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Featuring 180 films from 31 countries, and Asian actors playing Asian characters (something a certain action blockbuster sorely lacked), the The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (April 27 - May 4, 2017) presents the breadth and scope of lives, experiences, struggles, and hopes of Asian Pacific and Asian American filmmakers across Los Angeles from Hollywood to Little Tokyo to the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles to Koreatown to Westwood to West Hollywood and to Buena Park in Orange County with a slate of shorts, narrative features, documentaries, and international films.
Kicking off the festival is the 15th anniversary celebration of Justin Lin’s film Better Luck Tomorrow, with a 35mm print of the Sundance cut being shown. Better Luck Tomorrow delves into the lives of a group of Asian American teens become overcome by a combination of ennui, the pressure of overachievement, and a desire for more out of life. Lin and the cast will be in attendance for the screening.
Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the L.A. Uprising/Rodney King verdict, Justin Chon’s Gook examines the lives of a struggling community of shop owners in the Los Angeles suburb of Paramount, set against the backdrop of that heated and violent spring of 1992. “Justin Chon has been one of the hardest working actors out there and has been in a number of films at our past fests. Watching him grow into a formidable writer/director/actor with this film makes us all proud and hopeful. This film has come at a time when we truly need our voices and our stories out there, while addressing hot button issues such as race and community in an America that is quickly changing and becoming extremely polarized. “ says Festival Co-Director David Magdael.
Closing the fest is Columbus, directed by Kogonada. A hit at Sundance, Columbus stars John Cho, Haley Lu Richardson, Parker Posey, Rory Culkin and Michelle Forbes. The film centers on Casey (Richardson) who lives with her mother in a little-known Mid-western town haunted by the promise of modernism. Jin (Cho), a visitor from the other side of the world, attends to his dying father. Burdened by the future, they find respite in one another and the architecture that surrounds them.
And with a plethora of panels, screenings, competitions, and events, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is a festival to hear voices from the lifeblood of Los Angeles.
To learn more, go to: http://festival.vconline.org/2017/
The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film FestivalApril 27 - May 4, 2017
New York’s longest running film festival made by, about, and of the people of the Indian subcontinent, the 17th Annual New York Indian Film Festival brings daring works of cinema, panels, and special events celebrating the films of India. Running April 30 to May 7, 2017, the gala opening night will be held at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (1 Bowling Green, New York, NY). The festival opens with Alankrita Shrivastava's Lipstick Under My Burkha, a film India's Central Board of Film Certification refused to certify because it claimed the story was too "lady-oriented," effectively banning the film in India, but it has gone on to garner acclaim in Tokyo and Mumbai film festivals.
The festival's centerpiece film is the New York premiere of Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla's critically-acclaimed documentary about India's Aam Aadmi Party activist, Arvind Kejriwal, called An Insignificant Man. The festival will close its programming on Sunday, May 7th, with the North American premiere of Milind Dhaimade's You Are My Sunday, an uplifting, slice-of-life comedy about five close friends who struggle to find a place to play soccer in Mumbai every Sunday.
In addition to the New York, North American and World Premieres of 44 shorts, documentaries and feature films over a week-long period, NYIFF will present the following sidebar festival programming:
Sibling Filmmakers: Deepa Mehta & Dilip Mehta present their respective New York premieres of Anatomy of Violence and Mostly Sunny on Saturday, May 6th. Both films' world premieres took place at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2016.
A Death in the Gunj, directed by Konkona Sen Sharma, pays tribute to the late Om Puri, one of India's most versatile character actors who starred in more than 147 films during his illustrious career; he was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India in 1990. NYIFF Screening on Monday, May 1st.
Priyanka Produces: Ventilator and Sarvaan, produced by actor Priyanka Chopra - NYIFF Screenings on Thursday, May 4th.
Mobile Bollywood: One Minute Cell Phone Films presented by NYU Tisch Cinema Studies students.
SHOOT A SHORT FILM: Workshop by National Award-Winning Filmmaker Umesh Kulkarni - May 5th & 6th
To learn more, go to: http://www.iaac.us/nyiff2017/
17th Annual New York Indian Film Festival
April 30 - May 6, 2017
Now in its 9th year, the New York ReelAbilities Film Festival, conducted by the Manhattan JCC, presents a wealth of films and programming emphasizing inclusion, advocacy and diversity. With screenings at venues across New York City and Westchester, the ReelAbilities film festivalpromotes awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities. ReelAbilities Film Festival showcases films, conversations and artistic programs to explore, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience.
Opening the festival is Sanctuary, directed by Len Collin, which follows a couple with intellectual disabilities looking for some alone time, and by attempting to be intimate, they’re breaking the law in Ireland. The festival concludes with the music-filled How Sweet the Sound, directed by Leslie McCleave, which follows the history of the legendary gospel quartet The Blind Boys of Alabama.
The Reel Diversity: the Audacity of Authenticity panel discussion and screening with show the film the The View From Tall and features special guests:
Also part of the festival is an afternoon of free, family-friendly programs, including the autism-friendly screening of Reel Spectrum, the Reel Encounters short films compilation, theater, performances, workshops, and more. Other special events include a Shabbat dinner that also screens four short films on deafness, panel discussions throughout the city, and performance art showcases.
To learn more, go to: http://newyork.reelabilities.org/
9th Annual ReelAbilities Film FestivalMarch 2 - 8, 2017
Various Venues in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Westchester.
The 22nd edition of the Rendez-vous with French Cinema series, co-sponsored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and UniFrance, runs from March 1st to 12th. Notable presentations this year include a new feature by the underappreciated Pascal Bonitzer (screening on the 10th and 12th at the Walter Reade Theater), a live talk with New Wave pioneer Agnès Varda on March 10th at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, and an exhibition at the Furman Gallery of recently discovered color photographs by Paul Ronald of the production of Federico Fellini's celebrated 8 1/2.
Another significant event will be the screening of the latest work by the consistently remarkable François Ozon, the moving Frantz, a remake of Ernst Lubitsch's dramatic film set in the immediate aftermath of the First World War, Broken Lullaby. Handsomely photographed in widescreen, the film beautifully oscillates between black-and -white and color while the director elicits uniformly superb performances from a cast of mostly unknowns. Elegantly crafted, this is one of Ozon's strongest works to date and fulfills much of the promise of his early efforts. Frantz will be shown on March 2nd (with a Q&A with Ozon) and 11th and will be released by Music Box Films.
Of comparable merit is the extraordinary new feature by Bertrand Bonello, the doom-laden Nocturama—which might be described as a "phenomenological" thriller for its focus on sensation and the consequent obliquity of its political commentary— about a terrorist attack in contemporary Paris staged by a multicultural group of disaffected youth. Structurally, the film exhilaratingly disorients as it elliptically crisscrosses back and forth in time in exposition of the narrative. The director confidently employs a range of techniques and devices such as the zoom, split screens, and liberal reliance on the Steadicam. The work is enhanced by a propulsive techno score composed by the filmmaker and is captivatingly animated by a compelling, attractive cast, also mostly unknowns.Nocturamashows on March 4th and 5th, with Bonello present at both screenings, and is being released by Netflix.
Considerably less rewarding was the new, bizarre opus of the fascinating Bruno Dumont, Slack Bay, a tale of cannibalism set in a small town on the coast of northern France in 1910. A few excellent stars—Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Juliette Binoche, and Fabrice Luchini in a highly exaggerated turn—can do little to redeem the general, although not entirely uninteresting, unpleasantness. One redeeming facet is the appearance of a beautiful young androgyne in one of the leading roles. The film plays on the evenings of March 9th and 11th.
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