ASIAN POP-UP CINEMA ANNOUNCES EXTENDED FREE STREAMING TO SUPPORT HOME VIEWERS
RESPONSE TO COVID-19 STAY AT HOME ORDER
JUNE 5-12 Features Contemporary Taiwan Cinema
CHICAGO, IL – June 1, 2020 – Non-profit pan-Asian film organization Sophia’s Choice today announces Asian Pop-Up Cinema’s second specially curated online program as a result of the Pandemic.
“In support of first line responders and social distancing, we feel that as an Asian film festival, it’s good to remind the public of alternative online content other than the mainstream choices,” states Sophia Wong Boccio, Founder & Executive Director of Asian Pop-Up Cinema.
Riding on the success of the first online program, Audience Choice Winners Rewind (May 10-31), Asian Pop-Up Cinema are bringing together a new line up for early June: Mini-Focus: Taiwan Cinema Online, focusing on contemporary Taiwanese cinema.
Three short films and five narrative features will be streamed for free during June 5 – 12. A wide array of different styles of story-telling will provide a “glimpse” into contemporary Taiwanese filmmakers’ recent endeavors.
Both opening and closing films presented in Mini-Focus: Taiwan Cinema Online were originally scheduled for Chicago premieres during Season 10 of the film festival, which was suspended due to the pandemic.
Asian Pop-Up Cinema’s Mini-Focus: Taiwan Cinema Online Schedule
FRIDAY, JUNE 5
Director: John Hsu | Supernatural Psychological Thriller | 105 minutes
In 1962, a sense of desolation and tension permeate society. Fang, a twelfth grader at Tsuihua Senior High School, falls in love with Zhang, a counseling teacher. Troubled by the problems at school and home, Fang feels that Zhang is the only person who understands her. Longing for freedom, Zhang forms a study group with his colleagues and students, including Yin and Wei. Reading the banned books allows them to be liberated for a brief moment but at the same time, they put their lives in great danger. One day, Zhang vanishes into thin air, and only Fang and Wei, an eleventh grader, remember him. Together, Fang and Wei start looking for their disappeared teacher but find the school gradually slipping out of the world they are familiar with. Then in a realm dominated by ghosts and spirits, the pair are forced to face the terrifying truth…
MONDAY, JUNE 8
TEA LAND (高山上的茶園)
Director: Tseng Ying Ting | 30 minutes
Five run-away migrant workers from Southeast Asia work illegally on a high -mountain tea farm. They become “family” while being on the same boat yet the trust between them fell apart after one was found dead.
WILD TIDES (野潮)
Director: Lu Po Shun | 25 minutes
Wild Tides is a story about a boy who is disliked by the whole village. He determines to do his best to get everyone’s approval, even though he lost what was most needed when the tides came in.
TOWARDS THE SUN ((迎向邊疆公路)
Director: Wang Yi Ling | 20 minutes
Selected at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, Towards the Sun is a warm-hearted short that skillfully weaves Taiwan’s issues of deportation and scenic landscapes into a road movie. The film surrounds two outcasts whose drifting paths cross by chance, taking them on a journey across Taiwan.
TUESDAY, JUNE 9
MURMUR OF THE HEARTS (念念)
Director: Sylvia Chang | Romantic/Drama | 119 minutes
The film is a tale about the hearts. The narrative weaves together the three main characters’ – the siblings who were separated when they were young, and the bumpy relationship between the painter and her boxer boyfriend. Their actions and thoughts unveil dreamlike memories that awake many yearnings and unsolvable problems in their life. The murmurs flowing deep inside the hearts make the journey of consolation even more gentle and moving under the peaceful direction of Sylvia Chang. Playing the boxer is Joseph Chang also starring in two Taiwanese dramas: The Victims’ Game & Nowhere Man currently available on Netflix.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10
THE GANGSTER’S DAUGHTER (林北小舞)
Director: Chen Meijun with veteran actor Jack Kao & his young co-star Ally Chiu
Music by Lim Giong (The Assassin) | Drama/Crime | 105 minutes
After getting into trouble with a local bully, teenage Shaowu is sent to Taipei to live with her estranged gangster father, Keigo. He quickly takes to being a father and sets out go straight, but soon he is dragged back into the criminal world by corruption and a quest for vengeance that will decide both of their fates.
THURSDAY, JUNE 11
WHO KILLED COCK ROBIN (目擊者)
Director: Cheng Wei Hao | Thriller | 117 minutes
Who Killed Cock Robin is a 2017 Taiwanese neo-noir crime thriller film, written and directed by Cheng Wei Hao. The film follows a journalist who unravels a series of mysteries as he investigates a long-forgotten hit-and-run accident that occurred nine years ago. It also marked Cheng’s second collaboration with Hsu Wei Ning, after The Tag-Along. The film also stars Kaiser Chuang, Ko Chia Yen, Christopher Lee and Mason Lee.
FRIDAY, JUNE 12
WE ARE CHAMPIONS (下半場) presented in association with Smart Cinema USA.
Director: Chang Jung Chi | Drama | 117 minutes
Due to the pandemic outbreak and suspension of Season 10, Asian Pop-Up Cinema mailed both actors Fandy Fan and Berant Zhu their Bright Star Award in April instead of hand delivering it to them. The actors reported back their excitement and honor to receive it. A “Thank you” video will be shared soon!
Born into the bottom rungs of society, two teenage brothers with nothing but each other hope to change their fate through their love of basketball. Little brother Tung Hao joins an elite school and transforms into a dazzling superstar; big brother Hsiu Yu ends up on a ragtag squad about to be disbanded, finding an unexpected new brotherhood in his never-say-die teammates. Eventually, the brothers’ cross paths on their way to ultimate basketball glory — the HBL championship — where they will discover that some things are more important than winning.
ABOUT SOPHIA’S CHOICE / ASIAN POP-UP CINEMA
Asian Pop-Up Cinema, a semi-annual Asian Film Festival, is the brainchild of Sophia Wong Boccio, founder of Sophia’s Choice, a Chicago-based 501 C (3) not-for-profit incorporated in 2015 with the multi-pronged mission of cultivating an interest in and understanding of Asian cultures via a diverse offering of Asian films; connecting the Asian film industry with local Chicago film professionals, educators and students; and promoting Chicago as a destination for international visitors.
Mini-Focus: Taiwan Cinema Online is supported in part by The Taipei Cultural Center in New York, The Taiwan Cinema Toolkit and Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute.
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