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Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

International Competition

Featuring several U.S. Premieres, our International Competition films offer a smorgasbord of both documentary and narrative works which explore and reflect the stories of our time. We’re excited to bring you the best and most provocative cinematic voices from Asia and the diaspora.


  1. By the Time It Gets Dark

    Anocha Suwichakornpong / International Competition / France, Netherlands, Qatar, Thailand / 2016 / 105 mins
    A film director and her muse who was a student activist in the 1970s, a waitress who keeps changing jobs, an actor and an actress, all live loosely connected to each other by almost invisible threads. The narrative sheds its skin several times to reveal layer upon layer of the complexities that make up the characters’ lives.
    BY THE TIME IT GETS DARK

    Downtown Independent
    April 28, 2017 8:30 pm Rescheduled

    BY THE TIME IT GETS DARK (RESCHEDULED)

    Downtown Independent
    May 1, 2017 4:30 pm FREE, Check-In at Box Office


  2. Reseba – The Dark Wind

    Hussein Hassan / International Competition, Programmers' Picks / Germany, Iraq, Qatar / 2016 / 91 mins
    Radical Islamist militants attack a village in Iraq, where two young Yazidi prepare for marriage. From that moment onwards, their lives are turned into a nightmare.
    RESEBA – THE DARK WIND

    Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
    May 3, 2017 6:00 pm FREE, Check-In at Box Office


  3. Motherland

    Ramona S. Diaz / International Competition / Philippines, USA / 2017 / 94 mins
    MOTHERLAND takes us into the heart of the planet’s busiest maternity hospital, in one of the world’s poorest and most populous countries: the Philippines.
    MOTHERLAND

    Downtown Independent
    April 30, 2017 2:00 pm


  4. Plastic China

    Jiu-Liang Wang / International Competition / China / 2016 / 82 mins
    Yi-Jie, an 11-year- old girl, works alongside her parents in a recycling facility while dreaming of attending school. Kun, the facility’s ambitious foreman, dreams of a better life. Through the eyes and hands of those who handle its refuse, an examination of global consumption and culture. PLASTIC CHINA brings us front and center into the lives of a community/culture barely heard from who toil daily in waste from around the globe - washing, cleaning and recycling the plastic garbage - and still living in poverty, yet harnessing the same dreams of education, good health and upward mobility as everyone else. This is not the China we see on TV.
    PLASTIC CHINA

    CGV Cinemas 3
    April 30, 2017 4:00 pm


  5. Pop Aye

    Kirsten Tan / International Competition, Programmers' Picks / Singapore, Thailand / 2017 / 102 mins
    Pop Aye is a humane ode to the power of simple acts of kindness in a world of lost innocence and missed opportunities, punctuated by well-timed bursts of deadpan absurdity. Director Kirsten Tan, in her impressive feature debut, deftly weaves the poignance and humor of Popeye and Thana’s journey with a series of indelibly beautiful cinematic images of the film’s gigantic star in this lyrical road-trip dramedy.
    POP AYE

    CGV Cinemas 3
    April 30, 2017 9:15 pm


  6. The Road To Mandalay

    Midi Z / International Competition / France, Germany, Myanmar, Taiwan / 2016 / 108 mins
    Two strangers, Lianqing and Guo, illegally cross the Burmese border into Thailand. While Guo starts working in a cotton factory and hopes to settle, Lianqing has different ambitions...
    THE ROAD TO MANDALAY

    CGV Cinemas 3
    April 30, 2017 6:30 pm


  7. Saving Sally

    Avid Liongoren / International Competition, Programmers' Picks / France, Philippines / 2016 / 90 mins
    SAVING SALLY is a tiny little film about love and monsters. The film was built by a core group of five underfunded animators who worked on it for nearly 12 years. A quirky mix of cartoons, painted backgrounds, and actors, SAVING SALLY is a very simple love story that aims to make your heart flutter and glow.
    SAVING SALLY

    CGV Cinemas 3
    May 1, 2017 6:30 pm


  8. Small Talk

    HUI-CHEN HUANG / International Competition / Taiwan / 2017 / 88 mins
    They have lived like strangers under one roof for decades, almost never talking to each other. One day, Hui-chen finally summons up the courage to sit her mother down and talk.
    SMALL TALK

    Downtown Independent
    May 2, 2017 7:00 pm


  9. The Soul Of The Tiger

    François Yang / International Competition, Programmers' Picks / Belgium, France, Switzerland / 2016 / 91 mins
    After his brother's death, thirty-something Alex finds himself dealing with his family's history. Forced to give up his carefree life, he must now face his own responsibilities.
    THE SOUL OF THE TIGER

    CGV Cinemas 3
    May 2, 2017 6:30 pm


  10. The Sower

    Yosuke Takeuchi / International Competition, Programmers' Picks / Japan / 2016 / 117 mins
    A remarkable human-interest film inspired by the life of Vincent van Gogh, and a niece with Down Syndrome.
    THE SOWER

    Downtown Independent
    May 3, 2017 7:00 pm


  11. Taxi Stories

    Doris Yeung / International Competition / China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Netherlands / 2017 / 101 mins
    In an increasingly economically polarized, and virtually connected 24 hour Asia, a closeted Beijing taxi driver, a pregnant Hong Kong trophy wife, and a Jakarta slum orphan struggle to connect, despite the constraints of their social classes.
    TAXI STORIES

    Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
    May 3, 2017 8:30 pm


  12. Tokyo Idols

    Kyoko Miyake / International Competition / Canada, Japan, UK / 2017 / 88 mins
    Girl bands and their pop music permeate every moment of Japanese life. Following an aspiring pop singer and her fans, Tokyo Idols explores a cultural phenomenon driven by an obsession with young female sexuality, and the growing disconnect between men and women in hyper-modern societies.
    TOKYO IDOLS

    Downtown Independent
    April 29, 2017 10:00 pm


  13. Diamond Island

    Davy Chou / LAAPFF Best of the Fest in OC, International Competition / Cambodia, France, Germany / 2016 / 104 mins
    DIAMOND ISLAND is a real estate project in Phnom Penh, an ultra-modern paradise build by the poor for the rich. Bora is 18 years old, and leaves his home village to work on this enormous urban structure. This is where he finds his charismatic brother, Solei, who disappeared five years ago. Solei introduces him to the exciting world of Cambodia's well-off youth, its girls, its nights, and its disillusions.
    DIAMOND ISLAND

    Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
    May 1, 2017 8:30 pm

    DIAMOND ISLAND (ENCORE)

    CGV Buena Park
    May 8, 2017 6:30 pm


  14. Turn Left Turn Right

    Douglas Seok / LAAPFF Best of the Fest in OC, International Competition / Cambodia, South Korea, USA / 2016 / 68 mins
    Kanitha, a young, free-spirited Cambodian woman in her 20s, lives in modern-day Phnom Penh, working multiple jobs and choosing to live how she pleases.
    TURN LEFT TURN RIGHT

    Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
    May 1, 2017 6:00 pm

    TURN LEFT TURN RIGHT (ENCORE)

    CGV Buena Park
    May 9, 2017 6:30 pm


  15. King of Peking

    Sam Voutas / LAAPFF Best of the Fest in OC, International Competition / Australia, China, USA / 2017 / 88 mins
    When video home entertainment enters the market in 90s Beijing, a former projectionist ropes his young son into starting their own pirate movie company. But easy money comes with its own price tag.
    KING OF PEKING

    Downtown Independent
    May 2, 2017 9:30 pm

    KING OF PEKING (ENCORE)

    CGV Buena Park
    May 10, 2017 6:30 pm