Friday, April 6, 2012
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 2012...heartthrob Daniel Henney stars in "Shanghai Calling" on "Opening Gala" night!
Officials at The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival have announced their line-up of outstanding movies for the upcoming 28th edition of their much-anticipated culturally-diverse annual event.
The festival has been bumped back to May10th this year and runs through May 20th at three popular venues which include the Director's Guild of America (DGA), CGV Cinemas (Koreatown), and the Art Theatre in Long Beach.
The Festival is honored to partner with the Directors Guild of America as the main screening venue during the Festival’s weekend kick-off. This state of the art theater is where the Festival will screen its opening night film - in addition to - its "Centerpiece" presentations.
The LAAPFF runs in tandem with the Asian Pacific Heritage Month celebrations, which spotlight a slate of 188 films this year, which were fathomed up by a bevy of talented insightful "Asian Pacific American" and "Asian International" directors from over 20 countries.
This year, 46 feature films and 142 shorts will be showcased throughout the high-profile prestigious 10-day fest.
The Los Angeles premiere of "SHANGHAI CALLING" (directed by Daniel Hsia) is expected to garner a lot of buzz and - ultimately - sell-out.
The flick - a romantic comedy - stars international heartthrob Daniel Henney (who appeared in X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE; THREE RIVERS).
Hsia is a 2003 alumnus of Visual Communications.
This is Hsia’s feature-length directorial debut and stars Eliza Coupe (HAPPY ENDINGS) and Bill Paxton (BIG LOVE, HAYWIRE).
The main plot puts the searing spotlight on modern-day immigrants living in an unfamiliar land.
At press time, it was announced that the filmmaker, cast, and crew were slated to attend the screening.
“We are excited to present Hsia’s film on our opening night, beamed David Magdael, the Festival's Co-Producer.
“As one of one of our talented alums, we are proud to watch him grow as a filmmaker.”
"SUNSET STORIES" (directed by Silas Howard and Ernesto M. Foronda) will be the festival’s "Centerpiece" presentation.
The project is Foronda's first attempt at directing a full-length feature.
"SUNSET STORIES" stars Sung Kang (FAST FIVE; NINJA ASSASSIN) and Monique Curnen (CONTAGION; THE DARK KNIGHT) and is a fast-paced ride which - according to the producers - spins a uniquely L.A. story of about love and control.
The festival’s International "Centerpiece" is the Sundance Festival award-winning film - "VALLEY OF SAINTS" - which was directed by Musa Syeed and produced by Nicholas Bruckman.
The film is an India/USA production which is set in exotic Kashmir.
A drama unfolds when a young tourist boatman and his best friend try to escape from provincial life in their humble lake village.
"VALLEY OF SAINTS" won two major awards at Sundance: the "World Cinema Grand Prize" and the "Alfred P. Sloan Award".
The Saturday Night Gala slot, which always screens a crowd-pleasing film every year without fail, will be filled by a wild sex comedy "YES, WE’RE OPEN".
A Bay area screenwriter - H.P. Mendoza (and director Richard Wong) - helmed this entertaining fun project.
According to the press release, "YES" is a contemporary spin on a classic predicament which takes an intimate look at liberal San Francisco lifestyles over dinner and drinks (with a side of infidelity).
Award-winning director Tsao Jui-Yuan’s "JOYFUL REUNION" will also screen as the festival's closing night presentation.
The off-beat flick is a follow up to Ang Lee’s "EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN, JOYFUL REUNION" and promises to introduce filmgoers to familial bonds that surround a vegetarian restaurant.
Essentially, it is being billed as a "foodie film", which puts an insightful spotlight on relationships, and family ties (and also showcases Taiwanese and Chinese regional cuisines that will leave your mouth watering).
“We are honored to present these award-winning and culturally-diverse films that represent the broad global spectrum of Asian American cinema,” underscored Anderson Le, the Festival's Artistic Director.
