The San Diego Asian Film Foundation, in preparation for its annual film festival in the fall, screens hundreds of films to present a sweeping panorama of the kind of artistry coming out of Asia, from the big-budget blockbusters to the stirring independent features, from Iran to Japan, Mongolia to Indonesia. But one of the hardest tasks for the programming team is to reject incredible films because of space limitations.

SDAFF’s Spring Showcase, now in its second year, is an excuse for us to bring more of these wonderful films to San Diego. Some of them are films we wanted for our Fall festival, but, for whatever reason, we couldn’t fit it in. Others are films we didn’t see until after October, but which we simply can’t wait until Fall to bring to San diego. Above all, our Spring Showcase speaks to the explosion of interest in Asian cinema here in San Diego, as well as the fact that locals love Asian cinema year-round and want to see the films they’re reading about online and on their social networking sites.

See these films. Share your thoughts. Be part of the conversation. This year’s Spring Showcase presents 11 films that matter. Some, like THE LEARNING and SOMEWHERE BETWEEN, are about phenomena of globalization that rarely get talked about. Films like I WISH and PATANG capture the fleeting, precious sense of the here and now as experienced by ordinary people of all ages. On the flip side, films like SUNNY and YOU ARE THE APPLE OF MY EYE interrogate the past years of youth from the perspective of adulthood, and in their own ways, offer sweet affirmations of life lived with friendship and love. Meanwhile, films like MY BACK PAGE and THE FRONT LINE revisit historical turning points of the past half-century, moments when modern Asia was invented in a blaze of violence. And then there’s ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA – about as joyous a film as you can imagine.

Unlike our Fall festival, during which we explore eccentric pockets of Asian cinema that might be alienating to some, the films of our Spring Showcase are for everyone. The program is scheduled so that it is possible – even encouraged – for audiences to see all eleven films. With such a small lineup, we had no space to waste. Take it from me, pound for pound, the films at this year’s Spring Showcase are even better than those of last year’s Fall festival. Directors like Hirokazu Kore-eda, Johnnie To, and Pen-ek Ratanaruang are among the best anywhere. SUNNY, YOU ARE THE APPLE OF MY EYE, and ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA were 2011’s most popular films in the world that you’ve never heard of. Here’s your chance.

Brian Hu
Artistic Director