Another year, another long list of new films to watch.
The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) boasts the largest Canadian film program in the world — including a number of Asian Canadian filmmakers we’re excited about — and the largest showcase of East Asian cinema outside of that region.
With so much to choose from, we’re highlighting a few of our top picks for VIFF.
An “unpredictable comic suspense thriller” delivered by South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho, Parasite is about the Kims, a poor family of four struggling to make ends meet. Tired of their underclass existence, the crafty Kims plot and scheme to infiltrate the home of the Parks, a rich family looking for an English tutor for their teenaged daughter.
The World Is Bright
In 2005, Qian Hui Deng and Xue Mei Li received notice from the Canadian government that their son Shi-Ming had allegedly committed suicide and was buried on Canadian soil. In The World Is Bright, director Ying Wang follows the grieving parents for over a decade as they navigate a new culture and a complex web of bureaucracy in search for answers.
We’re excited about North American Asian film talent behind the camera, too! First-time director Anthony Shim’s Daughter tells the story of Jim (John Cassini), a wealthy Vancouver executive who is reeling from a personal tragedy and finds fleeting solace in the facsimiles of intimacy that his considerable salary can afford him. When he unexpectedly forges a genuine connection with Nikki (Teagan Vincze), a younger escort, he can’t prevent himself from distorting their unlikely friendship and recasting her as someone precious who’s been taken from him.
No. 7 Cherry Tree Lane
No. 7 Cherry Tree Lane is master director Yonfan’s animation debut, and tells a sensuous, passionate story of a young man’s sentimental education in Hong Kong in 1967. As leftists clash with police in the streets, Ziming is attending university and negotiating his powerful feelings for Meiling, the strong-willed girl he’s tutoring, but also for her mother, the worldly divorcée Mrs. Yu.
The film is the director’s love letter to Hong Kong, and speaks across generational and cultural divides — especially in today’s political climate in the city.
Making Asian American media
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