Producer: Nina Yang Bongiovi
Why Open: Powerhouse Producer Nina Yang Bongiovi, who has the most flawless track record in Sundance history for a creator who’s debut in competition, won, been acquired for theatrical distribution, then debuted to commercial and critical success, is back with her film on Stephon Marbury’s journey in China.
Synopsis: In 1988, the Japanese government drops an atomic bomb on Tokyo after ESP experiments on children go awry. In 2019, 31 years after the nuking of the city, Kaneda, a bike gang leader, tries to save his friend Tetsuo from a secret government project. He battles anti-government activists, greedy politicians, irresponsible scientists and a powerful military leader until Tetsuo’s supernatural powers suddenly manifest. A final battle is fought in Tokyo Olympiad exposing the experiment’s secrets.
Why Open: Adapted from the legendary books, Director Taika Waititi has assured us his adaptation will not be whitewashed.
Creator & Writer: Jenny Lee
Producer: James Shin (Scooter Braun Projects)
Synopsis: Described as Gossip Girl and 13 Reasons Why meets Crazy Rich Asians, Anna K is set between Manhattan and Greenwich, CT. It follows a Korean-American “it” girl caught between her picture-perfect, family-approved boyfriend and the guy who might just be her one true love, along with her high-flying cast of friends and family.
Why Open: Both its creator and producer are fervent enablers of more Asian stories that can successfully penetrate the mainstream.
Cast: Awkwafina, BD Wong, Lori Tan Chinn
Producer: Teresa Hsiao
Why Open: Based on the life of its multi-threat creator, Awkwafina, let’s celebrate a new all American family.
Cast: Utkarsh Ambudkar, Alice Lee
Synopsis: A woman living in New York takes control of her life–one block at a time.
Director: Joanne Mony Park
Cast: Jonny Kim, Cris Gris Borah Ahn, Christopher Kim
Synopsis: Hana (Joony Kim) is a college student who goes home to New York City to assist her ailing epileptic mother (Borah Ahn) and help her brother (Christopher Kim) with running the family’s Korean restaurant. Hana secretly models part-time to earn some extra cash. On one of her shoot days, Hana meets the charismatic Nico (Cris Gris), a Latina music producer. Nico takes an intense interest in Hana. Flattered by the attention, Hana spends more time with Nico and gradually falls for her. A coming-of-age film about discovering sexuality and self-awareness whilst also exploring what it means to be a faithful Korean immigrant daughter to a very conservative family.
Director: Lena Khan
Executive: Agnes Chu
Synopsis: Flora and Ulysses centers on a cynical girl who spends her time reading comic books and a squirrel who is run over by the neighbor’s vacuum cleaner. The squirrel’s brush with death causes him to develop superpowers.
Director: Minhal Baig
Cast: Geraldine Viswanathan, Purbi Joshi, Azad Khan
Synopsis: Muslim teenager, Hala, copes with the unraveling of her family as she comes into her own.
Why Open: The Sundance hit adopted the inclusion rider, furthering supporting more than just Asian and multicultural castings and staffings.