The 2015 Village Voice Best Film Festival award winner is back! The 15th edition of the New York Asian Film Festival will feature a full plate of unhinged, genre-bending films, brisk and intelligent entertainment, and uncompromising art-house gems that will satiate all appetites, wholesome and otherwise. Poised to be the summer’s hottest event, the festival will tantalize, shock, and excite with a handpicked crop of disquieting noir, gonzo gangster action, dark romance, and sharp political works that showcase the vibrant range of talent from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. The NYAFF will also celebrate its coming-of-age with special retrospective screenings of some of the founders’ and programmers’ favorite works.

Special Events

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Twisted Justice

  • World Premiere
  • Wednesday June 22, 7:00pm
  • Appearance by Kazuya Shiraishi and Yoshinori Chiba
  • Tuesday, June 28, 6:00pm
  • Q&A with Go Ayano, Ayano will be presented with a Screen International Rising Star Asia Award

Taking his inspiration from the biggest scandal in Japan’s police history, Kazuya Shiraishi has crafted a brutal saga about the grand forces of corruption. The film charts the moral descent of Detective Moroboshi (Go Ayano) over three decades, as he goes from ambitious rookie to full-on corrupt cop.

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She Remembers, He forgets

  • Wednesday, June 29, 8:45pm
  • Q&A with Miriam Yeung and Adam Wong; Yeung will be presented with a Star Asia Award

Hollywood doesn’t make romantic comedies anymore, but that’s okay as long as Hong Kong turns out precision-crafted, laser-guided, weapons-grade weepies like this one. Miriam Yeung plays a middle-aged woman whose marriage is falling apart and she can’t figure out why. The answer may lie in the past, back at college, when her husband fought for her affections against the man who might have been her soulmate.

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10 Years

  • North American Premiere
  • Monday, July 4, 9:00pm
  • Q&A with Kwok Zune, Wang Fei-pang, Jevons Au, Chow Kwun-wai, Ng Ka-leung, and Andrew Choi

The Best Picture winner at the Hong Kong Film Awards, this dystopian anthology of five shorts makes some startling, dark predictions about life in Hong Kong under Chinese rule in the year 2025: self-immolation, government schemes, and reactionary youth groups. The Chinese government was not amused.

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Inside Men

  • New York Premiere
  • Tuesday, July 5, 8:30pm
  • Q&A with Lee Byung-hun; Lee will be presented with a Star Asia Award

The highest-grossing R-rated film in Korean history, Inside Men brilliantly exposes the seedy alliances between politicians, the media, and the chaebol (mega-corporations) through a corrupt politician, who finds his path to the presidency blocked by a low-level thug (Lee Byung-hun) and a fiery prosecutor (Jo Seung-woo) with his own dreams of power.

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15th Anniversary Surprise Screening!

  • Friday, July 8, 8:40pm

We can’t tell you what we’re showing, but trust us: you want to see it on the big screen with an audience! This one has special meaning to our founders, and to celebrate we’re hosting a reception for ticket holders before the show… Beer and a Secret Screening: what better way to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the best film festival in New York City!?

tenants-downstairs

The Tenants Downstairs

  • International Premiere
  • Saturday, July 9, 9:00pm
  • Q&A with Adam Tsuei, Ivy Shao, Li Xing

The most hotly anticipated Taiwanese film this year follows a landlord (Simon Yam at his creepiest) part devil, part sexual deviant, whose panopticon-like apartment building houses twisted souls collected to satiate his desire to peep into the darkest aspects of human nature.

Lineup

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Hamog (Haze)

  • North American Premiere
  • Friday, July 1, 8:15pm
  • Q&A with Teri Malvar; Malvar will be presented with a Screen International Rising Star Asia Award

Hamog (Haze) loosely weaves the stories of four street kids, whose tenuous lives are shattered after a petty theft goes terribly wrong. One boy must arrange for a funeral of another despite vast indifference, and the girl Jinky (a fiery Teri Malvar) is kidnapped and forced to work as a maid in a twisted household.

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All About Lily Chou-Chou

  • Sunday, June 26, 2:15pm

An ode to the wanton cruelty of youth and the ethereal power of music that won prizes at the 2002 Berlin and Shanghai Film Festivals, the beautiful and haunting All About Lily Chou-Chou drifts through the relationship between Yuichi and Shusuke, high-schoolers who were once friends but now find themselves at the center a slow-building storm of violence, tribalism, and bullying.

