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, Animated Short, and International Short. Additionally, the jury selects a Grand Jury winner and optional Special Jury mentions.

 

SDAFF programmers also select the recipient of the George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker Award, named after the co-founder of the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival and the former Program Director of the San Diego Asian Film Festival. An advocate for all things independent, George passed away from cancer on October 14, 2008. The award in his memory is given to a first-time feature filmmaker who embodies his spirit.

 

Other awards at the festival include the Digital Pioneer Award, Best International Short, the Lifetime Achievement Award, and an Audience Award, which is open to all new feature films in the festival.

2018 AWARD WINNERS

International Short

BABYLON, directed by Keith Deligero

 

Special Jury Mention

ORIGIN STORY, directed by Kulap Vilaysack

 

Lifetime Achievement Award

Marcus Hu, Co-Founder, Strand Releasing

 

George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker Award

Christopher Makoto Yogi, director of AUGUST AT AKIKO’S

 

Audience Award

ONE CUT OF THE DEAD, directed by Shinichiro Ueda

2017 AWARD WINNERS

International Short

AFTERNOON CLOUDS, directed by Payal Kapadia

 

Special Jury Mention

SANTA CLAUS, directed by Jeff Man

 

Digital Pioneer Award

Phil Yu, Angry Asian Man

 

George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker Award

Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, director of THEY

 

Audience Award

ISLAND SOLDIER, directed by Nathan Fitch

2016 AWARD WINNERS

Animated Short

HOLD ME (CA CAW CA CAW), directed by Renee Zhan

 

Special Jury Mention

RANDOM ACTS OF LEGACY, directed by Ali Kazimi

 

Lifetime Achievement Award

Wayne Wang

 

George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker Award

Andrew Ahn, director of SPA NIGHT

 

Audience Award

DAZE OF JUSTICE, directed by Michael Siv

2015 AWARD WINNERS

Special Jury Mention

REUNIFICATION, directed by Alvin Tsang

 

Lifetime Achievement Award

Tyrus Wong

 

Digital Pioneer Award

Buzzfeed Motion Pictures

 

George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker Award

Takeshi Fukunaga, director of OUT OF MY HAND

 

Audience Award

TYRUS, directed by Pamela Tom

2014 AWARD WINNERS

Animated Short

BEHIND MY BEHIND, directed by David Chai

 

Special Jury Mention

KUMU HINA, directed by Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson

 

Digital Pioneer Award

Anna Akana

 

George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker Award

Vera Brunner-Sung, director of BELLA VISTA

 

Audience Award

LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, directed by Thomas Miller

2012 AWARD WINNERS

Special Jury Mention

THE WORLD BEFORE HER, directed by Nisha Pahuja

 

Lifetime Achievement Award

Chung Chang-wha

 

George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker Award

Ernie Park, director of LATE SUMMER

 

Audience Award

EDEN, directed by Megan Griffiths

2011 AWARD WINNERS

Grand Jury Award

SURROGATE VALENTINE directed by Dave Boyle

 

Narrative Feature

IN THE FAMILY, directed by Patrick Wang

 

Documentary Feature

TALES OF THE WARIA, directed by Kathy Huang

 

Narrative Short

ANDY, directed by Andrew Ahn

 

Documentary Short

MAKING NOISE IN SILENCE, directed by Mina T. Son

Animated Short

ENRIQUE WRECKS THE WORLD, directed by David Chai

 

Special Jury Mention

THE LULU SESSIONS, directed by S. Casper Wong

 

Lifetime Achievement Award

Nancy Kwan

 

George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker Award

Patrick Wang, director of IN THE FAMILY

 

Audience Award

THE POWER OF TWO, directed by Marc Smolowitz

2010 AWARD WINNERS

Grand Jury Award

THE HOUSE OF SUH, directed by Iris Shim

 

Narrative Feature

LITTLEROCK, directed by Mike Ott

 

Documentary Feature

FINDING FACE, directed by Skye Fitzgerald and Patti Duncan

 

Narrative Short

WORKS OF ART, directed by Andrew Pang

 

Documentary Short

TOP SPIN, directed by Sara Newens and Mina T. Son

Animated Short

THE WONDER HOSPITAL, directed by Beomsik Shimbe Shim

 

Influential Asian American Artist Award

Daniel Dae Kim

 

George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker Award

Nadine Truong

 

Audience Award

ONE VOICE, directed by Lisette Flannery

2009 AWARD WINNERS

Grand Jury Award

CHILDREN OF INVENTION, directed by Tze Chun

 

Narrative Feature

CHILDREN OF INVENTION, directed by Tze Chun

 

Documentary Feature

WHATEVER IT TAKES, directed by Christopher Wong

 

Narrative Short

A GREEN MOUNTAIN IN A DRAWER, directed by Hwa-Jun Lee

 

Documentary Short

ROUGH CUT, directed by Firouzeh Khosrovani

Animated Short

KUDAN, directed by Taku Kimura

 

Special Jury Mention

A SONG FOR OURSELVES, directed by Tadashi Nakamura

 

George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker Award

Mark Tran, director of ALL ABOUT DAD

 

Audience Award

WHITE ON RICE, directed by David Boyle

2008 AWARD WINNERS

Grand Jury Award

DIRTY HANDS: THE ART & CRIMES OF DAVID CHOE, directed by Harry Kim

 

Narrative Feature

SANTA MESA, directed by Ron Morales

 

Documentary Feature

SHAME, directed by Mohammed Naqvi

 

Narrative Short

LADY, directed by Wendy Cheng

Animated Short

MEAT DAYS, directed by Joe Hsieh

 

