SEE NO LIMITS

November 6-15, 2014
© 2013 Wells Fargo Bank, N. A. All rights reserved. (1214903_13200)
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For avid moviegoers, a film festival is a
momentous event. For filmmakers, it is a
venue for captivating viewers with their
creative vision.
We applaud the 15th Annual San Diego
Asian Film Festival and the films that
capture our imagination.
wellsfargo.com
Filmmakers bring creativity to life
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LETTER FROM
EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR
Welcome to the San Diego Asian Film Festival!
As we mark our 15th season of programming,
I’ve been reflecting on what it means to turn 15.
I remember being curious – eager to discover
new experiences, rebellious – wanting to create
my own rules, fearless – believing, like the show
Fame, that “I’m gonna live forever,” and trendy
– it was the 80s after all, a mix tape of sun-
inned permed hair, massive earrings, spandex,
shoulder pads, and the heavy scent of Drakkar
Noir and Giorgio. Cue OMD and Chaka Khan.
Now in our Festival’s 15th year, our teen spirit is
alive and kickin’ through an ambitious program
of more than 140 films from 21 countries spread
over 10 days and 9 locations throughout San
Diego. We’ve added a day dedicated to dance
(MOVEfest, pg. 13), made UCSD our second
homebase, films in Gaslamp, La Jolla, and
Encinitas, and we’re bringing our Centerpiece
event back to where we first started - the
University of San Diego’s Shiley Theatre (FRESH
OFF THE BOAT, pg. 42).
It’s no exaggeration to say it’s taken thousands
of people to get to where we are today. Over
the years, staff, board, volunteers, members,
donors, sponsors, artists, educators, activists,
advisors, fellow festival organizers, and
cinephiles have all contributed to what SDAFF
and Pac-Arts have become and where we are
heading in the next 15 years.
With that much love and support, I See No
Limits. We hope you do too.
Enjoy the Festival!
Sincerely,
LEE ANN KIM
Founder & Executive Director
Read highlights of SDAFF’s 15 years
at www.pacarts.org/history
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TABLE Of CONTENTS
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About Pac-Arts ............................................................................................8
Schedule...................................................................................................... 10
Ticketing ...................................................................................................... 14
Venues .......................................................................................................... 16
Sponsors ...................................................................................................... 18
Letter from Artistic Director ............................................................. 23
Board of Directors .................................................................................. 24
Letter from Chairman .......................................................................... 25
Membership ..............................................................................................30
George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker ............................................. 36
Festival Jury ............................................................................................. 37
FILM PROGRAMS
Special Presentations .......................................................................... 39
Asian American Panorama ................................................................ 53
Asia Pop! ...................................................................................................... 81
Masters ........................................................................................................101
Discoveries ................................................................................................ 113
Remembering Queer Korea............................................................. 127
The Team...................................................................................................158
Special Thanks ...................................................................................... 160
Index & Print Source ............................................................................162
SPECIAL
PRESENTATIONS
ASIAN AMERICAN
PANORAMA
ASIA POP!
MASTERS
DISCOVERIES
REMEMBERING
QUEER KOREA
pg. 39 pg. 53 pg. 81 pg. 101 pg. 113 pg. 127
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ABOUT PACIFIC ARTS MOVEMENT
Moving Pictures, Moving Minds
Pacific Arts Movement is one of the largest non-profit media arts organizations in North America that focuses on Asian American and Asian
international cinema. Pac-Arts seeks to inspire, entertain, and support a more compassionate society through Pan Asian film
The purpose of our MOVEMENT is to transform hearts and minds; inspire innovators; and make visible new stories and traditions. We are
committed to helping our community transcend borders and elevate conversations about the world we live in.
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As a 501 (c)(3), we rely on memberships, donations, ticket sales, grants, and sponsorships to produce our mission-based programs.
We welcome you to JOIN THE MOVEMENT in a way that’s meaningful to you!
www.pac-arts.org info@pac-arts.org
619-400-5911 C/SDAsianFilm M@PacArtsMovement #15SDAFF
While best known for our San Diego Asian Film Festival, our year-round programs also include:
EDUCATION
From our award-winning high school
documentary program Reel Voices, to
Youth Day, bringing artists to schools,
and internships, Pac-Arts is dedicated
to nurturing a new generation of
creative leaders
Through our San Diego Asian Film
Festival, Spring Showcase, Spotlight
Screenings, Outdoor Screenings, and
Film Forums, we share powerful stories
with audiences year-round.
Through our membership program,
community members become
stakeholders of the organization
and contribute to the impact
of our mission.
MEMBERSHIP SCREENINGS
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SCHEDULE
THURSDAY, NOV. 6 FRIDAY, NOV. 7 SATURDAY, NOV. 8
7:00PM REVENGE OF THE GREEN DRAGONS
(94 mins) pg. 40
4:00PM SHORTS: CHILD STHR (99 mins) pg. 72 11:00AM SHORTS FOR SHORTIES (46 mins) pg. 73
6:20PM THE VANCOUVER ASAHI (130 mins) pg. 111 12:40PM HELLO! JUNICHI (90 mins) pg. 89
6:35PM EAT WITH ME (95 mins) pg. 58 12:50PM LIMITED PARTNERSHIP (75 mins) pg. 61
6:45PM THE SONGS OF RICE (75 mins) pg. 125 1:00PM SHORTS: ANIMATION (82 mins) pg. 70
6:45PM KANO (185 mins) pg. 90 1:00PM SHORTS: BUSY YOUNG PSYCHIC + THE POOL MAN
(61 mins)
7:00PM THE ROUND TABLE (113 mins) pg. 95 1:10PM BARBER’S TALES (120 mins) pg. 83
8:30PM THE OWNERS (93 mins) pg. 122 1:30PM FRESH OFF THE BOAT (60 mins) pg. 42
9:00PM FANTAIL (83 mins) pg. 115 2:25PM PARTNERS IN CRIME (89 mins) pg. 92
9:10PM A HARD DAY (111 mins) pg. 88 2:45PM BLUE BUSTAMANTE (87 mins) pg. 84
9:25PM LOVE’S WHIRLPOOL (123 mins) pg. 91 3:10PM APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR (86 mins) pg. 55
3:20PM SHORTS: THERE WILL BE A STORM (96 mins) pg. 78
3:45PM BLIND MASSAGE (114 mins) pg. 102
4:20PM CAMPUS CONFIDENTIAL (101 mins) pg. 85
4:55PM THE KINGDOM OF DREAMS & MADNESS (118 mins)
pg. 107
5:35PM RU (97 mins) pg. 68
5:55PM UNCLE VICTORY (105 mins) pg. 97
6:25PM QUEEN (146 mins) pg. 93
7:30PM SHORTS: GAY OF THRONES (91 mins) pg. 74
8:10PM FUKU-CHAN OF FUKUFUKU FLATS (110 mins) pg. 86
8:20PM THE IRON MINISTRY (82 mins) pg. 116
9:25PM THE SEARCH FOR WENG WENG (93 mins) pg. 124
UltraStar Cinemas Mission Valley
Reading Cinemas Gaslamp
UCSD Calit2 Atkinson Hall
USD Shiley Theatre
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SUNDAY, NOV. 9 MONDAY, NOV. 10 TUESDAY, NOV. 11
11:20AM FROM WHAT IS BEFORE (338 mins) pg. 104 4:00PM THE RICE BOMBER (118 mins) pg. 94 12:00PM FROM WHAT IS BEFORE (338 mins) pg. 104
12:00PM REEL VOICES (120 mins) pg. 66 6:00PM OUR FAMILY (117 mins) pg. 109 3:20PM HELLO! JUNICHI (90 mins) pg. 89
1:00PM TELOS: THE FANTASTIC WORLD OF EUGENE
TSSUI (58 mins) pg. 80
6:20PM UNCLE VICTORY (105 mins) pg. 97 3:35PM QUEEN (146 mins) pg. 93
1:00PM THE LOST SEA (63 mins) pg. 117 6:30PM CICADA (100 mins) pg. 57 4:00PM SHORTS: STRANGER THINGS HAVE HAPPENED (91
mins) pg. 77
1:20PM MY LIFE IN CHINA (52 mins) pg. 64 6:40PM ANITA’S LAST CHA-CHA (110 mins) pg. 82 5:40PM YASMINE (109 mins) pg. 100
2:25PM EXIT (94 mins) pg. 114 8:30PM SUBURBANITE (62 mins) pg. 79 6:10PM NON FICTION DIARY (93 mins) pg. 121
2:30PM KUMU HINA (77 mins) pg. 60 8:40PM JOURNEY TO THE WEST (56 mins) pg. 106 6:30PM THE GOLDEN ERA (178 mins) pg. 105
2:30PM MOVEFEST (90 mins) pg. 46 9:00PM THE TEACHER’S DIARY (108 mins) pg. 96 6:45PM EXIT (94 mins) pg. 114
3:00PM SHORTS: GRAVITY BURNS (96 mins) pg. 75 9:20PM MYSTERY KUNG FU THEATER 8:05PM THE KINGDOM OF DREAMS & MADNESS (118 mins)
pg. 107
3:15PM 9-MAN (89 mins) pg. 54 8:15PM REPTILIA IN SUBURBIA (75 mins) pg. 123
4:20PM VIVE L’AMOUR (118 mins) pg. 112 8:45PM MEETING DR. SUN (94 mins) pg. 119
4:45PM MAN FROM RENO (111 mins) pg. 63
5:25PM BELLA VISTA (83 mins) pg. 56
5:45PM MEETING DR. SUN (94 mins) pg. 119
6:00PM THE VANCOUVER ASAHI (130 mins) pg. 111
6:30PM MOVEFEST (90 mins) pg. 46
6:40PM STRAY DOGS (138 mins) pg. 110
7:30PM A HARD DAY (111 mins) pg. 88
7:45PM LETTERS FROM THE SOUTH (105 mins)
pg. 108
7:55PM ANITA’S LAST CHA-CHA (110 mins) pg. 82
8:30PM VENUS TALK (109 mins) pg. 99
UltraStar Cinemas Mission Valley
UCSD Calit2 Atkinson Hall
SD School of Creative & Performing Arts
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UltraStar Cinemas Mission Valley
UCSD Calit2 Atkinson Hall
ArcLight La Jolla Theatre
UCSD Visual Arts Presentation Lab
MCASD Sherwood Auditorium
La Paloma Theatre
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 12 THURSDAY, NOV. 13 FRIDAY, NOV. 14 SATURDAY, NOV. 15
4:00PM LORDVILLE (67 mins) pg. 62 4:00PM GANGSTER PAY DAY (97 mins)
pg. 87
4:00PM SHORTS: MOONLIGHT REPRESENTS
MY HEART (77 mins) pg. 76
10:00AM BROKEN BRANCHES (96 mins)
pg. 128
5:00PM OUR FAMILY (117 mins) pg. 109 5:55PM NON FICTION DIARY (93 mins)
pg. 121
6:30PM THE POLLEN OF FLOWERS (85 mins)
pg. 130
12:15PM SHORTS: UNCLE BAR + AULD
LANG SYNE (48 mins) pg. 132
5:35PM BLUE BUSTAMANTE (89 mins)
pg. 84
6:05PM THE ROUND TABLE (113 mins)
pg. 95
7:00PM MEET THE PATELS (88 mins) pg. 44 1:00PM HELLO! JUNICHI (90 mins) pg. 89
6:00PM 9-MAN (89 mins) pg. 54 6:15PM TBA 8:30PM SABANGJI (94 mins) pg. 131 3:00PM YASMINE (109 mins) pg. 100
6:30PM MY LIFE IN CHINA (52 mins) pg. 64 6:25PM TBA 5:20PM THE SEARCH FOR WENG WENG
(93 mins) pg. 124
6:30PM MOTHERS (68 mins) pg. 120 6:45PM THE GIRL PRINCES (79 mins)
pg. 129
7:25PM UZUMASA LIMELIGHT (103 mins)
pg. 98
6:40PM KANO (185 mins) pg. 90 8:00PM STRAY DOGS (138 mins) pg. 110
7:25PM SHORTS: ANIMATION (82 mins)
pg. 70
8:30PM TBA
7:40PM DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART 2
(113 mins) pg. 103
8:40PM THE TEACHER’S DIARY (108 mins)
pg. 96
8:00PM FUKU-CHAN OF FUKUFUKU FLATS
(110 mins) pg. 86
9:00PM LOVE’S WHIRLPOOL (123 mins)
pg. 91
8:05PM MARY IS HAPPY, MARY IS HAPPY
(125 mins) pg. 118
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TICKETING
Tickets for shows at UltraStar go on sale at the Mission Valley Box Office starting October 31. Walk-up tickets for programs
at non-UltraStar locations are available at that venue’s box office one hour before showtime. Purchase tickets online at
festival.sdaff.org. For group sales and discounts, call (619) 400-5906.
INDIVIDUAL TICKETS GENERAL
MEMBER
(must show membership
card at box office)
FESTIVAL VOUCHER 4-PACK
FESTIVAL ALL ACCESS PASS
GENERAL $250
MEMBER $150
D All Access Passes Accepted
F Vouchers & 4-Pack Tickets Accepted
H Free for UCSD Students/Faculty/Staff
Q Free for USD Students/Faculty/Staff
4-PACKS & TICKET VOUCHERS Redeem individual
comp tickets and 4-pack ticket vouchers for the show
of your choice at the box office. You can trade in
multiple vouchers to the same show. Comp and 4-pack
ticket vouchers are not redeemable for Opening or
Closing night or at the Arclight venue.
REFUND POLICY No refunds for unused tickets,
4-packs, all festival passes. Exchanges are only
available when a program is oversold.
OPENING NIGHT D $15 $12
REVENGE OF THE GREEN DRAGONS
CENTERPIECE D F Q $12 $9
FRESH OFF THE BOAT
CLOSING NIGHT D $15 $12
MEET THE PATELS
GENERAL ADMISSION D F $12 $9
STUDENT/SENIOR/MILITARY $10
(at the door only)
UCSD CALIT2 ATKINSON HALL $12 $9
D F H
MOVEfest D F $12 online, $9 online,
$15 at door $9 at door
ARCLIGHT $15 $12
UCSD VISUAL PRESENTATION LAB FREE FREE
FREE FILMS AT FOUR FREE FREE
Limit 2 per person, pick up at the
UltraStar Box Office Starting Nov. 3
GENERAL $44
GENERAL (MEMBER) $32
THEME $44
THEME (MEMBER) $32
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FESTIVAL VOUCHER THEME PACKS
With 140+ films from 21 different countries, you might not know where to
start. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Each Festival Theme pack comes
with 4 ticket vouchers and a menu of film suggestions that fit the theme.
CHILDHOOD ENCHANTMENT
rediscover what it means to
be a kid
ACTION
all you can fight action with
laughs and romance in between
MARATHON
not for the faint of heart, our 4
longest films of the year
REVOLUTION
films about fighting the power
and challenging the status quo
GO TEAM
scrappy underdog sports teams
and the love of the game
THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED
experimental films for those
who march to the beat of their
own drum
THE REAL WORLD
slice of life docs and features
based on true stories
LOVE IS IN THE AIR
you’ll laugh, you’ll cry,
you’ll fall in love
LGBT
stories of life and love from the
LGBT perspective
SOLD-OUT SCREENINGS | RUSH LINES Is the film you want sold out? Try
the Rush Line! Rush lines start outside the theater as early as 30 minutes
before the show. We will offer all open seats to Rush Line 15 minutes before
showtime on a first-come, first-serve basis.
DISCOUNTS For individual ticket discounts, visit http://festival.sdaff.org.
Kano (pg. 90), The Vancouver Asahi (pg.
111), Yasmine (pg. 100), 9-Man (pg. 54)
Fresh Off the Boat (pg. 42), Hello! Junichi!
(pg. 89), The Round Table (pg. 95), Anita’s
Last Cha-Cha (pg. 82)
Reptilia in Suburbia (pg. 123), The Iron
Ministry (pg. 116), Mary is Happy, Mary is
Happy (pg. 118), Journey to the West (pg.
106), Stray Dogs (pg. 110)
The Kingdom of Dreams & Madness (pg.
107), My Life in China (pg. 64), Songs of
Rice (pg. 125), Limited Partnership (pg. 61),
Non Fiction Diary (pg. 121), The Lost Sea
(pg. 117)
A Hard Day (pg. 88), Blue Bustamante
(pg. 84), Uncle Victory (pg. 97),
Gangster Pay Day (pg. 87)
From What is Before (pg. 104), Kano (pg.
90), The Golden Era (pg. 105), Queen
(pg. 93)
The Teacher’s Diary (pg. 96), Campus
Confidential (pg. 85), Hello! Junichi (pg.
89), Limited Partnership (pg. 61), Fuku-
Chan from Fukufuku Flats (pg. 86), Don’t
Go Breaking My Heart 2 (pg. 103)
Non Fiction Diary (pg. 121), Shorts: There
Will Be a Storm (pg. 78), Telos (pg.
80), Meeting Dr. Sun (pg. 119), Limited
Partnership (pg. 61)
Anita’s Last Cha-Cha (pg. 82), Eat
With Me (pg. 58), Kumu Hina (pg. 60),
Appropriate Behavior (pg. 55), Limited
Partnership (pg. 61)
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VENUES
OPENING NIGHT
(November 6)
701 5th Ave,
San Diego, CA 92101
MAIN VENUE
(November 7-13)
7510 Hazard Center Dr
#100
San Diego, CA 92108
TAIWAN SHOWCASE
(November 7-9)
9500 Gilman Dr
San Diego, CA 92093
CENTERPIECE EVENT
(November 8)
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110
MOVEfest
(November 9)
2425 Dusk Dr
San Diego, CA 92139
READING CINEMAS
GASLAMP 15
ULTRASTAR CINEMAS
MISSION VALLEY-
HAZARD CENTER
UCSD CALIT2
ATKINSON HALL
AUDITORIUM
USD SHILEY THEATRE
SAN DIEGO SCHOOL
OF CREATIVE AND
PERFORMING ARTS
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(November 12)
4425 La Jolla Village Dr
San Diego, CA 92122
REMEMBERING QUEER
KOREA (November 13-15)
Voigt Dr and Mathews
Lane, Room 149
San Diego, CA 92093
CLOSING NIGHT
(November 14)
700 Prospect St
La Jolla, CA 92037
(November 15)
471 S Coast Highway 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
ARCLIGHT CINEMAS
LA JOLLA
UCSD VISUAL ARTS
PRESENTATION LAB
LA PALOMA THEATRE
MCASD SHERWOOD
AUDITORIUM
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SPONSORS
MAJOR GRANTS
MAJOR SPONSORS SUSTAINING SPONSOR
AUDIENCE AWARD GALA PRESENTER
Pantone 137 Pantone 446
McGregor & Associates, Inc. Logomark
2-color: Orange PMS 137 and Grey PMS 446
Contact: Chris Josh 619-398-2828
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CLOSING NIGHT PREMIER GALA SUPPORTERS OPENING NIGHT
SPOTLIGHT
FREE FILMS AT FOUR PACIFIC SHOWCASE MOVEfest
OFFICIAL AIRLINE MAJOR MEDIA SPONSOR OFFICIAL RADIO SPONSOR OFFICIAL PRINT SPONSOR
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REEL VOICES & YOUTH DAY
SCREENING SPONSORS
IN-KIND DONORS
BLACKLAVA | BMW SAN DIEGO | BOB HOFFMAN VIDEO | FORTY DEGREES VODKA | McDONALD’S | PACIFIC EVENTS PRODUCTIONS
PHUONG TRANG RESTAURANT | POPEYE’S | SANSAI | SANDWICH EMPORIUM | SUBTERRANEAN COFFEE | ZION
COMMUNITY SPONSORS
PUBLIC RELATIONS
EDUCATION PARTNERS
JHIGS & FRIENDS UCSD TAIWAN STUDIES LECTURE SERIES
UCSD CHUAN LYU ENDOWED CHAIR IN TAIWAN STUDIES
MEDIA PARTNERS
StellaArtois.com
Always Enjoy Responsibly.
© 2013 Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A., Stella Artois
®
Beer, Imported by Import Brands Alliance, St. Louis, MO
Stella Artois salutes the
spirit of independent film.
Ad Name: SA Sundance Film
Item #: PSA201210387
Job/Order #:
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Trim: 9" x 6"
Bleed: 9.5" x 6.5"
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Closing Date: 8/15/13
QC: CS
Pub: San Diego Asian Film
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STRAY DOGS
PG. 110
LETTER FROM
ARTISTIC
DIRECTOR
A milestone like the 15th, I’m told, is a big
deal. It’s certainly a benchmark for the San
Diego Asian Film Festival as it reaches beyond
its adolescent years. 15 is also a convenient
moment to reflect back on past films and
celebrate alumni filmmakers like Greg Pak,
Ken Ochiai, Iris Shim, and Dean Yamada, all
returning with their newest work.
But even if we weren’t turning 15, Asian and
Asian American cinema spent 2014 reflecting
on history, especially as the future becomes
unstable, as this year’s protests in Hong
Kong and Taiwan illustrate. When things get
unpredictable though, it’s sobering to witness
the momentous work of artists reminding us of
what we’ve endured and how we can reinvent
ourselves to stay active and relevant.
Documentaries like LORDVILLE, NON FICTION
DIARY, and LIMITED PARTNERSHIP tread the past
laterally in savvy, politically-minded strides.
Features like BELLA VISTA and shorts like
GRAND CANAL reveal our surprising ties to past
struggles, and experiment with film language
to link those struggles with current attitudes
toward living. And of course there’s Lav Diaz’s
FROM WHAT IS BEFORE, a formidable work of
historiography based on memory and clutching
a frenzied hope for the future.
These works and others like MY LIFE IN CHINA,
THE GOLDEN ERA, THE SEARCH FOR WENG
WENG, THE VANCOUVER ASAHI, THE RICE
BOMBER, and even FRESH OFF THE BOAT and
REVENGE OF THE GREEN DRAGONS inspire us
to work through the difficulties of history with
the grace and feeling of their respective artists.
This year, we’re thrilled to join these cinematic
historians by presenting two retrospective
events of our own. Remembering Queer Korea
proposes a counter-history of modern Korea by
tracing queer images in films of every decade,
from the 1970s to the present. Still Walking: the
Post-Retirement Films of Tsai Ming-liang, shines
a spotlight on the work of a director after
he called it quits, reminding us that history
sometimes can’t help but extend daringly into
the future.
15 years thus is only a line we happily cross,
mindful of what was before, but with a vision
and excitement for what lies ahead.
Sincerely,
BRIAN HU
Artistic Director
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BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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Pacific Arts Movement would like to thank
and recognize our Board of Directors,
a passionate group of business and
community leaders who volunteer their time
and expertise to help grow our dynamic
organization. Board members are in charge
of governance, resources, and strategic
guidance. (not pictured: Michelle Ma,
Mitchell Reff)
HARLEN BAYHA, Chairman, Wells Fargo
STEPHEN LEW, Vice Chair,
S. Lew & Associates
PAUL BERGMAN, Secretary,
McGregor & Associates
SHIRLEY PARK, Treasurer, PROVEN Inc.
STEPHEN CHIN, Chairman Emeritus,
Sharp Health Plan
EUNICE BRAGAIS, U.S. Bank
JUDY CHUNG, Windermere Homes
and Estates
VARSHA ISRANI, Individual Investor
SHEILA ABRENICA KANOYA, Port of San Diego
JEFF KREBS, M.D, Kaiser Permanente
KENT LEE, Boy Scouts of America
AMETHYST LEWIS, Echelon Marketing Group
GRANT LEWIS, Morgan Stanley
MICHELLE MA, Qualcomm
MITCHELL REFF, (Retired) Biogen Idec
JANIS TAKAHASHI, ViaSat
GARY WONG, (Retired) Banking Executive
WENDY WONG, Ken Blanchard
LEON WU, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
LETTER FROM
THE CHAIRMAN
Stories bring people together, and the Pacific Arts Movement proudly presents the San Diego Asian
Film Festival to celebrate building those connections. We believe that stories help us develop one
of the finest and noblest aspects of humanity: our ability to put ourselves in the shoes of others, to
see what they saw, to imagine what they imagined, to experience what they experienced, even if
they speak another language or live halfway around the world.
So, for the fifteenth year, on behalf of the volunteers, staff, and board, we invite you to kick back
and relax, watch wild films cavort in their native habitat, and party like a four-year-old in a bounce
house.
Have a wonderful time at the festival, and thank you for being part of our movement!
Sincerely,
HARLEN BAYHA
Board Chairman
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San Diego Asian Film Festival 25
Advocate
We believe our members deserve a trusted health care partner and advocate.
Family
We believe our members are important, and health care should be personal.
Neighbor
We believe it’s important to live, work and play in the same community as our members.
As the only locally-based commercial health plan, we not only serve the people of
San Diego County — we are the people of San Diego County.
Sharp Health Plan is a proud sponsor of the
San Diego Asian Film Festival
(619) 228-2300 or 1-800-359-2002 | www.SharpHealthPlan.com S
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We believe in the art of caring.
On-the-dot messaging | Advocacy for community diversity
High-level of professionalism | Strategic Communication
Proud Supporters of The San Diego Asian Film Festival
101 W Broadway, Ste 1450 | San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 233-7778 | www.focuscominc.com
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Looking to increase your reach? We’ll help you hit your target market with pinpoint accuracy.
Contact us today at info@focuscominc.com
You help us see the world in new ways. You enrich, inspire, and move us.
You open our hearts and minds with your fresh ideas and creative passion.
For your unique vision, we salute you.
Union Bank® is proud to sponsor the 15th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival.
unionbank.com

