6TH ANNUAL SAN DIEGO ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL
APRIL 28 - MAY 5, 2016
A WEEK-LONG PRESENTATION OF ASIAN CINEMA www.pacarts.org
Welcome to spring showcase 2016
All screenings at UltraStar Mission Valley 7510 Hazard Center Dr. #100, San Diego, CA 92108
Thursday, April 28 7:00p The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble (USA)
Monday, May 2 5:25p Heart Attack (Thailand) 8:00p Three Stories of Love (Japan)
Friday, April 29 5:30p Born to Dance (New Zealand) 7:35p Honor Thy Father (Philippines)
Tuesday, May 3 5:10p 3688 (Singapore) 7:20p Right Then, Wrong Now (S. Korea) 9:45p Mystery Kung Fu Theater
Saturday, April 30 1:00p 3688 (Singapore) 3:15p Born to Dance (New Zealand) 5:25p The Lost Arcade (USA) 7:45p Heart Attack (Thailand)
THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS
The orchestra is tuned, the conductor’s baton is ready, and the audience is at attention. Pacific Arts Movement’s rite of spring commences…now! Cue the drama! Romance is stretched to its emotional limits in Japan’s acclaimed THREE SEASONS OF LOVE. A Ponzi scheme collapses in Erik Matti’s gripping HONOR THY FATHER. Now pluck those heart strings! An insomniac graphic designer falls in love with his dermatologist in HEART ATTACK. Dreams are tested in the rollicking BORN TO DANCE. Now a few solos from veterans and brilliant new voices. Déjà vu strikes again in Hong Sang-soo’s latest spin on awkward encounters, RIGHT THEN, WRONG NOW. Suppressed
visions from the Beijing Independent Film Festival see the light of day in the “China Now” series. And let music and film bring the world together! Yo-Yo Ma and friends riff on homeland in THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS. Classic pop songs bring warmth to family in Singapore’s 3688. For the sixth edition of the San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase, we celebrate the power of film to orchestrate our emotions and give us a rare moment to find harmony amongst strangers in the dark. So enjoy this eight-day program, our ode to the films and filmmakers that let us see and hear the world anew, and to our audiences, who inspire us year after year to ensure that Asian cinema has a home in San Diego.
San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase, April 28 - May 5, 2016, Issue No. 1.
Address: Pacific Arts Movement 2508 Historic Decatur Road #140 San Diego, CA 92106
(619) 400-5911 // email@example.com
Wednesday, May 4 5:00p Honor Thy Father (Philippines) 7:25p Right Then, Wrong Now (S. Korea)
Sunday, May 1 1:00p A Filmless Festival (China) 3:00p Animated Shorts Program (China) 5:10p Spark (China) 7:20p The River of Life (China)
Thursday, May 5 6:45p Sweet 20 (Vietnam) 7:30p Sweet 20 (Vietnam)
Tickets are now available at festival.sdaff.org and at the UltraStar Mission Valley box office starting April 22.
THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS
NON-OPENING NIGHT SCREENINGS
STUDENT/ SENIOR/ MILITARY
May 1 screening of A FILMLESS FESTIVAL is free
Exclusively available to Pac Arts Members. At only
for Pac Arts members.
$65, the All-Access Pass is the best deal, providing front-of-line access to all films. Contact victoria@ pacarts.org for more information.
opening night presentation THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS: YO-YO MA AND THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE
closing night presentation SWEET 20
Thurs, April 28, 7:00p
Thurs, May 5, 6:45p Thurs, May 5, 7:30p
Director: Morgan Neville
Director: Phan Gia Nhat Linh
USA | 95 min | 2015
Vietnam | 127 min | 2015
BECOMING A MUSICIAN was never the plan for the young Yo-Yo Ma. And surely becoming one of the world’s pre-eminent celebrities of classical music was even more unthinkable. And so it’s most poignant that Ma had such clarion purpose when it came to assembling the Silk Road Ensemble, a collective of musicians from countries along the fabled trade route. For Ma, no currency or commodity is as powerful as music, and no trader as attuned to cross-cultural exchange than instrumentalists like Iran’s Kayhan Kalhor, China’s Wu Man, or Spain’s Cristina Pato. For over a decade, the ensemble has traveled the world as a microcosm of the global but also as a bold, utopic grazing away of borders.
