One of the silver linings of our hybrid CAAMFest is that we’re offering more than 30 films and conversations that you can watch from your couch, whenever you want. Stream them one at a time or binge-watch them all at once! This year’s lineup includes some Asian and Asian American classic movies, as well as new releases and shorts programs curated around engaging and timely topics. Read on to learn more about the films and programs and go to CAAMFest.com to buy your streaming pass, good for the entire festival May 13-23, 2021.
CAAMFest 2021 On Demand
The Debut, directed by Gene Cajayon
Dante Basco (CAAMFest 2021 Spotlight Honoree) shines as Ben Mercado. With a wonderful ensemble cast and masterful direction by filmmaker Gene Cajayon, this enchanting film continues to be relevant and a pure joy to watch.
Better Days, directed by Derek Tsang
The film explores a high school in Hong Kong and a trouble incident that occurs. As the police investigate, we learn more what happens through a fascinating group of characters. This includes Chen Nian (Zhou Dongyu), a young english teacher trying to educate and inspire her students and Chen Nian, who is among her best students in class, but is also being bullied at school.
I Still Remember, directed by Lik Ho
P.E. Teacher Mr. Wong inspires his students by committing to run his first 10K race. The direction by Lik Ho and cinematography by O Sing Pui shine here with a film that’s wonderful to look at and a story that will bring you to your feet. Especially now during the pandemic, this film inspires people to get up and run towards your dreams.
Keep Rolling, directed by Man Lim-chung
In Man Lim-chung’s directorial debut, we go behind the scenes with one of Hong Kong’s most influential Auteurs, Ann Hui. Hui’s cinematic legacy is legendary and she’s one of the forerunners of the New Wave movement. This observational documentary includes some candid conversations with Hui, as she talks about her thoughts on her four decade career and her mission as a storyteller.
Drive All Night, directed by Peter Hsieh
Dave’s stagnant life as a taxi driver is restarted when he meets Cara, a pro gamer, who’s being hunted by an unknown entity looking to settle a score. An attraction develops between Dave and Cara while on the run, but Dave must decide to continue on or it’s game over.
Inbetween Girl, directed by Mei Makino
When she’s blindsided by her parents’ sudden divorce, teen artist Angie Chen turns to secret hook-ups with Liam, the heartthrob of her private school. Angie’s set on a journey of sexual awakenings, racial insecurities, and artistic expression as she comes to discover what she wants—and who she wants to be.
Junho, directed by David Boo
When a rising Korean actor finds his theater troupe is embroiled in a scandal of sex abuse and violence, he flees Seoul and moves to San Francisco. Junho tries to start a new life, one that is far from acting, but his conscience will not allow him to outrun his past.
White Elephant, directed by Andrew Chung
Pooja is an Indian Canadian teenager trapped between two worlds and doesn’t have anyone she can rely on. Pooja finds escape through movies, and fantasizes about love and along comes Trevor, a White heartthrob she instantly falls for. Her infatuation doesn’t last when conflicts arise from a clash of cultures. Undeterred from her pitfalls, Pooja manages to find renewed confidence through adversary.
Preceded by Michelle, directed by Kenya Gillespie
Growing up can be hard, especially a shy Asian American girl who’s being picked on by high school bullies. But when things get hard, it helps to find a hero to inspire you. For this young woman, it’s figure skating icon: Michelle Kwan.
Linsanity, directed by Evan Jackson Leong
One of the most popular CAAMFest Opening Nights of all time, Linsanity is the eye-opening and award-winning documentary about the rise of legendary basketball player, Jeremy Lin. The film traces Lin’s life from Palo Alto to his professional start with the NBA’s New York Knicks.
Because We Are Girls, directed by Baljit Sangra
Because We Are Girls, explores the impact of sexual abuse on a traditional Punjabi family and shines a light on the nuances of gendered violence and the cultural systems that reinforce and perpetuate the trauma of abuse. Through intimate interviews spliced with home videos and old Bollywood footage, Sangra paints an intimate portrait of a family on their journey toward healing.
Preceded by Have You Forgotten Me, directed by Baljit Sangra
In this emotionally compelling short, acclaimed director Baljit Sangra shines light on North American’s oldest running Sikh Temple and the struggle it represents.
