Tuesday, June 26, 2018

41st Asian American International Film Festival Announces Full Lineup

NEW YORK, JUNE 26, 2018 – The 41st Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF41), presented by Asian CineVision and taking place July 25 – August 5 in New York City, announced its full film lineup today. The first and longest running Asian interest film festival in the country, AAIFF41 is proud to present the following program, which includes 13 narrative features, 10 documentary features, and 57 short films, representing over 14 countries.

Directed by Aneesh Chaganty – USA
After David Kim (John Cho)’s 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a local investigation is opened and a detective (Debra Messing) is assigned to the case. But 37 hours later and without a single lead, David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet, where all secrets are kept today: his daughter’s laptop. In a hyper-modern thriller told via the technology devices we use every day to communicate, David must trace his daughter’s digital footprints before she disappears forever.

SEARCHING will screen on Wednesday, July 25 at 7:00pm at Village East Cinema with Director Aneesh Chaganty and Actor John Cho in attendance.

Directed by Mina Shum – Canada
Devoted wife and mother, 60-year-old Maria Wang’s life is altered when she discovers an orange thong in her husband’s pants pocket, forcing her to confront how powerless she has let herself become. Her efforts to find out the truth send her on an unexpected journey of liberation. Starring Cheng Pei-pei and Sandra Oh.

MEDITATION PARK will screen on Friday, July 27 at 8:00pm at Village East Cinema with Director and Writer Mina Shum in attendance.

Directed by Cathy Yan – China
A bumbling pig farmer, a feisty salon owner, a sensitive busboy, an ambitious expat architect, and a disenchanted rich girl converge and collide as thousands of dead pigs float down the river toward a rapidly modernizing Shanghai, China. Based on true events.

DEAD PIGS will screen on Saturday, July 28 at 7:00pm at Village East Cinema with Director and Writer Cathy Yan in attendance.

Directed by Frank W. Chen – USA
LATE LIFE: THE CHIEN-MING WANG STORY is a feature-length documentary following the latter years of Wang’s professional baseball career. A poignant account of his life as told by those closest to him, it examines his roles as starting pitcher for the New York Yankees, father, son, and international icon. This is the story of a man who is unwilling to give up and unable to let go.

LATE LIFE: THE CHIEN-MING WANG STORY will screen on Sunday, July 29 at 6:00pm at Village East Cinema with Chien-Ming Wang, Director Frank W. Chen, and Producer Brian Yang in attendance.

Directed by Alexandra Cuerdo – USA
In this tasty documentary, Director Alexandra Cuerdo tracks the rise of Filipino food from being “the underdog of Asian cuisines” to its new abode in the center of the American table.

ULAM: MAIN DISH will screen on Saturday, August 4 at 7:00pm at Asia Society with Director Alexandra Cuerdo and Producer Ray Cuerdo in attendance.


Directed by Carlo Obispo – Philippines
Luis is just an average teenage boy living in the idyllic fishing island of Silag. He is coming of age alongside his younger sister Lulu, who busies herself with amateur singing contests in hopes of becoming a star. When a talent manager offers Lulu an opportunity to undergo vocal coaching in Manila, Lulu eagerly takes the opportunity. After Lulu’s family suddenly loses contact with her, Luis sets out for Manila to find his sister, but what he finds there changes his life forever.

1-2-3 (GASPING FOR AIR) will screen on Thursday, July 26 at 8:00pm at Village East Cinema.

Directed by Ben Hoskyn – Canada, Hong Kong
When their dying father makes a sudden change to his will, two half-brothers from different worlds—one a Hong Kong labourer, the other a Vancouver businessman—must decide what they value most: money or family.

8 MINUTES AHEAD will screen on Wednesday, August 1 at 6:00pm at Village East Cinema.

Directed by H.P. Mendoza – USA, Philippines
In this toothy “home for the holidays” remix, a Filipino American family reunites over a long Christmas weekend only to discover that something unusual is festering in their household. What starts out as a fun holiday reunion quickly warps into a darkly humorous crime scene as the family plots to kill one of their own.

BITTER MELON will screen on Saturday, August 4 at 6:00pm at Asia Society.

