– DIGITAL JURY –
Our digital jury this year, shall choose their top choice in Narrative and/or Documentary categories, for the feature which best creates Third Culture, via social media @kaffny #3rdCulture.
Head of Digital Jury - director
Andrew Ahn is a Korean-American filmmaker born and raised in Los Angeles. His debut feature film SPA NIGHT premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, winning an award for US Dramatic Breakthrough Performance. Ahn participated in the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, the Film Independent Screenwriting Lab, and the Film Independent Directing Lab for the project. With his producing team, Ahn raised over $62,000 on Kickstarter to fund production. The project also received a Sundance Institute Cinereach Feature Film Fellow grant, Panavision New Filmmaker grant, and FilmLA grant. Ahn's short film "DOL (First Birthday)" premiered at Sundance in 2012.
Ahn is an alum of Film Independent’s Project Involve and has promoted diversity in the arts by mentoring youth filmmakers through programs like Pacific Arts Movement’s Reel Voices and Outfest’s OutSet. He is also a board member of Los Angeles Performance Practice. He graduated from Brown University and received an MFA in Film Directing from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).
director, professor, critic
KAFFNY alum Nelson Kim wrote and directed the award-winning feature film SOMEONE ELSE, starring Aaron Yoo and Leonardo Nam. The movie was hailed by the LA Weekly as “a tense, unexpectedly moving psychological study of a man’s unraveling” and by VCinema as “a highly intriguing debut.” Go to SomeoneElseMovie.com to learn more. In addition to his work as a filmmaker, Nelson is also an adjunct professor of film at Fordham and Columbia, and a film critic for Hammer To Nail, Senses of Cinema, and other websites.
His films deal with the anxiety and uncertainty that arise when the life’s balance breaks. His short film, I CAN FLY BUT TO YOU was invited to 54th Cannes Film Festival, 14th Tokyo International Film Festival. Another short, A BOWL OF TEA (2005), received Sonje Award at Busan International Film Festival.
His directorial feature debut DON'T LOOK BACK (2006), supported by NHK in Japan, won the FIPRESCI prize and NETPAC award at 59th Locarno International Film Festival, and Special Jury Prize at 9th Taipei Film Festival. His 2nd feature, THE BOAT (2009, starring Ha Jung-woo, Satoshi Tsumabuki) was screened at the 5th KAFFNY(New York). His 3rd feature, WHERE CAN I STAND (2016) was nominated as the Best Acting Performance Female, the Best Film at 16th Milano International Film Festival. Currently he is in pre-production with his new project A DUCK'S GRIN which is co-produced with LOULL Production in France.
He studied computer science and media(Media Contents) at the Ajou University, filmmaking and visual arts at the Korean National University of Arts.
Rebecca Sun is a senior reporter at The Hollywood Reporter, where she covers the business of entertainment and writes about inclusion and representation in media. Prior to moving to Los Angeles in 2013, she spent eight years as a writer and editor at Sports Illustrated in New York. A native of the Bay Area, she earned a master’s degree in journalism from NYU and a bachelor’s degree in biology and English from Duke University.
filmmaker, artist, professor
Born in Hiroshima in 1972, Hiroshi Sunairi lives in NYC. Dealing with issues of collective memory and the public sphere, Sunairi creates sculpture/installation and cinema on various contents. Sunairi’s recent experimental documentary film projects include; AIR, about the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, MAKING MISTAKES, a soul-searching journey in Tibet. These films have screened in numerous film festivals and in the art context - International Peace Film Festival in Gangjeong 2016 , National Museum of Singapore 2014, Green Film Festival in Seoul 2013, Cinema Vérité - Iran International Documentary Film Festival 2012, DMZ Korean International Documentary Film Festival 2012, Gandhinagar International Film Festival in India 2012, Filums - the LUMS International Film Festival in Pakistan 2012 and UFO 0110 International Digital Film Festival 2012.
