VAFF 2014 - Program
Program 10: Thicker Than Water
It's complicated. All human relationships are as complex as the people in them. Through facing shared adversity in "The Many Lives of Jovan Corneho," mutual sorrow in "Mr. Chavan," and a family standoff in "StandStill," THICKER THAN WATER reveals both the strength and the fragility of the bonds we form with each other.
Program 11: Life In Multiculture
The audience favourite Vancity shorts program returns! LIFE IN MULTICULTURE showcases eight short films from Vancouver-based filmmakers - including the winners of this year's Mighty Asian Moviemaking Marathon filmmaking contest, "Stick With You" and "#YELLOWMAN." Funny, serious or sad, the films in this program unflinchingly explore the changing faces and conflicts of contemporary Canadian life in Metro Vancouver, including the ongoing impact of cultural pluralism on how we see our country, our city and ourselves.
Program 12: Vanimasian Retrospective
VANIMASIAN RETROSPECTIVE, curated by VAFF alumnus and Webby award-winning, Emmy® nominated animation and documentary filmmaker Jeff Chiba Stearns, features Vancouver-based Asian and Asian Canadian animators, and/or animations created in Vancouver, over the past 18 years. Join us after the screening for a panel moderated by Jeff Chiba Stearns, discussing independent and commercial animation in Vancouver as well as festival distribution strategies for animation with some of the retrospective's filmmakers.
Program 13: Closing Presentation
Those who can't do, (sometimes) sleep their way to the top. VAFF proudly presents the Canadian premiere of "A Leading Man," Steven J. Kung's feature writing and directing debut, as our CLOSING PRESENTATION. After being fired for refusing to portray a racial stereotype in his dream TV gig, GQ fights to salvage his career in the only way he thinks possible. “A Leading Man” enlightens us on the systemic stereotypical and two-dimensional depictions of Asian North Americans in film and television that Kung has witnessed throughout his career. Although set in the LA film industry, parallels are easily drawn between Vancouver and elsewhere.
Program 1: Opening Night
Pulp fiction becomes a reality in this neo-noir from director Dave Boyle (Surrogate Valentine; White On Rice). VAFF is proud to host the Canadian premiere of "Man From Reno," Boyle's fourth and latest feature, as our OPENING PRESENTATION. Sinister and seductive by turns, this handsomely shot whodunit-with-a-twist lures a Japanese crime novelist and a small town Latino sheriff into a strange murder mystery as it unfolds on the backstreets and outskirts of San Francisco. "Man From Reno" is preceded by "Tele," Gabriel Adelman's short film about finding a way home - even when time and space seem to be working against you.
Program 2: Dark Passage
In DARK PASSAGE, six filmmakers shine a light onto what happens when tragic and unforseeable circumstances test the limits of the human soul. From a reinterpreted Greek tragedy played out on China's waterways in "A Grand Canal," to a woman's final wish to her own rapist and would-be murderer in "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger," these films explore six very different interpretations of Invictus (Latin, for "unconquered" - from a poem by William Ernest Henley): Out of the night that covers me...I thank whatever gods may be, for my unconquerable soul."
Program 3: International Showcase
The INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT is on "Afterimages," a hellish film from Singapore-based director/writer Tony Kern. When five friends burn paper offerings to the dead they receive unexpected glimpses of the uncanny and macabre in return, culminating in a final conflagration that hits terrifyingly close to home. VAFF proudly partners with the Vancouver Singapore Film Festival to bring you Kern's latest feature, hot on the heels of "Haunted Changi" and "Month of Hungry Ghosts," both box office hits throughout Asia. "Afterimages" is preceded by "Itch," a brief but skin-crawling short from award-winning animator Su-An Ng and the National Film Board of Canada.
Program 4: Destination Desi
Our DESTINATION DESI "M Cream" is a coming-of-age journey from the lush campus haze of Delhi University to the arid clarity of the Himalayan foothills. "M Cream" follows college cynic Figs, his friend Maggie, her boyfriend Niz, and Niz's friend Jay as they embark on a heroic quest: to get high on the mythical hash, M Cream. The first feature of Tisch School of the Arts (NYU) graduate and indie filmmaker/ short documentary producer, Agneya Singh, “M Cream" explores rebellion in contemporary Indian society and polity: in hash, is truth. "M Cream" won the award for Best Feature Film at the Rhode Island Film Festival this year.
Program 5: Scare Affair
Being in lust can be one bumpy pulse-pounding ride, and a single fateful decision can take you past a point of no return. SCARE AFFAIR showcases two Vancouver-based filmmakers: both our Horror Spotlight Presentation "Evangeline" from award-winning director/producer Karen Lam, and the short film "I Really Like You" from festival audience favourite Jason Karman, take an up close and personal look at the ways revenge is often a dish best served cold.
Program 6: A Thief, A Kid And A Killer
In A THIEF, A KID AND A KILLER, ten year-old Maximo becomes the bargaining chip for a pair of desperate thieves when a robbery goes wrong; a bond forms between Maximo and one of his captors as a group of corrupt cops closes in, and he finds out just how much life, friendship and family are worth. This dark comedy thriller - punctuated by laugh-out-loud moments - is director Nathan Adolfson's third feature.
Program 7: Online Invasion
Asian North American artists may lack love from the mainstream, but they’re on the rise and killing it in the rapidly evolving world of web production and distribution, the ONLINE INVASION. VAFF proudly presents Vancouver's first Asian Web Fest program, partnered with Vancouver Web Fest, featuring hysterical hit-generating web content from LeendaDProductions, Awesome Asian Bad Guys, Nice Girls Crew and Little Ram Media. Stay afterwards for a panel and Q&A with Web Fest Director Suzette Laqua: "how to make major money as a minority" online - covering concept, production, monetization and distribution, with selected featured producers and entertainment lawyer Jeff Young of Altman & Co.
Program 8: Foodie Goody
If you love pairing hot sauce with chicken - or have dreamed about being able to do it without breaking into a furious nose sweat - you need to watch FOODIE GOODY, two documentaries that trace the origins of two of North America's favourite Asian taste sensations: Sriracha and General Tso's Chicken. Along the way "Sriracha" director Griffin Hammond and "The Search for General Tso" director Ian Cheney discover that culinary origins can tell us more about cultural roots than we might think, with occasionally gastro-humorous results.
Program 9: Centrepiece Presentation
How far would you go for family? Whether it's to the other side of the country or the other side of the world, both our CENTREPIECE PRESENTATION - the Canadian premiere of the dramedy "A Picture of You" by director J.P. Chan - and the preceding short, "Distance" from Aimee Long, show us that unpacking the past to prepare for the future can be a hazardous process; and that making the decision to cross the inner gulf that separates one sibling from another, or a parent from a child, can be the hardest journey to make.