Sundance Film Festival with Asia Society Northern California
Event Recap with Photos
January 22, 2023 — For the fifth consecutive year, Asia Society Northern California hosted conversations with Asian and Asian American filmmakers and talent at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.
With the event taking place on Lunar New Year, guests were welcomed by Senator Karen Kwan of Utah’s 12th district who highlighted the importance of supporting Asian and Asian American voices. She made a timely tribute to the victims of the Monterey Park Shooting. Senator Kwan’s remarks were then followed by two panel discussions moderated by Asia Society Northern California Executive Director, Margaret Conley. The two panels spotlighted filmmakers and films from Afghanistan, Japan, the Philippines, India and Korea - with one film taking place at a fictionalized fortune cookie factory in San Francisco.
The first panel featured Director Chiaki Yanagimoto from documentary AUM: The Cult at the End of the World, and Principal Cast member Anaita Wali Zada from the film Fremont. The two discussed the importance of sharing their respective films and stories to an international audience. Speakers also shared their process and efforts—from Chiaki traveling to Japan and asking various sources for footage, to Anaita’s journey in meeting the film director and producer given her experience as a refugee from Afghanistan.
The second panel featured filmmakers from the Sundance Film Festival short films program. Speakers included Kayla Abuda Galang from When You Left Me On That Boulevard, Shalini Adnani from White Ant, Liz Sargent from Take Me Home. The discussion covered the topic of family, community, and “coming home”—themes present in all three of the short films. Having been the first time for the three to attend Sundance Film Festival, speakers talked about their experience creating their films, Sundance Film Festival stories, and what their films meant to them personally. The short film When you Left Me On That Boulevard was awarded the Sundance Film Festival Short Film Grand Jury Prize.
Thank you to our sponsors:
Julia S. Gouw