With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Saturday, September 17, 2016

SOULMATE to open in 20 North America markets on September 23rd

SoulMate
Directed by Kwok Cheung Tsang
Starring Chengshan Li, Sichun Ma, and Dongyu Zhou
China, 2016, 110 minutes

Soulmate, a film produced by acclaimed Hong Kong filmmaker Peter Chan (Comrades Almost a Love Story, Dragon) and based on Chinese novelist Anni Baobei (Qings Shan)'s popular online series "Qiyue and Ansheng", opened in China during mid-autumn festival and became a trendy topic on Chinese social medias. The film soon climbed to be the highest ranked Chinese film of the year on Chinese IMDB-like audience rating movie sites such as Douban. Over the internet, people discuss its surprisingly high quality as a Chinese coming-of-age film, a genre that has been over-exploited by investors in China for its low production budget and high financial return due to popularity among young movie goers. The film is also set to open the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival of this year. Cheng Cheng Films has acquired the title's North American rights. It will open in theaters in around 20 markets across North America on September 23rd, just one week after its domestic release.


Soulmate tells the decades-spanning story between two high school best friends, Qi Yue (July) and An Sheng. 30 year-old working woman LI ANSHENG's life in Shanghai gets suddenly disrupted by the publication of a novel, entitled “July and Ansheng”, a chronicle of her friendship with July during her youth. Coupled with an accidental encounter with SU JIA-MING, her long repressed memories are unleashed with the force of a tsunami. The two girls seemed destined to become friends from the moment they entered high school.Though they were inseparable and believed that their bond would last for the rest of their lives, the cruelty of youth eventually led them to separate paths. Even more shocking is the discovery of a long buried secret shared by the women – a secret that serves as an emblem of their youth and the proof of their friendship.

Website: filmsoulmate.com

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Free screening of South Korean thriller THE AGE OF SHADOWS

Korean Cultural Center NY
Presents
Korean Movie Night New York: Premiere Showcase
The Age of Shadows
Directed by Kim Jee-woon
Starring Song Kang-ho, Gong Yoo, Han Ji-min, and Lee Byung-hun
South Korea, 2016, 140 minutes
In Korean and Japanese with English subtitles

When: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Where: IFC Center 
323 Ave of the Americas, New York City
New York Premiere

Korean Cultural Center NY, a branch of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) of the Republic of Korea, is proud to announce its Korean Movie Night: Premiere Showcase presentation of the New York premiere of Kim Jee-woon’s period action thriller The Age of Shadows, following the film’s North American bow at the Toronto International Film Festival.

After debuting in Hollywood with Arnold Schwarzengger’s action vehicle The Last Stand, director Kim (I Saw the Devil, A Bittersweet Life) is back on the home turf, with what has been one of the most anticipated Korean films of 2016.

Set in the 1920s Korea, during the Japanese colonial rule, the Age of Shadows follows Korean independence movement activists in their attempt to smuggle explosives from Shanghai, so they can destroy Japanese forces' facilities in Seoul. Featuring the acting talents of Song Kang-ho (Snowpiercer), Han Ji-min (TV series Rooftop Prince), Gong Yoo (Train To Busan), and an extended cameo by Lee Byung-hun (Terminator Genisys,The Magnificent Seven), The Age of Shadows had its world premiere out of competition at this year’s Venice Film Festival, and was recently announced as South Korea’s candidate for the foreign-language Oscar.

Director Kim Jee-woon and actress Han Ji-min will attend the screening.

Free admission, first come, first served.

For information, call 212-924-7771

The Age of Shadows will be released theatrically in the U.S. and Canada on September 23rd by CJ Entertainment America.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

BLESSED coming to Japan Society NY

Japan Society NY
presents
Blessed / Shukufuku
Directed by Toshiko Takashi
Japan, 2001, 78 minutes
In Japanese with English subtitles
When: Friday, September 9, 2016 at 7 PM
Where:  Japan Society NY
333 East 47th Street, NYC

Blessed is an intensely personal documentary shot and directed by Toshiko Takashi, former director of Tokyo International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (TILGFF, 1992-93).

Visiting a low-income house in Osaka where she spent 10 years of her childhood, Toshiko encounters two familiar women in their 70s. When she returns three years later, she finds the house has been abandoned. Intercut with poetic reflections and intimate moments that Toshiko spends with her lover Sakura, who works as a stripper, the older women's lives and memories intertwine with the younger couple's in Takashi's dream-like visions.

