Date: July 19- 30, 2016
Place: Various locations
Time: check AAIFF website
Columbia University MFA graduate Raymond Yeung's FRONT COVER was selected as the Closing Night film. Reception and Q&A with cast and crew at Museum of the Moving Image on Saturday, July 30th at 8pm.
FRONT COVER tells the story of Ryan Fu, a gay Chinese American who detests his Asian heritage and through talent and hard work, has attained his dream job as a celebrity fashion stylist.
One day Ryan’s boss assigns him to style Ning, an actor who has just arrived from Beijing for a top magazine photo shoot. Ning dismisses Ryan’s initial Western styling and demands Ryan creates an image for him which represents the power of the new China. Their egos and opinions clash resulting in a strained and difficult working relationship.
Over the following days, they slowly discover that they have a lot in common, and a mutual attraction begins to develop. As they become closer, Ryan reveals that he rejects his Chinese heritage because he is ashamed of his impoverished upbringing. Ning opens up and confesses that he is in the closet.
After a night out on the town together, a Chinese tabloid magazine exposes Ning as gay. Terrified of the impact it will have on his career, Ning implores Ryan to help him deny the story. Ryan must now decide to help Ning or stay true to himself.
We are partnering with the Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) to promote the following films! Alumni get 25% discount off all films, panel discussions and programs (excluding opening, centerpiece and closing films). Click here for the AAIFF 25% discount code.
AAIFF is the first and longest running festival in the country devoted to films by and about Asians and Asian Americans. This year, AAIFF will run from July 19 through July 30, 2016. Please visit http://aaiff.org/2016 for more information. AAIFF’s social media handle is @asiancinevision, and its hashtag this year is #aaiff2016.
Our first sponsored short film is Coming Full Circle: The Journey of a Transgendered Korean Adoptee, which focuses on a transgendered, adopted activist returning to her native Korea. This film was directed by Larry Tung (M.A., Columbia Journalism School), a documentary filmmaker in New York City.
Our second sponsored short film is Gaysians, which follows five queer and trans Asian-Americans from New York City as they explore their relationships with their family and culture. This film was directed by Vicky Du (B.A., Columbia University), a queer, Taiwanese-American documentary filmmaker based in New York City.
Both of these excellent short films are part of the larger LGBTQ Shorts Programat AAIFF, which will screen at 1:00pm on Sunday, July 24, at Village East Cinema, 181-189 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003. After the program, there will be a Q&A with select filmmakers from the program.
We are also sponsoring the following two programs that showcase excellent short films dealing with love and perseverance:
We Are Beautiful Shorts
Sometimes cinema can reveal the beauty and grace of people through their stories, aspirations, and vulnerabilities. This program showcases several such revelations, such as a working class girl from rural China aspiring to be the next Coco Chanel in Fairy Tales (Dir. Rongfei Guo | China | 2016 | 30 mins), a humble but tenacious Indian jewelry polisher-turned-ultramarathoner in Mumbai Mornings (Dir. Veena Rao | USA | 2016), a cross-dressing outcast in Tokyo shattering societal expectations in Speechless in Japan (Dir. Weronika Milczweska | Poland | 2016), a Hong Kong youth navigating the pressures of the city to find his own personal value in the animated Behind the Schoolbag (Dir. Chun Yu Ho | Hong Kong | 2015), and the soulful Korean singer-songwriter-guitarist Bobby Choy in I Hate Big Phony (Dir. Milton Liu | USA | 2016).
Finding Love Shorts
Love comes in all shapes and forms, yet sometimes it is the hardest thing to find, as evidenced by the 19-year-old Singaporean girl determined to find companionship on New Year’s Eve in That Loving Feeling (Dir. Li Lin Wee | Singapore | 2014), or the young Chinese woman coping with her lover’s suicide who comes across a Buddhist monk with a strange request in Mandala (Dir. Guan Xi | China | 2015). Moreover, the boundaries of love can be blurred, as demonstrated by the two speed-daters who offer brutally honest assessments of each other in 3 Minutes (Dir. Julia Chang | USA | 2016), the middle-aged man who must face and resist the fantasy that his girlfriend and son may be having an affair behind his back in Cronos (Dir. Chieh Yang | Taiwan, USA | 2015), the unhealthy and abusive relationship depicted with raw, jarring dialogue and cinematography in That Day (Dir. Xiaolu Hu | USA | 2015), and even the accidental killing of an abusive husband followed by the creative but gruesome disposal of the evidence in Metamorphosis (Dir. Elaine Xia | USA | 2015).