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TRY HARDER!

WONDERLANDS

US 2021, 85 min Director DEBBIE LUM
“When you first come in from middle school, you’ll want to cry.” These words, spoken by a wizened Lowell High School student at the beginning of Debbie Lum’s delightful Try Harder!, describe the school’s well-deserved reputation as San Francisco’s number one ranked public high school and academic pressure cooker. Inside the classroom and at home, we follow Sophia, Shea, Rachael, Alvan, and Ian as they try their hardest to attract the attention of their “dream” school (invariably, Stanford). Striving for college admission is not simply a matter of academic achievement. Each must grapple with challenging issues, from tense family dynamics to anti-Asian and anti-Black discrimination. When it comes time for the students to find out what their college fates will be, our hearts go out to them; not because we care so much where they’ll end up, but because we’ve grown to admire who they are becoming on the journey there.

This screening is part of CFI Education’s Teen Wellness Film Series, presented in partnership with the Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) Wellness Centers.  A portion of the proceeds for this series will go to support the Wellness Centers.

STREAMING

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FRIDAY, MAY 14 • 7PM PST – SUNDAY, MAY 16 • 7PM PST

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NON CA RESIDENT STREAMING PASS
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DIRECTOR

DEBBIE LUM is an award-winning, San Francisco-based filmmaker whose projects give voice to the Asian American experience and other unsung stories. Seeking Asian Female, her feature-length directorial debut premiered at SXSW and won numerous awards, including Best of Fest (Silverdocs), Best Feature Documentary (CAAMFest), and Outstanding Director (Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival). Alongside its broadcast premiere on PBS’ Independent Lens, Lum launched theyreallsobeautiful.com, a companion website and 5-part short video series about race and dating. She has an MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University and a BA in Religious Studies from Brown University.

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FILM INFO

COUNTRY:US
YEAR:2021
RUNNING TIME:85 min
LANGUAGE:English
DIRECTOR:Debbie Lum
PRODUCERS:
Nico Opper, Lou Nakasako, Debbie Lum
CINEMATOGRAPHERS:
Lou Nakasako, Kathy Huang
EDITORS:
Andrew Gersh, Amy Ferraris
PRINT SOURCE:
Film Collaborative
NOTE WRITER:
Ken Jacobson