The Asian Film Festival of Dallas celebrates its 14th year with returning presenting sponsor Well Go USA Entertainment, from Thursday, July 16 through Thursday, July 23, 2015.
This festival year boasts its first 3D feature film and first film from Cambodia. Film fans can also expect films from the U.S., Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Vietnam and from all genres: action, anime, comedy, crime drama, documentary, drama, martial arts, psycho drama, thriller and romantic comedy.
AFFD in numbers
- 33 feature film screenings. 5 shorts blocks, including local students’ shorts. 11 countries represented.
- 1 World premiere. 3 International premieres. 2 U.S. premieres. 4 Southwest premieres.
- 9 confirmed filmmakers in attendance.
AFFD organizers are excited about adding its first 3D and film from Cambodia, showcasing more diverse Asian films and announcing its first six of many diverse Asian and Asian-American films on the schedule:
SEOUL SEARCHING (OPENING NIGHT FILM)
2014/ 110min/ color/ DCP
Director: Benson Lee
Country: USA/South Korea
**Director Benson Lee and actor Esteban Anh will be in attendance.**
"Seoul Searching" is a '80s romantic teen comedy about a group of diverse Korean high schoolers from around the globe, coming together in 1986 to experience the most important summer of their lives. They meet at a special camp in Seoul where they were sent by their parents to learn what it means to be Korean – a side to them they know little about. The story focuses on three boys from the U.S., Mexico and Germany and the three girls they meet who change their lives forever.
THE LEGEND OF QIN (3D film)
Language/subtitles: Mandarin w/English Subtitles
2014/ 90min/ color/ DCP 3D
Director: Robin Shen
Premiere Status: North America
THE LEGEND OF QIN tells the story of the rise and fall of the Qin Dynasty, the first Dynasty of China (221-206 B.C.). During this period, six kingdoms were conquered byQin in a ruthless takeover with the new emperor forcing his subjects to follow his will and laws. The story centers around a young man, Jing Tianming, who grows from a weakling into a great hero who challenges the Qin empire and changes the course of history.
As the story progresses, fantasy, steampunk and history intertwine to tell this truly unique tale of courage during uncertain times. Tianming faces treacherous enemies, hope and loss, and the challenges of adjusting to a changing world. Eventually, a new era will be created out of their struggles for a better world.
WILD CITY (Bou Chau Mai Sing) aka Hustle (CENTERPIECE FILM)
Language/subtitles: Cantonese w/English Subtitles
2015/ color/ DCP
Director: Ringo Lam
Country: Hong Kong
Premiere Status: International
The long-awaited feature in seven years, writer-director Ringo LAM sets his sights once again on Hong Kong’s seedy underbelly. In the spirit of City on Fire and Full Alert, Lam’s latest Canto-noir finds unsuspecting bystanders caught in a tangled web of and greed and betrayal, their growing anxieties punctuated with sudden bursts of violence.
When former cop-turned-bar owner T-man Kwok (Louis KOO) befriends a drunken woman at closing hours (TONG Liya), they soon find themselves targeted both by her former lover—a high-powered Hong Kong attorney—and the thugs (CHANG Hsiao-Chuan) he employs. Once Kwok’s underachieving half-brother (Shawn YUE) and a suitcase full of tainted cash enter the picture, the chase turns deadly, with the brothers’ tense family history coming to the surface as Kwok finds himself torn between the triads and his former police colleagues.
SHIREN AND RAGI (same people who brought us last year's Seven Souls in the Skull Castle)
Language/subtitles: Japanese w/English Subtitles
2014/ 117min/ color/ Blu-Ray
Director: Hidenori Inoue
Premiere Status: Southwest
Two souls were drawn to each other without any possible escape from their doomed fates. It was in an era when the country was divided in the north and the south. A legendary woman "Shiren"(Hiromi NAGASAKU) who was born to a family of assassins. A young sword fighter "Ragi"(Tatsuya FUJIWARA) who looked up to Shiren with admiration. News was brought to the north that said the King of the South "Godai"(Katsumi TAKAHASHI) has revived who once was assassinated by Shiren. Shiren was once again ordered by "kyougoku"(Arata FURUTA), a high-ranking vassal of the North, to assassinate Godai. Shiren was upset about Godai being still alive whom she believed she had killed. Ragi who sensed Shiren's distress volunteered to accompany her on the mission. Shiren's cold heart started to melt by seeing Ragi's determination to be there for and support her. Finally the moment to attack Godai comes. It was the moment when an astonishing truth was revealed to the two who had shared their love by that time.
