Table Manners

On Chinese New Year, a single mom introduces her new girlfriend to her traditional family.

  • Tiana Cheung
  • Tiana Cheung
  • Casey Currey-Wilson
    Director of Photography
  • Vivian Li
  • Paula Milenkova
  • Seika Iwao
    Key Cast
  • Susan Kurata
    Key Cast
  • Hana Kim
    Key Cast
  • Thomas Shaffer
    Key Cast
  • Avery Chung-Melino
    Production Designer
  • Dylan Medlock
    Music Composer
  • Devon Lui
    Sound Designer
  • Tiana Cheung
  • Casey Currey-Wilson
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 26 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 4, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    6,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Grizzly Film Festival
    Berkeley, CA
    United States
    December 12, 2019
    Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Production Design, and Best Costume/Hair/Makeup
Director Biography - Tiana Cheung

Tiana Lucerne Cheung is a 19-year-old, queer Asian American filmmaker who strives to leverage the art of storytelling in order to amplify underrepresented voices. She is currently a 2nd-year undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, where she’s majoring in Film Studies and minoring in Human Rights.

Born and raised in a small, suburban area, Tiana transformed her scarcity of film resources into a positive challenge rather than a defeat. Six years ago at age 13, she began uploading videos to her YouTube channel, with topics ranging from school advice to fashion to an award-winning short film about women empowerment that was later screened at an AMC theater. Her video series about school/education, in particular, served as a voice for other students who didn’t have a sibling or parent to turn to for guidance. Her YouTube, transforming into a digital platform for community, has since captivated 7,000+ subscribers and 660,000+ total channel views from over 84 countries.

Tiana worked at FilmNation Entertainment (ARRIVAL, THE IMITATION GAME, SUSPIRIA) this past summer as a Production & Acquisitions Intern and has assisted on numerous sets, from a Crypt TV episode to a concept short created by NCIS:LA crew members. She also worked part-time at DTC Grip & Electric (in Emeryville, CA) as a Shop Technician. Currently, two short films she assisted on this year will be premiering at the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival and Arclight Cinemas Hollywood, respectively.

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Director Statement

Fun fact: 43% of our crew identifies as LGBTQIA+, 67% of our crew are people of color, and 1 key cast member identifies as non-binary.

Self-expression didn’t always come naturally for me. A majority of my life was spent feeling ashamed of my identity, due to a dissonance between my completely Americanized lifestyle and inability to grow in touch with my ancestral heritage. I wanted to capture that muddy feeling through color in this short film, with blue as a portrayal of conforming to American mainstream society and red as a portrayal of preserving traditional values.

Film stands out to me as an effective medium because of its ability to stir up conversations about complex topics, such as the damages caused by homophobia and heteronormative beliefs. When viewers can place themselves in the shoes of characters on-screen, whether it be the protagonist/antagonist (if there even is one), both, or neither, they are offered a new perspective in which they can reflect on their own behavior and attitudes. With this short film, I challenge people to question any unconscious biases or preconceived notions, to dig deeper in conversations, and to keep an open mind. It has been utterly surreal to translate my vision into this work of art, with a beyond wonderful team.