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SPOTLIGHT ON SOUTH EAST ASIA AT VIFF

From: Cinevolution Media Arts S.
Sent on: Thursday, September 29, 2011 10:10 PM
SPOTLIGHT ON SOUTH EAST ASIA AT VIFF

VIFF presents stories from South East Asia.

Burma

Bangladesh

Indonesia

Malaysia

Philippines

Singapore

Sri Lanka

Thailand

Vietnam

 

BURMA

Burma Soldier

Canadian Premiere BURMA SOLDIER

USA/Ireland/Burma/Thailand | Dir: Nic Dunlop, Annie Sundberg, Ricki Stern

[BURSO] | Thu. Sep 29, 6:45pm, Granville #2
Fri. Oct 7, 4:00pm, Cinémathèque

Nic Dunlop, Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg's documentary offers a rare glimpse of Burma's brutal dictatorship as seen through the eyes of a former soldier. Severely wounded, Myo Myint became an opponent of the regime, resulting in his torture and imprisonment for 15 years. His insights into the political and psychological power of the junta are compelling.

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Return to Burma

RETURN TO BURMA (Guilai de ren)

Taiwan | Dir: Midi Z | View Trailer

[RETUR] | Fri. Oct 7, 7:00pm, Vancity Theatre
Thu. Oct 13, 12:40pm, Granville #5

A young man returns home to Myanmar from Taiwan in this stunning debut by young Burmese-Taiwanese director Midi Z. Quietly observational, almost documentary in feel, this rare shot-in-Myanmar feature ponders the anxiety of crossing borders, and asks if home is a place we can really completely ever return to.

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BANGLADESH

Desert Riders

World Premiere DESERT RIDERS

Canada | Dir: Vic Sarin

[DESER] | Sat. Oct 1, 9:30pm, Granville #5
Sun. Oct 2, 12:20pm, Granville #1

Camel racing is one of the Middle East’s most popular sports, but rarely revealed is the unspeakable horror thousands of boys face when sold into the world of jockeying. Director Vic Sarin gives a voice to these children in this bold and compelling doc.

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INDONESIA Belkibolang North American Premiere BELKIBOLANG

Indonesia | Dir: Agung Sentausa, Ifa Isfansyah, Tumpal Tampubolon, Rico Marpaung, Anggun Priambodo, Azhar Lubis, Wisnu Surya Pratama, Edwin, Sidi Saleh

[BELKI] | Sun. Oct 2, 12:15pm, Granville #5
Thu. Oct 6, 6:45pm, Cinémathèque

Nine smart young directors (one of them is Edwin, director of Blind Pig Wants to Fly) contribute episodes to Titien Wattimena’s script about the night of New Year’s eve in Jakarta. You couldn’t better it as a spot-sample of life in Indonesia now: fresh and often funny, its vignettes range from unlikely friendships and eruptions of emotion to a looming divorce.

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The Mirror Never Lies North American Premiere THE MIRROR NEVER LIES

Indonesia | Dir: Kamila Andini | View Trailer

[MIRRO] | Sat. Oct 8, 6:45pm, Cinémathèque
Wed. Oct 12, 12:30pm, Granville #6

The debut feature by Garin Nugroho’s daughter Kamila Andini centres on Pakis, a 12-year-old girl in a fishing village whose father is lost at sea; she clings to the hope that he will return. Her relationships with her hostile mother and her friend Lumo—and with Tudo, the researcher from Jakarta who becomes a kind of surrogate dad—form the core of an eco-aware drama which looks terrific and feels even better.

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Position Among the Stars POSITION AMONG THE STARS (Stand van de Sterren)

Netherlands | Dir: Leonard Retel Helmrich | View Trailer

[POSIT] | Mon. Oct 3, 9:30pm, Granville #1
Fri. Oct 7, 12:30pm, Vancity Theatre

Spanning 12 years and three feature films, Leonard Retel Helmrich's intimate study of an Indonesian family reaches its gripping conclusion. Synchronizing itself with Jakarta's frantic pace, this acclaimed documentary pulses with life as it unleashes a dizzying array of anxiety-inducing drama, gentle humour and glorious images. Winner, Best Film, IDFA 2010.

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MALAYSIA Almayer ALMAYER'S FOLLY (La folie Almayer)

Belgium/France | Dir: Chantal Akerman

[ALMAY] | Sat. Oct 1, 6:15pm, Granville #4
Tue. Oct 4, 1:00pm, Granville #7

Working from Joseph Conrad's novel, Chantal Akerman tells the story of a European trader in 1950s Malaysia whose dreams of a Western life for his Malay daughter slowly lead to destruction. A gorgeous fever dream of bold stylistic risks undertaken by a filmmaker of legendary precision. A quest for the absolute; a story of passion and madness.

