11-06-2019

Asian Summer Film Festival comes into action!

In its eagerness to offer a representative and diverse outlook of the Asian film productions of the season, the Asian Summer Film Festival (July 15-21, Vic, Barcelona) presents a programme that includes both high-profile and independent films. From the spectacular Chuck Russell's Bollywood Junglee to Tang Gaopeng's directing debut feature on China's new ways, The Road Not Taken, and the cult film of the year, the irresistible The Man Who Feels No Pain. This 16th edition covers all genres and styles with films that come from eight different Asian countries.

Successful high-profile productions

The festival presents some of the most awaited productions by the public: the world premiere of Once Upon a Time in China: Warriors of the Nation (Marco Mak, China 2019), the eighth installment of the popular saga created by Tsui Hark, starring Vincent Zhao; Junglee (2019), the exuberant Indian jungle adventure of the North American director Chuck Russell; Big Brother (Kam Ka-wai, Hong Kong/China 2018) with Donnie Yen in the role of a high school teacher with difficult students; the crazy Chinese New Year comedy Missbehaviour by the enfant terrible of Cantonese cinema, Pang Ho-Cheung (Hong Kong / China 2019); Homestay, a magical and romantic story by the producers of the hit Bad Genius (Parkpoom Wongpoom, Thailand 2018); The Outlaws (Kang Yoon-sun, South Korea 2017), a fast-paced thriller with the Korean actor of the moment, Ma Dong-Seok, at his best; Golden Job (Chin Kar-Lok, Hong Kong, 2018, within the Movistar+ Section), which is the culmination of the triads saga Young and Dangerous; and The Knight of Shadows (Yan Jia, China / Hong Kong, 2019), starring Jackie Chan, a simultaneous international premiere at the Asian Summer FF and the Movistar+ platform.

A very personal point of view

The 16th edition of the Asian Summer FF presents a wide selection of films where directors print their particular vision of the world: The Road not Taken (Tang Gaopeng, China, 2018) is an antiheroe story that received the Best Film Award at the Shanghai Asian New Talent Awards; Under One Umbrella (Japan, 2018), based on one of his plays, director Takayuki Takuma offers us a film full of sensitivity and humor; Andhadhun (India 2018), a brilliant thriller and black comedy combination that won the Critics' Filmfare Award, as well as many other awards; Spring Sparrow (China, 2019) where the novel director Li Jingxiang tells the story of four friends who move from the countryside to the city at the beginning of the China's economic opening; or Strega (Japan, 2019), a Tokusatsu full of action and unique humor, by the director Bueno, who already surprised spectators in Vic with Gun Caliber (2017).

Future cult films for the fans

The following titles are impossible to classify because they fit into multiple genres. All of them stand out because they have many possibilities to become cult titles or essential films for lovers of Asian cinema: the Indian feature The Man Who Feels no Pain (Vasan Bala, 2018), an atypical film within the Bollywood universe, full of movie-like references, sparkling dialogues and insane action; Pegasus (China, 2019), a story of redemption from the Chinese trend creator Han Han; or the Japanese Saint Young Men (Yuichi Fukuda, 2019), an adaptation in real image of the famous manga in which Jesus and Buddha come on holidays to Earth and share a small apartment in present Tokyo. Also from Japan, it comes Red Blade (Takahiro Ishihara, 2019), mixing science fiction and ninja mythology with a script by Sion Sono. The Pool (Ping Lumpraploeng, 2018), a Thai film that will be screened on the opening night and will make the audience jump out of their chairs.

Asian cinema with 'A' of Action

Action films always occupy an important space in the Asian Summer FF: martial arts are a key component of popular Asian cinema.
This year, the retrospective 'Thai Action!' consists of five films that want to be a tour around the best Thai action cinema, highlighting the contribution of the great choreographer Panna Rittikrai and performers like Jeeja Yanin or Tony Jaa.

The titles that can be seen in this retrospective are: Born to Fight (Panna Rittikrai, 1984), Hard Gun (Prapon Petchinn, 1996), Chocolate (Prachya Pinkaew, 2008), Raging Phoenix (Rashane Limtrakul, 2009) and Bangkok Knockout ( Panna Rittikrai, 2010).

The Asian Summer for the little ones

Action is also present in many other films programmed at the festival such as the children's sessions Monkey Magic (Ma Jihai, China, 2019) and The Wind Guardians (Liu Kuo, China, 2018).

The rest of films for all audiences that can be seen in the mornings at Cinema Vigatà are: Yatsurugi 8 (Shin Iizawa, Japan, 2019), On Happiness Road (Sung Hsin-yin, Taiwan, 2018), within the Movistar+ Section, and a session that includes Thai animated short films and a selection of features from the BIKY festival (Busan International Kids and Youth Film Festival) with whom the ASFF starts a collaboration.

East-West: a very solid bridge

The Asian Summer FF presents film projects that bring the East and the West together in any aspect of the production of a film, under the label 'Marco Polo Route'.

In the programme of this edition, The Man from Kathmandu (Pema Dhondup, Nepal, USA, Spain, 2019), was filmed in Los Angeles and counts with participation from.

The festival will also present the documentary I'm the White Tiger (Lee Chiu, Hong Kong, 2018), about the English stuntman Mark Houghton who is a legend of martial arts in the Hong Kong film industry.

The audience will be able to discover four short films directed in China by the students of the ESCAC film school (Escola de Cinema i Audiovisuals de Catalunya) as part of the exchange programme 'Looking China' in 2019.

Five summer nights

In this edition, the Asian Summer FF dedicates its themed nights of gastronomy + martial and scenic arts + outdoor screening to the following countries:

  • Tuesday, July 16: Inauguration. Night of Thailand. Film, The Pool.
  • Wednesday, July 17: Night of Hong Kong. Film, The Knight of Shadows.
  • Thursday, July 18: Night of Japan. Film, Under One Umbrella.
  • Friday, July 19: Night of South Korea. Film, The Outlaws.
  • Saturday, July 20: Closing. Night of India. Film, Junglee.

 
 
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