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Alone

  • New York Premiere
  • Wednesday, July 6, 6:30pm

Su-min (Lee Ju-won) is a photographer documenting the changes of a nearby neighborhood. After witnessing a murder, he is attacked and wakes up in that very neighborhood... So begins Korean filmmaker Park Hong-min’s daring and original thriller, in which Su-min is trapped in nightmarish moebius strip as he wakes again and again in a different spot.

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Apocalypse Child

  • North American Premiere
  • Thursday, June 23, 6:15pm
  • Q&A with Monster Jimenez, Annicka Dolonius, Sid Lucero

This sun-drenched sensual relationship drama features a love hexagon, a ripped surfer dude who may or may not be Francis Ford Coppola’s illegitimate son, gorgeous vistas, and razor-sharp dialogue, all the while examining the lies we tell ourselves and the games we play to maintain them.

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The Bacchus Lady

  • New York Premiere
  • Friday, July 1, 6:00pm

Director E J-yong tackles the taboo topic of senior prostitution in this story of a sixtysomething woman (the incomparable Youn Yuh-jung) who spends her days in public parks, soliciting old men with energy drinks. When a touch of gonorrhea leaves her unable to ply her trade, she is forced to find another service to offer her clients.

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The Bodyguard AKA My Beloved Bodyguard

  • New York Premiere
  • Monday, July 4, Noon

Sammo Hung, who returns to the director’s chair after almost 20 years, stars as Ding, a retired Central Security Bureau member suffering from the onset of Alzheimer’s. Estranged from his family, he befriends a young girl, and must dust off his very specific set of skills when she disappears…

bodyguard

The Bodyguard

  • North American Premiere
  • Saturday, June 25, 8:30pm
  • Q&A with Yue Song; Song will be presented with the Daniel A. Craft Award for Excellence in Action Cinema

Wu-Lin is the successor of an ancient clan specializing in the Iron Kick. When he goes to the big city following the death of his master, he finds himself the bodyguard to spoiled rich girl Faye. Kidnapping and betrayal ensue, and Wu-Lin must unleash his clan’s secret techniques to help free Faye.

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The Boys Who Cried Wolf

  • Saturday, July 9, 2:15pm
  • Q&A with Kim Jin-hwang

As his graduate project at the Korean Academy of Film Arts, Kim Jin-hwang wrote, directed, edited, and co-produced this film about a failed stage actor who is hired to be a fake murder witness, but then sets out to exonerate the very man he is testifying against.

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A Bride for Rip Van Winkle

  • New York Premiere
  • Friday, June 24, 6:15pm
  • Iwai Shunji will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award

How far would you go for a human connection or love? Iwai Shunji’s latest masterwork charts the fall from grace of Nanami (Haru Kuroki, in a marvelously complex role), who becomes trapped in a slowly unravelling mystery after she hires the online all-around fixer Amuro (Go Ayano)—half Sganarelle, half Mephistopheles—to provide her wedding with guests.

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Creepy

  • New York Premiere
  • Wednesday, June 29, 6:00pm

After a violent encounter forces a detective to retire to the suburbs with his wife, he becomes interested in a cold case involving a missing family and the daughter they left behind. As the mysteries of the past bleed into the present, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s newest film becomes a truly horrifying experience that delivers on the promise of its title.

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Dongju: Portrait of a Poet

  • New York Premiere
  • Tuesday, June 28, 9:15pm
  • Q&A with Lee Joon-ik and Shin Yeon-shick

A stirring biopic of the beloved Korean poet Yun Dongju, who died young at the hands of Japanese colonialists. Director Lee Joon-ik is known for vibrant, colorful historical films, but he took a subtler approach to create this piece of cinematic poetry that embodies the spirit of the title character.

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Fourth Place

  • Saturday, July 2, 3:05pm

The new film by the director of A Muse (NYAFF 2013), Fourth Place follows a 12-year-old swimmer who never wins, his mother that wants him to win, and a coach that beats him to win. The trophies start piling up, the lines between abuse and good coaching are blurred, and the film becomes a raw and urgent masterpiece examining the cost of society’s constant push toward success.

grace

Grace

  • Sunday, July 3, 9:00pm
  • Q&A with Apinya Sakuljaroensuk

After bubbly schoolgirls Care and Ple set up a Facebook fansite for Care, her newfound popularity attracts the attention of an unhinged ex-idol who creates a kidnapping plot with her number-one fan in this violent tale of Internet fame gone awry.

