CAAMFest 2016 Award Winners

Winners were announced at the Filmmakers Awards Brunch. Find out if your favorite film won here! Stay tuned for our announcement of the Audience Award after the festival.

Congratulations to the 2016 CAAMFest Award Winners!

GOOD OL’ BOY | Dir. Frank Lotito

Jury Comments:

The panel felt Good Ol’ Boy deserved(s) the narrative award for beautifully drawing multi-dimensional characters in a funny, heartwarming coming of age story that lives at the intersection of culture, class, and longing.


Honorable mention: PALI ROAD | Dir. Jonathan Lim

Jury Comments:

Playing off familiar conventions, Pali Road seamlessly blurs the lines between fantasy and reality within a story not defined by the ethnicity of the characters, contributing a fresh take on the thriller genre.

DRAWING THE TIGER | Dir. Amy Benson, Scott Squire and Ramyata Limbu

Jury Comments:

The jury congratulates all of the CAAMFest Documentary Competition films for their achievements in bringing stories to light that may never have been told if not for their vision and talent.

We are honored to announce that this year’s Award goes to Drawing the Tiger, directed by Amy Benson, Scott Squire and Ramyata Limbu.

Drawing the Tiger is a stunning and haunting work of cinema that immerses viewers into the lives of a rural Nepali family as they support each other to dream and work for a better future amidst circumstances that challenge them to maintain hope.

Drawing the Tiger renders its subjects in a manner that transmits the depth of their emotions, their strengths, their weaknesses, and their great potential. The immediate connection we as viewers felt for the Darnal family reveals the trust and mutual respect we know was necessary for the filmmakers to build in order to gain access to the interior world of these remarkable individuals. Their dedication, artistry, sensitivity, and skilled storytelling has resulted in a film that grips your heart and doesn’t let go, even long after the credits have finished rolling. Congratulations to Amy, Scott and Ramyata on this extraordinary work.


Honorable mention: BREATHIN’: THE EDDY ZHENG STORY | Dir. Ben Wang

Jury Comments:

We are compelled to give an Honorable Mention award to Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng story, directed by Ben Wang, for its celebration of Eddy Zheng’s resilience, strength, and transformation while exposing deep flaws in our criminal justice and immigration systems. An honest portrait of a man struggling to reconcile his past criminal actions with the role model and community activist he has become, the film deftly interweaves the story of Eddy’s journey from prison with humor and pathos making it evident that his is a story that needs to be shared.

BORN WITH IT | Dir. Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour
FROM TONGA | Dir. Huay-Bing Law
DO NOT THINK FOR A MOMENT | Dir. Adria Siu and Vivian Wang

HOME IS A HOTEL | Dir. Kevin Wong
Honorable Mention: IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY | Dir. Joella Cabalu

We tallied the votes, and the Audience Award winners are Umrika, directed by Prashant Nair for Audience Award – Narrative Feature and Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story, directed by Ben Wang for Audience Award – Documentary Feature.



The Comcast Narrative Competition Award highlights the diversity and ingenuity of modern cinema and recognizes excellence in narrative filmmaking.


The Documentary Competition showcases a dynamic selection of films that fearlessly capture the challenging reality and surprising beauty inherent in the human experience.


Recognizing promising voices in Asian and Asian American media, the AT&T Student Film Award is presented to college students who exemplify the voice of a new generation.

Co-sponsored by Asian Pacific Islanders for Professional & Community Advancement (APCA) Northern California, a 510(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on the representation of Asian Pacific Islanders employed by AT&T Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiaries.


The Audience Award lets you, our audience, honor your festival favorite. Vote for the narrative that touched your heart or the most eye-opening documentary, and give the directors much-deserved recognition. Check to see if your favorites won on the CAAM website after the end of the festival.


The Loni Ding Award for Social Justice Documentary recognizes the film and filmmaker that most reflect the passions of late TV producer Loni Ding. Ding devoted her life to advocacy and played a key role in the founding of several public media organizations, including CAAM.



