HONOLULU, HI — (Wednesday, October 13, 2010) — The Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) is teaming up with The Vilcek Foundation to present four films in a program titled “American Immigrant Filmmakers On Profile” (AIFP). The screenings will be held during the Festival from October 14 – 24 at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theaters.
“The Vilcek Foundation is constantly inspired by the ways immigrant artists broaden the cultural – and national – dialogue,” said Rick Kinsel, Executive Director of the Vilcek Foundation. “This year, we are pleased to present four films that demonstrate the fact that immigrants are more than just a political ‘issue’; they are people, individuals, and we all can benefit by learning about their experiences.”
Two of the AIFP films will highlight the talents of foreign-born directors: BEIJING TAXI by Miao Wang, and DOG SWEAT by Hossein Keshavarz. The other two films, APART TOGETHER and AU REVOIR TAIPEI, will showcase the talents of international actress Lisa Lu and L.A. producer In-Ah Lee. These directors and actors will be available after the first screenings of their films to answer questions from the audience.
Producer of AU REVOIR TAIPEI, In-Ah Lee; and director of BEIJING TAXI, Miao Wang will both be volunteering as guest speakers in HIFF’s youth education programs while attending the Festival. The Guest Filmmaker Program offers students on Oahu the chance to interact with professionals in the film industry.
“These films have much to teach us – they take us into cities and into lives that are entirely different from our own. Watching them reminds us that there are many lenses through which we can view the world,” said Kinsel. “In the hands of these talented filmmakers, losing sight of your own worldview can be an illuminating experience.”
The Vilcek Foundation honors and supports foreign-born scientists and artists who have made outstanding contributions to society in the United States. For more information on The Vilcek Foundation please visit www.vilcek.org. For more information on HIFF please visit www.hiff.org.
Film Synopses and Delegate Bios:
AIFP guest: Lisa Lu
Monday, October 18 I 1:00 PM I Regal Dole
Sunday, October 17 I 12:15 PM I Regal Dole
China 2010 | Mandarin w/ English subtitles | 93 M
Director: Quanan Wang
Screenwriter: Quanan Wang
Producers: Du Daning, Wang Le, Chunsheng Ruan
Cinematographer: Lutz Reitemeier
Cast: Na Jin, Baiyang, Feng Ling, Lisa Lu, Xiaotian Mo, Cai-gen Xu, Lu Yan
After the founding of the island Republic of Taiwan, permission is given for the first time for a group of ex-soldiers of the National People’s Party to travel from Taiwan to China and be reunited with family members in Shanghai. An aging soldier named Lui Yansheng embarks on this journey to find the one and only love of his life, Qiao Yu’e, whom he left behind in Shanghai without a word of farewell, and their son, who was born after he took flight. However, obstacles await Lui upon his arrival in Shanghai that puts his future with Qiao Yu’e and his relationship with his long lost family in jeopardy.
Shanghai native Lisa Lu could well have been one of the earliest Chinese acting talents to make the great trans-Pacific crossing and carve her mark in Hollywood. In the US, Lu worked as a Chinese tutor for high school students, a magazine reporter as well as radio host and became one of the founding members of the Hollywood Foreign Press. Most recently, Lu stars in Wang Quanan’s APART TOGETHER which was the opening film for the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival.
AU REVOIR TAIPEI
AIFP guest: In-Ah Lee
Monday, October 18 I 6:00 PM I Regal Dole
Wednesday, October 20 I 2:30 PM I Regal Dole
Taiwan 2010 | Mandarin w/ English subtitles | 85 M
Director: Arvin Chen
Screenwriter: Arvin Chen
Producers: In-Ah Lee, Wei-Jan Liu, Oi Leng Lui, Wim Wenders, Michelle Cho
Cinematographer: Michael Fimognari
Cast: Amber Kuo, Hsiao-chuan Chang, Ko Yu-Luen, Jack Yao
After his girlfriend leaves for Paris, lovelorn Kai (Jack Yao) spends his waking hours studying French in a local bookstore where he meets Susie (Amber Kuo), a worker who takes an interest in him. When an opportunity to travel to Paris to surprise his girlfriend arises, Kai, Susie, and his best friend Gao become entangled in a whirlwind night around Taipei filled with intrigue and adventure. It is both an ode to the sights and sounds of the city famous for its night markets and vibrant culture as well as a brilliantly crafted romantic comedy in which we learn that sometimes the thing we have been searching for all along is right in front of us. Coupled with a jazzy score, AU REVOIR TAIPEI’s delightful visual style has been capturing the hearts of audiences and critics worldwide including winning the NETPAC award for best Asian film at the Berlin International Film Festival.
In-Ah Lee is a producer based in Los Angeles and Cologne. She was raised and educated in Hamburg, Germany, where she graduated from Law School in 1992. She moved to Los Angeles in 1998 where she worked for Ridley Scott Associates, a commercial production house with director Marcus Nispel. Lee produced THE WAY I SPENT THE END OF THE WORLD for Romanian director Catalin Mitulescu (Cannes 2006, Un Certain Regard, Best Actress Award), Grace Lee’s AMERICAN ZOMBIE, and recently completed production on Au REVOIR TAIPEI (Berlin 2010 NETPAC Award) by Arvin Chen. Her upcoming projects include IN THE MISOSOUP with Wim Wenders, Arvin Chen’s NANJING EAST ROAD, LETTER TO MATSCHEK by Niels Mueller and JANISSARY with Serbian director Pedrag Antonijevic.
