This week's Asian Cinema Scene travels to Hong Kong and Los Angeles, showcasing recent and upcoming films.
Hong Kong Film Awards. Wilson Yip's galvanizing martial arts biopic Ip Man won the Best Film award at the annual ceremony held on Sunday, according to China Daily. Donnie Yen stars as a respected Wing Chun master who ultimately is forced to use his martial arts skills to defend his country's honor against the invading Japanese in the late 1930s. Sammo Hung and Tony Leung Siu-Hung deservedly won the Best Action Design award for their work on the film. (My capsule review and the trailer.)
The other big winner doesn't feature any martial arts or big battle scenes. Low-budget drama The Way We Are won for Best Director (Ann Hui), Best Actress (Bau Hei-Jing), Supporting Actress (Chan Lai-Wun), and Best Screenplay (Lui Yau-Wah). Edmund Lee in Time Out Hong Kong sniffed that it's a "crowd-pleasing film that, lamentably, is a contrived attempt at social commentary," while Lunapark6 was more impressed: "Ann Hui ... creates a quietly moving arthouse film ... to show life as it is for at least some of the Hong Kong regular folks." The trailer is embedded below.
Nick Cheung was honored as Best Actor for his haunting portrayal of a murderous child stealer with his own emotionally-wrenching back story in Dante Lam's Beast Stalker. Liu Kai-Chi took Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the same film. (My capsule review.) John Woo's big budget Red Cliff received five awards in the technical categories. The complete list of winners and nominees can be found at LoveHKFilm.com.
After the jump: Highlights of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, which starts tomorrow.
Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. The 7th edition of the fest kicks off tomorrow night with the world premiere of Anand Surapur's The Fakir of Venice, in which two con men "are forced to examine the course of their individual lives." Four other features will also receive their world premiere during the next few days, and Bollywood legend Anil Kapoor will be saluted. Buzz titles such as Nina Paley's animated Sita Sings the Blues and Deepa Mehta's Heaven on Earth will be showcased, along with intriguing docs such as Supermen of Malegaon (pictured), which follows a no-budget team of filmmakers attempting to create a project about a caped hero.
The fest concludes on Sunday night, April 26, with Megan Doneman's documentary Yes Madam Sir, "profiling Dr. Kiran Bedi, the first woman to join the Indian Police Service and a controversial and inspiring figure in India," as described in a prepared statement. "Dr. Bedi will be in attendance as a guest of honor that evening along with director, Doneman." The complete lineup and more details are available at the official site.