esea contemporary co-presents with Queer East 'All About My Mother', a series of short films that explore the nuances of the mother figure within LGBTQ+ families.
With raw emotions and tenderness, these films investigate the complex emotional terrain of these intergenerational relationships. From a mourning mother’s attempt to rediscover her son, to a queer filmmaker turning the camera towards his family, the stories offer a glimpse into the struggles, triumphs and enduring love that shape the intricate bonds between mothers and their queer kids.
Programme duration: 97 minutes
Refreshments provided. Kindly arrive promptly for the screening at 6pm.
Fictions | Alice Charlie Liu | Canada | 2022 |12min
Jessie, a Chinese Canadian photography student takes on a self-portraiture assignment. After discovering the work of Cindy Sherman, she is torn to reflect on her own shifting identity and artistic voice, while juggling her role as a daughter to meet her her mother’s expectations.
Skin Can Breathe | Chheangkea | US | 2022 | 11min
After moving to America with his mother, a Cambodian teenager named Soda struggles navigating his queer identity both at home and within the awkwardly erotic nature of his school’s all–boys swimming team. Finding no place to be, Soda seeks refuge in the water of the swimming pool.
A Good Mother | Lee Yu-jin | South Korea | 2020 | 24min
Su-mi is a respected school teacher and proud mother of her daughter Ji-soo, who works as a human rights lawyer. However, Su-mi struggles to fully embrace Ji-soo’s lesbian identity, especially in front with their old family friends.
Fishbowl | Jacqueline Chan | US | 2021 | 15min
Natalie drives back home with her childhood friend, Joanne, to celebrate Chinese New Year. But the supposedly festive and inviting family gathering is now tinged with animosity. Natalie finds herself juggling the growing affection between her and Joanne and the unnerving attention placed upon them by both their families.
Rising Sun | Cheng Ya-chih | Taiwan | 2018 | 15min
After the tragic death of her son, a grieving mother discovers an exam paper with his portrait, which she believes is a message from beyond. She embarks on a quest to unravel the mystery and find closure, hoping to have a chance to get closer to her child for one last time.
Will You Look At Me | Huang Shuli| China | 2022 | 20min
As a young Chinese filmmaker returns to his hometown in search for himself, a long overdue conversation with his mother plunges the two of them into a quest for acceptance and love.
Alice Charlie Liu is a writer and director based between Toronto and New York. Her work often touches on themes of diaspora, East Asian culture and female identity. She is an alumnus of TIFF Next Wave and Telluride Film Festival's Student Symposium and a previous 2019Tribeca Film Institute Film Fellow.
Jacqueline Chan is a current student of MFA Directing at UCLA. Born and raised in the minority-majority city of San Francisco, she is interested in investigating the complicated dynamics and contradictory histories within and between ethnic groups, and tell the stories of around her which are vivid yet are rarely seen.
Chheangkea is a Cambodian-American filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. He is in his fourth year as a Dean’s Fellow at the NYU Tisch Graduate Film Program, focusing on screenwriting, directing, and cinematography. Currently, Chheangkea is preparing his thesis short while developing a feature film about a Cambodian woman’s life.
Shuli Huang is a writer-director and cinematographer born in Wenzhou, China in 1997. After graduating from Beijing Film Academy in 2019, he moved to New York as an MFA candidate at NYU the Graduate Film program. His recent work, Will You Look at Me has scored major awards worldwide, including the Queer Palm at Cannes Film Festival and the Short Film Jury Award at Sundance Film Festival.
Born in 1991, Lee Yu-jin majored in film directing in Korea National University of Arts. In 2020, her first short film, A Good Mother, became the most talked about queer film of the year in Korea. Lee has been working on projects of various genres with LGBTQ+ themes. BUTCH UP! is her third short film.
Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Cheng Ya-chih was inspired by filmmaker Liao Ching-Sung and started to narrate and create through film. Her short films had participated in World Shorts section of Busan International Film Festival, Tokyo International Film Festival, and Taipei Film Festival and Shanghai International Film Festival. She is currently showing her prominence in the film industry.
Queer East is across-disciplinary festival that showcases boundary-pushing queercinema, moving image work and live arts from, and about, East and Southeast Asia and its diaspora communities.
‘Communities in the Making’ is an ongoing series of events that unites community-led and process-driven approaches to fostering co-existence amongst diverse underrepresented cultures and communities in Manchester. Through artist-led workshops, collaborative screenings, cross-disciplinary exchanges, and roundtable discussions, we actively ponder ways of nurturing agency to lay the groundwork for community building.
Throughout the course of the programme, members of the public are invited to gather, collaborate, and contemplate with us. We believe in the inherent creativity of every individual and strive to establish meaningful connections that are reflective of our current moment, and meet the needs and aspirations of the community. ‘Communities in the Making’ activates listening, interdependency, and the cultivation of new experiences to celebrate diasporic knowledge, and ground our work in encounters and experimentations.