Minnesota Film Arts presents “The Asian Film Festival” that will run from November 3-13, 2010 at St. Anthony Main Theatre, SE 115 Main Street, Minneapolis, MN 55414. The festival offers more than 40 feature films, documentaries and shorts, including premiere screenings and visiting film directors, actors and panels on varied Asian and Asian-American perspectives. For complete listings and links visit www.mnfilmarts.org or www.stanthonymaintheatre.com.
The Things We Carry
Screenings on Nov 5, 7:00 pm and a free screening on Nov 9, 4:45 pm with producer Athena Lobit present. Tuesday, November 9 @ 4:45PM screening is FREE!
From American Director Ian McCrudden, this story centers on thrill-seeker Emmie (Alyssa Lobit) who returns to Los Angeles after backpacking through South East Asia for three years. She received a mysterious letter from Ricky, a companion of her recently-deceased drug-addicted mother, Sunny (Alexis Rhee). She’s looking for Ricky to retrieve what Sunny left for her and has a single clue in hand: The Best Motel, the dingy den in the San Fernando Valley that Sunny last called home. She and her sisters journey through their shared, tragic past, and find a future to find peace with themselves and their troubled mother.
Film in Contemporary Asia – Panel Discussion at Pracna
November 7, 3:00 – 4:30 pm – Free
205 E. Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis – 612-746-0306
Panelists, UofM Professor, Jason McGrath; UofM Asian Languages and Literatures Professor Christine Marran; and UofM Art Professor Tom Rose, will explore contemporary currents in Asian cinema including issues that may be culturally specific to one region or culture or common to all Asian cultures-a wonderful opportunity to survey the Asian cultural landscape seen through the lens of contemporary film
That Girl In Yellow Boots (OPENING NIGHT FILM)
Screening November 3, 7:00 pm
Director Anurag Kashyap will be present with this groundbreaking Indian film that tells the story of Ruth (Kalki Koechlin), a young woman from Brighton, England who travels to bustling Mumbai in search of her long lost Indian father. But Ruth’s search soon takes her down a dark path as she becomes entangled in the seedy underside of life in Mumbai. Nearly broke, and following a series of less than pleasant encounters with a host of unsavory characters, she is forced to work at a massage parlor. The unpredictable drama forces Ruth to confront the explosive truth about her father, the only man, she believes, truly loves her.
Screening November 13, 7:15 pm
Hong Kong directors Derek Kwok and Clement Cheng bring back the spirit of 70s Shah Brothers kung fu classics. Loser office boy, Cheung (Wong Yue-nam), is banished to one of Hong Kong’s rural backwaters to help greedy property developers kick a bunch of old timers out of a run down tea house. But this teahouse used to be a martial arts studio and its owners, Dragon (Chen Kuan-tai) and Tiger (Bruce Leung), are trying to keep the lights on until Master Law (Teddy Robin), wakes up from his 30-year coma and tells them what to do again.
ANPO: Art X War
Screening: Nov 7, 6:00 pm, Nov 11, 4:30 pm
(USA/Japan) From Director Linda Hoaglund, this documentary feature focuses on the United States and its military bases in Japan it has operated for the six decades since the end of the WWII. Their presence has rubbed salt into unhealed wounds from the war, a complex trauma explored in ANPO.
Breaking the Silence: Burma’s Resistance
Screening Nov 8, 6:00 pm, Nov 9, 7:00 pm,
Thailand/Canada/Burma – Directors Pierre Mignault and Hélène Magny secretly enter one of Burma’s most dangerous zones, penetrating to the very heart of the Karen Nation, where civil war has been waging for 60 years. Accompanied by an escort of Karen rebels, they penetrate the jungle in search of displaced people who have fled rape and assassination, and are hiding in the interior in order to resist forced relocation and slavery at the hands of the military regime.
Enemies of the People
Screening on Nov 11, 7:00 pm
UK/Cambodia – One Man’s Personal Journey Into the Heart of the Killing Fields, Directors Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath turn the camera onto Nuon Chea aka Brother Number Two, the highest ranking Khmer Rouge leader still alive today. The mystery of the Killing Fields is unveiled as the men and women. Lemkin will be present for a post film panel discussion.
