Sean Wang’s film “Dìdi (弟弟)” premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to critical success, picking up wins with the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award and the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble. Since its reception at Sundance, the film has recently been acquired by Focus Features.
The film is set in the late aughts and follows the lives of first-generation teenagers living in the Bay Area. In part a reflection of Wang’s lived experience, who grew up in Fremont surrounded by other first-gen Asian Americans, the story centers on a 13-year-old Taiwanese American boy (Izaac Wang) and also stars Joan Chen, Shirley Chen and Chang Li Hua.
The production is backed by Spark Features, and marks producer Carlos López Estrada’s first theatrical release through the Antigravity Academy, a talent incubator focused on helping emerging filmmakers.
This news comes fast after Wang’s Academy Award nomination, which was announced last week and recognized him for the documentary short, “Nǎi Nai and Wài Pó.” As the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award winner at the 2023 South by Southwest Film Festival, the short was picked up by Disney Branded Television and will be released on Disney+ and Hulu on Feb. 9 through Disney’s documentary film series relaunch, “People and Places.”
With so much early support and success, it’s clear that this is only the beginning for “Dìdi (弟弟)” and filmmaker Sean Wang.