International: Asia Interviews

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Japan Cuts 2017 Interview: Cut Above Winner, Superstar Odagiri Joe on Acting and International Collaborations

One of his country’s most sought-after and exciting actors, Odagiri Joe has made a career pushing the boundaries of Japanese cinema.  Fearless in his choice of roles and unhesitant about working overseas, Odagiri spoke with me about his motivations as...

Japan Cuts 2017 Interview: IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD Producer Maki Taro on Its Risks and Meaning

In This Corner of the World is already a blockbuster hit in its native Japan.  Japan Cuts hosted the US premiere of the film and I had a chance to chat with its producer, Maki Taro, about the risks and...

Japan Cuts 2017 Interview: Director Miyazaki Daisuke on YAMATO (CALIFORNIA)'s Political and Musical Inspirations and Implications

For his second feature film, Miyazaki Daisuke decided to turn his camera to his home town.  Setting a young rapper’s search for her own voice through the incessant roar of a neighboring US military base, Director Miyazaki and I chatted...

Japan Cuts 2017 Interview: Sahel Rosa on Breaking Taboos in WEST NORTH WEST

West North West’s bold, intimate study of three ladies brought together by attraction, yet isolated by race, religion and sexuality, features knockout performances by its leads.  Model, actress and television personality, Sahel Rosa spoke with me candidly about the challenges...

Japan Cuts 2017 Interview: Kan Hanae on Sex and Religion in WEST NORTH WEST and Unleashing Rap Fury in YAMATO (CALIFORNIA)

Having begun her acting career at age 10 in the hands of legendary Japanese director Suzuki Seijun, Kan Hanae has never stopped working.  Attending Japan Cuts, with not one, but two films, Kan spoke with me about the challenges of...

New York Asian 2017 Interview: Superstar Gang Dong-won on VANISHING TIME, Upcoming JIN-ROH and 1987

At the moment, in Korea, there aren’t many stars that shine brighter or hotter than Gang Dong-won.  The leading man of more than 20 features creates frenzies everywhere he goes, as proven by his appearance to receive the Star Asia...

New York Asian 2017 Interview: MAD WORLD Director Wong Chun Challenges Misconceptions of Mental Illness

For his first feature film, director Wong Chun decided to shine a spotlight on the serious topic of mental illness, and one Hong Kong family’s struggle to cope. The project generated such momentum that both of its stars, Shaun Yue,...

New York Asian 2017 Interview: Legend Eric Tsang on Giving Back and Revitalising Hong Kong Cinema

One of the true legends of Hong Kong cinema, Eric Tsang has made more than 250 films in a career spanning over 40 years that shows no sign of stopping.     Tsang came to the New York Asian Film...

New York Asian 2017 Interview: In A QUIET DREAM, Director Zhang Lu and Star Han Ye-ri Blur Reality

After 2014’s acclaimed, Gyeongju, director Zhang Lu returns to the New York Asian Film Festival with A Quiet Dream.  With a little help from his star, Han Ye-ri, Zhang spoke with me about blurring the lines between the subconscious and...

New York Asian 2017 Interview: BAD GENIUS Stars and Director on Running a School for Scandal

Based on true incidents, Thailand’s Bad Genius is a very different kind of heist film.  The film’s director, Nattawut Poonpiriya and two stars, Chanon Santinatornkul and the New York Asian Film Festival’s Rising Star Award winner, Chutimon "Aokbab" Chuengcharoensuking talked...

Neuchatel 2017 Interview: Takashi Miike on JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE, Joining the Academy and Shooting in Sitges

The 17th Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival is underway this week in the idyllic Swiss city, where Japanese director Takashi Miike is the guest of honour. The prolific auteur behind such classics as Audition, Ichi the Killer and 13 Assassins...

Interview: Bong Joon-ho on OKJA's Inspirations and Controversies

It all began with a drawing of a little girl and a giant pig.  Okja is Director Bong Joon-ho’s fantastic journey of a brave child fighting capitalism, betrayal, instant celebrity, and a world full of ills to save her beloved pet...

Choi Wooshik on Joining the International Cast of OKJA

Choi Wooshik’s outstanding performance in 2014’s haunting, heartbreaking SET ME FREE not only won him the Busan International Film Festival Actor of the Year and the prestigious Blue Dragon awards, it also gained him a place in the incredible international...

Interview: OKJA Producer Dooho Choi Takes Us Behind the Scenes

Part collaborator, part many-armed mover and remover of obstacles, Dooho Choi jumped into the deep end as a producer with 2013’s SNOWPIERCER, Director Bong Joon-ho’s ambitious multinational sci-fi adventure.  As the founder of Kate Street Picture Company, Choi dives in...

Okinawa 2017 Interview: Fruit Chan on Balancing Independent and Commercial Filmmaking

Last month, Hong Kong filmmaker Fruit Chan served as the head of the Creators Factory jury at the 9th Okinawa International Movie Festival on the picturesque Japanese island. Chan had recently unveiled a new restoration of his groundbreaking 1997 indie...

Osaka 2017 Interview: Mikhail Red Talks the Violence And Beauty in BIRDSHOT

Mikhail Red triumphed at Tokyo Film Festival at the back end of 2016 when he picked up the Asian Future Award for his sophmore effort, Birdshot. Mikhail, along with producing partner Pamela Reyes, has now returned to Japan, bringing his...

THE GREAT WALL Interview: Zhang Yimou on Its Meaning and Misconceptions

When the man who gave us such critically acclaimed, award-winning epics as Red Sorghum, Hero, and Raise the Red Lantern makes a self-described “popcorn flick,” it’s a pretty big deal. Director Zhang Yimou had a brief chat with me about...

Interview: THE RED TURTLE Director Michael Dudok de Wit Talks Studio Ghibli and More

Dutch animator, director and illustrator, Michael Dudok de Wit is the first foreign director to collaborate with Studio Ghibli as the Japanese animation house embarks into foreign waters and international production. After years of making award winning shorts (how many...

Interview: Indian Oscar Submission, INTERROGATION's Vetri Maaran Talks Overcoming the Bollywood Myth

With the Academy Awards only a few short months away, this is a busy season for Los Angeles Academy members looking to whittle down thousands of choices in every category to just the few we see on the telecast. This...

Interview: Johnny Ma Talks His Riveting Feature Debut OLD STONE

Old Stone was originally written as a US film with Micheal Shannon in mind in Detroit. And it was supposed to be my second feature film. I wanted to take premise of the film away from China that the conversation wouldn't be just about, 'it only happens in China'. What drove me most was to show how a good person turns bad. I wanted the conversation to be about that than the actual environment, where the incident inspired the movie actually happened.