Update (7/18/2016) The call for entries is now closed. To view all the 2016 Interpretations Short Film Initiative entries, click here)

Update (7/15/2016, 4:07pm PST): Tonight is the deadline to submit your short film entry. As expected, we are getting a high volume of entries today, so approving the entries to go live will be slightly delayed as we review each entry. If we run into any issues with your entry, we will email you directly. Thank you for your patience. 

Update: The deadline to submit your film has been extended to July 15, 2016 at 11:59 PM PST. 


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.”

How to Enter (Submission period opens March 31, 2016)

Go to the menu bar and be sure to review all the rules and information carefully. If you have specific questions, click on our FAQ link. Many of the answers to your questions will most likely be there, but if not, you can also contact us at [email protected]. Once you have completed your film, create a YOMYOMF account, upload your film to your personal YouTube or Vimeo account, go to “Submit” and carefully follow the instructions. Once you have completed your submission, it will go live after it has been reviewed.

Please note that the running time of your film cannot exceed 3 minutes and you must be at least 13 years old and reside in the United States to enter.

The submission period begins on March 31, 2016. So even if you complete your short film before then, you will need to wait until March 31 to submit. The deadline will be June 17, 2016 at 11:59 PM PST. DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JULY 15, 2016, at 11:59 PM PST. Judging will commence in July and August with the announcement of the Top 15 on September 6, with online voting kicking off that day through October 6 here on the Interpretations website. The final 3 winners will be announced on or around October 10 and they will be invited to attend the NBCUniversal Short Film Festival on October 19 at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. Winners who live outside of Southern California will be provided with travel and accommodations to attend the festival.

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

Interpretations 1.0

If you’d like to see the winning films and other highlights from our first version of Interpretations to see how other filmmakers interpreted our previous contest’s script, you can find them over at our YouTube channel.

Related Press

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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