Sandy Eggans, nearby Southern Californians, and film buffs alike:
As one of the largest film exhibitions of its kind in North America with more than 150 films from 20 countries, this year’s Festival features exclusive North American and West coast premieres, screening locations throughout San Diego County, a lifetime tribute to FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH director Chung Chang-wha, and a Gala Awards Dinner.
I had the honor of serving as one of the judges of the SDAFF this year, and I promise there are many excellent films to see in this festival!
Gala Awards Dinner on Saturday, November 3, at Town & Country Hotel in Mission Valley (500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA), presented by Wells Fargo. An estimated 700 community and business leaders, and celebrities including George Takei, will attend as the Festival announces its top films, plus a live auction with business class tickets on Japan Airlines, and special performances from ALLEGIANCE THE MUSICAL, Culture Shock, and Goh Nakamura. Proceeds benefit REEL VOICES for at-risk youth, and other year-round programs. Scheduled to emcee: comedian Randall Park.
Centerpiece film on Sunday, November 4 at UltraStar Mission Valley with the powerful narrative film, EDEN, starring Jamie Chung (Hangover 2, Sucker Punch) and Beau Bridges (The Descendants, Brothers & Sisters). EDEN is based on the true story of Chong Kim, a Korean American who was kidnapped into an international sex trafficking ring. Chung, Kim, and director Megan Griffiths are scheduled to attend.
Closing Night film on Sunday, November 9 at UltraStar Mission Valley with the West Coast Premiere of Japanese romantic comedy LOVE STRIKES!. With its nervy Edgar Wright dazzle, LOVE STRIKES! is a romantic comedy for the neurotics, the romantics, and the new media junkies. It’s for the men who want to see the most insecure versions of themselves score, and for the women who think it’s cute when nerdy guys squirm.
SDAFF pays tribute to Director Chung Chang-Wha with a Lifetime Achievement award. In 1972, Warner Bros. sought a film to capitalize on America’s excitement for TV’s Green Hornet and Kung Fu. Enter Chung Chang-wha, a 19-year veteran in the Korean film industry turning out spectacular melodramas, swordsplay films, and costume pictures. The result was FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH which, under Warners’ watch, became an international sensation that remained on the North American box office charts for nearly three months. For a foreign production in a xenophobic market, the film was an unprecedented success that precipitated a two-year kung fu craze. Today, it continues to be emulated in films like Kill Bill and The Man with the Iron Fists. Director Chung brought a jolt of energy to Hong Kong (and beyond) with his craft and his cosmopolitan smarts. For his art, for his passion, and for his imprint on world cinema, the San Diego Asian Film Festival is proud to award Chung Chang-wha its Lifetime Achievement Award.
As always, the San Diego Asian Film Festival premieres many of Asia’s hottest films. Notable North American Premieres include NUCLEAR NATION (Berlin Film Festival,Hong Kong International Film Festival), ARCHITECTURE 101 (one of the biggest Korean hits of the year), and CHA CHA FOR TWINS (Best Narrative Film, Taipei Film Festival). Major West Coast Premieres include the latest from the world’s top directors: Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s MEKONG HOTEL, Sion Sono’s THE LAND OF HOPE, Kim Jee-woon’s DOOMSDAY BOOK, and Yoshihiro Nakamura’s CHIPS. SDAFF is also proud to host the West Coast Premieres of some of the most talked-about discoveries on the international festival circuit: APPARITION (Philippines), SLEEPLESS NIGHT (South Korea), HENGE (Japan), LATE SUMMER (USA), MEMORIES LOOK AT ME (China).
￼Tickets can be purchased at the UltraStar Cinemas Mission Valley box office for 2 (Member $8.00 | General $11.50) starting today, November 2. Student/Military/Senior/and Group discounts are available.
For ticketing info, full film details, and schedule, please visit the SDAFF official website or contact 619.400.5911 | info@Pac-Arts.org
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