– THIRD CULTURE FEATURE COMPETITION –
This year we ask ourselves: which feature most advances third culture?
AFTER SPRING (JORDAN/USA, 2016, 108") - BROOKLYN PREMIERE
dir. Ellen Martinez, Steph Ching; exec prod. Jon Stewart
With the Syrian conflict now in its sixth year, millions of people continue to be displaced. After Spring is the story of what happens next. By following two refugee families in transition and aid workers fighting to keep the camp running, viewers will experience what it is like to live in Zaatari, the largest camp for Syrian refugees. With no end in sight for the conflict or this refugee crisis, everyone must decide if they can rebuild their lives in a place that was never meant to be permanent.
Executive Produced by Jon Stewart. World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival 2016.
Ellen Martinez, Director/Producer, is originally from Texas but grew up overseas and has lived in Dubai, Venezuela and Syria. Her first feature film, AFTER SPRING, a documentary about the Syrian refugee crisis, was Executive Produced by Jon Stewart and supported in part by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and was Associate Producer on TESTED, a feature documentary about the educational inequality in the NYC public school system before directing AFTER SPRING. She is now based in Brooklyn, New York.
Steph Ching, Director/Producer, is a Brooklyn based filmmaker from Massachusetts. Most recently, she directed AFTER SPRING, a feature documentary about the Syrian refugee crisis. The film is executive produced by Jon Stewart. She attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and was Associate Producer and Additional Editor of the Emmy Nominated documentary SUPERMENSCH: THE LEGEND OF SHEP GORDON. Other interests include volunteer work and she participated in relief efforts during post-hurricane Katrina and made several trips to Sichuan, China to film testimonials with survivors of the massive 2008 earthquake. Her grandmother was a refugee at the end of World War II before finally making her way to the United States.
Jon Stewart, Executive Producer is a comedian, producer, director, screenwriter, author and former host of THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART on Comedy Central. He wrote and directed ROSEWATER, a feature film based on the memoir THEN THEY CAME FOR ME by Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy. ROSEWATER was produced in Jordan during the summer of 2013, and Jon visited the Zaatari refugee camp while in the Middle East.
DADDY DON'T GO (USA, 2015, 88") - Brooklyn Premiere
dir. Emily Abt, Andrew Nam Chul Osborne; exec prod. Omar Epps, Malik Yoba
Daddy Don’t Go captures two years in the lives of four disadvantaged fathers in New York City as they fight to defy the odds against them. And the odds are real - men living in poverty are more than twice as likely to become absent fathers than their middle-class peers (U.S. Census Bureau). Alex, Nelson, Roy and Omar shatter the deadbeat dad stereotype and redefine what it means to be a good father for all men.
Executive Produced by Omar Epps and Malik Yoba. Best Documentary American Black Film Festival. Support from Jerome Foundation, Lewis Center for the Arts (Princeton), NYFA, NYSCA. Vimeo Staff Pick. World Premiere at DOC NYC 2015.
Emily Abt, Director/Producer, is one of Variety Magazine’s “Top 10 Directors to Watch,” and has produced and directed documentaries for PBS, OWN, MTV, Showtime and the Sundance Channel. She has also directed several commercial campaigns, most recently for Johnson & Johnson. Abt earned her MFA from Columbia University and received a Fulbright fellowship for her thesis film. Her documentary features include “Take It From Me” (premiered 2001 POV season) and “All of Us” (Showtime’s 2008 World AIDS Day film). Abt’s first narrative feature, “Toe to Toe,” premiered at Sundance in 2009 and was released nationwide in 2010 by Strand Releasing. “Audrey’s Run,” Abt’s most recent narrative feature, is currently in development (Paula Patton, Mike Epps, Pablo Shreiber, Jurnee Smollett attached to star, Blythe Robertson and Mike Bowes are producing, Abt will direct) and was included on the first ever Athena List, an award given to scripts featuring strong female protagonists. She is represented by Ava Greenfield at ICM.
