A Feature Film by Jess Dang
Triggered and wanting to escape her past trauma, Naomi, a young Asian American female, falls into the world of blackjack to regain a sense of control but finds herself addicted to the game.
By day, Naomi is successful at her job. By night, she is a high-limit blackjack player. Her compulsive gambling puts her in a secret cycle of shame as she suppresses her internal feelings to appear externally sound, impacting her mental health.
Support The Film
In November of 2022, Surrender the feature script participated as 1 of 10 fiction films in Film Independent's Fast Track fellowship program - a highly selective finance market. The film is currently in development and set for a November/December 2023 production. Dang wrote the script, and Surrender will mark her directorial debut feature film. Andrea Bang is attached to play the lead role.
Film Independent has partnered with our film to be our 501(c)(3) nonprofit fiscal sponsor, as our team aims to raise additional funds for development, production, and post-production phases. For more information about how to make a tax-deductible donation, please click on the button below.
Our story explores themes such as: Asian family structures & responsibilities, intergenerational identities and trauma, addiction and its connection to mental health.
Surrender the short film was produced. The film stars Andrea Bang from Kim's Convenience and Keiko Agena from Gilmore Girls.
Surrender, the short film, premiered at The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in the spring. It traveled globally - from local to international film festivals, and received a licensing deal with NBC Universal by Comcast through the Portland Film Festival.
Simultaneously, the feature film version participated as one of ten films for Film Independent's highly-selective Fast Track Fellowship program. The film was also selected for Owning It, a film cohort presented by The Gotham Media & Film Institute.
Short Film Screening Highlights Include:
World gambling statistics show that around 26% of the population gamble. That means around 1.6 billion people worldwide gamble and 4.2 billion gamble at least once every year.*
Andrea Bang is a Canadian actress from Burnaby, British Columbia. She is best known for playing Janet Kim in the CBC comedy series, Kim’s Convenience, for which she was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award, Best Actress in a Comedy Series. She also starred in Fresh (2022 - Sundance Film Festival), Stay The Night (2022 - SXSW Film Festival), and Luce (2019 - Sundance Film Festival). Additional TV credits include a multi-season arc on ABC's A Million Little Things.
Keiko Agena is best known for her series regular roles on the shows Prodigal Son where she played Dr. Edrisa Tanaka and Gilmore Girls, where she played Lane Kim for seven years and reprised the role in Netflix’s Gilmore Girls: Seasons. As an improviser she’s performed at UCB Sunset/NY, IO WEST and is a recent addition to the main company of IMPRO THEATRE. In between Agena has been a series regular on Hulu's The First and recurring on Better Call Saul, Dirty John and 13 Reasons Why.
Gambling is a way of buying hope on credit"
-Alan Wykes, Journalist