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Quattro Hong Kong 2 QUATTRO HONG KONG 2

Hong Kong | Dir: Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Brillante Mendoza, Stanley Kwan, Ho Yuhang

[QUATT] | Thu. Sep 29, 3:20pm, Granville #5
Mon. Oct 3, 6:45pm, Cinémathèque
Tue. Oct 4, 12:40pm, Granville #5

Four major Asian directors were invited to make short films in Hong Kong, and the results are delicious. Brillante Mendoza looks at Filipino immigrants, Apichatpong Weerasethakul looks at four Thai boys (two inside the unfinished hotel, two outside), Ho Yuhang finds a hilarious mini-drama in an endangered species smuggling scam, and Stanley Kwan eavesdrops on what passengers are thinking as they bus from the airport to the city.

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Year Without a Summer YEAR WITHOUT A SUMMER (Wu zhi xia nian)

Malaysia | Dir: Tan Chui Mui

[YEARW] | Sat. Oct 1, 12:30pm, Granville #6
Sat. Oct 8, 8:00pm, Granville #6

Indie Malaysian director Tan Chui Mui’s moonlit meditation on childhood memories is as beguiling as it is mysterious. When a singer returns to his rural seaside home to visit with his childhood friends, their reunion becomes an occasion for song, disappearance, sorrow and a wondrous magic mermaid.

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  PHILIPPINES Baby Factory International Premiere BABY FACTORY (Bahay Bata)

Philippines | Dir: Eduardo Roy Jr

[BABYF] | Tue. Oct 4, 6:45pm, Vancity Theatre
Wed. Oct 5, 1:15pm, Vancity Theatre

Eduardo Roy Jr’s vivid debut feature is set entirely in and around a very busy hospital maternity ward in the run-up to Christmas. It’s the fiction equivalent of a Frederick Wiseman institutional documentary, although the problems faced by one overstretched, underpaid nurse (Diana Zubiri) provide a central thread. Dragons & Tigers Award nominee.

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Give Up Tomorrow GIVE UP TOMORROW

USA/UK | Dir: Michael Collins | View Trailer

[GIVEU] | Thu. Oct 6, 6:40pm, Granville #4
Fri. Oct 7, 3:20pm, Granville #5
Thu. Oct 13, 10:30am, Granville #7

Marty Syjuco and Michael Collins' gripping and surprisingly universal documentary takes dead aim at the miscarriage of justice that saw a privileged Filipino teenager wrongfully convicted of murder and rape. Viewers will be left staring slack-jawed at the "perfect storm of cronyism, tabloid journalism, public prejudice and corruption."—Variety. Winner, Audience Award, Tribeca 2011; Audience Award, Sheffield 2011.

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The Natural Phenomenon of Madness International Premiere THE NATURAL PHENOMENON OF MADNESS

Philippines | Dir: Charliebebs Gohetia | View Trailer

[NATUR] | Sat. Oct 1, 6:00pm, Granville #5
Sun. Oct 2, 2:30pm, Granville #5

Charliebebs Gohetia (director of The ‘Thank You’ Girls) offers a startlingly fresh take on a broken relationship, first from the woman’s point-of-view, then from the man’s. Sharp, visually arresting and decidedly grown-up, it’s unlike any other Filipino indie.

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Quattro Hong Kong 2 Canadian Premiere QUATTRO HONG KONG 2

Hong Kong | Dir: Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Brillante Mendoza, Stanley Kwan, Ho Yuhang

[QUATT] | Thu. Sep 29, 3:20pm, Granville #5
Mon. Oct 3, 6:45pm, Cinémathèque
Tue. Oct 4, 12:40pm, Granville #5

Four major Asian directors were invited to make short films in Hong Kong, and the results are delicious. Brillante Mendoza looks at Filipino immigrants, Apichatpong Weerasethakul looks at four Thai boys (two inside the unfinished hotel, two outside), Ho Yuhang finds a hilarious mini-drama in an endangered species smuggling scam, and Stanley Kwan eavesdrops on what passengers are thinking as they bus from the airport to the city.

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Señorita North American Premiere SEÑORITA

Philippines | Dir: Vincent Sandoval | View Trailer

[SENOR] | Sun. Oct 2, 9:30pm, Vancity Theatre
Mon. Oct 3, 4:00pm, Vancity Theatre

Vincent Sandoval’s fine short, shown here last year, has blossomed into an excellent debut feature. The basic situation is unchanged: Sofia (played by Sandoval himself) is babysitting a teenage boy in Talisay but moonlights once a month as an expensive hooker in Manila. Now, though, Sofia’s past comes back to haunt her in a violent struggle for the political future of her rural community. Dragons & Tigers Award nominee.

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Trespassers International Premiere TRESPASSERS (Bisperas)

Philippines | Dir: Jeffrey Jeturian

[TRESP] | Wed. Oct 5, 6:30pm, Cinémathèque
Thu. Oct 6, 3:45pm, Cinémathèque

Jeffrey Jeturian’s first movie since The Bet Collector is a so-different social satire. A middle-class family in Manila is burgled while everyone is out attending a Nativity play and midnight mass on Christmas Eve. As the police investigate, family secrets and lies come tumbling out of the closet... Stars Tirso Cruz III, Raquel Villavicencio and Jennifer Sevilla.

