Reel Asian’s 2014 TIFF picks – Special Presentations

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The city is already abuzz for the Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 4-14). It’s only a few weeks away and with all the latest film and guests announcements, it’s hard to not get swept up by the excitement. We’ve combed through the entire film programmes and selected our Asian picks. Highlights include the City to City programme featuring Seoul, South Korea – the first East Asian city  to be featured at TIFF!

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

Breakup Buddies | China | Dir: Ning Hao

Recently cuckolded and reeling from a messy divorce, a hapless former singer hits the road — and the bar — with his all-too-helpful best bud, in this raunchy romantic comedy from director Ning Hao (No Man’s Land).

Coming Home | China | Dir: Zhang Yimou

In the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution, an amnesiac woman (superstar Gong Li) struggles to regain her memory and reconnect with her long-imprisoned husband, in this enthralling and emotional drama from Chinese master Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, Hero).

Dearest | China/Hong Kong | Dir: Peter Ho-sun Chan

Drawing on true stories about the charged issue of child abduction in China, director Peter Chan (Comrades, Almost a Love Story) crafts a moving drama about a man who stops at nothing in his quest to recover his missing son.

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart | Hong Kong/China | Dir:  Johnnie To

Hong Kong action auteur Johnnie To indulges his silly side with this hilariously inventive sequel to his hit romantic comedy, about two former lovers who find themselves irresistibly drawn back together — despite the fact that each of them is engaged to someone else.

The Gate | France/Belgium/Cambodia | Dir: Regis Wargnier

Two decades after forging an unlikely alliance in Pol Pot’s Cambodia, a French ethnologist and a former Khmer Rouge official meet again after the latter is arrested for crimes against humanity, in this searing drama from top French director Régis Wargnier (Indochine, East/West).

Learning To Drive | USA | Dir: Isabel Coixet

After her husband leaves her, a Manhattan writer (Patricia Clarkson) finds solace in her biweekly lessons with a Sikh driving instructor (Ben Kingsley), in this adaptation of Katha Pollitt’s 2002 essay for The New Yorker.

Mary Kom | India | Dir: Omung Kumar

Priyanka Chopra stars in this hard-hitting and thrilling biopic based on the life of World Boxing Champion and Olympic bronze medalist Mary Kom.

Red Amnesia | China | Dir:  Want Xiaoshuai

A retired widow has her daily routine derailed when she starts receiving mysterious, anonymous phone calls, in this scintillating thriller from Chinese master Wang Xiaoshuai (Beijing Bicycle).

Revenge of The Green Dragons | USA | Dir: Andrew Lau, Andrew Loo

Executive produced by Martin Scorsese, this dizzying, decade-spanning crime saga from Hong Kong directors Andrew Lau (Infernal Affairs) and Andrew Loo follows two best friends as they rise through the ranks of New York’s Chinese underworld in the 1980s.