Sundance Film Festival kicks off today on January 21, 2016 and runs for ten days filled with film premieres, panel discussions, installations and music events. Unfortunately the Reel Asian team can’t make it to Park City, so we scoured through the programming to bring our Asian film picks and suggestions.
While doing this, we stumbled upon filmmakers and artists who have previously shown their work at our festival. So we’re taking the opportunity to highlight some of our filmmakers’ updates in this edition of Asian film picks at Sundance!
dir. Meera Menon
Meera Menon’s directorial debut Farah Goes Bang screened at Reel Asian in 2013. The road-trip, coming-of-age comedy featured Canadian lead actress Nikohl Boosheri, who was in attendance at Reel Asian to speak at the film’s Q&A. Meera’s second feature also highlights another female-oriented story – this time on Wall Street in the post-financial crisis starring Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad).
Cemetery of Splendor (Thailand)
dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul
A few years before Apichatpong won the acclaimed Palme d’Or prize at Cannes, Reel Asian introduced the arthouse filmmaker to Canadians in 2002 when we did our festival international highlight on Thailand. Nowadays, Apichatpong’s name is no stranger to film fans. His latest film Cemetery of Splendor is a haunting and spiritual cinematic dreamscape.
dir. Sun Yunfan, Dave Liang, Gingger Shankar
Musicians Gingger Shankar and Dave Liang team up again to produce another project – this time they are joined by multidisciplinary artist Sun Yunfan! Gingger and Dave first worked together to produce the beautiful musical score to Himalaya Song (with filmmaker Mridu Chandra). The multimedia performance incorporated storytelling, film, live music, and it screened at Reel Asian in 2014 at the Aga Khan Museum.
Bacon & God’s Wrath (Canada)
dir. Sol Friedman
Toronto-based filmmaker Sol Friedman’s work blends a variety of live-action and animation techniques. His latest short Bacon & God’s Wrath (which premiered at TIFF 2015) documents an endearing story of a 90-year-old Jewish woman preparing to try bacon for the first time. Sol’s earlier work, Junko’s Shamisen, screened at Reel Asian in 2010 and went on to win the Animasian Award!
OTHER ASIAN FILMS TO LOOK OUT FOR AT SUNDANCE 2016
Lovesong (USA) dir. So Young Kim
Spa Night (USA) dir. Andrew Ahn
The Free World (USA) dir. Jason Lew
Brahman Naman (India) dir. Q
Pleasure. Love (China) dir. Yao Huang
Hooligan Sparrow (China/USA) dir. Nanfu Wang
The Lovers and the Despot (United Kingdom) dir. Ross Adam, Robert Cannan
We Are X (United Kingdom/USA/Japan) dir. Stephen Kijak
Life Smartphone (China) dir. Chenglin Xie
Deer Flower (South Korea/USA) dir. Kangmin Kim