The Deauville Asian Film Festival is beginning tonight until March 10, and here is the complete program of the next 5 days…
Tribute to Shion Sono
As every year, a recognized Asian film director is put under the spotlight, and this year that is Shion Sono. That choice is quite meaningful given recent personal troubles and split with his agency, Dongyu Club. He is presenting his latest film, The Land of Hope, in both Honfleur (on March 7) and Deauville (March 9) – followed by a masterclass. His film will be released in France by Metropolitan FilmExport on April 23, a UK release date hasn’t been decided yet but is hoped for by co-producer and distributor Third Window Films’ Adam Torel.
Moreover, a selection of seven of his lesser distributed films will be screened over the next five days: I Am Sono Shion (1985), Love (1986), The Room (1992), Bad Film (1995), Keiko Desu Kedo (1997), Suicide Club (2001) and The Land of Hope (2012).
Tribute to Wong Kar-wai
As announced only ten days ago, the great Hong-Kong visual artist will be in Cannes to present his long-awaited The Grandmaster, which premiered in Berlin back in February. A masterclass will take place on March 8. The film will be released in France by co-producer Wild Bunch, and for the UK, Weinstein is handling the distribution – but no specific announcement has been given (hopefully they will give it a theatrical run this time).
Additionally to The Grandmaster, several of his films will also be screened: As Tears Go By (1988), Chungking Express (1994), Ashes of Time Redux (1994), Happy Together (1997), In the Mood for Love (2000), 2046 (2004).
A competition open to new talents
This year, films in competition reflect the festival’s policy of promotion of discovery of new talents, three of those being first films while other four are second films, from everywhere across Asia:
- Mai Ratima by Ji-tae Yu (South Korea), as festival opening;
- The Town of Whales by Keiko Tsuruoka (Japan);
- I.D. by Kamal K.M. (India);
- Apparition by Vincent Sandoval (Philippines);
- Four Stations by Boonsong Nakphoo (Thailand);
- Songlap by Effendee Mazlan and Fariza Azlina (Malaysia);
- Taboor by Vahid Vakilifar (Iran).
There will be also two films of relatively important status to complete this selection: The Last Supper by Lu Chuan (China, City of Life and Death) and The Weight by Jeon Kyu-hwan (South Korea, From Seoul to Varasani).
Jérôme Clément, former director of French public institution, CNC, and TV broadcaster ARTE, will head the jury to award the Lotus trophies.
An out-of-competition category full of blockbusters
Many latest films by highly recognized directors will also be screened out-of-competition: Kiyoshi Kurosawa (tribute 2012), Brillante Mendoza (tribute 2010), Chen Kaige (tribute 2006), Kim Ki-duk (French film festivals usual guest), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Golden Palm 2010), and two very commercial Asian directors: Tsui Hark and Choi Dong-hun.
The mentioned films are:
- Shokuzai by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Japan): a 5-hour TV series about the life of Japanese women, divided into 2 films for its France release;
- Pieta by Kim Ki-Duk (South Korea): Golden Lion in Venise en 2012, distributed by Pretty Pictures for a France release on April 10;
- The Thieves by Choi Dong-hoon (South Korea): historical record at Korean box office;
- The Land of Hope by Shion Sono (Japan): image of a futuristic Japan after exiting the nuclear disaster;
- Thy Womb by Brillante Mendoza (Philippines): poetic thought on marriage and maternity;
- Caught in the Web by Chen Kaige (China): analysis of the daily omnipresence of internet;
- Flying Swords of Dragon Gate by Tsui Hark (China): adaptation of the 1966 classic, Dragon Inn, by King Hu;
- Mekong Hotel by Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand): docu-fiction about a hotel near the Mekong river, physical frontier between Thailand and Laos;
- Buddha: The Great Departure by Kozo Morishita (Japan): epic animation adapted from the biography of Buddha written by Tezuka Osamu, told by Siddhartha himself.
In short, Deauville Asia 2013 includes a considerable but also very diverse film programming which will likely appeal to every taste. If you attend the festival, please feel free to share your experience.
See the Deauville Asia website…