The Vancouver Asian Film Festival (VAFF) is a staple for filmmakers, movie-goers, and critics alike.
In its 27th year, the US Narrative Shorts program features thought-provoking short films that touch upon sentiments relevant to many Asian diaspora communities—north and south of the 49th parallel. From conversations about anti-Asian hate to classism to grief, these five short films offer viewers a brief yet poignant insight into stories that affect our communities daily.
For those in the Vancouver area, you can purchase your ticket today for an in-person screening on November 4 at 4:30 p.m. at Cineplex International Village.
Read on to learn more about each short film at VAFF 2023 and how you can support these films’ AAPI creatives.
US Narrative Shorts to watch at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival
Instant Noodle, directed by Michelle Sastraatmadja
Synopsis: Marianna, an Indonesian woman, goes on a grocery run to buy an instant noodle, a dish her recently deceased Indonesian Mom would often prepare. She unexpectedly encounters a series of events that would force her to embrace her Asian heritage and to properly grieve her mother’s death.
Watch the official trailer for Instant Noodle.
Astonishing Little Feet, directed by Maegan Houang
Synopsis: Afong Moy, the first documented Chinese woman to come to the United States, realizes the men who separated her from her family only have interest in profiting off the peculiarities of her bound feet.
Follow director Maegan Huang and their work on Instagram.
Sunflower Girl, Directed by Holly M. Kaplan
Synopsis: Rosie, a 13-year-old Chinese-American girl, embarks on a skateboarding escapade through the streets of New York with her crush and best friend—at the cost of abandoning her little sister and delivering a forgotten lunchbox.
Visit Sunflower Girl’s official website for more information and screenings near you.
See also: Minari: A quintessential American film for the Asian American experience
Passenger Seat, directed by Neha Gautam
Synopsis: After a family friend’s suicide, Neela and her NYC taxi-driver father, Adeel, are shaken. When Adeel picks Neela up after a soccer practice, she lies about her father driving the taxi. Neela starts to navigate a different world amongst her middle-class private school peers, while Adeel tries to hide his business troubles from her.
Follow Passenger Seat‘s Instagram to discover behind the scenes extras.
Don’t Be Sorry, directed by David Au
Synopsis: After her husband is assaulted in an Anti-Asian hate crime, a timid but resilient Asian-American senior becomes empowered to fight back when she discovers viral face-slapping competition videos.
Learn more about director David Au.
Find out what else is playing at VAFF 2023 today.
Cold Tea Collective is proud to be a media partner for the 27th Annual Vancouver Asian Film Festival. Come find us at this year’s events and let us know what films resonate with you and tag us on Instagram (@coldteacollective) for a chance to win a limited edition Cold Tea Collective tote bag.
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