Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Birthday, "members-only" screening, animation and "SDAFF Extreme" highlight Wednesday, Oct. 21

Special films and programs keep bringing great films to life at the 10th annual San Diego Asian Film Festival. Here are a few suggestions for Wednesday, Oct. 21:

• Celebrate MY BEIJING BIRTHDAY with this family-friendly film.
Wednesday, Oct. 21, 6 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 23, 4 p.m.

MY BEIJING BIRTHDAY is a heart-felt and humorous look at the rapidly changing lives of a group of children in Beijing through the eyes of an American, Howie Snyder. In 1996, Synder, a former New Yorker and skillful Mandarin-speaker, enrolled into a children’s school that teaches traditional Chinese stand-up comedy.

At 40, Snyder was the oldest (and only non-Chinese) student in the class of mostly 6-8 year olds. Synder documented his experience of breaking through the language and cultural barriers, showing him as just “one of the kids,” under the direction of a tough but passionate teacher.

Twelve years later, Synder revisited his old classmates and teacher to see how they and China had changed. The children, now young adults, had undergone the fastest economic and social transformation that the world has ever seen. MY BEIJING BIRTHDAY offers a light-hearted and realistic view of China in 1996 and 2008, and provides insight into the changes in China and what she will look like in the future.

BONUS: Director Howie Snyder is scheduled to attend the screenings for a Q&A after the film.

Anyone who misses the Wednesday, Oct. 21, 6 p.m. showing (at regular ticket prices) can also see MY BEIJING BIRTHDAY on Oct. 23, 4 p.m. for a FREE screening made possible by Target.

See the movie trailer for MY BEIJING BIRTHDAY at this LINK.

• FREE “SDAFF members-only screening” of acclaimed film, MOTHER.
Wednesday, Oct. 21, 7:45 p.m.

Supporting the San Diego Asian Film Foundation as a member has its privileges! SDAFF members are invited to enjoy one of the most highly anticipated films of the year—MOTHER—an official selection of the Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals. Widowed for a long time, a mother lives alone with her only son. He is 28 years old, a shy and quiet young man. In the aftermath of a terrible murder, the woman's hopeless, helpless son becomes the prime suspect. The Korean drama/thriller with English subtitles is directed by Bong Joon-Ho (“The Host” and “Memories of Murder”).

Members must check in at the membership table starting at 7 p.m. to pick up a FREE ticket. Members may purchase up to one additional ticket for friends at $9.50 each at the box office at UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas at Hazard Center. Quarterly screening passes accepted for additional tickets.

It's not too late to become a member and see the FREE special screening of MOTHER. Sign up at the membership table today.

For information about other benefits of becoming a member of the San Diego Asian Film Foundation, visit this LINK.

See the movie trailer for MOTHER at this LINK.

• How do you coax life out of thin air? Find out in ANIMATION: THE ILLUSION OF LIFE.
Wednesday, Oct. 21, 7:15 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 27, 7 p.m.

SDAFF was the first Asian American film festival to feature an animation program and the tradition continues as the San Diego Asian Film Festival once again features ANIMATION: THE ILLUSION OF LIFE. This program is dedicated entirely to the magical art of animation and viewers will get more for their money as they see 18 animated shorts with a total running time of 90 minutes.

BONUS: The Wednesday, Oct. 21, 7:15 p.m. screening will be followed by Q&A with filmmakers.

See the list and description of films from ANIMATION: THE ILLUSION OF LIFE at this LINK.

• Cute, funny and extreme: Don’t miss NEKO RAHMEN TAISHO (aka “Pussy Soup”).
Wednesday, Oct. 21, 9:40 p.m.

“SDAFF Extreme”—a series of edgy-and-fun films from Japan representing stories one won't see anywhere else, anytime soon—continues Wednesday, Oct. 21 with the 9:40 p.m. showing of NEKO RAHMEN TAISHO (aka “Pussy Soup”) at the 10th annual San Diego Asian Film Festival, which is proud to host the West Coast premiere of the film.

Phil Luque, SDAFF programmer and operations director, says "This film is a ramen bowl of its own; filled with cute animals (including the most famous cat in Japan), angst, heartbreak, betrayal, shrimp, fish, two large Japanese 'mountains' (you’ll see!), ramen 'Iron Chef' action, and the coolest puppet cat you’ll ever meet. NEKO RAMEN TAISHO is the zany recipe that will keep you feeling good (like a bowl of good ramen!)."

See the movie trailer for NEKO RAHMEN TAISHO (aka "Pussy Soup") at this LINK.

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