CAAMFest 2021 Features Films That Add Nuance to the COVID-19 Pandemic Discussion

In the Same Breath

As part of CAAMFest’s mission to  bring together documentaries, narrative, and community conversations that give insight into the international, personal, and political perspectives of COVID-19, CAAMFest 2021 will be presenting films that intricately explore the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Asian and Asian American communities. 

Feature Films and Conversations

IN THE SAME BREATH, directed by Nanfu Wang
Thursday, May 20, 5:00 p.m. on
Award winning director and CAAM 2021 Mentor, Nanfu Wang is back with her new eye-opening documentary, IN THE SAME BREATH. Official selections of Sundance Film Festival and South by Southwest, Wang’s riveting new documentary explores how the Chinese and American governments reacted to the pandemic.

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.

Sunday, May 23, 1:00 p.m. on

Join us for a free live conversation with culinary entrepreneurs and community leaders, Chef Tu David Phu 
and Chef Reem Assil. This program will explore how the pandemic has impacted our local food communities and where do we go from here.

Still from MAHALO COVID-19

Short Films

13 MILES FOR TOILET PAPER, directed by Chalisa Phiboolsook (SHAKE IT OFF Shorts Program) When filmmaker Chalisa Phiboolsook’s half marathon was cancelled due the COVID 19, she didn’t didn’t let that stop her from training in her own garage.

COVID AND WHO I AM NOW, directed by Diana Dai (LIFE, INTERRUPTED Shorts Program) In this powerful and emotional short documentary, Mary, a young Chinese Canadian medical student is attacked during the Covid-19 pandemic.

RADICAL CARE: THE AUNTIE SEWING SQUAD directed by Valerie Soe, (LIFE, INTERRUPTED Shorts Program) Valerie Soe is back with a powerful documentary that shines a light on the Auntie Sewing Squad, a group of mostly women of color volunteers who came together following the U.S. government’s botched response to the COVID-19 crisis.

THE COMPLAINT directed by Nelson Kim (LIFE, INTERRUPTED Shorts Program) At the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown, a college professor and troubled student struggle to connect via Zoom.

THE LEAF, directed by William J. Zang (OUT/HERE Shorts Program) THE LEAF is a personal, poetic, documentary film about Director Will J. Zang’s experience as both a filmmaker and a gay immigrant during this pandemic.

LOVE X BITES, directed by M. Noe, Yupar Momo (OUT/HERE Shorts Program) During Covid19 outbreak, two women enter the quarantine at a hotel and share a room. 


CLUB QUARANTINE, directed by Aurora Brachman (OUT/HERE Shorts Program) Every night during the Covid-19 lockdown, hundreds of people from around the world gather in a massive queer dance party known as ‘Club Quarantine’.

DISTANT LEARNING, directed by Elena GK Rapu, Sergio M. Rapu (PACIFIC SHOWCASE Shorts Program) In the face of a global travel shutdown, a Rapanui father living in Minnesota tries to maintain ties to his culture by teaching it to his children.

MAHALO COVID-19, directed by Matt Yamashita (PACIFIC SHOWCASE Shorts Program) When a filmmaker and his small island community take on the pandemic, they unsuspectingly find a clearer path towards self-reliance and a stronger connection to each other and nature.

BREATHE (HINGA) by Sammay Dizon (HE(ART)BEATS Shorts Program) A performance ritual film and time capsule honoring the sacred grief, life force, and resiliency of the Bay Area Pilipinx community during COVID-19.

SYNCHRONIZED, directed by Corinne Manabat Cueva (SELF | PORTRAIT Shorts Program) An experimental documentary short that embraces 5 women of color as they collectively reflect about their experiences living and thriving in Oakland.

ONCE UPON A SCREEN: EXPLOSIVE PARADOX, directed by Kevin B. Lee (SELF | PORTRAIT Shorts Program) An essay about how past and present interrupt one another like movies being perpetually edited.

WE STAY IN THE HOUSE, directed by Kiyoko McCrae (HINDSIGHT Shorts Program) Kiyoko McCrae follows mothers who have to balance working from home with taking care of their children.


Unless noted, screenings are part of CAAMFest on demand. For more information and to purchase tickets for CAAMFest, please visit