ASIAN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Asian CineVision (ACV), the internationally recognized Asian American media organization, is proud to present the 24TH ASIAN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (AAIFF), the nation’s longest running festival devoted to showcasing new and emerging Asian and Asian American cinema, from July 19-28, 2001 at Florence Gould Hall (59th St. and Madison Ave.) in Manhattan. The 24TH AAIFF will present over 70 films and videos from all over the world, covering an array of genres. From the latest Asian action blockbuster to the newest experimental Asian American indie, the 24TH AAIFF will offer a panorama of cinematic styles and voices as well as filmmaking workshops and panels. Feature film highlights include: Chan-wook Park’s Korean blockbuster JOINT SECURITY AREA, a special tribute to director Wayne Wang, Johnnie To and Wai Ka Fai’s costume comedy WU YEN, Ron Pulido’s acclaimed comedy THE FLIP SIDE, Robert Altman protégé Abraham Lim’s racial drama ROADS & BRIDGES, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s supernatural thriller CURE and Yongyooth Thongkonthun’s transvestite volleyball comedy THE IRON LADIES.
Documentaries will also have a strong presence at the 24TH AAIFF, highlights include: So-young Kim uncovers the 1937 forced migration of Korean Russians in SKY BLUE HOMETOWN, Amy Chen’s THE CHINATOWN FILES explores the effects of McCarthyism on the Chinese American communities in the 50s, Trinh T. Minh-Ha examines contemporary Japanese culture in THE FOURTH DIMENSION. MADE IN CHINA reveals the complex lives of 5 Chinese-Canadian adoptees. HARSH CANVAS examines renowned NY painter Henry Sugimoto’s depiction of art as life.
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS: ^ OPENING NIGHT FILM – Chan-wook Park’s JOINT SECURITY AREA (New York Premiere) ^ The AAIFF will present the New York Premiere of Chan-wook Park’s acclaimed thriller, JOINT SECURITY AREA (South Korea, 2000), the record breaking and top grossing Korean film of 2000. The film has also been a box office force across Asia and continues to garner numerous honors and awards at festivals throughout the world. Set at the Joint Security Area at the 38th Parallel that separates North and South Korea, the film revolves around the mysterious murder of a North Korean soldier in a small village. During the investigation, a friendship develops between a North Korean and South Korean border patrol officer and the neutral military officer assigned to the case. The movie features a star-studded cast including Song Kwang-ho (Shiri, The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well), Lee Byung-heon and Lee Young-ae.
WAYNE WANG/CHAN IS MISSING TRIBUTE ^ 2001 marks the 20th Anniversary of Wayne Wang’s groundbreaking debut feature CHAN IS MISSING (USA, 1981), widely regarded as one of the pioneering landmark films that helped launch the independent filmmaking movement and open doors for future generations of Asian American directors. CHAN IS MISSING is the story of two Chinese cabbies in San Francisco’s Chinatown who search for a mysterious character who has taken off with their $4000. The 24TH AAIFF will pay tribute to Wang with rare screenings of CHAN IS MISSING, DIM SUM (USA, 1984), LIFE IS CHEAP…BUT TOILET PAPER IS EXPENSIVE (USA, 1990) and THE JOY LUCK CLUB (USA, 1993). WAYNE WANG will be on hand to introduce and kick off the mini-retrospective as well as participate in a ONE-ON-ONE with NY Times film critic ELVIS MITCHELL as well as participate in a panel on INDEPENDENT FILM SINCE CHAN IS MISSING with MIRA NAIR/director Kama Sutra, among others.
HONG KONG CINEMA NIGHT – Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai’s WU YEN (New York Premiere) ^ Since the early 80′s, the AAIFF was the first festival in New York to introduce the works of John Woo, Tsui Hark, Jackie Chan and Jet Li — this should come as no surprise considering one of Asian CineVision’s founders is Mr. Tsui himself. Although HK action cinema has become a pop phenomenon in the States, it is the wacky, off-the-wall comedies that have continually dominated the HK box office. These slapstick adventures are also considered the next breakout HK genre, with influences already seen in films by the Farrelly Brothers and Jim Carrey. The 24TH AAIFF will present the HK comedy hit of the year, Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai’s WU YEN (Hong Kong, 2001), a period/costume farce based on an old Cantonese opera, about a love triangle between a female warrior (Sammi Cheng), a gender bending enchantress (Cecilia Cheung) and a clueless emperor (Anita Mui). Featuring three generations of HK pop divas, the stunt casting features Mui playing dual male roles as the emperor and one of his ancestors (!).
CLOSING NIGHT FILM: Ron Pulido’s THE FLIP SIDE (New York Premiere) ^ In the past two years, Filipino American filmmakers have been making a name for themselves on the independent film circuit across the country. From film festivals to feature stories on National Public Radio, the emergence of this new brand of cinema is undeniable. Ron Pulido is the latest Filipino American filmmaker to gain public attention with his acclaimed debut feature, THE FLIP SIDE (USA, 2001), which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The film is a hilarious look at what happens when a young college student returns home after discovering his Filipino roots, only to find a brother who has co-opted hip-hop culture to “fit in” and a sister who is trying to pass herself off as Hawaiian. In between the laughs, Pulido creates a poignant portrait of the Filipino American experience and a culture that is often marginalized.
For more info including the complete screening schedule and how to get tickets, call Diana Lee at 212-989-1422 or visit the official AAIFF web site.




Posted on July 15, 2001 in Festivals by
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