Spa Night

Director: Andrew Ahn
Screenwriters: Andrew Ahn


U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance - Joe Seo

David Cho is in that curious threshold between late teens and manhood. He lives in a tight-knit, traditional home in the heart of Koreatown, Los Angeles, with his first-generation parents. David works at the family restaurant, but business is slow and the restaurant is forced to close. His mother, Soyoung, finds another waitressing gig, but his unemployed father, Jin, begins to spiral downward. As the patriarchal balance teeters, tension builds at home.

Appeasing his mother, David pretends to go to SAT classes but secretly takes a job at a Korean spa to help his family make ends meet. At the spa, he discovers an underground world of gay sex that scares the hell out of him but also really excites him. As David dares to explore his sexuality, his family life crumbles, forcing him to reconcile his own desires with his parents’ hopes, dreams, and expectations.

Joe Seo shines in the role of David, as he grapples with a percolating yet forbidden sexual awakening. With this feature debut, writer/director Andrew Ahn, like his main character, is on the brink of something big.

— David Courier

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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