Directed by Steve Lee & Bobby Choy – South Korea, USA
In this effervescent indie, Bobby Choy (of Big Phony) ditches his staid nine-to-five to become a roadie for his friend’s band. When they land in Seoul, he decides to drop everything else to chase after a glimpse of home.

FICTION & OTHER REALITIES will screen on Sunday, July 29 at 1:30pm at Village East Cinema.

Directed by Alex Chu – USA
Dede, a photojournalist and recovering addict, moves in next door to Laura, a young woman with autism. As the pair begins to form an unlikely friendship, Dede assembles a documentary to tell a story about getting sober, family and friendship, and love and forgiveness.

FOR IZZY will screen on Friday, August 3 at 8:15pm at Asia Society.

Directed by Vandana Kataria – India
In a posh boarding school where children continue to practice age-old rituals and codes cemented from years of hierarchy, a 15-year-old boy struggling through adolescence is terrorized by a gang of bullies. NOBLEMEN chips away at the prim veneer of an all-boys school in India to tell a coming-of-age tale mired in jealousy, patriarchy, and homophobia.

NOBLEMEN will screen on Wednesday, August 1 at 7:45pm at Village East Cinema.

A touch of spring
Directed by Xiaxodan He – Canada, China
When Li Fang’s life violently disintegrates in Montreal, she flees for Dazu, her birthplace in South China. While there, she reunites with her family and an old lover who help her break through this impasse in her life.

A touch of spring will screen on Sunday, July 29 at 3:30pm at Village East Cinema.

Directed by Zorinah Juan – USA
Developed by an entirely female crew, WHEN WE GROW UP is a feature film about a close-knit, sometimes contentious, interracial family reunited by an unconventional emergency. Once together, they are forced to confront each other's secrets, flaws, and childhood scars.

WHEN WE GROW UP will screen on Friday, July 27 at 5:30pm at Village East Cinema.

Directed by Daryl Wein – USA
Sophia is a Korean American performance artist living in L.A., struggling with the meaning of “art” and a recent break-up. Her woes seem to have found an end when she meets a free-spirited Ghanaian American woman, for whom she quickly develops strong feelings. The only problem is… are the feelings reciprocated?

WHITE RABBIT will screen on Saturday, July 28 at 2:45pm at Village East Cinema.

Directed by Touji Sawamura – Japan
Shiro works a dead-end job cleaning the homes of the recently deceased. But when he stumbles on the residence of his childhood idol, the great Detective Jubei Yagyu, Shiro’s life is changed forever.  With the help of his trusty partner Mio, Shiro is determined to honor the legacy of his fallen hero by becoming a great detective… if only somebody had a case!

YOROZUYA DETECTIVE STORY will screen on Thursday, July 26 at 6:00pm at Village East Cinema.


Directed by Theresea Kowall-Shipp – Canada
The story of Miss World contestant, Anastasia Lin changed drastically when her father, living in China was threatened by Chinese security forces because of Anastasia’s public stance on human rights violations in that country. Unbeknownst to her, she had been declared ‘persona non grata’ by authorities preventing her from traveling to Sanya, China to represent Canada at the 2015 Miss World Pageant. Her attempt to enter the country played out on the world stage, landing her on the front page of The New York Times, appearing on CNN, Der Spiegel, Cosmopolitan and other major media outlets. Despite not being able to compete in the finals that year, Anastasia becomes the beauty queen who captures the world’s attention.

  • Paired with the short film I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY.
    Narrative – Directed by Ying Liang – Taiwan, Hong Kong
    A Chinese mother gets a home visit from the police because her daughter, a dissident filmmaker living in Hong Kong, is planning yet another critical film about China. She hasn’t seen her daughter for five years but sets off to talk to her, in spite of her failing health. Based on director Ying Liang’s personal experience of living in exile, I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY is a combined examination of politics and family tragedy.

BADASS BEAUTY QUEEN and I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY will screen on Saturday, July 28 at 4:45pm at Village East Cinema.

Directed by Stephen Maing – USA
Amidst a landmark class action lawsuit over illegal policing quotas, CRIME + PUNISHMENT intimately observes the real lives and struggles of a group of black and Latino whistleblower cops known as “The NYPD 12” and the young minorities they are pressured to arrest and summons in New York City. Over four years of unprecedented access, the film cinematically exposes the interconnected stories of systemic injustice in New York City policing through the bold efforts of a group of active duty officers, an innocent young man stuck in Rikers and one unforgettable private investigator.

