NewFilmmakers LA Spotlights Asian Cinema at May 16th Film Festival in Downtown LA

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This month NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) is excited to announce two Asian Cinema spotlight programs while showcasing the creative works directed by locals and internationals from all around the world. The festivities— held at the AT&T center in Downtown LA — will kick-off with a pre-reception and close with an after party.

From Tze Chun’s Sundance Film Festival selection, ‘Children of Invention,’ to Double Dutch Media’s recent ‘Fight Night,’ by James Z. Feng, today’s Asian filmmakers are sharing inspiring stories and challenging their stereotypical culture: immigrants, sportsman, businessmen, children all born into poverty and rising to stardom--a classic rags-to-riches tale. One we never get tired of.

This month NewFilmmakers LA celebrates the Asian filmmaker and narrative; topic, vision, perspective, and style culminate in a night of riveting film spotlighting Chinese, Japanese, and Korean filmmakers. The program will highlight the following films.

CARRY ON directed by Yatao Li (China)

During the brutal withdrawal of Japanese forces at the end of World War II, a Chinese father does whatever he can to save his family.

Born in Beijing, director Yatao Li, is now a film director at Aim Entertainments and has been nominated for Best Director at the 2014 Los Angeles Movie Awards, Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood, and the Long Island International Film Expo. CARRY ON has over 50 wins and 20 nominations and was an official selection of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, UK Film Festival, and the Los Angeles International Student Film Festival, among countless others.

Starring Chen Chang (Painted Skin: The Resurrection), Miura Kenichi (‘Beginning of the Great Revival’), Zongling, and Takuya Saito, CARRY ON has been featured in Variety, Hollywood Reporter, INDIEwire, Screen Daily and, who claims CARRY ON is “[a movie that] ends on a note of simultaneous uplift and heartbreak that is sure to draw out a reaction.”

ROSIE directed by Bryan Dechart (USA)

A seemingly normal day takes a significant turn in this intimate glimpse into the life of a young woman struggling to make ends meet in Los Angeles.

Producer Leslie-Anne Huff, known for her work on ‘CSI:NY,’ ’Bones,’ ‘The Middle,’ ‘NCIS,’ ‘Chuck,’ and ‘Days of Our Lives’, produces ROSIE as her first short as writer-producer alongside Director Bryan Dechart, who has worked on popular ABC Family shows such as ‘Jane by Design’ and ‘Switched at Birth’ as well as HBO’s ‘True Blood.’ He has recently starred in the independent film ‘Dakota’s Summer’ and his Sony Picture apocalyptic thriller, ‘The Remaining,’ was released in theaters last fall.

ROSIE stars Ben Levin, ‘As the World Turns’ cast member and is a collaboration between artists and friends in telling a young woman’s story who could be anyone’s friend, daughter, or neighbor.

KI.RYU directed by Shinya Kawakami (Japan)

After several sightings of a dragon in the Tokyo suburb of Kiryu, Gunma university professor Mari Yshida starts her own investigation on the mysterious connection between the dragon and local citizens.

Director Shinya Kawakami is an independent movie director known for his work in various short films and TV commercials. KI.RYU has won many awards including an ACC Gold award, ADFEST Silver award, NYADC Bronze award, NYFES Bronze award, and Cannes Lions Short List award.

TUESDAY MORNING directed by Chad Kukahiko (USA)

Rick and Jewels are professional colleagues who are deeply in love with one another but married to others. During a morning tryst, they find themselves faced with an extraordinary but morally questionable opportunity.

TUESDAY MORNING was submitted through the film collective We Make Movies ‘Film Challenge’ and noticed by director Chad Kukahiko, the collective’s Chief Operating Director, who teamed up with DP, Ryan Baker, from Stage 32 (his ‘Happily Never After’ won Jury awards at the Las Vegas Film Festival and Boston Underground Film Festival) and brought the production to life. The collective decided to launch a Patreon campaign and managed to crowdfund their production company, creating the community and collaborative spirit of TUESDAY MORNING. The production stars Jaimi Paige, who is the recipient of LA Weekly’s ‘best two person performance” for her work in ‘Tender Napalm,’ and Ian Kerch from the MGM produced pilot ‘Madso’s War.’    

KARAMA directed by Sixing Su (China)

Cunning Hou attracts customers to his auto repair shop by spreading nails on the road; but when he’s confronted by a business-savvy monk, he finds that what goes around might just come back around after all.

Director Sixing Su earned his MFA from New York Film Academy and has recently won Best Foreign Film at the Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival for KARMA.

LUCK DAY directed by Si Yeong Jung (South Korea)

Jihun, who fails to have sex with his girlfriend, Gyeongmi, and finds himself drunkenly taken with a new girl, Eungyeong. But when she disappears, he finds he has nothing left to remember her by except for a few words written on dressing table mirror in red lipstick.

Director Si Yeong Jung, reproduces hyper realistic dialogue through interviews and surveys of real situations among individuals in their 20’s to alert her audience of the disorder and chaos that uneducated sexual decisions may bring.    

THIS IS WHEN WE MET directed by Sean Cunningham (USA)

A story about Robbie and Mary living out their entire relationship in three minutes.

Sean Cunningham and Mary Catherine Green decided to make THIS IS WHEN WE MET while they were going through a breakup last fall. They wanted to keep the film realistic, using improvised dialogue and showing an objective view of two people meeting, forming a relationship, and drifting apart slowly. The film stars Robbie Tann, who has been featured in Gotham, Person of Interest, and Nurse Jackie and also appears in the new film ‘The Family Fang’ directed by and starring Jason Bateman.

