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2021 Seattle Asian American Film Festival

March 4, 2021 - March 14, 2021

The Seattle Asian American Film Festival (SAAFF) proudly presents its 9th annual festival March 4–14, 2021 entirely online in partnership with the Northwest Film Forum. This year’s program will showcase some of the best in recent independent cinema by and about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The 123 films in SAAFF’s 2021 program demonstrate the talent of both veteran and up-and-coming filmmakers and the richness and diversity of AAPI storytelling. This year, SAAFF will offer 9 outstanding feature-length films and 15 exciting shorts programs, including a drive-in screening of martial arts action comedy THE PAPER TIGERS on March 6.

The 11-day festival includes several limited time screenings:

THE PAPER TIGERS (Centerpiece Narrative) makes its Pacific Northwest on Saturday, March 6 at 7:00PM PST at the Burien Drive-In (610 SW 153rd Street, Burien, WA 98166). It also screens concurrently online. Three childhood kung fu prodigies have grown into washed-up, middle-aged men who are now one kick away from pulling their hamstrings. But when their master is murdered, they must juggle their dead-end jobs and overcome old grudges to avenge his death.

FAR EAST DEEP SOUTH and GOODBYE MOTHER will premiere in Seattle and will only be available March 8-14, 2021. FAR EAST DEEP SOUTH is the Centerpiece Documentary that follows one Chinese-American family’s complex ancestral roots to the historically segregated South. GOODBYE MOTHER is a family drama about a young man’s trip home to Vietnam after living overseas in the United States with his Vietnamese American boyfriend.

Other festival highlights include some of our shorts programs:

The No-Good Very Bad Terrible Longest Worst Year — 2020 COVID Shorts opening night spotlight program reflects on the pandemic’s varied and wide-reaching impacts on communities across North America, as well as the creativity that blossomed during lockdown.

The Việt Kiều: Vietnamese American Shorts, Looking Past Paradise: Shorts From Hawai’i, Haru Haru: Day by Day, and Southeast Asian Showcase shorts programs each speak to the unique experiences of their communities. Việt Kiều: Vietnamese American Shorts includes NO CRYING AT THE DINNER TABLE, a short film that won the 2020 SXSW “Short Documentary Jury Award” and is a 2021 Academy Awards contender in the “Best Short Documentary” category. Looking Past Paradise: Films From Hawai’i includes the 2021 Sundance Film Festival selection THIS IS THE WAY WE RISE, as well as the 2021 Academy Awards short film contenders MOLOKA’I BOUND and KAPAEMAHU.

The Grief Like No Other: Holding Space for Healing from Miscarriage, Stillbirth, & Infant Loss shorts program brings attention to the rarely discussed, yet widely experienced trauma of pregnancy complications. We invite you to join this free program and actively hold space with us during the live panel discussion on March 11 at 1:00PM PST with moderator Annie Kuo (RESOLVE Ambassador and Family-Building Advocate) and panelists Carol Gavhane (Family-Building Advocate and Owner, Asha Blooms), Haolu Wang (Director, THE PREGNANT GROUND), Sarah Surh (Writer/Actress, SONGBIRD), and Steven Nguyen (Director, BLAST BURN).

The Closing Night: Collective Memory, Community Spaces shorts program will be followed by a live panel discussion on March 14 at 6:00PM PST. From the oldest Sikh temple in North America to the closure of an acclaimed New York restaurant, this program explores the histories, memories, and communities in cherished Asian American spaces.


March 4, 2021
March 14, 2021


Seattle Asian American Film Festival
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