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Woman in a Septic Tank International Premiere WOMAN IN A SEPTIC TANK (Babae sa Septic Tank)

Philippines | Dir: Marlon N. Rivera

[WOMAN] | Mon. Oct 3, 7:00pm, Vancity Theatre
Tue. Oct 4, 1:15pm, Vancity Theatre

Films about filmmaking are usually a bust, but Marlon Rivera’s lacerating satire is a real exception. A hotshot young writer-director is setting up his "realist" masterpiece about a slum-dwelling woman who sells her young daughter into prostitution; he’s already dreaming of all the festival prizes which will roll in. But there are issues about the casting, the financing, and ultimately the story itself ... Dragons & Tigers Award nominee.

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  SINGAPORE SRI LANKA Tatsumi North American Premiere TATSUMI

Singapore/Japan | Dir: Eric Khoo | View Trailer

[TATSU] | Sun. Oct 2, 2:45pm, Granville #4
Tue. Oct 4, 9:30pm, Granville #2

Eric Khoo’s first animated feature is a real labour of love: a heartfelt tribute to Tatsumi Yoshihiro, the man who invented gekiga (dark and realistic manga for adults) in 1957. The film juxtaposes episodes of Tatsumi-sensei’s life story (drawn from his manga autobiography A Drifting Life) with animated versions of five of his most famous short stories. Not for kids, but adult fans will find it thrilling, moving and very, very beautiful.

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Flying Fish Canadian Premiere FLYING FISH (Igillena Maluwo)

Sri Lanka | Dir: Sanjeewa Pushpakumara | View Trailer

[FLYIN] | Tue. Oct 4, 12:30pm, Granville #6
Thu. Oct 6, 8:00pm, Granville #6

Three interwoven stories from the Sri Lankan civil war between the Sinhalese majority and the "Tamil Tiger" rebels... all three of them ending in devastating acts of violence. Sanjeewa Puskpakumara’s brave debut feature (a prize-winner at the CinDi Festival in Seoul) is scrupulously non-partisan, deeply humane, coolly modernist in style and almost indecently beautiful. Winner, Best Director, St. Petersburg 2011.

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THAILAND Eternity Canadian Premiere ETERNITY (Tee Rak)

Thailand | Dir: Sivaroj Kongsakul | View Trailer

[ETERN] | Thu. Sep 29, 6:30pm, Cinémathèque
Tue. Oct 4, 10:30am, Vancity Theatre

Intensely moving debut from Sivaroj Kongsakul, centred on a rural courtship (a village man persuades a city girl to become his wife) but dealing also with the husband’s early death. A prologue shows his ghost visiting the places he loved; an epilogue shows his widow and their two kids learning to cope without him. Tiger Award-winner in Rotterdam.

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Headshot HEADSHOT (Fon Tok Kuen Fah)

Thailand/France | Dir: Pen-ek Ratanaruang

[HEADS] | Sun. Oct 2, 9:30pm, Granville #7
Fri. Oct 7, 12:45pm, Granville #7

Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s neo-noir thriller has a Buddhist spin. Ex-cop Tul becomes a hitman after being framed and jailed for refusing bribes, but the corrupt politicians and businessmen he targets want revenge. Can he attain enlightenment in a temple while evading their bullets? Smart, original and very, very stylish.

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Hi-So Canadian Premiere HI-SO

Thailand | Dir: Aditya Assarat

[HISOX] | Fri. Sep 30, 6:30pm, Cinémathèque
Tue. Oct 4, 1:15pm, Cinémathèque

“Hi-So” is sardonic Thai slang for “high society." Ananda Everingham plays a young middle-class man just back from studying in the US, trying his hand as an actor. Aditya Assarat (Wonderful Town) focuses on his contrasted relationships with two women, which have odd parallels...

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Quattro Hong Kong 2 Canadian Premiere QUATTRO HONG KONG 2

Hong Kong | Dir: Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Brillante Mendoza, Stanley Kwan, Ho Yuhang

[QUATT] | Thu. Sep 29, 3:20pm, Granville #5
Mon. Oct 3, 6:45pm, Cinémathèque
Tue. Oct 4, 12:40pm, Granville #5

Four major Asian directors were invited to make short films in Hong Kong, and the results are delicious. Brillante Mendoza looks at Filipino immigrants, Apichatpong Weerasethakul looks at four Thai boys (two inside the unfinished hotel, two outside), Ho Yuhang finds a hilarious mini-drama in an endangered species smuggling scam, and Stanley Kwan eavesdrops on what passengers are thinking as they bus from the airport to the city.

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VIETNAM Lost in Paradise LOST IN PARADISE (To Roi Hotboy Mat)

Vietnam | Dir: Vu Ngoc Dang

[LOSTI] | Thu. Sep 29, 9:15pm, Cinémathèque
Sun. Oct 2, 4:15pm, Cinémathèque

Vietnam’s first gay feature is unsophisticated by international standards (too many ugly duckling metaphors!), but director Vu Ngoc Dang understands how being gay in a repressive society breeds crime and prostitution, and he catches the Saigon rent-boy scene quite accurately. He also knows how to make the most of his good-looking cast.

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Vancouver International Film Festival | VIFF 2011

September 29 - October 14, 2011 | Film Info: 604.683.FILM (3456) | VIFF Office: [masked]


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