'The White Storm' and 'Snowpiercer' will Bookend 10th Asian Film Festival

10:13 PM PST 10/14/2013 by Karen Chu
"Real," from Japan's Kurosawa Kiyoshi

Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh is this year's Director in Focus at the festival, held from Oct. 25-Nov. 19.

HONG KONG – The world premiere of local director Benny Chan's cop thriller, The White Storm, is to open the 10th Asian Film Festival on Oct. 25, while Snowpiercer, from South Korea's Bong Joon-ho, will be the closing film for the festival on Nov. 19.

Organized by the Asian Film Festival Society, with the support of Broadway Cinematheque, the festival will also stage a special presentation of Taiwanese helmer Tsai Ming-Liang's Stray Dogs, starring his longtime collaborator Lee Kang-Sheng (Vive L'Amour, I Don't Want to Sleep Alone).

Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh is this year's AFF Director in Focus. The festival will feature seven works from the director, including the documentary The Missing Picture, which won the Prix Un Certain Regard at this year's Cannes International Film Festival, as well as documentaries Site 2 (1989), The Land of Wandering Souls (2000) and S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (2004), and feature films Rice People (1994) and One Evening After the War (1998).

Japanese hit family drama and winner of Jury Prize at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival, Like Father, Like Son, by Kore-eda Hirokazu and starring Fukuyama Masaharu, will headline the sidebar Cineast Delights. The section will also showcase Real, the psychological mystery by Japan's Kurosawa Kiyoshi; Dawn of a Filmmaker: The Keisuke Kinoshita Story by Keiichi Hara; The Extreme Sukuyaki, the directorial debut of A Story of Yonosuke scribe Shiro Maeda, starring Kubozuka Yosuke and Iura Arata; Omar, the first Palestinian feature by Hany Abu-Assad since the acclaimed suicide bomber drama Paradise Now; Moebius by South Korea's Kim Ki-duk (Pieta); Our Sunhi by Hong Sang-soo, which won the best director award at the 2013 Locarno International Film Festival; and coming-of-age drama A Time in Quchi by Taiwan's Chang Tso-Chi  (When Love Comes).

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the festival, the organizers have picked 10 films in competition for the New Talent Award, including Bends by Hong Kong's Flora Lau, Rigor Mortis by Hong Kong actor-singer Juno Mak, Transit by the Philippines' Hannah Sepia, and The Lunchbox by India's Ritesh Batra.

Hong Kong's new filmmaker and Taiwan's documentarians are highlighted in the festival, with two sections dedicated to the respective work in the regions. Under the Hong Kong First banner, six films are showcased, including youth drama May We Chat by Philip Yung, A Complicated Story by Kiwi Chow and Boundless, a documentary about Hong Kong auteur Johnnie To. Five documentaries, including Bridge Over Troubled Water by Yang Li-chou, Sock'n Roll by Ho Chao-Ti and A Rolling Stone by Shen Ko-Shang, are featured in the Taiwan Documentary section.

The festival will also screen three restored classics from Satyajit Ray: The Lonely Wife (1964), The Holy Man (1965), and The Coward (1965).

The Asian Film Festival will be held from Oct. 25-Nov. 19.

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