Special Jury Mention

DAMN THE PAST!, directed by Julie Kang

 

Lifetime Achievement Award

Soon-Tek Oh

2007 AWARD WINNERS

Grand Jury Award

CATS OF MIRIKITANI, directed by Linda Hattendorf

 

Narrative Feature

OWL AND THE SPARROW, directed by Stephane Gauger

 

Documentary Feature

NA KAMALEI: THE MEN OF HULA, directed by Lisette Flanary

 

Narrative Short

MONSOON, directed by Shyam Balse

Documentary Short

MOOKEY’S STORY, directed by Carolyn Goossen & Daffodil Altan

 

Animated Short

CITY PARADISE, directed by Gaelle Denis

 

Music video

CHAMPION BY NATIVE GUNS, directed by Patricio Ginelsa

 

Lifetime Achievement Award

George Takei

2006 AWARD WINNERS

Grand Jury Award

JOURNEY FROM THE FALL, directed by Ham Tran

 

Narrative Feature

EVE & THE FIREHORSE, directed by Julia Kwan

 

Documentary Feature

LAST ATOMIC BOMB, directed by Robert Richter

 

Narrative Short

HIRO, directed by Matthew Swanson

 

Animated Short

MIRAGE, directed by Youngwoon Jang

Experimental

LATENT SORROW, directed by Shon Kim

 

Music Video

STEAL THE BLUEPRINTS, directed by Chris Deaner

 

Special Jury Mention

COLMA: THE MUSICAL, directed by Richard Wong

 

Lifetime Achievement Award

Kieu Chin

2005 AWARD WINNERS

Grand Jury Award

SEIBUTSU: (STILL ALIVE), directed by Joe Turner Lin

 

Narrative Feature

THE MOTEL, directed by Michael Kang

 

Documentary Feature

AND THEREAFTER, directed by Hosup Lee

 

Documentary Short

DAASTAR: DEFENDING SIKH IDENTITY, directed by Kevin Lee

 

Narrative Short

SUMMER OF THE SERPENT, directed by Kimi Takesue

 

Animated Short

PUBLIC BATH, directed by Tak Hoon Kim

Experimental

5 x 90: THE WAKE, directed by Samuel Kiehoon Lee

 

Music Video

PSYCHOKINETICS: THE VAULT, directed by Gene Celso

 

Visionary Award

SAVING FACE, directed by Alice Wu

 

Lifetime Achievement Award

Joan Chen

2004 AWARD WINNERS

Grand Jury Award

THE MAGICAL LIFE OF LONG TACK SAM, directed by Ann Marie Fleming

 

Narrative Feature

FIRST MORNING, directed by Victor Vu

 

Documentary Feature

THE MAGICAL LIFE OF LONG TACK SAM, directed by Ann Marie Fleming

 

Documentary Short

YELLOW BROTHERHOOD, directed by Tadashi Nakamura

 

Narrative Short

SANGAM, directed by Prashant Bhargava

 

Animated Short

BIRTHDAY BOY, directed by Sejong Park

 

Experimental

BALIKBAYAN, directed by Larilyn Sanchez & Riza Manalo

 

Music Video

SKYFLAKES: BAD THOUGHTS, directed by Dino Ignacio

 

2003 AWARD WINNERS

Grand Jury Award

REFUGEE, directed by Spencer Nakasako

 

Narrative Feature

BOOK OF RULES, directed by Sung H. Kim

 

Documentary Feature

SLEEPING TIGERS: THE ASAHI BASEBALL STORY, directed by Jeri Osborne

 

Documentary Short

HOW TO MAKE KIMCHEE, directed by Samuel Kiehoon Lee

 

Narrative Short

THE ANNIVERSARY, directed by Ham Tran

 

Animated Short

HENRY’S GARDEN, directed by Moon Seun

 

Experimental

NOTHING BUT LOVE, directed by Wen-Yao Chuang

 

 

2002 AWARD WINNERS

Grand Jury Award

SOPHIE, directed by Helen Lee

 

Narrative Feature

CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES, directed by Eric Byler

 

Documentary Feature

JOURNEY FOR LOTUS, directed by Eunhee Cha

 

Documentary Short

BLT GENESIS, directed by Evan Leong

 

Narrative Short

BARRIER DEVICE, directed by Grace Lee

 

Animated Short

VESSEL WRESTLING, directed by Lisa Yu

 

Experimental

STILL I RISE, directed by Umesh Shukla

 

 

2001 AWARD WINNERS

Grand Jury Award

ROADS AND BRIDGES, directed by Abraham Lim

 

Narrative Feature

DOG FOOD (AZUCENA), directed by Carlos Siguion-Reyna

 

Documentary Feature

MADE IN CHINA, directed by Karin Lee

 

Documentary Short

BITTER AND SWEET, directed by Johanna Lee

 

Narrative Short

TALK TO TAKA, directed by Richard Kim

 

Animated Short

LINT PEOPLE, directed by Helder Sun

 

Experimental

STACCATO FUGUE, directed by Teo Carlo Pulgar

 

 

2000 AWARD WINNERS

Grand Jury Award

KARMA LOCAL, directed by Darshan Bhagat

 

Narrative Feature

THE DEBUT, directed by Gene Cajayon

 

Documentary Feature

WHEN YOU’RE SMILING, directed by Janice Tanaka

 

Documentary Short

SHIT, THE MOVE, directed by Julie Gaw

 

Narrative Short

MOUSE, directed by Greg Pak

 

Experimental

BY THIS PARTING, directed by Mieko Ouchi