THE One Academy’s very own graduate Soon King Yaw is making waves across the global creative scene for his animated documentary All I Did Was Smile And Say Hello which was chosen as the opening film for the KQED Homemade Film Festival.

The short flick sheds light on the increased discrimination faced by Asian-Americans during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Tawau-native’s powerful tale was selected out of 500 submissions and bagged the Top five finalists spot, with guest judge and former president of the San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle, Randy Myers praising the film as “soulful and poignant” with “first-rate animation.”

The story is told from the perspective of Michelle Man, an Asian-American pharmacist, who relays a shocking racist encounter during the pandemic. Moved by her response to the discrimination, Soon said that he wanted to document her story.

He added: “This film is not a jab against racism and the fear of this virus, but rather, a gentle reminder that we’re all human, and it’s okay to be scared but we can still be good to one another.”

He is currently working on a new project, When I See The Wind, a collaboration with an internationally-acclaimed Chilean cinematographer Andrés Gallegos, Soon is ever-ready to keep churning out amazing pieces inspired by deep and personal stories.

His dream is to write and direct a feature film in Malaysia, but the 28-year-old definitely would not turn down the opportunity to make a music video for Yuna. “That would be an ultimate dream come true,” he said.

With more and more Malaysians making a name for themselves in the industry, it is clear that there is no shortage of local talents here to make our country proud!