Pacific Arts Movement, best known as the presenter of the San Diego Asian Film Festival, is proud to announce the full lineup for its 6th Annual Spring Showcase, an eight day presentation of 14 film programs from 10 countries, April 28ththrough May 5th at the Mission Valley UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center.
Kicking off the Spring Showcase is a musical documentary featuring Yo-Yo Ma and other virtuosos from Spain to Japan, The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. Also unique to this year’s programming is the San Diego premiere of China Now, a daring selection of films blocked by the Chinese government from exhibition at the Beijing Independent Film Festival.
“This year’s Spring Showcase, much like The Music of Strangers, is dedicated to all of the different melodies and vibrations in Asian cinema, coming together and forming harmonies unlike any we’ve heard before,” says Pac Arts Artistic Director Brian Hu. “Some of the sounds are brash and some are soft, but collectively capture the many voices that have made Asian cinema so vibrant for so long.”
The Spring Showcase opens on Thursday, April 28 with THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS: YO-YO MA AND THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE, which follows a collective of musicians assembled by the famed cellist. The documentary is directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet From Stardom) and glides and circles around the dizzying, tradition-defying virtuosos. Rich in history, politics, and of course wall-to-wall music, the documentary wondrously captures the ravishing ways unexpected connections sprout from unexpected harmonies.
The night will include performances by local musicians playing the instruments depicted in the documentary.
For more than a decade, the Beijing Independent Film Festival has been one of the leading platforms for independent and underground film artists in China. During that time, it’s also been blocked, challenged, and even outright cancelled by the government. In 2015, a collective called Cinema on the Edge decided to bring selections from the festival to New York City, and in 2016, they are bringing those films out to the world. The SDAFF Spring Showcase is their San Diego stop of their China Now: Independent Visions international tour.
Sunday, May 1 will be dedicated to films from the Cinema on the Edge series, including A FILMLESS FESTIVAL, a documentary about the shutdown of the 2014 Beijing Independent Film Festival, two other documentaries (SPARK, THE RIVER OF LIFE), and a program of six animated short films.
The Spring Showcase closes with two screenings of the biggest hit of 2015 in Vietnam, SWEET 20, a fantasy-romance about a grandmother neglected by her family who becomes magically reborn as her 20-year-old self and wins back the hearts of her bratty descendants, a senior center suitor, and indeed an entire nation. A remake of the Korean film Miss Granny, SWEET 20 looks forward to the bubbly possibilities of Vietnamese pop cinema and especially singer-turned-actress Miu Le in a tour-de-force physical performance of granny sass.
COMPLETE SPRING SHOWCASE LINEUP
- 3688 – Singapore, 2015, 99 mins, directed by Royston Tan
- ANIMATED SHORTS PROGRAM – China, Tibet, Taiwan, 95 mins, a part of China Now: Independent Visions
- BORN TO DANCE – New Zealand, 96 mins, directed by Tammy Davis
- A FILMLESS FESTIVAL – China, 80 mins, a part of China Now: Independent Visions
- HEART ATTACK – Thailand, 124 mins, directed by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit
- HONOR THY FATHER – Philippines, 115 mins, directed by Erik Matti
- *THE LOST ARCADE – USA, 79 mins, directed by Kurt Vincent, written by Irene Chin
- THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS: YO-YO MA AND THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE (Opening Night Film) – USA, 96 mins, directed by Morgan Neville
- MYSTERY KUNG FU THEATER – wouldn’t you like to know!
- RIGHT THEN, WRONG NOW – South Korea, 121 mins, directed by Hong Sang-soo
- THE RIVER OF LIFE – China, 104 mins, directed by Yang Pingdao, a part of China Now: Independent Visions
- SPARK – China, 101 mins, directed by Hu Jie, a part of China Now: Independent Visions
- SWEET 20 (Closing Night Film) – Vietnam, 127 mins, directed by Phan Gia Nhat Linh
- THREE STORIES OF LOVE – Japan, 140 mins, directed by Ryosuke Hashiguchi