YOU ARE CREATIVE.
Community Banking
Lawrence Henry, Managing Director & Regional Executive
530 B Street, Suite 1200, San Diego, CA 92101
6192303085
East Encinitas Branch
Adrienne Scott, Assistant Vice President & Branch Manager
247 N. El Camino Rea, Encinitas, CA 92024
7609424996
Celebrating 150 years
©2014 MUFG Union Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. Union Bank is a registered trademark and brand name of MUFG Union Bank, N.A.
15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival 31
MEMBERSHIP ROSTER
LIFETIME
Paul & Sandra Bergman
Allan Camaisa
Michael Cheswick &
Erika Hiramatsu
Johnny Chou
Diana Chuh & Virginia Mar Jip
Fritz Friedman & Jeff Krebs
Randy Gage
Marshall Gamboa
Wendy Gillespie
Matt Jumper
Ken & Connie Kalb
Ed & Shirley Lee
Steve & Cheryl Peace
Pat Pepper
Mitchell & Miyo Reff
Willie Sakai & Lois Fong-Sakai
CORPORATE
Harcourts Prestige Properties
San Diego Interfaith Housing Foundation
PRODUCER
Harlen & June Bayha
Stephen Chin
Michael Frazier & Theresa Battle
Todd & L. Pete Futa
Gayle Hom
Chong & Anna Lee
Dae Lee & Lina Park
Kent Lee & Phuong Huynh
Stephen Lew
Brett Millar & Crissy Pascual
Anthony & Grace Olaes
Jeff Phillips &
Jennifer Yun
Louis Song & Lee Ann Kim
Gary & Kathy Wong
Leon Wu & Sambath Tiep
PATRON
Jason & Tomomi Arcand
Yunhui Chae-Banks
Leeva Chung
Minjian Cui & Miranda Ko
Thomas Dring & Laura Ruff
Grace DuVall
Richard Forsyth & Kate Leonard
Fred & Debbie Gerlach
Sheila Abrenica Kanoya
Scott Kim
Terry Kovarik & Andrew Manisouk
Marichu Magana
Bridget McDonald
Richard & Lois Miller
Michael & Salina Moon
Richard Morrison & Susan Kim
Al Ong & Jenny Benson
Joseph Ongsiapco & Fawn Yang
Jeremy Pizzola & Gayle Ta
Charles & Linda Tu
Diane Wong & Rena Rowe
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SUPPORTER
Madhu & Amee Alagiri
Karen Beeson
Ken & Helena Benavente
Jeanne Burch
Stephanie Cortez
Christina de Jesus
Russell Ginns &
Beverly DiGregorio
Justin & Lily Higman
Amy & Nancy Hobbs
Carole Huston
Robert & Edna Ito
Jeff Iwami &
Kotowa Moriya
Quentin Jammer &
Amethyst Lewis
Monte Jones
Paul Kalmar
Phillip Lorenzo
Johnny Mah
Jerrilyn Malana
Lynne Matthews
May McLean
Ed Nesfield &
Roxanne Girard
James & Kathy Paguyo
Sue Ann Park
John & Mariette Pascasio
Spencer Penaloza
Brian Quan
Luis Ramos
Asko Ruotsaliainen
San Diego Mesa College
Kiyomi Sankary
Timothy Sankary
Mark Strauss
Brian Sun
Janis Takahashi
Cuong Trang
Erica Ueland
Kenneth Wade
Sabina Wong
Efton Woodford &
Shirley Omori
Christopher Yoshida
DONOR
Markus Achord
Anita Aldrich
Rommel Andaya
Wesley Arguelles
Debbie Au
Gale Barlow
Steven Barlow
Ferris Bautista
Francis Bautista
Brandon Beresini
Eloise Bienvenu
Albert Bradley &
Mercedes Zimmer
Damon & Jennifer Brady
Leng & Lisa Caloh
Grant Cameron
Gary Cannon
Chris Cate & Maria Lourdes
Cabuang
Lettie Cepe
Timothy Chan
Erica Chang
Kristine Chang
Sam Chen
Silvia Chen
Jonathan Cheng
Allan Chin
Jeffrey & Sonia Chin
Bruce & Devin Chin-Lee
Forrest Chu
Pat & Stephanie Clark
Douglas Conrad &
Angela Wang
Rose Cruz
Margaret Curtin
David & Charlene Dennis
Elizabeth Devin
Vietca Do
Ted Ebel & Jee Shin
Sonja Erion
Toshiye Estes
Salvador & Shirley Flor
Jonathan Fohrman &
Trudi Wihongi
Eric Galvez
Joyce Genita
Gilbert Giang
Nathan Ginoza &
Karen Lim
Ken & Kikue Graeber
Victor Gutierrez
Kathryn Hammelman
Todd Henry
June Hom
Traci Hong
Pamela Hoo
Karen Hsia
Sharon Hu
Bruce Inman
Benjamin & Lindsey Inouye
Keith Jackson
Tom Jacobson &
Kaori Hashimoto
Marilyn Jones
Wendy Jones
Andrew Jung & Linda Won
Randy & Marilyn Kaforey
David & Carol Kawamoto
Ronald & Rebecca Kelley
Steve Kim &
Tracie Murakami
Alan Klessig
Angela Kong
Michael Krucky & Gene Lee
Megan Lam
Anthony Le
Melanie Le Forestier
Benjamin Lee &
Judy Chung
Chun & Donna Lee
Georgina Lee
Jimmy Lee & Eunjae Kim
Murray & Gladys Lee
Sharon LeeMaster
Sergio Leon
Grant Lewis
John Lewis & Patricia Wu
Justin Lewis &
Roland Tactay
Linda Vista Multi-Cultural
Fair, Inc.
Earl Lozada
Jerry & Sylvie Lu
Christina Manaois
Michael Meier
Jon Miller
David Molina
Katya Newmark
Kathryn Nguyen
Laurel Nishida
Bismark & Jennifer Oh
Amy Okamura
Vanessa Otter
Ray Park
Shirley Park
Rodney Peffer
Vincent Pham &
Yaejoon Kwon
Ty Phimmasone
David Pina &
Melissa McComb
Alan & Elaine Pizzola
Guy Poirier
Vanessa Pothier
Edward Pruitt
Wesley Quach
Antoinette Raymond
Rome Reasonda &
Jennifer Ames-Reasonda
Allan Regala & Helen Cruz
Craig & Silvia Reid
Marcus Robas &
Malou Amparo
Stuart & Linda Robinson
Bruce Rowe
William & E-Fann Saung
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Grace Seid
Hillari Selby
Woo-Jin Shim
Massoud Shirazi
Charlene Soco
Jack Sprengle
Thomas Stannard
Nicholas Storman
Bill & Joyce Teague
Harold Teng
Annamarie Till
Gregory Toya
Michael Travers
Peijean Tsai
Leah Tsao
Yen Tu
Wendy Urushima-Conn
Nick Venti & Wilda Wong
Rainer Wagester &
Marlene Dinklage
Andrew Wang
Cassandra Wong
Cathlene Wong
Earl Wong
Jean Wong
Brian Yamamoto
K. Wayne Yang &
Christina Ree
Michael & Criselda Yee
Gregg Yonekura
Susie Yoo
FRIEND
Elly Aguilar
Gloria Albaran & Kayla
Pimentel
Elias Almazan
Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi &
Janet Kim
Valmik & Rashmi Bhargava
John Biggs
Mark Carroll
Julia Chen
Xiluo Chen & Gang Xu
Joe Cheung
Renee Chin
Laura Chon
Jennifer Chu
Adrianna Chuh
John & Carla Dacapias
Felicia Dang
Terry Daniel
Rachel Darvin
Zeinabu Davis
Divina Del Fierro
Mariaelena Delgado
Todd DeLong
Michael & Patricia Domingo
Byron Doung
Tracy Ebba
Ludivico Estrada
Sylvie Estrella &
Ashley Fifield
Paul Fatta
Lisa Franek
Mark Anthony Gadia
Staci Gaines
Carmen Galang
Johnny Gonzales
Jim Gottlieb &
Barbara Casillas
Wendy Grice
Bryce Griffin
Daniel & Karen Guevara
Seth & Cynthia Hacker
Kathi & Kim Heiser
Penny Hempstead &
Francesca Kemp
Wei Tan Holt
Anthony Hom
Michael Hom
Nancy Hom & Alex Honore
Thomas Hom &
Loretta Lum
Frank Howley & Josie Zuill
Amy Hsiao
Nanson & Sylvia Hwa
Margaret Iwanaga-Penrose
& UPAC
Joni Jamora
Mark Wayne Javier
Claud Jetton
Joseph Jones
Hannah Joya
Judy Kesaris
Sam Kim
Hana Kwon
Gary Kwong
Eric Lallana
Toan Lam
Chris Larson & Heidi Yuen
Jiyoung Lee
Katrina Lee
Rafael & Mitzi Lizarraga
Robin Low
Jeffrey Luong &
Jennifer Wang
Dean Macaoile
Chris Malaqui
Paul Marra & Joel
Valenzuela
Daniel Matthews
Joe Mazares
John McCaughey &
Jodi Ann Mori
Erwin Mendoza &
Rhona Santos
Ray & Ellen Merewether
Chris Merriman &
Nguyen Vu
Keith Momon
Tiffany Moore
Dale Nelson
Elizabeth Ng
Doan Nguyen
Anthony Noceda &
Leanne Koh
Donal O’Sullivan
Bill & Tracey Olson
Glen Ong
Andrew Ordona
Laurine Ota
James Paguyo III
Roger Perez
Darlene Portades
Kent Pun
Peter Quon
Robert Rohrbach &
Ruth Lim
Daniel Roose
Annie Ross
Anne Rosser
Jennifer Rupp
Ruth Marie San Filippo
Jini Shim
Gregory & Arlette Smith
Michael Tat
Steve Teo
Julia Terrwyn
Tanna Thomason
Don Tolentino &
Christina Vo
Mitsuo Tomita
Toan Tran & Cindy Lu
Anthony Trifiletti
Thomas Truong
Felix Tuyay
Nancy Vaccaro
Dominique Valentino
Mark & Amy Ward
Jonathan Watanabe
Oswaldo Wegrzyn &
Lori Guild
Meka Wells
Jon Wesick
Grayson Wilson
Judy Wong
Cynthia Yee
Bertrand Yeung &
Michelle Ma
Marie Zhivago
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2014 GEORGE C. LIN
EMERGING FILMMAKER AWARD:
VERA BRUNNER-SUNG
Each year since his passing, Pacific Arts
Movement has proudly presented an
Emerging Filmmaker Award in honor of the
Festival’s late Program Director George Lin. A
scientist by trade, George co-founded the DC
Asian Pacific American Film Festival in 2000,
then joined the San Diego Asian Film Festival
in 2003. Quirky, loving, and passionate, he
championed all things independent – film,
music, art. George passed away in San
Diego on October 14, 2008, after a long
battle with cancer.
This year, the Festival is proud to announce
that its 2014 Emerging Filmmaker is Vera
Brunner-Sung for her feature film, BELLA
VISTA (pg. 56), an inquisitive look at a
Montana town and those who pass through it.
Ticket sales from the screening of BELLA
VISTA will be donated to the George C. Lin
Memorial Fund.
Please join us in congratulating Vera!
GEORGE C. LIN (1971–2008)
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FESTIVAL JURORS
ZEINABU IRENE DAVIS is an independent filmmaker
and Professor of Communication at the University
of California, San Diego. Some of her award-
winning works include a drama about a young
slave girl, Mother of the River (1996); a personal
essay on breastfeeding, Co-Motion, (2010); and
an experimental narrative, Cycles (1989). Her dramatic feature film
Compensation (1999) features two inter-related love stories that offer
a view of Black Deaf culture and was the winner of the Gordon Parks
Award for Directing from the Independent Feature Project. Her current
documentary work, Spirits of Rebellion: Black Cinema at UCLA, is in
post-production.
FENG-MEI HEBERER is a scholar and film festival
programmer. She is currently finishing her dissertation
on Asian transnational video cultures at the University
of Southern California. She is a curator for the Asian
Film Festival Berlin, as well as programmer for the Los
Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Oh, and she is also
working on overcoming her karaoke shyness. Any help appreciated.
INKOO KANG is a film and TV critic for The Wrap, the
Village Voice, and formerly the Los Angeles Times.
She is also the News Editor of Indiewire’s “Women
and Hollywood” blog. She has written about film and
television, often focusing on issues of gender and
race, for The Atlantic, the Chicago Tribune, Salon,
Vulture, and Business Insider, among many other publications. A native
of Los Angeles, she currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
MICHAEL KANG is an independent filmmaker based in
Los Angeles. His first feature film The Motel premiered
at the Sundance Film Festival where it was the
recipient of the Humanitas Prize. It also earned jury
prizes from numerous festivals including SDAFF. His
second feature West 32nd premiered at the Tribeca
Film Festival and was the first fully-financed US production by the
Korean studio CJ Entertainment. His most recent film 4 Wedding
Planners premiered at the Hawaii International Film Festival in 2011. His
most recent accomplishment is deactivating his Facebook account. He
now has more time to focus on writing about himself in the third person.
©2013 Southwest Airlines Co.
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Southwest Airlines is with you in the air and in your community, sharing our spirit
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Proud to support the San Diego
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SPECIAL
PRESENTATIONS
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FRESH OFF THE BOAT
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REVENGE OF THE
GREEN DRAGONS
NOV. 6 (THURSDAY), 7PM,
READING CINEMAS GASLAMP
USA | ENGLISH, CANTONESE, MANDARIN
94 MIN | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Andrew Lau, Andrew Loo
CAST Justin Chon, Kevin Wu, Harry Shum Jr.,
Leonard Wu, Eugenia Yuen, Jin Au-Yeung,
Ray Liotta
Official Selection,
2014 Toronto International Film Festival
Filmmaker Andrew Loo and cast
scheduled to attend
Opening Night party sponsored by
Every generation or so Hollywood announces
a high-profile Asian American project and
even invites Asian Americans to play the
lead roles. Say what you will about the
Flower Drum Songs, the Joy Luck Clubs, and
the Harold and Kumars – they are events,
opportunities, and seminal moments in the
history of Asian American performers on
screen. This generation, that film is REVENGE
OF THE GREEN DRAGONS. It’s directed by
Hong Kong-based Andrew Lau (Infernal
Affairs) and the bi-national Andrew Loo. It
stars the who’s-who of East Asian American
male actors on the cusp of the mainstream.
And it’s about a community of scrappy
Chinese Americans in New York Chinatown.
Sonny (Justin Chon of Twilight) watches his
mother die during their trek from China to
the United States. Growing up alone in the
80s means being in the shadow of warring
gangs, and one day he gets recruited into
the nefarious Green Dragons along with
his buddy Steven (Kevin Wu of Kevjumba).
Under the tutelage of commanders played
by Harry Shum Jr. (Glee), Eugenia Yuan
(Charlotte Sometimes), and Leonard Wu,
they’re taught to kill and they’re taught the
golden rule of the trade: never take out a
white person. It’s a mantra the considerable
racist element in the NYPD can get behind,
but a young cop (Jin Au-Yeung, aka MC Jin)
sees the situation differently.
REVENGE OF THE GREEN DRAGONS moves
head-spinningly fast, taking cues from Hong
Kong’s most barebones gangster films.
Despite Martin Scorsese’s name above the
title, REVENGE is less a gangland epic than
a swift slap in the face. The film thrives on
the sense that the gang, the police, and the
geopolitics are shifting way too fast for kids
with guns to process.
But above all, the film is a showcase of young
Asian American talent. Between this and 21
and Over, there should be no denying that
Justin Chon is leading man material. The
revelation though is internet sensation and
Amazing Race veteran Kevin Wu as the
firecracker of a friend, mullet raging over a
thick-browed, harried boyishness trying to
keep hold of the steering wheel. – Brian Hu
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Opening Night Film
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FRESH OFF
THE BOAT
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 1:30PM,
UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO
SHILEY THEATRE
USA | ENGLISH | 60 MIN | HD | 2014
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS Nahnatchka Khan,
Melvin Mar, Jake Kasdan
CAST Randall Park, Hudson Yang,
Constance Wu, Eddie Huang
World Premiere
Child stars Hudson Yang, Ian Chen, and
Forrest Wheeler scheduled to attend
Screening of the show’s pilot episode to be
followed by a conversation with
the executive producers
Sponsored by
The series premiere of FRESH OFF THE BOAT
on ABC in early 2015 will be a most unlikely
event. Unlikely because it’s been 20 years
since there’s been an Asian American sitcom
on a major TV network. Unlikely because
this one is Asian American from creators
and producers all the way to the lead cast.
Unlikely too that it’s based on the memoirs
of hip-hop quoting, street-food hustling
restaurateur Eddie Huang.
The pilot follows the misadventures of Eddie
and his Taiwanese immigrant family from
DC down to their new home in Orlando.
Eddie’s parents (played by Randall Park and
Constance Wu) are launching a restaurant,
while Eddie and his brothers try to make
a name for themselves at school, despite
having to bring tupperware of stinky tofu
to the lunch tables. It’s a classic story of
immigrant insanity, seen through the eyes of
a second-generation Asian American kid. It’s
also a fantastic voyage through the mid-90s:
Lunchables, Nas lyrics, Wu-Tang t-shirts.
Hoping to pick up where Margaret Cho’s
All-American Girl left off 20 years ago,
FRESH OFF THE BOAT centers on another
firecracker of a commentator. For years now,
Huang has been a fresh, outspoken voice on
all things Asian American, especially as they
relate to style and food (he’s the proprietor
NYC’s Baohaus). With FRESH OFF THE BOAT,
he has his biggest platform yet, which he
shares with a number of talented young
actors and a team ready for prime time.
– Erwin Mendoza
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CENTERPIECE
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MEET THE PATELS
NOV. 15 (FRIDAY), 7:00PM,
MCASD SHERWOOD AUDITORIUM
USA | ENGLISH, HINDI, GUJARATI
88 MINS | HD | 2014
DIRECTOR Geeta V. Patel, Ravi V. Patel
Audience Award (Documentary),
2014 Los Angeles Film Festival
Audience Award (Documentary) and Founders
Grand Prize, 2014 Traverse City Film Festival
Official Selection, HotDocs Canadian
International Documentary Festival
Filmmakers and subjects
scheduled to attend
Sponsored by
and Office of Councilmember Sherri Lightner
A sharp, real-life romantic comedy with
verite stunts and testimonials on love and
relationships, Ravi and Geeta Patel’s new
documentary follows Ravi as he resorts to
finding a wife the old-world way: by asking
mom and dad for help.
Los Angeles actor Ravi had been secretly
(and seriously) dating a white American
woman, Audrey, for two years before
breaking up with her and embarking on
a family trip to his parents’ motherland,
India. Once there, extended family and
extended strangers incessantly ask when
Ravi is getting married. Seeing that his own
parents, who steal the show in every scene,
seem to be happily married after 35 years
of arranged happiness, and the fact that
he himself had a happy upbringing rich
with Indian culture, Ravi decides to give
arrangement a shot. Hoping to find someone
bicultural like himself, he embarks on a year-
long dating tour throughout North America,
meeting potential matrimonial candidates
through “biodatas” (a marriageability
résumé passed through a vast network
of relatives and their friends), the Indian
wedding circuit, niche dating websites, and
the “Patel Matrimonial Convention.”
If all goes well, he’ll find another Patel, an
American-born woman of Indian descent,
someone he finds physically attractive, and
a woman who loves him and he loves in
return. The odds aren’t great, but parents’
tenacity will always be greater. And is that
greater than the memory of Audrey, the only
love he’s ever known? The hilarity mounts,
all while Ravi’s director sister Geeta shoots,
capturing second-generation dating in all of
its comic turbulence. – Wilda Wong
Preceded by: SHAMELESS
USA | 4 MINS | 2013
DIRECTOR Geeta Malik
A woman has a surprise for her accusers.
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CLOSING Night Film
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MOVEfest
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 2:30PM,
SAN DIEGO SCHOOL OF CREATIVE
AND PERFORMING ARTS
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 6:30PM,
SAN DIEGO SCHOOL OF CREATIVE
AND PERFORMING ARTS
90 MIN
Sponsored by
and Office of Councilmember Mytle Cole
The San Diego Asian Film Festival and
Outreach Through Dance present the
inaugural MOVEfest, a showcase of live hip-
hop and contemporary dance by the most
exciting API performers, choreographers, and
dance cinematographers around. San Diego
has long been a hotbed for dance, especially
within the Filipino American community, and
MOVEfest serves to pay tribute to that local
artistry, as well as to attract regional talent
and inspire up-and-coming performers and
filmmakers through the art of dance onstage
and onscreen.
MOVEfest will feature some of the biggest
names in the region, such as Galen Hooks
(who has worked with Janet Jackson, Britney
Spears, Usher, and countless others) and the
Filharmonic (from TV’s The Sing-Off). It will
also highlight choreographers such as Gigi
Torres, Anjanette Maraya-Ramey, and Carlo
Darang, and will feature video works by
Syrene Bartolome, Anna Sarao & Eugene “X”
Ramos, Rachel Woods, and Kevin Jenkins.
Pieces will highlight everything from
community dance to human trafficking,
from sisterhood to rebuilding after Typhoon
Haiyan.
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REMEMBERING
QUEER KOREA
NOV. 13-15,
UCSD VISUAL ARTS PRESENTATION LAB
The San Diego Asian Film Festival is proud
to partner with the UCSD Program in
Transnational Korean Studies to present a
landmark retrospective on the history of queer
images in Korean cinema – the first of its kind
outside of South Korea. The retrospective is
part of an international symposium, which
includes an art exhibition and academic
conference, all taking place at UCSD’s new
Structural and Materials Engineering Building.
By Todd A. Henry
Assistant Professor,
UCSD Department of History Acting Director,
Program in Transnational Korean Studies
In recent years, sexual minorities have
become increasingly visible in South Korea,
as they have elsewhere around the globe.
Events like the recent backlash against the
wedding of Kim-Cho Kwangsu and Kim
Sŭnghwan, underscore the growing volatility
of queer politics, but also alert us to an
entrenched history of struggle and survival.
REMEMBERING QUEER KOREA combines
scholarship, film, and art in an attempt to
critically reflect upon the place of non-
normative sexuality and gender variance in
the peninsula’s history and culture. To be sure,
these topics have become an increasingly
important part of South Korean society since
the 1990s, as evidenced by the upsurge of
human rights organizations, representations
in film and on television, and in practices of
queer consumption. However, the antecedents
of these contemporary phenomena tend to
remain hidden under an impenetrable veneer
of imagined, if not real, conservatism. The
screening of independent films spanning the
twentieth century and beyond thus functions
as an important reminder about the existence
and even centrality of queer forms of life in
constituting, contesting, and reinforcing
such forms of power as nationalism,
heteropatriarchy, socialism, and capitalism.
The five film programs comprising this event
evoke “remembering” along different lines:
oral history, genre, cinephilia. Some, like THE
POLLEN OF FLOWERS and SABANGJI are
themselves archival objects that bend the
master history of Korean popular culture
by wildly bending genres. Others, be they
narrative films like BROKEN BRANCHES or
a documentary like THE GIRL PRINCES, are
daring works of historiography in themselves,
tracking queer characters and images across
the span of the Republic of Korea and arriving
at questions of representation, filmmaking,
and entertainment today. So many of these
films feature characters who are in show
business; in some cases, they are producers
of mass desire that is perceived as a threat,
and in others they are producers of alternate
stories, some mundane, others utopic visions
of Korean society and history.
SABANGJI
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TSAI MING-LIANG
When one of the greatest film artists of the
past 20 years announces that he’s through, the
film community stops and notices. When he
then proceeds to reinvent himself and make
some of the most innovative “films” around, it’s
almost a cause for celebration. It’s certainly a
cause for a closer look, and STILL WALKING:
THE POST-RETIREMENT FILMS OF TSAI MING-
LIANG does just that.
Tsai’s flirted with retirement before. After the
release of his final celluloid work Face in 2009,
Tsai said he was finished with theatrical cinema.
But then came last year’s celebrated Stray
Dogs, which took one of the major prizes at the
Venice Film Festival, topped Indiewire’s annual
list of best unreleased films, and introduced
him to a new generation of international
cinephiles. To which Tsai retreated once again,
announcing his retirement.
It could be though that since 2012, Tsai has set
his eye on a new path: the “walker” project.
Once again inspired by the body of his muse
Lee Kang-sheng, Tsai began to explore
perceptions of bodies in space in stunning
shots that make simultaneous different
temporalities. Donning a signature red robe,
Lee plays a monk who walks very, very slowly
through cities and landscapes all with their
distinct rhythms. It’s an abstraction of Tsai’s
project with What Time is it There?, in which
crossing different time zones produces excess
sexual or spectral energies. With the “walker”
series, the experience is much more stripped
down and basic, but no less expansive in the
responses they produce.
In Cinema Scope, Blake Williams describes this
as Tsai’s “late digital period,” during which the
capacity of digital video to capture duration
has unlocked new possibilities of imagining
movement and how it can be arranged on
the cinematic surface. It’s present in Stray
Dogs, which is in many ways the summation of
Tsai’s narrative career and a fitting close – if it
indeed is one. This period also represents the
dovetailing of Tsai’s ongoing video installation
work and his traditional filmmaking, achieving
a synthesis envied by artists from both worlds.
STILL WALKING is a celebration of that
synthesis and an inquiry into where it can go
from here. It includes Stray Dogs as well as
by Brian Hu
three entries into the “walker” project: Walker
(from the Beautiful 2012 collection), Walking
on Water (from Letters to the South), and
Journey to the West. Together, they literally
map the footsteps of Tsai’s travels from Hong
Kong to Malaysia to Marseilles. They also form
an intriguing thesis on cosmopolitanism and
Chineseness. For kicks, we’re including the new
digital restoration of Tsai’s 1994 masterpiece
Vive l’amour, the first time Tsai stepped out
internationally, lengthened his shots, and
proclaimed that nothing would be the same
after this.
JOURNEY TO THE WEST
A CONVERSATION
WITH ANNA AKANA
NOV. 7 (FRIDAY),
UC SAN DIEGO
60 MINS
Before Anna Akana’s “How to Put on Your
Face” went viral and crossed 2 million views
on YouTube, she was already a fan favorite
and an online personality in the best sense:
vivacious, consistent, candid, relatable, and
totally funny. Since 2012, she’s entertained
a million subscribers through comedy
and music, and has appeared on the web
miniseries Riley Rewind. What sets her
apart from other stat-amassing YouTube
stars though is that she has something to
say. Not in the preachy, scripted sense, but
in the way that an ordinary life observed
with honesty is going to form a perspective
that is fresh and resonant.
140 videos in, Akana has touched upon
everything from love and sex, to mental
illness and suicide, to the curiosity that is
the life of Anna. Her humor has bite, but
is never above a self-deprecating aside or
playful special effect. Akana has developed
a delivery that is smart but inviting,
accessible and never condescending.
In early 2014, Akana embarked on a series
of short films that have impressively
expanded her persona and have
showcased her development as an actor,
writer, and director. Most impressively, they
explore tones and narratives only hinted at
in her vlogs and which are rare on YouTube
more generally. Unusually experimental
in makeup, costume, and set design, the
shorts reveal a unique cinematic voice in
the making. Her head-first plunges into
the surreal become a macabre vehicle
for Akana’s unnerving stories of women’s
bodies and the industrialization of beauty.
In a conversation with Asia Pacific Arts’
managing editor Ada Tseng, Akana, the
recipient of SDAFF’s first annual Digital
Pioneer Award, discusses her craft, her
aspirations, and her curious position as
one of the few Asian American woman
storytellers who have succeeded on
YouTube.
15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival 50
JOI N US ON CAMPUS
World Premiere Screening of
“Fresh Off The Boat.”
Saturday, November 8
Shiley Theatre, Camino Hall
The University of San Diego celebrates 15 years of partnership with
the San Diego Asian Film Festival, artists, film aficionados and
community that continue to make this an extraordinary event.
www. sandi ego. edu
ASIAN AMERICAN
PANORAMA
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San Diego Asian Film Festival 53
The best of Asian American cinema
in all of its colors – from short
film programs and animation, to
documentaries about the famous and
infamous, to feature-length tales of
woe and humor.
MAN FROM RENO
9-MAN
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 3:15PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 12 (WEDNESDAY), 6:00PM,
UCSD CALIT2 ATKINSON
HALL AUDITORIUM
USA | ENGLISH, TOISANESE
89 MINS | HD | 2014
DIRECTOR Ursula Liang
Audience Award (Documentary),
2014 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Filmmaker scheduled to attend
9-Man is a sport like no other. Sprouting
from the Chinatown concrete and spreading
across the continent is all-American jungle
ball: volleyball with more bodies and more
bruises, more slams and more swagger. Also
unavoidable: that this is a sport of Chinese
American men. Unimaginable: that outside
of the Chinatown circuit, the sport has been
under the radar of the mainstream, and until
Ursula Liang’s new documentary 9-MAN,
unknown even among many Asian Americans.
Liang is a former ESPN journalist and her
excitement about the sport is undeniable. She
follows several teams preparing for the big
annual championship and does it with an eye
for not just the David and Goliath dramatics,
but also a sense of what makes the sport such
a dynamic match of athleticism – a critical
contribution in a nation where Asian American
male bodies are generally decorporealized.
Sports in the U.S. have long been racialized,
but Liang writes a new history of American
sport traversing familiar stories of inclusion
and exclusion, but surprising us throughout,
tracing the sport’s dubious history in China
and locating it in the streets of New York,
Boston, and throughout North America.
Refreshing and iconic, 9-MAN explores
Chinese American culture as something not
inherited or translated from a motherland,
but something peculiar to enclave living and
cross-generational identity formation. It’s
also a blistering sports film that makes you
root for favorite teams, and more importantly,
an inspiring way of life. – Brian Hu
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54 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
APPROPRIATE
BEHAVIOR
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 3:10PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
USA | ENGLISH, FARSI
86 MINS | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Desiree Akhavan
CAST Desiree Akhavan,
Rebecca Henderson, Halley Feiffer,
Arian Moayed
Official Selection, 2014 Sundance Film Festival
Best Screenwriting, 2014 Outfest
Filmmaker scheduled to attend
Shirin is an underachieving 20-something
with a Master’s degree in journalism but
no job. She’s also bisexual, unbeknownst to
her otherwise supportive Iranian parents.
Worse yet, she’s just broken up with her
girlfriend Maxine and she’s left to navigate
the unbearable New York dating scene.
Gracefully intercutting flashbacks
of Maxine and Shirin’s relationship,
APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR is wonderfully and
unapologetically hipster Brooklyn, both
making fun of and honoring a city where
you can meet and interact with former
hair models named Tibet or support Jon
Francis’s Kickstarter campaign at the
#OccupyChelsea rally.
Director-writer-actress Desiree Akhavan
is the star Asian American cinema has
been waiting for. APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR’s
quippy dialogue combined with Akhavan’s
perfected deadpan delivery keep the mood
light while also managing to tackle the
harsh realities of today’s dating experience,
where the best ways to meet someone are
OkCupid and experimental art shows. Most
importantly, Akhavan is able to address and
discuss sexual identity in a way that feels
natural and fresh. – James Paguyo
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55 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
BELLA VISTA
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 5:25PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
USA | ENGLISH | 83 MINS | HD | 2014
DIRECTOR Vera Brunner-Sung
CAST Kathleen Wise, Hiroka Matsushima
Official Selection,
2014 International Film Festival Rotterdam
Filmmaker and cast scheduled to attend
Vera Brunner-Sung’s coolly observational
film BELLA VISTA starts with a drifter named
Doris, a young white itinerant teacher to
international students in Missoula, Montana.
It’s an interesting premise, both because
Missoula is Missoula, and Doris is the farthest
thing from Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous
Minds. Doris lives in a dingy motel. She is
pretty, but her prettiness only helps her blend
into malls where she eats alone.
BELLA VISTA lives in the cagey space where
transience complicates definitions of home.
Inspired by Brunner-Sung’s own relocation
to Missoula, Doris is someone for whom
arriving doesn’t mean staying. Missoula,
the film’s other subject, happens to be full
of such characters – from her international
students to the Japanese and Italians once
imprisoned there.
Brunner-Sung asks what it feels like for Doris
to make sense of a specific place in time. But
place is not really a finite knowable object
and we are always in the midst of making
sense of our bearings. As such, Brunner-
Sung’s posture is that of a wallflower, aloof
but wide-eyed, scanning for connection,
ready to leave.
Shot on a shoestring budget over 12 days,
BELLA VISTA could seem at first glance like
a despairing film, except for its many lilting
turns, both narrative and aerobic. With a
beautifully photographic eye, provocative
shifts in perspective, and a sensory approach
to questions of location and history, BELLA
VISTA is a remarkable debut that puts
Brunner-Sung on the feature-film map, no
doubt ready to drift onto another. – Christina
Ree
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56 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
CICADA
NOV. 10 (MONDAY), 6:30PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
USA, JAPAN | JAPANESE
100 MINS | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Dean Yamada
CAST Yugo Saso, Hitomi Takimoto,
Junpei Yasui, Hiroko Wada
Best Narrative Feature,
2014 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Filmmaker scheduled to attend
Free for Pac-Arts members
Every summer, the cicada comes to the
surface to make its mating call and shed its
shell. In Japan, the cicada thus stands for
reincarnation and rebirth. It’s also a running
metaphor in CICADA, in which shy teacher
Jumpei (Yugo Saso) is told by a doctor that
he is infertile. The news sparks feelings of
confusion and embarrassment, which don’t
bode well for his already-shaky relationship
with his family and girlfriend. But then there’s
the bullied nephew Ryota that Jumpei
begins to mentor, as if Ryota were a student
or son, and Jumpei gains an assertiveness
previously unseen.
With light comedic tones, CICADA surrounds
Jumpei with a lively crew of offbeat
characters: an overbearing sister, a slacker
brother-in-law, and an extroverted rocker
girlfriend. In his first feature film, director Dean
Yamada draws from his own experiences as a
teacher, not just in the thoughtful story of an
educator, but also on the level of filmmaking.
CICADA was produced as a project with
Yamada’s current and former film students
at Biola University. As Yamada is reborn as a
feature film director, his students too come to
the surface as filmmakers of their own. – Eric
Lallana
Preceded by: KEN MIURA: UNHEARDOF
USA | 5 MINS | 2014
DIRECTOR Raymond C. Lai
A portrait of the USC film professor who
taught sound design to Hollywood legends
like George Lucas.
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57 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
EAT WITH ME
NOV. 7 (FRIDAY), 6:35PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
USA | ENGLISH | 95 MINS | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR David Au
CAST Sharon Omi, Teddy Chen Culver,
Nicole Sullivan
Official Selection,
2014 Los Angeles Film Festival
Official Selection,
2014 Frameline Film Festival
Filmmakers scheduled to attend
There’s nothing quite as disarming as
food, and when it comes to family and its
drama, there’s nothing quite like the ritual
of the meal to relax and comfort us into
confronting our differences and sharing our
passions. David Au’s EAT WITH ME knows
that feeling of gustatory and emotional
pleasure all too well.
From a most original opening scene of a
wife Emma (Sharon Omi) realizing how
trapped she is in marriage, to her tentative
visit to her son Elliot (Teddy Chen Culver),
Au has us similarly disarmed through light
humor. Elliot is a chef struggling to attract
customers to his restaurant, while feeling
distant from a mother who hasn’t quite come
to terms with the fact that he is gay. But
with the help of Elliot’s irreverent neighbor
Maureen (Mad TV’s Nicole Sullivan), Emma
is exposed to a world unencumbered by
expectations – and by husbands.
In his first feature-length film EAT WITH ME,
writer and director David Au gives us a story
filled with rich and complicated characters
that jovially mirror those in our own lives.
It shares insight like a family shares a
meal: with an eye to tradition, a joy for
improvisation, and always with a chair open
to a friendly visitor. – Eric Lall ana
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58 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
Pacific Islanders in Communications presents
PACIFIC SHOWCASE at SDAFF
pic_SDAFF_fullpage_20140910_FINAL.indd 1 9/15/14 8:44 AM
KUMU HINA
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 2:30PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
USA | ENGLISH, HAWAIIAN
77 MINS | HD | 2014
DIRECTOR Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson
Audience Award (documentary),
2014 Asian American
International Film Festival,
Best Documentary,
2014 Frameline Film Festival
Youth Jury Award, 2014 Rhode Island
International Film Festival
Filmmakers and Kumu Hina
scheduled to attend
Sponsored by
Finding love as a mahu (a “middle,” or
third gender person as they are identified
in Hawaii) may just be as challenging
as preserving one’s culture in the face of
centuries of colonial rule. In this rousing
documentary, a kumu (teacher) named
Hina comes to peace with her gender
identity as she passes on Hawaiian hula
to her high school students and meets her
husband along the way. One of her students,
a remarkably self-aware young mahu,
is inspired by her teacher’s own gender
nonconformity and steals the show as she
leads her school’s all-male hula troupe in the
year-end performance.
Through inspiring moments of education and
love, KUMU HINA touches on the meanings of
indigeneity today in Hawaii and how gender
identity and dance traditions are intertwined
with anti-colonial politics. At the center is a
courageous, passionate teacher who finds
room – and the deepest empathy – for all the
middles on the margins. – Wilda Wong
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
LIMITED
PARTNERSHIP
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 12:50PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
USA | ENGLISH | 75 MINS | HD | 2014
DIRECTOR Thomas G. Miller
Official Selection,
2014 Los Angeles Film Festival
Audience Award,
2014 Cinema Q Film Festival Chances are you have not heard of
Filipino American Richard Adams and his
Australian husband, Tony Sullivan. They
were legally married in Colorado in 1975,
but when Richard applied for a green
card for his husband, the Immigration and
Naturalization Service officially called them
“faggots” and denied their application. The
couple sued to prevent deportation and
filed the first federal lawsuit seeking equal
treatment for a same-sex marriage in U.S.
history.
LIMITED PARTNERSHIP is a documentary
about many resonant issues in America
today: marriage equality, immigration
reform. But above all, it is a love story
that fuels a 43-year path toward justice,
traversing continents and living under the
radar to avoid persecution and separation
from family and friends. It’s an inspiring
journey that shows that the fight for
equality can be life’s work, as well as love’s
work. – Wilda Wong
Preceded by: 6 WEDDINGS AND A DRESS
USA | 8 MINS | 2014
DIRECTOR Steven Nagano
The travels of a wedding dress first worn in a
Japanese incarceration camp.
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61 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
LORDVILLE
NOV. 12 (WEDNESDAY), 4:00PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
USA | ENGLISH, DELAWARE
67 MINS | HD | 2014
DIRECTOR Rea Tajiri
Official Selection, 2014 CAAMFest
Official Selection,
2014 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
This is a Free Film at Four,
sponsored by
Rea Tajiri, one of Asian America’s most
important artists, makes films that unframe
images from their dusty space on the mantle
and unsettle them with sensuous reimaginings.
Less concerned with an excavation of “truths,”
Tajiri’s works construct a space filled with
the gravitational pulls of history, longing, and
memory – invisible pulls that alter and refigure
our perception of the present.
In 2003, Tajiri purchased a house in the
upstate New York town of Lordville, joining
50 residents who lived in this once-booming,
now literal ghost town. By coincidence, Tajiri’s
home had an existing paper trail of stolen
land, with a family tree that reached back to
white land speculator John Lord and his wife,
Minisink Delaware Indian Betia Van Dunk who
was legally barred from inheriting her own
property. In her latest film LORDVILLE, Tajiri
conjures the settler, the geologic, the nation,
and the intimate, as she walks property lines,
visits residents, conducts environmental
readings and genealogical research, and
brings us the deep pleasures and mysteries of
a relationship to place, asking: what does land
ownership mean? It’s a provocative question,
through which Lordville emerges as a place of
hauntings that exhale history, and land that
thickens, breathes, and resists.
As with Tajiri’s canonical History and Memory,
LORDVILLE may prove to be a kind of paradigm
shift, asking questions about Asian American
complicity and the ongoing colonization of
the Americas, underscoring yet again Tajiri’s
place as one of our most pioneering artists.
– Christina Ree
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62 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
MAN FROM RENO
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 4:45PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
USA, JAPAN | ENGLISH, JAPANESE
111 MINS | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Dave Boyle
CAST Ayako Fujitani, Pepe Serna,
Kazuki Kitamura, Yasuyo Shiba
Best Narrative Feature,
2014 Los Angeles Film Festival
Filmmaker and crew scheduled to attend
We all want to escape at some point. This
moody neo-noir explores what happens
when conflicted characters finally take the
plunge, leaving their haunted memories
behind for a strange and salacious
alternate path. In this story of a Japanese
novelist (Ayako Fujitani) and a small town
sheriff (Pepe Serna) who get caught up in
a spider’s web of deceit, corruption, and
murder, director Dave Boyle (Surrogate
Valentine, SDAFF ’11) constructs a pivotal
San Francisco film built entirely out of
distrusting vantage points. Strangeness
and danger permeate every angular frame
and haloed composition, creating a skewed
physical landscape that matches the
characters’ warped psychology.
Opening with a foggy ode to Robert
Aldrich’s Kiss Me Deadl y, the serpentine
plot then constricts and contorts to include
narrative riffs on everything from Vertigo
to The Maltese Falcon. All of the typical
conventions and archetypes of film noir are
subverted in arresting fashion. The result
is a fascinating and fatalistic oddity about
friendship, the failure of imagination, and
withdrawal. As one characters says early
on, “Sounds fun, pretending.” Boyle’s film
proves just how precarious wearing a mask
can be. – Glenn Heath, Jr.
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63 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
MY LIFE IN CHINA
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 1:20PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 12 (WEDNESDAY), 6:30PM,
ARCLIGHT CINEMAS LA JOLLA
USA | ENGLISH, TOISANESE, CANTONESE
52 MINS | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Kenneth Eng
World Premiere
Filmmakers scheduled to attend
Sponsored by
Co-presented by
In 1966, Kenneth Eng’s father defected from
China by swimming to Macau. He then
ferried illegally to Hong Kong and ultimately
arrived in the U.S., where he had two sons.
It’s a story of migration that’s not unusual in
accounts of the Asian American experience
or in celebrations of the American
dream. What makes MY LIFE IN CHINA so
fascinating and timely is that it begins with
the epilogue to this familiar tale. While well-
educated in China, Kenneth’s dad ended up
cooking Chinese fast food in Boston. His wife
was diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic.
America became a nightmare. He had
escaped China once for a better life. 40
years later, could he escape back?
A documentarian, Kenneth follows his father
as he traces his steps back on a visit to
China. The documentary moves briskly and
the years accelerate backward until father
and son arrive at the beginning, where the
answer to his father’s questions no longer
look so simple.
MY LIFE IN CHINA is a powerful and deeply
personal take on the seeming arbitrariness
that is migration, nation, and a life defined
by economic potential. And whereas many
Asian American films have chronicled a
return to roots, MY LIFE IN CHINA is about
roots severed and branches that could have
been. The unspoken but critical presence
through it all is American-bred Kenneth
himself, a product of multiple migrations
and the branch that simply is, regrets or not.
– Brian Hu
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64 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
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REEL VOICES
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), NOON,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
120 MINS
Free screening
Since 2005, Reel Voices has
empowered local high school students by
teaching them the art of documentary
filmmaking. This intense, 12-week summer
internship helps students become socially-
conscious storytellers, learn Final Cut Pro
editing, and experience all stages of
production and post-production.
This year, Reel Voices presents the
short documentaries of 10 students whose
works touch on issues ranging from work
and college, to race and identity.
CONFESSIONSOF A COSPLAYER
DIRECTOR Gabi D’amico
USA | 4 MIN | 2014
Members of the cosplay community talk
about the sexualization of costumes and
stress that cosplay is not consent.
IT