A fascinating, rarely-screened work of Japanese LGBT cinema that was awarded a Special Mention at the 2002 Visions du Reel from a festival jury including Naomi Kawase.

Blessed was selected by dancer and former director of TILGFF (1996-99) Takao Kawaguchi, who will be performing About Kazuo Ohno at Japan Society on Sept. 16 & 17.

18+. This film is unrated, but may only be viewed by persons 18 years of age and older.

Tickets: $13/$10 seniors & students/$5 Japan Society members

Part of Monthly Classics - year-round screenings of beloved classics, hidden gems and recent discoveries of Japanese cinema.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Section23 Films announces its October 2016 slate of releases


Home video distributor Section23 Films has announced its October slate of releases; including Sentai Filmworks’ romantic comedy My Love Story!!.

Product details in order of release:

Title: RE-KAN! COMPLETE COLLECTION
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 10/4/2016
Format: BD, DVD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98, $49.98

SYNOPSIS: Narumi Inoue has a problem with the new girl in school. It's not that Hibiki Amami is impolite or a bully… it's just that she sees, speaks with, and befriends ghosts! Now, it's at the point that when Amami's around, Inoue sometimes sees them too, spelling disaster for a girl who's terrified of anything supernatural. However, Amami's genuine kindness makes it hard for Inoue to ignore her, especially when her friends Kyoko, Kana, and Makoto, as well as the other students, have accepted Amami's habit of talking to thin air and walking around invisible obstacles. With gentle coaxing (and the knowledge that her departed grandmother is watching over her), Inoue finds herself immersed in Amami's strange, otherworldly adventures. Fulfilling the last wishes of the dead might not be a normal after-school activity, but at least they'll always know why the ghost crossed to the other side in RE-KAN!


Title: HAKUOKI ~ DEMON OF THE FLEETING BLOSSOM SEASON 1 COLLECTION BLU-RAY
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 10/11/2016
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $69.98

SYNOPSIS: Chizuru Yukimura's father has created a magical elixir that increases the user's strength, speed and ability to heal. However, now he's disappeared, and the quest to find him will lead Chizuru on a deadly journey to strife-torn Kyoto, where the forces of the Shinsengumi and the vampire-like Furies are engaged in a brutal shadow war. It's a perilous quest, and disguising herself as a man will hardly be sufficient protection against the many dangers ahead. Fortunately, Chizuru is no ordinary girl, and her fate is about to become inextricably intertwined with the destinies of Shinsengumi Vice commander Toshizo Hijikata and his elite force of swordsmen. Swords clash and nightmarish creatures rule the night when historical fact and supernatural fiction combine in the epic series Hakuoki!


Title: WISH UPON THE PLEIADES COMPLETE COLLECTION
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 10/11/2016
Format: BD, DVD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98, $49.98

SYNOPSIS: When Subaru goes to her local observatory to prepare for an upcoming meteor shower, she ends up seeing far more of the stars than she expected. Instead of a simulated viewing of astronomical phenomena, she gets recruited to take part in a fantastic adventure with a mysterious young man, a bizarre alien creature, and a group of girls dressed in cute, magical garb. Together with the other girls (who are suddenly and strangely members of Subaru's school), Subaru becomes part of a clandestine effort to retrieve fragments of an alien spaceship! However, the fragments are being scattered all over the universe. Time is limited, and the girls face a nemesis who is seeking to gather all the parts for himself! The space race is on, and the sky is no longer the limit as the legendary animation studio GAINAX sets Subaru's eyes on the stars in WISH UPON THE PLEIADES!


Title: COBRA THE ANIMATION COMPLETE COLLECTION
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 505 min.
Street Date: 10/18/2016
Format: BD, DVD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $79.98, $69.98

SYNOPSIS: There may be stronger and more ruthless guns for hire in the universe, but when it comes to sneakiness, nobody out-sneaks the space soldier of fortune known as Cobra. Who else would change his face and wipe his own memories to hide from former adversaries, then replace his arm with the ultimate holdout weapon? Whether he's running from mechanical pterodactyls or trying to rescue a friend in need, Cobra never forgets the most important thing: scoring with pretty girls. Even though foiling the Pirate Guild, surviving avalanches, swimming with humanhead sharks and fighting the crystalline killer Crystal Boy are all likely to take a few years off his life, one can't argue with the fact that these missions tend to involve damsels in distress in various stages of undress! Get ready to blast off, rip-off, and face-off as the action explodes in COBRA THE ANIMATION!