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Heart Attack AKA Freelance

  • New York Premiere
  • Sunday, July 3, 6:30pm

Yoon (Sunny Suwanmethanon) is a warrior of the Photoshop age. Practically shackled to his computer, the freelance designer constantly fights deadlines retouching boobs and butts for ad campaigns. When he develops a worrisome skin condition from overwork, he has to go the hospital, where he meets the pretty Doctor Imm (Davika Hoorne)—but it’s not as romantic as it sounds…

hentai-kamen

Hentai Kamen 2: The Abnormal Crisis

  • North American Premiere
  • Wednesday, July 6, 8:30pm

In this sequel to the 2013 NYAFF Audience Award winner, handsome Kyosuke Shikijo (beefcake Ryohei Suzuki) tries to balance his love for his girlfriend Aiko, whose underwear he needs to become a superhero, and his double life as the masked vigilante Hentai Kamen, all the while confronting a worldwide evil conspiracy involving a mass panty disappearance.

honor-thy-father

Honor Thy Father

  • New York Premiere
  • Saturday, July 2, 8:15pm
  • Q&A with John Lloyd Cruz; Cruz will be presented with a Star Asia Award

Erik Matti won Best Director at the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival for this immorality tale of a father who must revisit his dark past in order to protect his family from the insidious benevolence of an extortive Christian church. A gripping thriller that doubles as a social-issue drama.

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If Cats Disappeared from the World

  • North American Premiere
  • Friday, June 24, 4:00pm
  • Monday, June 27, 9:00pm

A postman is diagnosed with a terminal disease and the devil (both played by Takeru Sato) offers him one extra day of life for every thing he erases from the world. As these mundane object—phones, movies, clocks—disappear, they spark memories of the past, and reveal the deeper connections between the everyday items we take for granted and the moments that make us human.

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Jagat Brutal

  • North American Premiere
  • Sunday, June 26, 7:30pm
  • Q&A with Shanjhey Kumar Perumal

First-time director Shanjhey Kumar Perumal channels the spirit of Satyajit Ray in this coming-of-age story set in a community of Tamil immigrants in Malaysia. Appoy is a spirited boy with a good heart who finds himself inexorably drawn to the criminal lifestyle of his uncle, a henchman in a local Malaysian gang.

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Keeper of Darkness

  • North American Premiere
  • Saturday, July 9, Noon

Gangster by day, exorcist by night, Fatt (played by the director Nick Cheung) is a Triad underling who uses his mobster diplomacy to rid his neighborhood of bothersome ghosts and spirits. But he might have met his match when he awakens an especially heinous demon who specializes in killing mediums.

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Kiyamachi Daruma

  • International Premiere
  • Tuesday, July 5, 6:00pm
  • Appearance by Hideo Sakaki

Veteran character actor Kenichi Endo gives an unforgettably tenacious performance as Katsuura, a former Yakuza boss who had his arms and legs removed after being betrayed by one of his henchmen. With the help of his underling/nursemaid, Katsuura terrifies people into settling their debts in truly unsettling ways.

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The Laundryman

  • New York Premiere
  • Saturday, June 25, 12:30pm

In Lee Chung’s stunning genre-mixing feature debut, Joseph Chang stars as a nameless hit man who kills people at the orders of A-gu (Sui Tang). Plagued by the ghosts of his victims, he seeks help from a cynical psychic while a determined police detective is hot on his trail.

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Lazy Hazy Crazy

  • North American Premiere
  • Saturday, June 25, 6:15pm

Three girls living together and selling sex on the side form the heart of this incredibly smart (and sometimes blunt) film about relationships between young women on the verge of adulthood, the directorial debut of Pang Ho-cheung’s screenwriting collaborator Luk Yee-sum. With frank sexuality and a side of Hong Kong rarely seen, Lazy Hazy Crazy is a nonjudgmental spin on the female coming-of-age story.

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Love in the Buff

  • Thursday, June 30, 6:00pm
  • Appearance by Miriam Yeung

In 2010’s Love in a Puff, two people met in the alley behind their office and fell in love during smoke breaks. Pang Ho-cheung’s hilarious semi-sequel picks up with the couple—now living together and driving each other crazy—initiating a cycle of breaking up and getting back together again.

