Jurors & Awards

 **The Audience Choice Award winner is still to be announced. Participate by completing the surveys sent with your ticket purchase!**

AAIFF43 Awards

AAISC Screenplay Competition Finalists

Nominees

Case Unsolved
Written by C.J. Arellano

American Born
Written by Jane Pak Oh, Gwydhar Gebien, Nathan Ellis

Descendants of the Dragon
Written by Alan Sim

Winner

Case Unsolved
Written by C.J. Arellano

Emerging Director – Narrative Feature

Nominees

Definition PleaseUSA
Directed by Sujata Day

ModelChina
Directed by Ran Jing

Stealing SchoolCanada
Directed by Li Dong

Winner

ModelChina
Directed by Ran Jing

Emerging Director – Documentary Feature

Nominees

Coded BiasUSA
Directed by Shalini Kantayya

The Donut KingUSA
Directed by Alice Gu

UnteachableSingapore
Directed by Shuling Yong

Winner

The Donut KingUSA
Directed by Alice Gu

Excellence in Short Filmmaking – Narrative

Nominees

HauntIran
Directed by Siamak Kashefazar

Pregnant GroundUK/China
Directed by Haolu Wang

Stay Awake Be Ready
Vietnam/South Korea/USA
Directed by Pham Thien An

Things We CarryKorea
Directed by Bo Yoon Ha

Winner

Stay Awake Be Ready
Vietnam/South Korea/USA
Directed by Pham Thien An

Excellence in Short Filmmaking – Documentary

Nominees

Between the NotesUSA
Directed by Jordan Hwang

How She MovesPakistan
Directed by Anya Raza, Aisha Linnea

Yai NinThailand
Directed by Champ Ensminger

Winner

How She MovesPakistan
Directed by Anya Raza, Aisha Linnea

For Youth by Youth One to Watch

Nominees

Lucky GirlUSA
Directed by Sidi Wang

The Other SideEthiopia, USA
Directed by Josh Leong

Three FishUSA
Directed by Milky Tran

Winner

The Other SideEthiopia, USA
Directed by Josh Leong

Best Digital/New Media

Nominees

LutawUSA
Directed by Samantha Quick

…IzakayaJapan
Directed by Ryoji Sugimoto, Chuya Sudo

Fucking JapaneseUSA
Directed by SJ Son & Woody Fu

Winner

LutawUSA
Directed by Samantha Quick

Best Episodic

Nominees

Sideways Smile (ep. 1, 2) • USA
Directed by Hang Nguyen

So Bright 2 (ep. 1) • Singapore
Directed by Kok Man Hon

HighBread (ep. 1) • USA
Directed by Jayesh Jaidka

Winner

Sideways Smile (ep. 1, 2) • USA
Directed by Hang Nguyen

Best Music Video

Nominees

Nobody I Can Trust -Kemba • USA
Directed by Tomson Tee

Choose – Super Smack • USA
Directed by Catherine Ricafort

anpu – ZOEA • Taiwan
Directed by Poewi Su

Winner

anpu – ZOEA • Taiwan
Directed by Poewi Su

Audience Choice Award

Winner

 **The Audience Choice Award winner is still to be announced. Participate by completing the surveys sent with your ticket purchase!**

TBD

AAIFF43 Jurors

Jury for AAISC Screenplay Competition

The Song CollectiveTheatre Collective

The Sống Collective was founded by Vietnamese Theatre artists: David Huynh, Jonathan Castanien, and Carolina Do, in the spring of 2019 as a response to the United States’ sharp cuts to refugee resettlement in the face of a global refugee crisis. Their mission is to reclaim the Vietnamese American narrative by creating development and performance opportunities for emerging artists of color. We nurture a community of artists dedicated to telling stories that dare to subvert preconceptions of Asian Americans.

