Here are your 2016 Interpretations Short Film Initiative Winners

Winner 'Swing' directed by Andrew Pang. (Photo courtesy of YOMYOMF)
Winner ‘Swing’ directed by Andrew Pang. (Photo courtesy of YOMYOMF)

by Anderson Le

We are honored to finally reveal the winners of this year’s Interpretations Short Film Initiative, which were announced last night at the NBCUniversal Short Film Festival in Los Angeles. YOMYOMF creative director Philip Chung and Karen Horne, SVP of Talent Development & Inclusion at NBCUniversal, announced the winners during the opening remarks of the short film festival.

The Final 3 were chosen from the Top 15 films by a combination of online voting and an industry jury led by YOMYOMF Founder Justin Lin and featuring Karen Horne, Doug Jung (writer, STAR TREK BEYOND), Danny Pudi (actor, COMMUNITY, POWERLESS) and Jaydn Wong (actor, SCORPION). The jury had a challenging time to come up with the final three because the selections were so good this year, therefore, the jury decided to also acknowledge three additional films with “special mentions.”

“I am so pleased that it was such a difficult decision to come up with the final three winners. Although, it was a challenge for the jury, it showed the creativity and sheer talent of emerging filmmakers, and even more so from Asian Pacific Americans,” said Justin Lin. “Interpretations is a testament that there needs to be more outlets in the discovery of new and unique voices to work in the varied digital content landscape of today, especially with the ongoing launches of new distribution platforms in this era of ‘Peak TV.’”

Without further ado, here are the 2016 Interpretations final winners and honorable mentions:

Final winners:


SWING directed by Andrew Pang (Jury Selection)
A couple tries to find the right words during their last moments together. Memories, regret, even love, move into the picture.


THE MAJESTIC MR. JESSE directed by Lawrence Chen (Jury Selection)
Jesse, an untrained aspiring dancer, gets rejected from a premiere modern dance company at a pretentious audition. Defeated, he goes back to his day job where he works as “Mr. Jesse”, a well known birthday and event dancer at a karaoke bar. Upon Jesse’s return, his manager senses his disappointment and inspires Jesse to give one more performance as “Mr. Jesse” and rediscover greatness in his own way.


WINGMAN directed by Julia Chang (Audience Selection)
A supernatural stranger mysteriously appears in the life of a hapless bachelor to help him improve his luck with women.

Honorable Mentions:


NUTS directed by Leon Cheo
A writer with a deadline is haunted by sounds coming from her backyard.

SCARE ME directed by Elaine Loh
A young couple tries to scare each other by playing practical jokes on one another. But, who will end up truly terrified in the end?


SINGULARITY directed by Tom Choi
noun: singularity
a hypothetical moment in time when artificial intelligence and other technologies have become so advanced that humanity undergoes a dramatic and irreversible change.
“maybe the singularity just happened, and we didn’t notice”

Interestingly, the Final 3 are all New York City based, while the 3 Honorable Mentions are Los Angeles based. Perhaps we inadvertently started an Interpretations turf war? All joking aside, we are pleased with the final outcomes and look forward to working with the Final 3 winners in the weeks and months to come.

Aside from their wins and attendance at NBCUniversal Short Film Festival, YOMYOMF will host industry meetings with the winners while they are in town, as well as future meetings in New York as well. The endgame is to develop a digital project with the winners and produced and mentored by Justin.

In the coming days and weeks, we will check in with the Final 3 and report on their statuses, as well as more behind-the-scenes details from their Interpretations short films. Again, we want to thank you everyone who submitted to the Interpretations Short Film Initiative, as well as the support from Comcast and NBCUniversal that made all this possible.

Stay tuned for what we have in store as far as contests and development programs in 2017!


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