CRIME + PUNISHMENT will screen on Thursday, July 26 at 6:00pm at Village East Cinema.

Directed by Quentin Lee – USA, Hong Kong, Canada
GAY HOLLYWOOD DAD follows writer/director, Quentin Lee, as he navigates being a single father and being an independent filmmaker. Laser focused on not only being a father but being a storyteller, we follow Quentin as he continues to film movies, making it work, even writing his child into the story.
GAY HOLLYWOOD DAD will screen on Thursday, August 2 at 6:00pm at Village East Cinema.

Directed by Shraysi Tandon – USA, India, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Ghana
Shot in 6 countries including the U.S, India, Indonesia, Ghana, Hong Kong and China. INVISIBLE HANDS is a harrowing account of children as young as 6 years old making the products we buy and consume everyday. A modern day slavery system quietly supported by some of the world's biggest corporate giants. The film also shows chilling undercover footage of children being sold like animals by a child trafficker. The film marks the directorial debut of journalist Shraysi Tandon and is produced by Academy award winning filmmaker Charles Ferguson.

INVISIBLE HANDS will screen on Friday, July 27 at 8:00pm at Village East Cinema.

Directed by Leon Lee – China
When a woman in Oregon opens a box of Halloween decorations and finds a shocking  letter written by a political prisoner from inside a Chinese labour camp, her discovery makes waves across major news outlets worldwide. The author of the letter, Sun Yi, breaks through internet firewalls and learns that his letter has received international attention. Capitalizing on this moment, he joins forces with an underground network of journalists and Chinese dissidents to reveal the dark depths of the  entire story.

LETTER FROM MASANJIA will screen on Saturday, July 28 at 3:00pm at Village East Cinema.

Directed by Shilipi Gulati – India
Four recovering addicts at a rehabilitation center in Punjab, India are helping families recover from the rampant drug problem in the state. While they struggle to establish new relationships with their pasts, their wives strive to redefine the meaning of love. An intimate portrayal of recovery, 'Taala Te Kunjee' is about relationships and the labor of everyday.

LOCK AND KEY will screen on Sunday, July 29 at 1:30pm at Village East Cinema.

Directed by Bing Liu – USA
First-time filmmaker Bing Liu’s documentary MINDING THE GAPis a coming-of-age saga of three skateboarding friends in their Rust Belt hometown hit hard by decades of recession. In his quest to understand why he and his friends all ran away from home when they were younger, Bing follows 23-year-old Zack as he becomes a father and 17-year-old Keire as he gets his first job. As the film unfolds, Bing is thrust into the middle of Zack’s tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend and Keire’s inner struggles with racial identity and his deceased father.

MINDING THE GAP will screen on Thursday, August 2 at 8:15pm at Village East Cinema.

Directed by Ruby Yang – Hong Kong
On any given day on the vast Tibetan Plateau, you will find nomads herding their yaks and sheep, and monks reciting their mantras. You will also find them playing one of their favorite sports — basketball. Makeshift courts are found in nearly every village. Next to traditional horseback riding, basketball has become a way for young men to work off their aggression and channel their energy. With the introduction of televised NBA games, the nomads of Ritoma have a new strategy for their court game. And when a proper coach arrives from the United States, slam-dunk becomes their new mantra.

  • Paired with the short film NGUYENing | The Lee Nguyen Story.
    Documentary – Directed by Alfonso Bui – USA, Vietnam
    A teenage soccer phenom skyrockets to stardom like no one before him, becoming the first ethnic Vietnamese player to represent the United States. Then, in an unprecedented move, he leaves for Asia, his star fading into obscurity.

RITOMA and NGUYENing | The Lee Nguyen Story will screen on Sunday, July 29 at 3:30pm at Village East Cinema.


Art Beyond the Screen
Going beyond the cinematic talents of our community, the following shorts showcase and dive into other art forms. How Asian talents from around the world transform and use art to expand what it means to be an artist.

