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2017 San Diego Asian Film Festival

All Films & Events

  1. 95 AND 6 TO GO

    Kimi Takesue / Asian American Panorama / USA / 2016 / Documentary, Family / 85 mins
    In this extraordinary personal documentary, recent widower Tom Takesue shares his Honolulu home with visiting granddaughter Kimi, who happens to be working on a screenplay. In pensive, casual conversations about her script, Tom and Kimi co-create not only a film but trace a charming family history.

    Preceded by: WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS

    95 AND 6 TO GO

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Monday, Nov 13, 2017 6:30PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  2. ABU

    Arshad Khan / Asian American Panorama / Canada / 2017 / Documentary, LGBT / 80 mins
    Pakistani Canadian filmmaker Arshad Khan lays bare his struggle reconciling his sexual identity with his father, a devout Muslim. Combining family home video, animation, Bollywood clips, and new footage, ABU recounts a family history across two countries and a personal journey from victim to activist.

    Preceded by: THE FBI BLEW UP MY ICE SKATES

    ABU

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 8:00PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  3. BAD GENIUS

    Nattawut Poonpiriya / Asia Pop! / Thailand / 2017 / Comedy, Thriller / 130 mins
    No exam is safe from a math prodigy gone bad and the rich kids who have assembled the ultimate ring of cheaters around her. With the playful insanity of a heist film and the raucous energy of a teen comedy, BAD GENIUS is a primer on how to tell a whip-smart story of youth – and how to creatively beat the system.
    BAD GENIUS

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Friday, Nov 10, 2017 2:15PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets

    BAD GENIUS

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Saturday, Nov 11, 2017 3:45PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  4. BAMSEOM PIRATES, SEOUL INFERNO

    Jung Yoon-suk / Discoveries / South Korea / 2017 / Documentary, Music / 119 mins
    All. Hail. Kim Jong-Il! / Poke fun, go to jail / Thug cops, infidels / Black metal will prevail / Bass, drums, electric drill / Punk doc, raising hell / Modern art with shotgun shells / All. Hail. Kim Jong-Il!
    BAMSEOM PIRATES, SEOUL INFERNO

    Digital Gym Cinema
    Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017 6:40PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  5. A BEAUTIFUL STAR

    Daihachi Yoshida / Asia Pop! / Japan / 2017 / Comedy, Science Fiction / 127 mins
    Dad is a weatherman, but one day an interplanetary bright light reveals to him that he is also a Martian. Before long, his entire family is searching for their extraterrestrial roots while he uses his newscast to warn the world of Earth’s demise. A black comedy with a white-hot core, A BEAUTIFUL STAR kicks complacency and good sense in the pants.
    A BEAUTIFUL STAR

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Saturday, Nov 11, 2017 7:05PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets

    A BEAUTIFUL STAR

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 8:35PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  6. BEFORE WE VANISH

    Kiyoshi Kurosawa / Masters / Japan / 2017 / Romance, Science Fiction / 129 mins
    An unfaithful husband returns home to his dispassionate wife, but he’s no longer the same person. In fact, others in town too seem disconcertingly possessed by aliens intent on creating havoc and controlling minds. Meditative, unsettling, and deeply romantic, Kurosawa’s latest takes to body snatching to redeem humanity of its emotional and spiritual stasis.
    BEFORE WE VANISH

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Friday, Nov 10, 2017 8:35PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets

    BEFORE WE VANISH

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Monday, Nov 13, 2017 8:40PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  7. A BETTER MAN

    Attiya Khan, Lawrence Jackman / Special Presentations / Canada / 2017 / Documentary / 79 mins
    20 years after they were together, Attiya confronts Steve, an ex-boyfriend who used to abuse her every day. With Steve’s permission, Attiya films them in conversation as they acknowledge a painful past and lay out a path for healing. Viscerally intimate, A BETTER MAN is an inspiring work of courage with few peers in contemporary personal documentary.

  8. BIRDS WITHOUT NAMES

    Kazuya Shiraishi / Discoveries / Japan / 2017 / Drama, Romance / 123 mins
    Yu Aoi plays Towako, a young woman who lives with an older man who provides her everything, while she secretly yearns for an ex-boyfriend with whom she had a violent past. With psychological intensity and an unforgiving take on genre, BIRD WITHOUT NAMES teeters from aching romance to thriller with creepy abandon.
    BIRDS WITHOUT NAMES

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Tuesday, Nov 14, 2017 5:30PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets

    BIRDS WITHOUT NAMES

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 5:15PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  9. CANIBA

    Véréna Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor / Discoveries / France / 2017 / Documentary, Experimental / 90 mins
    While studying in France in 1981, Issei Sagawa raped, killed, and ate a classmate. Declared insane and shipped back to Japan, Issei has exploited his notoriety, writing, drawing manga, and even becoming a food critic. Deeply disturbing and physically taxing, the latest by the directors of Leviathan brings us up-close but never quite personal with Issei today.
    CANIBA

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Saturday, Nov 11, 2017 9:45PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  10. CARDINAL X

    Angie Wang / Asian American Panorama / USA / 2017 / Comedy, Drama / 99 mins
    Don’t mess with Angie. That’s Angie, the working-class college student now working between class cooking MDMA for the rich kids on campus. And that’s Angie Wang, director of CARDINAL X, the baddest, hardest-churning, hardest-partying ‘80s Asian American romp on tradition, model minority myths, and your daddy’s immigrant dreams you’ll ever see.
    CARDINAL X

