In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage month, short films from the top three finalists in HBO’s 2019 Asian Pacific American Visionaries (APA) Short Film Competition are now available to stream on HBO NOW. The shorts will also be available to stream across all of HBO’s on-demand and digital platforms.  

HBO established APA Visionaries competition in 2016, as part of a mission to help provide a platform for Asian Pacific American stories and to further a dialogue surrounding representation in Hollywood and the importance of diversity in entertainment. This year’s three finalists include ‘Halwa’ directed by Nirav Bhakta,  ‘Moonwalk With Me’ directed by So Young Shelly Yo’ and ‘Zoetic’ directed by Julie Zhan.

Still from “Halwa”

The HBO Short Film Award finalists’ films available now for streaming includes:

Director: Nirav Bhakta
Co-Director: Gayatri Bajpai

Synopsis: The story of an Indian woman who rekindles her relationship with a childhood sweetheart through Facebook messages but her abusive husband takes notice.

Director: So Young Shelly Yo

Synopsis: About a Korean American girl who is haunted by her father’s disappearances and tells the story of the immigrant experience through a magical landscape.

Director: Julie Zhan
Co-Director: Wesley Chan

Synopsis: A coming of age story about a single, 60-year old Chinese immigrant mother who is challenged to think of her own wants and needs. She reluctantly agrees to join an online dating app with the help of her daughter. Through the experience, they begin to break through the emotional wall between Asian parent and child.

Ever since I watched Takeshi Kitano's "Hana-Bi" for the first time (and many times after that) I have been a cinephile. While much can be said about the technical aspects of film, coming from a small town in Germany, I cherish the notion of art showing its audience something which one does normally avoid, neglect or is unable to see for many different reasons. Often the stories told in films have helped me understand, discover and connect to something new which is a concept I would like to convey in the way I talk and write about films. Thus, I try to include some info on the background of each film as well as a short analysis (without spoilers, of course), an approach which should reflect the context of a work of art no matter what genre, director or cast. In the end, I hope to pass on my joy of watching film and talking about it.