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Below are the winners of the 2016 Interpretations Short Film Initiative: 
SWING directed by Andrew Pang (Jury Winner)
THE MAJESTIC MR. JESSE directed by Lawrence Chen (Jury Winner)
WINGMAN directed by Julia Chang (Audience Winner)

Honorable Mentions:
NUTS directed by Leon Cheo
SCARE ME directed by Elaine Loh
SINGULARITY directed by Tom Choi

Read the full announcement here.

What Is Interpretations?

Interpretations is an initiative of YOMYOMF aka You Offend Me You Offend My Family, the Asian American pop culture blog founded by director Justin Lin (BETTER LUCK TOMORROW, FAST & FURIOUS franchise, STAR TREK BEYOND) now in its newly revamped 2.0 version, and the YOMYOMF Foundation, the non-profit arm of YOMYOMF devoted to fostering and developing Asian American voices in entertainment and the arts.

The first Interpretations was successfully launched in 2010 to find and identify talented Asian American filmmakers. Now in 2016, our mission is to not only bring Interpretations back, but take it to the next level. Filmmakers will once again be asked to submit a short film of no more than 3 minutes using the same four-line script. But this time, with the support of our sponsors Comcast and NBCUniversal, our three winners will get the opportunity to direct a YOMYOMF produced project under the mentorship of Justin Lin and/or other equivalent industry filmmakers.

Program Description

Now that technology has made filmmaking tools more accessible than ever, it’s even more important that directors have a distinct point-of-view and understand how to market themselves and their work. However, despite the fact that the web remains an open platform for distribution, emerging filmmakers still struggle with the age-old challenge of gaining exposure and access to influential industry players.

So with this challenge in mind, YOMYOMF is launching the 2.0 version of Interpretations – a short film initiative to encourage aspiring Asian American filmmakers to develop their own original and unique voice. All participants will create a short film using the same four-line original script. The point of this exercise will be to encourage filmmakers to find their own take on the material and to be as creative with it as they can. The script will be broad and fluid enough so that one director could craft a comedy from it, another a stylish music video, another an action film, another an avant-garde work of animation and so on.

Once the films are submitted, a distinguished panel of judges from both the studio and independent filmmaking worlds will review the submissions and narrow them down to fifteen semi-finalists. From those fifteen, three finalists/winners will be selected—two decided by the judges and one by online audience voting.

The winning filmmakers will have an opportunity to direct a YOMYOMF produced project for one of the Comcast or NBCUniversal platforms (or another equivalent platform) under the mentorship of Justin Lin and other industry professionals. YOMYOMF will also make an attempt to introduce promising filmmakers, whether they are a finalist or not, to appropriate industry mentors to help create more focused opportunities for growth and networking.

YOMYOMF founder/Director Justin Lin explained regarding the origins of Interpretations: “Marlon Brando once remarked that the only way the Academy Awards would be a true barometer of who was truly best was if every actor tackled the same role and would be judged on how they interpreted that part. This exercise will embody that spirit so that a 14-year-old suburban kid from New Jersey or a 70-year-old aspiring filmmaker from Texas would both have an equal opportunity of creating something memorable.”

The four-line script, written by Tony Award-winning writer David Henry Hwang (M. BUTTERFLY, CHINGLISH, Showtime’s THE AFFAIR) can be accessed here.

Related Press

Justin Lin’s Short-Film Contest Announces Jury, Top 15 Finalists (Exclusive) (Hollywood Reporter, 9/7/16)

Justin Lin’s Foundation Relaunches Asian-American Short Film Contest (Hollywood Reporter, 3/9/16)

Justin Lin Revives ‘Interpretations’ Asian-American Short Film Initiative (NBC News, 3/11/16)

YOMYOMF Re-launches “Interpretations” Short Film Initiative (Angry Asian Man, 3/15/2016)

Justin Lin: If we want more diversity in Hollywood, “the general public has to demand it” (Salon, 3/22/16)

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