Andrew Nam Chul Osborne, Co-Director/Cinematographer, is a Brooklyn-based director, producer, cinematographer and editor. He has directed commercial campaigns for LinkedIn, Rawlings and HUGE. A frequent collaborator with Pureland Pictures, Osborne has directed and produced over a dozen projects for Pureland Pictures alongside award-winning filmmaker Emily Abt. He was the Associate Producer on Abt’s narrative feature “Toe to Toe,” and has been the cinematographer on many Pureland projects. He holds a BFA in Film and Television Production from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Osborne is currently a producer for BBDO Worldwide.
Omar Epps, Executive Producer, is an award-winning actor, having starred in the hit FOX medical drama “House” for 8 seasons. Epps received an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series” in both 2007 and 2008. As someone who grew up fatherless, the issues in “Daddy Don’t Go” resonate with Omar personally and are close to his heart.
Malik Yoba, Executive Producer, starred in Fox’s hit drama “New York Undercover,” played a pivotal role in the first season of “Empire,” and has gained cult status with the sci-fi epic “Alphas.” As a father of three children and a lifelong advocate for children, families and community building, Yoba believes “Daddy Don’t Go” comes at the right time to continue a much-needed conversation.
"SINGERS" IN THE BAND (PHILIPPINES/KOREA, 2015, 80") - WORLD PREMIERE
dir. David Goodman
"Singers" in the Band exposes an incredibly elaborate and insidious scam that involves three nations, global sex traffickers, bar/club/hotel owners and the U.S. military all as links in a chain that entraps innocent victims. The film tells the compelling personal stories of women and girls within the broader picture of the sex trade and international politics while unflinchingly examining the way military culture supports prostitution and human trafficking.
"This is a film the American people should see." - Eve Ensler
"Especially important viewing for those who act upon behalf of or teach about the human rights of women... learning about and action toward the abolition of military sexual slavery." - Betty Reardon
David Goodman is an Academy Award winning filmmaker with an extensive documentary production background. WITNESS TO WAR: DR. CHARLIE CLEMENTS (1985), his second film, won the Academy Award for best short documentary and also received a National Emmy nomination for Outstanding Interview/Interviewers. It tells the story of the transformation of a Vietnam vet from pilot to humanitarian doctor serving in El Salvador.
David’s work has been shown on PBS, Channel 4 (Great Britain), The Learning Channel and in many other domestic and international television outlets. In addition, his films and videos have been showcased in numerous film festivals throughout the world including a screening of WITNESS TO WAR as part of a major retrospective of New Directors/New Films presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the New York Museum of Modern Art (2005).
David has been the recipient of major media grants from Independent Television Service (ITVS) (2001); the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (open solicitation, 1984); The Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media (2002); the Pennsylvania Humanities Council (1984 and 1989); the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (1997) and Pittsburgh Filmmakers (1987, 1988, 1989).
More recently he has received support from the Ford Foundation (2003 and 2005), The Global Fund for Women (2005 and 2008), the American Friends Service Committee (2008), the Rubin Foundation (2012 and 2014)) and Abigail Disney (2010 & 2012). Additional funding has come from the Puffin Foundation, the ARCA Foundation, and CS Fund, among others. He was selected as a MacDowell Fellow (1990).
EMPTY SPACE (USA, 2015, 97") - NEW YORK PREMIERE
dir. James Choi
Tom, an overweight young man, takes refuge at his grandmother's cabin in rural Protection, IL, in an attempt to bury the years of being bullied and feeling rejected. While in town, he meets a precocious blind girl named Lilly, who shows him how to be accepted and loved. Tender, funny and dramatic, the film shows characters not often depicted onscreen as leads, in a unique coming of age story.
"Empty Space" was produced in Chicago and shot entirely on location in small towns across Western, IL. The film's crew consisted of 3 people (sound op, cinematographer, producer) and the film was shot in 14 days with a budget of $7000.
Lighthouse International Film Festival 2016 - Audience Award
James Choi (Director, Editor, Producer) is a prolific, award-winning filmmaker with over a decade of film industry experience in Los Angeles having worked in representation, production and digital media. His first feature film as a producer, “Made In China” won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative at SXSW in 2009 and distributed by IFC Films. Since then, James has directed two other feature films that he produced for under $10,000 as he is constantly working to break new ground in our digital age. “Empty Space” is Mr. Choi’s second collaboration with Judi Krant, the writer/director of “Made In China.” James is currently based out of Chicago and teaches film at DePaul University.