I Wish I Knew
Screenings Nov 7, 1:00 pm, Nov 13, 2:00 pm
Director Jia Zhang Ke explores Shanghai’s tumultuous twentieth century, weaving individual memories into a melancholic tour of a city in the midst of great change. He blends documentary interviews with lush cinematography. Derelict factories are juxtaposed with the new buildings of the World’s Fair, revealing Shanghai’s shifting and paradoxical landscape of beauty and decay. A rhythmic and poetic soundtrack composed of street noise, water sounds and Lim Giong’s haunting music creates continuity between the interviews and an overarching narrative.
Red Chapel, The
Screenings on Nov 5, 5:00 pm and Nov 10, 7:15 pm
Danish Director Mads Brügger’s film about a cultural exchange group from Denmark, ‘The Red Chapel’, given permission to travel to North Korea as a small theater troupe. Two members were adopted from North Korea to Europe as infants and confront their biological roots, attempting to act and perform in a world where humor and humanity have very poor conditions.
A Brand New Life
Screening: Nov 5, 7:15 pm, Nov 11, 9:30 pm
S. Korea/France – Director Ounie Lecomte – Set in 1975, Jinhee is 9, and her father entrusts her to a convent of Catholic nuns that houses an orphanage for girls in the hope that she will be adopted. She cannot believe that this father whom she loves so much has abandoned her. She attempts to run away. In vain, she finally accepts her fate, forced to hope and wait for her possible adoption. Jinhee’s time at the orphanage will be one of multiple and permanent separations of barely forged bonds destined to be shattered. And, at the journey’s end, there will be the promise, perhaps of a new life, of a brand new life.
Between Two Worlds
Screenings: Nov 7, 4:00 pm, Nov 9, 9:15 pm
Sri Lankan Director Vimukthi Jayasundara Narrative feature returns to his homeland and its ferocious 26-year civil war between his Sinhalese majority and Tamil minority ethnic groups. In a narrative told through striking atmospheric images, a man washes up on shore and makes his way to a city beset by violence. Here he rescues a foreign woman, and together they literally head for the hills. But instead of providing refuge, the countryside slowly reveals hidden dangers.
City of Life and Death
Nov 6, 1:30 pm, and Nov 9, 6:45 pm
Director Chuan Lu returns to 1937 China, where charismatic Chinese General Lu leads his men in defense of their capital, street by street. The International safety zone of Nanjing is operated by remaining foreigners as a refugee camp. As hell is slowly taking over survivors find death is easier than life.
Clash (Bay Rong)
Screening Nov 8, 9:20 pm, Nov 10, 9:15 pm
Director Le Thanh Son’s fast-paced martial arts crime thriller centers on Trinh who must pull off one final heist in order to earn back her kidnapped daughter from crime lord Hac Long (Hoang Phuc). A sexy and stylish action film that features an ensemble cast anchored by martial arts superstar Johnny Nguyen, who also penned the screenplay.
Screening Nov 5, 9:30 pm, and Nov 11, 9:40 pm
Director Ning Hao tells the story of Geng Hao (Huang Bo), a dim but well-meaning champion cyclist, who became the pitchman for a shady masculinity tonic and was promptly stripped of his medals and banned from professional racing when scandal erupted. Three years later, reduced to a life of anonymous disgrace as a delivery boy, Geng Hao spots the Superman-obsessed shyster who ruined him and vows vengeance, but a series of insane contrivances and mishaps, including multiple mistaken identities.
Screenings on Nov 4, 2010, 9:00 pm, and November 11, 4:15 pm. The Nov 11 screening is free.
A modern interpretation of the classic novel “Devdas” by Sarat Chandra, director Anurag Kashyap makes a film for the new urban India, reflecting the sensibilities, conflicts, aggression, independence, free thought, exuberance, and recklessness of the youth today. From sprawling mustard fields to a riot of neon, from Punjabi ballads to mayhem in rock, Dev. D is set in the rustic and colorful Punjab and also explores the dingy, morbid, dark underbelly of Delhi.
