Check out these Narrative Features at L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival
A quick reminder that the 34th edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festivalpresented by Visual Communications kicks off today with the L.A. premiere of the Sundance award winner SEARCHING starring John Cho. We highlighted the special spotlights on Taiwan, Pacific Islanders, and Award-winning documentaries in a previous post. In this blog post, we wrote our Top 10 Picks of Narrative Features that we are highly anticipating to check out at the Festival over the next week!
Cosmopolitan musician Alex Zhang Hungtai (of Dirty Beaches) returns to Hawai‘i after many years away. While searching for his missing grandmother, he forms a bond with local elder Akiko, who teaches him to connect with the spirit of home he carries within him. May 6, 7:15pm at Downtown Independent
Told in a series of non-linear, visually-arresting vignettes, model Jonny Kim stars as Hana, a Korean immigrant on winter break, caught between worlds. While struggling to find peace with her conservative mother and the expectations surrounding her future, Hana begins falling for Nico, a tender and affectionate Latina music producer. FISH BONES world premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival. May 8, 6:45pm at Regal L.A. Live
Big Phony makes a triumphant return to LAAPFF in this heartfelt drama! Inspired by musician Bobby Choy’s experiences, a struggling Korean American musician from New York goes on a world tour with his friend’s band. But in Seoul, Bobby befriends a woman and decides to stay “where everyone looks like him,” hoping to fill a major void in his life. May 5, 8:00pm at Aratani Theatre
Chinese Singaporean chef travels to Okinawa to find the beautiful and caustic Japanese food critic who left him without a trace. This sumptuous meditation on memory and love is woven around the 100-year-old Okinawa Ryukyu Dynastic cuisine that holds the life medicine their broken hearts need to mend. May 9, 6:30pm at Regal L.A. Live
Since President Duterte’s election, the Philippines has been in the grip of the “war on drugs,” where police use bounty hunters to kill gangsters. Toto, a street orphan, is caught in the crossfire when he’s recruited by a notorious death squad in this noir-infused explosive thriller by one of the most exciting young voices in Filipino cinema.May 9, 9:15pm at Regal L.A. Live
A small boy, Waru, dies at the hands of his caregiver, in this powerful and challenging story surrounding his “tangi” (funeral), delving into how his death impacts the community. Directed by eight Māori women in single 10-minute takes, this mesmerizing tapestry pieces together a cohesive narrative from multiple perspectives. May 8, 6:30pm at Regal L.A. Live
Depicting the lives of people whose world is inevitably transformed by the emergence of the Khmer Rouge, this powerful and touching intergenerational tale explores love, war, and a family’s relationship through one song: “Champa Battambang,” made famous by Sinn Sisamouth, the King of Cambodian music. Co-directed by Caylee So, LAAPFF alumnus and leader of the vibrant Long Beach Khmer community, IN THE LIFE OF MUSIC is the first Cambodian film to be presented as an LAAPFF Centerpiece. May 5, 5:00pm at Aratani Theatre
This witty comedy follows the day-to-day struggles of Hanh, a twenty-something with no direction, as she tries to navigate the world around her. Fed up with settling for her boring life in Philadelphia, she decides to put her old fears and anxieties behind her to become something different: New Hanh. May 8, 9:15pm at Regal L.A. Live
Forced to move back to his hometown, wannabe comedian Moses Kim finds his dreams derailed in the family restaurant. Life gets more complicated when his orange-haired teenage cousin from Korea unexpectedly shows up. May 7, 9:45pm at Regal L.A. Live
Dede, a photojournalist and recovering addict, moves in next door to Laura, a young woman with autism. As the pair form an unlikely friendship, Dede assembles a documentary, using animation and found footage to tell a story of sobriety, of family and friendship, and of love and forgiveness. May 7, 7:30pm at Regal L.A. Live
It looks like a truly stellar film lineup of Asian Pacific cinema! To reiterate, the Festival takes place May 3 through 12 at venues across the Los Angeles. For more info, head over to the LAAPFF Official website.