Judi de la Cruz Krant (Co-Writer, Producer) was raised in Texas, Montana, and Panama. Judi pursued her higher education at the University of Texas at Austin where she received a B.A. in Fine Arts. After graduating, Ms. Krant moved to New York City where she worked as an actor in theatre and television while studying at the Circle In The Square Conservatory. After several steady years of on-camera work, Ms. Krant moved behind the lens to write and direct. She shot commercials, music videos, created web and mobile content, and had several screenplays optioned. Judi’s first film, “Made In China” went onto win Best Narrative Film at SXSW and was distributed by IFC Films.
HOW TO WIN AT CHECKERS (EVERY TIME) (THAILAND, 2015, 80") - NEW YORK PREMIERE
dir. Josh Kim
In Thailand, all males turning 21 years old must participate in the annual military draft lottery. Drawing a black card grants exemption, while drawing red results in two years of military service. On the morning of his draft lottery, Oat reflects back on his childhood -- when as a child, his older brother Ek faced the possibility of being drafted himself. Unable to convince Ek to do whatever he can to change his fate, young Oat takes matters into his own hands, resulting in unexpected circumstances.
Based on the short stories “At the Café Lovely” and “Draft Day” from the U.S. bestselling book Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap, How to Win at Checkers (Every Time) is director Josh Kim's debut feature film.
Thai entry for the Best Foreign Language Film for both the 88th Academy Awards and the 73rd Golden Globes. 8 Thai film awards. World Premiere at Berlin International Film Festival 2015.
Josh Kim, writer/director, is a Korean American filmmaker currently based in Asia. Born in Texas on 23rd April 1981, he started production as an intern at NPR in Washington DC and later moved to CNN in Hong Kong. In 2010, he worked as Associate Producer on the Korean remake of John Woo's A Better Tomorrow which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2010. He has since directed videos for Google, UEFA and Elite Models. www.joshkim.tv
IN HER PLACE (KOREA, 2014, 115") - NEW YORK Premiere
dir. Albert Shin
A mysterious city woman comes to a rural farm in South Korea where she’s taken in by a weathered woman and her odd teenage daughter. The three woman stay in isolation as they begin to fall into a new rhythm of life together, each working to fill a void within. However, as their very different paths converge, their arrangement becomes more than what they bargained for.
Toronto Film Critics Association Award, Jay Scott Prize. Awards at Abu Dhabi & Taipei Film Festivals. 7 Canadian Screen Awards nominations. World Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival 2014, International Premiere at San Sebastien Film Festival 2014.
Albert Shin (writer, director) is a second-generation Korean-Canadian. He graduated from York University with a B.F.A. in Film and Video production in 2006. While at York he produced the award-winning short film, DAY OF JOHN (TIFF ‘05) by Chris Nash, among many other productions, including his own short documentary, PIN DOCTOR (VIFF ‘06}.
After graduating, Albert and fellow York Alumni, Igor Drljača founded the production company TimeLapse Pictures. The company’s first production, POINT TRAVERSE  was Albert’s feature debut, which played at numerous film festivals all over North America. Afterwards, he went on to produce Drljača’s feature debut, KRIVINA, which premiered at TIFF ’12, and played at festivals all over the world.
For Albert’s follow-up feature, he decided to return to the country of his parent’s birth to explore the possibility of making a Korean-language film. After many years of writing and research, IN HER PLACE was shot on location in South Korea and finished in Canada in 2014.
Igor Drljača (producer) was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and moved to Canada in 1993 due to the war in Bosnia. He completed his Master’s in Film Production at York University’s graduate program in 2011. He is the recipient of the K.M. Hunter artist award for media arts. His award winning shorts include WOMAN IN PURPLE (2010), and THE FUSE: OR HOW I BURNED SIMON BOLIVAR (2011), which have screened at hundreds of festivals. His critically acclaimed feature film KRIVINA (2012) premiered at TIFF.
His new feature film, TABIJA, which is in development, received Rotterdam’s Cinemart Eurimages Prize and was also selected for the prestigious Cannes L’Atalier program. THE WAITING ROOM is his sophomore feature and will premiere at Locarno International Film Festival.
