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BAAFF Shorts: Peace of Mind

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Pao Arts Center

99 Albany Street

Boston, MA 02111

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SHORTS: PEACE OF MIND - TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2018, 7PM

Pao Center for the Arts
99 Albany St, Boston, MA 02111
(T: South Station, Chinatown, or Boylston)
PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN at the door
Sometimes the most hard-fought battles we face are the ones that can feel invisible to everyone else. Whether it’s battling against mental illness, the stigmas around mental health, or feelings like overwhelming heartbreak, this series of shorts focus on the battles we fight to try to find some Peace of Mind.
Bloom | GAPS | Share | On My Mind | Looking for Luke



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BLOOM

2017 | USA | 10 mins | Drama
Directed by Lauren Cheung

Bloom captures a young woman’s attempt to contend with loss through her art. Facing a blank canvas, a grief-stricken painter named Mae flits through memories— both remembered and conjured— of her lost friend, until she finally confronts the most painful of them all: her friend's belongings scattered among a crime scene. Her memories are entwined with visions of her friend playing the violin in a dark auditorium; as the film progresses, the violinist’s music and Mae’s art combine together to become the language of Mae’s grief.


Director's Bio:
LAUREN CHEUNG is a Chinese-Japanese filmmaker and animator based in NYC. She works as assistant to Mr. Woody Allen, and she previously worked as a Director's Guild Trainee on several TV shows (SVU, The Americans, Falling Water.) She graduated from Brown University in 2015 with a degree in Biology. In her free time, she animates and draws webcomics. Her goal as a director is to bring diversity both on-screen and behind the camera.



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GAPS

2018 | USA | 12 mins | Documentary
Directed by Peter Trinh

Although mental diseases are a global health issue, the cultural stigmas and traditions of being Asian play a major factor in how they are dealt with in the community. This is particularly true of Alzheimer’s, a disease which affects millions of Asians, yet in most Asian countries and cultures, a word does not exist to describe the disease. To further complicate these cultural stigmas, at the center of Alzheimer’s lies the intersection where filial piety and stigma meet with a lack of understanding of mental diseases. Why is there such a lack of awareness of mental disease in the Asian community? What contributes to all the shame and embarrassment of these issues? How does this all affect Asian Americans who have been raised in a different environment as the elderly? Although this documentary focuses on Alzheimer’s, the themes of family, stigma, and awareness apply to many aspects of Asian culture and the growing tension between Asian Americans and their immigrant parents. There are GAPS in memory, the system, and knowledge of Alzheimer's.

Trang Tu, an advocate for Asian funding and Alzheimer’s awareness in the community shares her emotional stories of being the full-time caregiver to her mom, who is living with Alzheimer’s. Trang has experienced the difficulties and pressures of caring for her mother as an Asian-American and dealt with a system that has not yet fully understood and provided the resources to minorities. These same topics are also discussed in the documentary with professional healthcare experts from various organizations and universities, including the Alzheimer’s Association, University of Washington, and the University of California, San Francisco.

Director's Bio:
PETER TRINH is a filmmaker and freelance writer based in Seattle. He is a first-generation Asian-American, born to Chinese immigrants from Vietnam. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Peter is using writing and film to explore the complexities of the Asian-American identity. His directorial debut "Other", released in 2017, discussed the stereotypes and racism against Asians, and was shown at the Boston Asian American Film Festival, Austin Asian American Film Festival, Houston Asian American Pacific Islander Film Festival, and numerous other college campus and conference screenings.



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SHARE

2018 | USA | 12 mins | Coming of Age
Directed by Barna Szasz and Ellie Wen

An 18-year-old Instagram influencer attempts to reconcile his identity online with his identity in real life.


Director's Bio:
BARNA SZASZ is a Budapest-born filmmaker and video-journalist specialized in the young genre of online videos. Starting out as a video-journalist at the largest Hungarian news magazine, Index.hu, he later became the leader of the video team for the portal that has 1 million visitors a day.

From the 1-minute Instagram videos to the 25-minutes-long short documentaries he believes that online videos are the best tools to affect today's society. Being able to reach millions of people Barna’s passion is to inspire viewers with personally engaging stories, and to make society better by presenting social-political issues and problems that would not reach newer generations through traditional media.

From more than 200 videos that he has produced in his country his face is most known for the one where he ran faster than the tube in Budapest, but his most popular works are when he dealt with social topics: More than 400,000 people watched when he took anti-refugee hate-commenters to meet actual refugees, and 13,000 shared We Don’t Exist, his semi-documentaristic short film about how the Hungarian government manipulates the statistics of poverty in the country. Over the years he won the Media for Talents award and the Hegeto Honorka award for presenting issues of the socially disadvantaged.

In 2016, he cofounded the Video Journalism certificate program at Moholy-Nagy University of Arts and Design, Budapest, and from 2017 he is a Fulbright Student pursuing his MFA in Documentary Film and Video at Stanford University.

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ELLIE WEN was born in Hong Kong and moved to Los Angeles when she was eight years old. She attended Stanford University and graduated with a BA in Drama and a Minor in Sociology.
Upon graduation from Stanford, she moved back to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the film industry. Ellie was selected for the Project Involve fellowship program and was named the Barbara Boyle Scholar. She has directed and produced numerous shorts, documentaries, and features, including White Frog, which she co-wrote. In addition to creating independently, she has also worked at CAA and CBS Films in all aspects of film finance, sales, acquisitions, production, and development. Most recently, she was the Director of Development in Original Series at Super Deluxe, an independent entertainment studio funded by Turner.
Her documentary Single Mother Only Daughter screened at the American Cinematheque's 12th Annual Focus on Female Directors and premiered online on Short of the Week and was a Vimeo Staff Pick. She recently released a short documentary series on SoulPancake called "Doing Good Business" about social entrepreneurs around the world.
Ellie is currently pursuing her MFA in Documentary Film and Video at Stanford University.






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ON MY MIND

2018 | USA | 6 mins | Comedy
Directed by Shirley Zhou

A loser-in-love's struggle to move on is personified by a pesky crow.

Director's Bio:
SHIRLEY ZHOU is a Chinese-American born and raised in the Los Angeles area. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) studying Animation, and recently graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Film, Television, and Digital Media.



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LOOKING FOR LUKE

2017 | USA | 26 mins | Documentary
Directed by Eric I Lu

Luke Tang was a well-liked, passionate and brilliant Harvard sophomore who took his family and friends by surprise when he decided to take his own life. Looking for Luke is a short documentary following Luke’s parents, Wendell and Christina, as they attempt to understand why he did this by reading through his journals and talking to his closest friends. As they piece together what happened, they begin to uncover the truth about their son’s death.

Please note that subject matter is intended for mature audiences.

Director's Bio:
Eric is a writer and director with a mission of making films that heal. Upon graduating from Harvard Medical School, he decided to pursue filmmaking full-time. Previously, Eric co-founded Jubilee Project, a production company that makes films to inspire change. Currently, Eric is a writer on the Fox television show The Resident, and runs the production company, ELU Pictures, that makes films that can shape hearts and minds. Eric directed “Looking for Luke” with the hopes of shattering the stigma around mental health in the Asian American community.

http://www.baaff.org/peaceofmind



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Boston, MA 02111

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