    Documentary – Directed by Rachel Lattin, Riani Singgih, Jordyn Romero, Elliott Powell, Paloma Young – Scotland
    Raj and his brother, Pops, make up the popular music duo Tigerstyle. Based in Glasgow, the brothers work as DJs and music producers, creating hip-hop bhangra fusion music. While Western music is centered around a partying culture, Tigerstyle aims to promote Sikh values in their music.

    Documentary – Directed by Jon Chiang – Canada  
    After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Vancouver hip-hop artist, Francis Arevalo, is stuck in limbo for over a year. THE LION tells the story of Francis finding healing, closure, and community through music.

    Documentary – Directed by Harleen Singh – USA
    With a lively backdrop of superheroes, comic books, and animation, DRAWN TOGETHER: COMICS, DIVERSITY, AND STEREOTYPES brings together three talented artists—a Sikh, a woman, and an African American—who are challenging the racist stereotyping endemic in America through their work.

    Documentary – Directed by Val Wang – USA, Canada, China
    The artistic coming-of-age story of a Chinese circus artist who leaves his parents at 9 to train and goes on to perform with Cirque du Soleil.  Ending up at the cutting-edge Montreal circus troupe 7 Fingers, he finds a strength in his story that he never dreamed of. THE FLIP SIDE presents the increasingly globalized circus world, where disparate people and acrobatic cultures come together, clash, and ultimately transform each other.

The Art Beyond the Screen program will screen on Thursday, August 2 at 8:30pm at Village East Cinema.

Beat'em to the Punch
From the bizarre to the mundane, these funny films manage to find the levity in life. Take a breather with us as we delve into the humor around us.

    Narrative – Directed by Hyu Yun Park – USA
    In this documentary satire, first generation Korean American Soojung Yoon, a renowned nail salon owner, elevates her craft to an art form—an unexpected profession that puts her in conflict with her immigrant mother. With Soojung's 30th birthday around the corner, her apprentices invite all of Soojung's friends to a surprise birthday party, including her estranged mother, Kyoung Jin.

    Narrative – Directed by JP Chan – USA
    Since 1998, Cosmic Dental Associates of Clifton, NJ has been the leading astro-dentistry practice in the New York tri-state region.

    Narrative – Directed by Woody Fu – USA
    The struggle of being invisible in American pop culture  is real when searching for adult content featuring ASIAN MAN, WHITE WOMAN.

    Narrative – Directed by Hay-kin Fu – Hong Kong
    Light works and lives in an old district where he witnesses crime happening every day. He knows he doesn’t have the power to save anyone, so he either looks away or runs from the crime scene, but his heart of justice never stops pumping. One day, after a supernatural event, Light suddenly gains mysterious powers and he becomes Folding Stool Killer. A new journey for this hero unfolds…

  • CAKE
    Narrative – Directed by Anne Hu – USA
    Eliza tries to explore her sexuality with her husband Thomas by ordering a female sex robot for them to share.  But the sexbot is not the cure-all she had hoped for. Be careful what you wish for.
    Narrative – Directed by Simon J. Young – China
    CHOLLYWOOD is a behind the scenes look into the world of filmmaking in China and how first time director, Dan, deals with being thrown headfirst onto his own film set. Dan quickly realizes that making the film itself is not his biggest obstacle; it’s his Golden Fish Award–winning leading man, Huang Zilei, and his internet famous pop star female lead, Ling.
    Narrative – Directed by Meng Yu – USA
    Mia plans to rob her sister's grocery store, but everything goes wrong.

The Beat’em to the Punch program will screen on Saturday, August 4 at 1:30pm at Asia Society.

Evolving Immigrants
What does it mean to leave home to build another? These films take us on a journey through time, highlighting the diversity and strength of the immigrant story.

    Narrative – Directed by Harjus Singh – USA

    Narrative – Directed by Rhyme Lu – USA
    Inspired by a true crime story. 25-year-old Chinese undocumented immigrant Yuzhong Chen has been bouncing from state to state, working in Chinese restaurants as a “stir fry.” He willingly bows his head and works as a modern slave in hopes that one day he will have a real and proud life: his own restaurant, a wife, and a family. The key to this life is a legal identity, and he moves to Los Angeles to seek it through asylum fraud. His dreams are getting closer and closer, but Yuzhong suddenly receives a phone call from his lawyer that he has missed his court hearing. Where will the tide of fortune take him?

