Festival Awards

NARRATIVE COMPETITION

The Narrative Competition Award highlights the diversity and ingenuity of modern cinema and recognizes excellence in narrative filmmaking.

2021 NARRATIVE JURY:

Ante Cheng, Cinematographer
Kayla Wong, Festival Director, Asian CineVision
Nena Erb, Editor

Ante Cheng is a LA-based cinematographer from Taipei. Ante is a frequent collaborator with director Justin Chon- Blue Bayou, Ms. Purple (Sundance ’19 competition, Busan ’19), Gook (Sundance ’17 NEXT audience award). He also has shot Death of Nintendo (dir. Raya Martin, Berlinale ’20), East of La Brea (dir. Sam Bailey, SXSW ’19). Ante has been filming Pachinko for Apple TV+.

Kayla Wong is a Seattle-raised, New York-based Producer, who somehow still knows nothing about coffee. She has been volunteering with the media arts nonprofit Asian CineVision since she was a student at NYU Tisch studying Film Production and Entertainment Business. In 2018, she became the director of ACV’s marquee event, the Asian American International Film Festival. Previously, she has worked at NBC Special Events, Great Performances on PBS, and a short lived stint as a Set PA taking coffee orders.

Nena Erb, ACE, is a two time Emmy-winning editor based in Los Angeles. Raised in an Asian immigrant family, Nena’s father wanted her to be a doctor and her mother wanted her to be a pianist with the LA Philharmonic. Nena Wanted to be Andy Warhol. Armed with an art degree, a friend brought her into the industry and she started working in various capacities in production. It was her stint as an associate producer that opened her eyes to the impact of editing. It combined her love of photography and storytelling into one and she was hooked. Since then, Nena has edited projects for HBO, Apple, Universal, and others. In 2016, she received an Emmy award for her work on HBO’s documentary series Project Greenlight. In addition, she has received two ACE Eddie nominations for her work, one for season three of HBO’s comedy-drama series, Insecure and the other for CW’s acclaimed series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Nena received her second Emmy award in 2020 for her work on season 4 of Insecure. Her parents no long ask if she’d reconsider medical school.

DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

The Documentary Competition showcases a dynamic selection of films that fearlessly capture the challenging reality and surprising beauty inherent in the human experience.

2021 DOCUMENTARY JURY:

Anderson Le, Artistic Director, Hawai’i International Film Festival
Qiona Woffard, Program Associate, Black Public Media
Selena Yip, Festival Director, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (PAAFF)

Anderson Le: Based in Los Angeles, Anderson Le diligently works in the global promotion of independent and world cinema as Artistic Director for the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF), now in its 41st year. In addition to his duties at HIFF, Le also serves as a programmer for the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, presenting the latest works of AAPI cinema to audiences in Southern California, He is also a programming consultant for the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy and formerly for the Singapore International Film Festival, San Diego Asian Film Festival and Reel Asian in Toronto. Le was a program consultant for Comcast (2015-2019), working in providing monthly content for Xfinity on Demand, working with distributors and aggregators in curating Asian international content. Le is also a producer of several Vietnamese language feature films including HOLLOW (2014), and BITCOIN HEIST (2016), which is currently streaming on Netflix. Le is a founding member of EAST Films with offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Los Angeles, USA and is developing a slate of original content to be primarily produced in Southeast Asia, focusing on genre, streaming and prestige projects.

Qiona Woffard joined Black Public Media in January 2020 as a Program Associate. After nearly 20 years in academic and student affairs in colleges and universities on the east coast, Qiona awakened to build a career in the Film and Television industry – telling and supporting stories that MUST BE SHARED. She is the Series Associate Producer for BPM’s AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, and coordinator for 360 Incubator+, PitchBLACK, as well as the National Black Media Story Summit. Her current personal project is developing a docu narrative series on Black American life. She has a bachelor’s degree in foreign language and communication media, a master’s in adult education & distance learning, and a master of fine arts in film & television production.

Selena Yip is the Festival Director of the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (PAAFF). They are a second-generation, Chinese American child of Hong Kong immigrants, raised with strong familial and community ties to Philadelphia’s Chinatown. In 2018, they produced a short documentary called Staying Put: Stories of Chinatown’s Resistance as part of Scribe Video Center’s Precious Places project, which tells the story of Philadelphia Chinatown’s historic struggles with unequitable urban development and their advocacy towards a better future. Selena strongly believes in an equitable future continues their advocacy for Chinatown as a PCDC Equity Champion and occasionally co-leads community tours of Chinatown. Selena joined PAAFF in 2018 and became the Festival Director in 2020. They hope to lead PAAFF to becoming a nourishing and creative space that fully represents the diversity of the Asian and Pacific Islander diaspora. In their free time, Selena practices Muay Thai and is learning how to crochet and use a sewing machine

LONI DING AWARD FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE DOCUMENTARY

The Loni Ding Award for Social Justice Documentary recognizes the film and filmmaker that most reflect the passions of late TV producer Loni Ding. Ding devoted her life to advocacy and played a key role in the founding of several public media organizations, including CAAM.

AUDIENCE AWARDS

The Audience Award lets you, our audience, honor your festival favorite. Vote for the narrative that touched your heart or the most eye-opening documentary, and give the directors much-deserved recognition. Check to see if your favorites won on the CAAM website after the end of the festival.