Friday, June 4, 2021

TwoOhSix Picks - 2021 Austin Asian American Film Festival

The 2021 Austin Asian American Film Festival kicks off on Friday June 4th and runs through Sunday the 20th with a roster of films that made me want to cover the festivities from all the way up here in the Pacific Northwest. See below for my list of the films you do not want to miss. A few I have already seen and a few more I am excited to check out.

Charlie Dizon in Fan Girl directed by Antoinette Jadaone

Films are limited to on site drive in screenings or are virtual and geo locked to within the state of Texas so click on the movie titles to check availability on the AAAFF website.

Curtain Up! - Directed by Kelly Ng and Hui Tong
AAPI Heritage Month may be over but these types of stories are relevant and very important to have out there no matter what time of year it is. These first time filmmakers take a hard look at the lives of young Asian Americans as they navigate culture clashes and the difficulties of learning how to act both on stage and in their own lives.

Fan Girl - Directed by Antoinette Jadaone
Filipina filmmaker Antoinette Jadaone has been known for her hit love stories although this movie looks like a completely different look at love and also fandom in today's world. The old saying is never meet your heroes and I wonder how much that applies with this story.

Mogul Mowgli - Directed by Bassam Tariq
If Riz Ahmed is in a movie, I'm going to watch it, especially after the brilliant work he put in for Sound of Metal which was one of my favorite movies and performances from last year. Going from a metal drummer to a rising rapper, Ahmed teams up with director Bassam Tariq for what looks like another smash hit.

Red Post on Escher Street - Directed by Sion Sono
Director Sion Sono has had a prolific film career dating back to the mid 80's and oddly enough I have only ever watched one of his movies, Tag which came out in 2015, so I was excited to see his name attached to this movie.

Ritesh Rajan and Sujata Dai in Definition Please directed by Sujata Day

These movies are ones I have watched before this festival so am including links to my reviews and also podcast interviews with some the directors.

Definition Please - Directed by Sujata Day
Definition Please spells out the ups and downs of a dysfunctional family in a very lighthearted yet meaningful way. I was so happy to have Sujata on board to help kick off the Changing Directions interview series as she exemplifies exactly what these conversations are all about.

Inbetween Girl - Directed by Mei Makino
Mei Makino's debut feature film after writing and directing shorts and teaching filmmaking to youths in the Austin area. You can't go wrong with a good teen coming of age story and this one looks like a really fun and sweet journey.

Try Harder! - Directed by Debbie Lum
Director Debbie Lum  has created a personality for this film that matches the quirkiness of the students and highlights their individuality in a very genuine way making it an entertaining film from start to finish.

Wuhan Wuhan - Directed by Yung Chang
Director Yung Chang pieces together a compelling and inspiring story out of footage compiled at the onset of one of the worst natural disasters we have ever seen.

To keep track of all my reviews and festival coverage please go to: TwoOhSix at 2021 AAAFF.

About 2021 AAAFF: 
The Austin Asian American Film Festival promotes Asian and Asian American cultures and experiences by showcasing the best independent cinema from across the globe. Austin Asian American Film Festival is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.

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