Thursday, February 27, 2014

Concrete Clouds, All Powerful! in Hong Kong fest

Lee Chatametikool's debut feature Concrete Clouds and Aditya Assarat's short film All Powerful! will screen in the 38th Hong Kong International Film Festival.

Starring Ananda Everingham and Apinya Sakuljaroensuk, Concrete Clouds (ภวังค์รัก, Pavang Rak) is showing as part of the Global Vision program. Here's the synopsis:

The financial crisis of the late 1990s left an indelible mark on Asia, as Chatametikool shows as he heads back to 1997 in this simultaneously kitschy and contemplative film. When Mutt returns to Bangkok from Manhattan after his father’s suicide, he reconnects with an old girlfriend just as his younger brother embarks on his own fragile romance with a neighbour. Secrets, reality, fantasy and memory press down on the various relationships, and determine how they ultimately succeed or fail.

Long in development and produced by a host of filmmaking talent, including Anocha Suwichakornpong and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Concrete Clouds was supported by the Hong Kong fest's Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum. It premiered at last year's Busan fest. Other appearances include the Tiger Awards competition at Rotterdam and the recent Vesoul fest in France. Distributed by the new company Mosquito Films Distribution, a Thai release is planned for sometime this year, but is likely pending an end to the increasingly violent anti-government protests that have paralyzed Bangkok.

All Powerful! is in the short-film competition. Reuniting the maids and the security guard from Aditya's previous short film, the Hi-So adjunct Six to Six, it has the now-out-of-work guard trying to sell quack medical devices to the skeptical auntie and his young former co-worker. Aditya himself makes an appearance. All Powerful! previously screened in last year's Thai Short Film and Video Festival as well as the recent Clermont-Ferrand fest.

The Hong Kong fest has two opening films, both by Hong Kong directors – Pang Ho-chun's family drama Aberdeen starring Louis Koo, Miriam Yeung and Gigi Leung, and Fruit Chan's post-apocalyptic thriller The Midnight After. The closing film is Dante Lam’s That Demon Within.

Among the world premieres is Beautiful 2014, the third installment in the anthology series co-produced by HKIFF and Chinese online video platform Youku. It has segments directed by Christopher Doyle, China’s Zhang Yuan, Hong Kong’s Shu Kei and South Korea’s Kang Je-gyu.

There will be a Philippines Day on March 30 in tribute to victims of Typhoon Yolanda, and a special "Glories of Filipino Cinema" program will include such films as Erik Matti’s On the Job, Chris Martinez’ Kimmy Dora: Ang Kiyemeng Prequel, Lav Diaz Norte, the End of History and Barber's Tales, starring ubiquitous leading lady Eugene Domingo.

The 38th Hong Kong International Film Festival runs from March 24 to April 7.

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