Aneesh Chaganty’s Thriller Wins Top ‘Audience Award’ at Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Debutant Indian American filmmaker Aneesh Chaganty’s thriller/mystery film, “Searching,” won the Audience Award for ‘Outstanding North American Narrative Feature Film’ at the 34th edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, held May 3-12 in Los Angeles, Calif.
The film, starring John Cho and Debra Messing, was a double award winner at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival as well. Audiences at LAAPFF, according to the festival, were impressed by the cast, the screenplay, and the direction of the film that centers on a father’s search for his missing teenage daughter and has to turn to the Internet to try and find her. “Searching” will open nationally in August in theaters through Screen Gems.
Chaganty’s two-minute short film, a Google Glass spot called “Seeds,” became an internet sensation after garnering more than one million YouTube views in 24 hours. Following its success, the 27-year-old was invited to join the Google Creative Lab in New York City, where he spent two years developing, writing and directing Google commercials.
Indian filmmaker Priyanka Singh’s short film on child sexual abuse, “Maun” (Silence), won this year’s Golden Reel Award for ‘Narrative/Animated Short Film.’
“Maun” is the story of a happy family of three: Mohan, Meera and their 10-year-old daughter Shreya. Their perfect life bursts when on a festive day they find out that their daughter has been molested by their neighbor’s son. How they deal with the situation is what will define the rest of their lives.
Since LAAPFF is an Academy Award-qualifying festival for the Short Film Awards, this means Singh’s film will be eligible for consideration in the Academy Awards’ short category.
The Golden Reel Award for ‘Outstanding Documentary Short Film’ went to “Three Boys Manzanar,” directed by Burlingame, Calif.-based Indian American filmmaker Preeti Deb.
Presented by Visual Communications, LAAPFF is a showcase for the best and brightest of Asian Pacific American and international cinema. Visual Communications’ mission is to develop and support the voices of Asian American and Pacific Islander filmmakers and media artists who empower communities and challenge perspectives.