Dir. Sean Wang / 2024 / 91 mins / USA / English, Mandarin / Australian Premiere

This double-Sundance-winning semi-autobiographical film surveys a coming of age marked by Myspace and Motorola flip phones during the heady days of the 2000s.

It’s the late noughties in Fremont, California. Impressionable young Chris attempts to find his place in the world as he enters the lion’s den of high school – just as social media is exploding in popularity. His big sister Vivian is headed for college, while his mum Chungsing (Twin Peaks luminary Joan Chen, who also starred in The Home Song Stories, MIFF 2007) is a frustrated painter who wants to be seen as more than a caregiver to her ungrateful kids and even less impressed mother-in-law (played by Wang’s actual grandmother Chang Li Hua).

Sharing thematic DNA with Eighth Grade and Mid90s, Wang’s debut dramatic feature – whose title means ‘little brother’ in Mandarin – is an evocative account of growth, the affection and tensions of family, and the immigrant experience, picking up both a Special Jury Award and an Audience Award at Sundance. With these accolades landing in the same year as the Oscar nomination for his short Nai Nai & Wài Pó, Dìdi further cements Sean Wang’s directorial talent.

“A refreshing antidote to all of those youth-patronizing movies in which kids are portrayed as hyper-confident quip machines … Wang’s honest self-appraisal yields a richly detailed film.” – Wall Street Journal

MIFF Members are invited to an advance preview screening of Dìdi on Thursday 27 June. Click here to book.