Short Film: ALL THAT GLITTERS IS BRONZE, 8min., USA, Documentary

All That Glitters Is Bronze is a love letter to the Philippine tradition of Kulintang, which was once nearly wiped out by colonization. Around the Bay Area in California, a local band called Kulintang Dialect is keeping the tradition alive. This short documentary offers a brief glimpse of the cosmos through clips of performances interspersed with interviews from the band.

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Director Biography – Jinji Sayson

Jinji is a Cebuana Filipina-American filmmaker based in the Bay Area, California. Her many passions include playing piano and percussion, as well as performing Kulintang music, writing essays, poetry, cultural critiques and activism.

Director Statement

This film will always be special to me because it celebrates an important cultural touchstone to me as a first-generation Filipina-American. Over the summer of 2020, I discovered the cosmology of Kulintang – and subsequently, I ended up channeling my Classical artistry into a new project as a member of Bay Area band Kulintang Dialect. I made this film so that other Filipinx-Americans can learn about this world, and hopefully they, and others will be inspired to research and reconnect with their roots.

HIGHLIGHTS & VIDEOS: January 2022 Feature Film Festival

MY FATHER’S JOURNEY, 87min., Documentary, Canada
Directed by Xiaodan He

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

Chongren He was born in 1936, in Li Jiang, a small town close to the border of Tibet. He is a descendent of the Naxi, one of the fifty-six Chinese minorities which has a population of 300,000. What makes the Naxi unique is their ancient Dongba culture preserved through the millenary pictographic writing. This particular pictogram is the only living one in use today and is called the “living fossil”. What makes the Naxi unique is their ancient Dongba culture preserved through the millenary pictographic writing. This particular pictogram is the only living one in use today and is called the “living fossil”. Besieged by the constant political upheavals and the assimilation of the dominant Chinese modern culture, he currently lives in a small village similar to an isolated island surrounded by endless waves of tourists. This film explores how an individual of 82 years of age can build his own spiritual castle to protect himself and his frail yet precious culture.

Director Biography – Xiaodan He

Xiaodan He, a Montreal based Chinese-Canadien filmmaker, studied film production at the Beijing Film Academy of China. Her main work include The Dance of the Star (doc-fiction, 80 min), Cairo Calling (fiction, 9 min), The Fall of Womenland (documentary, 48 min), A Touch of Spring (feature fiction) and My Father’s Journey (feature documentary).

Director Statement

Recounting my father’s path and destiny, I wanted to immerse myself in the riches of his spiritual world. In the context of the disappearance of his own culture, where a dominant culture assimilates the “smaller” cultures surrounding it; how can an individual cope with China’s constant upheaval and change? What is the destiny of a minority in contemporary China? Where does this individual find the strength to follow such a difficult and solitary path till the end? Such are the inquiries of this film.

HIGHLIGHTS & VIDEOS: October 2021 Short Film Festival

Showcase of the best SHORT FILMS in the world today.

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS:
Best Film: WHAT FLOWERS THEY BLOOM
Best Cinematography: LEFT BEHIND
Best Direction: ON PATROL: STOPPING ANTI-ASIAN VIOLENCE ONE STREET AT A TIME

Theme of night: Life

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:

festival posterWHAT FLOWERS THEY BLOOM, 27min., Canada, Documentary


festival posterLEFT BEHIND, 18min., USA, Documentary


festival posterON PATROL: STOPPING ANTI-ASIAN VIOLENCE ONE STREET AT A TIME, 14min., USA, Documentary


Director BIO: C Hudson Hwang (WHAT FLOWERS THEY BLOOM)

A second generation Taiwanese-Canadian born in Edmonton, Alberta, Calvin, started young as a player with the acclaimed St Albert Children’s Theatre, and moving on to appearances in television and commercials. Somewhat discouraged by the lack of roles, he pursued a career in advertising, landing him in London UK, Toronto and Montreal before returning to entertainment as a film director intent on capturing the voice to the underrepresented and beauty to the misunderstood.
Hwang’s award winning films have screened internationally, with his recent documentary films Exiting Hell Bar winning best documentary at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Director Statement

This film is both a confrontation and a diplomacy on the myriad of emotions I have felt over the surge of anti-Asian attacks during the pandemic. From one perspective it is a breach of the collectivist silence originating from a culture of saving face. The conversation about racism must be normalized in order for these injustices to be broken. On the other, it is a careful translation of anger and frustration into something positive, heart opening and inspirational of change. This film is my expression and collaboration to translate anger into unity.

Short Film: WHAT FLOWERS THEY BLOOM, 27min., Canada, Documentary

An intimate look at Asian Canadian small business owner Andy Sue as he explores the psychological trauma of a first-hand encounter with racism during the pandemic. The film examines the social implications of our digital media reality, where algorithms detect bias and translate fear, blame and outrage into profit.
The experience of racism has become a central focus of the COVID-19 global pandemic. From Black Lives Matter to Stop Asian Hate, citizens across the world are mobilizing to condemn active and institutionalized injustices that continue to perpetuate discrimination, blame and violence against people of colour. But while communities raise their voices to dismantle these biased structures, portrayals and policies, there remain systems that continue to benefit if not outright profit from these inequities.
While Canada has an often-untold history of anti-Asian racism, and COVID-19 is marked by familiar patterns of blaming marginalized communities, the film reveals that when our common shared humanity is translated in simple acts of kindness, a movement against discrimination will bloom.

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HIGHLIGHTS & VIDEOS: August 2021 ASIAN Film Festival

B>Showcase of the best ASIAN SHORT FILMS in the world today.

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS:
Best Film: PRESSURE BABY
Best Cinematography: SEEPED
Best Sound & Music: DUCKMAN

Theme of night: Life

NOTE: Festival took place during the COVID-19 virus lockdown so all screenings were held in private.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:

festival posterDUCKMAN, 10min., Canada, Documentary


festival posterPRESSURE BABY, 34min., Canada, Documentary


festival posterSEEPED, 15min., India, Drama


The beginning of a (temporary) new era.

See you at the festivals. Whenever that happens!

– Matthew Toffolo

Short Film: PRESSURE BABY, 34min., Canada, Documentary

PRESSURE BABY documents the emotional journey of Zin, a young woman living in one of the most remote communities in Myanmar. This intimate film grants a glimpse into the life of a mother, wife and daughter whose story seems so unique, but is sadly an all-too-common reality for millions of women. It’s a story of the realities of development and evolving family dynamics, which can make a life or death difference in the health and futures of communities everywhere.

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