• Asian CineVision Announces The 40th Asian American International Film Festival Program

    NEW YORK, NY – The 40th Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF40), presented by Asian CineVision in association with Asia Society, announces the schedule of screenings to be held from July 26 to August 5 at Asia Society and Village East Cinema in Manhattan. As the nation’s first and longest running Asian interest film festival, AAIFF40 is proud to present 20 feature films and 63 short films representing 18 countries.

     

    OPENING NIGHT: GOOK

    Winner of the 2017 Sundance Next Audience Award, GOOK is the screenwriting and directorial debut of Korean American actor Justin Chon. Following the unlikely bond between brothers Eli and Daniel (Chon and David So of YouTube’s DavidSoComedy) and Kamilla, a young African-American girl (11-year-old newcomer Simone Baker), the striking black and white cinematography sets the tone for the racial tensions that build to a breaking point in the spring of 1992 as the Los Angeles riots erupt. In the twenty-five years since, the violent turn of events still resonates with those affected by damages to life and livelihoods with property damage of over one billion dollars, including the loss of over 2,000 Korean-owned businesses.

    GOOK will screen on Wednesday, July 26th at 7:00 pm at Asia Society with director, writer and star Justin Chon in attendance, and on Friday, August 4th at 9:00 pm at Village East Cinema

     

    CENTERPIECE PRESENTATION: SMALL TALK

    2017 Berlinale Teddy Jury Award winner for Best Documentary, SMALL TALK, is directed by Taiwanese filmmaker, Hui-chen Huang. Hui-chen and her lesbian mother live like strangers under one roof for decades, and never talk to each other. One day Hui-chen finally summons up the courage to sit down with her mother and make conversation. But is she ready to hear what she has to say?

    SMALL TALK will screen on Saturday, July 29th at 7:00 pm at Asia Society with director Hui-chen Huang in attendance.

     

    CLOSING NIGHT: FREE AND EASY

    FREE AND EASY, screened in the 2017 Sundance World Cinema Dramatic Competition section, tells the story of a traveling soap salesman arriving in a desolate Chinese town. When a crime occurs, the strange residents turn against each other with tragicomic results. Directed by Geng Jun, FREE AND EASY is a “deadpan look at petty criminals in a small town in China’s wintry Northeast.” (The Hollywood Reporter)

    FREE AND EASY will screen on Saturday, August 5th at 7:00 pm at Asia Society.

     

    AAIFF40 is proud to present the following Feature Films, including 11 documentaries and 9 narratives:

     

    DOCUMENTARIES

     

    AFTER THE SEWOL
    The Sewol ferry disaster brought South Korea to its knees in the loss of 295 passengers, maybe of them children on holiday. Two British filmmakers explore the changing faces of this nation through relatives of the victims, divers and activists, trying to uncover the cause of the accident and looking deep into Korean history about why no action was taken to prevent it in the first place.

    AFTER THE SEWOL will screen on Saturday, August 5 at 4:30 pm at Village East Cinema.

     

    BACHELOR GIRLS
    Filmmaker and screenwriter Shikha Makan’s film takes us to Mumbai, the heart of the city of dreams, where single independent women face housing discrimination. Labeled by society as unmarried, they struggle to keep a roof over their heads and question the idea of freedom for women in modern India.

    BACHELOR GIRLS will screen on Saturday, July 29 at 2:00 pm at Village East Cinema.


    DEFENDER
    This deeply relevant documentary follows the work of San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, fighting for justice and equality since he learned of his family’s internment during World War II. Taking on everything from police brutality to Donald Trump’s executive orders, Adachi proves that while racism is alive and well, there will always be brave people dedicated to fighting it.

    DEFENDER will screen on Saturday, August 5 at 12:00 pm at Asia Society

     

    A FOLEY ARTIST
    A look at the behind-the-scenes work of Hu Ding-yi, master Foley artist of Taiwan as he prove himself as one of the best in the film industry but is then faced with a career crisis.

    A FOLEY ARTIST will screen on Thursday, August 3 at 7:00 pm at Village East Cinema.

     

    MIXED MATCH (New York Premiere)
    What role does race play in medicine? Told from the perspective of mixed race blood cancer patients who are forced to reflect on their multiracial identities and complex genetics, they struggle with a seemingly impossible search to find bone marrow donors.

