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Your Guide to the Boston Asian American Film Festival’s Shorts Programing!

The Boston Asian American Film Festival continues at ArtsEmerson through NOV 01 with a series of incredible short films, each divided into five broad categories: Alternative Realities, Queer and Here, Beneath the Surface, Ties That Bind, and Finding Your Way.

We’re here to help you learn about the shorts programming and take a deeper look into a few of the shorts featured in this year’s festival. And remember, the festival ends on NOV 01, so be sure to head over to our website to purchase your tickets!

Alternative Realities

Becoming Eddie Directed by Lilan Bowden

In 1985 suburban America, a Korean American boy named Yong has trouble fitting in with his classmates who only see him as a foreigner. In an effort to become popular, Yong makes a wish to become his idol, the world’s most famous foul-mouthed comedian. But when his wish comes true, it brings results that are both unexpected and profane.

Written by Ed Lee, an Emerson Assistant Professor in VMA and the Comedic Arts program, Lee “wanted to capture that feeling of being in-between — that Asian Americans are expected to assimilate as much as possible, but still often considered foreigners by other Americans. The way I dealt with that as a kid was through popular culture, and especially the huge comedians of the 80s: Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams, and George Carlin.”

Queer and Here

Dancing On My Own Directed by Alexandra Cuerdo

Dancing On My Own is a love letter to the queer Asian experience, inspired by New York’s radical dance party Bubble_T. This electric and dynamic short features diversity within the Asian American LGBTQ creative community. Director and star, Alexandra N Cuerdo also shines as a rising face within the new generation of visionary artists and storytellers. A hybrid documentary/narrative, this short film stars Joy Regullano (Supportive White Parents), Princess Punzalan (Yellow Rose) and features artists from the Bubble_T community, including actor Bowen Yang (Saturday Night Live).

Beneath the Surface

Dirty Business Directed by Yutao Chen

Most of us don’t think much about recycling. We rinse our yogurt containers, crush our milk cartons, and break down our boxes. But once our trash hits the curb in a blue or a brown or a green bin, we forget about it. Welcome to Minh Khai, Vietnam – where plastic from all over the world finds new life.

Ties That Bind

Ahma & Alan  Directed by James Y. Shih

Ahma & Alan is a comedic/dramatic short film about a Taiwanese grandma (ahma) that has to travel from a rural town in central Taiwan to the capital city of Taipei to pull Alan, her American-born grandson, out of jail before he gets deported by a vindictive police officer.

Finding Your Way

But You’re Not Black Directed by Danielle Ayow

A Chinese-Caribbean-Canadian woman, driven by people’s inability to separate her skin colour from her culture, tries to own the Trinidadian identity she knows should feel like hers.

Based on the experiences of writer and director Danielle Ayow, But You’re Not Black challenges the correlation between race, skin color and culture with a specific focus on Chinese-Caribbean in North America.

These are just a few of the shorts featured in the Boston Asian American Film Festival, with stories of queerness and identity to animated films filled with wonder. We hope that you’ll join us for a wonderful line up of programming, streaming through NOV 01 at ArtsEmerson.org!

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