A raft of films from the world’s largest continent, burgeoning and booming, mysterious and intriguing, comes under a special lens in a far-reaching “Asian Film Festival” that runs Wednesday, Nov. 3rd through Nov. 13th at St. Anthony Main Theatre. Under the heading “In Search of Asia,” and sponsored by Minnesota Film Arts (the old Oak St. and University Film Society standbys), the festival will look at films from the somewhat different perspectives of Asian-Americans in addition to looking at the varied Asian lives reflected on today’s screens.
Some 30 recent feature films and short films are on tap, with a number of premiere screenings, visiting film directors, actors and panels devoted to hot-button Asian and Asian- American concerns.
Included in the fest will be a world premiere of a Hmong film, “The Legend of Chao Fa.” Shot in the jungles of Thailand by the world’s leading Hmong film team, now based in St. Paul, Minnesota, the stars of this film have been invited to make appearances at the festival this fall.
Also scheduled are contemporary (non-Bollywood) films on “the New India.” Presented in Hindi, Bengali and other national languages, the schedule includes animation from Japan and Korea, and films with a human rights and political edges from Burma, Cambodia, North Korea and Tibet. Also included and under confirmation are prize-winning festival films from The Philippines, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam, and a sidebar series from Taiwan.
Curatorial segments will include the Asian-American experience, with four feature films, several programs of shorts, and a selection from India. Minnesota Film Arts, under a Legacy grant as the sponsor, is partnering with local Asian and Asian-American groups, the Council on Asian-Pacific Relations, Asian-American Access Center, and University of Minnesota departments to present this omnibus festival. (Minnesota Film Arts sponsors the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival, its 29th year set for April 2011, again at St. Anthony Main Theaters).
“With more than 40 countries comprising the complex Asian continent, the grant aims to fill a broad coverage for an “underserved” population here that makes up an important part of our global community,” according to MFA artistic director Al Milgrom.
Films will be in original languages, where relevant, with English subtitles. Main screenings will be at St. Anthony Main Theaters. As confirmed titles become available, titles, dates, ticket prices, synopses, sponsorship opportunities and other festival details can be found on the MFA website: www.mnfilmarts.org.