In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2021, SYFY and Tongal, a global community of content creators, invited six AAPI animators and filmmakers to create video shorts that represent their experiences through the lens of science fiction and fantasy.
These artists, whose shorts you can find in our video, have had their work featured on SYFY throughout the month of May. Get to know the creators (and check out their other work via their social media handles) below in their own words!
“Realm of Humanity” by Chad Martin
This animation is inspired by the cultural stories of Pacific Islanders that have provided generations with keen insight of their environment and their place within it. The sea still holds many mysteries even to 21st century science, yet through stories across the Pacific, the totality of the sea is attributed to Kanaloa, a primordial god of creation. Kanaloa represents all facets of the sea: its wonders, its dangers, its cycles, its control over the weather above, and all life — and legend — within it. Whether revered as a deity or used as an anthropomorphic integer to understand indigenous thought, Kanaloa's reign of the sea is absolute. An omnipotent force whose reach humbles humanity in comparison. Through the vignette, we encounter several beings of legend that represent elemental forces and migration patterns, as well as unique creatures that honor humanity's connection to the sea and ancestral realms. We close on islanders working within a fishpond, demonstrating humanityʻs ability to coexist and harmonize within their slice of Kanaloa's domain.
“Storytime” by CC Pixels
Moving to Asia at a young age, we were greatly influenced by Asian myths and folklore which were shared and taught to us by our parents. Now, raising our own family in America, we are passing these stories to our kids.
“Bibidi-Kimbap-Idi Boo!” by Good Golly
We're Alexa and Minhee, the directing team behind Good Golly. Growing up, Asian American food was such a big part of our culture. With this video, we wanted to celebrate kimbap, one of our favorite snacks, and give it a stop motion Miyazaki-esque spin.
“Potluck” by Good Golly
Growing up, there was nothing more embarrassing than opening your lunch box to reveal something "weird" like kimbap or inari sushi. Now as adults, we love and celebrate those differences that make us Asian American, and we'd like to think that those differences add something really special to the patchwork quilt that is American culture.
“The Adventures of Freddy Han” by Princess Astle
My name is Princess, and I've been developing the character of Freddy Han for a long time. I can't remember exactly how I got the initial idea, but Freddy Han is definitely inspired by a combination of people I've met throughout my travels in my home continent and stories I've been told growing up by my elders. Freddy shows that there's a little kid inside of all of us, proving that, no matter how old we are, we can always tap into that sense of adventure — even if it's just a figment of our imagination sparked by little simple things we see in our daily lives. During AAPI Heritage Month, and as an Asian American myself, it's so important to share stories inspired by AAPI culture. My video is inspired by stories I heard from my family growing up, and I chose to share those stories through a short animation of how I see them reflected now in our modern world.
“First Date” by Susan Bin
My name is Susan. When I was 8, my family left the Pacific for America. I grew up watching giant robots fight giant monsters in anime and on the big screen. Turns out, we love mechs and kaiju on both sides of the Pacific! This short is my big honking love letter to the genre, these frenemies, and their long-reigning partnership.