S A PROCESS
DIRECTOR Rebecca Liu
USA | 6 MIN | 2014
Coming out can be harder than one realizes.
THIS IS NOT A PIPE DREAM: ASIANS IN THE ARTS
DIRECTOR Alex Jen
USA | 11 MIN | 2014
Three young Asian artists share their
experiences on their path to making their
“pipe dreams” come true.
JUST LIKE YOU
DIRECTOR Ashton Tu
USA | 4 MIN | 2014
Jake Froman doesn’t let cerebral palsy
discourage him from pursuing his dreams.
CLIMATE CHANGE
DIRECTOR Jakob Rostamo
USA | 7 MIN | 2014
A look at the effects of global warming and
pollution.
SKIN
DIRECTOR Hinsseenee Regassa
USA | 7 MIN | 2014
Young black females share their stories as
victims of racism.
WITNESS
DIRECTOR Melissa Ruegg
USA | 6 MIN | 2014
An inactive Jehovah’s Witness discusses
leaving the religion and experiencing new
things.
A STEP FORWARD, A LOOK BACK
DIRECTOR Iris Pulsingay
USA | 9 MIN | 2014
A group of college-bound friends reveal
their expectations and worries before
15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival 66
14th San Diego Asian Flm Festival
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67 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
entering the world of so-called “grown-
ups.”
SEEING TRIPLE
DIRECTOR Emma Liu
USA | 5 MIN | 2014
An in-depth look into the glamorous life of
the Liu triplets.
AS WE ARE
DIRECTOR Krisel Magana
USA | 5 MIN | 2014
Sebastian speaks of his journey and
experiences as a transgender male.
RU
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 5:35PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
USA | ENGLISH | 97 MIN | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Jeff Fong
CAST Jared Egusa, Diana Lu, Geo Lee,
David Lautman
Filmmaker, cast and crew
scheduled to attend
Well, it could be worse. Yeah, you were picked
on in school. And sure, you were born into a
family of assassins. And on your 21st birthday,
you have to kill somebody in front of the
elders to prove your loyalty to the clan. It
could be worse, because you might not have
siblings willing to walk you through it, to stick
their necks out by being your advocates, and
to be your friends in a family of killers.
So at least that’s working in favor of Ru, a
sweet kid who wouldn’t hurt a fly, let alone
murder for money. Sensing his desperation,
Ru’s sister negotiates a deal for him: for his
first kill, he can pick his own target. But Ru’s
so virtuous he can’t even swear, so playing
judge, jury, and executioner is going to be an
ethical knot he’s not so keen to untie.
What starts off as an eccentric family
comedy turns into an uncommonly genuine
story about sibling love. In his feature debut,
Jeff Fong directs his actors with aw-shucks
earnestness and displays a lively visual style.
Countless young Asian American directors
have attempted to bring YouTube’s DIY
aesthetic and youth genres to the big screen,
but this is the rare one that feels like the
organic evolution of those Wong Fu-inspired
nice guy shorts. Ru’s camera asides are as
KevJumba as they are Ferris Bueller. The
awkward absurdity is less farce than honest
desperation. But what truly sets RU apart is
that the home-spun Sacramento scrappiness
doesn’t detract from the emotional ambition,
but makes it that much more sincere. – Brian
Hu
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68 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
We are a proud supporter and champion of
the San Diego Asian Film Festival and the
Pacifc Arts Movement.
Congratulations on 15 years of bringing
Asian American and Asian international
cinema to a broader community.
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London
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Los Angeles
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New York
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San Diego
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San Francisco
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Stamford
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www.mintz.com
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SHORTS:
ANIMATION: THE
ILLUSION OF LIFE
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 1:00PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 12 (WEDNESDAY), 7:25PM
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
80 MINS
How do you coax life out of thin air?
Find out in this program dedicated entirely
to the magical art of animation.
Some mature content
Filmmakers scheduled to attend
JIMMY LOVES JUICE
USA | 5 MINS | 2013 | 2D
DIRECTOR David Yee
A normal day in the park for young Jimmy
takes an unexpected turn when he tries a
new kind of refreshment: juice!
pardesi
INDIA | 6 MINS | 2011 | CG
DIRECTOR Mariana Ramirez
A rickshaw driver plays wacky tour guide on
a cultural ride through the bustling streets
of India.
STEADFAST STANLEY
USA | 4 MINS | 2014 | 2D
DIRECTOR John Kim
When the apocalypse breaks, all Stanley the
Pembroke Welsh Corgi wants to do is get
back to his owner.
GOOD MORNING
S.KOREA | 4 MINS | 2014 | 2D
DIRECTOR Lee Hyun-ho
A salaryman hits the snooze button one too
many times.
A WARRIOR

