Nominated for Best Short Film
Director: Erica Eng
17' • United States • 2021
Growing up in Oakland’s hip-hop culture, Eng struggles with her Chinese American identity. To her high school basketball team, she’s just that girl who sits on the bench; but to the Asian kids she’s "Americanized." As her sophomore year of high school comes to an end, Eng tries to find a sense of belonging within the two worlds that don't accept her.
Jury Statement: All films are very strong, and SQUISH was a very close second for me (those performances! that bizarre and chilling twist!), but AMERICANIZED rises above the rest. Eng did a beautiful job immersing us in the experience of her protagonist, who was so well-developed, and was played with such nuance. The narrative tension was palpable from beginning to end. She made every frame count. I even stood up and clapped when she made the winning shot at the game, but absolutely loved that the film didn't end there, because life is a series of complicated wins and losses. This is truly a study in visual subtext. Not to mention that it's such a thoroughly Oakland film!