About this program

This shorts collection intertwines the narratives of five distinct stories, each navigating the complexities and challenges of life, work, family and tradition through the prism of the labor of their characters. From a bustling emergency room to the methodic confines of a traditional Japanese confectionery shop, from Iowa to California to New York, these films illuminate the diverse experiences and meanings embedded within the work we do.

The program features the following short films:

‘Angel Dose’ 

In Angel Dose, Tarik Khan races against time to deliver expiring vaccines across Philadelphia to homebound patients before the doses spoil. But with elections looming, the cheerful and ever-optimistic Khan soon realizes that he will have to change policy to address systemic biases in healthcare. So he decides to run for political office and faces off against an entrenched incumbent. Directed by Sami Khan. (2023)

Benkyodo: The Last Manju Shop in J-Town’

Ricky and Bobby Okamura wrestle with closing their beloved family-owned manju shop after serving the San Francisco Japantown community for 115 years. Directed by Akira Boch and Tadashi Nakamura. (2023)

‘Wouldn’t Make it Any Other Way’

Having built a colorful queer life in Iowa, a costume designer returns to their island hometown, Guam, to make costumes for a children’s theater show and reconnect with distanced parents. Directed by Hao Zhou. (2024)

‘American Sikh’

The film tells the true story of an American-born, turban-wearing Sikh illustrator, writer, performance artist, diversity speaker and creator of Sikhtoons.com, Vishavjit Singh. After a lifetime of facing prejudice, self-doubt and violence, Singh finally finds acceptance in a superhero costume, publicly known for his Captain America persona — a turbaned and bearded Sikh — fighting against bigotry, intolerance and perceptions of what an American should look like post 9/11. Directed by Ryan Westra and Vishavjit Singh. (2023)

‘The Feeling of Being Close to You’

“The Feeling of Being Close to You” documents an attempt at healing the trauma of touch between mother and child. Driven by a pure desire for intimacy, my mother and I talk openly for the first time about the intergenerational trauma and abuse within our lives. Presentday phone conversations are juxtaposed with archival VHS footage, creating a connection between the past and a re-write for the future. Directed by Ash Goh Hua. (2022)

This shorts program is part of the Asian American Pacific Islander Film Series, produced in collaboration with American Citizens for Justice, with support from Rising Voices and funding from the Ford Foundation, the Kresge Foundation and the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission.

The AAPI series was curated by Razi Jafri, a Detroit-based documentary filmmaker.


5 p.m. Sat., April 13, Detroit Historical Museum

Available virtually