Jury for Emerging Director in a Narrative Feature

Sung KangActor/Producer

Rosalind ChaoActor
Rosalind Chao can currently be seen in Disney’s live action MULAN. Chao was most recently seen in Steven Soderbergh’s American biographical comedy-drama The Laundromat alongside Meryl Streep and Gary Oldman on Netflix. The film is based on the Panama Papers scandal and can currently be streamed on Netflix. Chao is best known for her role as “Rose” in Wayne Wang’s The Joy Luck Club, where she co-stars with Tsai Chin, Kieu Chinh, Lisa Lu, France Nuyen, Lauren Tom, Tamlyn Tomita and Ming-Na Wen. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Amy Tan and follows the relationships between Chinese-American women and their Chinese immigrant mothers. Up next , Chao will be seen in The Starling alongside Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd and Timothy Olyphant. The film will be released by Netflix later this year. On television, Chao is most well known for her recurring role as “Keiko O’Brien” in the Star Trek television franchise. Chao also showcased her stage presence in a lead role at London’s National Theatre in Francis Turnly’s The Great Wave.

Jeff ChanWriter/Director, PLUS ONE
Jeff Chan is a Chinese-American filmmaker based in LA. He wrote and directed the Tribeca Audience Award winning film, PLUS ONE, starring Maya Erskine and Jack Quaid. He also wrote for Hulu’s PEN15 and co-wrote the feature film SINGLES DAY for New Line, which he is set to direct.

Jury for Emerging Director in a Documentary Feature

Karin ChiendGenerate Films
KARIN CHIEN is an independent producer and distributor committed to bold voices and innovative forms that help build radical practices of ethical filmmaking. In February 2020, Karin began a producing collaboration with Oscar-nominated Louverture Films. Karin is the recipient of the inaugural Cinereach Producing Award and the Piaget Independent Spirit Producers Award. She is a four-time nominee of the Independent Spirit Awards. Karin has produced 10 features, as well as interactive media and museum installations, all starring women and people of color, including CIRCUMSTANCE (Sundance 2011 Audience Award), THE EXPLODING GIRL (Berlinale 2009) and THE MOTEL (Sundance 2005). Karin is the president and co-founder of Art & Action, a global production company specializing in shoots in Europe and Asia. Karin is the founder and president of dGenerate Films, the leading distributor of independent, contemporary Chinese cinema. dGenerate Films distributes 70 narrative and documentary films from mainland China. Karin is the residency director of the Nevada City Film Festival Filmmaker Residency program, the only artist residency to focus on creative producers in film. Karin teaches producing currently for Sundance Co//ab, created the Center for Asian American Media Fellowship, and advises for Film Independent’s Global Media Makers program.

Bao NguyenDirector, BE WATER
Bao Nguyen is an award-winning Vietnamese American filmmaker whose past work has been seen in the New York Times, HBO, NBC, Vice, ARTE, and PBS, among many others. He was the producer and cinematographer of NUOC 2030, a feature narrative set in near future Vietnam which opened the Panorama section of the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival and was a recipient of the Tribeca Film Institute Sloan Filmmaker Award. LIVE FROM NEW YORK!, celebrating 40 years of Saturday Night Live, would be his feature documentary directorial debut and was selected as the Opening Night film of the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. His latest directorial effort, BE WATER, a documentary about cultural icon Bruce Lee, world premiered in competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was invited to prestigious festivals such as Cannes, SXSW, Telluride, San Francisco, and Hong Kong. It earned widespread critical acclaim and its subsequent TV broadcast premiere on ESPN’s 30 for 30 series broke ratings records for the network.

PJ RavalDirector, CALL HER GANDA
Named one of Out Magazine’s “Out 100”, PJ Raval is a queer, first generation Filipino American filmmaker whose credits include TRINIDAD (Showtime), BEFORE YOU KNOW IT (PBS), and CALL HER GANDA (2020 “Excellence in Documentary” NLGJA Association of LGBTQ Journalists) which recently broadcast on POV to millions of PBS viewers. PJ is a Guggenheim Fellow and a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Jury for Excellence In Short Filmmaking Narrative

Faroukh ViraniEditor, HUNTERS
Faroukh Virani is a Los Angeles based editor who moves between narrative and documentary editing, as he finds one storytelling discipline informs the other in his work. Faroukh recently edited the feature documentary “Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles,” and has additional post-production credits on the Amazon series “HUNTERS” and CW’s ”iZombie.” He has a background in Film Production at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts (MFA) and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (BFA).