AIFP guest: Miao Wang
Saturday, October 16 I 3:00 PM I Regal Dole
Sunday, October 17 I 4:15 PM I Regal Dole
China 2010 | Mandarin w/ English subtitles | 78 M
Director: Miao Wang
Screenwriter: Miao Wang
Producers: Ivana Stolkiner, Miao Wang
Cinematographer: Sean Price Willliams, Ian Vollmer
Cast: Bai JiWen, Zhou Yi, Wei Caixia Wei
With the preparations for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games as the backdrop, the feature-length documentary, BEIJING TAXI portrays the profound transformation of the ancient capital of China told through the eyes of three taxi drivers. Jiwan Bai, a driver in his mid 50’s, represents the older, lost generation that came of age during the Cultural Revolution. Caixia Wei, is a mother in her mid-thirties and of the younger generation who aspires to a free-spirited life. Zhou Yi, an optimistic and content man in his late thirties that holds on to the more traditional Beijinger’s lifestyle of the past. As the city of Beijing modernizes, their diverse lives are challenged with the impact of socio-economic changes that create struggles and limitation. Though their future is yet uncertain, they continue forward with their daily lives and aspirations. Director Miao Wang’s first feature-length documentary film, BEIJING TAXI, navigates, through a cinematic and poetic style, on the path that a society travels to modernization.
Miao Wang is a filmmaker based in New York City, currently splitting her time between there and Beijing. Born and raised in Beijing just after the Cultural Revolution, she grew up with the last remnants of a pre-modernized Communist China. Miao has a B.A. with honors in economics from the university of Chicago and a M.F.A. in design and film from the Parsons School of Design. She aspires to make genre-bending poetic and cinematic documentaries that inspire human connections and reflect on the universalities of the human condition.
AIFP guest: Hossein Keshavarz
Monday, October 18 I 5:00 PM I Regal Dole
Sunder, October 17 I 2:00 PM I Regal Dole
Iran 2010 | Farsi w/ English subtitles | 90 M
Director: Hossein Keshavarz
Screenwriter: Hossein Keshavarz, Maryam Azadi
Producers: Hossein Keshavarz, Maryam Azadi, Alan Oxman
Cinematographer: Ehsan Karimi
Cast: Ahmad Akbarzadeh, Tahereh Esfahani, Bagher Forohar, Shahrokh Taslimi, Rahim Zamani
Invoking the subversive urgency of cinema vérité, filmmaker Hossein Keshavarz interweaves the lives of seven young people in contemporary Iran. Misunderstood by their families and oppressed by conservative Islamic society, they act out their personal desires behind closed doors. A feminist finds herself in an affair with a married man; new lovers search for a place to be physically intimate; a gay man is pressured to leave his partner for an arranged marriage; a female pop singer risks exposure; and a grief-stricken son lashes out at fundamentalists. Keshavarz’s film debut is certain to trigger conversation about the contradictions brewing within contemporary Iran, where two-thirds of the population is under thirty. This covert society, forced to operate without government sanctions, is bravely brought into the sunlight by Dog Sweat, which displays a side of Iranian life virtually unseen by the outside world. Shot clandestinely in Tehran-a risky endeavor for the cast and crew-this provocative film provides the new generation of Iranians a fervent voice of rebellion.
While working in business for several years, Hossein Keshavarz frequently hid in the bathroom to write screenplays, leading him to pursue a career in film. SITE IN FISHKILL CREEK, which he wrote and produced, premiered at the Palm Springs Film Festival in 2004 and CHRISTMASLAND, which he wrote and directed, is being distributed by Shorts International. Hossein recently completed his MFA at Columbia university. His feature script, THIS MODERN LOVE, went through the Berlinale’s Script Clinic. DOG SWEAT is Hossein Keshavarz’s feature film debut.
This landmark season will feature 214 films from 40 plus different countries. HIFF’s 2010 program is being held at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Cinemas from October 14 -24. Tickets are on sale now. General admission tickets are available for $12 or $10 for students, seniors, children and military. Tickets may be purchased in person at HIFF’s box office at 680 Iwilei Road #101 from Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Cinemas or by phone at (808) 447-0577.
Established in 1981, the Hawaii International Film Festival, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to the advancement of understanding and cultural exchange among the peoples of Asia, the Pacific and North America through the medium of film. HIFF is the premier international film event in the Pacific and has won the praise of governments, filmmakers, scholars, educators, programmers and film industry leaders throughout the world. For the discovery and exhibition of Asian and Pacific features, documentaries and short films in the nation, it is a primary source. The festival has premiered such movies as ONCE WERE WARRIORS, THE PIANO, SHINE, SHALL WE DANCE, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, and CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON. Plus, DEPARTURES, a Japanese film, had its U.S. premiere at HIFF in 2008, won the HIFF Audience Award and then went on to win the 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
HIFF’s major sponsors include: Regal Entertainment Group, Halekulani Hotels & Resorts, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii, Hawaii Tourism Authority, The Vilcek Foundation, and EuroCinema Hawaii.
The 2010 Hawaii International Film Festival will be held October 14 – 24.
Images of the films can be downloaded at http://picasaweb.google.com/hiff2009images/2010HIFFFall?authkey=Gv1sRgCN7M0qjGgYn1eQ&feat=directlink# For more information please visit our website at www.hiff.org.