2013 Festival Guide
Full Film Schedule Now Available! Download PDF of schedule:
Schedule Subject To Change - Please check here before your screening
Tickets for all regular screenings are available at the theater box office. Opening & Closing Film tickets may be purchased online using Paypal.
Midnight's Children - Opening Film!
Tickets may be purchased using Paypal
2012 / India / Director: Deepa Mehta / 146 minutes
Language: English, Hindi, Urdu
Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actress at the Genie Awards, London Film Festival
[Advisory: Adult situations, mild violence]
Winner of multiple Genie (Canada’s Oscars) Awards. Adapted from Salman Rushdie’s Booker Prize winning 1981 bestseller, Deepa Mehta’s vision of Midnight’s Children’s is the long-awaited film adaptation. Prepare for a feast of magical realism and rich with layer upon layer of meaning, history, and memory. Voiced by Salman Rushdie himself, the film is presented to us in the form of a tale, akin to the Indian oral tradition and Arabian Nights. Late era colonial India is the setting. The questions around religion, independence, and eventually- partition- are not distant. These questions, and eventually the answers, are integral the way their lives unfold. A delight from start to finish, the fable given us in Midnight’s Children’s. Yet it is not simply a fable, it is visual poetry.
Architecture 101 - Closing Film
Sunday, May 19th at 6:00pm at Melwood Screening Room $15
Tickets may be purchased using Paypal - Ticket includes reception to follow
2012 / South Korea / Director: Lee Yong-joo / 115 minutes
Baeksung Awards 2012: Best New Actress, Bae Su-Ji
Architecture 101 is a romantic exploration into the period of one’s life that begins with a first kiss and ends in an unforgettable heartache. Fifteen years ago, aspiring architect Lee Seung-min (Uhm Tae-woong) promised to build the dream home of Yang Seo-yeun (Han Ga-in), his first love. But he made that promise when they were young and (secretly) head over heels for each other. Now, he’ll have to confront those bittersweet memories and consider rebuilding their broken relationship.
Asura - Anime Film Night
2012 / Japan / Director: Kei'ichi Sato / 75 minutes
Winner of the Audience Award for Best Animated Feature at the Fantasia Film Festival
[Advisory: Adult themes, Nudity, Graphic animated violence]
Asura is a dark, yet beautiful animated film that both revolts and plucks heartstrings. Raised by wolves and surrounded by desolation, the cannibalistic child Asura struggles between his appetite for flesh and his desire for human companionship. The film won the Audience Award for Best Animated Feature at Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival.
2012 / India / Director: Ajay Bahl / 95 minutes
Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema, Montreal World Film Festival
[Advisory: Sexuality, language, and some violence]
Ajay Bahl’s B.A. Pass is a shocking tale, based on the short story, “The Railway Aunty,” by Mohan Sikka. The story and the film illuminate a simple, sad truth: one thoughtless carnal act can lead to disastrous consequences. The plot revolves around the character of Mukesh (Shadab Kamal), whose innocence is lost as he becomes corrupt as the sad result of acts committed with good intentions.
2012 / China / Director: Zhang Yuan / 96 minutes
Toronto International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival
[Advisory: Some strong language and disturbing images]
“Beijing Flickers” portrays one man’s struggle to find meaning in life, and how his decisions impact others. The film revolves around a group of twenty-somethings, in Beijing, trying to make a name for themselves, each to a varying degree of success. Director, Yuan Zhang capitalizes on the classic theme of teenage angst, in this story coming-of-age story, while also tackling some heavy issues. The film is a delight as it is both serious, humorous, and ultimately heartfelt.
2010 / Egypt / Director: Mohamed Diab / 100 minutes
Chicago International Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival
[Advisory: Language, Sexual Content]
Cairo 678 is simply fierce, brave, and groundbreaking. Women are subject to sexual harassment and assault everywhere globally. In Cairo, however it is endemic and ignored. On public bus route 678, that is about to change. Mohamed Diab examines the lives of three prototypical Egyptian women. While they are from seemingly disparate economic and cultural segments of Egyptian society, each comes to the conclusion that the only way to persist in life is to stop accepting what is unacceptable.