Sherry ColaActor, comedian, GOOD TROUBLE
Sherry Cola is a stand-up comic, actress, writer, and host. You might’ve seen her on MTV’s SafeWord, TNT’s Claws, and now as “Alice” on Freeform’s Good Trouble. She was recently added to the cast of Paramount’s Tiger’s Apprentice, opposite Henry Golding and Sandra Oh.

Vinny ChhibberActor, THE RED LINE
Actor/producer Vinny Chhibber has been involved in acting in, creating and developing numerous award-winning film and television projects. Alongside starring in The Red Line produced by Ava Duverney & Greg Berlanti, Vinny can be seen as Rahul on TNT’s Animal Kingdom, Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story and the CW’s No Tomorrow. Vinny has also just completed producing the documentary Lost in America with Rosario Dawson and Tiffany Haddish (Nov. 2019 premiere) a film exploring the stories of homeless youth in America. Other films produced include Folk Hero Funny Guy (Tribeca) and M.F.A. (SXSW).

Jury for Excellence In a Short Filmmaking Documentary

JT TakagiExecutive Director of Third World Newsreel
JT Takagi is an award winning filmmaker, sound engineer, educator and the Executive Director of Third World Newsreel, (twn.org) an alternative media center that trains, distributes and produces media by and about people of color and social justice issues. Her own work focuses on Asian issues, with four films on national PBS. Takagi teaches at City College and SVA, and her sound credits include the 2018 Oscar nominated STRONG ISLAND.

Lisa HsiaEVP, Digital at NBCUniversal
Lisa Hsia is EVP, Digital, for Bravo Media, Oxygen Media and Universal Kids at NBCUniversal. Prior to that, she was VP of NBC News, supervising the TODAY show, Dateline and Peacock Productions. As an independent filmmaker, she made documentary films including Made in China and The Emperor’s Eye: Art and Power in Imperial China.

Smriti MundhraDirector/Producer, INDIAN MATCHMAKING
Smriti Mundhra is an Academy Award-nominated director/producer and one of DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40 Filmmakers to Watch. Her latest film, St. Louis Superman, has been nominated for a 2020 Academy Award in the short documentary category. Her debut feature, the documentary A Suitable Girl, world premiered in competition at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival to rave reviews from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, New York Magazine and was awarded the Albert Maysles Best Documentary Director prize at the festival. Smriti also helmed ad campaigns for Google, the United Nations and Bumble (starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas). She created and executive produced Indian Matchmaking, an eight-part Netflix original documentary series currently streaming on the platform.

Jury for For Youth By Youth One to Watch

Sam CheungUniversal Kids
Sam Cheung is an NYU alum (Tisch ’17) who currently works in research and program strategy at NBCUniversal. After graduating from NBC’s Page Program, Sam has spent his career in cable entertainment specializing in content for children. Sam is the co-host of The Outfit Repeaters podcast, and currently lives in Harlem, NY.

Jay VaidaWriter, THE HARDY BOYS
Jay Vaidya is a Toronto-based screenwriter whose writing credits include Odd Squad (PBS/TVOKids), Secret Life of Boys (BBC) and the YA drama series The Hardy Boys (Lambur/Hulu). She’s currently working on two comedy shows for the CBC and is dedicated to increasing the representation of BIPOC creatives.

Cecilia MejiaProducer, YELLOW ROSE
Cecilia R. Mejia has worked in development for non-profit organizations. She’s worked with several grassroots organizations focusing on underrepresented communities, which led to her working in film. Cecilia has produced a number of short films focusing on critical social impact issues. She’s the lead producer of the Sony-acquired feature film Yellow Rose, a Social Impact Producer of the award-winning doc Call Her Ganda (TIFF 2018), and Co-Producer for Lingua Franca (Tribeca All-Access 2019). She is also the Creative Director of Art of Me and an adjunct professor at NYU.

