Friday, March 21, 2008

SF Asian Film Festival

One of the best films at the festival was Amal

It is the story of a poor rickshaw driver in New Delhi and how sometimes "the poorest people are really the richest". The actors are all amazing and many are stars in India with roles in movies like Gandhi, Monsoon Wedding, and Water. During a Q&A after the screening the director Richie Mehta was on hand to answer questions. The idea came from a short story his brother wrote after a trip from Toronto, where he lives, to Delhi and an exchange with an unusually honest rickshaw driver. The short story became a short and the short became a full feature film.
Gina Kim's Never Forever was also worth seeing - in the Q&A Ms. Kim, who teaches film production at Harvard and was born and raised in Korea before moving to the US, said she wrote the screenplay in an attempt to bring better roles with a deeper emotional landscape to Asian male actors and I would say she succeeds. Vera Farmiga was amazing in the lead.

Last, but not least was the closing night film, The Home Song Stories starring Joan Chen directed by Tony Ayres. It is a deeply moving autobiographical piece giving Ms Chen the opportunity to explore the entire emotional spectrum available to her as an actress.

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