By its conclusion it is more than clear that a movement has begun. Arab Spring or not, revolution must include all participants in a society. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
The Coin Bearer ("Oros")
2012 / Philippines / Director: Paul Sta. Ana / 81 minutes
Cleveland International Film Festival, DC Independent Film Festival "Best Feature Film" Winner
[Advisory: Obscene Language, Cadavers, and Violence]
What use is a dead body? Director Paul Sta. Ana answers this unseemly question with The Coin Bearer. Gambling is illegal in the Philippines with the exception of holding “sakla” games to raise money at the wake of loved ones for funeral expenses. This unforgettable drama follows brothers Makoy and Abet as they precariously exploit the tradition by using unclaimed bodies for gambling rings moonlighting as wakes. With corrupt cops, competitors, and more “wakes” than they can handle Makoy and Abet are in over their heads but unable to stop.
Cha Cha for Twins
Saturday, May 11 at 1:30 PM at Regent Square Theater
Thursday, May 16 at 5:30 PM at Regent Square Theater
2012 / Taiwan / Director: Yang Yi-Chien, Jim Wang / 101 minutes
Best Film and Best Screenplay at the Taipei Film Festival
[Advisory: Mild Language]
Cha Cha for Twins is a quirky high-school tale with a style slightly reminiscent of Juno. Identical twins Poni and Mini are always viewed as an indistinguishable unit, but they soon find themselves forging separate paths. A comedic, heartfelt tale of growing up and growing apart, Cha Cha for Twins won Best Film and Best Screenplay at the Taipei Film Festival.
2012 / India / Director: Bedabrata Pain / 105 minutes
Language: Hindi, English
New York Indian Film Festival
[Advisory: Some violence, including torture]
“Chittagong” is a moving story based on the true events that led up to the peasant revolt, known as Tebhaga, which took place in Bengal. Under British rule in the 1930’s, the residents of Chittagong start a revolution, in order to gain their independence. This film operates as both a highly entertaining action-drama, as well as an informative piece on an important part of history.
The Empty Home
2012 / Kyrgyzstan / Director: Nurbek Egen / 98 minutes
Language: Kyrgyz, Russian, French
Kyrgyz Entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar, Seattle International Film Festival
[Advisory: Animal abuse, Language, Sexual content, Violence]
Geopolitical protests, corruption, bride-napping, mysteriously easy cross-continental migration, back-room abortion clinics, sweatshop police raids—and that’s just the first 20 minutes! Desperate to escape her bleak home in Kyrgyzstan, Ascel migrates to Moscow hoping to start a new life with a baby on the way. She is introduced to Virginie, a young French woman come to Russia in search of a child she herself cannot have—and who is more than willing to pay Ascel cash for hers. What could possibly go wrong? The Empty Home was Kyrgyzstan’s official submission to the foreign language category at this year’s Academy Awards.
2012 / USA, Israel, Vietnam / Director: Ela Their / 100 minutes
Language: English, Hebrew, Vietnamese
Columbus Jewish Film Festival, Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival
Director Ela Their tells her story of growing up in Connecticut, in the 1980s through her film, “Foreign Letters.” Based on real-life experiences, the film documents Elisheva’s early impressions of America, after moving there with her family from Israel. The film operates on multiple levels, as it is both a coming of age story, as well as a look inside the adjustments and hardships that immigrants face.
2012 / India / Director: Rajan Khosa / 90 minutes
Special Mention at Berlin International Film Festival
Rajan Khosa tells the story of Gattu, a young boy growing up as an apprentice to his uncle, Mehra, a junkyard owner. Gattu engages in his passion for flying kites with the rest of the neighborhood kids, and will stop at nothing to defeat his rival, Kali. This story of childhood takes a look inside a life full of determination, as well as the importance of relationships, and how the truth will lead to success.
2012 / USA, Philippines / Director: Ron Morales / 84 minutes
Tribeca Film Festival, Winner of the Jury Award at the San Diego Asian Film Festival
[Advisory: Adult content, strong, graphic sexual content and violence, and obscenity]
Uncompromising, shocking, and urgent Ron Morales’ “Graceland” explores endemic crime, the sex trade, and pervasive political corruption of Manila and how it affects the lives of everyday hardworking residents. Protagonist, Marlon Villar’s world gets turned upside down when a local politician’s illicit sexual relations surface, and both of their young daughters are kidnapped. This unflinching narrative will leave the viewer thinking long after the credits roll.