    MIXED MATCH will screen on Saturday, July 29 at 4:00 pm at Village East Cinema.

     

    PLASTIC CHINA
    China is by far the world’s greatest plastic importer. Every year, developed countries from around the world send China ten million tons of plastic waste, and it’s only getting worse. Chinese filmmaker Wang Jiuliang tells the troubling tale of the working people whose lives revolve around this waste.

    PLASTIC CHINA will screen on Saturday, August 5 at 4:30 pm at Asia Society

     

    PROOF OF LOYALTY: KAZUO YAMANE AND THE NISEI SOLDIERS OF HAWAII
    The documentary traces back to the time when Kazuo Yamane’s father, Uichi, came to Hawaii in the late 19th century with nothing and built a business empire.

    PROOF OF LOYALTY will screen on Thursday, August 3 at 9:45 pm at Asia Society.

     

    SAVE MY SEOUL (New York Premiere)
    Two Korean-American brothers get in over their heads when they are called to Korea to make a short film on prostitution and sex-trafficking. Things get complicated when they meet two prostitutes who reveal just how deep the problem goes and set off on a dangerous mission to capture the truth.

    SAVE MY SEOUL will screen on Friday, July 28 at 9:30 pm at Village East Cinema.

    SINGING WITH ANGRY BIRD (New York Premiere)
    Directed by the International Emmy nominated Hyewon Jee, SINGING WITH ANGRY BIRD follows the established opera singer Jae-Chang Kim, who runs a children’s choir in Pune, India. Music brings parents and children closer together, providing a vibrant contrast to the everyday reality of the slums.

    SINGING WITH ANGRY BIRD will screen on Sunday, July 30 at 6:30 pm at Village East Cinema

     

    THE SURROUNDING GAME
    Directed by Will Lockhart, a longtime member of the American Go community and a 5-dan master player, the first feature documentary about the game is shot over 4 years in China, Korea, Japan, and the United States. The film reveals the magical world through the coming-of-age story of America’s top prodigies.

    THE SURROUNDING GAME will screen on Sunday, July 30 at 4:30 pm at Village East Cinema.

     

    WITH THIS RING
    Filmed over the course of six years, three Indian women sidestep traditional roles to enter world champion boxing, which becomes their lifeline, source of income, community, and ultimately what rips them apart.

    WITH THIS RING will screen on Saturday, July 29 at 4:30  pm at Asia Society.

     

    FEATURE FILMS

     

    1985 (New York Premiere)
    This coming-of-age story follows four friends in the summer of 1985 on a perilous journey to find a mythical dragon dwelling in a mysterious and forgotten lake somewhere in the great wilderness of…Minnesota?

    1985 will screen on Sunday, July 30 at 1:30 pm at Village East Cinema.

     

    ABSURD ACCIDENT
    Bouncing with nail-biting suspense and ingenious humor, young Chinese filmmaker Li Yuhe’s feature debut portrays a puzzling crime in a rural small town, where greed, lust and wit, battle it out in one night with a sexually impotent motel owner, a hitman, a cheating wife, two blind daters, a robber, a policeman…and a strange dead body.

    ABSURD ACCIDENT will screen on Thursday, August 3 at 7:00 pm at Asia Society.

     

    ALL OUR FATHER’S RELATIONS (New York Premiere)
    ALL OUR FATHER’S RELATIONS tells the story of the Grant siblings who journey from Vancouver to China in an attempt to rediscover their father’s roots and better understand his fractured relationship with their Musqueam mother.

    ALL OUR FATHER’S RELATIONS will screen on Saturday, July 29 at 9:45 pm at Village East Cinema.

     

    COLUMBUS
    Casey lives with her mother in a little-known, but architecturally renowned Midwestern town haunted by the promise of modernism while Jin, a visitor from the other side of the world, tends to his dying father. COLUMBUS is the screenwriting and directorial debut of Kogonada, known for his stunning video essays and noted by Filmmaker Magazine as one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film.

    COLUMBUS will screen on Thursday, August 3 at 9:30 pm at Village East Cinema.

     

    HALF TICKET

     

    A film about desires and the yearning for the unattainable, HALF TICKET is a story of two slum kids fascinated with the arrival of a new pizza shop. Expensive beyond their means, they long to try it but fate has a different game in store for them, their mother and a low-rent thug’s desire for easy money.

