On Friday, June 4th, in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, HBO premiered its second installment of Asian Pacific American Visionaries, a short film program featuring the works of emerging Asian American directors.
Hosted by Westworld actor Leonardo Nam at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, the showcase featured a trio of directors who explored the historic—and timely—issues of immigration, racism, and assimilation.
“I think it’s more than time that we share, with the world, these stories that we want to be told,” explained Nam on Friday night’s red carpet.
Nam also took some time to tell us what’s next for his Westworld character, Felix Lutz.
“My character’s story really kicks off in the later half of the first season. So, this year it’s been great to see that by the first two episodes [of Season 2], the ‘Twitterverse’ and social media has already been asking ‘where’s Felix?’ I feel a lot of love,” said Nam.
The finalists of HBO’s Asian Pacific American Visionaries short film competition included Maritte Go (Remittance), Feng-I Fiona Roan (Jiejie), Huay-Bing Law (June). Law was ultimately the grand-prize winner for his short film, “June.”
Other special guests in attendance included Sujata Day (Insecure), Raymond Lee (Here and Now), and Steven Lim (Buzzfeed).
Launched in August 2016, HBO Asian Pacific American Visionaries is an annual short film competition dedicated to showcasing emerging APA directors with unique perspectives of the Asian Pacific American experience. The competition also seeks to further the dialogue about race and representation in Hollywood. Judges for the competition included HBO executives and a panel of industry experts, including representatives from the LAAPFF and the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment.
Throughout the screening, each short film was felt among the entire room and addressed difficult issues about racism and the immigration experience head-on. Afterwards, the directors answered deeply insightful questions from the audience about what inspired them to create their works. The common thread was personal experience, which made each short film stand out even more, as an authentic and important story to be told.
The three shorts will be available for streaming across all of HBO’s on-demand and digital platforms (including HBO NOW®, HBO GO®, HBO On Demand® and streaming partner platforms) through the end of the month in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.