Just a few days ago the 12th annual edition of the Asian Film Festival of Dallas announced its first titles to the world. I'm a little bit behind in getting the announcement, but hopefully my enthusiasm will be infectious enough to make up for it. This is the festival that introduced me to the film festival experience and is like my home. I can't wait to check out the films this year and share as much as I can with our readers.
Among the first titles are several Southwest premieres. Those films include a pair of Berserk features, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I & II, as well as Hindi dramatic feature Chittagong, which we covered from the NYIFF in 2012, and Herman Yau's Ip Man: The Final Fight. I can certainly vouch for Chittagong as you can see my linked review below, and James Marsh really enjoyed Ip Man: The Final Fight, so there are at least two winners out of six. This may be the year I break my Ozu cherry as well!
The AFFD is preparing to unveil the full listing, and you can bet we'll be on that announcement much faster than this one. The promise of an additional focus on India certainly has my attention. In the meantime, please read through the press release, which includes information on the festival's new home at the Angelika Theater, certainly an upgrade! Enjoy, and look out for more news in the coming weeks.
12th ANNUAL ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF DALLAS
PRESENTED BY WELL GO USA ENTERTAINMENT & MCDONALD'S ANNOUNCES FIRST TITLES & EXPANSION
THURSDAY, JULY 11TH THROUGH THURSDAY, JULY 18th
ANGELIKA FILM CENTER DALLAS in MOCKINGBIRD STATION
5321 E Mockingbird Ln, Dallas, TX 75206
June 20, 2013 (DALLAS, TX) - The Asian Film Festival of Dallas celebrates its 12th year with returning presenting sponsors McDonald's & Well Go USA Entertainment, from Thursday, July 11 through Thursday, July 18, 2013.
For the first time in the past 11 years, AFFD will be held at Angelika Film Center of Dallas instead of the Magnolia Theatre to accommodate their growing audience. AFFD Executive Director Alicia Chang said last year's numerous sold out screenings were a great sign that they needed a bigger space.
"The move to Angelika was our solution, and we're very excited to announce that we're expanding to two screens! This means that our festival fans will have even more films to choose from throughout the week," she said. "This year, film fans have a lot to look forward to - we're bringing more Asian and Asian-American films this year than last, specifically Indian films, and we've welcomed Harwood District as our exclusive event sponsor."
The festival will have several premieres and is thrilled to announce the first of many diverse Asian and Asian-American films on the schedule:
BERSERK: THE GOLDEN AGE ARC I - THE EGG OF THE KING
Japanese/English Subtitles / Japan / 2012 / 77 min
Director Toshiyuki Kubooka
The lone mercenary Guts travels the land where a hundred-year-old war is taking place. His ferocity and ability to take down enemies attracts the attention of Griffith, the leader of a group of mercenaries called "The Band of the Hawk." Griffith desires Guts' power to help him achieve his goals. He succeeds in recruiting Guts by challenging and winning a duel with him. As the Band of the Hawk fight together and their bond as a unit is strengthened, Griffith and Guts' bond deepens even more.. Thanks to their continued success on the battlefield, Griffith achieves the first step in fulfilling his goal: his band of mercenaries becomes a full-fledged army within the Midland Kingdom. Despite all their success, Guts begins to question his reasons for fighting for Griffith's dream.
Unknown to Guts, this unyielding dream is about to bestow a horrible fate on them both.
BERSERK: THE GOLDEN AGE ARC II - THE BATTLE FOR DOLDREY
Japanese/English Subtitles / Japan / 2012 / 93 min
Director Toshiyuki Kubooka
For three years, Guts believed his mission was to pursue Griffith's dream together with him. But in order to become Griffith's equal and truly be called his friend, Guts realizes he will have to leave the Band of the Hawk. At the same time, a bloody battle to capture the impenetrable Fortress of Doldrey from the Empire of Chuder is about to begin. The Band of the Hawk will face an army 30,000 strong!
IP MAN: THE FINAL FIGHT
Cantonese/English subtitles / Hong Kong / 2013 / 102 min
Director Herman Yau
In postwar Hong Kong, legendary Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man is reluctantly called into action once more. What began as simple challenges from rival kung fu schools soon finds him drawn into the dark and dangerous underworld of the Triads. Now, to defend life and honor, Ip Man has no choice but to fight - one last time.
Japanese/English subtitles / Japan / 1953 / 35mm / black and white / 136 min
Director Yasujiro Ozu
In its 60th anniversary year, we are pleased to present TOKYO STORY on 35mm film. Often regarded as Ozu's masterpiece, TOKYO STORY tells the tale of an aging couple who travel to Tokyo to visit their grown children. The film contrasts the behavior of their children, who are too busy to pay them much attention, and their widowed daughter-in-law, who treats them with kindness. TOKYO STORY has appeared several times in the British Film Institute lists of the greatest films ever made and was voted Best Film of All Time in the 2012 Sound and Sense Directors Poll.
Hindi/English subtitles / India/Bangladesh/USA / 2012 / 105 min
Director Bedabrata Pain will be in attendance
Set against the backdrop of a little known saga in 1930s British-occupied India (now Bangladesh) - where a group of schoolboys and young women, led by a schoolteacher, Masterda Surya Sen (Manoj Bajpai) dared to take on the Empire. Chittagong is the story of a diffident 14-year-old boy, Jhunku (Delzad Hiwale). Swept up into this seemingly impossible mission, the reluctant teenager battles with his own self-doubts to achieve an improbable triumph.
SEEKING ASIAN FEMALE
English and Mandarin / English subtitles / USA / 2013 / 82 min
Director Debbie Lum
Seeking Asian Female is an eccentric modern love story about Steven and Sandy--an aging white man with "yellow fever" who is obsessed with marrying any Asian woman, and the young Chinese bride he finds online. Debbie, a Chinese American filmmaker, documents and narrates with skepticism and humor, from the early stages of Steven's search, through the moment Sandy steps foot in America for the first time, to a year into their precarious union. Global migration, Sino-American relations and the perennial battle of the sexes, weigh in on the fate of their marriage in this intensely captivating personal documentary.
Parties and events
This year, AFFD is very excited to welcome Harwood District as its exclusive event sponsor. The VIP reception, Opening Night Party, Filmmakers' Reception and the Closing Night Parties will all be held in the Harwood District. Harwood District is Dallas' premier 17-city-block development and home to businesses, residences, Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar, the newly opened Mercat Bistro and The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection.
More titles and full schedule of events and details will follow in the coming weeks. Visit www.asianfilmdallas.com.
About the Asian Film Festival of Dallas
Since its creation in 2002, the annual film festival has grown to become the South's largest showcase of Asian and Asian-American cinema. Over the past 10 years, the festival has provided opportunities for nearly 500 Asian and Asian-American filmmakers and documentarians to share their vision, often providing the only venue for their films to be shown in Dallas.
The films have also allowed festival goers a chance to experience other lives and cultures without leaving their seats. The Asian Film Festival of Dallas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating and supporting emerging and established Asian and Asian-American filmmakers and sharing the rich diversity of Asian culture through the medium of cinema.
For more information about AFFD or to purchase tickets, please visit www.asianfilmdallas.com.
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