Centerpiece: The Accidental Getaway DriverDirected by Sing J Lee
Cast: Dali Benssalah, Dustin Nguyen, Gabrielle Chan, Hiệp Trần Nghĩa, Phi Vũ
Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic, Sundance 2023
Long (Hiệp Trần Nghĩa), a Vietnamese driver in Southern California answers a late-night call for a ride. Already in his pajamas, he reluctantly accepts, picking up a man, Tây (Dustin Nguyen), and his two companions. But the men, escaped convicts from an Orange County jail, take Long hostage at gunpoint, and complications arise. The fugitives and their hostage hole up at a motel when a tense waiting game unfolds. First-time filmmaker Sing J. Lee wins a Sundance’s Directing Award for striking visuals and mood driven aesthetic. Set in an unnerving tone, intensity is punctuated by moments of humor and warmth. Less a crime film, but a stirring portrait of this lonely, old man and his relationship with Tây. It’s hard to overstate the captivating presence and poignance of Hiệp Trần Nghĩa in carrying the burdens of Long’s past —expressed through lyrical and gently surreal interludes: war, family estrangement, and now his marked isolation, having lost every “home” he’s ever known. Inspired by a true story.
Filmmaker Sing J. Lee expected to attend for a post-screening Q&A