Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival

PAAFF 2020
  NOV. 5-NOV. 15

2020 Festival Recap

Director’s Statement

Welcome to the 13th Annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival! Our very first online film festival. What a year 2020 has been so far. 

This festival has gone through many iterations of themes and programming, just as our festival has gone through many iterations of leadership and staff. We started the year thinking that we’d be creating a spooky “Friday the 13th” themed festival in honor of our 13th year, but in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of xenophobia and Anti-Asian racism, the continued systemic violence against BIPOC in the United States, the brutality of policing in Hong Kong and all over the world, and the countless injustices and inequalities in our society — this theme did not feel appropriate.

Instead, we decided to do some self reflection. PAAFF turns 13 this year. The festival has officially become a teenager, not quite yet an adult, and we are still learning, growing, and discovering what makes us who we are. And while we are going through this process of change and growth, we hope we’re able to influence and inspire the positive changes we wish to see in the world. With this in mind, we’ve built this year’s festival program to reflect our growth as an organization and to reflect how we view our role in this world.

And as you all may know, PAAFF is completely operated by a group of incredibly dedicated volunteers and this festival would not be in existence without them. I am incredibly grateful to those volunteers who have supported this work and supported me through this year.

Someone also recently said to me that PAAFF audiences are the most adventurous people they know because while they might not always know what they’re getting, they are always ready and willing to support us. This has never been more true. Thank you all for being adventurous with us.

I hope you enjoy the festival and stay safe.

With love,
Selena Yip
Festival Director


We always believe that amazing work should be awarded and praised. These were the best of the best from our 2020 festival.

The Greatest Country in the World film still

Best Narrative Feature

Director: Ky Nam Le Duc

Between Tides film still

Best Documentary Feature

Director: Masa Fox

Keep Saray Home film still

Best Documentary Short

Director: Brian Redondo

Goodbye Mother still

Audience Choice: Narrative Feature

Director: Trinh Linh Le Minh

Far East Deep South film still

Audience Choice: Documentary Feature

Director: Larissa Lam

Djembe in the 13 Streets film still

Vijay Mohan Social Change Award

Director: Kwong Yin Brian Hung





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