Title: HELLO!! KINMOZA! COMPLETE COLLECTION
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 10/18/2016
Format: BD, DVD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98, $49.98

SYNOPSIS: Although learning different languages continues to be an interest for Shinobu and her friends, the new school year brings unexpected difficulties. Not only is there always something new and different to distract them from their studies, but Alice and Yoko also are having trouble adjusting to being in a different class from Shinobu and Aya. Meanwhile, Karen isn't getting along at all with her new homeroom teacher, and it doesn't help that the teacher is having trouble figuring out how to make herself seem friendlier to her students as well. Craziness may ensue, but sometimes, all it takes is the right mutual experience to bring everyone together. While some of those experiences may not be as well-thought-out as others (like when Alice and Aya act like juvenile delinquents to seem more grown up), the gang's new adventures are certain to warm everyone's heart as the fun and friendships keep growing in HELLO!! KINMOZA!


Title: MY TEEN ROMANTIC COMEDY SNAFU TOO! COMPLETE COLLECTION
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 10/18/2016
Format: BD, DVD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98, $49.98

SYNOPSIS: The stampede of recent events may have herded the awkward members of the Service Club into something closer to a real bonding, but the upcoming field trip to Kyoto threatens to reverse those tiny steps forward. Alongside a list of attractions to see, they'll also be taking along a lot of emotional baggage, and helping others with their personal and romantic issues may just cause the entire luggage rack to collapse. Between Hachiman's growing realization of how much he can manipulate others, Yukino's underlying battles with responsibility, and Yui's shifting needs and insecurities, the tenuous thread that holds their relationship together is more fragile than ever. Even as the path ahead is strewn with psychological traps, the feelings that each of them refuse to acknowledge may end up being the true pitfall in MY TEEN ROMANTIC COMEDY SNAFU TOO!


Title: MY LOVE STORY!! COLLECTION 1
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 10/25/2016
Format: BD, DVD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $69.98, $59.98

SYNOPSIS: Takeo Goda's hulking physique and affinity for sports make him popular with other guys, but girls just find him intimidating. Unaware of his gentle nature, the girls that Takeo likes always seem to fall for his handsome best friend, Makoto, instead. Takeo is resigned to being Makoto's wingman, with no hard feelings between them, until Takeo rescues Rinko Yamato from a molester on the train. Unfortunately, while Rinko might see past Takeo's brutish appearance, Takeo's become so conditioned to girls preferring Makoto that he assumes Rinko is the same! Being the good, genuine guy he is, he's going to do everything he can to help the two of them be happy. Will Takeo let himself believe someone likes him? Love isn't blind: it's just a little dense in MY LOVE STORY!!


Title: THE PERFECT INSIDER COMPLETE COLLECTION
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 275 min.
Street Date: 10/25/2016
Format: BD, DVD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98, $49.98

SYNOPSIS: For most people, finding a dead body on their vacation would mean the vacation is over. However, for Souhei Saikawa, a professor of architecture, and his student Moe Nishinosono, a math prodigy, it's a different kind of challenge. Genius programmer Shiki Magata, one of Souhei's idols, is inexplicably murdered inside the sealed research lab she disappeared to after being found innocent of her parents' murder. As Souhei and Moe take the first steps into a deadly new world, they must untangle the complex web of events and clues leading up to the murder. With danger creeping up around them, this may be the last mystery this pair of human anomalies attempts to solve in THE PERFECT INSIDER!

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Sentai Filmworks announces acquisition of "Little Busters EX"


Sentai Filmworks has announced its acquisition of Little Busters EX. Adapted from the visual novel Little Butsters! Ecstacy, this eight-episode OVA series expands on one high school boy’s adventures into a world that isn’t always what it seems to be.

This reimagining of the Little Busters storyline pits protagonist Riki Naoe against familiar faces such as Saya Tokido, a treasure hunter in hiding from an elusive group known as the Dark Executives, and Kanata Futaki, young chairwoman of the so-called "Public Morals Committee" who seems to have a sinister agenda of her own.

Little Busters EX was directed by Yoshiki Yamakawa (Little Busters!, Hatsukoi Limited), with series composition by Michuru Shimada (Little Busters!, Shugo Chara!). J.C. Staff, the same studio that produced Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, A Certain Magical Index, and Golden Time, helmed animation production.