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USA202182 minEnglish, Chinese with English subtitlesCanadian PremiereDocumentary, Women Filmmakers
At a top-ranking educational institution like Lowell High School in San Francisco, seniors are emotionally exhausted as they prepare for the rigorous application process to get accepted to one of their dream Ivy League universities. With opaque and reductive college admission criteria, the students navigate every aspect of their merits, ranging from extracurricular activities, comparing grades with their peers, and even reflecting on their own racial or class identities.
Debbie Lum's sophomore feature film is a disarmingly humorous deconstruction of overachievers trying to find their way through an agonizing and fastidious selection system. Torn between personal, filial, and societal responsibilities, this documentary humanizes and channels a lighthearted encounter with five of the gifted students at Lowell. As charming and well rounded the film's approach is, the narrative is also a sharp commentary, aiming at the persisting issues of race, stereotypes, and privilege in America’s exclusive schools.
- Rolando Basmayor
Sundance Film Festival, 2021
CAAMFest Opening Night Presentation, 2021
AFI Docs, 2021
Audience Award, San Diego Asian Film Festival, 2021
Best Documentary (Family), Doc Edge, 2021
Debbie Lum is an award-winning San Francisco-based filmmaker whose projects give voice to the Asian American experience and other unsung stories. Seeking Asian Female (Reel Asian 2012), her feature-length directing debut premiered at SXSW, aired on PBS’ Independent Lens and won awards, including Best of Fest (Silverdocs), Best Feature Documentary (CAAMFest) and Outstanding Director (Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival).
First programmed as part of last year’s festival, this panel continues to reckon with the function of art, festival, and gallery spaces in a time of crisis.
15 Nov. 4:30 pm
So You Think You Can Pitch is back! Celebrate our 15th year of pitch competitions by supporting your favourite emerging filmmakers in our live event! Featuring a total of five finalist individuals or teams, the winner will walk away with our amazing prize package to kickstart or finish their short film, including a cash award, in-kind support, and the opportunity to premiere their work with us at next year’s festival!
19 Nov. 6:30 pm
17 Nov. - 20 Nov.