HomeBad Ass AsiansAward-winning Sundance Film Didi acquired by Focus Pictures

Award-winning Sundance Film Didi acquired by Focus Pictures

Director Sean Wang’s feature debut, Didi, a coming-of-age drama, has been procured by Focus Features, reports Variety.

This after Wang showcased his project at the Sundance Film Festival, where it took home the U.S. Special Dramatic Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble Cast, in addition to its Audience Award and U.S. Dramatic wins. 

RELATED: Sundance 2024- Didi explores the coming-of-age troubles of a Taiwanese American teen

Didi is set in San Francisco in 2008, and centers on a 13-year-old Taiwanese American boy named Wang-Wang, as he enjoys the last month of his summer vacation before starting high school.

The film follows him as he meanders his way through skating, first loves, and building a better relationship with his mother. The film stars Izaac Wang (Good Boys), as the main character, a semi-autobiographical interpretation of the director himself, with Joan Chen (The Last Emperor), who portrays Izaac’s on-screen mother.

When making Didi, Wang hoped that moviegoers would see a version of their past selves in the film. In a statement, Wang said that his movie is one that “I’ve always wanted to see: a coming-of-age story set in a place I know, starring people who look like those I knew, during a time when we are the worst versions of ourselves having the best time of our lives”, he told Variety. He hopes more people will experience that feeling once the film is released to a wider audience.

After its premiere at Sundance, Didi has received acclaim from critics. The Hollywood Reporter’s own review of the film compared it to Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade in regards to “its affection for its young characters and its willingness to meet them on their own terms.”

Consequence of Sound also praised Wang’s skills as a director and writer, writing that “He doesn’t flinch from the darker or more troublesome aspects of the early teen years, but he ultimately balances them expertly by handling his messy protagonist with generosity and care.”

In addition it called Didi a superb addition to “call your mother” cinema. In addition, actress Ayo Edebiri (The Bear), added the film to her Letterbox watchlist.

Another one of Wang’s projects, the short documentary Nai Nai and Wai Po, also premiered at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival. That film won the grand jury prize and the audience award. Since then, Nai Nai and Wai Po has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Film, and has been acquired by Disney +, where it is scheduled for a February release, reported Indie Wire.

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