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Festival Jurors

The San Diego Asian Film Festival 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 experimental film. Additionally, the jury selects a Grand Jury winner and an optional Special Jury mention.

For the sixth year, SDAFF also 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. The 2022 SDAFF Award Winners will be announced at this year’s SDAFF Awards Gala.


Roddy Bogawa was born in Los Angeles and studied art and played in punk bands before turning to film. He has made four feature films, Some Divine Wind, Junk, I Was Born, But…, and Taken By Storm. In 2013 he was the subject of a mid-career retrospective titled “If Films Could Smell” at the MoMA in New York. His films are in the collections of the MoMA, Whitney Museum of American Art, Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. A book about his art and film career is forthcoming by Kaya Press.
Bedatri D. Choudhury studied literature in New Delhi and then Cinema Studies at NYU. She has managed a number of documentary programs and was, most recently, the managing editor of Documentary magazine. A culture journalist, she loves writing on film, art, and theater from the intersections of race, gender, and class. She is Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Arts and Entertainment Editor and a programmer for Doc NYC. You can often hear her on NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour.
Masashi Niwano is the Director of Artist Development at SFFILM. For over a decade prior, he was the Festival & Exhibitions Director at the Center for Asian American Media. Prior to his time with CAAM, he was the Executive Director of the Austin Asian American Film Festival. Masashi has been a jury member or panelist at dozens of prestigious festivals including Sundance Institute, The Gotham, International Development Association, New Orleans Film Festival, and FRAMELINE LGBTQ+ Film Festival. He is an active advisory board member for Firelight Media’s William Greaves Fund.
Mila Zuo is an assistant professor of cinema and media studies at the University of British Columbia, specializing in film-philosophy, star studies, and contemporary Asian cinemas. She is the author of Vulgar Beauty: Acting Chinese in the Global Sensorium (2022) and writer/director of short films including Carnal Orient (2016), Détourning Asia/America with Valerie Soe (2019), and Kin (2021). She has also been programming for Slamdance Film Festival since 2017.


Victor Fan is Reader in Film and Media Philosophy, King’s College London and a film festival consultant. He is the author of Cinema Approaching Reality: Locating Chinese Film Theory (2015), Extraterritoriality: Locating Hong Kong Cinema and Media (2019), and Cinema Illuminating Reality: Media Philosophy through Buddhism (University of Minnesota Press, 2022). His articles appeared in journals including Camera Obscura, Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Screen, and Film History. His film The Well was an official selection of the São Paolo International Film Festival; it was also screened at the Anthology Film Archives, the Japan Society, and the George Eastman House.
Joel Shepard is a San Francisco-based publicist and freelance film curator. As film curator at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts until 2018, Shepard programmed many influential series including an annual New Filipino Cinema showcase, “Fearless: Chinese Independent Documentary,” and “Smut Capital of America.” He recently curated “Blazing and Blasted: Post-Punk Pre-Tech Underground Film in 1990s San Francisco” for the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts. Shepard received an “Essential SF” award from SFFILM for his contribution to local film culture.
Doris Yeung is a Chinese American film writer, director, and producer. She was raised in Hong Kong and San Francisco, and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, American Film Institute, and the Beijing Film Academy with degrees in Art History, Asian American Studies, Film and Directing. She has completed three feature films and documentaries: Motherland (2009), Taxi Stories (2017), and The Ugly Model (2019) filmed in the US, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Europe, as well as numerous other short films. She is the founder and executive director of CinemAsia Film Festival Netherlands.