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2017 San Diego Asian Film Festival

Discoveries

From Asia’s most innovative and thought-provoking filmmakers come new stories and new ways of telling them.


  1. 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


  2. 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


  3. 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


  4. 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


  5. THE FIRST LAP

    Kim Dae-hwan / Discoveries / South Korea / 2017 / Drama, Romance / 101 mins
    Despite dating for seven years, Su-hyeon and Ji-young are no closer to getting married than the day they met, a fact that is not lost on their frustrated parents. Full of comedy, absurdity, and genuine tenderness, THE FIRST LAP never loses faith in its characters, giving them space to calm down and begin what comes next.
    THE FIRST LAP

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Friday, Nov 10, 2017 3:30PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets

    THE FIRST LAP

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Monday, Nov 13, 2017 5:20PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  6. A FISH OUT OF WATER

    Lai Kuo-an / Discoveries / Taiwan / 2017 / Drama / 90 mins
    The teachers at Yian’s kindergarten are concerned that he keeps mentioning “past parents,” a mysterious invocation that doesn’t bode well for his actual parents, who are undergoing their own marital problems. Yian is a quiet observer of family unrest, at the same time that he conjures a ghostly alternative: past lives to shake up future possibilities.
    A FISH OUT OF WATER

    UCSD Price Center Theater
    Tuesday, Nov 14, 2017 5:30PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  7. THE FOOLISH BIRD

    Huang Ji, Ryuji Otsuka / Discoveries / China / 2017 / Drama / 118 mins
    With an unsolved murder-rape case lurking in the background, 16-year-old Lynn gets involved in a stolen cell phone racket, culminating in a mysterious disappearance and the proposition of events more sinister and damaging than petty theft. A stark, challenging, and disquieting portrait of budding adolescent sexuality amongst China’s “left behind” generation.
    THE FOOLISH BIRD

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017 8:05PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  8. THE GREAT BUDDHA+

    Huang Hsin-Yao / Discoveries / Taiwan / 2017 / Comedy, Drama, Thriller / 104 mins
    A security guard and a recyclables collector pass the evening hours watching a rich man’s salacious dashcam videos, only to stumble upon some footage that was definitely not meant to be seen. Satirical, unruly, and infectiously fun, THE GREAT BUDDHA+ laughs and lashes at corruption as only a work from the social underbelly can.
    THE GREAT BUDDHA+

    UCSD Price Center Theater
    Sunday, Nov 12, 2017 3:50PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  9. HAVE A NICE DAY

    Liu Jian / Discoveries / China / 2017 / Animation, Drama, Noir / 77 mins
    A girlfriend who wants plastic surgery, a gangster with a cell phone, and a hitman with a hammer encircle a bag of a million RMB. Not everyone’s making it out of this stormy night, and the question is: who will make it out with the money? Coldly nonchalant, this crosscutting noir finds in internet cafes and desolate hotels a cruel undercurrent of greed.
    HAVE A NICE DAY

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Sunday, Nov 12, 2017 3:45PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  10. MARLINA THE MURDERER IN FOUR ACTS

    Mouly Surya / Discoveries / France, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand / 2017 / Thriller / 93 mins
    A vile creep promises to rob and rape Marlina. And so she prepares a chicken soup to send him and his odious friends to hell. That’s just act one of this delicious revenge western that journeys across the Indonesian countryside to stake a machete in the ground for women not afraid of getting their hands bloody.
    MARLINA THE MURDERER IN FOUR ACTS

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Friday, Nov 10, 2017 6:15PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets

    MARLINA THE MURDERER IN FOUR ACTS

    Digital Gym Cinema
    Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 8:30PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  11. NO DATE, NO SIGNATURE

    Vahid Jalilvand / Discoveries / Iran / 2017 / Drama / 104 mins
    The day after his car collides with a motorcycle, a forensic pathologist notices that the boy he hit has died at the hospital in which he works. Plagued with guilt, the doctor goes on a nervous quest to find the forensic truth – and exonerate his conscience.
    NO DATE, NO SIGNATURE