Screenings on Nov 8, 7:00 pm and Nov 12, 2:00 pm. The Nov 12 screening is free.
Director Girish Kasaravalli’s social comedy-drama, about a childless, defiant Muslim midwife abandoned by her husband, who frequents the cinema and inherits a television and begins to learn about global politics in her rural fishing village in coastal Karnataka.
Ip Man 2: The Legend of Grandmaster
Screening Nov 12, 9:45 pm
Hong Kong Director Wilson Yip’s uncut story of international martial arts megastar Donnie Yen portraying Grandmaster Ip Man, the real-life master of Bruce Lee. Ip is a newcomer to Hong Kong who simply wants to teach Wing Chun, but a corrupt local (Sammo Hung) and the ruling Brits have other ideas. A companion piece to the film IP MAN.
Legend of Chao Fa, The (Vaj Tuan Thawj)
Screenings Nov 6, 7:00 pm, Nov 12, 7:15 pm
Director Jammy Vanglee presents a Hmong American film produced in the US, Thailand and Laos. An action saga about the legendary freedom fighter Vaj Tuam Thawj (Rebirth of the King) and his struggle to save his father and country from the communists. Director Jammy Vanglee and actors Ms. Bunrat Sae Yang and Mr. Tong Sae Yang to attend.
A free screening on Nov 5, 5:15 pm, followed by regular shows Nov 6, 9:35 pm, Nov 8, 5:00 pm.
Inspired by the 1958 Roman Polanski short film, Two Men and a Wardrobe, Director Wi Ding Ho created this version following the adventures of Manuel (Epy Quizon) and Dado (Bayani Agbayani), two Filipino workers in a Chinese bicycle factory. The two spot an abandoned bright red couch on the sidewalk by the factory. Their journey carrying the couch takes them throughout the city into the remote urban landscape, and find joy and meaning within discrimination, hardships and injustices.
Screenings on Nov 6, 4:10 pm and Nov 12, 7:00 pm
South Korean Director Chang-dong Lee, brings veteran actor Yun Jung-hee as Mija, a beautiful woman in her sixties whose world is turned upside down by her grandson’s implication in a monstrous crime. Her unique and touching poetry allows her to defy the weight of shame and distance herself from a painful proximity to violence.
Screenings on Nov 7, 9:30 pm, and Nov 11, 7:15 pm
South Korean Director Park Dae-min’s story of Kwang-su (Ryu Deok-hwan), a medical student who finds a body in a field and brings it home to practice his surgical skills. The body turns out to be the missing son of a prominent official, he enlists private eye Jin-ho (Hwang Jeong-min), to find the killer before he is accused.
Screening on Nov 6, 9:30 pm
Japanese Director Takeshi Koike’s anime feature about futuristic racer JP qualifies for a special race called Redline. When the government of Roboworld threatens any participant with death, JP feels a responsibility to his fans, and participates despite the danger.
Screenings Nov 6, 4:00 pm and Nov 10, 9:00 pm
Japanese Director Yûya Ishii’s story of Sawako (Mitsushima Hikari) who leaves a humiliating Tokyo job and returns to her rural hometown where her father is ill and losing his freshwater clam business. She despairs as the elderly female workforce resents her, and a hopeless boyfriend tracks her down. But her life is about the change.
Screening on Nov 13, 4:30 pm
Japanese Director Mamoru Hosoda’s anime story of Kenji, a teen misfit who is good at math, bad with girls, and hangs out in online community known as OZ. His cyber life is all he has until the girl of his dreams, Natsuki, hijacks him for a starring role as a fake fiancé at her family reunion. They wind up in an extraordinary mission to avert an impending cyber apocalypse.
Screenings on Nov 9, 9:00 pm, Nov 12, 4:30 pm
In her final film, the late Malaysian Director Yasmin Ahmad interweaves music and dialogue with humor and grace, as well as a touch of Yasujiro Ozu. This is the story of three high school students gearing up for a talent competition. Melur is a well-to-do English/Malaysian girl with a sweet voice. Mahesh is a handsome and deaf Indian student who chauffeurs her to rehearsals. Hafiz is a guitar-strumming Malay student who dutifully tends to his dying mother while loving Melur from afar. The upcoming competition unravels their emotions.