     

    HALF  TICKET will screen on Thursday, August 3 at 7:00 pm  at Village East Cinema.


    I CAN I WILL I DID (New York Premiere)
    Depressed and bullied foster youth Ben is struck by a car accident and his recovery process is slow until he meets Adrienne, a wheelchair bound fellow patient who breathes hope into his life and introduces him to her grandfather, Taekwondo Master Kang. Kang not only teaches him how to get back up on his feet, but also how to take charge of his own life.

    I CAN I WILL I DID will screen on Sunday, July 30 at 7:00 pm at Asia Society.

     

    THE LOCKPICKER (New York Premiere)

    The highly-anticipated feature film is Randall Okita’s psychological portrait of a solitary young man who presents as completely ordinary, apart from his predilection for minor theft.

     

    THE LOCKPICKER will screen on Sunday, July 30 at 2:00 pm at Village East Cinema.

     

    THE RECEPTIONIST
    Inspired by a true story, the feature debut of London-based Taiwanese director Jenny Lu,
    tells the story of a Taiwanese graduate struggling to find work in London. After landing a job as a receptionist at an illegal massage parlor, she finds herself caught up in a world of secrets and mistreatment as the owner’s and employees’ lives begin unraveling before her eyes.

    THE RECEPTIONIST will screen on Sunday, July 30 at 7:30 pm at Village East Cinema.

     

    SIGNATURE MOVE

    Zaynab, a Pakistani Muslim lesbian in her thirties, thought that she had resigned herself to her TV-loving mother’s incessant talk of marrying a nice man. But that all changes when she meets Alma, an out and proud Mexican woman unwilling to go back in the closet for anyone.

     

    SIGNATURE MOVE will screen on Saturday, July 29 at 4:30 pm at Village East Cinema.

     

    TAXI STORIES
    The lives of a poor Beijing taxi driver, a Hong Kong trophy wife and a Jakarta slums kid, open up in the comfort of taxis, exploring the complexity of social classes and human relationships in an economically divided Asia.

    TAXI STORIES will screen on Friday, August 4th at  9:30 pm at Asia Society

     

    THE VALLEY

    Successful Indian American entrepreneur, Neal Kumar, is the CEO of a technology company residing in Silicon Valley with his wife, Roopa, and two daughters, Monica and Maya. In the aftermath of Maya’s unexpected suicide, Neal finds himself on a frantic journey in discovering the reason behind her death.

     

    THE VALLEY will screen on Saturday, August 5 at 2:00 pm at Village East Cinema.

     

    TRIBUTE PROGRAMS

     

    Our tribute programs pay homage to two  important cross sections of Asian film history.

     

    THE CLASS OF ‘97

    1997 was a banner year, with four features making the rounds on the film-festival circuit—Michael Idemoto and Eric Nakamura’s SUNSETS, Chris Chan Lee’s YELLOW, Quentin Lee and Justin Lin’s SHOPPING FOR FANGS, and Rea Tajiri’s STRAWBERRY FIELDS. All four features have found their own way to theatrical distribution, and the four films, taken together, are emblematic of the state of Asian American cinema in the late Nineties. Each of these movies grapples with questions of Asian American identity in widely divergent ways, and the different paths they have taken to distribution reveals much about the way independent films are released in the U.S.

     

    • YELLOW will screen on Friday, August 4, 2017 at 9:30 pm at Asia Society
    • SUNSETS will screen on Friday, August 4, 2017 at 9:30 pm at Village East Cinema
    • STRAWBERRY FIELDS will screen on Saturday, August 5, 2017 at 2:00 pm at Asia Society
    • SHOPPING FOR FANGS will screen on Friday, August 4, 2017 at 6:30 pm at Asia Society

     

    HONG KONG CINEMA 20 YEARS

    By the end of the 1960s, Hong Kong’s film industry had become world renowned for the brashness of its action pictures, created with such exuberance and crafted precision. Right now, Hong Kong cinema remains an industrial complex which continues to make entertainment of many genres. AAIFF40 is proud to present a Hong Kong film, showing a multifarious story of many differing cultural and social impulses in history. Twenty years after the 1997 Handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to China, Hong Kong film is still inspirational in the collective memory of global audiences.

