Flushing Town Hall announced the selected films to be honored at this year’s Crazy Talented Asians & Friends animation shorts showcase, “Celebrating APA Heritage Month, Frame by Frame,” a YouTube livestream event on Saturday, May 29 at 6 p.m. (EDT). The evening program also features live conversation with the artists to share their stories.
“Flushing Town Hall is excited to continue promoting works by young and emerging Asian-heritage artists with the return of Crazy Talented Asians & Friends. Asian/Asian-American artists and their stories need to be heard and cherished, especially in these times,” says Ellen Kodadek, Flushing Town Hall’s Executive & Artistic Director. “We have been a strong advocate of arts equity since 1979, supporting local, immigrant, national, and international artists. We develop partnerships and collaborations to bring people together by presenting arts and culture from around the world. Highlighting Asian/Asian-American perspectives and talents is an important part of our mission.”
The event premiered in 2020 with great success in viewership and brought a community together through beautifully animated stories, all despite COVID’s challenges. This year’s selected animation shorts, representing the top 4% of the several hundreds of submissions, were chosen by a panel of seasoned film professionals for their extraordinary storytelling, art direction, animation, production and sound design. In addition to their creative visuals and soundtracks, these films present a range of stories and experiences as diverse as the APA (Asian/Pacific American) community itself.
These include (among others):
- Harunohi, or Spring Day, is about kindness that while everyone has it, tends to freeze when cold days continue, by Imai Yuka.
- In the Forest, We Grew is about two red pandas that set off to build their dream house together in a bamboo forest, by Vincy Guan and Sunnie Moon.
- Left Unsaid is about cultural dysphoria and the barriers between a grandfather and grandchild, by Mei Lian Hoe.
- Mirage surprises the viewers with a clever use of special effects, by Xiaoli Zhang.
- Scooped! tells the story of nine eccentric robbers on a mysterious mission, by Alan Dharmasaputra Wijaya.
This year’s jury is led by Ms. Hsiang Chin Moe, an artist and educator with experience in higher education, production, technology and management. In addition to being the BFA Animation Chair at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, she also serves on the board of Women in Animation as the Chair for Education Program where her direct focus is to provide the support and resources for students as well as educators to reach the goal of gender equity 50/50 by 2025.
“It is my extreme honor to celebrate APA Heritage Month with an amazing selection of animated films. Special thanks to all the filmmakers for sharing their stories with our audience and inviting us on a journey of imagination. Their talent is a true representation of how unique and creative Asian-American filmmakers are, and the celebration is expanded to all the Asian creators in the world,” says Hsiang Chin Moe, Lead Advisor.
The jury panel also includes:
- Wen-Chin Hsu has been a Lighting Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studio since 2008. Before joining Pixar, she had worked for Tippett Studio and ILM. Her work is included in numerous VFX films, animated feature films and she specializes in storytelling using color and lights.
- Gonzalo Janer is a Colombian character animator and motion graphics artist, currently working at Nickelodeon and teaching animation at ESPOL (Guayaquil – Ecuador). He is passionate about programming and the technical aspects of animation: making art through code and scripting tools to aid his workflow.
- Pilar Newton is an animator, cartoonist and educator. She got her start doing animation production art on shows such as Courage the Cowardly Dog for Cartoon Network and MTV’s Daria. In 2008 she established her Brooklyn-based production company PilarToons, LLC. Pilar also teaches animation at the City College of New York and the School of Visual Arts.
- CJ Walker is an illustrator and background artist currently based in NYC. They currently work at Titmouse NY as a background designer and layout artist, but have also been a background painter, character layout artist, prop designer, risograph printer and perspective teacher.
- Wendy Cong Zhao is an independent artist based in Brooklyn, New York. She has been working and teaching in the animation field since 2011. She started her career as an editor and compositor at Signe Baumane’s Studio. She also worked as the senior producer at Bill Plympton Studio. Her animated documentary My First Sessions was published by The New Yorker. She recently directed two music videos for Verve Records.
“Flushing Town Hall is proud to continue amplifying Asian/Asian American voices by providing a platform for young and talented animators to showcase their works and fostering creative dialogues about storytelling with animation form,” says Ya Yun Teng, Flushing Town Hall’s Chinese Projects Director. “It was especially heartwarming to see how the event brought people of different backgrounds together during this unprecedented global pandemic.”
The program on May 29 will only screen some of the selected films, due to limited time. This year’s Selected Animation Shorts are:
- 3:45 PM, Alisha Liu
- #hAPPy, Yu-Ju Kuo and Huiching Tseng
- A Poem in Bamboo, Chun-Yao Chang and XuFei Wu
- Back to the Source, Sandra Lucille
- BEYOND THE LINE, Jinuk Choi
- Ducky, Winnie Wu
- FIRE, Ofer Bambino Jacoby
- Half a Saba, Ben Molina
- Happy Year of the Rat 2020, Lei Lei
- Harunohi, Imai Yuka
- In the Forest, We Grew, Vincy Guan and Sun Woo Moon
- Left Unsaid, Mei Lian Hoe
- Mirage, Xiaoli Zhang
- NoWhereMan, CK Lu
- Outgrow, Ollie Yao
- Pyramid, Ihsu Yoon
- Scooped!, Alan Dharmasaputra Wijaya
- Seeing Blind, Jazmine Lee
- Signal Lingers, Harry Chen
- Stage-Fright, Yuyang Zhang
- Take Out, Moksha Rao
- The Boundaryless Night, Li-Wei Hsu
- The Organized Life, Yu Wang
- The River, Ping An Huang
- Video Letter, Moon Wang
- Winter Bath, Jingpei Xiao
Crazy Talented Asians & Friends is a community-led program series dedicated to works by Asian/Asian Americans — to showcase the diverse creativity and impact this community has to offer, while bringing together families, friends and audiences from different backgrounds to celebrate their stories.
Register for “Celebrating APA Hertiage Month, Frame by Frame” here.