NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Spotlights Asian Cinema in Celebration of Asian Heritage Month

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NewFilmmakers LA (NFMLA) showcases independent cinema from Los Angeles and across the globe at the May 28th 2016 Film Festival at the 1150 Olive Center in Downtown Los Angeles.

"Before The Sun Explodes" - Directed by Debra Eisenstadt

NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) celebrates ​cinema from around world on May 28th. This month's event​ will include an InFocus ​shorts program​s which showcases Asian cinema, a documentary feature, and feature film program. In between films, audiences can check out filmmaker Q&As, meet and mingle with one another in the premium 1150 Olive​ Center​ lounge, and enjoy cocktails on the balcony in Downtown LA. Details on the featured films playing at the LA film fest can be found below.

Shorts Program - InFocus: Asian talent and stories

Hero Show - Directed by Takumi Kondo

Set in a soon-to-be-shuttered amusement park, Hideo stays on performing low-budget hero shows while there is no audience. One summer day, he hears that a secret society of evil will attack the amusement park as the starting place for world domination. He and his colleagues want to take this opportunity to attract audience and his enemies wish for achieving their ambitions. This short film was produced in Japan.

Hide & Seek - Directed by Kimie Tanaka

Shoichi, a Japanese male nurse living in the city, returns home in countryside after his mother's sudden death, in order to sort out the situation of his younger brother Kotaro, who's been 'shut-in' over a decade. Shoichi seeks for help from public social service, only to be disappointed with their bureaucratic treatment. Frustration accumulated, Shoichi makes a radical decision.

A graduate of the NYU Tisch Program, independent film director, Kimie Tanaka has written, directed, produced, and edited five short films in Japan, Singapore, and Ghana. She says the film examines the importance of “social expectation” in certain societies: “This film is my attempt to explore the way of living in one of the most organized society, Japan.” Produced in Japan, Hide & Seek makes its west coast premiere with NewFilmmakers Los Angeles.

Parachute Girls - Directed by Alex Rubens

Two estranged sisters essentially abandoned as children by their parents are reunited when Ellie, the younger sister, crashes older sis Evelyn's dinner party and begins to destroy Evelyn's suburban illusion of the perfect family.

Having written for the popular television series Key and Peele, Community, Rick and Morty, and now the recently released, feature film Keanu, Alex Rubens makes his directorial debut with this short film. He is accompanied by writer, producer, and lead actress, Emily C. Chang, who plays Evelyn in the film. She most recently recurred as Ivy on the CW's Vampire Diaries, as well as other guest starring roles on Community, How I Met Your Mother, Bones, Intelligence, Days of Our Lives, and NCIS.

Chang says, “Parachute Girls explores what happens when your ideal of ’family’ doesn't match up to your reality. When your sister is your mother, or your friend is your brother; when your parents are merely shadows of a memory who materialize through money and gifts sent from afar. Beneath all this lie questions of immigration and assimilation - how people of color in the U.S. can sometimes whitewash and conform themselves in order to belong - to a society that's full of well-meaning people who often unknowingly reinforce the very racist and classist ideals they're politically against.”

Fur Elise - Directed by Albert Ventura

Ashin meets a girl in a night market and they start playing a mysterious game where he has to catch her. They run through the streets until they arrive to her apartment. However, looks like it's not the first time Ashin has been there.

Albert Ventura directed, produced, edited, and wrote Fur Elise, which is his third short film. Born in Barcelona, Ventura has always been fascinated by Asian culture. When he was 24, he moved to Japan where he studied Biological Sciences and learned about movie directing and photography. Influenced by Japanese classic cinema and arts, he has written several short movies which have been screened around the world and won many awards. Actually based in Taiwan and greatly inspired by Taiwanese local culture, he is writing several feature movie projects to be shot in this country.

The Fever - Directed by Eunhye Hong Kim

A fictional look at the growing problem of Korean runaways who commit crimes in order to survive on the streets.

Eunhye Hong Kim is an award-winning filmmaker who is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Fine Arts at California Institute of the Arts. She was born in Seoul, South Korea, and her films have screened in film festivals including 46th Chicago International Film Festival, 37th Starz Denver International Film Festival, and 6th New Hope Independent Film Festival. She is in her finishing stage of her recent film "Se Shin Sa" and will be distributed in 2016. This South Korean film makes its west coast premiere with NewFilmmakers Los Angeles.

Documentary Feature Program     

Dark Progressivism - Directed by Rodrigo Ribera d'Ebre & James J. Yi

From the blood on the streets to the walls of the galleries, Los Angeles artists share their experiences with inner city violence and their use of creativity as a form of redemption. Out of the explosion of the crack epidemic, gangs, vandalism, and stepped up police response during the 1980s, a new urban mentality developed. The community's reaction to police suppression resulted in criminal artistic expression as a form of rebellion against the social ramifications suffered on the streets and a rupture of previous art styles. Narrated through first-hand accounts by artists and academics such as: Defer, Prime, Big Sleeps, Gajin Fujita, Chaz Bojorquez, Chris Blatchford, Hector Tobar, Chris Brand, Cryptik, Richard Valdemar and others, this eye-opening documentary tells the story of a local nativist tradition in artwork that helps explain how the dark aspects of the built environment combined with forward-thinking principles have influenced contemporary art.

NewFilmmakers LA hosts the LA premiere of political author and director Rodrigo Ribera d'Ebre and veteran indie director James J. Yi’s documentary film.

Feature Program

Before The Sun Explodes - Directed by Debra Eisenstadt

After his wife kicks him out, an anxious comedian is lured in by an intriguing woman with a stalker.

After premiering at SXSW, Before The Sun Explodes celebrates its LA premiere with NewFilmmakers LA. A recipient of the Independent Spirit Award, Debra Eisenstadt has directed three indie features, including Before The Sun Explodes and worked on an additional eight independent films, including some roles as an actor. An indie filmmaker capable of wearing many hats, Eisenstadt also wrote, produced, and edited this feature film.

Located in Downtown LA, 1150 Olive Center is the Presenting Venue Sponsor of NewFilmmakers LA film festival. Founded in 2007, NFMLA has screened over 1350+ films from over 67 countries. The organization provides a forum where filmmakers can be recognized with title supporters Sony Pictures Entertainment, DreamWorks, TheWrap, SAG-AFTRA, and FilmLA.

For information or to reserve tickets to the NewFilmmakers LA May 28th screening, please visit http://www.NFMLA.org.

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Alexandra Diantgikis
NewFilmmakers LA
since: 08/2013
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