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Films by Asian-American filmmakers that need to be on your watchlist

Shilpa S

Shilpa S
Jul 22, 2021

Asian-American talent in Hollywood has brought viewers several notable films, one of the most recent being Nomadland by Chloe Zhao. Here are other films by promising Asian-American filmmakers behind the camera you should make time for.

Crazy Rich Asians
7.3OTTplay Rating
With Jon M Chu in the director’s chair, the movie is based on a novel of the same name. This rom-com tells the story of a couple, Nick Young and Rachel Chu, as they travel to Singapore from New York for the wedding of the former’s friend. Rachel discovers that Nick’s family is one of the wealthiest in Singapore. Due to differences in her and Nick’s social status, she is received with animosity by the latter’s family. The film was a huge success at the box office.
Short Term 12
8.4OTTplay Rating
Short Term 12 is a drama written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. It follows the story of a supervisor at a residential home for troubled young people; who, in the process of helping the teenagers, is also grappling with her demons. While writing the story, Destin Daniel Cretton drew on his own experience working at a similar facility.
Beasts of No Nation
8.1OTTplay Rating
Directed, produced and written by Cary Joji Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation tells the gut-wrenching story of a child soldier in a West African nation, plagued by civil war. Cary Joji Fukunaga also handled the film's cinematography. This war drama was lauded by critics.
6.9OTTplay Rating
Girlfight marked the debut of director Karyn Kusama and actor Michelle Rodriguez, who plays the lead. In the film, Rodriguez plays a short-tempered teenage girl whose passion to become a boxer is ignited when she defends her brother in a sparring match. Despite her father’s disapproval, she trains to become a boxer.
Brokeback Mountain
8.2OTTplay Rating
Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee made history by becoming the first non-Caucasian director to win the Academy Award for best director for his film Brokeback Mountain. The movie tells the story of two male sheepherders who become emotionally and sexually involved, and the drama that ensues thereafter. The movie features a stellar cast comprising Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, and Michelle Williams.
Maid in Manhattan
5.5OTTplay Rating
Directed by Hong Kong-American Wayne Wang, Maid in Manhattan’s story is one of mistaken identity. A senatorial candidate becomes infatuated with a hotel maid, whom he assumes is a wealthy socialite after the latter is seen wearing an expensive outfit. Although she reciprocates, she lives in fear of being discovered. The movie was successful at the box office.
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