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Maverick

  • North American Premiere
  • Sunday, June 26, 9:30pm

In one of the most impressive Taiwanese films we watched this year, Chris Wang plays headstrong rookie cop Yeh, who is determined to take down the criminal son of a city councilman in the face of ubiquitous corruption. With help from a veteran police officer (Chuang Kai-Hsun) who has his own set of problems, does Yeh stand a chance?

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The Mermaid

  • Saturday, July 2, 5:30pm
  • Q&A with Jelly Lin; Lin will be presented with a Screen International Rising Star Asia Award

Stephen Chow directs (but doesn’t star) in China’s biggest blockbuster of all time, a comedy masterpiece about a mermaid (Jelly Lin) sent to assassinate the real-estate developer who wants to steal her home. Hilarious, heartbreaking, and genuinely gasp-inducing at times, this deconstruction of The Little Mermaid is a tacky, surreal, hilarious heartbreaker.

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Miss Hokusai

  • New York Premiere
  • Sunday, July 3, 2:30pm
  • Miss Hokusai

An animated adaptation of Hinako Sugiura’s manga series Sarusaberi, Miss Hokusai is an absolute treat to behold. Through episodic glimpses into the life of ukiyo-e master Katsushika Hokusai’s daughter O-ei (Anne Higashide), the film offers both an examination of artistic genius and a complex father-daughter relationship. Winner of four awards at the 2015 Fantasia Film Festival.

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The Mobfathers

  • New York Premiere
  • Monday, July 4, 6:30pm

In this Hong Kong gangster flick with a hidden political message, a respected boss (Chapman To) and a flamboyantly gay upstart (Gregory Wong) face off in an election for control of the Triads, not realizing that their strings are being pulled by a shadowy committee of bosses led by the insidious Anthony Wong.

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Mr. Six

  • Thursday, July 7, 8:30pm

From the director of 2010 festival favorite Cow comes this tough-as-nails flick about an old-school gangster, Mr. Six (blockbuster director Feng Xiaogang in a rare acting role, which won him an award at the 2015 Golden Horse Film Festival), who has to tool up and take on a bunch of young punks who’ve kidnapped his son for scratching their Lamborghini. This flick will put hair on your chest and brass in your balls.

the-priests

The Priests

  • Thursday, June 23, 9:00pm

Spurts of blood? Check. A teenage girl belching obscenities in dead languages? Check. A demon-possessed pig? Check. Yep, it’s an exorcism film. World-weary Kim Yun-seok excels as the head priest and Kang Dong-won as his bright-eyed acolyte, but Park So-dam devours her every scene as the possessed girl.

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Saving Mr. Wu

  • Saturday, July 9, 4:00pm

The real-life abduction of actor Wu Ruofu is the basis for this wildly fun kidnapping flick. The ticking clock of a ransom deadline with murderous consequences if missed gives the film a breathless pace as the police race to connect the dots, while Wu races to use his performance skills to escape his situation.

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Seoul Station

  • North American Premiere
  • Friday, June 24, 9:45pm

Yeon Sang-ho earns his place in the zombie pantheon with this biting animated feature that takes a look at some of South Korea’s biggest social issues through a tale of a father searching for his runaway daughter just as a zombie outbreak is spreading throughout Seoul Station’s homeless population.

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The Sound of a Flower

  • Thursday, July 7, 6:15pm

K-pop superstar Bae Suzy shines in this semi-true story of Jin Chae-sun, the first woman singer of pansori (a Korean mix of blues and opera). Disguised as a man, Chae-sun gains admission to a famous music academy, but when her ruse is exposed, she must literally sing for her life.

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Swallowtail Butterfly

  • Saturday, June 25, 2:45pm
  • Q&A with Iwai Shunji

Swallowtail Butterfly shook the Japanese film scene 20 years ago the way Pulp Fiction rocked America. Set in the near-future, and fueled by Takeshi Kobayashi’s aggressively sexy J-pop score, this sci-fi flick posits a Japan that attracts immigrants on the hustle to earn yen—and focuses on a bunch of them who form a band, take on gangsters, lose their souls, and build a family. You only wish today’s filmmakers were brave enough to wear their hearts on their sleeves like this.

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The Tag-Along

  • U.S. Premiere
  • Sunday, July 3, 12:30pm

Inspired by a creepy home video that became a viral Internet sensation, The Tag-Along was a surprise box-office hit. A young woman investigates the disappearance of her boyfriend’s grandmother, but the only evidence is a mysterious video image of a ghostly girl in red, who might just be a mo-sien, a mountain demon who preys on fear.

