Adapted from the Shawn Wong’s highly regarded Asian American novel, “American Knees”, Eric Byler’s second feature film, AMERICANESE, explores the subtle racial tensions that exist in ethnically mixed Asian American relationships. Raymond (Chris Tashima, DAY OF INDEPENDENCE), a 40-year-old divorced Chinese American college professor, and Aurora (Allison Sie), a much younger biracial Japanese American photographer, have recently ended their relationship after living together for 2 years. Although the break-up was amicable, memories of their relationship continue to invade their every day thoughts as they both try to move on with their lives. Aurora starts dating Steve, who is white, and Raymond begins a relationship with Betty (Joan Chen, SAVING FACE), a Vietnamese professor who has haunting secrets of her own. With strong performances from an experienced supporting cast including Kelly Hu (THE SCORPION KING; X2), Sab Shimono (ROBOT STORIES) and Michael Paul Chan (THE JOY LUCK CLUB), AMERICANESE is wonderfully paced to allow the audience to feel the textures of emotions of these conflicted characters as they wrestle with their own inner traumas, question their identities, and deal with the impact it ultimately has on their relationships.
Writer and director Eric Byler’s first film, CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES (2002 DC APA FILM FESTIVAL), was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards and garnered critical acclaim for its perceptive insight into the complex nature of intimate relationships. Eric has received accolades for his ability to provide a multi-dimensional context for the audience to draw their own conclusions. His current projects include MY LIFE DISORIENTED, KEALOHA (The Loved One), and TRE, a sequel to CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES. Eric is a bi-racial Asian American who grew up Fairfax County, Hawaii and California.