'Invasive Species' by Students Annie Ning and Aisha Amin Screens at Slamdance

Josephine Simonian
February 02, 2024

Invasive Species, written & directed by Film student Annie Ning and produced by Film student Aisha Amin, just screened at Slamdance Film Festival last week, in the Narrative Shorts program. The story revolves around an Asian American artist’s imposter syndrome, which clashes with communal eating in the singular world that is an artist residency.

The film recently won the award for Best Narrative Short at the San Diego Asian Film Festival, and received a Special Mention for Best Student U.S. Short at the 2023 Palm Springs International Shortfest.

Invasive Species has had a really wonderful festival circuit and has received a lot of praise from those audiences!" said Amin. "The film is centered around the microaggressions that lie under the surface of artist residencies, which can be exclusive and often inaccessible to artists of color. I think the concept and Annie's writing really resonates with a lot of filmmakers who have had similar experiences. It's been a wonderful run and hopefully many more great experiences to come!"

Annie Ning is a filmmaker from Suzhou, China and Wheaton, Illinois, now living in NYC. She was a 2020 Fellow at the Creative Visions Foundation Women Excel Project, & the BAVC Serial Storyteller Program in development of a hybrid docuseries on end-of-life care in China. Her first short film, Fishbowl, can be found on NoBudge. Annie co-leads festival programming at the Asian American International Film Festival, and was an Associate Shorts Programmer at DOCNYC. She is part of the women-led production company Rai Productions, producing and editing work for clients such as Vogue China, Tory Burch, EDAS, & Eny Lee Parker. 

Aisha Amin is a NYC-raised South Asian filmmaker and visual artist. As a director, her work expands across narrative, documentary, commercial and experimental forms to tell authentic stories built from real experiences. Her past film projects have explored and highlighted overlooked communities particularly in New York City, including formerly incarcerated mothers and communities struggling with the presence of gentrification in their neighborhoods. In the summer of 2023, she was selected as a Director in Color Creative's inaugural For Your People Program. She is a 2023 Cine Qua Non Screenwriting Fellow. She is a 2022 recipient of the NYFA's Women's Fund and Tomorrow Land Grant. She was a recipient of the 2019-2020 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellowship at the Jacob Burns Film Center where she directed two short documentaries. She is also a recipient of The Shed's Open Call Fellowship. Her short film Simone premiered on Short of the Week and her short documentary Friday is a Vimeo Staff Pick.