– LOCAL MUSIC FEATURE –
BAD RAP (USA, 2016, 75") - BROOKLYN PREMIERE
dir. Salima Koroma; prod. Jaeki Cho
Bad Rap follows the loves and careers of four Asian-American rappers trying to break into a world that often treats them as outsiders. Sharing dynamic live performance footage and revealing interviews, these artists make the most skeptical critics into believers. From battle rhymes of crowd-favorite Dumbfoundead to the tongue-in-cheek songs of Awkwafina, the unapologetic visuals of Rekstizzy to conflicted values of Lyricks, the film paints a memorable portrait of artistic passion in the face of an unsung struggle.
Although it started in the South Bronx among African-American and Latino youths in the '70s, hip-hop culture today has transcended all racial and language boundaries. From the slums of France to nationally televised programs in Korea, rappers have emerged as legitimate pop culture stars around the world. Hip-hop's global movement is diverse, but the face of rap in America remains primarily black, brown, and white.
World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival 2016.
– THIRD CULTURE SHORTS COMPETITION –
ALL MEN ARE FLOWERS (USA, 2015, 17") - NEW YORK PREMIERE
dir. Shirley Kim-Ryu
Kara, 15, misses an opportunity to ask out her first high school crush before going away to Korea for the summer. When she returns to her mother’s hometown, she encounters her grandfather’s spirit. He gives her a vision of many men, her muses, and says to Kara, “I’ll tell them to be pretty for you.” With the support of her grandfather, Kara feels empowered to surrender the pre-existing notion of “a girl waiting to be pursued by THE ONE,” and to take action to pursue the object of her desire.
Shirley Kim-Ryu (UCLA MFA 2016) was born in Seoul. She is a descendant of a North Korean refugee and moved to the US alone, at the age of 15. She is the recipient of the James Bridge Award in Film Directing, Hollywood Foreign Press Award, Panavision film grant, Mary Pickford Award, Michael Minor Award, Edna and Yuan Han Endowment award, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award finalist, and 2016 Sundance Screenwriting Lab finalist.
CALL TAXI (USA, 2016, 18") - BROOKLYN PREMIERE
dir. Julian Kim
Jason gets in a Korean taxi to catch a 6:30 AM flight from JFK. To his surprise, his father is the driver. The father makes an unwelcomed pit stop at a 24-hour Korean supermarket to buy snacks for Jason. When the father and son get back in the car, the car fails to start.
Julian Kim is a Korean-American filmmaker who worked as an editor and producer on a myriad of projects for television and marketing. His most notable works are with Swallowtail Studios as a Creative Director where he produced short films about his hometown community, Flushing Web Series.
Peter S. Lee, a Korean-American producer who strives to tell untold stories, has worked on various narrative shorts and features, documentaries, and television projects. As the Managing Director for Swallowtail Studios, he continues to produce unique tales like the Flushing Web Series.
DISGRACEFUL BLUE (USA, 2016, 10") - WORLD PREMIERE
dir. Young Joo Lee
A daughter with blue eyes is born to an Asian woman. The newborn’s family neglects her for being different, and she finds her way to deal with the conflict.
The story depicts the journey of a heroine who is “the other” in a conforming society. She becomes part of the majority by hiding her otherness only to realize that in the end, her inner “blueness” won’t die, but it will only be born again in another form, in another generation.
Young Joo Lee was born in 1987, Seoul, South Korea. She spent her childhood in a suburban town of Seoul, seeing this area change from a farming field to a compact apartment zone. She studied painting at Hongik Arts University, then went on to study film and performance at Städelschule Frankfurt am Main. She got her Meisterschülerin in 2013. Currently she lives and works in New Haven in U.S. where she is a MFA candidate (’17 Sculpture, School of Art) at Yale University. She is the recipient of Fulbright scholarship for film and digital media from 2015.
FLAMENCO (USA, 2015, 12") - EAST COAST PREMIERE
dir. Gloria Kim
An impressionistic dance film about lust, loneliness and obsession, Flamenco follows the story of an outsider, Camilla. Engaged to help the Rojo Group put on a show of Carmen, things get out of hand when sparks fly between her and Alexander, the male lead and lover of young ingénue, Lola. The story transpires backstage, onstage and suddenly, in the dark environs of 19th century Spanish forest.
