The AAAFF marks the end of another festival with the announcement of our annual awards, as selected by our juries and audience members. Congratulations to all the winners!

NARRATIVE JURY AWARDS

GRASS (Tanuj Chopra, USA) – Best Narrative Feature

“Under the influence of too much grass, two women unwittingly embark on a transformative journey in self-reflection. The camera acts as a fluid mirror as they delve deep and taunt each other with humor and truth, all in the confines of one day in the park. The director creates a wonderful vehicle, using only one location, one prop, and two incredibly talented actors to embark on a marathon of improvisation to produce two believable characters who at the end of the day will never be the same.”

THE WALTZ (Trevor Zhou, USA) – Best Narrative Short

“With an inattentive son and hard working husband, Ling finds a hobby in waltz classes which begins the revelation of what’s most important in her life. With few characters, director Trevor Zhou creates a simple narrative with easily relatable family and personal conflict despite the specific immigrant experience, allowing the audience to sweetly feel for every character.”

“Special mention for Narrative Short goes to THE SWEETENING, a clever and well-crafted character study of a dissatisfied, harried middle-aged mother of two. This short film managed to concisely convey both her real life travails and her escapist virtual-world fantasies. We are very pleased to recognize Grace Rowe as not just the director, but also for being the writer, lead actress, and editor of this truly impressive debut film.”

DOCUMENTARY JURY AWARDS

BREATHIN’: THE EDDY ZHENG STORY (Ben Wang, USA) – Best Documentary Feature

“The award for Best Documentary Feature was essentially unanimous, as not only does it portray the incredible journey of its subject, but exposes the many layers of the immigrant experience, justice system, and one’s civil rights.”

“Special mention for Documentary Feature is UNBROKEN GLASS by Dinesh Das Sabu for its great courage and grace documenting a very difficult family history while demonstrating resilience of an Asian American family.”

BORN-AGAIN ARTIST (Christopher Kim, USA) – Best Documentary Short

“The award for Best Documentary Short realizes the possibilities of combining artistic expression and bridging the connections among people of color, opening up the imagination for career opportunities and choices.”

“Special mention for Documentary Short goes to BEATS OF THE SOUTHERN STYLE by Samantha Yu for succinctly portraying one’s belief and passion while breaking down the stereotypes.”

AUDIENCE AWARDS

AFTER THE STORM (Hirokazu Koreeda, Japan) – Best Narrative Feature

THE WALTZ (Trevor Zhou, USA) – Best Narrative Short

BREATHIN’: THE EDDY ZHENG STORY (Ben Wang, USA) – Best Documentary Feature

FOREVER CHINATOWN (James Q. Chan, USA) – Best Documentary Short