The Race Epidemic, directed Tony Shyu
With a politicized pandemic sweeping through the country and a former President calling it the Chinese Virus, The Race Epidemic takes a close examination of xenophobia and racism against AAPIs caused by COVID-19.
Who Is Lun*na Menoh, directed by Jeff Mizushima
From her early career in Japan to the underground music scene in Los Angeles. From sculptural designs on fashion show runways to her fantastical work in art galleries. Who Is Lun*na Menoh explores Lun*na’s edgy, witty and beautiful creations, showcasing her uniquely individual expressionism and interviewing her family, gallery owners, models, fans, and fellow visual artists & musicians to find out who and what is Lun*na Menoh.
Wuhan Wuhan, directed by Yung Chang
Award-winning filmmaker Yung Chang (Up the Yangtze) and a group of intrepid videographers were able to document life at the epicenter of COVID-19, including portraits of a couple expecting a baby, quarantined families in a byzantine shelter, dedicated medical workers, and a psychologist facing her own family crisis while helping patients with the unknown threat.
One Voice, directed by Lisette Marie Flanary
Every year in Hawai‘i, 2000 high school students compete in the Kamehameha Schools Song Contest where young leaders direct their peers in singing Hawaiian music in four-part harmony.
Preceded by Let’s Remember Our Ancestors (Ta Hasso I Manaina), directed by Neil Tinkham
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a Chamoru cultural foundation attempts to continue its mission by having members create a new chant together, while they all remain in isolation.
Family Ingredients, Season 1, Episode 1 and Season 2, Episode 1, directed by Ty Sanga
Join Ed Kenney, the perfect guide, as he travels with a guest around the globe in search of who we are and where we came from through a simple recipe. With a passion for “farm to table” and locally sourced meat, fish and produce, Ed is committed to family, community and what we eat.
Focus On Taiwanese Cinema
Taipei Suicide Story, directed by KEFF
At a Taipei hotel with a niche market catering to people who want to end their lives discreetly, a bored front desk clerk defies advice and strikes up an unusual friendship with one of the guests. Taipei Suicide Story is an eerie and atmospheric story that will haunt the audience.
Radio! Ready! Oh!, directed by Hong Zipeng
On a serendipitous New Year’s Eve, a young interviewee lands a position at a company by mistake and encounters a series of quirky events. The only person who can save this miserable situation is locked in the storage room. While a radio station is facing bankruptcy, an evil cult is out for revenge, and a gathering of crazy DJs, a new battle is about to begin.
Art has the power to inspire and heal communities. In these diverse shorts, we see how art impacts the audiences and the artists themselves.
Breathe (Hinga), directed by Sammay Dizon
Maia Cruz Palileo: Becoming The Moon, directed by Ligaiya Romero
Citric Acid, directed by Elenie Chung
Chinatown Pretty, directed by Roy Chan
At The Dinner Table
Food brings families and communities together. At The Dinner Table showcases the power of food in our lives, from stories about restaurants impacted by the pandemic to stories from the dinner table where loved ones connect. We highly recommend watching this program with your favorite meal ready to devour.
Let’s Eat, directed by Dixon Wong
Phoenix Bakery: Sweets For the Sweet, directed by Janet Chen
LUNAR: The Jewish-Asian Film Project Ep. 1: The Taste of Connction, directed by Jared Chiang-Zeizel, Jenni Rudolph
Koto: The Last Service, directed by Joella Cabalu
Have You Eaten?, directed by Lina Li
Don’t scream… or the monster lurking in the shadows might find you. In this terrifying shorts program, these frightening visions of horror will make you laugh, cry and scream. You have been warned.
Koreatown Ghost Story, directed by Minsun Park, Teddy Tenenbaum
How to Die Young in Manila, directed by Petersen Vargas
Afterimages, directed by Bryan Sih
Smiley Death Face, directed by Andrew Patrick Torrez
The Apartment, directed by Hyomin
Growing up can be hard and for the characters in this fabulous and energetic shorts program, the struggle is real. These shorts expose the complexities in the world that make growing up trickier than it seems.
Niceville, directed by Bree Nieves
But You’re Not Black, directed by Danielle Ayow
Parked in America, directed by Luke Salin
CAAM and Firelight Media have partnered together for the inaugural Hindsight Initiative, which provides funding and support for diverse BIPOC filmmakers from the American South. In this shorts program, you will see work-in-progress cuts of two of our selected filmmakers.
