'Whose Homeland: Longing and Belonging' is a shorts programme featuring a collection of personal narratives and coming of age stories that sensitively capture the nuances of diasporic identities through the elusive sense of longing and belonging.
This event is part of 'Whose Homeland 2023', a series of screenings and special events touring the UK presented by Sine Screen. The programme explores ideas of migration, diaspora identity, and hidden histories with stories created by mixed heritage filmmakers.
'Love, Dad', Diana Cam Van Nguyen | Czech Republic, Slovakia | 2021
A short film about ties and gaps between a child and a parent. The author rediscovers letters her dad used to write her from prison. That love seems to be gone now. She decides to write back in hope to find the connection again. She puts in writing what could not be said: blaming him for the family's break-up but also trying to understand.
'Missing', Allison Chhorn | Australia | 2020 | 12min
The separation and distance of the Cambodian diaspora is embodied in two generations of a mother and daughter living apart from each other. Threading common questions of longing and inverting language between English and Khmer, the footage includes a trip to the US & Canada in 2019, excerpt from a poetry reading by Monica Sok and a photograph of my mother and her missing friend from the Khao-I-Dang refugee camp.
'Sucker', Deni Cheng | US | 2023 | 18min
After Andy loses his job in a local parking garage, he is confronted with the realities of being the caretaker of his little brother, Tom Tom.
'How To Make Kimchi (or How To Be Korean)', Jonathan Lee | US | 2021 | 14min
Weaving together archives and intimate homemade footage the piece rests itself on the anchor of family. Through this anchor point the past is explored and reconciled with imagery from the Korean War and ideas of nationality are questioned and probed. What does it mean to be Korean? What does it mean to be American? Will I lose all my connection to my Koreanness when my parents pass?
Wrestling with these questions, the piece acts as a patchwork, picking up and stitching together folk tales, family dialogue, and the past, hoping with an open honesty and love to find answers to the question of belonging.
'Spring Roll Dream', Mai Vu | UK | 2022 | 9min
Linh is a Vietnamese single mother who has successfully forged a life for herself and her son in America. But when her father visits from Vietnam and insists on cooking the family a traditional Vietnamese meal, Linh is confronted with the past and culture she left behind and the question of where it belongs in her family’s new life.
'There Is Not A Going Back', Sofia Del Carmen | UK | 2022 | 12min
A film about Alma, a Filipino nurse in London, who responds to a missed phone call from her mother Nanay in the Philippines, in the midst of her journey back from the hospital in a new city.
There Is Not A Going Back has proudly been previously screened through Tape Collective, London Short Film Festival and Cebu International Film Festival.
The screening will takeplace at esea Studio. Refreshments and snacks will be provided.
Sine Screen is a female-led emerging screening organisation dedicated to showcasing independent cinema, art films and documentaries from East and Southeast Asia, particularly the sinosphere. Sine Screen aim to subvert the dominant gaze, challenge the representation of East and Southeast Asia as well as opening up discussions through curating diverse programmes of films by and about ESEA people.
Diana Cam Van Nguyen (1993, Czech Republic) is a Czech-Vietnamese director based in Prague. She took part in internships in Birmingham (2012) and Lyon at l‘École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (2017). She also participated as an artist in residence in MuseumQuartier in Vienna (2018). She studies animation master programme at FAMU (Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts) in Prague. In her works she focuses on personal topics through the means of animated documentary.
Allison Chhorn is a Cambodian-Australian filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist living on Kaurna Land (South Australia). Her work explores the effects of migrant displacement and post-memory through impressionistic forms, often with other family members as subjects. Since graduating with Honours in painting at UniSA in 2014, she has made numerous films including “Blind Body”, “Missing” and “The Plastic House”. The latter was filmed on her family’s farm and has screened at MIFF, New York Film Festival and the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. Her films were also screened as part of a retrospective at the 11th Cambodian International Film Festival. Crossing into the gallery, she received the 2022 Porter St Commission from ACE Gallery to make her first solo exhibition and multi-channel installation “Skin Shade Night Day” which was exhibited as part of The National: Australian Art Now at MCA in 2023.
Deni Cheng is a filmmaker from New York City. Her debut short film titled BUCKO! Premiered at Nitehawk Theater presented by NoBudge. Her short film Paradise won the Best Narrative Short at Indie Memphis Film Festival 2020. Her music videos have been covered by publications such as Rolling Stone and Billboard. She is proud to have been awarded the Flies Collective 2021 grant for her short film, Sucker, which made its World Premiere at the Asian American Film Festival 2023 presented by Asian CineVision.
Jonathan Lee is a Korean American video artist and filmmaker working with themes of family, diaspora, and ecology currently studying in Bennington College.
Mai Vu is an animator/ animation director from Sai Gon, Vietnam. She started making stop-motion short films in 2010, and started writing, animating and directing in stop-motion series Say Hi To Pencil (2012 – 2019). From 2016, she has been making stop-motion for a number of commercials for Vietnam Airline, Perfetti Van Melle, Clé de Peau, Pepsi, Forbes...In 2020, she started the MA for Directing Animation at the National Film and Television School, UK, to further pursuing her directing career and telling stories from Asian perspective.
A graduate of London College of Communication (2022), Sofia works mainly with moving-image and text forms. Born in the Philippines, and having previously lived in Japan and Korea before settling in the UK, they are drawn concepts to geography, time, memory and ancestry through a queer and post-colonial lens.