Since 2006, Sunairi has been distributing seeds of the Hibaku Jumoku– trees that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima around the world in an on-going Tree Project. Sunairi exhibited the project’s seedlings and photographic documentations at the Horticultural Society of New York in 2001 and the Singapore National Museum in 2014, which premiered MAJULAH SINGAPURA, a film about the launching of Tree Project in Singapore. In sculpture/installation works, he has presented ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, a series of works about the public/personal remembrance, including: A NIGHT OF ELEPHANTS, a sculptural installation using A-bombed trees at Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan (2005); WHITE ELEPHANT, a life-sized ceramic installation about the 9.11 event at Japan Society, NY (2007); and ELEPHANT, a sculpture using local trees in Flushing Meadows Corona Park at the Queens Museum, NY (2010). Sunairi teaches in the Art Department at New York University.
Actor and producer Brian Yang was born in Columbus, Ohio and raised in the Bay Area, Yang is a second generation Chinese American who began his acting career after he attended the University of California at Berkeley, where he studied biology and dramatic arts.
In 2009, he was the host of SHANGHAI RUSH, China’s most extensive reality show at the time. His acting credits include SAVING FACE (Sundance 2005) as Little Yu, Joan Chen's (陳冲) love interest, JADE PENDANT as Sam, Godfrey Gao's (高以翔) best friend, and TV shows such as HAWAII 5-0 in which he was a recurring character (Charlie Fong) for 5 seasons as well as the new Hulu hit show, THE PATH.
His production company, 408 Films, has produced feature films in both the US and Asia. 408 Films released the 2013 Jeremy Lin (林書豪) documentary, LINSANITY directed by Evan Jackson Leong, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Most recently, Yang produced a feature in Beijing called MY OTHER HOME with Hairun Pictures about the life and times of former NBA star Stephon Marbury in China.
filmmaker, artist, festival director
Faiyaz Jafri was born and raised in rural Holland of Dutch and Pakistani descent. He studied at the Technical University of Delft (MSc) and is self-taught as an animation artist and music composer. His work has been exhibited in the form of print, paintings, video installations, animations and life-size sculptures all over the world. Jafri’s award-winning films have screened at prestigious festivals and museums. He has worked for commercial clients including, IBM, Coca-Cola, and Ford.
Jafri’s art explores Jungian archetypes in the modern world, distilling the pop references of mass media and global popular culture into a visual shorthand of neo-archetypes. Realizing early on that a computer could draw a straighter line than he ever could, Jafri started using computers as soon as the technology became more readily available. In 1987 he began making his first illustrations on an Apple computer using basic vector imaging software. Cumbersome and limited as these programs may seem now, they were perfect for Jafri’s already pictographic style. As the technology evolved, his work developed from flat line art into a stripped-down 3D computer graphics style he calls hyper-unrealism. Despite the endless possibilities offered by computers today, he stays close to his subject, leaving out unnecessary frills and extras until he’s left with an image that is unambiguous and almost obscene in its blunt power.
In 2016 Jafri co-founded the Third Culture Film Festival, the first truly independent film festival in Hong Kong. He is also the curator and creative director of the festival.
filmmaker, startup founder
Marty Shea is co-founder and artistic director of the international collaborative film endeavor CollabFeature. He has worked in the film industry for 17 years, most recently as a producer, production manager, and assistant director. His credits include commercials for Budweiser, Alibaba, Northern Trust, General Motors, and Chrysler; music videos for Eminem, Snoop Dogg, R Kelly, and the Lil Wayne; Billy Crystal's "61*", "The Upside of Anger" with Kevin Costner and Joan Allen, "Standing in the Shadows of Motown", "Death of a President", "America's Most Wanted", and Oprah Winfrey's "The Big Give". He directed the award-winning short films "21 Carbs" and "The Planning Lady" which have screened at dozens of international film festivals including Mill Valley, Austin, DC Shorts and Cinequest.
Caroline Kyungah Hong is an Assistant Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies at Queens College, City University of New York, where she teaches courses on Asian American literature and culture, writers of color, and race and pop culture. She has published articles on Asian American comics/graphic narratives and is finishing a scholarly book on Asian American comedy and humor (forthcoming from Rutgers University Press). She is currently the president of the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS) and one of the project directors for a year-long NEH-funded project devoted to "Building Asian American Studies across the Community College Classroom." Born and raised in California, she earned her MA and PhD in English at UC Santa Barbara and her BA in English and Theology at the University of San Francisco.