  • JUNE
    Narrative – Directed by Huay-Bing Law – USA
    A Chinese Immigrant comes across segregated restrooms in 1950s Texas and isn't sure whether to use the “Whites Only” restroom or “Colored” restroom.
    Narrative – Directed by Vokee Lee – USA
    WORTH is based on a true story in 1982 after the Vietnam War, a time of heightened racial tensions between whites and Asians. Pao Lor, a teenage Hmong refugee, becomes a target at school and is treated with contempt by his classmates. One day after gym class, Pao gets into a brawl with the high school bullies and is suddenly on the verge of being expelled. At the age of 17, unsure of what to do and tired of being worthless, Pao decides to leave school permanently. However, Mrs. Stoick, Pao’s counselor, cannot give up on him and she suddenly arrives at the doorstep of his home.
    Documentary – Directed by J.H. Cabral – USA
    Brandon Hsie gave up a successful career as a lawyer in China to move to Los Angeles. As he struggles with leaving his family behind, Brandon also anticipates a new life where he can live outside the closet as who he truly is.

The Evolving Immigrants program will screen on Saturday, July 28 at 4:30pm at Village East Cinema.

Family Affair
Family is never just who you’re related to. It’s the drama, the tears, the hugs and the fights. The following films run the gamut of what it means to deal with family.

    Narrative – Directed by TJ Collanto – UK, Philippines
    A Filipino family is caught in a long-winded catering delivery for their niece’s wedding in London, which seems to pull them further and further away from the reception itself.
    Narrative – Directed by Joseph Chen-Chieh Hsu – Taiwan
    In GUO MIE, a karaoke-addicted old woman struggles with her sense of self-worth at her estranged husband's funeral where she encounters his younger and more sophisticated girlfriend, and finds out that her kids might have secretly been in touch with her late husband all these years. Imbued with elements of Edward Yang and Yasujiro Ozu, GUO MIE is a delicate, emotional ode to family.
    Documentary – Directed by Justine Suh – USA, Korea, Hong Kong
    RISE & SHINE is a peaceful film that observes four diverse families as they prepare breakfast. Behind this intimate portrait of family life lies a question: why are women expected to do most of the housework, even today? By spending time in the kitchens of these families, we explore what is unique to each family, and what is universal. Family drama often unfolds around the table; in this case, it’s the breakfast table.
  • WUDU
    Narrative – Directed by Ahmed Hasan Ahmed – United Arab Emirates
    Two siblings are a study in contrasts in celebrating life and death. He is a cook, celebrating delicious flavours by day, and an oud musician by night. She is a woman undertaker, living between perfumes, scents, and camphor in her daily work. She lives with death every day. Baheet and Bahia live under one roof, with their intellectual differences, contradictions, and lifestyles coming between them.
    Narrative – Directed by Albert M. Chan & Anthony Grasso – USA, Canada
    A troubled man records a video message for his pregnant sister. Drawing its power and immediacy from its first person confessional style, the film presents, in one continuous seven minute shot, the journey of one man's awakening from isolation back to humanity.
    Animation – Directed by Yung Shiuan Yang – Taiwan
    In this artfully pieced together short, Yung Shiuan Yang mixes a wide range of techniques from collage, glass painting, and animation to tell the whimsical story of her grandfather. Her relatives say that he was a gold miner, a trainee, a businessman, and a hero. The stories they tell her are almost too difficult to imagine. Are these tales all real? Who on earth is he?

The Family Affairs program will screen on Wednesday, August 1 at 6:00pm at Village East Cinema.
From Three Feet Tall
Do you remember what it was like to be a child? The following films ask us to see through the perspective of children facing very adult situations, and who yet react with a strength and heart that many grown-ups still aspire to have.

