The AAAFF celebrates the end of our first-ever virtual shorts festival with the announcement of our annual awards, as selected by our jury. Read the jury statements for each film below. Congratulations to all the winners!

short films winner list

NARRATIVE JURY AWARDS

PUSSY TALK (Kim Tran, USA) – Best Narrative Short

“Pussy Talk grabs your attention in the opening seconds with an exasperated conversation about one young woman’s sex life, and then hangs onto it as things get weirder and funnier, and then even weirder and even funnier. It’s a film that feels like nothing we’ve seen before, and not just because it’s full of POV shots from Kate’s vagina. The bluntness of the dialogue and the silliness of the physical comedy make Pussy Talk laugh-out-loud funny, but we also have to commend its unexpected sweetness, and even its thoughtfulness about the relationship between a woman and her own vagina. Pussy Talk feels like the product of a fierce, fresh voice, and one we can’t wait to hear more of.”

 

I KILLED A PERSON (Nima Aghakhani, Iran) – Honorable Mention

“I Killed a Person begins as an allegory, with children playing at war, but it quickly becomes a canvas for a mystery. The ever-growing cast, along with the audience, is left to speculate on what’s actually happening while the tension among them keeps increasing. The film is full of symbolism to examine and interpret, but the jury was impressed by how the film works as both a social document and absurdist street theater.”

 

TAIWANESE CHA CHA CHA (YuHui (Judie) Yang, Taiwan) – Honorable Mention

“Taiwanese Cha Cha Cha puts a slightly unusual spin on the theme of generational and language barriers present in modern-day Taiwan, with local history and politics as its backdrop. But the film is not heavy or heavy handed; to the contrary, it’s a deeply charming story about the odd-couple bond between a sheltered, uptight student and her more free-spirited tutor, and the connection they’re able to forge with the student’s grandfather. That thoughtfulness carries over to the film’s visual style: Every shot feels intentionally composed to pull you further into this world, and to invite you to look past the obvious and see it from a different angle. It ends on a note of celebration and hope — for these girls, for their universe, and for the tremendously talented team behind them.”

 

DOCUMENTARY JURY AWARDS

UNSPOKEN (Patrick G. Lee, USA) – Best Documentary Short

“The piece acts as a powerful and timely film that captures an important emerging experience in the Asian American community in raw and moving honesty. And in the end, it’s messaging of courage and hope entwined with a rich showcase of diverse Asian American experiences allowed this film to elevate itself among the rest.”

 

VANISHING CHINATOWN: THE WORLD OF THE MAY’S PHOTO STUDIO (Emiko Omori, USA) – Honorable Mention

“The jury would also like to honorably recognize the filmmaking prowess and storytelling on display in this effective and moving journey.”