CAAM’s newest section is called FIRST LOOK. It’s your opportunity to learn about an upcoming film or project that will be released in 2021.
In this program, we will talk with director Debbie Lum about her new documentary, TRY HARDER (WORKING TITLE). In a universe where cool kids are nerds, the orchestra is world class and being Asian American is the norm, seniors at Lowell High School compete for the top prize: admission to the college of their dreams. The camera captures a diverse cohort of students in the hallways and classrooms as pressure intensifies to impress admissions officers with their report cards, test scores and overall awesomeness. As some achieve their dreams and most confront failure, we see how parental pressure, race and identity impact American youth in this coming-of-age tale.