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Stories about breaking out, breaking free, and bringing people together through the power of action, strength, hope and joy.

Mai Nguyen, a Vietnamese-American martial artist, physically and mentally trains for an upcoming Jiu Jitsu match. She balances the demands of regular life—job, being a single mother—with intense training. As we gradually learn more about her past, we understand her commitment to martial arts as a way to recover from the trauma of her abusive childhood and ex-husband.

About the Director:

Asali Echols is a Bay Area filmmaker and film editor, whose work has screened in festivals across the country and worldwide. Her directing credits include the narrative short Fast & New (2019), the animated documentary The Violin Upstairs (2019) and the award-winning short documentary Lion on the Mat (2021). She enjoys finding visual intersections between narrative, documentary and animation, and telling stories about people who step outside boxes.

  • Runtime
    17 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Premiere
    Northwest Premiere (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana)
  • Director
    Asali Echols