S DREAM
CHINA | 3 MINS | 2013 | CG
DIRECTOR Li Jin
Donnie Yen vs. Bruce Lee. ‘Nuff said.
HIGHER SKY
USA | 6 MINS | 2014 | 2D
DIRECTOR Teng “Eric” Cheng
In a breathtaking jungle, a monkey and a
swallow have a kung fu encounter.
ORIGAMI
FRANCE | 8 MINS | 2012 | CG
DIRECTOR Joanne Smithies, Eric De
Melo Bueno, Michael Moreno, Hugo Bailly
Desmarchelier, Camille Turon
Haiko’s paper dragon and inner demons
come alive and battle it out.
BY THE STREAM
USA | 3 MINS | 2013 | 2D
DIRECTOR Otto Tang
A time-lapse glimpse into the trials,
tribulations, and monotony of a man’s life.
JOHN DOE
USA | 4 MINS | 2014 | STOPMOTION
DIRECTOR Yizhou Li, Dustin Reno
When a detective begins putting the
evidence together on a seemingly
unsolvable case, his pursuit for the truth
takes an unexpected turn.
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71 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
ETERNITY
USA | 2 MINS | 2012 | CG
DIRECTOR ByungHoon Han
A timeless battle between a predator and his
prey in the cyber circle of life.
IMPERMANENCE
TAIWAN | 7 MINS | 2012 | CG
DIRECTOR Miao Tien-Yu
In a dystopic world, a temporal tsunami
threatens to swallow up Wu Chang and his
city of ruins.
HARDLOCK
S.KOREA | 6 MINS | 2014 | 2D
DIRECTOR Kim Tae-kyun, Shim Je-eun
An overbearing boss torments his
subordinate until a twist of fate turns the
tables around.
RED
FRANCE | 6 MINS | 2014 | CG
DIRECTOR Alexandre Charleux, Victoria
Bruneel, Amaury Brunet, Ning Zhang
In the dark districts of the metropolis, a
mysterious serial killer strikes down red-
dressed women.
A FOXTALE
FRANCE | 6 MINS | 2011 | CG
DIRECTOR Thomas Bozovic, Alexandre
Cazals, Julien Legay, Chao Ma
In ancient China, two brothers risk all in a
fight over a mysterious and tantalizing fox.
DEARMOM
USA | 3 MINS | 2014 | 2D
DIRECTOR Qianyu (Cherry) Zhou
A daughter’s heartfelt letter to mom.
THEREWARD
USA | 3 MINS | 2014 | 2D
DIRECTOR Po Chou
A tale of gratitude and paying it forward.
BEHINDMYBEHIND
USA | 4 MINS | 2014 | 2D + STOPMOTION
DIRECTOR David Chai
A disheartened Earnest Knapp learns that
the valuable things are often just a butt
cheek away.
SHORTS:
CHILD ST R
NOV. 7 (FRIDAY), 4:00PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
99 MINS
There’s no rest for the former actors,
the closet superstars, and the kids living out
movie-plot fantasies.
Filmmakers scheduled to attend
This is a Free Film at Four,
sponsored by
MILKYBOY
DIRECTOR Arnold Arre
PHILIPPINES | 20 MIN | 2013
As he embarks on dating, Rey yearns to be
disassociated with his past as an actor in
commercials.
THE BUSYYOUNG PSYCHIC
DIRECTOR Chen Ho-yu
TAIWAN | 29 MIN | 2013
A teenage girl’s special talent gets in the way
of her romantic aspirations.
WHATADAY
DIRECTOR Shannon Lee
USA | 3 MIN | 2014
A bejeweled day full of questions and
cupcakes.
GRACE OF GOD
DIRECTOR Millicent Cho
USA | 8 MIN | 2013
In a Catholic prep school, teenage
hijinks abound over sex, love, and divine
intervention.
THE BADDEST PART
DIRECTOR Adam Azimov
USA | 14 MIN | 2014
A young couple hits the road to live out their
badland fantasies.
DISTANT LIGHT
DIRECTOR Alexander Lau
USA, HONG KONG | 25 MIN | 2013
In the eerie shambles of an old family home,
father and son retreat into their own devices.
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72 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
SHORTS FOR
SHORTIES
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 11:00AM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
46 MINS
Animated and live-action short films
for kids and their families.
Filmmakers scheduled to attend
Free for children under 12
HUNGRYMONSTER, EPISODE 3: BOBA
DIRECTOR Karen Lin
USA | 3 MIN | 2014
Our costumed friend introduces us to the
Taiwan beverage boba.
FORTHE LOVE OF UNICORNS
DIRECTOR Genevieve Erin O’Brien
USA | 6 MIN | 2014
Kylan’s love for unicorns brings a
community together.
RAVI &JANE
DIRECTOR Stuart O’Rourke
AUSTRALIA | 14 MIN | 2013
Sri Lankan newcomer Ravi is welcomed by
his classmate Jane.
HUNGRYMONSTER, EPISODE 2: BATSANG
DIRECTOR Karen Lin
USA | 5 MIN | 2014
The hungry monsters are back! This time to
talk about tasty rice dumplings tied up in
bamboo leaves.
TWINSINBAKERY
DIRECTOR Mari Miyazawa
JAPAN | 5 MIN | 2013
When the owner’s not looking, two hot dogs
come alive and bring a bakery to life.
AHCOONTHE ROAD
DIRECTOR Soyeon Kim
SOUTH KOREA, USA | 9 MIN | 2013
A baby elephant goes on a journey to
reunite with her mother.
WALLPAPER
DIRECTOR Elaine Chen
CANADA | 2 MIN | 2013
A new homeowner peels back the
wallpaper and uncovers old stories, one
layer at a time.
HUNGRYMONSTER, EPISODE1: STINKYTOFU
DIRECTOR Karen Lin
USA | 4 MIN | 2014
What’s that smell? It’s the tastiest, stinkiest
tofu of all!
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73 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
SHORTS:
GAY OF THRONES
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 7:30PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
91 MINS
From a divine princess and
fierce drag queens to a king-sized dilemma,
a royal dose of drama and fun awaits.
INSUNRISE
DIRECTOR Xinzheng Wang
SINGAPORE, USA | 12 MIN | 2014
A widower and his deceased wife’s personal
nurse are drawn together in grief.
CANTONESE STYLE!
DIRECTOR Bea Soong
USA | 9 MIN | 2014
At dim sum, Flora and Bessie dish on
fashion, friendship…and their waiter.
SQUARED
DIRECTOR Hieu Tran
USA | 15 MIN | 2014
A one-night stand gets competitive when
two guys discover they are both tops.
CROSSINGBARRIERS: CULTURE CLASHQUEERS
DIRECTOR Caro Reyes
USA | 13 MIN | 2013
Young people of color bare all, crossing
barriers to identity and acceptance.
BAI XIE (SNOWWHITE)
DIRECTOR Ian Burris
CHINA | 9 MIN | 2014
A drag mother helps her students transform
into glamorous performers.
NONO, HOMO
DIRECTOR Jerell Rosales
USA | 3 MIN | 2014
Two friends catch a matinee and share a
mouthwatering bucket of popcorn.
TOSIT WITHHER
DIRECTOR Nicole Miyahara
USA | 5 MIN | 2014
Leon, a transman, makes a pilgrimage to
visit his 97-year-old grandmother in rural
Taiwan.
PRINSESA
DIRECTOR Drew Stephens
USA | 12 MIN | 2014
A father squares off with his friends after
his son dreams of becoming a princess.
ABAN+KHORSHID
DIRECTOR Darwin Serink
USA | 13 MIN | 2013
Inspired by true events, two lovers must
face the punishment for being gay.
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74 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
SHORTS:
GRAVITY BURNS
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 3:00PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
96 MINS
The pressures of falling back to earth
are no match for the unshakeable tethers
of love and family.
Filmmakers scheduled to attend
RATTLEFLY
DIRECTOR Min Ding
USA | 20 MIN | 2014
Sara feels trapped until the new pastor’s
daughter arrives in town.
NAMI
DIRECTOR Masami Kawai
USA | 13 MIN | 2014
An older woman goes through a ritual of love
that spans the city of Los Angeles.
MYBROTHER
DIRECTOR Vu Pham, Joe X. Jiang
USA | 24 MIN | 2014
A wayward Vietnamese American is
shadowed by his specter of a brother.
HYPEBEASTS
DIRECTOR Jessica dela Merced
USA | 20 MIN | 2013
Waiting in line for the hottest new shoes
becomes an unexpectedly complicated
matter.
JAYA
DIRECTOR Puja Maewal
INDIA | 19 MIN | 2013
A thieving orphan hopes to reunite with her
biological father.
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75 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
SHORTS:
MOONLIGHT
REPRESENTS
MY HEART
NOV. 14 (FRIDAY), 4:00PM,
MCASD SHERWOOD AUDITORIUM
76 MINS
This is a Free Film at Four,
sponsored by
Through a moonbeam fog of cinematic
memories emerge powerful visions of
contemporary China.
GRANDCANAL
DIRECTOR Johnny Ma
CHINA | 19 MIN | 2013
With rock-n-roll romanticism and a heavy
heart, a son remembers his father’s
experiences on the docks.
MOUNT SONG
DIRECTOR Shambhavi Kaul
INDIA | 8 MIN | 2013
Reverberations of a mushroom-cloud movie
set where the wind triggers special effects
nobody will see.
THE PRIVATE LIFE OF FENFEN
DIRECTOR Leslie Tai
USA, CHINA | 28 MIN | 2014
Three years of video diaries on work and
love play out as soap opera entertainment
in public spaces.
THE QUESTIONING
DIRECTOR Zhu Rikun
CHINA | 21 MIN | 2013
One night in 2012, director Zhu Rikun knew
the authorities would come knocking so he
turned on his camera.
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76 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
SHORTS:
STRANGER THINGS
HAVE HAPPENED
NOV. 11 (TUESDAY), 4:00PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
91 MINS
The dark unknown, a happy fun place, an
other-worldly waiting room, the digital noise.
Pick your door wisely.
Filmmakers scheduled to attend
This is a Free Film at Four, sponsored by
HAPPYFUNROOM
DIRECTOR Greg Pak
USA | 14 MIN | 2014
A kids TV show host wonders if her message
has lost its bite.
PEEPERS
DIRECTOR Ken Lam
USA | 7 MIN | 2014
A young couple freaks out during dinner
over what lurks just outside their window.
FINGERRUNNING
DIRECTOR Diana Li
USA | 9 MIN | 2014
Two women get tangled in a dazzling play
of fingers and hair.
SOYOU

VE GROWNATTACHED
DIRECTOR Kate Tsang
USA | 15 MIN | 2014
An imaginary friend knows his time is
about up.
GRANDMA
DIRECTOR Yu Chen
USA | 5 MIN | 2014
A day in the life of an elderly woman
shaking beneath her masks.
IT

SNOT APRISONIF YOUNEVERTRYTHE DOOR
DIRECTOR Joshua Gen Solondz
USA | 7 MIN | 2014
Godzilla gets zapped.
H7N3
DIRECTOR Iris K. Shim
USA | 11 MIN | 2013
A doctor’s routine diagnosis of a young girl
grows frightening.
BOYCOTT
DIRECTOR Boyoung Lim
SOUTH KOREA | 23 MIN | 2014
Young vigilantes torment a convenience
store manager over unpaid wages.
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77 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
SHORTS:
THERE WILL BE
A STORM
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 3:20PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
96 MINS
Armed with song and dance, and backed
by a digital toolkit and dreams for a better
world, these voices won’t be silenced.
Filmmakers scheduled to attend
DELANO MANONGS: FORGOTTEN HEROES
OF THE UNITED FARMWORKERS MOVEMENT
DIRECTOR Marissa Aroy
USA | 28 MIN | 2014
Filipino farm workers of the sixties become
essential players in the fight for organized
labor.
MASSCONFUCIAN: CHINESELANGUAGEOR
COMMUNISTPROPAGANDA?
DIRECTOR Philip W. Chung
USA | 25 MIN | 2014
Emotions run high when middle school Chinese
language classes become controversial.
WHYWE RISE
DIRECTOR Brian Redondo, Corinne Manabat
USA | 13 MIN | 2013
Three undocumented Asian Americans
emerge from the shadows and find their
political voice.
COMFORTGIRLS
DIRECTOR Eugene Lee Yang
USA | 5 MIN | 2014
Four K-pop sisters lash out at the male gaze.
TRANSFORMERS: THEPREMAKE
DIRECTOR Kevin B. Lee
USA | 25 MIN | 2014
The latest Michael Bay film finds a cutting pre-
life on YouTube.
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
SUBURBANITE
NOV. 10 (MONDAY), 8:30PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
USA | ENGLISH, TAGALOG
62 MINS | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Ryan Jameson
CAST Carlo Chavez, Jeff Jackson,
Mishka Balilty
World Premiere
Filmmaker, cast and crew
scheduled to attend
A new kind of film hero emerged in the 90s:
the overgrown child, a figure whose ability
to feel more and dream bigger than adults
made them simultaneously off-putting and
endearing. The suburbs, which seem to
only be the right size for small children and
doting parents, are a perfect foil for these
characters. Against such backgrounds,
these Napoleon Dynamites seem all the
more ridiculous…and heroic.
Now, twenty years into this seemingly
exhausted genre emerges SUBURBANITE, a
film that’s so fresh and disarmingly hilarious
you would think it’s the first of its kind. Grice
(Carlo Chavez) is a college-aged Filipino
American desperately avoiding adulthood
by scheming to open a hot dog cart, and
by finally finishing an action movie “Drug
Island” that he and his best friend Diggs
(Jeff Jackson) had begun as children. That
such a schemer could have a girlfriend
is made all the more convincing by the
fantastic deadpan performance of Mishka
Balilty as the target of his pursuits.
The first feature film by young director Ryan
Jameson, SUBURBANITE is everything you’d
want a filmmaker’s debut to be: charming,
honest, and confident in its unique voice.
The film feels so hand-made and full of love
you’d hope Jameson and his team were
also running the projector and ripping your
tickets. – Lev Kalman
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79 15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
TELOS: THE
FANTASTIC
WORLD OF
EUGENE TSUI
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 1:00PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
USA | ENGLISH | 52 MIN | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Kyung Lee
Official Selection, 2014 Newport Beach
International Film Festival
Filmmaker and Eugene Tssui
scheduled to attend
You. Bow down in awe to Dr. Eugene Tssui.
Let the gaping begin to Tssui’s sequined
bodysuit. His solar-paneled shoulder pads.
His excellence in gymnastics. His Adonis-like
body. Tssui, who flies somewhere between
lunatic fringe and visionary genius, is the
world’s most disagreeable architect. He may
also be an ambassador sent from the future.
TELOS: THE FANTASTIC WORLD OF EUGENE
TSSUI is a fascinating portrait of Tssui, the
indubitable love child of Buckminster Fuller
and Captain Kirk. Tssui’s highly thoughtful
but utterly radical Evolutionary Architecture
comes alive in elegiac proposals for structures
informed by nature, as when he translates the
structural benefits of a tardigrade into a home
in Berkeley. Which might explain why hellbent
neighbors try to block a house resembling
a segmented microscopic water dweller
with eight legs. (They lose. Fish house wins.)
Public outcry and cube-loving conventions
block Tssui time and again, despite four
professional degrees, illustrious architectural
supporters, and concepts that foreshadow
the wearable technology and sustainable
strategies emerging today.
You may not want him to design your house
or clothes, but as Tssui pursues a new project
with sympathetic public officials in Mount
Shasta, TELOS will have you cheering for him
the whole way. Filmmaker Kyung Lee takes
you into Tssui’s world without romance or
irony. When Tssui talks about architecture, he
is riveting, illuminating, masterful. The result
is a film that delivers the delicious feeling
of realizing how boring we have become. –
Christina Ree
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
ASIA POP!
15
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San Diego Asian Film Festival 81
Films to make you laugh, cry, and cheer,
featuring accidental heroes, rock star
kids, dugout underdogs, kind-hearted
gangsters, and a true Queen of hearts.
THE ROUND TABLE
ANITA

S LAST
CHA CHA
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 7:55M,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 10 (MONDAY), 6:40PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
PHILIPPINES | TAGALOG
110 MIN | DCP | 2013
DIRECTOR Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo
CAST Teri Malvar, Angel Aquino,
Jay Bordon, Marcus Badrigal
Best Picture, Best Actress,
2013 CineFilipino Film Festival
Special Mention,
2014 Osaka Asian Film Festival
Official Selection,
2014 Frameline Film Festival
Sponsored by
Jhigs & Friends
Effortlessly charming, funny, and poignant,
ANITA’S LAST CHA-CHA has sass-talking
aunties, telenovela-worthy plotting kids, and
in the midst of it all, Teri Malvar, who plays
spunky 12-year-old Anita falling in love for
the first time. It’s a bold film both because
of the graceful way it weaves hot-button
topics such as sexuality, gender, abortion, and
aging into a crowdpleaser, but also because
Malvar’s performance made waves when
she beat “Superstar” Nora Aunor in the 2013
CineFilipino Festival Award for Best Actress.
Sigrid Andrea Bernardo’s feature film debut is
the rare treat of a film with the embrace of a
close-knit town and the hijinks that can only
come from kids given plenty of space to roam.
Set in a small village in Bulacan, cranky, dress-
hating Anita is in the middle of two love
triangles, one with her hilariously dramatic
peers, the other with a beautiful older woman
Pilar (Angel Aquino) whose mysterious return
to town has set tongues wagging. The
triangles complicate and unfold with a fertility
procession and other village dramas in the
background, and ANITA’S LAST CHA-CHA
brings us the sweet clench of first crushes,
sexual awakening, and broken hearts whose
pangs are as indelible as adult love. As the
audience and the rest of the village understand
Anita’s emerging butchness even before she
can, ANITA’S LAST CHA-CHA’s ultimate grace
note is the way it captures Anita’s beauty as
she claims a path true to herself, surrounded
by love close to home. – Christina Ree
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
BARBER