2012 / Georgia / Director: Zaza Urushadze / 84 minutes
Cleveland International Film Festival, Tblisi International Film Festival
[Advisory: Violence, Language, Mild sexuality, Drug use]
The Guardian echoes of a Martin Scorsese gangster flicks- Good Fellas and The Departed. As the newly independent country of Georgia is rampant with crime, ex-convict Gogliko watches over his godson Luka to prevent him from joining his family’s criminal ranks. Of course, the best of intentions are never enough, and Luka’s interest in a forbidden romance complicate matters. While film offers a captivating exploration into a country largely overshadowed by Mother Russia, this crime drama feels close to home.
2011 / Thailand, France / Director: Pen-Ek Ratanaruang / 105 minutes
Tokyo International Film Festival, Winner of 5 Awards at the Thailand National Film Association Awards
[Advisory: Sexual content, Violence]
Part neo-noir existential thriller, part mind-bending non-linear storytelling at its most clever, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang’s Headshot is entrancing and thought provoking. After suffering a bullet wound to the head, former police officer Tul is now a professional hitman who sees his world upside-down—literally. With his vision inverted, Tul embarks on a chaotic journey through the criminal underworld toward the path of enlightenment. Headshot was Thailand’s official submission for the 2012 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
2012 / Nepal, USA/ Director: Deepak Rauniyar / 80 minutes
Berlin International Film Festival
[Advisory: Brief language, Partial Nudity]
Stirring controversy and creating buzz across Nepal and the Indian subcontinent, Highway is the first film of its kind to come out of Nepal. A group of travelers board a bus to Kathmandu, each of them with an objective waiting to be met at the end of their trip. The bus is detained seemingly indefinitely en route due to one of Nepal’s very common bandhs (strikes). Thus begins the machinations of the passengers to solve the problem of getting the bus through the traffic jam. The non-linear storytelling employed in this character study is engaging and thoughtful. Deepak Rauniyar’s cleverly constructed anthology unpacks the history of each character as readily as they unpack their suitcases.
Key of Life
2012 / Japan / Director: Kenji Uchida / 128 minutes
Toronto International Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival
[Advisory: Mildly Disturbing Images]
The Key of Life is a madly comedic film about the secrets to good acting, a gangster’s methods of killing, and being comfortable in one’s skin. Hopeless and clumsy actor Takeshi Sakurai seizes a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and steals the identity of Shinichiro Yamazaki, an expert hitman for the yakuza (the Japanese mafia). This wildly unique film was officially selected for the Toronto International Film Festival.
2011 / India / Director: Karan Gour / 92 minutes
Winner of the Jury Award at Los Angeles Indian Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, Shanghai International Film Festival
[Advisory: Obscene Language, Self-Harm, and Violence]
Director Karan Gour’s haunting debut film Kshay tells the story of childless housewife Chhaya (Rasika Dugal) and her obsession with buying a statue of the goddess Lakshmi in hopes of conceiving her firstborn. Her innocent obsession rapidly blossoms into an unstoppable insanity. Shunning the traditional portrayal in the cinema of a colorful, vibrant India, Mr. Gour shot the film entirely in black and white on a shoestring budget over four years – the film has since won “Best Director” at the South Asian International FF New York and the “Jury Award” at the Indian FF of Los Angeles.
2012 / Iran / Director: Mani Haghighi / 100 minutes
Berlin International Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, Warsaw International Film Festival
[Advisory: Adult Situations, Disturbing Imagery, Violence, Profanity]
Chicago International Film Festival winner “Modest Reception” is an amalgam of subgenres. Leyla (Taraneh Alidoosti) and Kaveh (Haghighi) have an objective: distribute the money to the poor inhabitants of war-ravaged mountains. Quickly though, it becomes evident that their motives are not entirely altruistic. Black comedy and serious social commentary are interwoven throughout this challenging critique of … Well, this is a little ambiguous. Is Haghighi skewering the bourgeoisie culture of modern, middle class Iran? Is it a take-down of foreign aid and the compromises the recipients must make? Perhaps it is a simple observation of human nature in general. We are challenged to come up with our own conclusions.
