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The 2019 SDAFF winners were announced at the Gala Awards Dinner on Saturday, November 9, 2019.

See the full list of winners here.

SDAFF is a competitive film festival aiming to celebrate achievements in Asian American cinema. An independent jury of filmmakers, curators, critics, academics, and other professionals is chosen to view films and select winners in the following categories: narrative feature, documentary feature, narrative short, documentary short, and animated short. Additionally, the jury selects a Grand Jury winner and optional Special Jury mentions.


WALTER CHAW has been the Senior Critic for webzine since 2000. He is the author of several collections of essays and the monograph Miracle Mile. In his career, he has taught film history and criticism, been the Vice President of Operations for a theater chain in Colorado, done a couple of commentaries on BluRay releases, and curated various library and museum film collections. Currently, he’s writing a television pilot for a limited series. His work has been published in the LA Times, LA Weekly, NY Post and New York Magazine. His book on the career of Walter Hill, with introduction by James Ellroy, is set for publication in Spring of 2020.

NGUYEN TAN HOANG is a videomaker and film/media scholar. His short experimental videos include K.I.PForever Bottom!PIRATED! and look_im_azn. His work has been screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Getty in Los Angeles, and the Pompidou Center in Paris. He is the author of A View from the Bottom: Asian American Masculinity and Sexual Representation (Duke UP, 2014) and articles on porn pedagogy and Southeast Asian queer cinema. He teaches film and cultural studies at UC San Diego and serves on the editorial board of the Journal for Cinema and Media Studies. His latest video, I Remember Dancing (2019), was commissioned by Visual AIDS and will premiere in the program “Still Beginning” / Day With(out) Art on December 1, 2019, at the Whitney Museum of American Art.


ADA TSENG is the entertainment editor for TimesOC, an LA Times community paper covering Orange County. She’s written for Public Radio International, The Washington Post, LA Weekly and NBC News. She’s the former editor of Asian American publications including Asia Pacific Arts and Audrey Magazine, and she co-hosts the Asian American pop culture history podcast Saturday School. Follow her on Twitter @adatseng or Instagram @adatseng88.



The 2019 International Short Film Competition winner was announced on Closing Night, Nov. 16.

For the third year, the San Diego Asian Film Festival hosts a competition for international short films. This competition highlights some of the most innovative work produced in Asia and encompasses narrative, experimental, and documentary forms. This year’s nominees can be found here. The jurors are:

Yalin Chi, distributor and advisor for the acquisition, release, and promotion of such Chinese-language films as Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin, Yang Chao’s Crosscurrent, and Huang Hsin-yao’s The Great Buddha+.

Gregory Durbin, professor of Television, Film and New Media at San Diego State University, and filmmaker whose work has screened at the Museum of Modern Art, The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and the Pacific Film Archives.

Pailin Wedel, Bangkok and Yangon-based journalist and director of Hope Frozen, winner of Best International Feature at the 2019 Hot Docs International Documentary Festival.