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 seventh 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 2023 SDAFF Award Winners will be announced at this year’s SDAFF Awards Gala.
Tanuj Chopra is writer/director/producer and showrunner from Northern California with five feature films to his name. His first feature, PUNCHING AT THE SUN, about South Asian teenagers coming of age in post 9/11 Queens, premiered at Sundance and Tribeca in 2006. Tanuj’s most recent feature STAYCATION won the Grand Jury prize at the 2018 LA Film Festival in the Muse section. Chopra was selected for the 2018 Sundance Episodic Lab, the Fox Global Filmmaker Initiative, and the Sony TV Directors Lab. Tanuj is a graduate of Columbia University’s MFA film program where he occasionally teaches. He is currently showrunning/directing DELHI CRIME S2 and S3 on Netflix and in development with several other TV and film projects.
Hanna is a 1.5 gen Taiwanese American who grew up along the Texas-Mexico border far away from the comforts of bubble tea shops. Along with being the Executive Director of the Austin Asian American Film Festival nonprofit, she is also the Mayoral appointee & Chair of the City’s Austin Asian American Quality of Life Commission, a producer of the documentary short Stories Within, Vice President of the Taiwanese American Professionals – Austin Chapter, and longtime AANHPI cultural arts and educational programs professional. She finds herself very fortunate to be able to tell her parents that her Asian American Studies and Social Work degrees are ones she makes use of every day.
Joshua Minsoo Kim
Joshua Minsoo Kim is a Chicago-based high school science teacher and culture writer whose writing about music and film can be found at Pitchfork, NPR, Rolling Stone, Cinema Scope, and MUBI Notebook. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of Tone Glow. He is currently writing a book about music and sound in avant-garde film for Repeater Books.
Pearl Chan is a film and community worker based in Hong Kong. She runs the film sales agency Good Move Media and North American boutique distributor Kani Releasing, which specializes in new and restored Asian cinema. As a researcher and translator, she has been working to reintroduce Hong Kong films through Kani, and with companies such as Vinegar Syndrome, 88 Films, and more.
Jason Tan Liwag
Jason Tan Liwag is a scientist, actor, writer, educator, and film programmer from the Philippines. He is an alumnus of film criticism workshops in Manila, Rotterdam, Udine, and Yamagata, and has been on the selection committee and jury of several local and international festivals, including the Taipei Golden Horse Awards. He is the country’s first member of FIPRESCI, is a two-time international voter for the Golden Globe Awards, and is the head of the QCinema Critics Lab. In 2020, he was declared one of Attitude Magazine‘s 101 LGBTQ+ Trailblazers Changing Today. Outside of film, he is part-time faculty at the Department of Biology, Ateneo de Manila University.
Dr Alongkot Maiduang is an award-winning film critic based in Bangkok, Thailand, writing under a penname ‘kalapapruek’. In 2004, he won the prestigious ML Boonlua Debyasuvarn Best Film Critic Award with his very first criticism on Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Tropical Malady. He is a film festival regular and has traveled to festivals in Cannes, Venice, Berlin, London, Hong Kong since 2011. He later expanded his interests to other art forms and won the second prize of 2018 International Awards for Art Criticism (IAAC) with a criticism of Vasan Sitthiket’s exhibition. In 2022, he served as a programming consultant for the 15th World Film Festival of Bangkok.