Filmmaker | Photographer | Songwriter
David Siev is an emerging filmmaker recognized for his thought-provoking and socially conscious storytelling. Hailing from the heartland of the Midwest, David brings a fresh perspective as a new voice in the industry, infusing his work with the rich tapestry of his Cambodian-Mexican-American background to create deeply personal and universally resonant stories.
Early in his career, David had the privilege of learning from JACKASS director Jeff Tremaine in the realm of guerrilla filmmaking. This experience paved the way for his directorial debut, the award-winning narrative short film, YEAR ZERO. Praised by RogerEbert.Com as a "shattering debut" for its poignant exploration of his father's survival during the Cambodian Killing Fields, the film showcased David's early talents.
David's ascent continued with his feature debut, BAD AXE, which showcased his distinctive voice and storytelling prowess. Based on his family's restaurant in rural Michigan, the film resonated deeply with audiences and critics alike, garnering numerous accolades, including the SXSW Audiences and Special Jury prizes. Its exploration of resilience in the face of adversity, tackling themes such as the pandemic, racial reckonings, AAPI hate, and generational trauma, further solidified David's standing as an emerging talent in the industry. Most recently, BAD AXE's critical success led to the film being honored with the Critic's Choice Award, a Cinema Eye nomination, and securing a place on the shortlist for the 95th Academy Awards.
As an activist at heart, David's work reflects his unwavering commitment to advocacy, social justice, and community engagement. His dedication to fostering meaningful conversations on the power of representation in storytelling has led him to share his insights at esteemed educational institutions such as Harvard, Cornell, Georgetown, NYU, and Dartmouth. Additionally, David delivered a thought-provoking TED Talk, exploring how representation can transform the world of storytelling and create a more inclusive and equitable society. His efforts with BAD AXE earned him the Social Justice Award at the Critics Choice Inaugural Celebration of Asian Pacific Cinema and Television, raising awareness about the Asian American diaspora through personal storytelling.
While experiencing extraordinary achievements at a young age, David remains grounded in his Midwest roots, gracefully navigating between the tranquility of rural Michigan and the vibrant energy of New York City. Driven by an insatiable passion, he continues to craft narratives among different genres that resonate with audiences around the world, firmly establishing himself as a promising and influential filmmaker on the rise.
LA Shorts International Film Festival 2018
Official Selection: Academy Award Qualifying Film Festival
Cambodia Town Film Festival 2018
Official Selection: Presented by Angelina Jolie
Houston Asian American Film Festival 2018
East Lansing Film Festival 2018
Seattle Asian American Film Festival 2018
Sacramento International Film Festival 2019
Cambodia International Film Festival 2019