Udaan, directed by Amman Abbasi
We Stay in the House, directed by Kiyoko McCrae
Legacy and Lineage
APICC presents Legacy and Lineage, a series of short films profiling the unique journeys of five Asian American community artists – Sammay Dizon, Genny Lim, Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, Sami See, Francis Wong – whose works consistently place community at the center. The films explore the reasons that drive these outstanding artists and legacies that may point to the direction of the future of Asian American artists in San Francisco.
The pandemic has interrupted the world including the protagonists in this shorts program.
Covid and Who I Am Now, directed by Diana Dai
Off Duty, directed by Aizzah Fatima
The Complaint, directed by Nelson Kim
Van Sanctuary, directed by Saleem Reshamwala
Fresh Peaches, directed by Lana Nguyen
Radical Care: The Auntie Sewing Squad, directed by Valerie Soe
CAAMFest’s OUT/HERE shorts program has been a staple of our festival for over a decade now. In this program, we showcase and celebrate the unique and bold stories from the LGBTQ+ diverse communities. From lesbian vampires to a gay relationship in turmoil, OUT/HERE is a real treasure of stories and storytellers.
The Duet, directed by Shae Xu
Summerwintersummer, directed by Thy Tran
The Leaf, directed by William J. Zhang
Love X Bites, directed by M. Noe, Yupar Momo
Club Quarantine, directed by Aurora Brachman
Driving With the Top Down, directed by Edward Gunawan
Pacific Showcase Shorts
Through a partnership with Pacific Islanders in Communication (PIC), every festival CAAMFest celebrates new Hawaiian and Pacific Islander storytellers through our Pacific Showcase program. In this shorts program, you will find four fresh stories that range from documentaries to narratives. From folklore to the pandemic, the diversity of stories is sure to impress.
How to Catch a Taotaomona, directed by Neil Tinkman
Hawaiian Soul, directed by ‘Āina Paikai
Distant Learning, directed by Elena GK Rapu, Sergio M. Rapu
Mahalo COVID-19, directed by Matt Yamashita
Direct to Taiwan Shorts
This shorts program celebrates the diversity and bold storytelling one can find in contemporary Taiwanese cinema. Both films are sure to charm audiences with their masterful storytelling and knock-out performances.
Swingin’, directed by Shang-Sing Guo
Kuroshio Current, directed by Kun-Yu Lai
Shake It Off
Due to the global pandemic, many of us have been stuck inside our homes without the ability to move our bodies. In this dynamic shorts program, watch these characters dance, run, exercise and find creative ways to stay healthy. Come for the sweat, stay for the stories.
High Strung, directed by Melissa Kan
Fitness! Or a Story About Sweat, directed by Kana Hatakeyama
MAHÅLANG, directed by Caili Quan, Elliot deBruyn, Nathaniel Brown
13 Miles for Toilet Paper, directed by Chalisa Phiboolsook
Trace, directed by Wesley Chan
Yuan Yuan and the Hollow Monster, directed by Catherine Chen
We Live Here
In We Live Here, these diverse filmmakers explore who lives in the United States. Often unsung and under-represented, these subjects are a key part of the American tapestry.
Keep Saray Home, directed by Brian Redondo
To Live Here (sống ở đây), directed by Melanie Ho
83 and Alone, directed by Alina Peng, Charles Zhang
Stand Up, directed by Dasha Masaltina, Kitty Hu
Self | Portraits Shorts
In this thought-provoking and forceful program, these characters are exploring their complex histories and envisioning their futures. This program is a study on the power of identity and how we become who we are.
In the Shadows Of the Pine, directed by Anne Koizumi
Once Upon a Screen: Explosive Paradox, directed by Kevin B. Lee
Synchronized, directed by Corinne Manabat Cueva
The Boat No. 5, directed by Reyhane Kavosh
Wheelchair Wendy, directed by Shaina Ghuraya
Danny, Danny, directed by Huan Cheng
CHÁ SĪ / CHASM, directed by Waeli Wang
CAAMFest On Demand Pass
All CAAMFest 2021 streaming films can be watched from May 13 to 23 with an on demand pass, $44 for CAAM members and $50 for the general public. Go to CAAMFest.com to buy your pass and watch and also get the full details about all of CAAMFest’s offerings.