Come Together Home
Screening Nov 4, 4:15 pm, Nov 8, 8:00 pm
USA/Hong Kong – Director Ivy Lin discovers the remains of early Chinese immigrants at the Block 14 in Lone Fir Cemetery, the first Chinese burial ground in Portland and the site approximately 1,500 burials. Lin tells the extraordinary final journey of one couple’s
Remains that were exhumed and shipped back to China in 1928 and 1949. Sixty years later, Lin follows captures the conclusion as a missing 1949 shipment makes its way from Portland to Hong Kong.
Screening Nov 4, 7:00 pm
Twin Cities Directors Mark Tang and Lu Lippold will be present for the screening of their documentary centering on the social impact of the 2005 Chai Vang murder trial. A Hmong immigrant is convicted of killing six white hunters in a violent confrontation during deer hunting season in northwestern Wisconsin. Was it a racial incident? Was it the random act of a madman? Part courtroom drama, part intimate portrait, this hour-long documentary looks at the root causes and the reverberating impacts of this tragedy, seeking to bring understanding to the racial, cultural, and economic tensions in America’s heartland.
The Mikado Project
Screenings Nov 5, 2:30 pm, Nov 7, 8:30 pm, and a free show on Nov 9, 5:00 pm.
Director Chil Kong’s film follows a struggling theater company that decides in desperation after its lead actors quits, to stage the controversial Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta, The Mikado. The Asian American theater company know for its “protest theater” must find a way around the obvious conflicts of the production that has long been the bastion of Caucasian theater ignorant of history in stereotyping Asians and as a commentary on Victorian values.
The People I’ve Slept With
A free screenings on Nov 5, 9:15 pm, Nov 10, 5:00 pm.
Director Quentin Lee’s sex comedy about a promiscuous woman who finds herself with an unplanned pregnancy. Her gay best friend, Gabriel Lugo (Wilson Cruz), tells her to “take care of it,” but her conservative sister, Juliet (Lynn Chen), persuades Angela to get married to the baby’s father and lead a “normal” life. Angela listens to her sister, chooses to keep the baby, and goes on a quest to find the identity of the father by any means necessary. She revisits her recent sexual conquests with creative ways to obtain each of their DNA samples in the hope of identifying the dad and ultimately marrying him.
Screenings on Nov 7, 3:45 pm and a free screening on Nov 10, 5:15 pm
Director Leena Pendharkar’s coming-of-age story about the delicate nature of family relationships and the complex web of emotions that tie us together. At the center is Monica Shah, a thoughtful and determined young girl with confidence that her science fair experience will save her parents crumbling relationship. She asks: Can you nurture love, or is it inherently only a natural phenomenon? Monica Shah grapples with this question throughout the film, ultimately finding that the answer isn’t so simple.
Asian American Shorts Program
Screening Nov.10, 7:00 pm
A Song For Ourselves
Third installment of fourth-generation Japanese American filmmaker Tadashi Nakamura’s trilogy on the Asian American Movement following the live and legacy of Asian American activist and musician Chris Iijima.
La Petite Salon
Vietnamese American filmmaker Caroline Le’s film based on Huong Nguyen’s short story “At Ma’s Salon”, taking a candid, funny, and heartfelt look into the lives of Vietnamese American women and the families that surround them.
Interpretations: Blowout Sale, Rumble, Good Shot
Directors Danny Pudi, David Chan, Ken Leung bring three commissioned shorts to embody the origins of a filmmaking contest where different actors and filmmakers interpret the same roles, stories.
Canadian Director Faisal Lutchmedial creates a dreamily crafted journey of forgiveness, enlightenment, and self-discovery in telling the story of Shashin, a young second generation immigrant struggling to find his identity following the loss of his parents.
Works of Art
Twin Cities Director Andrew Pang brings his romantic comedy written and starring Twin Cities native Paul Juhn.