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Saturday, Nov 11, 2017 8:00PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  11. CLAIRE’S CAMERA

    Hong Sang-soo / Masters / France, South Korea / 2017 / Comedy, Experimental / 69 mins
    A self-parodic comedy of film festival attendees turns, with utter effortlessness by Hong Sang-soo, into a gentle rumination on chance encounters, alternative possibilities, and a spiritual escape best basked under the rays of the French Riviera sun. Kim Min-hee and Isabelle Huppert sing, drink, and shine.
    CLAIRE’S CAMERA

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Saturday, Nov 11, 2017 1:00PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  12. CLASSICS OF CHINESE ANIMATION

    Special Presentations / 59 mins
    To contextualize this year’s shattering new film HAVE A NICE DAY, we present two earlier examples of Chinese 2D animation: PIGSY EATS WATERMELON (1958) and THE LITTLE SISTERS OF THE GRASSLAND (1965). Both family-friendly shorts are presented in new digital restorations and are preceded by a short lecture by Chinese animation historian Sean Macdonald.

    In This Program: PIGSY EATS WATERMELON, THE LITTLE SISTERS OF THE GRASSLAND

    CLASSICS OF CHINESE ANIMATION

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Saturday, Nov 11, 2017 4:00PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  13. CLOSE-KNIT

    Naoko Ogigami / Asia Pop! / Japan / 2017 / Drama, Family, LGBT / 127 mins
    With her mother gone, 11-year-old Tomo lives with uncle Mako and his partner Rinko. In this big-hearted and empathetic family dramedy, Tomo and Rinko develop a bond which they hope will lead to the warmth and maternal love for which both have been longing.
    CLOSE-KNIT

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Sunday, Nov 12, 2017 2:30PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets

    CLOSE-KNIT

    Museum of Photographic Arts
    Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 3:05PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  14. COCOLORS

    Toshihisa Yokoshima / Asia Pop! / Japan / 2017 / Animation, Science Fiction / 46 mins
    In a post-apocalyptic world of toxic ash, humans have retreated underground. Young Aki and friends, including the mute Fuyu, dream of the outside world through courageous conviction and Fuyu’s increasingly colorful paintings. At once dark and emotionally uplifting, COCOLORS blends traditional printmaking and 3D aesthetics to capture youth in search of light and color.

    Preceded by: EVOLUTION

    COCOLORS

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017 6:45PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  15. COLUMBUS

    kogonada / Asian American Panorama / USA / 2017 / Drama / 104 mins
    Columbus, Indiana is a wonderland of modernist architecture, but for local Casey (Haley Lu Richardson) it is lovely but insufficient, and for outsider Jin (John Cho) it has a resplendent hollowness no doubt colored by his professor father, who has just fallen into a coma there. Director Kogonada frames the city as a sublime portal for unexpected human connections.
    COLUMBUS

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Tuesday, Nov 14, 2017 8:45PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  16. A DAY

    Cho Sun-ho / Asia Pop! / South Korea / 2017 / Thriller / 90 mins
    A world-famous doctor finds himself trapped in a revolving nightmare: every morning he wakes up to the same tragic day. A flight, a press conference, a fatal car accident. As he frantically tries every morning to rewrite fate, he discovers that he’s not the only one stuck re-living the same day.
    A DAY

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017 8:45PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets

    A DAY

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 6:00PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  17. THE DAY AFTER

    Hong Sang-soo / Masters / South Korea / 2017 / Comedy, Drama, Romance / 92 mins
    On her first day working at a publishing house, Areum discovers that the person she is replacing was the former mistress of the boss. Mistaken identity and drunken dallying ensue, but what sets THE DAY AFTER apart from Hong Sang-soo’s recent films is a darker melancholy cast over the humor and cinematic charms.
    THE DAY AFTER

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Friday, Nov 10, 2017 6:30PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets

    THE DAY AFTER

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Saturday, Nov 11, 2017 5:00PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  18. DRAGONFLY EYES

    Xu Bing / Discoveries / China, USA / 2017 / Experimental, Thriller / 81 mins
    Thousands of hours of actual surveillance footage are edited into a sensational mystery about a woman in a convent who finds work and fame after she leaves the temple. Finding the eerie in the mundane and the uncanny in anonymity, acclaimed visual artist Xu Bing composites a portrait of real and virtual worlds that is nothing short of breathtaking.
    DRAGONFLY EYES

    Digital Gym Cinema
    Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017 8:55PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  19. THE FEELS

    Jenée LaMarque / Asian American Panorama / USA / 2017 / Comedy, LGBT, Romance / 90 mins
    Constance Wu stars in this hilarious romp about a lesbian couple’s bacherlorette weekend, when one of the fiancées admits to having never had an orgasm. Talking about sex can be fun, awkward, painful, and liberating, and THE FEELS delivers on all that plus more: an ensemble cast that captures the joyous spontaneity of friendship.
    THE FEELS

    Museum of Photographic Arts
    Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 5:45PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  20. FERMENTED

    Jonathan Cianfrani / Asian American Panorama / USA / 2017 / Documentary, Food / 67 mins
    Chef Edward Lee takes us on an international journey to speak with chefs and enthusiasts committed to the centuries-old technique of fermentation. From cheese and beer, to kimchi and soy sauce, we behold the patience, diligence, and knowledge it takes to produce some of our most familiar delights.

    Preceded by: SHUEI-DO MANJU SHOP

    FERMENTED

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Sunday, Nov 12, 2017 5:40PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets