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My Short Films

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The 2nd screening of INHALATION + THE TIGER FACTORY in Tokyo International Film Festival

The TPG meetings from the 26th to 28th of Oct went by in a blur. I think it's much more fruitful than the one two years ago, I got to meet more people, got more input for the project, it was a very educational experience.

No photos though, just a photo of Ming Jin and I, with Dustin Nguyen. In between meetings.

Dustin Nguyen, Ming Jin and I, between TGP meetings


We were both holding the booklets for FLOATING LIVES, which was the last film I saw in Pusan (not counting the closing film).


FLOATING LIVES trailer


On the 28th of October. Ming Jin flew back to Malaysia. I took a couple of meetings.

Then there was the closing reception.

TPG closing reception


Fellow wunderkind (haha) Yuya Ishii's new project won the award. And he had just married Hikari Mitsushima a couple of days earlier too.



Lucky guy. (read my brief encounter with the actress when I stumbled into a now-deleted scene of the film, Kakera)

Kiki gave me a Nyan Nyan pose.

Kiki's Nyan Nyan pose


She wanted to cheer me up, I guess.

Then here's me with a Hong Kong contingent.

Me with the Hong Kong contingent (TPG closing party)


Jessey (the redhead) and Teresa (one with blue dress) had a project that stars Leila Kong.

I told them I'm a fan of Leila Kong. I flashbacked to 1993 when I first saw the landmark TVB drama THE GREED OF MEN, starring Lau Ching Wan and Adam Cheng. I remembered Leila Kong was a child actress back then and had a role in the TVB drama. They were impressed by my memory. Of course, in truth I watched the TV series again just a few years ago when I got myself a VCD box set.

But Leila Kong is one of my favourite actresses who deserved more starring roles in films!

That's her, the one being tortured Clockwork Orange-style.



Just kidding, here's a more proper photo of her.

Leila Kong


And no, Jessey and Theresa didn't pay me to say this.

Night came. It was time for the second screening of INHALATION and THE TIGER FACTORY. With Ming Jin gone, I had to reluctantly accept having all the spotlight for myself during the Q and A session.

This is Woan Er, she was one of the only two Malaysians in the screening (myself being the other one...)

Thanks, Woan Er. You're a patriot.

Woan Er and Qian Qian

With Woan Er, the only other Malaysian at the TIGER FACTORY/INHALATION screening


INHALATION poster at the cinema.

Inhalation poster


After the screening, the dreaded Q and A session began.

Q and A session begins

Me at the Inhalation + Tiger Factory screening Q and A session


Being a shy and introspective man who is afraid of public speaking. It was challenging for me to speak articulately and eloquently. Therefore I had no idea why some would later marvel at how much I've spoken during the session!

I contemplate


I've always been fearful of attention, I tell you.

My glamour pose after the Tiger Factory/Inhalation screening


After that we went off for a celebratory supper with Prof Ando, the programmer Ishizaka-san, the awesome filmmaker Takahashi Yoichiro ("Fishes In August" and Sunday's Dream), who happens to be friends with Ming Jin and a number of other Malaysian filmmakers.

filmmaker Takahashi Yoichiro, me, Ishizaka-san and Prof Ando
From left to right: Takahashi Yoichiro, me, Ishizaka-san and Prof Ando


Takahashi also pointed out that the screenplay of his first film, FISHES IN AUGUST, was written by Masato Kato, the father of Yuiko, my assistant producer of THE TIGER FACTORY. So Takahashi actually went to see a film whose assistant producer is the daughter of the screenwriter of his debut feature, mindblowing!

A celebratory toast...


Video page

Friday, October 29, 2010

The 1st screening of INHALATION + THE TIGER FACTORY in Tokyo International Film Festival

26th of Oct. The 1st screening of INHALATION and THE TIGER FACTORY.

The day began with the TPG (Tokyo Project Gathering) reception. Just like two years ago, Ming Jin and I had a project called 'THE BOOK KEEPER' in the TPG. Some changes were made since then, for example, the opening reception was held on the TIFF Movie Cafe instead of the ballroom in the 49th floor of Roppongi Hills, and that meetings of TPG had been integrated into TIFFCOM (at the 40th floor) instead of being in a separate space at the 49th floor. I elaborated a lot more about the TPG in this blog two years ago.

Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang has a new project called Headshot.

Pen-Ek Ratanaruang has a new project


Last year in Pusan, I shot a video of Pen-ek demonstrating how to roll a tobacco and uploaded it on Youtube.


Video page


THE HOST 2 was also there.

The Host 2!!!


Dustin Nguyen also has a project that he wants to direct. I last saw him in the film FLOATING LIVES at the Pusan International Film Festival. The film had some insanely beautiful visuals, and his broody performance was very manly.

Dustin Nguyen has a project too!


There was also a Latvian project that Kaori Momoi was attached to. I was quite excited to see her. Though I remember first seeing her in J-dramas, I remember her most for her badass role in SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO. And also recently at the SKIP CITY Film Fest, I also recently saw her in a digitally-restored version of the 1977 film by Yoji Yamada, YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF.

Kaori Momoi speaks!


In evening we went through numerous interviews, one of them with the Mainichi newspapers.

We were then invited to visit the festival office in the 49th floor. When Ming Jin and I walked in, the staffers gave us a rousing standing ovation. And then we were asked to autograph their poster. Quite a wonderful experience.

The view from the 49th floor of Roppongi Hills was nice.

Here's me with Qian Qian (left), a new member of Prof. Ando's lab who was serving as my translator/assistant in the TPG meetings. Right is Yukiko, a volunteer.

With Qian Qian and Yukiko the Volunteer

Qian Qian, Ming Jin, Yukiko the Volunteer and me, atop Tokyo


I also pulled out my Nyan Nyan pose!

Nyan nyan pose forever!


INHALATION and THE TIGER FACTORY started screening at 9:30pm and ended around 11:15pm. As we entered for the Q and A session, I was a little surprised to see such a huge amount of people staying around for the session (film was screened in one of the bigger halls in the cinema)

Ming Jin enters for the Q and A of INHALATION + THE TIGER FACTORY

I enter for the Q and A of INHALATION + THE TIGER FACTORY


So we were asked numerous questions about how we came up with the titles of our films, what was our inspiration, describing the shooting process etc.

Ming Jin speaks at INHALATION/THE TIGER FACTORY Q and A


Professor Ando, our exec producer, also came out to give a brief speech. Standing next to him is Ishizaka-san, the programmer.

Prof. Ando speaks during Q and A session


Here's me, contemplating in a smoldering fashion.

I contemplate during the Q and A session


And Ming Jin was saying something serious that I cannot remember.

Ming Jin speaks


I also said something insightful and philosophical, which I also cannot remember.

I speak


Before wrapping up the event, Ishizaka-san, who was the moderator of the event, mentioned how I seemed to take a lot of photos with beautiful Taiwanese actresses in the festival...

With Vivian Hsu, before the Green Carpet event 2

Meeting Lin Zaizai again in Tokyo


I agreed, saying that as a serious artist entirely committed to his craft, I am always on a lookout for acting talents whom I can collaborate creatively with, while at the same time having existential or philosophical discourses with if they were free. And since the Tokyo Film Fest was having a special focus on cinema, Ishizaka-san asked me to recommend some Taiwanese films in the festival for audiences.

I plugged TAIPEI EXCHANGES. (not only because of my appreciation for Guey Lun Mei and Lin Zai Zai's performances... but also because, sadly, that was the only film I saw in the focus, in its entirety)

Photo session!

Photoshoot session

Photoshoot session 2


When we exited the cinema, Japanese director Isao Yukisada ('GO', "CRYING FOR LOVE IN THE CENTER OF THE WORLD', ', 'SPRING SNOW', 'CLOSED NOTE' etc.) and his screenwriter Chihiro Ito (she co-wrote 'CRYING FOR LOVE', 'SPRI SNOW' and also Yukisada's segment in the omnibus CAMELLIA etc). dropped by to say hi. They came for the screening, Yukisada-san enjoyed the films. (I met them earlier at the Narita Airport when we came back to Tokyo from Pusan ten days ago).

Awesome!

Then we had Yakitori.

Here's me with Singaporean filmmaker Liao Jiekai (RED DRAGONFLIES). And also Korean filmmaker Shin Su-Won (PASSERBY #3)

With Singaporean filmmaker Liao Jiekai


With Juke (Aditya Assarat) and Naoko Ogigami.

