DramaFever is once again very proud to offer some of the most exciting and enjoyable independent films to our users with the return of Digifest. Digifest is the first Asian American online film festival, and this year we are thrilled to bring you an especially strong group of films. It all starts Saturday, November 10th. Here’s a preview of this year’s program:
4 WEDDING PLANNERS
Directed by Michael Kang. (in English)
Formerly known as Knots, the romantic comedy 4 Wedding Planners follows Lily (Kimberly-Rose Wolter), the eldest of 3 daughters who returns to Hawaii for family support after she rejects her boyfriend’s marriage proposal. While she tries to help her mother and sisters get their struggling wedding planning business back on track, Lily’s ex-boyfriend Kai (Sung Kang) enters the picture only to complicate Lily’s life even more. Michael Kang (The Motel, SDAFF ’05, West 32nd, SDAFF ’09) and writer/star Wolter offer this vibrant and delightful story of family ties beautifully set in the aloha state.
Directed by Sae Mi Yang. (in Korean with English subtitles)
Broken Pieces is an edgy new Korean drama that begins on just an ordinary day when Yun receives a very mysterious phone call of a baby crying. This strange call brings Yun back to her high school years and memories of her closest friend Su-In before their friendship collapsed when another girl intervened. An intriguing tale of high school friendships and repressed memories.
Directed by Keng Guan Chiu. (in Hokkien, Cantonese, Mandarin and Malay with English subtitles) Set against the backdrop of spectacular Malaysian locations, Great Day displays the tranquility of the rural Perlis countryside and the bustling capital, Kuala Lumpur, through the intersecting story of two Chinese Malaysian families. Two “uncles” in a retirement home in the countryside try to win an argument over who has better children and sneak off to the big city in an adventure that teaches both families how to connect to simpler and happier lives in this heartwarming comedy.
THE HOUSE OF SUH
Directed by Iris Shim. (in English)
Winner of SDAFF’s 2010 Grand Jury Award, Iris Shim’s gripping documentary follows Andrew Suh – an excellent student and gifted athlete, and who at the age of 19, shot and killed his sister’s fiancée. Those closest to Andrew expressed shock and disbelief: how could a young man with such a promising future allow himself to commit murder? As the Suh family complex but riveting history unfolds, issues of cultural assimilation, traditional values and justice are examined, raising questions of guilt, innocence and the illusive gray area in between.
By Fabien Gaillard (in Mandarin with English subtitles)
A French native working in Shanghai as an IT engineer spends his nights performing in one of Shanghai’s many nightclubs. Despite his love for China and fluency in Chinese, he is still a “lao wai,” a foreigner. A chance meeting with a beautiful woman tests the limits of love in the face of overwhelming cultural differences. Set against the gorgeous backdrop of modern day China, Lao Wai is a refreshing old-fashioned love-story in a time of modern globalization.
Other films coming soon include:
CAST ME IF YOU CAN
Directed by Atsushi Ogata. (in Japanese with English subtitles)
Hiroshi is an actor, who always plays supporting roles, and lives in the shadow of his famous playwright father. Often mistaken for someone else, Hiroshi struggles daily with his marginalized existence. Then one day, Hiroshi meets his muse, an aspiring actress Aya, who doesn’t mistake him for anyone else. He falls for Aya head over heels and struggles to play the lead in his own life. A sweet romantic comedy for all generations, Cast Me If You Can will leave you smiling.
COLIN HEARTS KAY
Directed by Sebastian Ho Conley. (in English)
After Colin, a Brooklyn cartoonist (Noah Starr), has broken up with his longtime girlfriend Kay (Emily Chang), he can’t stop thinking about what went wrong and who was to blame. Often times using whimsical hand-drawn animation, Colin goes on a hilarious journey recounting memories that lead him to erase the mistakes of his past and draw upon lessons learned to try to win Kay back.
EMPIRE OF SILVER
Directed by Christina Yao. (in Mandarin with English subtitles)
Based on historical events, authentically detailed and superbly shot, Empire of Silver is a lush and captivating epic saga of China’s “Wall Street” spanning the Boxer Rebellion and the crumbling Qing Dynasty. Amidst love triangles and conflicts over power, a young man (Aaron Kwok) must decide whether to follow is father’s path as heir to a banking empire or find his own.
THE HARIMAYA BRIDGE
Directed by Aaron Woolfolk. (in English and Japanese with English subtitles)
An American man travels to rural Japan to claim some paintings by his late son, from whom he was estranged. His journey into his son’s life reveals several secrets and life-changing lessons in compassion and redemption. This powerful melodrama about culture clashes, racial prejudice and father-son relationships stars veteran actor Ben Guillory and an award-winning Japanese cast including Saki Takaoka and Misa Shimizu.
Directed by Stephane Gauger. (in Vietnamese with English subtitles)
A traditional ribbon dancer named Mai from the countryside arrives to the big city of Saigon in hopes of entering the national dance academy. After she fails her auditions, a hip-hop dancer named Kim befriends her and introduces her to a new lifestyle. Soon, the two girls and their dance crew, Saigon Electric, must band together to save their community center from greedy developers. Saigon Electric is an exhilarating dance film with a universal story and a modern Vietnamese perspective