Nightmare - Silk SCREAM Horror Film Night
2012 / China / Director: Herman Yau / 85 minutes
With Nightmare, mainland China continues to up the ante when it comes to genre cinema. After losing her parents at a young age, Fang Lei (Zhou Xianxin,), a young urban doctor has been tormented by disturbing visions and nightmares. A chance meeting, a love triangle, and a friend’s disappearance are enough to push her over the edge. Never quite sure if these apparitions are dreams, hallucinations of madness, or some sort or portent, the highly logical Fang Lei begins to unravel. Veteran director Yip Wai Ying fills Nightmare with enough clever twists and sinister, atmospheric scenes of dread to engross thriller, horror, and mystery fans.
Parizod (Heavens--My Abode)
2012 / Uzbekistan / Director: Ayub Shahobiddinov / 77 minutes
Winner of the Grand Prix Award at Kinoshock Festival
[Advisory: Violence, Language]
A product of the state film studio of Uzbekistan—whose own cinematic history dates back over 80 years—the movie presents a window on a culture we seldom get a chance to see. It will be the first Uzbek film ever to feature at Silk Screen. When his motorcycle breaks down along a remote mountain road, a country doctor encounters a woman who appears suddenly from behind a cloud of mist. Naturally, he takes her home to his mother. He and his neighbors are suddenly tasked with finding an appropriate husband for the mysterious stranger. Working both as supernatural “fairy” tale or deeper sociopolitical allegory, Parizod’s real strength is that it allows for a multiplicity of interpretations.
2012 / South Korea / Director: Kim Ki-duk / 104 minutes
Winner of the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival
[Advisory: Strong, graphic sexual content, disturbing violent content and language.]
Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, “Pieta” is the first Korean film to take a top prize at one of the three major film festivals. Variety’s Leslie Felperin hailed “Pieta” as “a "blend of cruelty, wit and moral complexity." Lee Kang-do (Lee Jung-Jin) is a ruthless collector for a loan agency. One day, a nameless woman (Jo Min-Soo), claiming to be his mother, arrives at his door. “Pieta” is both a gritty tale of revenge, as well as a portrayal of a borderline Oedipal mother-son relationship
2012 / Turkey / Director: Belmin Soylemez / 70 minutes
Kerala International Film Festival
[Advisory: Brief strong language]
Beautifully shot and well acted, Belmin Soylemez’s “Present Tense,” portrays the quiet desperation of a newly divorced, Turkish woman, named Mina, dreaming of starting over in America. By day, she works in a fortune-telling café, while in her own time she plots how to begin again. Money, papers, and a visa are the only items standing between her, and her new life.
2013 / India / Director: Nikhil Mahajan / 121 minutes
Language: Marathi, English
Mumbai Film Festival
[Advisory: Mild language, Sexual content, Violence]
Private detective Amar Apte spends most of his time among the traitors and the broken-hearted. He investigates marital affairs but is blind to his own rocky marriage with his fed-up wife. Writer-director Nikhil Mahajan plunges the audience into a devious realm where no one can be completely trusted, not even a spouse.
Sita Sings The Blues - Encore Screening:
Audience Choice Award Winner 2009
2008 / USA / Director: Nina Paley / 82 minutes
Winner of the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival
Sita Sings the Blues combines director Nina Paley’s autobiography with a 21st century revision of the classic Indian myth, the Ramayana. Sita, a Hindi goddess and dutiful wife, follows her husband Rama on a 14-year exile to a forest, only to be kidnapped by an evil Sri Lankan king. Packed with dazzlingly unique animation and mystical musical numbers, Sita Sings the Blues is the winner of the Audience Choice Award from Silk Screen’s 2009 film festival.
The Sleepless ("Two Moons")- Silk SCREAM Horror Film Night
2012 / South Korea / Director: Kim Dong-bin / 86 minutes
Two moons appear in a night sky and the veil between the living and the dead is lifted. In-jung (Park Jin-joo), a high school student, Seok-ho (Kim Ji-seok), a young writer, and So-hee (Park Han-byeol), a beautiful media personality, awake in an isolated haunted house with no memory of how they came to be there. In classic “locked room mystery” fashion, their characters and motives are slowly revealed as they attempt to solve the puzzle of their current predicament. . Just as they put another piece of the puzzle in place, the table is flipped. Laws of the known physical world are of no use whatsoever. Ingenious plotting and masterful pacing make this archetypal supernatural horror offering a treat for genre fans and non-genre fans alike.