Directed by Oscar-winner Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet from Stardom), THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS glides and circles around the dizzying, tradition-defying virtuosos of the Silk Road Ensemble. Rich in history, politics, and of course wall-to-wall music, the documentary is an absolute dream. What better way to wander away from home only to find it again, than in the longing notes of the Kamancheh or the wayfaring drones of a Galician bagpipe? In zones of displacement, exile, and migration, THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS wondrously captures the ravishing ways unexpected connections sprout from unexpected harmonies. Underwritten by
SWEET 20 WAS FIRST known simply as the Vietnamese remake of the Korean film Miss Granny. But millions of fans and countless accolades later, it’s earned a spot of its own as a bona-fide sensation and the biggest hit of Vietnam in 2015. The story, also remade in China in 2015, has become the perfect fantasycomedy of contemporary Confucianism: a grandmother neglected by her family becomes magically reborn as her 20-year-old self and wins back the hearts of her bratty descendants, a senior center suitor, and indeed an entire nation. Beyond simply transplanting the story to Vietnam, director Phan Gia Nhat Linh gives it new soul, tapping emotionally into pre-1975
nostalgia for pop songs and a version of pre-socialist commercialism that seems unrecognizable today. Still, even as it nods to the past, SWEET 20 looks forward to the bubbly possibilities of Vietnamese pop cinema to come. The USC-trained Linh directs the film with a nice balance of hijinks and feeling, and with a keen sense of how international stories can find meaning locally. But of all, we should embrace ourselves for singer-turned-actress Miu Le in a tour-deforce physical performance, conveying granny sass through any number of squats and facial contortions.
Through styles as diverse as ink wash painting, Tibetan thangka, and 3D computer graphics, these six short animations breathtakingly imagine fablelike pasts and dystopian, surreal futures. PERFECT CONJUGAL BLISS Zhong Su, 5 min, 2014 DOUBLE ACT Ding Shiwei, 5 min, 2013
china now: independent visions
ANIMATED SHORTS PROGRAM Sun, May 1, 3:00p 95 min
FOR OVER A DECADE, the Beijing Independent Film Festival has been one of the leading platforms for independent and underground film artists in China. During that time, it’s also been blocked, challenged, and even outright cancelled by the government. In 2015, a collective called Cinema on the Edge decided to bring selections from the festival to New York City, and in 2016, they are bringing those films out to the world. The SDAFF Spring Showcase is their San Diego stop.
THE HUNTER AND THE SKELETON Bai Bin, 26 min, 2012 AN APPLE TREE Bai Bin, 11 min, 2013 THE NEW BOOK OF MOUNTAINS & SEAS PART 2 Qiu Anxiong, 30 min, 2012 FAMILY REUNION Chen Li-hua, 18 min, 2012
“China Now: Independent Visions” celebrates the daring spirit and creative innovation of independent filmmakers and festival organizers in mainland China. These films do various things: intensely engaged meta-journalism, alternative history-making, genre-defying performance/documentary art hybridization, and visually playful experimentalism. Independent Chinese filmmakers are inventing new ways of mobilizing, adapting, and innovating film language under pressure from the incredibly rapid and fundamental changes Chinese society is undergoing.
Program notes by Shelly Kraicer, co-organizer of Cinema on the Edge
Sun, May 1, 5:10p
SPARK was an underground magazine published in 1960 by four young intellectuals who wanted to expose the devastating famine caused by Mao’s Great Leap Forward, a horrendous period of national suffering that is still unmentioned in China’s history textbooks today. This is filmmaking as urgent historical investigation. His alternative oral history approach knits together courageous and frequently moving interviews with the magazine’s surviving supporters, who were ready to sacrifice themselves to alert their countrymen to unprecedented disaster.
Director: Hu Jie China | 101 min | 2014 This film documents the 11th Beijing Independent Film Festival in 2014, from the preparations before the opening ceremony to the process of its forced cancellation. The footage used for the film was captured by audience members, local artists, invited directors and special guests, festival volunteers and workers, as
Yang Pingdao is one of China’s most exciting emerging filmmakers. Using an innovative structure, based on the distinctive texture of family memory through space and time, Yang invents something poised delicately between fiction and documentary to capture crystallized moments in his family history,
well as journalists and members of the media. Screening free for Pac Arts members. A FILMLESS FESTIVAL Sun, May 1, 1:00p Editor: Wang Wo China | 80 min | 2015 6
THE RIVER OF LIFE
to recreate in cinematic form its emotional weight and variety, woven around the life and death of his grandmother, and the birth of his child. Opening film and prize winner of BIFF 2014.
Sun, May 1, 7:20p Director: Yang Pingdao China | 101 min | 2014 7
3668 Sat, April 30, 1:00p / Tues, May 3, 5:10p
38-year-old Xia Fei Fei is a parking lot attendant, lurking by cars and waiting to issue tickets. But the sudden arrival of an old stage partner and the opportunity afforded by a TV singing competition awaken Fei Fei’s long-buried pop star dreams. Playing both to kitsch and to an earnest belief that classic songs can bring generations together, 3688 concocts an effervescent musical playground with garish costumes, language jokes, and songs that best stir the heart when crackling out of an old radio or sung nostalgically by a loved one who knows no other way to express what she feels.