Born in Seoul, Korea, writer/director Gloria Ui Young Kim comes from a long line of media makers. With a degree in English Lit at U of T, she worked at numerous magazines, most notably Maclean’s. She’s an alumni of the Canadian Film Centre’s Director’s Lab, and TIFF Talent Lab. Her short film, ROCK GARDEN: A LOVE STORY (CBC, BRAVO, IFC), described by Atom Egoyan as “absolutely beautiful” and “perverse,” has won numerous awards including the Global Audience Award for Best Anarchy Film: Slamdance 2008 and the CBC Canadian Reflections Award. THE AUCTION (CBC, IFC), premiered at the 2010 Sprockets TIFF, and won Best Short Film among others and is now part of the John VanDuzer Film Collection at TIFF BellLightbox.
PRINCESS EUN HWA (CHINA, 2016, 38") - WOrLD PREMIERE
dir. David Zhang
Princess Eun Hwa is a story about an ancient Korean young princess who constantly falls in love with princes from different kingdoms of her fantasies. Whereas in reality, she is forced by her evil uncle to be a prostitute with immoral men from different countries. The relationship between her and her uncle reflects Stockholm syndrome. In addition, It is a dark fairy tale with lots of metaphor and symbolism. In the end, the story of this girl will touch the hearts of audiences because of her tragic life experiences.
Dave Zhang is the author and director of Princess Eun Hwa. Dave Zhang was born and raised in Beijing, where he first started to pursue his passion in directing by studying in the Central Academy of Drama in 2008. In order to further his knowledge and understanding, Dave Zhang started school at the University of Southern California for a postgraduate study in MFA Film in 2013. In 2014, he was rewarded as the Best Director Award of Beijing Banxia International Students Film Festival.
RETRIEVER (Korea, 2016, 25") - NEW YORK PREMIERE
dir. Joo Hwan Kim
Lee Kwang is an illegal immigrant in Korea, a Korean from China. He makes a living by stealing dogs from animal shelters and selling them to butchers. But when he adopts a big golden retriever named Bori, the two develop a special bond.
Mise-en-scene Film Festival (South Korea)
Odense International Film Festival(Denmark)
Fantasia International Film Festival(Canada)
Joo Hwan Kim
ULTRA BLEU (KOREA, 2016, 20") - NEW YORK PREMIERE
dir. Nick Neon
Things spiral out of control when Jim Park gets his ass kicked by a drag queen bouncer following a confrontation with his cheating ex-boyfriend. Broken and hungover, Jim wakes up alone in his room the following evening. Finding a Polaroid from happier times with his ex, he decides to burn it by the riverside. But when he meets an exchange student, Dean Bleu, by the water, Jim comes to realize that heartbreak is nothing compared to being 20-something + lost.
Nick Neon is a half-Korean American actor, writer + director from New York City. After directing his feature debut, Fear Eats the Seoul (2011), Neon co-founded the Seoul-based production company NYK Media Group. He also served as Creative Director at Roll The Dice Pictures where he directed several K-Indie music videos for artists such as Love X Stereo, Henry Bloom eld + Kite Flying Robot. Neon returned to lmmaking in late 2015 and is currently developing his sophomore feature, ULTRA BLEU.
– SHORTS –
(out of competition)
AMERICAN DYNASTY (USA, 2015, 20") - EAST COAST PREMIERE
dir. Oscar Seung
Author Evelyn Han was America's favorite Chinese tiger mom. Her readers savored her charming memoirs, putting her four children in front of a national audience. Unfortunately for her children, The Hans: An American Dynasty wasn't a series of memoirs, but works of fiction. Christopher, Vivian, Rachel, and Jacob Han grew up walking a fine line between their mother's fiction and their reality. The world is stunned when Evelyn commits suicide, and the siblings must now clarify their identities. Will the Hans continue to live up to Evelyn's expectations, or will they take their own path?
BATTLE OF WILLS (USA, 2015, 9") - NEW YORK PREMIERE
dir. David No
An American businessman is woken up to find himself in a dark forgotten place with his hands chained above his head. He is wet and bloodied and disorientated. From the darkness, a menacing deep voice snarls at him in Korean, demanding information about his true identity. Let the battle of Wills begin!
