Founded in 2016, this year’s Colorado Dragon Boat Film Festival continues its second-year partnership with Denver Film. The four-day all Asian and Asian American Film Festival is programmed with the theme, “representAsian,” which focuses on films, organizations, and individuals that boldly highlight our culture and identity.
This year’s festival takes place from March 4 – 7, 2021 on our Virtual Cinema Platform. The 2021 program features 12 movies, 2 shorts packages and additional local highlights on our Virtual Cinema platform. The festival will feature virtual Q&A’s, panels, and conversations with filmmakers and the Denver community. A new highlight for this year’s festival is the “storytelling” panel where we will hear from community members on their journey of coming to America as a refugee or immigrant. We will also hear from our first-generation Asian Americans on their experiences of being Asian American today.
We chose the theme of ‘representASIAN’ for this year's film festival because now more than ever it is important to boldly highlight the amazing accomplishments coming out of our community. The amount of talent coming from the Asian and AAPI community is vast and too often hidden from the mainstream media. We are working to change that.
Colorado Dragon Boat Executive Director
Angry Rice Wives
Narrative • Japan • 106 min
In 1918, Japan’s Siberian Intervention inflames a sudden rise in rice price to supply the food for the troops. It gives economic hardship to the ordinary people, including Ito, one of the fishers’ wives in a rural town who frugally hold down the fort while their husbands are away for work.
The Celine Archive
Documentary • USA • 69 min
Adulteress, traitor, heroine, or prey? In 1932, Celine Navarro was buried alive by her community in Northern California. This film digs up herstory. The filmmaker, a grieving mother, with a long-term commitment to exploring race, gender and immigration, digs up Celine Navarro's story, exposing silences that haunt Filipinx American communities today, along with Celine Navarro’s family, community members and scholars who know different details about this largely untold event in American history.
Death of Nintendo
Narrative • Philippines, USA • 98 min
Set in Manila in the 1990s, DEATH OF NINTENDO takes us into the colorful pop- culture world of four friends, back in the days when video games were still a novelty. Mimaw and her friends Paolo, Kachi and Gilligan go on a journey of self- discovery together as they play games and wrestle with new dilemmas – puppy love, circumcision and other horror stories.
Narrative • USA • 91 min
OPENING NIGHT // ONLY AVAILABLE ON MARCH 4 // When we meet Monica Chowdry in 2005, the eight-year-old is on top of the world as champion of Scribbs National Spelling Bee. Fast-forward to present day: grown-up Monica (writer-director Sujata Day) is still living at home in Greensburg, Pennsylvania with her ailing mom Jaya (Anna Khaja), making a living tutoring a new crop of future overachievers while hesitating to make any big moves in her own life.
Far East Deep South
Documentary • USA •
When Charles Chiu, a Chinese-American man from California, travels to Mississippi to visit the grave of his father who abandoned him as a baby, he and his family stumble upon surprising revelations that change their lives. Along the way, they meet a diverse group of local residents and historians, who shed light on the racially complex history of the Chinese in the segregated South during the Chinese Exclusion era. Their emotional journey leads them to discover how deep their roots run in America.
Lunana A Yak In The Classroom
Narrative • Bhutan • 109 min
Struggling with his profession as a teacher, Ugyen is sent to Lunana in northern Bhutan for his final year of training. The high altitude and the lack of amenities make Ugyen want to leave as soon as he arrives. With a warm welcome the local children try to win him over but they don’t have much time as the harsh winter is about to arrive in the glacial parts of the Himalaya…
Narrative • Taiwan • 127 min.
Under the pain of illness and treatment, Kang (Lee Kang-sheng) finds himself adrift. He meets Non (Anong Houngheuangsy) in a foreign land. They find consolation in each other before parting ways and carrying on with their days. The latest film from Tsai Ming-liang (Goodbye Dragon Inn, Stray Dogs, The Wayward Cloud), Days marks yet another masterwork in one of contemporary cinema’s most extraordinary careers.
Narrative • South Korea • 105 min
CLOSING NIGHT // ONLY AVAILABLE ON MARCH 7 // Saebom is a high school student, living with her mother Yunhee, who is in her 40s. After her recent divorce, Yunhee seems to be depressed, but she never shares her feelings with Saebom. One day, Saebom finds a mysterious love letter sent to Yunhee. The letter is from Hokkaido, Japan. This one letter makes Saebom wonder about the past of Yunhee she has not known.
Mu and the Vanishing World
Documentary • USA • 86 min
Mu and the Vanishing World is an 86 minute documentary feature that immerses us in the journey of a young single mother and her tribe over the course of 10 years. Ever since fleeing Myanmar as a child, Mu lives confined as a refugee and tourist attraction in a Long Neck Village in Northern Thailand.
My Prince Edward
Narrative • Hong Kong • 88 min
Serving countless newlyweds in Hong Kong’s go-to one-stop-shop of cheap wedding supplies doesn’t exempt Fong from social pressure to marry. Since nodding to Edward’s proposal, she has been pushed beyond limits by unaffordable housing, archaic customs, and intrusive in-laws.
Narrative • Philippines • 127 min
In 1938, Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon agrees to welcome Jewish refugees from Germany in the Philippines.
Veins of the World
Narrative • Mongolia/Germany • 86 min
Amra’s father Erdene is the leader of the last nomads opposing global mining companies digging for gold in the Mongolian steppe. After his father dies in a tragic car accident, Amra sets out to continue the fight in his father's spirit – but with the tools of an 11-year-old boy.
Short Film Showcase
10 films • 140 min • POST FILM Q&A INCLUDED
Including: The Loyal Betrayal, Voices, Mastery Part I & II, The 3 Day Nun, Mechamorphosis, Duo Pandemia, #AsianAmCovidStories and more!
Emerging Artist Showcase
5 films • 107 min • POST FILM Q&A INCLUDED
Including: I Put the Bi in Bitter Season 1-3, Safe, Checkbox: Other
All movies are available throughout the duration of the festival (March 4 – 7) except the Opening Night movie DEFINITION PLEASE (March 4 only) and the Closing Night movie MOONLIT WINTER (March 7 only).
Colorado Dragon Boat is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization advocates for the Asian American Pacific Islander communities through our three programs: the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, the Colorado Dragon Boat Film Festival, and the AAPI Emerging Leaders Program. For more information please visit our website at www.cdbf.org.
Get your Festival All-Access Pass
$55 for Denver Film Members / $65 for Non-Members
Individual tickets (on sale Feb 5): $12 for Denver Film Members/$15 for Non-Members