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Directed by William J. Zang

THE LEAF is a personal, poetic, documentary film about Director Will J. Zang’s experience as both a filmmaker and a gay immigrant during this pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic changed and destroyed everything in daily life, including filmmaking. Jobs in the art and film communities, may not be available months or years. 

Will who is part of the San Francisco’s filmmaking community is experiencing this dilemma. As an immigrant from China, he struggles financially as a filmmaker in the U.S. At the same time, he is uncertain about whether he could be his true authentic self, a gay man if he moves back to China. However in the U.S., he faces the uprising of racism against immigrants, especially Asians. The film is composed of footage of San Francisco during the pandemic with voice-overs from news clips as well as friends in China to express the filmmaker’s depression.


About the Filmmaker: Born in Beijing, China, William Jian Zang started exploring his filmmaking career in the US in 2013, while he was attending the film program at the San Francisco Art Institute. Mr. Zang explores American popular culture in his filmmaking and often includes LGBTQ themes. His works have been screened at film festivals worldwide. In 2019, he produced and directed the short documentary film “Dress Up Like Mrs. Doubtfire”. The film has been shown at film festivals internationally, including Frameline Film Festival, Inside Out Toronto Film Festival, and BFI Flare Film Festival. It proudly won the Audience Award at the Tampa Bay Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

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CAAMFest’s OUT/HERE shorts program has been a staple of our festival for over a decade now. In this program, we showcase and celebrate the unique and bold stories from the LGBTQ+ diverse communities. From lesbian vampires to a gay relationship in turmoil, OUT/HERE is a real treasure of stories and storytellers.