Michael Chan | United States | 2016 | 25 m
The year is 2002. After his abusive father punches him and cracks part of his tooth, WINSTON “WINCE” CHENG finds himself in LA without any parents or any money. His mother has left him in a desperate attempt to keep the family together. In order to make ends meet, Wince delves into the fast cash world of software piracy. Without any supervision, Wince spends his excess cash on living the high life of booze, shoes, and gadgets. His future plans: nothing. College is for chumps. This is how you make a living.
Three months later, while throwing a tacky sweater party for his friends, part of Wince’s cracked tooth falls out. His best friend and college-bound business partner Franklin offers to yank it out for him. No dice. The morning after the party, Wince wakes up to discover his mother has returned. She wants to make amends and start a new life with him. Wince is weary.
Wince reconciles with his mother despite Franklin’s warnings. He reminds Wince that she already left once. Wince distances himself from Franklin and even considers leaving the business for his mother.
One day, Wince’s mother leaves to return to his father. Wince is devastated. Also, his tooth has completely rotted in his mouth and is infected. Wince calls the only person who has never left him: Franklin. Franklin yanks out Wince’s tooth. Wince follows Franklin’s advice and applies for college. Sometimes friends are the only family you need.