I knew SFIAAFF was the biggest Asian film fest in the US, but I didn’t know just how big – every day, films are showing in at least four venues simultaneously, and it seems like every show sells out. We want to see everything and hit all the social events, but we can’t. So we’ve resigned ourselves to the reality that we will be missing lots of good films.
Some of our favorites so far:
Eve and the Fire Horse – a story about two young Chinese girls in 1970s Vancouver trying to reconcile two (or three) cultures simultaneously. Full of heart and great acting. This is director Julia Kwan’s first feature, but it feels so confident and mature you’d think it was her tenth. I hope this gets released far and wide.
Conventioneers – a scrappy and modern guerilla-style Romeo and Juliet story shot in NYC during the 2004 Republican National Convention, with props to Medium Cool. Great acting and style. Can’t wait to see Mora Stephens’ next film Georgia Heat.
Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story – a documentary about a Japanese family’s attempt to deal with the kidnapping of their daughter by North Korean spies. I didn’t get a chance to make this screening, but Jo saw it and thought it was touching and very well done. Hope lots of people get to see this.
Dear Pyongyang – we only got to see the first sixty minutes of this documentary about a Korean family split between Japan and North Korea, but we really liked the director’s personal approach to the story. And also how she told the audience, half-jokingly, to turn off their cell phones and not to sleep during the film.
(AMC Kabuki 8 Theatres, 1881 Post St, San Francisco, CA)