With Juke (Aditya Assarat) and Naoko Ogigami

Sylvia Chang, Wilson Chen Bolin and Lin Zaizai (again) at the Taiwan Cinema Party in Tokyo Film Fest 2010

Been quite behind with my updates because I've been so busy at the Tokyo Film Festival in the past few days. Both screenings of INHALATION + THE TIGER FACTORY had ended, so is the TPG (Tokyo Project Gathering) at TIFFCOM, so I have a bit more time now. (still have to head there later this afternoon to be interviewed)

On the 24th of June, the Taiwanese folks had a Taiwan Cinema Party in the Tokyo Film Fest.

The MONGA (this year's local box-office champ in Taiwan) team entered.


Video page


Some speeches were made about the glory of Taiwanese cinema and wonderful Taiwanese-Japanese relations.

The Taiwan Cinema Party begins


Then all Taiwanese involved in films presented at the Tokyo Film Fest came onstage for a photoshoot.



I met filmmaker Hou Chi-Jan again. We were both in the Asian Short Film competition at the Pusan International Film Fest two weeks ago, but now his short, JULIET'S CHOICE, starring Vivian Hsu, came as one of the three segments of the omnibus film JULIETS that was having its world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Fest.

With Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Chi-Jan 侯季然


Then I met Sylvia Chang. It's almost exciting to meet someone who had acted in films you've seen since you were a child.

With Sylvia chang 张艾嘉


And then there was Wilson Chen Bolin... who is... skinny. Dude totally looked the same as he was during his BLUE GATE CROSSING (2002) days. I just realized that he's only a year older than me!

With Taiwanese actor Wilson Chen


Both Sylvia and Wilson were in a film called BUDDHA MOUNTAIN, which is in competition at the Tokyo Film Fest.

Then, I met Zaizai Lin again, whom I met in Pusan too. Standout performance in TAIPEI EXCHANGES! She was cool as ever.

Meeting Lin Zaizai again in Tokyo

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Vivian Hsu, Yoshino Kimura and the Tokyo International Film Fest 2010 Green Carpet Event

Yesterday was the opening of the Tokyo International Film Festival 2010.

My recent Pusan Film Fest-winning short film INHALATION (which Ming Jin produced) and Ming Jin's THE TIGER FACTORY (which I produced) are screening under the WINDS OF ASIA section.

Before the green carpet event, we took photos with Vivian Hsu.

With Vivian Hsu, before the Green Carpet event

With Vivian Hsu, before the Green Carpet event 2


I told her that I saw the short film, JULIET'S CHOICE, which she starred in at the Pusan International Film Festival (it was also under the Asian Short Film Competition). JULIET'S CHOICE was initially conceived as part of an omnibus called Juliets, and Juliets is also screening at the Tokyo International Film Fest.

We walked down the green carpet. The TRON 2 folks were in front of us.

Ming Jin at the Green Carpet Event (Tokyo Intl Film Fest 2010)


We walked past the two ambassadors of the festival, Yoshino Kimura (in black) and Anne (in orange). Anne is supposed to be the Green ambassador, I guess she's to promote the ecological theme that's been adopted by the film fest in the past few years.

Green Ambassador Anne and Film Fest Ambassador Yoshino Kimura

Green Ambassador Anne and Film Fest Ambassador Yoshino Kimura 2

Green Ambassador Anne and Film Fest Ambassador Yoshino Kimura 3


Director Leon Prudovsky from Israel.

Israeli director Leon Prudovksy


Photo call at the Green Carpet.


Video page

Lots and lots of journalists


With Film Festival ambassador, actress Yoshino Kimura. She was sitting in front of us. Very classy lady. I told her she was great in SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO!

With Yoshino Kimura, Tokyo Intl Film Fest ambassador


(She was also more than a little surprised when I mentioned that I first saw her in a 1996 Jdrama called SHOTA NO SUSHI.)

The jury members were then introduced on stage.

Neil Jordan, president of the jury, addressing the audiences.


Video page


After that, Jesse Eisenberg and Aaron Sorkin came in to present THE SOCIAL NETWORK, opening film of the festival. Director David Fincher couldn't make it cos he was shooting the THE GIRL WITH A DRAGON TATTOO remake in Sweden.

Aaron Sorkin and Jesse Eisenberg
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