    Narrative – Directed by Dandelion Lin – China, USA
    It’s 1995 in a small town in the south of China. 12-year-old Tomboy girl is an embarrassment to her family who values her younger brother far more than her. To declare her independence, Tomboy girl dresses like a boy, thinks like a man, and counts the days until she can leave her village to find a place where she will be treated as an equal. The boys in her school are threatened by Tomboy girl's independence and decide to teach her a lesson by cornering her in a dark alley. Determined to avenge this injustice, Tomboy girl chases the boys through town, picking them off one-by-one with her slingshot.
    Narrative – Directed by Natalie Murao – Canada
    After being forced to return early from summer camp, Dana and Sam are planted in the midst of their late grandfather’s Buddhist funeral ceremony. Dana struggles to understand the older generation’s traditions as it is one of the only connections to their Japanese heritage. Meanwhile, Sam has a greater sense of the real world than her younger, innocent sister and must answer her questions regarding religion and the transition from life to death.
    Narrative – Directed by Melanie Lim – Philippines, USA
    After her parents’ divorce, a young girl believes there is a spirit named Joe living inside her family’s ancestral wooden cabinet and she becomes close friends with him. Disturbed, her father decides that his daughter needs to wake up from her delusions and empties the whole cabinet in front of her. Still believing that Joe is there, the girl, with the help of her mother, finds a new home for him.

    Narrative – Directed by Youjia Qu – China
    In this melancholy ditty, a nine-year-old girl named Zhu Meijing spends all her time alone wandering empty movie sets, when she is suddenly given a role as a flute player in a children’s movie. However, the shooting cannot proceed because the leading actress has been crying and screaming all day. The director asks Meijing to play a traditional Chinese tune, “Fisherman’s Song at Sunset.” After this frustrating day, Meijing walks back home, feeling the air is even colder than her loneliness.
    Narrative – Directed by Feng-I Fiona Roan – USA
    Liang Fen, an anxious nine-year-old immigrant girl, is embarrassed by her un-American looks. She navigates her first Sunday at a Chinese American church alongside her worrisome mom, Lily, and clingy seven-year-old sister, Ann. Fen’s hope of making new friends is soon lost upon the humiliating discovery of lice in her sister’s hair. Turning her frustration towards the young Ann, Fen brings the family’s underlying tensions to a boiling point.
    Narrative – Directed by J.H. Cabral – USA
    After the passing of his grandfather, a Japanese American pre-teen, Johnny, is relocated to a new school and quickly finds himself alienated because of his appearance. Faced with his feelings as a perpetual foreigner, Johnny struggles through adversity to discover his own identity and peace of mind.  

The From Three Feet Tall program will screen on Thursday, August 2 at 6:00pm at Village East Cinema.

Loud and Proud
The LGBTQIA+ experience for Asian and Asian-Americans often feels hidden and unheard. The following films showcase just a small portion of the many different stories and identities within the Asian queer community.

  • RANI
    Narrative – Directed by Hammad Rizvi – Pakistan, USA
    A Pakistani transgender woman sets out to take care of an abandoned child.

    Narrative – Directed by Man Dik Sum – Germany, Hong Kong
    As Hong Kong increasingly loses its sovereignty under China’s control, Momo leaves home for Berlin, hoping to finally breathe the air of freedom. But life doesn't look like what he imagined—instead of advancing his fashion career or finding love, he ends up working and living in a Chinese supermarket. Momo soon finds himself straying even further, going on an uncanny journey with other outcasts in the city of Berlin.
    Documentary – Directed by Runze Yu – China
    In a nation like China where the family unit is highly valued, over 80% of the approximately 20 million gay men marry straight women to carry on the family name, and to escape social discrimination and parental pressure. THE WIVES is an intimate portrait of three Chinese women in this situation: Xiaonian is trying to get a divorce, Wang is stuck in her marriage because of her two children, and Delan becomes a gay rights advocate after her husband comes out.
    Narrative – Directed by Jason Karman – Canada
    The newest member of a minor league hockey team, Ray, experiences hazing by his new teammates as he struggles to fit in both on and off the ice. Ray will have to find the courage to accept himself first—and maybe even inspire a fellow teammate.
    Documentary – Directed by Jess X. Snow – USA
    As rising sea levels threaten the loss of their motherland in Hawai’i , the Philippines, China, and North America, four women fight to preserve the volcano, ocean, land, and air for future generations. In a deeply immersive artistic experience, they channel their mothers and ancestors in song, dance, and poetry, and take a bold and ultimate stand against the corruption of the elements and natural resources by humankind. This film was created by a cast and crew of mostly queer and transgender Asians and Pacific Islanders.
    Narrative – Directed by Seung Yeob Lee – South Korea
    When Jungho’s mom suddenly shows up at the Seoul apartment he shares with his boyfriend, he must hide all evidence of his homosexuality—but she’s far more perceptive than he could have anticipated.