Jury for Best Digital/New Media

Maggie JungDirector/Writer/Visual Artist, freelance but previously Buzzfeed
Maggie Jung is a director, writer and visual artist. They produced digital content at Buzzfeed with a focus in pushing the boundaries of digital and interactive storytelling. They wrote and directed the Instagram Shakespeare adaptation Romeo Likes Juliet, directed a music video for Wajatta, and currently designing an indie video game. They also draw and write about mental wellness.

Gavin HuangGoldthread
Gavin Huang is the editor of Goldthread, a new media start-up by the South China Morning Post. It covers Chinese food, culture, and travel for the millennial and Gen Z audiences. Previously, he was an editor at the Korea JoongAng Daily, the partner paper of The New York Times in Seoul, South Korea.

Mike BowActor, Wong Fu Productions
Mike Bow is an actor known for his collaborations with Wong Fu Productions. He gained recognition as the “Soondooboo” Bachelor from Wong Fu’s viral hit “Asian Bachelorette.” He has his own YouTube channel and Instagram @MikeBowShow where he makes comedic sketches around Asian American topics that SNL wishes they could make (but literally can’t.) His acting credits include The Maze Runner, How To Get Away With Murder (ABC), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), and SWAT (CBS). He hopes to one day be one of the first Asian American Superheroes and continue to play roles that break Asian stereotypes.

Jury for Best Episodic

Kevin LauWrtier, WESTWORLD
KEVIN LAU is a writer and director born and raised in Los Angeles to working-class, immigrant parents. He is currently writing on HBO’s WESTWORLD, and has previously written for HBO on GAME OF THRONES prequel HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, Joss Whedon’s THE NEVERS, and LOVECRAFT COUNTRY from J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele.

Chase TangActor, JUPITER’S LEGACY
Chase Tang is a Asian-Canadian Actor, Philanthropist & Mental Health Advocate. He was born & raised in Taipei, Taiwan & at the age of 6 immigrated to Canada along with his family & settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Prior to May 2016 Chase was a successful corporate executive before deciding to leave it behind to pursue a career in acting. Chase is the Global Spokesperson for Presotea & all 400 locations worldwide & he is also the first Male Ambassador for TITIKA Active Couture. Catch Chase on the upcoming NETFLIX series Jupiter’s Legacy as Supervillain Baryon.

Michelle SugiharaExecutive Director of CAPE
Michelle K. Sugihara is the Executive Director of CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment). She is also an entertainment attorney, film producer, and adjunct professor for the Claremont Colleges’ Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies. She is the Los Angeles Lead for #GoldOpen, on the leadership team of Time’s Up Entertainment A+, and a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Friends of the Theater.

Jury for Best Music Video

Bohan PhoenixMusician
Born in China and immigrated to the US at 11, Bohan is an anomaly in both the American and Chinese music scenes. Challenging the pale of the mainstream music scene, Bohan includes both Mandarin and English lyrics in his songs as a reflection of his dual identity and aim to bridge the cultural gap between the two places he calls home.

Jason ChuMusician, activist
Jason chu is a rapper and activist. He has been heard on Netflix, HBO/Cinemax, and the BBC; performed at the Obama White House, the Museum of Chinese in America, and across the world; and lectured on Asian American identity at UPenn, ArtCenter, Stanford, NYU, Yale, and beyond. Follow him at @jasonchumusic.

Marie JamoraDirector, FAMILY STYLE and music videos
Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Marie Jamora’s short film, FLIP THE RECORD, won at Urbanworld and her feature, WHAT ISN’T THERE, premiered at Slamdance. She is executive producer and director of FAMILY STYLE, a food series with Warner Bros/Stage 13. In 2020, she graduated from AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women and WB’s Television Directors’ Workshop


For previous award winners, please view here.