Falling in love is easy, but courting love is not. It’s an art, an exercise, an urge, brainwork, bittersweet, butterflies and definitely an experience that will bring out the best and the worst in you. These five films from seven countries will take you back to when love first strikes, and journey with you until it blossoms, or you let it go.
Lonely Saturday (Gudu Xinqiliu)
Jiang Jian Lin | China | 2002 | Video | 12:00 | Colour | Canadian Premiere
Wouldn’t everyone like a second chance in life? Sure, but not if it means reliving the same Saturday morning over and over, until our protagonist finally accepts the invitation of the young man next door. This is a shorter, Chinese version of Groundhog Day, which showcases the high production standards of student films from Chinese film academies, which have produced brilliant directors like Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige.
Jiang Jian Lin is studying to be a director at the Beijing Broadcast Institute.
Nobu Adilman | Canada | 2003 | Video | 8:00 | Colour | Director in attendance
A heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, heart-breaking comedy on the new millennium Bonnie and Clyde of dine-and-dashers taking a city’s restaurants by storm.
Nobu Adilman is a renaissance man in performing arts. He holds a B.A. in theatre and is a prolific screenwriter, director, producer, actor, TV host and musician. His works have been screened in film festivals all over North America and Europe. Prix-Fixe is his sixth film since 1999.
Chris Eska | USA/Japan | 2003 | Video | 30:00 | Colour | Toronto Premiere
Every morning, strangers in Tokyo gather with the same crowd waiting for the same train on the same platform without speaking to one other. This reservation in the Japanese national character can hinder people from establishing meaningful relationships but “You decide your own destiny” seems to be the battle cry of our heroine, who eventually gathers enough courage to overcome her limitations.
Chris Eska is currently doing his M.F.A. in directing at UCLA. He received his B.A. in sociology and art at Rice University in Houston, Texas, in 1998. He completed numerous narrative and documentary shorts at both universities that have won several awards.
3 Feet Apart (San Chi Juli)
Jason Lai | Singapore | 2002 | Video | 6:00 | Colour | Canadian Premiere
Attention X-men lovers! Mutants are found in this Singapore anime. They fall in love, but they can’t be together because he was born with a cell phone in his head and she was born with… ?
Jason Lai enjoys telling stories. His professional career began as a producer for an independent Singapore feature film, The Road Less Travelled. With the production company he co-founded, Oak 3 Films, he has moved on to writing and directing a wide variety of works such as the drama series Something Good and the award-winning sitcom School Days, both for Mediacorp TV, Singapore. Besides narrative films, Lai also has a keen interest in documentaries. His most recent effort is a documentary about food offering rituals in Singapore for the Discovery Channel. He is currently the creative director of Oak 3 Films.
Buffering (Chuang Wai)
Kit Hung | Hong Kong | 2003 | Video | 38:00 | Colour | Canadian Premiere
Kit Hung delighted Reel Asian audiences with the crisp teenage narrative of I Am Not What You Want last year. This time, Hung surprises us with a new form of storytelling. Buffering…, starring Chet Lam (Warner/Chappell singer/songwriter) and Alex Inderkum (first runner-up, Mr. Gay Switzerland), is a poetic, romantic, yet bittersweet journey about searching for one’s presence in the digital age, where anyone has the capability to share his own stories of love and loneliness within it. Experimental and creative use of multivisual technique prove to us that Hung has what it takes to become an heir to Peter Greenaway.
Kit Hung was born in Hong Kong in 1977. He studied at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the City University of Hong Kong. He started exploring video in the summer of 1999 with his first DV camera. His second video, I Am Not What You Want, was screened at the 2002 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and also in the U.S., U.K., Croatia and Poland, and won the Special Jury prize at the Golden Dragon Film Festival in Belgium. He was selected to attend the Berlinale Talent Campus, organized by the Berlin International Film Festival. Buffering is the first experimental film Hung has made since he began his graduate studies in Chicago.