     

    • MADE IN HONG KONG will screen on Friday, July 28, 2017 at 8:00 pm at Asia Society

     

    SHORT FILM PROGRAMS

    Our eleven short film programs cover a range of voices from New York City, Japan, Chinatown, the Working World, our current government administration and equality in gender and love.

     

    THE 72 HOUR SHOOTOUT WORLD PREMIERE
    Presented by The Asian American Film Lab, The 72 Hour Shootout is an annual, high profile, worldwide filmmaking competition aiming to ensure that stories and voices that are too often silenced in mainstream media are heard, not just as whispers, but as shouts. Competitors have 72 hours after a theme is announced to write, film and edit a 5-minute short film. This year’s theme is: Welcome to the New Normal.

    THE 72 HOUR SHOOTOUT will be on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at 1:30 pm at Village East Cinema.

    CHANGING CHINATOWN

    Across the United States, Chinatowns have always been vibrant hubs of culture and community but often viewed through the lens of tourism. This program features honest stories from the folks who live there.

     

    • THE LAST TIP
    • FOREVER, CHINATOWN
    • FROM SPIKES TO SPINDLES

     

    CHANGING CHINATOWN Shorts will screen on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at 2:00 pm at Asia Society.

     

    FOR YOUTH BY YOUTH

    This program celebrates the newest generation of media makers under 21.

     

    • FENO
    • THE MASK
    • THE TENT VILLAGE
    • THE THREE TALES  OF  A COIN
    • #SKINOUTSPEAKOUT

     

    FOR YOUTH BY YOUTH Shorts will screen on Sunday, July 30, 2017 at 1:00 pm at Asia Society

     

    HOW WE WORK: CAREER CHOICES

    Representing the most grueling and harsh work Asians have to face and endure just to get by, the stories and lives in these films showcase the tenacity, hard-working mentality and perseverance, Asians show not just in the workplace, but in life as well.

     

    • FIVE PERCENT MAN
    • BEFORE CHRISTMAS
    • CLIFF, SUPERFAN
    • DAI’S GARDEN
    • SIREN SONG: WOMEN SINGERS OF PAKISTAN

     

    HOW WE WORK Shorts will screen on Friday, July 28, 2017 at 6:30 pm at Village East Cinema.

     

    JAPANESE NARRATIVES: NIHONGO STORIES OF JAPAN

    Featuring the very best of shorts submitted from Japan, from bone washing to two strangers falling in love after a suicide attempt to the adventures of four young school girls, this vivid collection provides a unique range of perspectives on a rich culture.

     

    • MY BIRD
    • SO WE PUT GOLDFISH
    • BORNE, BONE, BOOM
    • NO SONG TO SING

     

    JAPANESE NARRATIVES Shorts will screen on Friday, July 28, 2017 at 7:00 pm at Village East Cinema.

     

    LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE (LGBTQ)

    On May 24, 2017, Taiwan became the first Asian nation to legalize same-gender marriage, giving hope to LGBTQ Asians across the globe. Unfortunately, one ruling cannot erase the discrimination they face. In many Asian countries, being gay or transgender is still illegal, even punishable by death. The telling of the stories of LGBTQ Asians is more important than ever and the following films reflect the wide range of their experiences around the world.

     

    • BEST BUDS
    • PLEASE HOLD
    • COCOON
    • PRIA
    • CHAMPION
    • POSHIDA: HIDDEN LGBT PAKISTAN

     

    LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE Shorts will screen on Friday, August 4, 2017 at 6:30 pm at Village East Cinema.

     

    MADE IN NYC: LOVE LETTERS TO NEW YORK

    Highlighting the diverse aspirations, failures, and energy that exists in this city, these shorts provide a wide spectrum of realistic stories anyone can relate to, and for Asians, they surely hit close to home.

     

    • DISTANCE
    • DEADLY VIEW
    • I SEE YOU
    • THE PLEASURE OF BEING SERVED
    • FADE
    • FOR THE LOVE OF MANGOS
    • I DON’T MAKE THE RULES

     

    MADE IN NYC Shorts will screen on Thursday, July 27, 2017 at 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm at Asia Society

     

    MAD MAD WORLD

    With every good comes the bad. Welcome to the mad mad world. Creeping up from the world of the dark, feared, and sinful, this riveting short film program explores the innermost darkness of humanity, with the themes of loss, corruption, and death at the forefront.

