The summer air has filled the school campus with the hormones of youth. On Sports Day a pair of high school couples sneak away from the school to escape the eyes of teachers and fellow classmates. But this date so full of anticipation turns into a nightmare for the girls.
Director: Lin Tu Length: 12 mins
Secret Lives of Asians at Night
In the shadows of New York, the city’s restless Asian youth navigate racial tension, dangerous situations, bizarre scenarios... and each other. When a routine pickup job goes wrong, our characters find themselves in a circumstance that feels like a premise for a joke more than anything: “what happens when a Chinese, Japanese, and a Korean end up in a Mexican standoff at a karaoke bar?”
Featuring 5 languages, over 20 Asian / Asian-American actors (including Marvel’s “The Runaways” star Lyrica Okano), an eclectic soundtrack, and a pulsating original score from the Skrillex-endorsed duo X&G, “Secret Lives of Asians at Night” is a half-real, half-imaginary romp through a rich, stylized whirlwind world of Asian nightlife in America rarely seen on screen, defying the stereotypes of what Asian-American lives and stories are and ought to be.
Director: Kevin Wang (KEFF) Length: 18 mins
A cleaner works alone in an underground garage every day. Isolated and facing heavy rain and a now leaking room, he crawls into the trunk of a long-abandoned car.
Director: Zhi Zeng Length: 12 mins
Nest Egg + Q&A
Nest Egg dramatizes the real-life phenomenon of Chinese nationals traveling to California in search of gestational surrogates. Following the recent change to the one-child policy, most Chinese couples are now eligible to have a second baby. Unfortunately, many are too old to have another child without some help. To make things even more complicated, infertility rates among young Chinese are unusually high (possibly because of pollution). Despite it being illegal in China, surrogacy has become the only recourse for many couples to have a child. So they come to California, the surrogacy capital of the world. As a tidy bonus, their American-born baby earns US citizenship.
Nest Egg is the product of numerous interviews with surrogacy doctors, case managers, lawyers, surrogates, and intended parents. Most media depict surrogates as reckless, crazed, financially motivated women. But in reality, most surrogates are deeply empathic, altruistic people who truly enjoy pregnancy. Nest Egg is an attempt to honestly depict the real challenges faced by all sides of the process. The film also highlights American anxieties about the rise of China and the humor that arises from cross-cultural miscommunication.
Director: Henry Loevner Length: 13 mins
The Day Off
After living in the shadows for years, two hard-working illegal Chinese immigrants decide to use their day off to have fun for the first time in their American lives. The journey begins when the older man, Lin, forces the younger and more cautious Yi to leave their rundown apartment and enjoy themselves for a day. While Yi initially thinks Lin is asking for too much and causing nothing but trouble, he comes to understand Lin better through the experience.
Director: Carter Zhao Length: 15 mins
Where Star Lies + Q&A
Li Xun, a girl who lived with her grandmother in the countryside and ran a family hostel for a living, accidentally received a group of students from the city led by Mr. Luo when by chance the team of astronomers car broke down. In just two days, Xun was deeply attracted by both the astronomical knowledge Luo imparted, and also Luo himself. The strong affection of Xun breaks Li’s mundane way of life and awakens a wish she had buried deep in her heart.
Director: Jiewen (Angela) Chen Length: 22 mins