Private Project

A Better Man

A misguided and purposeless Asian American teenager receives a magical bracelet from a popular "alpha male" self-help guru he admires to help him break free from his pushover nature. However, Seth faces strained relationships and a disconnect from his true self with the reliance of the bracelet's powers. In this story, Seth must come to terms with embracing his own intuition in order to find genuine self-acceptance and purpose.

  • Tristen Pon
  • Dellin Zhang
  • Tristen Pon
  • Dellin Zhang
  • Tristen Pon
  • Ari Turalba
  • Kenny Wood
  • Elli Rosenthal
  • Qingshi Meng
    Key Cast
    "Seth Zhong"
  • Blu Xu
    Key Cast
    "Andrew Zhong"
  • David Staats
    Key Cast
    "Fraser Emerson"
  • Luke Joyce
    Key Cast
    "Roy Bernard"
  • Benji Bellassai
    Key Cast
    "Jake Ruiz"
  • Blaise Dunham
    Key Cast
    "Carter Allen"
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, Comedy
  • Runtime:
    27 minutes 6 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 15, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    300 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, Mandarin Chinese
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Emerson College
Director Biography - Tristen Pon, Dellin Zhang

Tristen Pon and Dellin Zhang are Chinese-American filmmakers who share a passion for representative storytelling. They met and became close friends during Emerson’s Screenwriters Lab in Greece, and both recently graduated from Emerson College with B.A.’s in Visual Media Arts.

Inspired by the individual yet universal struggle with self-acceptance, Tristen and Dellin co-directed A Better Man, a short film which explores toxic masculinity and coming of age through an Asian American lens.

With a commitment to authentic storytelling, Tristen and Dellin infuse their work with cultural nuances. In collaboration, they hope to make a significant impact through creating space for marginalized voices, fostering empathy towards others, and reshaping understanding of the Asian American culture.

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Director Statement

Through an Asian American lens, A Better Man explores the journey of misguided masculinity, the transformative power of mentorship, and the profound experience of self-acceptance.

In today's world where influential figures propagate harmful ideas about what it means to “be a man,” we believe it is essential to push alternative narratives. A Better Man challenges the "alpha male" archetype and demonstrates that being a better man can look differently. The world just may be a kinder place with a truer understanding of masculinity.