The Loud and Proud program will screen on Friday, August 3 at 6:00pm at Asia Society.

On the Edge
Gritty, eerie, and ruthless don’t just describe some of the settings in the following films. Grab your flashlights as we prepare for tales on the darker side of humanity.

    Narrative – Directed by Nadine Asmar – Lebanon
    Once every week, Oum Karim, a 60-year-old Beiruti lady, relives the same day: she goes to a local bakery where she prepares Lahm Bi Ajin (Lebanese ham pie), hoping that her longtime ritual will finally come to an end.
    Narrative – Directed by Joonha Kim – South Korea
    A man rides a taxi late at night. When the taxi driver offers him chewing gum, he remembers his mother's "drugged gum" story and hesitates. The taxi driver then says, "Did you hear about those criminal taxi drivers?" But after repeated offers, the man accepts the gum after all.
    Narrative – Directed by Tan Ce Ding – Malaysia
    In a futuristic Kuala Lumpur, a rookie technician with a disturbing past falls in love with an out-of-date humanoid masseuse. Departing from the “triumph of humanity” narrative, this sci-fi short puts humanity itself under interrogation.
    Narrative – Directed by Albert Ventura – Taiwan
    While driving home from the airport at night, Jie is forced by a policeman onto a smaller local road where he accidentally hits a stranger running in the opposite direction. Jie discovers that the victim is blindfolded, dressed in an ancient Greek mask, and has a string protruding from his mouth. Possessed by curiosity, Jie pulls the string and discovers a message: “Open the black box in your suitcase.”  A simple choice will turn this routine night into his worst nightmare.
    Narrative – Directed by Hyo Jin An – South Korea
    Ali, an immigrant and New York City cab driver, is hoping to live the American Dream for his wife and son. But to get there, he has to deal with a shady taxi dispatcher, two crooked cops, and a businessman who gets into his cab with a 9mm Pistol, a briefcase full of stolen money, and a gunshot wound.

The On the Edge will screen on Thursday, July 26 at 8:15pm at Village East Cinema.

Women of All Ages
Spanning a range of life stages, the following films remind us that contrary to mainstream media, women at any age have compelling stories worth rooting for.

    Narrative – Directed by Chung-Wei Huang – USA, Taiwan
    Andrea Lin is a confused Taiwanese girl struggling to find her place in the world. In search of the adventure that is missing from her life, she takes a summer job in America working for a traveling carnival, where she is confronted with the harsh realities of life as a migrant worker. After struggling to connect with her carny co-workers, including Julio, a young, free-spirited Mexican man, she must come to terms with her feelings of wanting to belong, yet never feeling at home. This story is dedicated to the people who foolishly yet admirably continue to chase their dreams, against all odds. Just like how the carnival will always be rebuilt at the next destination, so too will our dreams.
    Documentary – Directed by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy – USA, Pakistan
    Pakistan is routinely ranked as the third most dangerous country in the world for women. Much of the nation is extremely conservative, religiously and culturally, and women are often subject to violence at the hands of men. Repercussions are minimal and more than half of Pakistani women who experience violence say nothing out of shame and fear. With female literacy at a historic low and patriarchy running deep in the justice system, women across Pakistan continue to be treated as second-class citizens. FREEDOM FIGHTERS follows three brave women who are speaking out against inequality and pushing for equal rights.
    Documentary – Directed by Joey Chu – Hong Kong, Antarctica
    $30 TO ANTARCTICA follows the story of Ka Foon Chau, who grew up an impoverished child, and retired a renowned doctor. Raised in 1960s Hong Kong, Chau faced the bias of her elders who attempted to discourage her interest in the academics. Through a small gesture of support she received from a teacher, Chau built a life and career that moved beyond the restrictive boundaries set by her parents’ generation. She is now ready to fulfill a childhood dream—to see Antarctica. The director, who is the daughter of  Chau, tries to step away from her role as daughter to reach the depths of the story and unveil aspects of her mother she has never encountered before.
    Narrative – Directed by Anna Mikami – Hong Kong, USA
    At an international school in Hong Kong, a high school girl spreads a video sexualizing her childhood friend and classmate. In this neon depiction of Hong Kong youth, CLIQUE BAIT features Asian teens as you’ve never seen them before. Attending a Western international school in a once colonized country, CLIQUE BAIT’s characters are constantly caught between East and West, traditional and liberal, and past and future as they navigate the universal growing pains that come with being a teenage girl.

