocative, Robin Takao D’Oench’s “Tadaima” explores what it’s like to return home to a post-war, post-internment camp America – where a displaced family rebuilds and redefines what home means.


OUT/HERE takes on different perspectives of what it means to be queer in the Asian American community. Bringing on a new fresh perspective, “Operation Marriage” (Quentin Lee) showcases the LGBTQ struggle through the eyes of children, as a brother and sister team up to get their mothers married.


Exuberant and wildly imaginative, PLAYTIME shorts are a showcase of playful visuals and aural experimentation. Curtis Choy’s tongue-in-cheek “Snipers in the trees” is a collection of early free-wheeling experimental shorts that paint a portrait of a vital San Francisco arts scene.


Our SHORT SHORTS program is the result of our partnership between Japan’s premier film showcases: SHORT SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL. With prestigious screenings all around the globe, from Malaysia to Mexico, we are thrilled to present these new Japanese storytellers. One highlight being Ken Ochiai’s “Two Juliets of Verona;” an intense comedic tale of two schoolgirls competing for the lead role of their high school’s legendary theater festival.


In TALES OF TOMORROW, filmmakers examine our ever growing (and complicated) relationship with technology – as we try to navigate our way through a life that is becoming more digitalized and mechanized. Showing this complex relationship, Juhee So’s “2050: A Room of His Own” depicts a man finding solace in thinking of a mother he never had as he resigns himself to his bureaucratic faith of self termination.


-Lauren Lola & Nancy Nguyen