Erica Eng’s AMERICANIZED is a timely story of an American Chinese high -schooler seeking to belong

Socializing and sense of belonging is what every human looks for. Since childhood people interact with others and try to fit in a group with similar interests, visions, goals or ideas. However, when your background and the way you are raised clashes this can be quite challenging. People tend to become friends with people who are similar to them; therefore, when you have a mixed identity it can be hard to be accepted by others. Based on her own experiences, director Erica Eng brought this issue to the audience with producer Simran Mahal through AMERICANIZED. 

The film features a Chinese-American girl (Eng) who was raised in Oakland’s hip-hop culture and her struggles to find a sense of belonging. For Asians in her high school she is too “Americanized” while for her teammates in the basketball team she is just an ordinary girl with no special talent or character. AMERICANIZED discovers the hardship Eng goes through while trying to fit in a group and never bing able to act like her true self.

The short film starts experienced actors such as Terry Hu (END OF SUMMER) and Amber Gaston (ALIEN). The director of photography of the film is Drew Daniels who has credit in multiple winner films including the 2019 Oscar winning short film SKIN.  He often uses close up shots to portray Eng’s emotions towards the unaccepting environment around her. Combining this with the incredible acting from of the cast, the audience deeply relates to how Eng is feeling when she tries to fit in a group but is not accepted to any of them because of the clash of her background and how she was raised. 

AMERICANIZED won Best Short Film Award at Bentonville Film Festival and got the Young Cineastes Award at Palm Springs International ShortFest. Following it was the winner in two categories at Cinequest Film & VR Festival: Best Dramatic Short and Audience Choice Award. The short film selected to screen at Atlanta Film Festival, Urbanworld, Calgary International Film Festival and LA Shorts International.

We will keep supporting this amazing short film and hope you will watch and enjoy it too. This timely live action short film could see Eng nominated for and win her first Oscar! Perhaps the first of many for this talented director.

Margaret Brown

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