Language/subtitles: Korean/English Subtitles
2015/ 115min/ color/ BluRay
Director: Lee Min-woo-II
Country: South Korea
Premiere Status: World Premiere
As the president emphasized the importance of unification in her speech and the successful recommencement of separated families after three years, unification has become a hot issue. The unfortunate truth is that the younger generations are occupied with college entrance exams and employment. Unification is of no interest to them or at most a bothersome task that has to be carried out sooner or later. This drama is about the friendship and the flowering of a North Korean defector and a star ballerino. Through the story of two young men as they become true dancers, the program hopes to make viewers think about the issue of reunification of the two Koreas which will soon become a reality.
THE LAST REEL (first Cambodian film)
2014/ 105min/ color/
Director: Sotho Kulikar
Premiere Status: Premiered at Tokyo International Film Festival – World Premiere, Japan, 2014
Sophoun, the rebellious daughter of a hard-line army colonel, lives her life for the moment, hanging out with a local gang. But when her father returns home with another arranged marriage proposal, Sophoun flees her imploding home and seeks refuge in a derelict cinema. There, she is shocked to discover an incomplete 1970s melodrama from pre-Khmer Rouge times, a film which starred her now desperately ill mother as a glamorous young woman.
A story from a different world, a different time. With the help of the cinema’s elderly projectionist, Sophoun re-makes the missing last reel of the film, reprising her mother’s role. By premiering the completed film forty years later, she hopes to remind her mother of a life she’d once lived and to mend the psychological scars that still haunt her. The old film, however, poses more questions than it answers. The promise of the Cambodian film industry and its newest star was cut short in 1975 by the brutal Khmer Rouge regime which specifically targeted actors and filmmakers as enemies of the people. Remaking the last reel offers Sophoun an opportunity to dictate her own destiny but at the cost of uncovering some painful truths about her family and their past.
2015/ 72min/ color/ Blu-ray
Director: Nelson Kim
Premiere Status: Southwest
A shy young Korean American law student, hungry for a more vivid, risk-taking existence, visits his playboy cousin in NYC. Seeking to emulate his cousin, the law student sheds his old identity and journeys into the dark side of his own nature.
A GIRL AT MY DOOR (CLOSING NIGHT FILM)
Language/subtitles: Korean w/English
2014/ 119min/ color/ DCP
Director: July Jung
Country: South Korea
Premiere Status: Dallas
After graduating from the police academy, Young-nam rose to the upper ranks in Seoul, but censure for misconduct gets her transferred to a small seaside town. On her first day a small precinct's chief, she keeps bumping into the odd, strangely dressed teenager Dohee. Overly conscious of others, easily intimidated and regularly bullied by other kids, Dohee spends her time alone roaming dark alleys. All of this is just part of her daily existence.
When Young-nam catches Dohee's stepfather Yong-ha beating her, she intervenes. This is the first time Dohee experiences someone defending her, and she becomes devoted to Young-nam. Despite the regular abuse at home and her mother's abandonment, Dohee retains a childlike innocence that touches Young-nam, and they become friends.
But then, a family tragedy occurs that makes Yong-ha even more violent. Young-nam invites Dohee to stay in her home to protect her, but things become increasingly more complex over time.
Parties and Events
- VIP Reception: Invitation-only
- Opening Night Party: Thursday, July 16, 8 pm to 11 pm at The Gatsby
- Filmmakers Reception: TBA
- AFFD Panel: “Tips & Tricks – How to make a film on a budget.” Tuesday, July 21, 7 pm to 9 pm TBA
- Closing Night Party: Thursday, July 23, 9 pm to 12 am at The Gatsby
More titles and full schedule of Q&As, parties, events and details will follow in the coming weeks. Visit www.asianfilmdallas.com.