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April 23May 2


SDAFF―A link to stream TRY HARDER! a new documentary supported by the California Documentary Project, will be offered in the SDAFF Spring Showcase April 23, 2021 12:00 am – May 2, 2021 11:59 pm, with tickets starting at $9 for members. All Live Q&As are free and available to view via multiple platforms, including the official FacebookTwitch, and YouTube accounts for Pacific Arts Movement.

At Lowell High School, the top public high school in San Francisco, the seniors are stressed out. As they prepare for the emotionally draining college application process, students are keenly aware of the intense competition for the few open spots in their dream colleges. They scrutinize how every element of their application, from their classes to their extracurricular activities to their racial identities, might be read by admission officers. At Lowell—where cool kids are nerds, nearly everyone has an amazing talent, and the majority of the student body is Asian American—the things that usually make a person stand out can feel not good enough, even commonplace.

Streaming: April 23, 2021-May 2, 2021

Tickets from $9

With humor and heart, director Debbie Lum takes us to the reality of the American college application process and the intersection of class, race, and educational opportunity as experienced by high school seniors living through it. Try Harder! is a portrait of young adults in the most diverse American generation ever as they navigate a quintessential rite of passage and make it their own.

This film is supported by California Documentary Project Research and Development and Production Grants.