Chris Naoki Lee’s Dinner Party features four childhood friends who reunite over dinner with their partners. As they have aged and evolved, so have the social climate and topics of discussion. Exploring sexism, racism and classism, the dinner takes place during a controversial court case that not only captures the nation’s attention, but the friends’ as well.
The friends can no longer bury their heads in the sand. Every conversation they have avoided reaches a boiling point. The film features Lee, Imani Hakim, Kara Wang and Kausuar Muhammed.
Shadow and Act has an exclusive clip from the film below.
“I was attracted to the concept of Dinner Party because it felt so raw and unapologetic exploring these layers of taboo subjects,” states Hakim. “From the microaggressions experienced by BIPOCs to the effects of gender inequality, Dinner Party is not only a story, but an experience we can all be too familiar with. I just felt moved to produce a film that encourages normalizing the conversation surrounding these uncomfortable realities. And for us to be able to knock this shoot out in 4 days? It’s a testament to this talented cast and crew, and I’m just so proud of what we’ve accomplished.”
“These diverse friends all grew up together, shared good and bad times together, which also come with its own secrets and nuances,” Lee shared. “Even in this clip – as Izzy (Hakim) curiously pokes her head into the past relationships of these friends’ lives, Shannon (Wang) reveals a small unwanted moment of truth with just a look – there is a slow boil to the film that forces these friends to have very difficult conversations as the hours go on. Over the last few years, I found myself having tough conversations too, often in some intimate setting like a dinner party, regarding social matters with friends or family. I wanted to make a film that reflected that kind of modern dialogue and unbridled tension. I wanted to tell a story that felt personally real to me, but also involve everyone who collaborated on this project to bring the most authentic version to the table.”
Watch the clip below:
Earlier this year, the film was selected for the Narrative Features program as a part of the 44th Asian American International Film Festival 2021.