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Tekkonkinkreet

  • Sunday, June 26, 5:15pm
  • 10th Anniversary Screening | Appearance by Michael Arias

Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, Michael Arias’s adaptation of Taiyo Matsumoto’s Tekkonkinkreet manga is an exquisitely animated action film. Deep in Treasure Town, the tough, violent Black and the more innocent White are orphans who soar through the streets like pint-sized superheroes, fighting to defend the town—and each other—from a nefarious yakuza boss.

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Tetsuo: the Iron Man

  • Saturday, June 25, 11:00pm
  • NYAFF 15th Anniversary Screening

Shinya Tsukamoto’s full-metal nightmare is a movie we’ve wanted to screen for years—so why not now? Like David Lynch’s Eraserhead remade by David Cronenberg, it’s an audio-visual bullet to the brain that twists humans into berserk bio-mechanical monstrosities that breed, kill, fight, and fuck in a bizarro Japan that exists in some nightmare dimension. One of the most cinema-shattering punk flicks ever made.

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The Throne

  • Thursday, June 30, 8:30pm
  • Introduction by Lee Joon-ik

Two of Korea’s top actors—Yoo Ah-in and Song Kang-ho—star in this sumptuous blockbuster dramatization of one of the most notorious and tragic episodes in Korean history, when King Yeongjo of the Joseon Dynasty executed his son Prince Sado by locking him in a rice chest for eight days with no food or water.

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Too Young To Die!

  • North American Premiere
  • Friday, July 1, 3:30pm
  • Saturday, July 9, 6:15pm

Two Young to Die! is both an impossibly entertaining feast of rock music and hilariously absurd reimaginations of Buddhist imagery and a deeply affecting love story that uses “motherf**ker” as its war cry.

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Triviṣa

  • New York Premiere
  • Monday, July 4, 4:15pm

Johnnie To masterminded this throwback to old-school Hong Kong filmmaking, in which three of his young protégés contributed to a flick comprised of the stories of three real-life triads who terrorized the city in pre-handover Hong Kong.

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A Violent Prosecutor

  • Friday, July 8, 6:15pm

In Korea’s biggest box-office hit of 2016 (so far), an ace prosecutor is framed and sent to prison to serve time with the thugs that he himself put behind bars. The title role goes to superstar Hwang Jeong-min, but the film belongs to Kang Dong-won, who steals every scene playing a chameleonic con man.

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Weeds on Fire

  • North American Premiere
  • Monday, July 4, 2:10pm

First-time feature director Chan Chi-fat provides an uplifting account of Hong Kong’s first youth baseball team, which made an unlikely run to the championships in its inaugural season. The sports narrative is compelling, but the heart of the film is the friendship/rivalry between the team’s pitcher and catcher.

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What a Wonderful Family!

  • U.S. Premiere
  • Sunday, June 26, 12:00pm

On Tomiko’s birthday, after 50 years of marriage, her husband Shuzo asks her what she wants as a gift. She hands him divorce papers. Chaos, hilarity, and lots of self-questioning ensue in all three generations of the family. Yoji Yamada’s return to comedy after 20 years is one of the funniest films of the year.

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What’s In The Darkness

  • North American Premiere
  • Monday, June 27, 6:15pm
  • Q&A with Wang Yichun

A young girl in a rural Chinese village becomes perversely fascinated with a series of unsolved murders, as her cop father tries to solve the case despite his colleagues’ incompetence. Debut director Wang Yichun invokes the perils of repressed desire while equating China’s transition to capitalism with the prurient confusion of puberty.

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Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass

  • New York Premiere
  • Saturday, July 2, 1:00pm

Based on Nguyễn Nhật Ánh’s award-winning book, Victor Vu’s adaptation is a film of pure poetry that tells a breathtakingly beautiful tale of childhood, innocence, and brotherhood. A guy’s jealousy of his younger brother’s pure relationship with the girl next door leads to violence, loss of innocence, and a quest for redemption.

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Zinnia Flower

  • New York Premiere
  • Sunday, July 3, 4:30pm

Made by director Tom Lin in the wake of his wife’s death, Zinnia Flower follows two strangers who are devastated by unthinkable loss after a deadly car accident. Struggling to repair their shattered hearts, they are brought together at a Buddhist temple every seven days to pray for the soul of the deceased.