    Narrative – Directed by Yun Liang – Japan, USA

The Women of All Ages program will screen on Friday, July 27 at 5:30pm at Village East Cinema.

Worth Fighting For
The neverending 24 hour news cycle makes it difficult to focus and understand what we can do to make the world a better place. The following films give us a targeted perspective on what some people around the globe are fighting for.

    Documentary – Directed by Ann Shin – USA, Canada
    THE TERRORIST HUNTER follows controversial spy Rita Katz, who is lauded by some for her work fighting terrorism, but derided by others for fabricating terrorist plots where none exist. The film weaves Rita’s tale within the context of the multibillion-dollar counter-terrorism industry, exposing how fear and terror play out in our society.
    Documentary – Directed by Ying Lu – China
    In China, if you can’t walk on your own, you can’t go to school. It is not a formal policy, but a fixture of society’s attitudes. SLOW ANGELS profiles three families with children living with cerebral palsy in Shenzhen as they set off on distinct paths to overcome the discrimination upheld by society.
    Documentary – Directed by Mina Fitzpatrick – South Korea
    In a country where nearly 70% of children born to unwed mothers are given up for adoption, A LETTER FOR SANG-AH explores how the stigma of unwed mothers in Korea has lead to ongoing emotional suffering, hardship, and a lack of support from the government for those who need it most.

The Worth Fighting For program will screen on Saturday, July 28 at 1:00pm at Village East Cinema.
The FOR YOUTH BY YOUTH shorts program celebrates works by media makers of Asian descent under the age of 21. Those in this category are in competition for the One to Watch Award.

    Directed by Kabeer Khurana – India
    Directed by Chelsie Pennello – USA
  • LILAKNO (sincere)
    Directed by Iman Syafi’i – Indonesia

    Directed by Cal Thacher – USA
    Directed by Yua Nakada – Japan
  • kite (GABUL)
    Directed by Iman Syafi’i – Indonesia
    Directed by Jonathan Rome – USA
    Directed by Hana Watanabe – Japan

  • 12.10.2016
    Directe by Hagar Abdulbari – Egypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates

The For Youth By Youth Shorts program will screen on Saturday, August 4 at 1:00pm at Asia Society.

The 72 Hour Shootout filmmaking competition is arguably the Film Lab’s most important annual event; bringing together A-list judges and established and aspiring filmmakers across the globe. People of all colors, backgrounds, religions, and cultures with a common goal: to battle inequality through creativity; to promote gender and ethnic diversity through entertainment; and to challenge stereotypical mainstream constructions of race, gender and sexuality. www.film-lab.org

The 72 Hour Shootout presentation will occur on Saturday, July 28 at 12:30pm at Village East Cinema.

For the full schedule, please visit aaiff.org/2018. Tickets are currently on sale. The 41st Asian American International Film Festival will run July 25 – August 5.

Venues for the 41st Asian American International Film Festival
Asia Society: 725 Park Ave, New York, NY 10021
Village East Cinema: 189 2nd Ave, New York NY 10003

About the Asian American International Film Festival
The Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF), presented by Asian CineVision, is the first and longest running festival in the country devoted to films by and about Asians and Asian Americans.

About Asian CineVision
Asian CineVision (ACV) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit media arts organization devoted to the development, exhibition, promotion, and preservation of Asian and Asian American film and video.
Thank You
The 41st Asian American International Film Festival is made possible by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Nielsen, SAG-AFTRA, Cadillac House, and the Friends of ACV. Incubated at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP.

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