Film Image
Unspoken
2020
Color
17 minutes
US
English
Unspoken
Through letter-writing, a community discussion, and a drag performance, six queer and trans Asian Americans grapple with their queerness and consider what family acceptance might look like.

UNSPOKEN’s interviewees hail from across the Asian diaspora — with roots in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, China, and Korea. Some are not yet out to their immigrant parents, and this film is their way of starting that process. Some have tried to initiate conversations around their queerness, only to meet sustained denial. Others cannot communicate fluently in the same language as their families of origin. In this film, they all share what they would say if one day they woke up and their families’ ruptures across generation, culture, and language were healed.
Filmmaker Patrick G. Lee is available for speaking engagements. Email twn@twn.org for more information.
Reviews
“Patrick G. Lee's UNSPOKEN offers an emotional and intimate look into the struggle for family acceptance that continues to organize so much queer and trans Asian American life, art, and activism. With a capacious cast representing various East, Southeast, and South Asian diasporic experiences, the short film provides an accessible entry into themes ranging from intergenerational language barriers to the life-sustaining power of community. Eminently teachable, UNSPOKEN is essential viewing for anyone whose interests lie near the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and diaspora." - James McMaster, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“We had an overwhelming response from an audience of university students in an Asian Americans in Media class, who connected with UNSPOKEN on a very personal level. Queer students were emotional about seeing their experiences represented in this film in a way that they have not seen before. The honesty and vulnerability of the cast inspires us all to speak our truth.” - Pamela M. Quan, DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon
“The piece acts as a powerful and timely film that captures an important emerging experience in the Asian American community, in raw and moving honesty. Its messaging of courage and hope, entwined with a rich showcase of diverse Asian American experiences, allowed this film to elevate itself among the rest.” - Austin Asian American Film Festival, Documentary Jury
“UNSPOKEN packs a potent yet tender gut punch, as its protagonists from across the queer Asian diaspora navigate, challenge, and subvert accepted norms around ‘coming out.’ It’s evident the protagonists and crew are engaged in a process of collective healing through the making of this film, and it’s a rare privilege to be connected to their journey.” - Karen McMullen, The TIDE Film Festival
Awards

• GRAND JURY PRIZE, BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT, Austin Asian American Film Festival
• COURAGE AWARD, DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon
• WINNER, LGBTQ SHORT FILM, Oxford Film Festival
• AUDIENCE FALL CHOICE AWARD, NewFilmmakers NY
Screenings
• Asian American International Film Festival
• Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival
• Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival
• San Francisco Independent Film Festival
• Scottish Queer International Film Festival
• Busan International Art Film Festival
• San Diego Asian Film Festival
• Guam International Film Festival
• DisOrient Asian American Film Festival
• Austin Asian American Film Festival
• KAFFNY Infinite Cinema
• NewFilmmakers NY
• Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
• Seattle Asian American Film Festival
• Houston Asian American & Pacific Islander Film festival
• Oxford Film Festival
• The TIDE Film Festival
• FilmPride - Brighton & Hove Pride LGBTQ+ Film Festival
• SAFILM - San Antonio Film Festival
• Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC Film Festival
• Big Apple Film Festival
• UCLA Asian American Studies Center 50th Anniversary Film Festival (2021)
• UMass Amherst Asian American Film Festival (2019)
• A+ The Pan-Asian Drag Revue – New York, NY (2019)
• KQTcon – Korean Queer & Trans Conference at The New School (2018)
• National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance – National Conference (2018)
• University of Southern California – Asian Pacific Cinema Association (2018)
• Queer + Trans Asian Short Films – Secret Project Robot, Brooklyn, NY (2018)
Pricing & Ordering
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Semi-Theatrical Blu-Ray Rental $250.00
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TWN acknowledges that in New York we are on the unceded territory of the Lenni Lenape, Canarsie, Shinecock, and Munsee peoples and challenges the harm that continues to be inflicted upon Indigenous and People of Color communities here and abroad, which is why we all need to be part of the struggle for rights, equality and justice.

TWN is supported in part by the National Endownment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affarirs, New York Community Trust, Peace Development Fund, Humanities NY and individual donors.