Tatsumi - Anime Film Night
2011 / Singapore, Japan / Director: Eric Khoo / 98 minutes
Cannes Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival, Tokyo International Film Festival
[Advisory: Graphic imagery, Nudity, Sexual content, Violence]
The hand-drawn animated feature Tatsumi is in a class all of its own. The film chronicles the life of revered Japanese manga artist Yoshiro Tatsumi. He established a dark and harshly realistic animation style called Gekiga. Narrated by the artist himself, Tatsumi was Singapore’s official submission for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film was also selected by Cannes Film Festival during the same year.
2012 / South Korea / Director: Choi Dong-hoon / 135 minutes
Hawaii International Film Festival, Hae-suk Kim won Best Supporting Actress at the Grand Bell Awards (Korea's Oscars)
[Advisory: Language, Violence]
This heist film offers a glamorous cast, plenty of double crosses, and some exhilarating action scenes with staggering stunt-work. A group of criminal masterminds team up to steal a legendary diamond from a seemingly impenetrable casino. The Thieves has become the highest-grossing domestic film of all time in South Korea, selling more tickets than American blockbusters such as Marvel’s The Avengers.
2012 / Cambodia, USA / Director: Greg Cahill / 94 minutes
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
[Advisory: Mild violence, Language]
As the “other” southeast Asian conflict, Cambodia is neglected in Hollywood. When it is depicted on the big screen, the stories are usually set in the Killing Fields. However, writer/director Greg Cahill’s Two Shadows, tells the next generation’s story Several years after fleeing the civil war in Cambodia, our protagonist, Sovanna, has assimilated to a southern California lifestyle. Her life takes an unexpected turn shocking letter impels her to return to her native country in search of her lost siblings. This young hipster’s journey forces her to confront her troubled past and reconnect with her Cambodian roots.
Two Weddings and a Funeral
Presented in Partnership with Reel Q, Pittsburgh's LGBT Film Festival:
2012 / South Korea / Director: Jho Gwang-soo Kim / 106 minutes
“If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em!” In Jho Gwang-soo Kim’s charming dramedy, Min-Soo and Hyo-Jin two gay doctors at the same hospital devise a plan to hide their homosexuality – get married! As with every perfect plan, hilarious complications ensue with nosy mothers and spying co-workers. But Two Weddings and a Funeral doesn’t shy away from addressing and challenging deeper social issues about the extent a person will go to find acceptance.
Valley of Saints
2012 / India, USA / Director: Musa Syeed / 82 minutes
Winner of the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival
[Advisory: Adult themes, some violence]
Musa Syeed’s “Valley of Saints” demonstrates why people who live in areas of conflict, in other parts of the world, refuse to leave it, despite facing danger and oppression. Gulzar (Gulzar Bhat), makes his living as a tourist boatman, while planning his escape with a friend. After a beautiful young, Kashmiri-American, woman named, Asifa (Neelofar Hamid), comes to stay in the houseboat, Gulzar soon looses sight of why he wanted to leave Kashmir in the first place. Winner of the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and Dubai International Film Festival.
Buzkashi Boys - Short Film
2012/ Afghanistan, USA / Director: Sam French/ 28 min.
Academy Award Nominee for Best Short Film
[Advisory: Disturbing imagery]
Buzkashi is a popular Afghan sport that is comparable to polo, but these riders employ the traditional method of using a dead goat rather than a ball. The titular Buzkashi boys are two downtrodden youngsters who dream of becoming Buzkashi riders despite their impoverished upbringing. This Afghani tale was nominated for the 2012 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.
The Perils of Growing Up Flat-Chested
2013 / USA / Director: Yulin Kuang / 19 minutes
Winner of the Steeltown Film Factory Short Script Contest
Former student at Carnegie Mellon University, Yulin Kuang won first prize at Steeltown Film Factory’s third annual short script contest for The Perils of Growing Up Flat-Chested. In Miss Kuang’s short film, Katya Liu (Irene Choi), a nerdy adolescent, desperately tries to increase her cup size in a mere 24 hours. She does this in hopes of boosting her self-esteem and impressing her high school crush. This coming-of-age tale touches upon themes of acceptance and individuality in a breast-obsessed and image conscious society.