Oliver Saria


Oliver Saria is the Managing Director of Bindlestiff Studio – the longest-running black box theater in SoMa, and an epicenter of Filipino American performing arts. He has performed there off-and-on for nearly two decades as a musician, stand-up comedian, and actor. He was a finalist for the CAPE New Writers Award and ABC/Walt Disney Writing Fellowship.






Rob Buscher

Nar_RobRob Buscher, Festival Director of Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, is a film and media specialist who has worked in many aspects of film distribution. Due in part to his biracial Japanese American heritage, Robʼs expertise is Japanese and East Asian Cinema although he has worked as a professional film programmer in a wide variety of genres.Some of his career highlights include co-founding Zipangu Fest – the UKʼs premier Japanese Film Festival, and creating the Japanese Cinema Studies and Asian American Studies curriculum at Arcadia University. Robʼs board affiliations include Japanese American Citizens League National Strategic Planning Committee, PanAsian Association of Greater Philadelphia Heritage Month Celebration Planning Committee, JACL PHL Chapter and PHLDiversity Boards, Governor Wolfʼs Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, Mayor Kenneyʼs Transition Team, 2016 DNC Host Committee Member, and Chair of the AAPI Arts Council of Pennsylvania.


Tamiko Wong

Nar_TamikoTamiko Wong has been the Executive Director of the Oakland Asian Cultural Center (OACC) since May 2013.  A San Francisco native of Japanese and Chinese descent, she serves on the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs and has served on a number of boards for non-profit organizations. Prior to joining OACC, she was a consultant working on projects for Asian Law Caucus, the Korematsu Institute, Asian American Donor Program, the San Francisco Symphony, and others. Wong has participated in the Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute (APAWLI) fellowship program, the Leadership Education for Asian Professionals (LEAP) Executive Directors Leadership Program (EDLP), and participated in a LeaderSpring cohort program as well.  Wong earned her B.A. from UC Berkeley, majoring in American Studies focusing on law, politics, and public policy, and minoring in Asian American Studies and Education.  She is also a singer-songwriter and poet. picture credit: Grace Image Photography.




Duong-Chi Do

Doc_DuongDuong-Chi Do has been leading grassroots community engagement campaigns and programs on issues ranging from health care to youth leadership to gender equity for more than 16 years. She is currently director of engagement & education for ITVS, where she oversees national campaigns that leverage documentary films to mobilize and build capacity of community leaders, service organizations, and public television stations to address critical social issues at the local level.




Eurie Chung

Doc_EurieEurie Chung is a producer and problem solver, specializing in independent filmmaking, post-production workflows, working with a wide range of archival material, and marketing/outreach. Her editorial work includes EPKs, commercials, branded content, promos and trailers. Production credits include American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, PBS’s Off the Menu: Asian America, and Life on Four Strings: Jake Shimabukuro. Eurie also manages a boutique post-production facility based in Los Angeles, providing services for documentaries and feature films, including most recently The Circle, Tallulah, City of Gold, Fury, Makers: Women in Politics, and Afternoon Delight.


Marty Syjuco

Doc_MartyOriginally from the Philippines, Marty moved to New York City in 2000 to study the Business of Film at New York University. Afterwards he worked in film distribution at Focus Features, booking the theatrical releases of independent, commercial and Academy Award-winning films. In 2004 he took a leap of faith to pursue his passion: documentary filmmaking. In 2005, he produced the one-hour film ATRAPADO EN LA INJUSTICIA (Caught in an Injustice) broadcast on Spanish national television. He developed it into the feature-length documentary, Emmy award-nominated GIVE UP TOMORROW. The film was an ITVS, POV and CAAM co-production, commissioned by BBC Storyville, with support from the Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, The Fledgling Fund, Bertha Foundation and BRITDOC, among others Currently, Marty is a producer on JUSTICE FOR JENNIFER, PJ Raval’s new documentary feature now shooting in the Philippines.