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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).
10 Nov, 2021
to 19 Nov, 2021
This presentation has closed captions.
This presentation has English subtitles.
17 Nov. - 20 Nov.
If it had to be summed up, Code Name: Nagasaki is a documentary shot by Fredrik S. Hana, following his close friend and film protagonist Marius Lunde on his journey to connect with his estranged mother, who cut ties with the family when Lunde was a child, and relocated to Japan. The experience of watching the film, however, far exceeds this tidy storyline.
10 Nov. - 19 Nov.
Since the advent of cinema and the forced colonization of the islands, Hawai’i stories on film have too often been told by outsiders. Reel Asian is bringing a spotlight onto two acclaimed Hawai’i-made dramatic feature films, WAIKIKI and I WAS A SIMPLE MAN.
15 Nov. 7:00 pm