Arts / Events / Media

5 tech picks from this year’s Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival

These movies explore the increasingly bizarre intersection of technology and daily life. You should watch them.

A mobile app helps a user go back in time in "Dirty Sock." (Gif from short film "Dirty Sock")

The ninth annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival will showcase some of the best up-and-coming filmmakers from Nov. 10-20. And something caught our eye this year.
There’s a bunch of movies exploring the bizarre ways that technology is shaping modern life, for better and worse.
There’s no shortage of events to attend during the 10-day festival (the program alone is 80 pages, y’all), but here are our picks for the tech-related films you’re gonna wanna check out.


Godlike is part of the festival’s Loss & Longing Shorts program. The 25-minute flick written and directed by Mickey Finnegan, chronicles the aftermath of the death of a young gamer’s mother. He deals with his grief by entering the world of eSports, but this brings him in conflict with his grandmother.

  • When: Wednesday, Nov. 16, 5 p.m.
  • Where: Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine St.

Can’t make it to the screening? Watch it here:

Dear Thalia

Dear Thalia is a documentary about the Martin family, a homeless couple and their four-year-old daughter Thalia living on the streets of Kakaako, Oahu, shot primarily with a GoPro camera by the Martins themselves.

  • When: Saturday, Nov. 12, 3:30 p.m.
  • Where: International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut St.

Watch the official trailer here:

Dirty Sock

Part of the festival’s Comedy Shorts program, Dirty Sock is a five-minute film about a man who uses a phone app to travel through time, all with the goal of preventing his socks from getting dirty.

  • When: Friday, Nov. 20, 5 p.m.
  • Where: Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine St.

Watch the video here:

The Sweetening

Part of the sci-fi program, The Sweetening is a short film about what happens when augmented reality goes wrong. Really, really wrong.

  • When: Friday, Nov. 11, 11:30 p.m.
  • Where: International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut St.

Watch the trailer here:

Memories to Light Campaign

The PAAFF and Center for Asian American Media initiative is looking for home movies from Asian-American families. The online preservation project aims to explore the importance of collective storytelling and promote cultural connection and understanding. Submitted films will be digitized and an electronic copy will be donated to the Internet Archive to increase the presence of “normal” images of Asian-American families in mainstream media.
Submit your application
“Any types of film content will do,” campaign organizers write. “Of particular interest are films that show the activities of daily life and/or memorable events: family vacations, holiday celebrations, graduations. Basically, any and all films depicting Asian American families doing regular family things.”


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