S TALES
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 1:10PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
PHILIPPINES | TAGALOG | 120 MIN
HD | 2013
DIRECTOR Jun Robles Lana
CAST Eugene Domingo, Eddie Garcia,
Iza Calzado, Gladys Reyes
Best Actress, 2013 Tokyo
International Film Festival
Official Selection, 2014 Hong Kong
International Film Festival
West Coast Premiere
Co-presented by
During Ferdinand Marcos’ reign in the
1970s, Marilou, a recent widow, inherits her
late husband’s barbershop and aims to run
it herself. Her village is divided between a
corrupt pro-Marcos local government and
communist insurgents, with villagers like
Marilou stuck in the middle. The unassuming
Marilou has to make bold choices with her
newly-acquired job in a male-dominated
industry, and with the rebellion happening
right in her own home.
Veteran director Jun Robles Lana moves
from the intimacy of his international hit
Bwakaw to a sprawling film that ranges from
large-scale political movement to domestic
disputes to introspective growth. But the
power of BARBER’S TALES derives from
the strength of the female relationships,
headlined by the incomparable Eugene
Domingo in an award-winning performance.
Her Marilou is joined by other female
villagers who band together to find ways
to support each other in an increasingly
oppressive environment. Together, they
form one of the most kick-ass female casts
of the year and take the audience to an
ending that is rich, bittersweet, and well-
worth the journey. – Janet Kim
Preceded by: BINGO!
USA | 3 MIN | 2014
DIRECTOR Chicky Otani
Chicky and Jeannie open their gifts in the
park.
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
BLUE BUSTAMANTE
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 2:45PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 12 (WEDNESDAY), 5:35PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
PHILIPPINES | TAGALOG, JAPANESE
89 MINS | HD | 2013
DIRECTOR Miko Livelo
CAST Joem Bascon, Jun Sabayton
Official Selection,
2014 Puchon International
Fantastic Film Festival
Official Selection,
2014 Osaka Asian Film Festival
Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) George is
an engineer by trade who left his wife and
child in the Philippines to search for work
in Japan. He’s rejected left and right but is
lucky to have a fellow OFW, Rene, with whom
to share beers and laughs while George
searches for stable work. Rene’s awkward
fascination with George’s physique lands
George a job as a stunt double for a
Japanese sentai show “Force Five.” (Think
Power Rangers, and George is the blue
ranger.) Ashamed of the work he’s forced
into taking, George refuses to come to terms
with his fate. That is, until he discovers that
his son idolizes the blue ranger, not knowing
the true identity of the man behind the mask.
BLUE BUSTAMANTE evokes the 1990s in all
of its glory: hand-written letters, landlines,
men and women cavorting in spandex.
Writer-director Miko Livelo doesn’t hide
the sentiment or the nostalgia factor. For
him, the loving, emotional subject of men
desperate for work is sullen but also hilarious
for its implications for masculinity and its
imagination of the reluctant superhero. But
the true nostalgia comes in the story of
the young son who sees in the blue ranger
an international superstar and someone
greater than the provincial world he knows.
It’s a surprisingly tender and fantastic look
at the gravitational pull of family even when
its members are countries and costumes
apart. – Erwin Mendoza
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
CAMPUS
CONFIDENTIAL
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 4:20PM,
UCSD CALIT2 ATKINSON
HALL AUDITORIUM
TAIWAN | MANDARIN | 101 MIN | HD | 2013
DIRECTOR Lai Chun-yu
CAST Chen Yi-han, Chen Bo-lin, Chiang
Kang-che, Pan Huei-ru
Official Selection, 2014 Udine
Far East Film Festival
North American Premiere
Sponsored by
UCSD Taiwan Studies Lecture Series
and UCSD Chuan Lyu Endowed Chair
in Taiwan Studies
If fate is telling you to love someone you
despise, should you take a chance on them?
What if they tuck their shirts into their jeans
and analyze the plots of sci-fi movies? Yeah,
I thought not.
Kiki is beloved by everyone at her university
and she knows it. But there is one group she
wants nothing to do with. Geeks. When Kiki
witnesses a local lake suddenly dry up, she
meet-cutes with the biggest geek of all,
Lucky Wu. According to legend, the day the
lake dries up, the man and woman who are
witness to the occurrence are destined to
be together forever. Although Kiki tries to
ignore the superstition, she slowly begins
to see Lucky for more than just the pimply,
unkempt exterior that she has sworn to
never date.
Filled with charm and even more wackiness,
CAMPUS CONFIDENTIAL is a hilarious take
on the opposites attract rom-com. Chen Yi-
han is loveable as the stubborn and sassy
Kiki, and the against-type Chen Bo-lin will
win your heart as Lucky Wu in spite of the
dopey gait and bed hair. Add in a jaw-
dropping ending that rivals any TV drama’s
and CAMPUS CONFIDENTIAL earns its A+ in
Rom-Com 101. – James Paguyo
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San Diego Asian Film Festival
FUKU-CHAN OF
FUKUFUKU FLATS
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 8:10PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 12 (WEDNESDAY), 8:00PM,
ARCLIGHT CINEMAS LA JOLLA
JAPAN, UK, ITALY, GERMANY, TAIWAN
JAPANESE | 110 MINS | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Yosuke Fujita
CAST Miyuki Oshima, Yosiyosi Arakawa,
Asami Mizukawa
Official Selection, 2014 Udine
Far East Film Festival
Best Actress, 2014 Fantasia Film Festival
West Coast Premiere
He’d draw a picture for you blindfolded,
but good luck trying to get him to go on a
date. Fukuda, also known as Fuku-chan, lives
in the rundown Fukufuku Flats. He spends
his mornings at work painting buildings,
then divides his evenings between hanging
out with his snake-loving, panty-stealing
neighbors and dodging dates that his co-
worker, Shimacchi (Yosiyosi Arakawa), keeps
trying to set up for him. Fuku-chan is easy-
going and friendly, but romance is not his
cup of tea.
It’s not that women aren’t interested.
It’s just that haunted to this day by an
embarrassing middle school experience,
he will literally do anything to avoid being
set up, including flying kites with the other
odd-balls at Fukufuku Flats. But romance
becomes unavoidable when attractive
wannabe photographer Chiho (Asami
Mizukawa) comes into his life. Together they
work together on a photographic book that
rekindles old feelings.
FUKU-CHAN OF FUKUFUKU FLATS features
woman comedian Miyuki Oshima as Fuku-
chan, showing off her talents and well-known
ability to impersonate men. Her presence
is just one of the many disarming, clever
twists that make FUKU-CHAN such a delight.
Director Yosuke Fujita blends scatological
humor (actual line: “I never had a friend that
worried about my poo before”) and genuine
tenderness together into a picture-perfect
comedy. – Rizzhel Javier
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GANGSTER

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PAYDAY
NOV. 13 (THURSDAY), 4:00PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
HONG KONG | CANTONESE
97 MINS | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Lee Po-cheung
CAST Anthony Wong, Charlene Choi,
Wong You Nam
Closing Night Film,
2014 Busan International Film Festival
North American Premiere
This is a Free Film at Four,
sponsored by
For lovers of 90s Hong Kong films, consider
GANGSTER PAYDAY to be Lee Po-cheung’s
gift to you. It does what many of those Hong
Kong gangster films did: mash up genres,
seamlessly kneading the pleasures of a
triad film, food movie, and rom-com into a
sweet, blood-splattered pineapple bun.
Iconic actor Anthony Wong plays Kwai, an
older, bemused, but still ferocious ex-triad
boss trying to protect and enjoy his few
investments in dated karaoke lounges and
massage parlors. Unfortunately for Kwai,
a newer brand of thug will use any means
necessary to force him to sell his properties,
including leveraging a struggling teashop
whose wily shop owner (Charlene Choi)
has captured the heart of both Kwai and the
youngest baby-faced member of his crew,
Leung (Cantopop star Wong You Nam).
GANGSTER PAYDAY’s throwback opening
sequences, so common in films a decade
ago, now feel charming. Yet the film never
gives way to nostalgia. Wong (Hard Boiled,
Infernal Affairs, The Mission) is at his most
playful and relaxed, pursuing a last hope
for love as far as it will take him. GANGSTER
PAYDAY evokes romantic sweetness and
so much warmth in the world it creates
without ever forgetting what every triad
film promises: a complicated showdown
with tragedy lining the edges. Just
don’t expect an operatic power ballad.
GANGSTER PAYDAY is the filmic equivalent
of the neighborhood haunts it holds dear
– intimately scaled, layered with memory,
and utterly satisfying. – Christina Ree
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A HARD DAY
NOV. 7 (FRIDAY), 9:10PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 7:30PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
SOUTH KOREA | KOREAN
111 MINS | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Kim Sung-hoon
CAST Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Jin-woong,
Jeong Man-sik
Official Selection,
Director’s Fortnight,
2014 Cannes Film Festival
Official Selection,
2014 Toronto International Film Festival
West Coast Premiere
Sponsored by
Things you never want to hear: your
windshield smashing when you crash into
a pedestrian, a cell phone ringing inside
a closed coffin, the questions your peers
start asking when they suspect you have
something to hide. Gu-soo hears them all
and more. Plus it’s the day of his mom’s
funeral and his department at work is under
investigation. A hard day indeed.
Oh and he’s a cop, and in the storied
tradition of Korean action films, that makes
him as morally dubious as any character in
the film – but one of the more entertaining
characters in all of Korean cinema. In this
case, he’s a cop who’s trying to clean up
the tracks after a hit-and-run accident,
which leads him to devise a devilish plan
that involves MacGyvering some toys and
sneaking into some cramped corners. The
kicker of course is that whenever cops are
involved, there’s a lot more than blood to
clean up.
Director Kim Sung-hoon unspools the
knotty threads with Hitchcockian glee. The
complications accumulate rhythmically, even
elegantly, but never without the raucous
aggressiveness that’s characterized some
of Korea’s best thrillers. Moving the cyclone
forward is Lee Sun-kyun (All About My Wife,
SDAFF ’12) in the lead role, his face locked
into a state of disbelief as his attempts to
control his fate spin out like a car swerving
on a rainy night. – Brian Hu
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HELLO! JUNICHI
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 12:40PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 11 (TUESDAY), 3:20PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 15 (SATURDAY), 1:00PM,
LA PALOMA THEATRE
JAPAN | JAPANESE | 90 MINS | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Katsuhito Ishii, Kanoko
Kawaguchi, Atsushi Yoshioka
CAST Amon Kabe, Hikari Mitsushima,
Yoshiyuki Morishita
Official Selection,
2014 Udine Far East Film Festival
West Coast Premiere
Junichi has a pink bunny eraser. But it’s
not his! Somehow he’ll have to return
it to its rightful owner who happens to
be his classmate – and his secret crush.
Meanwhile, his buddy is in a pickle too. His
parents are constantly arguing and he can’t
even properly shoplift some bandages to
give to his ailing mom. There’s also the case
of a missing cell phone and the arrival of
a peculiar student teacher. With so much
going on, Junichi’s never going to find the
time or the courage to return that eraser!
It goes without saying that it’s far easier
to observe cute little third graders than to
actually be one, especially when school is
getting more ludicrous by the day and when
one’s models for romance are the class’s
dopey teacher or the small town’s bone-
headed twenty-somethings. But there is a
solution and it’s going to be adorable. Start
a rock band!
Director Katsuhito Ishii (The Taste of Tea,
Funky Forest) has made a career out of
whimsical randomness and enchanting
song-and-dance numbers, and here
manages to conjoin the far-out fantastic
with the squishy-cheeked heroics of puppy
love. Ishii distinctively understands that the
best kids’ films are at heart dopily sad and
wondrously pervy because kids haven’t
yet learned to filter out the tangential or
the erratic. HELLO! JUNICHI allows them
to thrive within that unfiltered world of
possibility and sing their hearts out, if only
for one day. – Brian Hu
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KANO
NOV. 7 (FRIDAY), 6:45PM,
UCSD CALIT2 ATKINSON HALL
AUDITORIUM
NOV. 12 (WEDNESDAY), 6:40PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
TAIWAN | JAPANESE, MANDARIN, HAKKA
185 MINS | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Umin Boya
CAST Masatoshi Nagase, Tsao Yu-ning,
Takao Osawa, Maki Sakai
Best Picture Nominee,
2014 Golden Horse Awards
Audience Award,
2014 Taipei Film Festival
Audience Award,
2014 Osaka Asian Film Festival
Official Selection,
2014 New York Asian Film Festival
Filmmaker scheduled to attend
Nov. 7 screening
West Coast Premiere
Sponsored by
UCSD Taiwan Studies Lecture Series
and UCSD Chuan Lyu Endowed Chair
in Taiwan Studies
Koshien. Some refer to it as the Japanese
High School Baseball Championship. But
for every young baseball player in Japan,
reaching Koshien is the ultimate dream.
In the 1930s, when Taiwan was a colony of
Japan, Koshien was also the dream of the
hapless, multi-ethnic high school baseball
team from Chiayi known as Kano. When a
new coach reluctantly takes over, he turns
the team and their entire town into believers
that this winless team can reach a place
they never thought possible. Koshien.
KANO is a true underdog sports tale that
hits all the right beats without ever being
predictable. And while the story would
be nothing without the team, the true ace
of this film is baseball itself. Even with its
baseball-appropriate three-hour runtime,
the suspense and drama are palpable
throughout, with each subsequent game
becoming more heart-pounding than the
last. The climactic game alone puts KANO
into the conversation as one of the greatest
baseball films ever. Highlighted by an MVP
performance from newcomer Tsao Yu-ning,
KANO reminds us what we can achieve with
hard work, a common goal, and a dream.
Kano for the world! – James Paguyo
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In a Roppongi backroom, so hidden you have
to call in for directions, strangers converge
every night for some good old fashioned
anonymous sex. On this particular night,
four men and four women pay, disrobe,
and await the ground rules on how they
are to spend the next five hours. Showering
is mandatory, emotion is not. What these
eight perhaps didn’t bargain for is that
between midnight and 5am, they’ll also do a
lot of awkward chatting, testing the waters
and getting to know the boundaries not just
of sex, but of each other’s’ bodies, tastes,
and sensitivities.
In other words, it’s a comedy! How could it
not be, when one is a schoolteacher, one
is a virgin, and everyone is to some extent
a pervert? Director Daisuke Miura adapts
his own award-winning play and manages
to turn a talky waiting room farce into a
fanciful hotpot of sex acts and acting sexual,
full of the kind of put-ons and protractions
that’s led the film to be compared with
Buñuel’s. LOVE’S WHIRLPOOL is a hilariously
uncomfortable game of social decorum,
and an especially devilish one when seen
in a dark room with a bunch of strangers.
– Brian Hu
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LOVE

S WHIRLPOOL
NOV. 7 (FRIDAY), 9:25PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 13 (THURSDAY), 9:00PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
JAPAN | JAPANESE | 123 MINS | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Daisuke Miura
CAST Sosuke Ikematsu, Mugi Kadowaki,
Kenichi Takito, Eriko Nakamura
Official Selection, 2014 Puchon International
Fantastic Film Festival
West Coast Premiere
PARTNERS IN CRIME
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 2:25PM,
UCSD CALIT2 ATKINSON
HALL AUDITORIUM
TAIWAN | MANDARIN
89 MINS | HD | 2014
DIRECTOR Chang Jung-chi
CAST Wu Chien-ho, Deng Yu-kai,
Cheng Kai-yuan, Lee Lieh
Official Selection,
2014 Toronto International Film Festival
Opening Night Film, 2014 Taipei Film Festival
Closing Night Film, 2014 Hong Kong
Cine Fan Summer International Film Festival
West Coast Premiere
Sponsored by
UCSD Taiwan Studies Lecture Series
and UCSD Chuan Lyu Endowed Chair
in Taiwan Studies
Huang is used to getting beat up. Lin is not
the social type. And Yeh puts up a tough-
guy front but doesn’t exactly endear to any
friends. The three teens are on their way to
school when they stumble across the dying
body of Wei-chiao, a classmate they barely
know. It’s ruled a suicide, but the nagging
uncertainty – perhaps imagined by the boys
themselves – put the trio on a mission to
figure out what happened to her.
How Wei-chiao died sets the mystery of
PARTNERS IN CRIME off, but why these three
boys care is the real question, and one that
perhaps has much darker implications.
They start telling lies and a diary becomes
evidence of more than intent. Wei-chiao’s
death is the reason for three loners to form a
bond, but it also reveals the volatility of the
high school social structure to begin with, in
which all four students are a part.
Exploring much grimmer and more complex
terrain than his beloved Touch of the Light,
director Chang Jung-chi expands his
fascination with the anguished restlessness
of young people, and turns in one of the
most mature and atmospheric Taiwanese
youth film in recent years. – Brian Hu
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Vikas Bahl’s QUEEN begins like many a
Bollywood film. There’s a love affair to be
saved, a wedding to be had, and even a dance
number derived from another Bollywood film.
How QUEEN goes from that point to liberation
mirrors the international journey of the titular
heroine as she sheds the expectation of a
Bollywood ending and discovers something
far more regal: a new beginning.
Just before her wedding is to take place, Rani
(a luminous Kangana Ranaut) is jilted by her
fiancé Vijay (a smarmy Rajkummar Rao of Kai
Po Che!). Distraught, she decides to go on her
European honeymoon alone. The mehndi is
barely dry and she’s off to Paris, a city of love,
and then to Amsterdam, a city of sin. Between
the two, she befriends four Europeans and
enchants plenty more. What could easily be
a story about finding yourself in the exotic
becomes an impressive critique of women’s
roles in India. Interspersed flashbacks to Rani
and Vijay’s courtship fill the audience in on
key details, but also remind Rani of how much
more she can still be as a person.
Refusing the sort of cloying love story found in
films like the similar English Vinglish, QUEEN
maintains an unexpected and completely-
earned edginess because of how steadfast
it is in being that rare Bollywood film about
women’s friendships – with men, other
women, foreigners, and locals. The film has
an entertaining cast of allies in the diaspora
who propose alternate versions of Indian
womanhood to Rani. But it dazzles because
of Ranaut in the lead role, the innocent who
refuses to surrender to convention. – Brian Hu
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QUEEN
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 6:25PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 11 (TUESDAY), 3:35PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
INDIA | HINDI, ENGLISH, FRENCH
146 MINS | HD | 2013
DIRECTOR Vikas Bahl
CAST Kangana Ranaut, Rajkummar Rao,
Lisa Haydon, Mish Boyko
Official Selection,
2013 Busan International Film Festival
THE RICE BOMBER
NOV. 10 (MONDAY), 4:00PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
TAIWAN | TAIWANESE, MANDARIN
118 MINS | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Cho Li
CAST Huang Chien-wei, Nikki Hsieh,
Michael Chang
Official Selection,
2014 Berlin International Film Festival
Official Selection,
2014 Hong Kong International Film Festival
West Coast Premiere
This is a Free Film at Four,
sponsored by
Like many sons of central Taiwan, Yang
Rumen was raised by his grandparents.
And like many, he grew up on a rice farm,
getting scolded by his grandfather for
eating bread instead of supporting the
local rice industry, and hearing on TV about
agriculture-related protests happening in
faraway Taipei. Somehow that kid from the
rice fields became the nationally-renowned
rice bomber, planting explosives around
the island to draw attention to the plight of
farmers after Taiwan joined the WTO in 2002
and started importing agriculture en masse.
THE RICE BOMBER, based on Yang Rumen’s
true story, is such a compelling watch in part
because that line from kid-in-the-fields to
terrorizer-in-the-streets is never explained
psychoanalytically. Director Cho Li (Zoom
Hunting) surrounds Rumen with other
symbols of social justice – a self professed
“revolutionary” from the upper classes, a
homeless kid working as a vendor in the
streets, an academic proficient at answering
socio-economics questions on TV – but
Rumen brushes them off and settles into his
own activist skin.
Actor Huang Chien-wei plays Rumen as
a drifting, blank-faced loner – not in the
pathological sense, but in the mold of
an introverted small-town philosopher,
educated on compulsory military training,
TV news, and family ethics. He hasn’t been
socialized as a social activist, but represents
something far more urgent, homegrown, and
unexplored: the time bombs ticking away in
ordinary folks. – Brian Hu
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Kokko collects words. Big words like
“imagination” and “solitude.” Adult words
too, like “pervert” and “refugee” which would
seem a lot more unseemly if Kokko weren’t
the world’s cutest eight-year-old. Kokko
plucks the words from the sky, twirling them
to earth with her pencil, and collecting them in
her notebook, a cryptic diary of passing fancy.
Meanwhile, her parents seem to collect kids:
four in fact, including a set of older triplets, with
a fifth on the way. And on this happy-go-lucky
summer, Kokko collects new friends (furry
and human), an eye-patch, some scratches,
and a picture of a strange world that looks
best from a kid’s distance. Unimpressed by
adults, especially the squares sitting at her
family’s round table, Kokko finds her way as
a stubborn adventurer much more enamored
with the precious possibilities of not-so-quiet
alone time.
Director Isao Yukisada (Go, A Good Husband)
collects different emotional tones, from the
serious to the surreal, and slides between them
with a veteran’s eye and a child’s wonder. But
there’s no mistaking that the show belongs to
child actress Mana Ashida (Bunny Drop, Pacific
Rim) who lately has been collecting roles
like she’s an adult superstar. In her first lead
performance, she earns the spotlight with
plucky aplomb, throwing shade at the world
and winning over child and adult audiences
alike. – Brian Hu
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THE ROUND TABLE
NOV. 7 (FRIDAY), 7:00PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 13 (THURSDAY), 6:05PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
JAPAN | JAPANESE | 113 MIN | HD | 2014
DIRECTOR Isao Yukisada
CAST Mana Ashida, Ryuhei Maruyama,
Misato Aoyama, Jingi Irie
Official Selection, 2014 Okinawa
International Movie Festival
North American Premiere
THE TEACHER

