New York film fans! Here's what's up. Mark your calendars, because the 37th Asian American International Film Festival, presented by Asian CineVision, will soon be upon us. AAIFF is the nation's longest running festival of its kind and the premier showcase for the best in independent Asian and Asian American cinema. This year's lineup includes a total of 18 features and 33 shorts, ranging over 21 countries and regions.
The festivities kick off on July 24 with the Opening Night Gala screening of the documentary Sold at Asia Society, and continues through August 2 at venues throughout New York City. Here's a sampling of some of the festival's spotlight presentations:
AAIFF'14 OPENING PRESENTATION:
Jeffrey D. Brown | 95min | USA | English, Hindu w/ES
Asia Society | 7:00PM | Thursday July 24, 2014
Directed by Academy and Emmy award-winner, Jeffrey D. Brown and Executive Produced by two-time Academy Awards winner, Emma Thompson, SOLD follows Lakshmi (by the stunning Niyar Saikia), a thirteen-year-old girl who travels from rural Nepal to the "Happiness House," a sordid brothel in Kolkata, India. There she bonds with the other residents with incredible optimism, tenacity and camaraderie that enable her to survive. Adapted from Patricia McCormick's globally acclaimed book and based on true events, SOLD sheds light on the brutality of the global crime of child and sex trafficking and seeks to raise pertinent dialogues.
AAIFF'14 CENTERPIECE PRESENTATION:
Feature | Hannah Espia | 93min | The Philippines | English, Hebrew w/ES, Tagalog w/ES
City Cinema Village East | 7:30PM | Sunday July 27, 2014
When Moises, a Filipino caregiver comes home to Tel Aviv for his son, Joshua's fourth birthday, his world is turned upside down by the unnerving political news: the Israeli government is deporting children of all foreign workers. An earthy portrait of the displaced - refugees, immigrants and foreign workers, TRANSIT poses the problem of subject identity, home and national identity in question that is distinctively relevant to the globalization of the present world. TRANSIT was the Filipino entry for the 2014 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
AAIFF'14 CLOSING NIGHT PRESENTATION:
HOW TO FIGHT IN SIX INCH HEELS
Feature | Ham Tran | 90min | USA, Vietnam | English, Vietnamese w/ES
City Cinema Village East | 7:30PM | Saturday August 2, 2014
Anne is a flourishing New York-based fashion designer with a seemingly perfect love life. But she suspects that her fiancé Kiet, relocated to Vietnam for business, has a supermodel mistress. Now Anne has made her cunning plan to infiltrate the Vietnamese fashion industry, and battle for the truth. The uproariously comedic HOW TO FIGHT IN SIX INCH HEELS not only satiates the haute couture appetites, but is also spiced up with hearty moments of love and friendship. Vietnamese American director Ham Tran and writer/producer/star Kathy Uyen team up to create this vibrant box-office hit that demonstrates the best of Vietnam's film industry today.
Looks like Asian CineVision has put together another really solid program. For further information, including tickets, venues and the full slate of screenings and events, visit the AAIFF website. I will see you there!