     

    • THE SILENT MOB
    • TWENTY YEARS
    • KILLER SMILE
    • BUANG-BULAWAN (FOOL’S GOLD)
    • MANNERS OF DYING
    • CALAMITY
    • COWBOY AND INDIAN
    • TELL TALE
    • RULE OF THREES

     

    MAD MAD WORLD Shorts will screen on Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 9:15 pm at Village East Cinema.

     

    NEVERTHELESS, SHE PERSISTED: STORIES OF WOMEN

    Though society has progressed rapidly over the past few decades, gender inequality still persists throughout the world. Societal standards and discrimination manifest in everything from employment to wages to simple interpersonal relationships. Asian women in particular struggle with these issues, oftentimes finding their gender clashing with their cultural identity.

     

    • IRON HANDS
    • MANGO STICKY RICE
    • FLIP THE RECORD
    • RETOUCH
    • GOOD NIGHT BUTTERFLY
    • AKASHI
    • THE CARETAKER

     

    NEVERTHELESS, SHE PERSISTED Shorts will screen on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at 9:00 pm at Village East Cinema.

     

    STILL HERE, NOT GOING AWAY: PERSPECTIVES ON IDENTITY

    Ever since the 2017 election, the American media landscape has been flooded with stories sympathetic to supporters of the current administration. Absent from this narrative are the millions of people of color negatively affected by policies and agendas in the new political environment. The following films represent and showcase the unique presence and voices to be heard of the millions of Asian Americans in the Western World.

     

    • FAULT
    • F**KED UP
    • PARIS, NI HAO
    • CONNECTED
    • THE BEST AND THE LONELIEST DAYS
    • SEMIOTICS OF SAB
    • HI, I AM SAM

     

    STILL HERE, NOT GOING AWAY  Shorts will screen on Sunday, July 30, 2017 at 2:00 pm at Asia Society.

     

    WELCOME TO THE UNDERWORLD: PARANOIA

    We all have certain fears and paranoias, no matter how big or small, rooted from within or crafted by society. Welcome to this short film program underlining one of the most basic emotions that defines humanity.

     

    • GERMAPHOBIA
    • IGNORANCE IS BLISS
    • PUNJA
    • THE IDIOT
    • FRACTURED
    • INFIDEL
    • THE SERVANT

     

    WELCOME TO THE UNDERWORLD Shorts will screen on Sunday, July 30, 2017 at 4:15 pm at Village East Cinema.

     

    WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS

    “The world has kissed my soul with its pain, asking for its return in songs,” said Rabindranath Tagore in Stray Birds. The world is filled with accidents. Faced with trauma, different people make different choices. When life gives you lemons, you may have an opportunity to make them diamonds.

     

    • THE BIRD WHO COULD FLY
    • LIKE ANIMALS
    • PAIN IN SILENCE
    • MONDAY
    • UNDER ONE SMALL STAR
    • DOTS
    • DEATH IN A DAY

     

    WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS Shorts will screen on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at 7:00 pm at Village East Cinema.

     

    For a copy of the press kits please contact Jenny Park or Raissa Wu at press@asiancinevision.org

    For select production stills, please visit https://tinyurl.com/aaiff40stills

    AAIFF40 Venues:

    Asia Society: 725 Park Ave, New York, NY 10021

    Village East Cinema: 189 2nd Ave, New York NY 10003

     

    Festival Ticket Information

    For Opening, Centerpiece, and Closing Night Events, please check website for special ticket details. Tickets for general admission are $15.00. Tickets for seniors (65+), students and handicapped patrons (must present valid ID), ACV members and Community Partners are $11.00.

    Full schedule of events and ticket purchases are available on the AAIFF40 website: htttp://aaiff.org/2017.

    About Asian CineVision:

    Asian CineVision (ACV) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit media arts organization devoted to the development, exhibition, promotion, and preservation of Asian and Asian American film and video.

     

    About Asia Society

    Asia Society is the leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding of Asia in a global context and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders and institutions across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy. Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution with offices in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Washington, DC, and Zurich.

     

    Thank You

    The 40th Asian American International Film Festival is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on The Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State legislature, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Asia Society, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office–New York, Taipei Cultural Center in New York, Hotel 50 Bowery, Beam Suntory, Hiro Sake, AARP, SAG-AFTRA HomeAdvisor, VividSeats, and the Friends of ACV. Incubated at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP.

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