“In a banner year for Asian American and Asian cinema, these gala presentations present strong voices, global settings and stories with universal appeal.”
By the way, this year - for the first time - the LAAPFF expands to the Long Beach arena during the closing weekend, where Film Festival award-winners and a showcase of Pacific Islander works will be presented at the historic Art Theater of Long Beach.
Two outstanding films to be screened include the Venice and Sundance Festival favorite "THE ORATOR (O le Tulafele)" directed by Tusi Tamasese - and - SIONE’S 2: UNFINISHED BUSINESS (a sequel to SAMOAN WEDDING) directed by Simon Bennet.
Other highlights include the Hawaiian documentary "PAPA MAU: THE WAY FINDER" directed by Na’alehu Anthony; the Eco-awareness" documentary "THERE ONCE WAS AN ISLAND" (Te Henua e Nnoho) directed by Briar March; the Cambodian American feature "TWO SHADOWS" directed by Greg Cahill; Festival favorite "GOLDEN SLUMBERS" directed by Cambodian French director Davy Chou (about the golden and lost era of Cambodian cinema which was eventually destroyed by the Khmer Rouge regime).
“As Southern California’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, we see the Festival’s expansion to Long Beach as a great opportunity to reach new audiences,” added Shinae Yoon, the Festival's Executive Producer.
“This is part of a bigger picture to expand Visual Communications’ footprint into the South Bay, and eventually, Orange County.”
Through the LAAPFF, Visual Communicatgions (VC) also launches two major programs that will expand the organization’s artist services in a major way.
The C3 Project Market (a first-of-its-kind program) is a unique opportunity for filmmakers of Asian descent to showcase their narrative features and projects to Financiers, Producers, Production Companies, Agents, Managers and Industry Executives.
"The project will enable them to share contacts, information - and thus - gain the confidence they need to make their film," one organizer emphasized at press time.
Winners will snap up a cash prize of $5000 for the best project pitched during the course of the festival.
In addition, the VC Film Development Fund (underwritten by Comcast) has been created to nurture established filmmakers and potential film project.
The Fund is a multi-year program (where VC will act as Executive Producers) whose sole purpose is to develop narrative feature-length projects (as provide financing up to $100,000.00 as well).
The six filmmakers chosen for the Fund award will be announced at the "Opening Night" ceremonies at the DGA.
“The C3 Project Market and the VC Film Development Fund continues Visual Communications’ mission to nurture and incubate filmmakers from our community,” notede ShinaeYoo with pride.
“We’re delighted to launch these new and sustainable initiatives for emerging and established filmmakers and providing opportunities to cultivate and grow Asian American cinema.”
The 2012 documentary competition line-up includes:
CHINA HEAVYWEIGHT - Yung Chang
GIVE UP TOMORROW – Michael Collins
MR. CAO GOES TO WASHINGTON – S. Leo Chiang
RESTORING THE LIGHT – Carol Liu
SEEKING ASIAN FEMALE – Debbie Lum
UPLOADED: THE ASIAN AMERICAN MOVEMENT – Kane Diep
WHERE HEAVEN MEETS HELL – Sasha Friedlander
The Narrative Competition includes:
THE CRUMBLES - Akira Boch
HANG LOOSE – Ryan Kawamoto
I AM A GHOST – H.P. Mendoza
KNOTS – Michael Kang
MODEL MINORITY – Lily Mariye
PARADISE BROKEN – James Sereno
SALAD DAYS – Hiram Chan
SHANGHAI CALLING – Daniel Hsia
SUNSET STORIES – Ernesto M. Foronda, Silas Howard
SURROGATE VALENTINE 2: DAYLIGHT SAVINGS – David Boyle
TWO SHADOWS – Greg Cahill
VALLEY OF SAINTS – Musa Syeed
VIETTE – Mye Hoang
YES, WE’RE OPEN – Richard Wong
For program information, a complete list of sponsors & partners and to purchase tickets:
Tickets go on sale on April 13th!
See 'ya there!