David No is an actor, and qualified stuntman. Specializing in both martial arts and precision driving, he has appeared in some of the most noted action films like Matrix Reloaded and Jackie Chan's Mr Nice Guy. His father (Ke-Hyung No) was responsible for establishing taekwondo in Australia and his mother (Robin Marchment) was the first ever female blackbelt. In 2014, David featured in the Korean drama “3Days” as the mysterious assassin Ahn Gyung-Nam. In the Korean drama “Dr Stranger” he played German Cardiologist “Dr Yan”. He also put his precision driving skills to use in the NEXEN Tire commercial as well as completing his 7th Dan promotion in taekwondo at the Kukkiwon.
DESK (KOREA, 2015, 14") - EAST COAST PREMIERE
dir. Youjune Kim
Mr. Ma’s desk is moved from the office out into the corridor. He wants to go back, but the employees are ignoring him. Then, he finds a turtle.
Youjune Kim is studying cinema at Chung-Ang university, in South Korea.
World Premiere at Busan International Film Festival.
68th Cannes Film Festival (2015)
20th Busan International Film Festival (2015)
22nd Palm Springs International ShortFest (2016)
THE DESTINED KING (USA, 2015, 12") - BROOKYLN PREMIERE
dir. Kiyun Sung
20 years ago, a star fell from the heavens and the capital city was engulfed in a violent revolution. Under orders from Princess Ji-Won, Yushin flees from the carnage to deliver her child to safety. However, he is impeded by Sanggun, Yushin’s former student. Seeking to secure his revolution’s success with the death of both Yushin and the last scion of the royal family, Sanggun raises his blade against his former master. Left with no choice, Yushin decides to raise his sword to determine the fate of his country.
Kiyun Sung is a Korean-American director/editor who grew up in the Greater New York City area. In the summer of 2015, in association with the YouTube Space NY and Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment, Kiyun produced and directed Beneath Paradise, a faux-superhero trailer featuring an all Asian-American cast. Later that fall, in another association with the YouTube Space NY, Kiyun produced, edited, and provided story consultation for a Korean-language horror short film, titled구미호: Kumiho.
THE LUNCHEON ON THE GRASS (KOREA, 2016, 34") - BROOKLYN PREMIERE
dir. Hyunyong Park
Four novice kidnappers hired a pro to dispose of a boy who is lying dead in the bloodstained living room of an apartment. As they clean up the scene with the guidance of the pro, the kidnappers say that the hostage killed himself, each one relating how they couldn't help committing the crime. As they reassure one another that it wasn't their fault, they have a phone call ringing.
Hyunyong Park studied at New York Film Academy as film directing.
MOBY DICK (Korea, 2016, 5") - NEW YORK PREMIERE
dir. MinJae Kim
Hyun-Suk, a high-school student, is terrified of his upcoming circumcision. His already- circumcised friends gather around to share their own experiences regarding their operations.
Side-Note // In Korean culture, circumcising is referred to as 'catching a whale’.
2nd Annual Gyeonggi Film School Festival - Opening Film (South Korea)
17th Annual National Student Film Festival - Jury Prize (South Korea)
1st Annual Scout Film Festival (Upcoming festival, USA)
24th Annual Chungmuro Short-Film Festival - Screened In Competition (South Korea) 10th Annual River Film Festival - Screened In Competition (Upcoming festival, Italy)
MY FIRST LOVE (USA, 2016, 23") - BROOKLYN PREMIERE
dir. Sun Park
Old Sunwoo visits his high school after 25 years of graduation. There, he encounters his memory and his first love.
ONE WAY TICKET (TAIWAN/KOREA, 2016, 11") - WORLD PREMIERE
dir. Chih-Wei Chang
Chia-Lun is a struggling salary-man who went through the loss of his first child some years ago. Despite time have past, Chia-Lun still couldn't get over with his daughter's death, and yet his dominant wife not only cheats on him but also filing for divorce and child custody. Chia-Lun has now come to a crossroads, a point of no return...
Chih-Wei Chang is an independent filmmaker of Taiwanese and Korean descent. Born in Taiwan, he spent the first part of his life in South Africa during the furious last gasps of apartheid, and is now living in Seoul, Korea. Chih-Wei holds a M.F.A degree in Filmmaking, and is currently enrolled in a Ph.D programme in Film Studies & Film Practice at Chung-Ang University. Raised in South Africa and Taiwan, he speaks English, Mandarin, Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese and Afrikaans.
