2021 SAA Winners



Barking Orders

Director: Alexander Tullo         
Ringling College of Art & Design

When the entire British Royal family tragically dies, the Queen’s corgi finds himself next in line for the throne and in the seat of power.  



Director Sujin Kim       
California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) 

During World War II, 4 innocent Korean girls left their family following Japanese soldiers for different reasons. The place where the girls arrived was not somewhere they expected to go. Half a century later, they decided to give their testimonies to the world telling their horrible memories in "Comfort Station".


Slumber With Snakes   

Director: Teagan Barrone         
Cleveland Institute of Art          

In 1921 an eleven-year-old, African American boy was separated from his best friend while being chased by a fuming, racist mob. Finding a cave, he was not put in danger by the mob but by the rattlesnakes inside.





Director: Théo Jamin, Kayu Leung, Marion Philippe       
MoPA, France

Louis, an eight and half year-old autistic kid arrives in his new school and he is about to introduce himself.         




Why Didn't You Stay For Me?  

Director: Milou Gevers
Nederlandse Filmacademie (NFA), Netherlands

Four children. One director. All lost a parent to suicide. When director Milou probes the questions no one ever dared to ask her, the kids can finally talk about the journey they made from the moment they heard the news.  




Not Just A Name          

Director: De'Onna Young-Stephens       
University of Southern California (USC)

Not Just a Name explores the stigma and racial bias experienced by African Americans with unique sounding names, as well as the historical origin of these names in America.


Eagles Rest in Liangshan          

Director: Bohao Liu     
New York University (NYU)       

Basketball is so popular with the Yi minority in Liangshan, that the center of town is not a park but a basketball court. Inspired by Kobe Bryant's Mamba Mentality, a young Yi man returns to his city to coach the kids.  


When They're Gone     

Director: Kristen Hwang
University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)

A documentary short, examining humanity’s fragile dependence on nature. Despite our best efforts to control and shape our surroundings, we learn through the film's characters that disrupting nature's carefully designed ecosystems carries weighty consequences.        




No Law, No Heaven     

Director: Kristi Hoi       
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)       

A man's life in three vignettes as he navigates his sexual identity amidst tradition in Hong Kong's notorious Kowloon Walled City.


When The Sun Sets      

Director: Phumi Morare
Chapman University     

A young, black nurse living in 1985 apartheid South Africa must face her worst fears when she learns that her activist, younger brother may be in danger when he doesn't return after school.    


Close Ties to Home Country     

Director: Akanksha Cruczynski 
Columbia College Chicago         

An immigrant dogwalker finds home in the hearts of the rich people’s dogs she dog sits.  





Director: Simon Denda
Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München (HFF) Germany   

Susan, EU Representative for the Horn of Africa, is going to campaign for humanitarian aid in northern Kenya, but her visit in the region causes a tragic incident.



Director: Murad Abu Eisheh     
Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg (FABW) Germany   

Trapped in a war-ridden reality, with the hope of one day playing in the neighborhood's football field, 8 year old Tala finds solace and freedom in a forbidden television. However, the secret TV becomes a matter of life and death.


BAD OMEN      

Director: Salar Pashtoonyar     
York University, Canada

Kabul, Afghanistan. Pari, an in-house tailor, must find the means to purchase her prescription glasses in order to save her job.




Frozen Out      

Director: Hao Zhou       
University of Iowa        

An émigré retreats to frozen prairies, forests, and swamps, trying to find a meaningful story and escape the anxieties of dislocation. Delivered as a film-letter to the protagonist’s sister in rural China, the film considers his queer self-exile as well as identities that were too difficult to express back home.