The second edition of WHAT IS ASIA? will premiere in May 2023! Learn more and submit your film!

What is Asia?

Happy Family Night Market

What is Asia?

The word “Asia” was invented by ancient Greeks to distinguish the territories east of their empire. Its original intended meaning is a term of othering and otherness.

2500 years later, we still use the term “Asian,” to describe the inhabitants of this geographic region—in addition to people belonging to a global diaspora—who may or may not share ethnic, linguistic, or cultural heritage, and who perhaps don’t even self-identify as Asian.

What does it even mean to be Asian? What is Asia today, and how has it changed over time?

Open Call for Films:


Second Edition

After the success of last year’s sold-out screening, we’re excited to announce the second edition of WHAT IS ASIA? will premiere in May 2023, in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.

Whereas our previous events and programs were curated by invitation-only, this year, we’re launching our first international OPEN CALL for film and video works to be included in this year’s online program!

We invite all AAPI-identifying filmmakers and artists working with video or moving image to submit films that examine our relationships to place, the feeling of belonging (or not belonging), and the idea of home. We welcome emerging and established artists to apply.


Early Bird Deadline: April 1, 2023 👉 FREE!  Regular Deadline: April 8, 2023 👉 $35 Last Chance Deadline: April 15, 2023 👉 $45

Submissions will be reviewed and selected by a Screening Committee of artist alums from the Happy Family community.

Selections will be announced by May 1, 2023.

Submit Your Film


WHAT IS ASIA? v2 will be released online as a virtual program, designed to be widely accessible to and shareable with audiences around the globe. Think of it as a digital spinoff of our annual film festival that you can watch anytime, anywhere; alone or with friends; one-time-only, or again and again!

On the couch or in the classroom, in a cinema or on the street: organize a DIY screening for your community and host your own event to discuss what you loved or learned from the program. We’ll share some screening tips and post-show discussion prompts to help you create a meaningful gathering that engages your community in thoughtful dialogue.

Our virtual program is meant to serve as an anchor to an IRL event designed and facilitated by YOU!


© Happy Family Night Market 2023