HONOR THY FATHER Fri, April 29, 7:35p / Wed, May 4, 5:00p
Director: Royston Tan
Director: Erik Matti
Singapore | 99 min | 2015
Philippines | 115 min | 2015
BORN TO DANCE Fri, April 29, 5:30p / Sat, April 30, 3:15p
Tu may have been born to dance, but tell that to his traditionalist dad or to the world-renowned K-Crew, whose members have their suspicions about this kid from the wrong side of the tracks. But nobody tells Tu to pop or pump to any beat other than his own heart’s, and nobody who witnesses his potential and his ethic will leave uninspired by the brilliance of his commitment. BORN TO DANCE tackles harsh truths about class and labor while dazzling with spectacular routines that shine a bright light on the New Zealand dance scene and some of its most dynamic Maori stars.
THE LOST ARCADE Sat, April 30, 5:25p
Director: Tammy Davis
Director: Kurt Vincent
New Zealand | 96 min | 2015
USA | 79 mins | 2015 A graphic designer zooms through his retouching
In the waning years of the video arcade boom, the Chinatown Fair was legion: the last place to check out the newest games, the surviving oasis of competition and community. But even the famed CF would succumb to the explosion of home consoles and PC gaming, and with its inevitable closure came the end of an era for a generation for whom CF was not just an amusement, but a home. Filmmakers Kurt Vincent and Irene Chin were there for the arcade’s final nights, but more importantly, for its aftermath, when a racial utopia gentrified into the unthinkable.
As in many a Hong Sang-soo film, a director meets a pretty young artist. There are drinks, unseemly interactions, and inevitably more drinks. But in its depiction, once again a marvel of cinematic structure, the narrative fissures into any number of other possibilities, revealing a comical game of
projects, compulsively searching for Wi-Fi everywhere he goes and tracking his success by the number of consecutive days he can stay awake while working. But when worrisome bumps start appearing on his neck, he realizes he needs more than Photoshop to remove the rash… he needs a dermatologist. And when the pathological workaholic falls in love with a doctor-in-training, awkward hilarity will ensue – as will a beautiful portrait of life as a freelancer who discovers that
RIGHT THEN, WRONG NOW
Sat, April 30, 7:45p / Mon, May 2, 5:25p
work should never be inversely proportional to love.
Tues, May 3, 7:20p / Wed, May 4, 7:25p
Director: Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit
Director: Hong Sang-soo
Thailand | 124 min | 2015
South Korea | 121 min | 2015
Edgar is a family man, living well off with his wife and daughter. But when a secret regarding their finances is exposed, their lives are put in jeopardy by the very friends they have come to trust. Edgar’s life starts to collapse around him as he struggles to secure the safety of his family and seek vengeance against his betrayers. With John Lloyd Cruz as Edgar and direction by Erik Matti (On the Job, SDAFF ‘13), HONOR THY FATHER features uncompromising grit and drama that surrounds every corner with claustrophobic tension.
what-ifs and switched perspectives as delirious and puzzling as the romantic encounter itself. Hong (The Day He Arrives, SDAFF ‘11) is a genius of dejavu, and with the splendidly-titled RIGHT THEN, WRONG NOW, drinks to all permutations of mistimed unruliness, questionable decisions, and hazy memories of men, women, and their collisions.
SPONSORS + SPECIAL THANKS The most acclaimed Japanese film of 2015 interweaves the aspirations of three characters as they undergo at different stages and in different orders introspective journeys of romantic hope, disappointment, and loss. A bridge-repairer quietly
THREE STORIES OF LOVE Mon, May 2, 8:00p Director: Ryosuke Hashiguchi
goes on with life after the senseless murder of his wife. A gay lawyer holds a secret love close to his heart. A housewife dreams of a life large enough to contain her sense of self-worth. Together, the quests depict love as lingering fevers resistant to diagnosis and immune to easy remedy. This is drama at its most adult: uncompromising, hardened, and immensely felt.
Japan | 140 min | 2015 AUDIENCE AWARD
SAVE THE DATE! NOV 3- 12, 2016 The 17th San Diego Asian Film Festival returns!
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6TH ANNUAL SAN DIEGO ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL
APRIL 28 - MAY 5, 2016 ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY HEART ATTACK
THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS
BORN TO DANCE
CONNECT WITH US! www.pacarts.org /SDAsianFilm @PacArtsMovement @PacArtsMovement
Published on Apr 11, 2016
A program booklet from the 6th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase (April 28 - May 5, 2016) at the UltraStar Mission Valley...