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017 8:30PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  12. ONE THOUSAND ROPES

    Tusi Tamasese / Discoveries / New Zealand / 2017 / Drama / 98 mins
    Samoan former boxer Maea now uses his hands to deliver babies. Beneath his wrinkles are wounds of sadness and the memories of wounds he’s inflicted as a father. When his adult daughter arrives, beaten and pregnant, Maea is forced to confront the ghosts, both literal and symbolic, along his road to atonement.
    ONE THOUSAND ROPES

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 6:35PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  13. SHORTS: INTERNATIONAL DISCOVERIES COMPETITION

    Discoveries
    Rooted in luminous landscapes or the trenchant imaginations of their artists, these offbeat and off-road short films are some of the most visionary from Asia this year. They compete for the inaugural SDAFF International Discoveries Award.

    In This Program: AFTERNOON CLOUDS, IT’S EASIER TO RAISE CATTLE, LATE SUMMER, ONLINE SHOPPING, PLEASE COME AGAIN, ANIMAL

    SHORTS: INTERNATIONAL DISCOVERIES COMPETITION

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017 5:45PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  14. SMALL TALK

    Huang Hui-chen / Discoveries / Taiwan / 2016 / Documentary, Family, LGBT / 88 mins
    Director Huang Hui-chen sits down with her mother to talk about their family’s open secret, the assumption that everyone has made but which nobody dares discuss: that her mother is a lesbian. Gripping and emotional, this award-winning personal documentary forges a bond between women and across generations.
    SMALL TALK

    UCSD Price Center Theater
    Monday, Nov 13, 2017 6:00PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  15. SOMEWHERE BEYOND THE MIST

    Cheung King-wai / Discoveries / Hong Kong / 2017 / Drama, Thriller / 86 mins
    A teenager confesses to killing her parents and dumping their bodies in a reservoir. The cold, clinical confession startles the policewoman investigating the case and presses her to look more closely. Violence hangs over Cheung King-wai’s Hong Kong like an unmovable fog, as the two women slither into each other’s lives, shaking off layers of guilt, sadness, and emotional fatigue.

    Preceded by: DEATH OF THE SOUND MAN

    SOMEWHERE BEYOND THE MIST

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 7:50PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  16. TAXI STORIES

    Doris Yeung / Discoveries / China, Hong Kong, Indonesia / 2017 / Drama, LGBT, Romance / 97 mins
    Three parallel stories in and around taxis in Asia reveal characters seeking connections, a sense of belonging, and love. A kid in Jakarta gives a ride to a beautiful foreigner. A domestic worker in Hong Kong is linked unexpectedly with her wealthy boss. A taxi driver in Beijing picks up a gay couple outside a club.
    TAXI STORIES

    Digital Gym Cinema
    Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 6:30PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  17. THOSE LONG HAIRED NIGHTS

    Gerardo Calagui / Discoveries / Philippines / 2017 / Drama, LGBT / 72 mins
    Tuesday is looking for love, Amanda is searching for family, and Barbie...well, Barbie just can't stay away from trouble. Together, these trans women work their way through the hurdles of the world: the violence, the exploitation, the attitude. And under the direction of Gerardo Calagui, they do so within a refreshing space of romance, warmth, and endless charm.
    THOSE LONG HAIRED NIGHTS

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Monday, Nov 13, 2017 7:35PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets


  18. WE THE WORKERS

    Wen Hai / Discoveries / China, Hong Kong / 2017 / Documentary / 174 mins
    This raw and extraordinary documentary captures in epic fashion the tenacity, personality, and gravity of labor activism in contemporary China, from the lawyers and allies, to the workers themselves. Eschewing the heroic triumphantalism of more idealistic films, WE THE WORKERS shows activism as work itself. Menial, tough, strategic, and essential.
    WE THE WORKERS

    UltraStar Mission Valley
    Saturday, Nov 11, 2017 1:45PM Buy Tickets Buy Tickets