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DIARY
NOV. 10 (MONDAY), 9:00PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 13 (THURSDAY), 8:40PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
THAILAND | THAI | 108 MINS | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Nithiwat Tharatorn
CAST Sukrit Wisetkaew,
Chermarn Boonyasak
Official Selection,
2014 Busan International Film Festival
North American Premiere
Mr. Song is a goofy, naïve ex-wrestler eager
to teach a physical education class at the
local elementary school. When his dream
job falls out of reach, he reluctantly takes a
post as the only instructor at a houseboat
school on an isolated river in the countryside.
Managing a class of unruly kids and catching
his long-time lover cheat on him – all in
the same week – make him realize his life
probably needs a reset.
Everything changes when he stumbles upon
a dusty diary at the school written by a
lovable but tenacious teacher known as Ms.
Ann. As he reads her diary, he not only learns
her secrets on how to win over the students,
but also on how to deal with heartbreak. Mr.
Song slowly finds himself falling for Ms. Ann
without ever seeing her face or hearing her
voice.
Heartwarming, refreshing, and full of
charm, THE TEACHER’S DIARY is an atypical
romantic comedy. It’s a boy-meets-girl tale,
but has more typhoons than sunshine, more
missed opportunities than serendipitous
encounters. And it teaches the teacher an
important lesson: to be moved by a person’s
intimate thoughts and experiences rather
than superficial traits is a rare type of love
that’s most worth pursuing. – Maryanne
Bilbao
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From Zhang Meng (Piano in a Factory, SDAFF
’11) comes another charmer featuring the
director’s trademark deadpan humor and
grandiose tableaus of everyday life. Once
again, Zhang hones in on a story of adults
trying to set things straight by desperately
reaching out to children.
With the resignation of a fading noir anti-
hero, ex-gangster Chen Shengli is released
after spending 10 years in prison for cutting
off the hamstring of his rival gang’s boss.
Now, he’s back in town, wandering aimlessly
around his old turf and frequenting a seedy
nightclub where he meets a tough nurse
he mostly falls for. Undeterred by former
colleagues coming after him to settle old
scores, and with barely a morsel of charity,
Shengli decides to turn things around by
taking over a kindergarten whose previous
owner has gone into hiding from creditors.
Even though Shengli runs the kindergarten
like a prison guard, Zhang Meng never
relies on the ironic juxtaposition of kids
and gangsters for obvious sentiment
and cheap laughs. With gang tattoos he
insistently gets removed, Shengli is the
embodiment of Zhang’s view of masculinity
in a post-socialist China, where ambition
has been left to run in circles in the Soviet
bloc-inspired rubble. With a winning mix
of humor and mirth and a healthy dose of
pan-Chinese pop, UNCLE VICTORY stages
a parable on the absurdity of redemption.
– Wilda Wong
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UNCLE VICTORY
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 5:55PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 10 (MONDAY), 6:20PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
CHINA | MANDARIN | 105 MIN | HD | 2014
DIRECTOR Zhang Meng
CAST Huang Haibo, Zhang Xinyi, Guo Xue
Grand Jury Prize, 2014 Shanghai
International Film Festival
UZUMASA
LIMELIGHT
NOV. 15 (SATURDAY), 7:25PM,
LA PALOMA THEATRE
JAPAN | JAPANESE | 103 MIN | DCP | 20143
DIRECTOR Ken Ochiai
CAST Seizo Fukumoto,
Chichiro Yamamoto, Masashi Goda
Best Film, 2014 Fantasia
International Film Festival
Audience Award, 2014 New York
Asian Film Festival
West Coast Premiere
Sponsored by
Drs. Craig & Sil via Reid at
Vivalachi Alternative Health
Uzumasa Studios: a “Hollywood East”
home to beloved films and TV serials, and
site of countless on-screen sword-fighting
sequences. These were the stomping
grounds of specialized extras known as
kirareyaku, whose main purpose was to die
on screen. During the golden age of samurai
films, there was plenty of death-work to go
around. But as the demand for historical
Japanese films began to wane, the extras
had to find work elsewhere.
In UZUMASA LIMELIGHT, we follow the
journey of veteran extra Kamiyama, played
by real-life kirareyaku Seizo Fukumoto who
has reportedly died 50,000 times in a career
that has spanned half a century. From the
opening scenes, we’re introduced to an actor
of honor and integrity, a rare professional
in an industry increasingly inundated with
pretty boys and pop stars. His work catches
the eye of Satsuki (newcomer Chichiro
Yamamoto), who requests that he mentor
her into becoming as good a screen fighter
as he.
From a story loosely adapted from Charles
Chaplin’s Limelight, director Ken Ochiai
captures the Japanese film industry in
transition and makes it compelling by mixing
fact and fiction in the spectacular body of
Seizo Fukumoto in his first lead role. To see
him die onscreen is a wonder. To see him
breathe new life in younger co-stars is to
become awestruck and rejuvenated by the
magic of screen acting. – Eric Lallana
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If you’ve ever wanted to be in an Uhm Jung-
hwa and Moon So-ri love sandwich, VENUS
TALK is your chance to be the mayonnaise.
Titillating and warm like a summer night
spent gossiping with your homies, VENUS
TALK gives audiences a chance to hang out
with three of Korea’s brightest actresses
letting their easygoing collective chemistry
shine. Add in lots of sexual romping and
stomping, and VENUS TALK goes down like
a glass of rosé on hump day.
At her cougary best, Uhm Jung-hwa
(Dancing Queen, SDAFF ‘12) plays Shin-uye,
an ambitious TV producer screwed over by
her ex-lover. Giving middle-aged women
new reasons to do yoga, she rebounds
with a hot young thang in the editing bay.
Meanwhile, eyes bugging from wiry sexual
energy, Moon So-ri (A Good Lawyer’s Wife)
plays some comedic Hungry Hungry Hippo
with her sexually exhausted husband. On
the other hand, Jo Min-soo (Pieta), a mother
desperate to empty her nest of its unwed
daughter, is virtually chaste by comparison
– except for her highway-side trysts with a
carpenter boyfriend (Lee Kyoung-Young)
who’d rather build awnings than build for
the long-term.
Korean films have continued its renaissance
with films focused on women of all ages,
much to the delight of male and female
audiences around the world. Mature, warm,
and reflective, VENUS TALK observes
friends haggling with life and love with
delightful results. – Christina Ree
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VENUS TALK
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 8:30PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
SOUTH KOREA | KOREAN
108 MIN | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Kwon Chil-in
CAST Moon So-ri, Uhm Jung-hwa,
Jo Min-soo, Lee Kyoung-Young
Official Selection, 2014 Busan
International Film Festival
Official Selection, 2014 Udine
Far East Film Festival
Sponsored by
YASMINE
NOV. 11 (TUESDAY), 5:40PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 15 (SATURDAY), 3:00PM,
LA PALOMA THEATRE
BRUNEI | MALAY | 109 MIN | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Siti Kamaluddin
CAST Liyana Yus, Reza Rahadian,
Agus Kuncoro, Dwi Sasono
Best Asian Film, 2014 Neuchatel
International Fantastic Film Festival
Official Selection, 2014 Fantasia
International Film Festival
West Coast Premiere
Dauntless 18-year-old Yasmine Fatia is
determined to prove herself – and win
the notice of her crush – by taking up the
Southeast Asian martial art of silat, best
known internationally through the hit film
The Raid. Yasmine faces a number of hurdles
along the way though, and not just the
physical ones: her father’s strict rules, a love
triangle, a hilarious silat instructor living with
his own unattained dreams. In other words,
these are the tribulations of an ordinary
teenager, just with dazzling martial arts.
YASMINE is the first narrative feature film
produced in the small Islamic nation of Brunei.
For many audiences, it’s the first glimpse into
the nation, as well as a remarkable instance
of an industry’s vault into cinematic self-
representation. Director Siti Kamaluddin and
Producer Din Kamaluddin have assembled a
team of local and regional talent, including
actors from Indonesia and Malaysia, as well
as Hong Kong action director Chan Man-
ching (Drunken Master 2, Rush Hour).
As a number of firsts, YASMINE is unmissable.
But on top of that, it’s also thrilling to see that
a nation proclaiming its existence onscreen
does it through the story of a young woman’s
declaration of her own independence while
dealing with family and friends, identity and
culture. – Bianca Cruz Leonardo
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MASTERS
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San Diego Asian Film Festival 101
Fresh from Toronto, Locarno, and other
prestigious international film festivals,
these are premieres and rediscoveries of
works by the world’s best directors.
JOURNEY TO THE WEST
BLIND MASSAGE
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 3:45PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
CHINA, FRANCE | MANDARIN
114 MIN | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Lou Ye
CAST Qin Hao, Guo Xiaoting,
Mei Ting, Huang Xuan
Official Selection,
2014 Berlin International Film Festival
Official Selection,
2014 Vancouver International Film Festival
Best Picture Nominee,
2014 Golden Horse Awards
West Coast Premiere
“Beauty is a disaster.” It’s a strange statement
to hear in a movie about the blind. But
BLIND MASSAGE is also about the torrid
intersections of love, sex, and aspiration. In
a massage parlor run by the sight-impaired,
old friends meet, new encounters are made,
and lust becomes opportunity. It would be
the thing of soap opera if it weren’t directed
by Lou Ye, a master of realism overrun by the
pangs of romanticism.
Lou directs his ensemble of blind and sighted
actors with a sensitivity to the paradox of
blindness in a medium dominated by the
image. Characters are kept in close-up. He
probes the ethics of looking by reconsidering
our field of vision. Lou also arouses the other
senses: the taste of an orange, the clacking of
a wind-up toy, the smell of coital sweat. But
above all, there is touch, from a knife slash to
the skin, to the warm embrace of a lover.
Unlike so many films about disability, BLIND
MASSAGE invites only the empathy than can
be afforded through picture and sound. In
doing so, he reveals a utopia of itchy friskiness
and liberating public displays of affection in
a community where those three words have
very different implications. Beauty may be a
disaster, but it’s an invigorating one that the
characters court with us in the darkness. After
all, Lou Ye’s film is ultimately about what none
of us can see: love, fate, the future. – Brian Hu
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Nowadays the stellar universe of Chinese
popular film is filled with romantic comedies
full of sap, déjà vu, and worn-out clichés. But
the proliferation of these poorly executed star
vehicles doesn’t mean that the genre is tired
out. In the hands of a master like Johnnie To,
the rom-com has plenty of life yet. In DON’T
GO BREAKING MY HEART 2, To’s sequel to his
2011 hit (SDAFF ‘11), he combines cinematic
wit, brilliant dialogue, and inventive ideas,
taking the genre into fresh new territory.
Perhaps best described as a twisted double
love triangle, DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART
2 follows the passionate misadventures of
the lovely Zixin (Gao Yuanyuan) and the
impossibly handsome incurable womanizer
Shen Ran (Louis Koo). They were once
lovers, but they parted ways over Shen Ran’s
many affairs, and Zixin has fallen for Kevin
(Daniel Wu), a serious architect ready to
do everything in his power to win over the
woman of his dreams.
But now, as if bonded by a destiny that
cannot be denied, the two meet again in
Hong Kong’s financial district. Zixin is about
to marry Kevin, while Shen Ran is engaged
to stock-market maverick Yang Yang (Miriam
Yeung), and this time he’s serious about his
relationship – or at least so it seems. Then
Yang Yang starts to fall in love with Zixin’s
brother Paul (Vic Chou), setting the stage
for a classic comedy of errors, in which a
case of mistaken identity triggers a hilarious
rollercoaster of events that lead to an
unexpected finale. – Toronto International Film
Festival
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DON

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MY HEART 2
NOV. 12 (WEDNESDAY), 7:40PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
HONG KONG | CANTONESE, MANDARIN
113 MINS | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Johnnie To
CAST Gao Yuanyuan, Louis Koo,
Miriam Yeung, Daniel Wu, Vic Chou
Official Selection,
2014 Toronto International Film Festival
US Premiere
FROM WHAT
IS BEFORE
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 11:20AM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 11 (TUESDAY), 12:00PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
PHILIPPINES | TAGALOG
338 MIN | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Lav Diaz
CAST Perry Dizon, Roeder Camanag,
Hazel Orencio, Angelina Kanapi
Golden Leopard,
2014 Locarno International Film Festival
Grand Prize,
2014 World Premieres Film Festival
Official Selection,
2014 Toronto International Film Festival
Darkness looms over a coastal Filipino town.
Some call it a curse. Some smell strong-armed
political corruption. For the inhabitants – a
disabled healer, her opportunistic sister, a
watching priest, a winemaker, a farmer, a
door-to-door salesman – it’s the end of an
era that feels like the end of days. Houses
combust into flames, cattle are found
slaughtered. Meanwhile, soldiers march
into town uninvited. Amidst the foreboding,
secrets about ancestry are revealed, deep-
seated suspicions are investigated, and the
seeds for martial law are strewn over an
increasingly barren village.
Tightly winding together long blocks of heavy
but riveting narrative, director Lav Diaz
casts a mean spell that uses every moment
of its majestic 338 minutes. Regional history
rarely feels this voluminous onscreen, let
alone with the intricacy of entrenched
superstition, local power-struggle, and
national tyranny wedded to every surface.
The grandest presence though is the land,
especially where hills meet shore, waves
crashing against jagged, prehistoric
boulders carving out the grey sky. Diaz’s
grandeur has sharp edges which demand
caution and close observation. But it’s also
generous in its compassion and especially in
its offering of time, one of the great subjects
of Diaz’s cinema. As an epoch crumbles, we
find ourselves gifted hours of feeling which
become centuries of uncurtailable history.
Up to its final gasp, FROM WHAT IS BEFORE
seeks nothing less than to mark the birth of
the modern Filipino nation. – Brian Hu
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1930s China has been remembered as
something of a “golden era” for a cosmopolitan
Shanghai, the revolutionary fervor, and a
flowering of modern literature and culture.
But the latest film by Ann Hui (A Simple Life)
tells a woman’s experience of the golden era
trapped in a cage. It’s a contradiction that,
as one character puts it, has been buried by
history, and cannot go unacknowledged.
Biographies have already detailed the prolific
output of author Xiao Hong and her many
paths, ferried from city to city by the whims of
feeble lovers, the movements of literary and
political trends, the interruptions of war, and
the needs of her fading health. What she was
thinking through it all can only be gathered
incompletely through friends’ memories and
her own writing. THE GOLDEN ERA dramatizes
that incompleteness through parallel tracks:
faux-documentary interviews, imagined re-
enactments, and Xiao Hong’s own creative
voice. As such, we can never get too close to
the enigmatic writer, just glimpsing a severe
lonely restlessness, played to perfection by
Tang Wei (Lust Caution).
THE GOLDEN ERA is a delight for fans of
Republican literature, but it’s ultimately not
about a literary figure but an ordinary modern
woman who just happens to have left a trail
of brilliant writing. As in Hui’s Book and Sword
adaptations, this is a revisionist take on a
gilded tale, and an epic stage for a woman
resisting expectations of family, work, and,
through Hui’s dizzying mode of storytelling,
history itself. – Brian Hu
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THE GOLDEN ERA
NOV. 11 (TUESDAY), 6:30PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
CHINA, HONG KONG | MANDARIN
178 MIN | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Ann Hui
CAST Tang Wei, Feng Shaofeng,
Hao Lei, Yuan Quan
Closing Night Film, 2014 Venice Film Festival
Official Selection, 2014 Toronto
International Film Festival
Official Selection, 2014 Busan
International Film Festival
Best Picture Nominee,
2014 Golden Horse Awards
JOURNEY TO
THE WEST
NOV. 10 (MONDAY), 8:40PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
FRANCE, TAIWAN | FRENCH
56 MINS | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Tsai Ming-liang
CAST Lee Kang-sheng, Denis Lavant
Official Selection,
2014 Berlin Film Festival
Official Selection,
2014 Toronto International Film Festival
West Coast Premiere
In 14 insanely measured compositions, Tsai
Ming-liang presents a ravishing work of pure
cinema, a playful game for the eyes and ears,
and an eccentric, rapturous vision of humans
and their paths. JOURNEY TO THE WEST is the
latest in Tsai’s innovative performance project
featuring a crimson-robed Lee Kang-sheng
walking very, very slowly in public spaces. The
project originated onstage and now arrives
on the streets of Marseilles.
With a large immigrant population, Marseilles
is one of the most culturally-diverse cities in
France, but nobody seems as foreign as Tsai’s
walker. His deliberate movements, his muscular
pacing, and his anachronistic garb make him
an alien presence and the object of passing
glances and casual dodging. How we look –
and not look – across cultures is as important
here as how we make sense of duration.
But Tsai is not content simply with an
allegory of east meets west. This mini feature
aims bigger: to overwhelm our senses
with a boldly ecstatic take on the solitary
existence of the literal and spiritual sojourner.
Ecstatic because of the sheer physicality
of embodying difference. Ecstatic because
of the sublime beauty of Tsai’s framings,
stagings, movements, and architectural mise-
en-scene. And most of all, ecstatic because
it erupts something in our own bodies, as it
seems to in the body of co-star Denis Lavant:
a dream of red, haunting the chambers of our
minds and our everyday spaces. – Brian Hu
Preceded by: WALKER
HONG KONG | 27 MINS | 2012
DIRECTOR Tsai Ming-liang
A monk inches slowly through one of the
world’s fastest cities.
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Studio Ghibli has become the world’s
most storied animation studio, and house
director Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, My
Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle) has
made modern classics that are amongst
the most internationally beloved films ever.
Ghibli is holy ground as far as fans are
concerned, so Mami Sunada’s documentary
THE KINGDOM OF DREAMS AND MADNESS is
a rare look through the pearly gates.
Miyazaki is a magician, but Sunada’s
presence allows Miyazaki to publicly
shed his wizard robes and simply be the
elder artist, smoking a cigarette with the
neighborhood cat. He and Ghibli co-founder
Isao Takahata are preparing their final films,
The Wind Rises and The Tale of Princess
Kaguya respectively, and the rest of the
Ghibli dream factory, from the producers to
the animators, scramble to get the films out
in time.
Now in their 70s, Miyazaki and Takahata
have nothing to prove to anybody but
themselves, so the care through which they
obsess over every detail of their craft and
manage a team of Japan’s best animators
is moving in itself. However, the way the
closing arc of Miyazaki’s career mirrors
the developing narrative of his final film
becomes the most powerful subplot of
all. Things aren’t always smooth in the
Ghibli dreamland, but Sunada’s candid
documentary captures the seamlessness
between art and artist that is nothing short
of grace. – Erwin Mendoza
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THE KINGDOM OF
DREAMS AND
MADNESS
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 4:55M,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 11 (TUESDAY), 8:05PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
JAPAN | JAPANESE | 118 MIN | DCP | 2013
DIRECTOR Mami Sunada
Official Selection,
2014 Toronto International Film Festival
West Coast Premiere
Co-presented by
LETTERS FROM
THE SOUTH
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 7:45PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
MALAYSIA, THAILAND,
SINGAPORE, BURMA | MANDARIN,
CANTONESE, THAI,
HOKKIEN, ENGLISH
105 MINS | DCP | 2013
DIRECTOR Tsai Ming-liang, Aditya Assarat,
Royston Tan, Midi Z, Tan Chui Mui, Sun Koh
CAST Lee Kang-sheng, Lulu Huang,
Wu Kexi
Official Selection,
2013 Busan International Film Festival
Official Selection,
2014 International Film Festival Rotterdam
Official Selection,
2014 Edinburgh International Film Festival
West Coast Premiere
Six directors of Chinese descent turn their
cameras on the Chinese diaspora, charting
their own points of entry and exit and
interpreting diaspora broadly, especially
as it pertains to the concept of self. Just as
important is that these are six filmmakers
based in Southeast Asia, a region where
being “Chinese” has social implications often
unacknowledged in other parts of the world.
Thai director Aditya Assarat looks at a visit by
a Chinese woman to her cousin in Thailand.
Singapore’s Royston Tan and Burma’s Midi Z
reflect on the lingering significance of family
rituals like food preparation and burial rites.
Malaysia’s Tan Chui Mui and Singapore’s
Sun Koh explore the nexus of China,
colonialism, and home, the former through
an impressionistic excavation of Malaccan
history, the latter through a hilarious satire
on the rise of the China market. And then
there’s Malaysian-Taiwanese Tsai Ming-liang’s
“Walking on Water,” in which Tsai’s red-robed
monk lingers through the Kuching apartment
complex that Tsai grew up in.
Much has been written about the Chinese
diaspora, Nanyang culture, and Sinophone
literature in Southeast Asia. LETTERS FROM
THE SOUTH is refreshing because it refuses
comfortable reference points like nostalgia
and loyalty. Instead, the collection finds, in
a variety of modes, questions that emerge
out of local youth culture, entertainment, and
lived spaces. Identities slip in and out of focus
as Sinitic languages dance around each
other as they only can in Southeast Asia, and
perhaps most enchantingly, when nothing is
said at all. – Brian Hu
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Between last year’s commercial hit The Great
Passage and the forthcoming historical epic
The Vancouver Asahi (pg. 111), director Yuya
Ishii quietly made his most moving film to
date, the scaled-back, unassuming OUR
FAMILY. It’s the first straight-up drama of his
career, and the first where the intimacy never
needs to be laced with irony. The story is even
altogether conventional: a woman falls ill and
doctors give her a week to live. It’s time for
the family to pull themselves together in the
face of potential tragedy.
Still, Ishii forgoes the chronic illness hysterics
and nimbly stages a series of revelations that
are as attuned to social conditions as they are
to human ones. With the economic downturn,
an old financial loophole has manifested as a
sinkhole, tying the fates of family members
together in unexpected ways.
As directed by Ishii, the developments
unfold in measured steps that feel less like
characters’ individual decisions than the
inevitable machinations of family ethics. But
what Ishii accomplishes so beautifully is to
show that the little things we’re conditioned
to do to help each other are in fact torrents
of generosity. And in those breathtaking
moments when we and the characters realize
this, the clock seems to stop ticking and even
the most hapless feel heroic. With a sweet
guitar sigh, OUR FAMILY points its characters
ahead and earns a most satisfying, tender
ending. – Brian Hu
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OUR FAMILY
NOV. 10 (MONDAY), 6:00PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 12 (WEDNESDAY), 5:00PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
JAPAN | JAPANESE | 117 MIN | HD | 2014
DIRECTOR Yuya Ishii
CAST Satoshi Tsumabuki, Mieko Harada,
Sosuke Ikematsu, Kyozo Nagatsuka
Official Selection, 2014 Busan
International Film Festival
US Premiere
STRAY DOGS
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 6:40PM,
UCSD CALIT2 ATKINSON
HALL AUDITORIUM
NOV. 13 (THURSDAY), 8:00PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
TAIWAN, FRANCE | MANDARIN
138 MIN | DCP | 2013
DIRECTOR Tsai Ming-liang
CAST Lee Kang-sheng, Lu Yi-ching,
Chen Shiang-chyi, Lee Yi-chieh,
Lee Yi-cheng
Grand Jury Prize,
2013 Venice Film Festival
Best Director, Best Actor,
2013 Golden Horse Awards
Official Selection,
2013 Toronto International Film Festival
An itinerant family of three seems to have
a system worked out. The father makes
money hoisting signs advertising real estate
developments. The son manages the money
while the daughter finds food. Or so it seems.
With 40 minutes to go in STRAY DOGS, director
Tsai Ming-liang takes the most tonally violent
turn of his career and the story of a homeless
family becomes something far more eerie,
tragic, unknowable, and transcendent. Along
with the film’s enigmatic opening shot, it
bookends Tsai’s magnum opus, a shocking
portrait of an insistent humanity making way
in the rubble of urban development.
The film’s face is once again Lee Kang-sheng
in the most astonishing and physical role
of his career. Battered by rain, chapped by
wind, and locked in place by Tsai’s signature
long takes, Lee hypnotically exudes life in a
collapsing world where the walls are literally
crumbling. The presence of children makes
STRAY DOGS Tsai’s most humanist film, but
it’s a testament to his sheer command of tone
that it still manages to be his most chilling.
It’s also Tsai’s most explicitly political, but as
always in Tsai’s films, the answer is never so
neat because we are not given questions so
much as tableaus to stare at, ponder, and see
our reflections in. Most scenes are devoid of
dialogue and contain only the ghostly sound
of steady breathing, which may as well be
our own as we brace ourselves in the cold
darkness. – Brian Hu
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On the Vancouver docks in the 1930s, the
stuff of legends was born. It was born out
of the sweaty mean-mugging of racial
discrimination and the spiritual void felt by
a Japanese Canadian immigrant community
in search of something to believe in. And it
took life on the baseball diamond, where an
unlikely bunch of Isseis and Niseis outplayed
their bigger, stronger white opponents to
become the biggest attraction in baseball
in the Pacific Northwest. That is, until the
tragedy of nationalism proved bigger than
baseball.
It’s an incredible underdog sports story and
an even more incredible Asian Canadian one
that has inspired a documentary (Sleeping
Tigers, SDAFF ’03) and now a star-studded
feature-film event, THE VANCOUVER ASAHI,
directed by the versatile Yuya Ishii (A Man
with Style, SDAFF ’12; Our Famil y, pg. 113). Reji
(Satoshi Tsumabuki) and Kei (Ryo Katsuji)
are sawmill workers by trade, but shortstop
and second base at heart. They quietly
bear witness to the local Japantown debate
over loyalty vs. assimilation, but they see in
baseball an alternative way to assert their
identity, gain recognition, and bring all
people together. They just need some wins
first, and they have an idea on how to make
that happen.
THE VANCOUVER ASAHI is a great baseball
film that understands the magnetism of
the sport, the mechanics of strategy, the
enchantment of fandom, and the issues of
race and class that undergird a game that is
presumably for all. – Brian Hu
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THE VANCOUVER
ASAHI
NOV. 7 (FRIDAY), 6:20PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 6:00PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
JAPAN | JAPANESE, ENGLISH
130 MIN | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Yuya Ishii
CAST Satoshi Tsumabuki,
Kazuya Kamenashi, Ryo Katsuji,
Yusuke Kamiji
Opening Night Film,
2014 Hawaii International Film Festival
Official Selection,
2014 Vancouver International Film Festival
West Coast Premiere
VIVE L

AMOUR
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 4:20PM,
UCSD CALIT2 ATKINSON
HALL AUDITORIUM
TAIWAN | MANDARIN
118 MINS | HD | 1994
DIRECTOR Tsai Ming-liang
CAST Lee Kang-sheng, Yang Kuei-mei,
Chen Chao-jung
Golden Lion, 1994 Venice Film Festival
Best Film, 1994 Golden Horse Awards
New digital restoration
Sponsored by
UCSD Taiwan Studies Lecture Series
and UCSD Chuan Lyu Endowed Chair
in Taiwan Studies
20 years ago, Tsai Ming-liang’s international
breakthrough VIVE L’AMOUR introduced
the world to Hsiao-kang, played by the
breathlessly laconic Lee Kang-sheng. With
Hsiao-kang’s body his muse, Tsai fleshed out
a cinematic Taipei that seemed the inverse of
cinema: emptied out of drama, dialogue, and
music, leaving only the unheard footsteps in
otherwise vacant apartments, the mechanics
of everyday erotics, and most memorably, the
sheer duration of everything from urinating to
having a good cry. In other words, as no other
film before had done, VIVE L’AMOUR rescued
a neglected humanity from the cinema and
in doing so, reinvented the capacity of film to
bring people together in the darkness.
Indeed coming together is the game of VIVE
L’AMOUR. Street crawler Hsiao-kang sneaks
into people’s homes, skirt chaser Ah-jung
hustles his way into them, and real estate
agent May Lin sells them. The film comically
maps pathways for them to intersect, breathe
each other’s air, and perhaps relieve each
other of their solitude.
The film’s title could not be more apt. Since its
premiere at the 1994 Venice Film Festival, the
film has been amour fou for many, especially
against the critics who lost patience with Tsai’s
courageous pacing and use of silence. Those
who loved it, loved it. They learned to breathe
differently while watching the film. Some
went on to make bold, exquisite films of their
own. They cheered as it became canonized as
a modern classic. And VIVE L’AMOUR lived on
with the love it inspired. – Brian Hu
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DISCOVERIES
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From Asia’s most innovative and
thought-provoking filmmakers
come new stories and new ways
of telling them.
THE LOST SEA
EXIT
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 2:25PM, UCSD
CALIT2 ATKINSON HALL AUDITORIUM
NOV. 11 (TUESDAY), 6:45PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
TAIWAN | MANDARIN, TAIWANESE
94 MINS | HD | 2014
DIRECTOR Chienn Hsiang
CAST Chen Shiang-chyi, Easton Dong,
Pai Ming-hua
Best Narrative Feature and Best Actress,
2014 Taipei Film Festival
Official Selection, 2014 Locarno Film Festival
Official Selection,
2014 Vancouver International Film Festival
Official Selection,
2014 Busan International Film Festival
US Premiere
Sponsored by
UCSD Taiwan Studies Lecture Series
and UCSD Chuan Lyu Endowed Chair
in Taiwan Studies
At some point in Chienn Hsiang’s debut EXIT,
the luminous Chen Shiang-chyi is poised
between two hospital beds: one with her
failing mother in-law, the other with a blinded
stranger flinging guttural squawks and
frustrated pounding. It’s a startling moment,
one in which care moves into desire, and it’s
electric.
Chen plays Ling, a Kaohsiung garment worker
in her 40s, who observes the textures of daily
life utterly alone – a sticky door, peeling
wallpaper, sleeping patients – with hot flashes
and aging on the horizon. Ling has been
passively marooned by a sassy daughter who
avoids her, a radio-silent husband working
in Shanghai, a world of coworkers who
disappear when the factory moves to China.
It’s a sociological rather than pathological
isolation, a slow burn built by an accumulation
of familiar, modern conditions.
EXIT is filled with gorgeous long shots of
Taiwan’s fading infrastructure and moments
of strange life. Its small unfoldings capture
the sensation of pursuing irrational threads
against all reason with only instinct providing
a motor. Inklings, which when pursued, take
us to a deep hole, inside which might lie an
alternate universe of feeling.
Tender, delicate, and disoriented, Chen makes
EXIT completely hers by giving us layers of
illegible urges nudging against numbness, a
woman observing her own life running dry and
mutely making the smallest of adjustments
toward some sort of release. Chen proves
again she is a gem, long overdue for a full
international embrace. – Christina Ree
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Pantone 137 Pantone 446
McGregor & Associates, Inc. Logomark
2-color: Orange PMS 137 and Grey PMS 446
Contact: Chris Josh 619-398-2828
The distinctive fantail bird of New Zealand is
known in Maori mythology as a messenger
of death, and more commonly for its
aimless and unpredictable paths of flight.
Like the titular bird, FANTAIL’s Tania (Sophie
Henderson) sits perched every night at a
24/7 service station, hoping to save money
for the next take-off: a trip to look for an
estranged father with her younger brother
Pi, who is slowly growing independent from
his sister.
Both Tania and Pi are half-Maori, but Tania
doesn’t look it as much as her brother does.
Her specific shade of mixed race has set
her on a different path, or at least it feels
that way to her, a pakeha in a world of color.
Her manager Rog (Stephen Lovatt) is the
opposite: a Maori who doesn’t particular
feel like one. Together, they joke, work, and
play into the night.
In FANTAIL, the quietly eerie backdrop
of the late shift sets the scene for bright
personalities to shine. First-time director
Curtis Vowell, working from a theatrical
show by Henderson, weaves identity and
myth into a smart, at times very funny, and
ultimately explosive look at siblings finding
their own paths. – Eric Lall ana
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FANTAIL
NOV. 7 (FRIDAY), 9:00PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NEW ZEALAND | ENGLISH | 83 MIN
HD | 2013
DIRECTOR Curtis Vowell
CAST Sophie Henderson, Stephen Lovatt,
Jarod Rawiri, Jahalis Ngamotu
Closing Night Film, 2013 New Zealand
International Film Festival
Official Selection,
2014 International Film Festival Rotterdam
Official Selection,
2014 Melbourne International Film Festival
North American Premiere
Sponsored by
Pantone 137 Pantone 446
McGregor & Associates, Inc. Logomark
2-color: Orange PMS 137 and Grey PMS 446
Contact: Chris Josh 619-398-2828
THE IRON MINISTRY
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 8:20PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
CHINA, USA | MANDARIN
82 MINS | HD | 2014
DIRECTOR J.P. Sniadecki
Official Selection,
2014 Locarno International Film Festival
Official Selection,
2014 New York Film Festival
Sponsored by
J.P. Sniadecki spent three years filming on
China’s railways, and what he found was
a rampaging microcosm of the country’s
rapidly changing economy and identity.
The camera often lingers low to the ground,
scouring and searching for artifacts while
the train barrels forward. Trash litters the
floorboards and human bodies are crammed
in to every corner. But this is not a grotesque
scene; it’s one of transition. Travelers speak
about politics, economics, and future plans in
cordial fashion, hoping to pass time between
stops.
A student of Harvard University’s Sensory
Ethnography Lab, Sniadecki (Yumen,
SDAFF ’12) has been making avant-garde
documentaries in China for years now,
exploring the complexities of everyday life
through a strikingly Spartan lens. His latest
effort is an exercise in proximity, how people
share space, and why it matters. The doldrums
of a long train ride offer much in the way of
discourse and debate, but also simply the
opportunity to rest free of the usual frantic
thoughts that fill the mind. – Glenn Heath, Jr.
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Late one night, documentarian Hung Chun-
hsiu received a frantic phone call from a man
on the island of Kinmen. He asked Hung to
bring his camera to Kinmen before it would
be too late. What Hung filmed over the next
ten years is a fateful intersection of thousands
of years of life, hundreds of years of cultural
history, and a decade when everything
changed.
Though governed by Taiwan, Kinmen sits less
than two miles from China, making it one
of the most contested territories in a half-
century of struggle. It also makes Kinmen
and its inhabitants – both man and animal
– vulnerable to the diplomatic whims of
both nations. Among those inhabitants are
the horseshoe crab, a trilobite-like marine
creature dating back millennia, and two men
surnamed Hong who have economic and
cultural interest in the survival of the animals.
When we’re first introduced to them, the
Hongs can still appreciate a certain style of
life, from their days as farmers, fishermen, and
self-taught marine biologists, to their nights as
beer drinkers, cooks, and karaoke aficionados.
That was back in 2001. With every return to the
island, director Hung captures men frustrated
by the environmental changes brought upon
by broken promises: an increasingly barren
land and an increasingly industrialized
coastline, all of which Hung’s camera records
with composed indignation. Politicians make
appearances and inconsistent statements,
developers make off with centuries of
tradition. And yet the Hongs remain, feet in the
sand, shaken but unmoved. – Brian Hu
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THE LOST SEA
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 1:00PM, UCSD
CALIT2 ATKINSON HALL AUDITORIUM
TAIWAN | TAIWANESE, MANDARIN
63 MIN | DVD | 2013
DIRECTOR Hung Chun-hsiu
Outstanding Artistic Contribution (Editing),
2014 Taipei Film Festival
Official Selection, 2013 International
Environmental Film Festival
Sponsored by
UCSD Taiwan Studies Lecture Series
and UCSD Chuan Lyu Endowed Chair
in Taiwan Studies
Pantone 137 Pantone 446
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MARY IS HAPPY,
MARY IS HAPPY
NOV. 12 (WEDNESDAY), 8:05PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
THAILAND | THAI, ENGLISH
125 MIN | DCP | 2013
DIRECTOR Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit
CAST Patcha Poonpiriya, Chonnikan Netjui
Official selection,
2013 Venice International Film Festival
Official selection,
2013 Busan International Film Festival
Official selection,
2014 International Film Festival Rotterdam
Sponsored by
MARY IS HAPPY, MARY IS HAPPY follows the
adventures of high school student Mary
and her best friend Suri. They propose a
yearbook project to chronicle the school’s
most memorable memories, but a series of
escapades leaves them questioning which
memories are worth remembering.
“Fuck it. Let’s just remember us.” Or so Mary
tweets. Inspired by the whimsy of teenagers
online, director Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit
(36, SDAFF ’13) adapts MARY IS HAPPY from
410 consecutive tweets of a real-life teen
named Mary Molony (@marylony). The
tweets appear onscreen before action that
illustrates, confounds, or expands the original
140-character message.
The form breathlessly captures Mary’s
cryptic approach to life, in which we never
quite know how to process the balance
between how she acts and how she thinks.
In its own witty way, Mary’s online voice
channels her pre-adulthood hopes, fears,
and confusions: thinking about life after
high school, moving away to college, saying
goodbye to friends, falling in love for the
first time. The juxtaposition of the Twitter
stream and her actions is an utterly unique
stream-of-dual-consciousnesses flurry of
teenage awkwardness and intimate humor
that keeps us on our toes, waiting for the
next tweet to reveal itself. – Rizzhel Javier
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It’s not clear if Lefty is left-handed or if his
name has handed him a life of liberal politics.
What’s certain is that his family is poor and he
can’t pay his tuition. One day he spies a giant
bronze statue of Sun Yat-sen, the father of the
Republic of China, collecting dust at school.
He ropes in fellow underdogs and concocts a
plan to steal Dr. Sun, sell the statue, pay their
tuition, and maybe have money left over to
share. But then, in a cool stroke of the absurd,
Lefty and his gang find that there may be
another team of poor kids at school with the
same idea. The stakes are on and the clock
ticks.
But MEETING DR. SUN doesn’t let the velocity
of genre take over. The film plays like a
dream, as if the heist were just a figment of a
young man’s hare-brained plans that include
bargaining for masks and cozying up to
unsuspecting grannies. They go through the
motions gently, not wanting to disturb anyone
or make a show. Like the characters, the film’s
serene piano score tip-toes through the caper
rather than blasts through it like dynamite.
As he did in his breakthrough Blue Gate
Crossing, director Yee Chih-yen depicts
young people taking control of their own lives,
however idealistic or misguided it may be. The
surreal anime masks and fanciful repetitions
form an air of the bizarre that somehow
makes the persistence of the students even
more charming and true. They are upset by
society but have few revolutionary models,
despite Sun Yat-sen looming large, reduced
to an antique but absurdly inspiring a lost
generation nevertheless. – Brian Hu
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MEETING DR. SUN
NOV. 9 (SUNDAY), 5:45PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 11 (TUESDAY), 8:45PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
TAIWAN | MANDARIN | 94 MINS
DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Yee Chih-yen
CAST Zhan Huai-yun,
Matthew Wei Han-ting, Joseph Chang
Best Screenplay, 2014 Taipei Film Festival
North American Premiere
Sponsored by
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MOTHERS
NOV. 12 (WEDNESDAY), 6:30PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
CHINA | MANDARIN | 68 MIN | HD | 2013
DIRECTOR Xu Huijing
Special Jury Award Special Mention,
2013 Sheffield Doc/Fest
Official Selection, 2013 Yunnan Multi Culture
Vusual Festival
Official Selection,
2014 MoMA Documentary Fortnight
West Coast Premiere
Sponsored by
Imagine the mayor chasing you down at
home, at work, and on the streets, throwing
on the hard sell to get you sterilized for the
good of the team. This is the bizarre and very
real situation at the heart of MOTHERS, Xu
Huijing’s engrossing and oddly entertaining
documentary, and easily one of the best one-
child policy films to date.
With pressure from above and resistance
from below, officials in a small village in Shanxi
Province try to keep up their quota to sterilize
14 women during their annual workshop. It’s
an almost impossible task in an increasingly
indignant village without enough childbearing
women. The film tags along as village honchos
plead, pressure, and re-strategize in what
feels as much like door-to-door campaigning
as it does surgical extortion. Defying them all
is Rong Rong, a teacher and mother of two
who tries to dodge sterilization for another
year, even under a rainstorm of threats which
include fines and withholding school from her
children.
Xu, himself an illegal second child, smartly
turns the focus away from horror and instead
fleshes out the absurd contradictions of
implementing population control. And what
contradictions they are – from the jungle gym
logic of “voluntary” sterilization and a fertility
shrine presided over by one of the sterilization
officers. The women are snapping, elusive,
clever. Elders berate officials for enforcing a
bankrupt policy. It’s a riveting waiting game
to watch, as regular townfolk use ingenuity in
a procedural warfare with chillingly personal
consequences. – Christina Ree
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Contact: Chris Josh 619-398-2828
Clenching the same bloodied hammer and
chilling logic of Oldboy, NON FICTION DIARY
may be the most gripping documentary to
come out of Korea, ever. Like a psycho-political
thriller, NON FICTION DIARY goes down a
rabbit hole of violence that connects the
rural poor to the highest echelons of power,
and along the way paints a searing portrait of
the endemic injustice bred by South Korea’s
neoliberal expansion during the 1990s.
The film’s unnerving rabbit is the Jijon Clan,
a band of poor rural young men and South
Korea’s first serial murderers, who carried
out a savagely warped form of class warfare
tinged with ancestral fervor. Their goal: to
kill the rich, until they themselves became
millionaires. NON FICTION DIARY sets the story
of their public capture and sentencing within
a nation gut-punched by the collapses of the
Seongsu Bridge and Sampoong department
store, one of the deadliest building failures
in history. The film is rich with thoughtful
interviews from eyewitness police detectives
and wardens with profound changes of heart,
media clips and crime scene photos which
reveal a nation jockeying to diagnose the
unfathomable, and a scope that touches on
presidential decrees, religious lobbying, and
Confucianism’s role in tax breaks.
Filmmaker Jung Yoon-suk is both systematic
and poetic, and especially chilling seen after
the 2014 Sewol ferry disaster. NON FICTION
DIARY has the power of a parable and a
deliriously ambitious mission to probe what
binds inhuman crimes to crimes against
humanity. – Christina Ree
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NON FICTION DIARY
NOV. 11 (TUESDAY), 6:10PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 13 (THURSDAY), 5:55PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
SOUTH KOREA | KOREAN
93 MIN | HD | 2013
DIRECTOR Jung Yoon-suk
Mecenat Award,
2013 Busan International Film Festival
NETPAC Prize, 2014 Berlin Film Festival
Official Selection, 2014 New York Film Festival
West Coast Premiere
Sponsored by
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2-color: Orange PMS 137 and Grey PMS 446
Contact: Chris Josh 619-398-2828
THE OWNERS
NOV. 7 (FRIDAY), 8:30PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
KAZAKHSTAN | KAZAKH, RUSSIAN
93 MINS | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Adilkhan Yerzhanov
CAST Aidyn Sakhaman, Yerbolat Yerzhan,
Aliya Zainalova, Bauyrzhan Kaptagai
Official Selection, 2014 Cannes Film Festival
Official Selection,
2014 Toronto International Film Festival
West Coast Premiere
Sponsored by
Three siblings experience a hellish
homecoming after the death of their
mother. Fresh from the city, they don’t quite
understand the small town way of life, i.e.
never getting what you’re owed. The house
they’ve inherited from their mother may not
actually be theirs. Meanwhile the courts are
useless and the police seem to be in cahoots
with a local cowboy thug who claims to have
been living in the house for ten years.
But that small town eccentricity may have
more to offer than corruption and thievery.
There’s a rockabilly drum beat hidden
somewhere and cheerful lackeys to smile
and shimmy for the siblings as the system
kicks them to the curb. With a cold, deadpan
humor reminiscent of Aki Kaurismaki, THE
OWNERS forgoes the bleakness of Central
Asian misery tales and searches instead for
the musical pulse that colors both cruelty
and the waning rays of hope.
Young director Adilkhan Yerzhanov (The
Constructors) once again explores the
absurdity of residence in contemporary
Kazakhsatan, a nation with a history of
nomadism. With THE OWNERS, he lets his
visual style – especially the droll musical
numbers and some sunny yellows –
hypnotize us with homey life even with death
grimly looming overhead, and manages an
infectious balance of both that marks him a
real talent to watch. – Brian Hu
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Pantone 137 Pantone 446
McGregor & Associates, Inc. Logomark
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Contact: Chris Josh 619-398-2828
Sometime in the 90s in the Philippines, the
ugly branch of the family tree moves back
into its grandmother’s suburban gated
community. The loser dad starts growing
pot, the tubby mom has a hot affair, and
the teenage son with a skin condition
falls in with the wrong crowd. Meanwhile
a mad scientist in the neighborhood has
grown a weird creature out of his television
that seems to be behind a series of dog-
nappings.
REPTILIA IN SUBURBIA is as weird and
idiosyncratic as a high schooler’s classroom
doodles, yet director Timmy Harn’s
execution is flawless and the showcase of a
fiercely independent young filmmaker. With
a background as a television art director,
Harn surrounds his film with veteran talents
including a cast of seasoned actors and a co-
writer, Pamela Miras, with several television
series to her credit. Maybe this is why
REPITIILIA sometimes feels like a demented
episode of Degrassi; the filmmakers have a
feel for the lunatic underbelly of TV. Like last
year’s Big Boy, REPTILIA combines exuberant
DIY creativity with a keen eye for comedic
detail, all without pretention. Instead it’s as
if Devo directed The Ice Storm: hilarious,
dramatic, tender, and totally unique. – Lev
Kalman
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REPTILIA IN
SUBURBIA
NOV. 11 (TUESDAY), 8:15PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
PHILIPPINES | TAGALOG
75 MIN | DCP | 2013
DIRECTOR Timmy Harn
CAST Mervyn Brondial, Kay Brondial,
Sebastian Karl Sanchez,
Charles Aaron Salazar
Official selection,
2014 Curitiba International Film Festival
North American Premiere
Sponsored by
Pantone 137 Pantone 446
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2-color: Orange PMS 137 and Grey PMS 446
Contact: Chris Josh 619-398-2828
THE SEARCH FOR
WENG WENG
NOV. 8 (SATURDAY), 9:25PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
NOV. 15 (SATURDAY), 5:20PM,
LA PALOMA THEATRE
AUSTRALIA, PHILIPPINES | ENGLISH,
TAGALOG | 93 MIN | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Andrew Leavold
Official Selection, 2014 Udine
Far East Film Festival
Official Selection, 2014 Fantasia
International Film Festival
Sponsored by
Move over, James Bond. Agent 00 is
reporting for duty! Standing at two feet, nine
inches tall, this undercover operative is more
than meets the eye. He’s got the gadgets,
the girls, and the deadly martial arts skills.
But who is the man behind the bowl cut?
A pint-sized playboy, the embodiment of
the Santo Niño, or a real-life secret agent?
THE SEARCH FOR WENG WENG skillfully
untangles fact from fiction in its hunt for the
enigmatic hero. As it turns out, the real story
is more incredible and elusive than anyone’s
wildest imagination.
Director Andrew Leavold’s peculiar
obsession with the world’s smallest film
star leads him on an unpredictable quest
that unearths long-forgotten treasures from
Philippine cinema’s pop culture graveyard.
From a reinterpretation of the spaghetti
western with comedic icon Dolphy, to stunt-
filled action spoofs, Weng Weng blazed a
trail so hot he left an impression on even
the most notorious personalities. The
undeniable duende he exuded thrilled and
baffled international audiences at a time
when Filipino cinema was barely on the
map. Watching Weng Weng back in action
on the big screen will spark nostalgia among
old fans and mesmerize new documentary
and cult film aficionados, giving Weng Weng
another day in the spotlight. – Malou Amparo
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Pantone 137 Pantone 446
McGregor & Associates, Inc. Logomark
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Contact: Chris Josh 619-398-2828
A fisherman dips his bait into a rice paddy. It’s
a surreal scene: a fishing pole arching over a
sea of grass. As the first scene of THE SONGS
OF RICE, it also sets the tone. This won’t be a
documentary of explanations or procedures.
It’ll be one of sheer visual splendor and the thrill
of connecting to people without qualification.
For a most captivating 75 minutes, the rituals
and recreation of rice farmers will come alive
and rockets will literally burst into the air.
This is the latest work of Uruphong Raksasad
(Agrarian Utopia) who, for ten years now, has
committed to making films about rice farmers
in Thailand. He has the eye of a painter and
the lyricism of a poet, finding a way to pair
the moonlight with insects on the ground,
and more memorably, to create a collage of
visual rhymes, especially dazzling images of
spinning circles.
THE SONGS OF RICE is aptly titled because
it speaks to the ways these rice farmers
live their lives like works of art. Harvesting,
operating machinery, praying, dancing,
playing – all tap into a life force that starts with
a seed planted into the marsh. What makes
the film so effective and moving is the way
director Uruphong Raksasad feels a kinship
with fellow artists and allows the majestic
ways they paint the world to overwhelm and
enchant the screen. – Brian Hu
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THE SONGS OF RICE
NOV. 7 (FRIDAY), 6:45PM,
ULTRASTAR MISSION VALLEY
THAILAND | THAI | 75 MINS | DCP | 2014
DIRECTOR Uruphong Raksasad
Tiger Award,
2014 International Film Festival Rotterdam
Official Selection, 2014 Buenos Aires
International Festival of Independent Cinema
Official Selection, 2014 Hot Docs Canadian
International Documentary Festival
US Premiere
Sponsored by
Pantone 137 Pantone 446
McGregor & Associates, Inc. Logomark
2-color: Orange PMS 137 and Grey PMS 446
Contact: Chris Josh 619-398-2828
Fostering Innovation In Adminstration
REMEMBERING
QUEER KOREA
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THE GIRL PRINCES
A retrospective of queer images in Korean cinema, co-presented with
the UCSD Program in Transnational Korean Studies
BROKEN BRANCHES
NOV. 15 (SATURDAY), 10:00AM,
UCSD VISUAL ARTS
PRESENTATION LAB
SOUTH KOREA | KOREAN
96 MINS | DVD | 1995
DIRECTOR Park Jae-ho
CAST Kim Ye-ryeong, Lee Dae-yeon,
Lee In-cheol, Lee Hong-seong
Official Selection,
1995 Vancouver International Film Festival
Free screening
The landmark BROKEN BRANCHES is also
known by its literal translation, “The River
Flows to Tomorrow,” which captures the
rushing forth of history and a hope for
survival. In this case, where that history flows
and in what shape that hope takes make for
quite an extraordinary vision of progress
– especially for Korea in the 1990s and
especially on the subject of homosexuality
and the family.
Told in three parts, the film follows the
narrator Jung-min from birth in the 1950s to
adulthood in the 1990s. Through the decline
of Jung-min’s patriarchal stepfather and
the end of the Park Chung-hee regime, we
witness Confucian Korea reconfigure and
adapt to liberalization.
What appears at first a conservative
historical epic shifts gears in the final section:
a party of laughs, cuddly romance, and
karaoke charisma. Tonally it’s a shocker but
thematically it organically narrates a utopic
vision of the family that may not necessarily
accept gay sons, but cannot deny their
presence. As patriarchy reconfigures vis-à-
vis homosexuality, the film itself reconfigures
as a comedy. It’s a sensational and radical
move, cinematically announcing the
presence of homosexuality through the
raucous insertion of film genre. It’s perhaps
not surprising then that in adulthood Jung-
min reveals himself to be not only gay, but
also a filmmaker. Just as unsurprising then
that BROKEN BRANCHES has thus rushed its
own way into history for carving space for a
gay voice in Korean cinema. – Brian Hu
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1950s Korea saw the rise, and sadly the brisk
disappearance, of female gukgeuk, a form of
musical theater in which women played all the
roles, including those of men. In its heyday,
the stars of female gukgeuk were idolized by
screaming fans, some fanatic to the point of
stalking, suicide, and even incorporating the
stars into their own wedding photos. For the
performers, female gukgeuk represented
an opportunity to explore a much broader
range of emotions and experiences than
that permitted by 1950s femininity, and the
actresses formed uncommon sisterhoods in
their acting troupes. Some even found love.
THE GIRL PRINCES is a historical overview
of a forgotten phenomenon, but more than
that, it follows many of the performers today,
now in their seventies and eighties. Some are
still performing, some still dress and sound
masculine despite rarely being on stage.
Throughout the documentary, they lovingly
reminisce and reflect on their careers and
legacies.
Through archival footage, rare photographs,
and most importantly, the bodies and
demeanors of the living legends themselves,
the film becomes a counter-history of Korean
womanhood and show business in the post-
war period, proposing gender performance
as not just repressed history, but something
downright noble. – Brian Hu
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THE GIRL PRINCES
NOV. 13 (THURSDAY), 6:45PM,
UCSD VISUAL ARTS
PRESENTATION LAB
SOUTH KOREA | KOREAN | 79 MINS
HD | 2012
DIRECTOR Kim Hye-jung
Official Selection,
2012 Seoul LGBT Film Festival
Free screening
THE POLLEN
OF FLOWERS
NOV. 14 (FRIDAY), 6:30PM,
UCSD VISUAL ARTS
PRESENTATION LAB
SOUTH KOREA | KOREAN | 89 MINS
HD | 1972
DIRECTOR Ha Gil-jong
CAST Yun So-ra, Choi Ji-hee,
Hah Myung-joong, Nam Koong Won
New digital restoration
Free screening
In 1971, director Ha Gil-jong returned to Korea
from UCLA’s film school and unleashed one
of the most gripping, stylish, and scandalous
films Korea had ever seen. Its characters
stumble through a suburban home drunk off
greed and hopped up on hormones. Their
stares wound and their actions – usually of
the vicious, duplicitous, or desperate sort –
domino into a cruel, unbelievable finish.
The players form a prism of thorny
melodrama: Mi-ran gives up her virginity on
the day of her first period, Dan-ju seeks to
escape his gay lover Hyeon-ma by running
away with a woman, Se-ran tries to hold her
house together by marrying up her younger
sister, all while a housekeeper watches on
with motives of her own. The sexual tension
is electrified by the power play; that the
family compound is called the “Blue House”
only makes the political dimension all the
more lurid.
Today, THE POLLEN OF FLOWERS is best
known as the first Korean film to feature a
homosexual relationship, as well as one of
the finest Korean films of the 1970s, if not
ever. The new digital restoration by the
Korean Film Archive should only boost the
film’s notoriety. The macabre use of color,
the ferocious cross-cutting, and Shin Jung-
hyeon’s chilling psychedelic score have
never been eerier, to say nothing of the film’s
continued resonance as a depiction of class
power spiraling out of control. – Brian Hu
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“Break Through the Limits of Eroticism!”
So read the title of one newspaper
advertisement for SABANGJI, set during the
Chosŏn dynasty (1392-1910) and undeniably
catering to heterosexual male desire to gaze
into the realm of female homoeroticism. In
classic exploitation form, the title character
of the film possesses both male and female
genitalia, leading Sabangji to suffer an
identity crisis and experience feelings of
self-contempt.
And yet the film erases the protagonist’s
masculine characteristics altogether.
Sabangji’s penis never reveals itself even as a
contour, existing merely as a crashing sound
effect in the first sex scene. The erasure
might be a sop to placate heterosexual
men, but it also creates a space for female
homoeroticism and an alternative, if tragic,
form of love. In this sense, an otherwise
sensationalistic phrase in the newspaper
advertisement for the film is quite honest:
“Hot female-to-female relations that rise
above ethics and morals!” – Han Sang Kim
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SABANGJI
NOV. 14 (FRIDAY), 8:30PM,
UCSD VISUAL ARTS
PRESENTATION LAB
SOUTH KOREA | KOREAN
94 MINS | DVD | 1988
DIRECTOR Song Kyung-shik
CAST Lee Hye-young, Bang Hee,
Kwak Jung-hee, Park Am
Free screening
SHORTS: UNCLE
‘‘
BAR
’’
AT
BARBERSHOP
+ AULD LANG SYNE
NOV. 15 (SATURDAY), 12:15PM, UCSD
VISUAL ARTS PRESENTATION LAB
These two independently-produced
short films explore aging, sexuality, the faces
we present, and the chance encounters
that lead to powerful reconsiderations
of what came before.
Free screening
UNCLE

BAR

AT BARBERSHOP
SOUTH KOREA | 22 MIN | 2000
DIRECTOR Kwon Jong-kwan
In a Korean barbershop in the 1980s, joking
around turns explosive and a community
is forced to confront what’s beneath its
surface.
AULD LANG SYNE
SOUTH KOREA | 26 MIN | 2007
DIRECTOR Kwon Jong-kwan
Chang-sik runs into Sung-tae at a park and
they are given a second chance to kindle an
old romance.
R
E
M
E
M
B
E
R
I
N
G


Q
U
E
E
R


K
O
R
E
A
15
th
San Diego Asian Film Festival 132
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creativity starts here
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this newly-minted film graduate took top prize for short
film at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and then won
a $30,000 Nicholl Fellowship from the Academy of
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graduate from SDSU with the skills and confidence to
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S A N D I E G O A S I A N F I L M F E S T I V A L
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PRODUCTION NOTES
Please examine these publication materials carefully. Any questions regarding the materials, please contact Erik Welch at (415) 217-2809
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15
th
San Diego Asian Film Festival 158
THE TEAM
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Lee Ann Kim
SR. ADVANCEMENT DIRECTOR
Pam Couvignou
MANAGING DIRECTOR
Glenn Heath Jr.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Brian Hu
PR & COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
Lauren Manalo
MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR
James Paguyo, III
CHIEF LIAISON
Cynthia Kashiwagi
SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR
Erwin Mendoza
PROGRAMMERS
Malou Amparo
Maryanne Bilbao
Michael Chen
Sam Chen
Bianca Cruz
Thomas Gentil
Gene Huh
Rizzhel Javier
Lev Kalman
Janet Kim
Eric Lallana
Joseph Mangat
Erwin Mendoza
James Paguyo
Christina Ree
Wilda Wong
GRAPHIC DESIGN TEAM
Pam Couvignou
Chris Ebue
Dominic Gerace
Lauren Manalo
Cathy Nguyen
Darlene Portades
Yen Tan
COMMUNITY OUTREACH
Cynthia Kashiwagi
Sharon Jeong
VOLUNTEER COORDINATORS
Kao Vang
Vietca Do
STREET TEAM COORDINATOR
Michelle Liu
MARKETING ASSOCIATES
Jasmine Chan
Sonya Rhee
Anne Li Situ
PUBLIC RELATIONS
Nikki Jiminez, Focuscom
SPECIAL EVENTS
Erica Chang
Megan Lam
15
th
San Diego Asian Film Festival 159
THEATER OPERATIONS TEAM
Anthony Noceda, Manager
Brian Bacsal
Mark Gadia
Mario Guerrero
Chris Paffendorf
Dani Druther
GUEST SERVICES
Lisa Yadao
Elgin Aguilar
Chris Malaqui
WILL CALL/TICKETING
Don Tolentino
Gigi Vo
PROJECTIONISTS
Brook Falkenstein
Staci Gaines
Jon Miller
Chris Paffendorf
Joey Reyes
YOUTH DAY
Robert Fung
REEL VOICES
Jini Shim, Coordinator
Pat Clark, Instructor
Manuel Camacho, Assistant
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Harlen Bayha, Chairman
Stephen Lew, Vice Chair
Paul Bergman, Secretary
Shirley Park, Treasurer
Stephen Chin, Chairman Ameritus
Eunice Bragais
Varsha Israni
Sheila Kanoya
Dr. Jeff Krebs
Kent Lee
Grant Lewis
Amethyst Lewis
Michelle Ma
Shirley Park
Mitch Reff
Janis Takahashi
Gary Wong
Wendy Wong
Leon Wu
PHOTOGRAPHERS
Jose Bucud
Michael Domingo
Sima MehrAzar
John Pascasio
Reggie Regala
Allan Regala

VIDEO PRODUCTION TEAM
JazzyCrosby Condalor
Eric Chu
Amy Fan
Tanya Nohemi
Kirk Saechao
Jeremie Sunico
Dominic Gerace
Brandon Jeong
Dave Wilwayco
Ty Salcedo
FESTIVAL TRAILER
Amy Fan, editor
Dave Helpling, composer
15
th
San Diego Asian Film Festival 160
THANK YOU
Markus Achord, CareFusion
Melissa Adao, Outreach Through Dance
Armin Afsahi, UCSD Alumni
Joel Neville Anderson
Risa Baron, SDG&E
Theresa Battle, Price Charities
Norice Bauer, Wells Fargo
Kiku Boyance, CBS Radio
Dennis-Michael Broussard
Dee Dee Castro, Viejas
Chris Cate
Emma Chen, Golden Horse Film Festival
Dr. Lilly Cheng, SDSU Confucius Institute
Marc Chery, New Central Library
Sheau-Ching Chiang-Nicholas, YUYU
Laura Chon
Dr. Leeva Chung, USD
Renee Chin, SDCWA
Justin Chon
John Cihomsky, Sharp Health Care
Mytle Cole, SD Councilmember
Dr. Christina Della Coletta, UCSD
Ben Dimagmaliw
Kelly Donahue, UBER
Carolyn Dumas, Macy’s
Stephen Dypiangco, National Film Society
Patrick Epino, National Film Society
Rosa Esquivel, AT&T
Kristine Estorninos, Toronto Reel Asian Film
Festival
Abraham Ferrer, Visual Communications
Leanne Ferrer, PIC
Randy Gage
Wendy Gillespie
Todd Gloria, Council President
Richard Go, Repromagic
Ellen Gonzalez, ABC
Tim Graham, Think Blue SD
Reynaldo Guerrero, UCSD
Ed Harris, SD Councilmember
Dr. Todd Henry, UCSD
Gayle Hom, Hom Family Foundation
Tom & Loretta Hom
Traci Hong, UT San Diego
Marilyn Huerta, CSUSM
Vinny Huynh, Valley View Casino
Deepak & Varsha Israni, Meridian
Kevin Iwashina, Preferred Content
Nikki Jimenez, AAJA San Diego
Justin Kanoya, Kanoya Productions
Beverly Kim
Eddie Kim
Gene Kim
Han Sang Kim
Yong & Myung Kim
Elvin Lai, Ocean Park Inn
Julia Legaspi, Jhigs
Anderson Le
Angie Lee, KFMB
Helie Lee
George Lin, RIP
Frank Lin
Dr. Ping-hui Liao, UCSD
Sherri Lightner, SD Councilmember
Cathy Lloyd-Bauerle, CBS Radio
MyMy Lu, Cox Communications
Erwin Magbanua, Central Library
Kathryn Martin, ACG
Jerri Malana, Littler Mendelson
Gary Margolis, SD Commission for Arts &
Culture
Scott Marks
15
th
San Diego Asian Film Festival 161
Dan Matthews
Katherine McDonald, Time Warner
Carla Miller, Harrah’s Resort
George McGregor, McGregor & Associates
Timothy Moon, Zion Market
Leo Nam
Elycia Nelson, Focuscom
Anthony Nguyen
Cathy Nguyen
Tony Olaes, ODM
Dene Oliver, Oliver McMillan
Brian Pegram, AARP
Scott Peters, Congressman
Vincent Pham, CSUSM
Todd Quartararo, Quartararo & Associates
(Q&A)
Mitchell & Miyo Reff
Drs. Craig & Silvia Reid
Frank Robinson, Union Bank
Jeff Roberto, Sushi on a Roll
James Ryu, KoreAm and Audrey Magazine
Shirley Sanz, AT&T
Dana Sass, Barona
Robert Scheid, Viejas
Scott Sherman, SD Councilmember
Leslie Shimazaki, Mesa College
Patricia Sinay, Holland American Line
Amanda Solomon, UCSD
Louis Song, PROVEN
Samuel Song
Weston Song
Suzi Sterner, UCSD Alumni Affairs
Benjamin Ting
Richard Trujillo, SCPA
Ada Tseng
Dr. Charles Tu, UCSD
Michael Tu, Phuong Trang
Anthony Turk, Turk Communications
Wendy Urushima-Conn, ABA
Jennie Van Meter, UCSD Alumni
Sara Vogel, UCSD
James Wicks, Point Loma Nazarene
University
Eddie Wang Rodriguez, Mintz Levin
Ping Wang, Pangea
Laura Welty, SDG&E
Lee Wills, Qualcomm
Ellen Wong
Simon Wong
Nancy Worlie, KPBS
Leonard Wu
Chi-hui Yang
Wayne Yang, UCSD
Phil Yu, Angry Asian Man
Lorie Zapf, SD Councilmember
15
th
San Diego Asian Film Festival 162
INDEX & PRINT SOURCE
6 WEDDINGS AND A DRESS (pg. 61)
distribution@vconline.org
9-MAN (pg. 54)
uliang@gmail.com
ABAN + KHORSHID (pg. 74)
darwinserink@gmail.com
AHCO ON THE ROAD (pg. 73)
soyeon@yellowshed.com
ANITA’S LAST CHA-CHA (pg. 82)
sigridandreapbernardo@yahoo.com
APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR (pg. 55)
jeffrey@thefilmcollaborative.org
AULD LANG SYNE (pg. 132)
kate@indiestory.com
THE BADDEST PART (pg. 72)
adamazimov@gmail.com
BAI XIE (SNOW WHITE) (pg. 74)
ianhburris@gmail.com
BARBER’S TALES (pg. 61)
ignatiusfilms@yahoo.ca
BEHIND MY BEHIND (pg. 71)
davechai@earthlink.net
BELLA VISTA (pg. 56)
bellavista@slowtale.net
BINGO (pg. 83)
distribution@vconline.org
BLIND MASSAGE (pg. 102)
obensalah@wildbunch.eu
BLUE BUSTAMANTE (pg. 84)
ourcinema@gmail.com
BOYCOTT (pg. 77)
rimbaud9@gmail.com
BROKEN BRANCHES (pg. 128)
jaeho8111@naver.com
THE BUSY YOUNG PSYCHIC (pg. 72)
PTSFestival@gmail.com
BY THE STREAM (pg. 70)
tangotto@hotmail.com
CAMPUS CONFIDENTIAL (pg. 85)
frederick_tsui@mediaasia.com
CANTONESE STYLE! (pg. 74)
beasoong@me.com
CICADA (pg. 57)
yamada@alumni.usc.edu
COMFORT GIRLS (pg. 78)
distribution@vconline.org
CROSSING BARRIERS: CULTURE
CLASH QUEERS (pg. 74)
caro.rays@gmail.com
DEAR MOM (pg. 71)
zhou.qianyu@hotmail.com
DELANO MANONGS: FORGOTTEN
HEROES ON THE UNITED FARM
WORKERS MOVEMENT (pg. 78)
info@delanomanongs.com
DISTANT LIGHT (pg. 72)
raijinseller@gmail.com
DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART 2
(pg. 103)
frederick_tsui@mediaasia.com
EAT WITH ME (pg. 58)
jeffrey@thefilmcollaborative.org
ETERNITY (pg. 71)
svahan82@gmail.com
EXIT (pg. 114)
wenhsiao.mm@gmail.com
FANTAIL (pg. 115)
freja@levelk.dk
FINGER RUNNING (pg. 77)
diana.li3192@gmail.com
FOR THE LOVE OF UNICORNS (pg. 73)
distribution@vconline.org
A FOX TALE (pg. 71)
cazals.alexandre@gmail.com
FRESH OFF THE BOAT (pg. 42)
Ellen.M.Gonzalez@abc.com
FROM WHAT IS BEFORE (pg. 104)
sineoliviapilipinas@gmail.com
FUKU-CHAN OF FUKUFUKU FLATS
(pg. 86)
adam@thirdwindowfilms.com
GANGSTER PAY DAY (pg. 87)
lammyli@staralliancemovies.com
THE GIRL PRINCES (pg. 129)
girlprince@naver.com
THE GOLDEN ERA (pg. 105)
robert@chinalionentertainment.com
GOOD MORNING (pg. 70)
kate@indiestory.com
GRACE OF GOD (pg. 72)
millicent.cho@gmail.com
GRAND CANAL (pg. 76)
Johnnym9799@gmail.com
GRANDMA (pg. 77)
yuchen0209@gmail.com
H7N3 (pg. 77)
shim.irisk@gmail.com
HAPPY FUN ROOM (pg. 77)
pmp@gregpak.com
15
th
San Diego Asian Film Festival 163
A HARD DAY (pg. 88)
eugene@showbox.co.kr
HARDLOCK (pg. 71)
kate@indiestory.com
HELLO! JUNICHI (pg. 89)
y-yoshimura@t-joy.jp
HIGHER SKY (pg. 70)
ericcheng44k@gmail.com
HUNGRY MONSTER (pg. 73)
hungrymonstershow@gmail.com
HYPEBEASTS (pg. 75)
jessdela@gmail.com
IMPERMANENCE (pg. 71)
miaogreg@gmail.com
IN SUNRISE (pg. 74)
xinzhengwang10@gmail.com
THE IRON MINISTRY (pg. 116)
jpsniadecki@gmail.com
IT’S NOT A PRISON IF YOU
NEVER TRY THE DOOR (pg. 77)
roqeja@hotmail.com
JAYA (pg. 75)
puja.maewal@aol.com
JIMMY LOVES JUICE (pg. 70)
yeebotstudios@gmail.com
JOHN DOE (pg. 70)
renodustin@gmail.com
JOURNEY TO THE WEST (pg. 106)
arnaud@urbandistrib.com
KANO (pg. 90)
christa.tw@gmail.com
KEN MIURA: UNHEARD OF (pg. 57)
distribution@vconline.org
THE KINGDOM OF DREAMS
AND MADNESS (pg. 107)
sarah@gkids.com
KUMU HINA (pg. 60)
deanhamer@aol.com
LETTERS FROM THE SOUTH (pg. 108)
supatcha@mosquitofilmsdistribution.com
LIMITED PARTNERSHIP (pg. 61)
limitedpartnershipfilm@gmail.com
LORDVILLE (pg. 62)
rtajiri400@gmail.com
THE LOST SEA (pg. 117)
smcheng1220@gmail.com
LOVE’S WHIRLPOOL (pg. 91)
kana@klockworx.com
MAN FROM RENO (pg. 63)
tigerindustryfilms@gmail.com
MARY IS HAPPY, MARY IS HAPPY (pg. 118)
supatcha@mosquitofilmsdistribution.com
MASS CONFUCIAN: CHINESE
LANGUAGE OR COMMUNIST
PROPAGANDA? (pg. 78)
nancy.yuen@biola.edu
MEET THE PATELS (pg. 44)
meetthepatelsfilm@gmail.com
MEETING DR. SUN (pg. 119)
junewu@ablazeimage.com
MILKYBOY (pg. 72)
arncyn@gmail.com
MOTHERS (pg. 120)
livia@icarusfilms.com
MOUNT SONG (pg. 76)
shambhavikaul@me.com
MY BROTHER (pg. 75)
vpham_57@hotmail.com
MY LIFE IN CHINA (pg. 64)
ken@projectilearts.org
NAMI (pg. 75)
masami.kawai@gmail.com
NO NO, HOMO (pg. 74)
info@jerellrosales.com
NON FICTION DIARY (pg. 121)
rachel@mline-distribution.com
ORIGAMI (pg. 70)
c.cabanel@ecolescreatives.com
OUR FAMILY (pg. 109)
ymiyamae@colorbird.co.jp
THE OWNERS (pg. 122)
arnaud@urbandistrib.com
PARDESI (pg. 70)
marianaramirez@gmail.com
PARTNERS IN CRIME (pg. 92)
Eric.Chou@deegroup.com
PEEPERS (pg. 77)
kendlam@gmail.com
THE POLLEN OF FLOWERS (pg. 130)
hellonana@koreafilm.or.kr
THE POOL MAN (pg. 10)
kaidi7001@gmail.com
PRINSESA (pg. 74)
info@prinsesafilm.com
THE PRIVATE LIFE OF FENFEN (pg. 76)
leslie.tai@gmail.com
QUEEN (pg. 93)
behram@b4unetwork.com
THE QUESTIONING (pg. 76)
livia@icarusfilms.com
RATTLEFLY (pg. 75)
md27777@gmail.com
RAVI & JANE (pg. 73)
stuart@escapeartists.com.au
15
th
San Diego Asian Film Festival 164
RED (pg. 71)
victoriabruneel@hotmail.com
REEL VOICES (pg. 66)
info@pac-arts.org
REPTILIA IN SUBURBIA
timmyharn@yahoo.com
REVENGE OF THE GREEN DRAGONS
lisar@a24films.com
THE REWARD (pg. 71)
mmangoning@yahoo.com.tw
THE RICE BOMBER (pg. 94)
junewu@ablazeimage.com
THE ROUND TABLE (pg. 95)
sakoda@ponycanyon.co.jp
RU (pg. 68)
jeff@ahappafilm.com
SABANGJI (pg. 131)
lynn0107@gmail.com
THE SEARCH FOR WENG WENG
(pg. 124)
andrewleavold@gmail.com
SHAMELESS (pg. 44)
geeta@shetanifilms.com
SO YOU’VE GROWN ATTACHED
(pg. 77)
katetsangfilms@gmail.com
THE SONGS OF RICE (pg. 125)
supatcha@mosquitofilmsdistribution.com
SQUARED (pg. 74)
hieuydtran@gmail.com
STEADFAST STANLEY (pg. 70)
paperpenguinpic@gmail.com
STRAY DOGS (pg. 110)
rkrivoshey@cinemaguild.com
SUBURBANITE (pg. 79)
ryanwjameson@gmail.com
THE TEACHER’S DIARY (pg. 96)
ruedee@gth.co.th
TELOS: THE FANTASTIC WORLD OF
EUGENE TSSUI (pg. 80)
kyung@kyunglee.com
TO SIT WITH HER (pg. 74)
distribution@vconline.org
TRANSFORMERS: THE PREMAKE
(pg. 78)
alsolikelife@gmail.com
TWINS IN BAKERY (pg. 73)
mari@4miyazawa.com
UNCLE ‘BAR’ AT BARBERSHOP (pg. 132)
kate@indiestory.com
UNCLE VICTORY (pg. 97)
lammyli@staralliancemovies.com
UZUMASA LIMELIGHT (pg. 98)
festival@elevenarts.net
THE VANCOUVER ASAHI (pg. 111)
sakoda@ponycanyon.co.jp
VENUS TALK (pg. 99)
r333@lotte.net
VIVE L’AMOUR (pg. 112)
enga_chang@movie.com.tw
WALKER (pg. 106)
alvin_tse@hkiff.org.hk
WALLPAPER (pg. 73)
elainechen10@gmail.com
A WARRIOR’S DREAM (pg. 70)
yixinjim@163.com
WHAT A DAY (pg. 72)
shannonlee@alum.calarts.edu
WHY WE RISE (pg. 78)
contact@corinnemanabat.com
YASMINE (pg. 100)
fai@originartistic.com
INDEX & PRINT SOURCE
HELLO JUNICHI!
PG. 29
15
th
San Diego Asian Film Festival 166
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