Chih-Wei has directed a number of short films that have been screened in various international film festivals around the world, including “HIDE & SEEK”, which was nominated for Best Shot Film at the Asia Pacific Film Festival 2009; and “JANG-GAE”, which won Rising Star Award at the Macau International Movie Festival 2013. As a filmmaker, Chih-Wei was awarded the AFA Scholarship Fund for Outstanding Performance in Asian Film Academy at the Busan International Film Festival 2012, and was selected for Talent Campus Tokyo 2013.
REFLEX CAMERA (KOREA, 2015, 3") - WORLD PREMIERE
dir. Yoomi Kim
The protagonist yearns for the things that people around her possess which she herself does not have. Rather than enjoying her life, she is dreaming of what she cannot possess. The Reflex Camera shows the girl’s dream fantasy focusing on her point of view while she’s looking at the surroundings and deeply wishing for the things she does not have.
Yoomi Kim is a visual artist and character designer. She was born and raised in Seoul, S. Korea. She loves painting, drawing character designs, interacting with digital media and making stories particularly working on moving images. Besides the digital media, she does enjoy playing drums, writing critics for any genres of the films. Currently she lives in Los Angeles, CA
THE SWEETENING (USA, 2015, 15") - NEW YORK PREMIERE
dir. Grace Rowe
Sadie, a lonely and depressed woman takes part in the beta testing of an augmented reality program and meets a man named Jack in a florist shop. Desperate to find out if he’s a real person or just an avatar, Sadie uses the program to discover the truth, which leads to the destruction of her life as she knows it.
Grace Rowe has written, produced, and starred in several film projects including the feature film I AM THAT GIRL (Best Actress Award from Yosemite International Film Festival and Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature Film from the L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival), and AMERICAN SEOUL (Best Screenplay from the New York Asian American International Film Festival, CAPE/FOX Best Screenplay Nominee). Grace has participated in both the Writers and Producers Labs at FIND Film (Film Independent organization), and is a member of the Actors Studio as both an actor and a writer/director. As an actress she’s appeared in many hit t.v. shows including “Black-ish,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and “Modern Family,” and has recently been producing her YouTube show, “The Rowe Show.”
THE TIME AGENT (KOREA, 2016, 30") - US PREMIERE
dir. Jude Chun
An Agent from the future has a simple mission: to make small changes to certain couples' relationships so that they break up. Why? Because their future children have committed crimes so devastating that they have been sentenced to non-existence.
Born in Korea, raised in Philadelphia, Seoul, and Toronto – Jude Chun has a diverse list of cultures and influences in his work. After graduating from York University with a Psychology degree, he studied filmmaking at the Toronto Film School. He has developed as a filmmaker by working in various aspects of film, theater, and advertising. In 2014, he entered and won the Chevrolet Oscars Program video contest, which allowed his ad to be shown during the Oscars telecast.
BEATS OF THE SOUTHERN STYLE (KOREA/USA, 2013, 13")
dir. Samantha Yu, Adam Mantell; feat. Dumbfoundead
Hip-hop culture takes on a different life in a land far from its birthplace, but the stories always remain the same. As LA Koreatown rapper Dumbfoundead performs in Seoul, Korea for R16 KOREA, he reflects on the cultural influences in his own music, and what it means for someone like him to return to the motherland to perform. Meanwhile, Seoul- based indie artist D.Feeling attempts to make his own mark in the Korean hip hop scene.
Samantha Yu was born in Los Angeles, but spent the formative years of her childhood growing up in Taiwan before moving to New York City. She graduated from Ithaca College with a B.S. degree in Cinema Production where she had the opportunity to travel and create.
She has since participated in various film festivals around the States, including as a Student Delegate at CAAMFest in 2012 (formerly San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival).
“Beats of the Southern Style” received the “Best Documentary” award at the 2014 Centrally Isolated Film Festival at Cornell University, and has been accepted to other festivals around the country.
Samantha continues to be based in New York, where she is currently working on the ABC Studios production, Quantico.
Adam Mantell is a student filmmaker from Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He graduated theHun School of Princeton in 2011 before pursuing a B.S. degree in Cinema Production at Ithaca College’s Park School of Communication.