‘Allegiance’ to Close Asian World Film Festival

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The third annual Asian World Film Festival has selected “Allegiance: The Broadway Musical on the Big Screen” as the closing film on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m.

All films will be screened at the Arclight Cinema in downtown Culver City, 9500 Culver Blvd. The closing night screening will be followed by a cocktail reception.

Based on actor/activist George Takei’s childhood experience, “Allegiance” tells the story of one family’s extraordinary journey in a troubling time for the nation. A mysterious envelope takes Sam Kimura (Takei) back 60 years to a time when young Sammy (Telly Leung) and his sister Kei (Lea Salonga) strive to save their family from the wrongful imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Sam enlists in the Army to prove his family’s loyalty, while Kei supports the draft resisters fighting for the rights of their people. Their paths take them from the lush farmlands of California to the wastelands of Wyoming to the battlefields of Europe, and their divided philosophies threaten to tear them apart forever.

In addition, Takei will be honored with the AWFF Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony preceding the screening.

Executive and Program Director Georges Chamchoum said, “George Takei is an American actor, director, author and activist. But above all an amazing human being, which is why we consider him the perfect candidate for our Lifetime Achievement Award. His work for human rights, Japan-United States Relations, including the Japanese American National Museum, is what I call the right stuff.”

Other highlights include:

The North American premiere of the North Korean film “Salt” on Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. Directed by controversial South Korean filmmaker Sheen Sang-Ok, it tells the story of a young man who becomes a Communist Party and his mother’s journey towards understanding her son’s political choices.

The Centerpiece Film, “The Fortress” from South Korea, directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, an epic war drama set in 1636 during the second Qing invasion of Korea, on Oct. 28 at 6 p.m.

Japan’s official Oscar submission for best foreign language film, “Her Love Boils Bathwater,” directed by Ryota Nakano, on Oct. 30 at 9 p.m. and Oct. 31 at 1 p.m. After her husband suddenly disappears, Futaba is forced to close her public bathhouse business. Shortly afterwards, she is diagnosed with terminal cancer and without telling her teenage daughter, who is being bullied at school, Futaba gives herself four important tasks to fulfill before she dies. Firstly, to reunite with her husband and reopen the bathhouse. Secondly, to make her daughter more independent. Thirdly, to introduce someone important to her daughter. The fourth is a secret she has been keeping for a very long time. Cast includes Rie Miyazawa, Hana Sugisaki and Joe Odagiri.A 25th anniversary screening of “The Joy Luck Club,” a story of four Chinese American women and their mothers directed by Wayne Wang and based on the novel by Amy Tan, on Oct. 29 at 5 p.m. The cast includes Tamlyn Tomita, Rosalind Chao, Ming-Na Wen, Lauren Tom, Tsai Chin, France Nuyen, Lisa Lu, and Kieu Chinh. The screening will be followed by Q&A with cast and crew members.

“Finding Julia,” directed by Igor Sunara and starring Ha Phuong, Kieu Chinh, Andrew McCarthy and Richard Chamberlain, on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. In Manhattan, Eurasian acting student Julia Chamonix is unable to enjoy the privileged life she shares with her doting father. Haunted by the tragic early death of her mother, a former star actress and singer in Vietnam, and likewise haunted by a secret desire she has to hide from the world, Julia struggles in her acting studies under a renowned coach. However, her ambitions to emulate her mother’s success are thwarted by her severe difficulties with the English language. Her only confidante is her wise Vietnamese grandmother, but even with her she limits what she confides. Meanwhile she begins to experience recurring nightmares in which she relives the car accident that killed her mother. Caught between two very different cultures, Julia questions if she will ever fit in anywhere.

The AWFF brings the best of a broad selection of Asian world cinema to Los Angeles to draw greater recognition of the region’s wealth of filmmakers, strengthening ties between the Asian and Hollywood film industries. Uniting through cross-cultural collaboration, the festival champions films from over 50 countries across Asian, from Turkey to Japan and Russia to India and the Middle East.

All participating films have a chance to guided through the challenging awards season and showcased for the Motion Picture Academy, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and all guilds for enhanced exposure, media attention and awards consideration.

For tickets and a complete listing of films, visit www.AsianWorldFilmFest.org.

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