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OFFICIAL SELECTION - 8th Diaspora Film F
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Born and raised in the US, Lisa Lin seems to have a perfectly wholesome American life. However, when her mother lost the English language ability due to Alzheimer’s, Lisa suddenly realized that fundamentally something has been missing in herself which has kept her away from her mother in her entire life.


Not being able to communicate with her mom verbally, Lisa has to find ways to get through the wall between them, while her mother is sliding back to the child state. Meanwhile, the coming of new life is unstoppable and keeps reminding her of her new identity as mother-to-be.

Director's Statement
Only 60% of second-generation Asian Americans
speak their heritage language, and the number drops to a shocking 8% for the third-generation.

Mother Tongue was written to reflect on this gap in language and in culture, infused with my own experience interacting with my grandmother who doesn’t speak Mandarin and has been suffering from Alzheimer’s for 14 years. 

In Mother Tongue, I’d like to explore how to communicate the incommunicable, and celebrate the beauty of the Chinese language through imagery, poetry and music. These elements will come together as a sewing thread in this non-classical narrative, and immerse the audience with memory, love and grief.

Director's Bio
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Eris Qian.jpeg

Eris Qian


Eris Qian is based in New York City and considers herself a global nomad. Born and raised in China, she lived and studied in 5 continents to explore her passion and creativity. During the process, she directed and produced a number of documentary shorts in Virginia, Athens, Hong Kong, Tibet and Shanghai. With the diverse cultural background, Eris is drawn to tell stories of global cultural heritage and diaspora, and especially the pan-Asian experience.


Her documentary work was rated the first in non-scripted category on prime time national TV, and she was also featured TEDx as an opinion leader. Having decided to focus on fictional films, she is now pursuing MBA/MFA dual degrees at NYU’s prestigious schools of Stern and Tisch.

Kevin Wang


KEFF is a Taiwanese-American multidisciplinary artist based in NYC (currently living in Taipei.)


He has produced 7+ short films at NYU Grad Film, while many of them dealing with Asian / Asian-American themes. 

Prashanth Kamalakanthan


Prashanth Kamalakanthan was born in Tirupati, India, and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina.


A 2018-19 IFP-Marcie Bloom Fellow, he currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, working as a narrative and documentary cinematographer.


Qingling Zhang

​Production Designer

Qingling Zhang is a Chinese production designer that is currently based in London, England.


She went to National Film and Television School and BAFTA under the mentorship of Academy Award Winner Eve Stewart (King’s Speech, Danish Girl), and graduated with an MFA in Production Design.

Narim Kim


Narim Kim,was born in Republc of Korea and was raised in Italy by the parents who are both singers and choral conductors. 


He is the recipient of the 2012 Alan Menken Scholarship for his diverse excellence as a songwriter, improviser, and a composer for both visuals and concert setting.


We have a global Pan-Asian team.

May 12, 2020, Berkeleyside


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