Cunningham started the production company Hero Status Films, in 2012, which specializes in branded content and short films. His work has been screened at SXSW Interactive and Cannes Lions. Cunningham is the Writer, Director, Cinematographer, and Editor of THIS IS WHEN WE MET, alongside producer and actress Mary Catherine Green. Green has appeared Off Broadway in NYC and as the token red head in various TV and commercial spots (AMC, ABC). She was also a regular in the web series ‘Hot Mess’ and is a producer for Hero Status Films.

#NIGHTSLIKETHESE directed by Hannah Macpherson (USA)

When a night’s escapade takes a disturbing turn for two teen girls, we learn just how disconnected and desensitized social made has made them.

Hannah Macpherson has a background of producing reality TV in LA and NY and is currently editor for a reality show on REELZChannel. Macpherson has written and directed numerous short films, webisodes, and music videos and won best director three years in a row at the NM 48 Hour Film Project and has recently completed principal photography on the feature film ‘Those Who Wait.’

Starring Amber Midthunder (Cinemax, A&E, USA), whose first role was in a scene alongside Alan Arkin just days before winning his Oscar, and Shay Eyre (daughter of celebrated film director Chris Eyre, known for ‘Empire of Dirt’), who has taken her first venture as both actor and director, #NIGHTSLIKETHESE shares the lives of two fifteen year old girls through their social media in a stream of hashtags, selfies, and texts from bullies and boyfriends.

TADAIMA directed by Robin Takao D’Oench

After the closure of US Japanese Internment Camps at the end of World War II, a Japanese American family returns home and must find the strength to rebuild both their houses and family amidst the emotional and physical destruction.

TADAIMA is the first short film of director Robin Takao D’Oench and currently works in film/TV/commercials in NYC and Los Angeles. D’Oench felt that the stories of minority Americans were not being represented on the screen and used TADAIMA as a symbol of respect and acknowledgement to those who came before us, specifically the generation of surviving Nisei Japanese Americans.

PAPER TIGER directed by Chu-Jen Wu (USA)

A warrior monk struggles with his inner demons after refusing to help a victim of assault.

Chu-Jen Wu grew up in Taiwan but with his family's deep-tie with the mainland China, the conflict between his Chinese identity and Taiwan identity become a driving force behind his decision to enter a career of storytelling. PAPER TIGER features Mara New (‘Doradus’) and Talbott Lin (‘Lil Tokyo Reporter’) and shares a story about the preservation of the Chinese identity and the traditions it is fighting to preserve in the face of a new and modern culture.

STAIN directed by Sherry Greer (USA)

A short paranormal thriller about a grieving son who unwittingly awakens a demon at his dead father’s home that will never let him leave.

STAIN was directed by Sherry Greer (known for her work as director, editor, writer, and sound editor of ‘Double Take’) and written by Katherine Bennett-Greer. Starring Brandon Hamilton (‘The Man From Hades’), Bryan Brooks, and Carlos Madrid Mora (’Wrecker’)

TWIN LOTUS directed by Vasco Xu (USA)

Enter the seedy world of drug smuggling and follow the Chinese mafia as they import, process, and distribute Colombian cocaine.

TWIN LOTUS was an official selection of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and is directed and produced by Vasco Xu, known for ‘Red Light & Green Wine’ and ‘Forgive Me Not Again.’

RAB DA VAASTA directed by Devulapalli Chakravarty (India)

Must you kill in order to live? A small time barber with a traumatic past contemplates a difficult dilemma when an unusual customer walks in and demands a shave.

Director Devulapalli Chakravarty received his diploma in filmmaking in December 2010, shortly after his father’s death, a life-changing moment for Chakravarty and his family that led him to filmmaking. He states, “The aesthetic principle of this film does not lie in its images but in the inherent tensions within and between the images, all layered.” RAB DA VAASTA stars Nissar Khan (‘D-Day’), Lalit Mohan Tiwari (‘Welcome to Sajjanpur’) and Ankit Varshneya (‘Amidst Dark’) and is scored by IFFCA Award winner Abhinav Agnihotri (‘Manjhi the Mountain Man’)

SILENCIO CHINO directed by Javier Malero De Luca (Venezuela)

‘Chinese Silence’ is the story of Chiung, a young pathologically mute Chinese boy who finds himself in an extreme situation: speak or lose his life.

Interestingly, all of the Chinese actors in De Luca’s film are non-actors, cast one day as De Luca decided to visit Caracas’s Chinatown when the Chinese community gathers to talk and find people who would help share his story. As De Luca lived in Caracas, he was intrigued by the customs and lack of socialization he observed, that silence was a learned habit, imposed by fear. He overheard the stories told about semi-slavery conditions of those coming to Venezuela and used SILENCIO CHINO to tell the cautionary tale about the cost of silence.

Located in Downtown LA, AT&T Center is the Presenting Venue Sponsor of NewFilmmakers LA (NFMLA). Founded in 2007, NFMLA has screened over 1000+ films from over 59 countries. NFMLA boasts over 60,000 supporters locally. The organization provides a forum where filmmakers can be recognized with title supporters Sony Pictures Entertainment, TheWrap, SAG-AFTRA and Variety Magazine.

For information or to reserve tickets to the NewFilmmakers LA May 16th screening event, please visit

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Claire Cianos
NewFilmmakers LA
since: 08/2013
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