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Sunday, October 17, 2010


Decided to break my recap up into two parts so it won't be too long.

12th of October. Finally had the screening of INHALATION among the short films in the ASIAN SHORT FILM competition section. It's the first time I've ever seen the short on a big screen and I have to say that the HDcam transfer was pretty superb. Japan's awesome.

The other four nominated shorts were MOUTH by Zurich Chan (Philippines), TRANSITORINESS by Yang Guo (China), JULIET'S CHOICE by Hou Chi-Jan (Taiwan) and LIVING IT by David Lee Ling Wei (Singapore).

All shorts varied greatly in terms of tone, styles, budget, format, etc. So the screening was pretty fun.

For example, JULIET'S CHOICE had approximately 100 000 USD budget, shot on lovely 35mm, and starred Vivian Hsu (I gasped in delight). It's produced by Ang Lee's brother Khan Lee (whom I met after the screening). Director Hou Chi-Jan had a feature film earlier this year called ONE DAY that was screened at the Berlin Film Fest, and ONE DAY had just won the Grand Prix at the Pacific Meridien Film Fest in Vladivostok last month. Really wanted to see the film.

Yang Guo's TRANSITORINESS was shot on 16mm and was his thesis film for the Beijing Film Academy. Yang Guo also worked as assistant DP for Zhang Yimou's new film UNDER THE HAWTHORN TREE (also the opening film of Pusan Film Fest this year).

Zurich Chan shot his short with his camcorder and spent 30 USD, that's slightly cheaper than my film. Being a participant of this year's ASIAN FILM ACADEMY, he had lots of supporters (fellow AFA students) during the screening.

David Lee Ling Wei's experimental film was very personal and semi-autobiographical. Really nice use of colours and production design too. I salivated at the yummy colours!

The Q and A was awesome because audiences really asked questions.

I was very surprised when a Korean audience member said that INHALATION reminded him of Hong Sang Soo films and asked whether I'm influenced by him. I said that I've seen and enjoyed quite a number of Hong Sang Soo films, and most coincidentally, I just saw Hong Sang Soo's HAHAHA in the morning, hours before my own screening! So perhaps I was influenced in a subconscious manner. I pointed out that for INHALATION, I thought my influences were more from early Wong Kar Wai and also Edward Yang (in fact, the Chinese title of INHALATION is a quote from the film A CONFUCIAN CONFUSION). I regret that forgot to mention that I tend to reference Lee Chang Dong a lot too.

I then headed off to the Wide Angle Party, where the dancing with Juliet Binoche took place.

Kkobbi appeared again.

With Ming Jin.

Ming Jin and Kkobbi

With dad.

Kkobbi and Dad

And being interviewed.

Kkobbi being interviewed

Kkobbi being interviewed 2

Outside the party.

Dad outside the Wide Angle party

The next day I had a screening marathon. (unlike last year, where I only managed to see MUNDANE HISTORY, this year I decided to see at least 2 films a day)

On the 14th, last day of the screenings, I caught a Johnnie To documentary with my dad. He then went off to see other films, and I headed off to the PIFF village to enjoy the afternoon sun.

PIFF village

Juliet Binoche!!!

At night I went to the Asian Film Academy Graduation Ceremony to see the short films that the students have done.

Abbas Kiarostami was the dean.

Abbas Kiarostami at AFA Graduation Ceremony 2010

AFA graduation ceremony 2010

The graduates seemed really happy. I had asked Maiko the Producer to participate in one of these things, too bad she had been so busy with her current NHK job, sigh.

This year's Asian Film Academy participants

At night I headed off to Kim Dong Ho's farewell party.

Kkobbi was there because she was everywhere. With my friend Lim Kah Wai (director of MAGIC AND LOSS, which Kkobbi starred in)

Me, Kah Wai and Kkobbi

It was a day before the closing ceremony. But I already knew the award results then. I was surprised because I thought the entire thing was going to be like the Oscars, and people would only know whether they've won or not during the ceremony! However, a press conference was indeed going to be held in the morning before the ceremony to announce the results.

Yes, I was pretty surprised that INHALATION won the Sonje Award for Best Asian Short Film.