PANG Ho-Cheung

PANG Ho-Cheung
With Hong Kong director PANG Ho-cheung after interviewing him in 2012

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Shojo manga SO CUTE IT HURTS!! coming June 2nd from VIZ Media

KOBAYASHI GA KAWAISUGITE TSURAI!! © 2012 Go IKEYAMADA/SHOGAKUKAN
VIZ MEDIA LAUNCHES GENDER-BENDING SHOJO MANGA
SO CUTE IT HURTS!!

High School Romantic Comedy About Identity-Swapping
Twins That Get More Than They Bargained For
Launches In Print And Digitally In June

VIZ Media delivers a brand new shojo manga (graphic novel) series with the launch of SO CUTE IT HURTS!! on June 2nd.

The gender-bending comedy about a twin brother and sister who switch identities was created by Go Ikeyamada and will be rated ‘T’ for Teens. SO CUTE IT HURTS!! will be published in print under the Shojo Beat imprint and will carry an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. The series also launches digitally on June 2nd via VIZManga.com and the VIZ Manga App as well as from the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks, comiXology, and GooglePlay stores. Future volumes will be published on a bi-monthly basis.

SO CUTE IT HURTS!! introduces readers to the Kobayashi twins, Megumu and Mitsuru, who were named after historical figures. But only Megumu has grown up with a taste for history. So when Mitsuru is in danger of losing his weekends to extra history classes, he convinces his sister to swap clothes with him and ace his tests! After all, how hard can it be for them to play each other?

In the opening volume, Megumu can’t rely on just her book smarts in Mitsuru’s all-boys, delinquents’ paradise of a high school. And Mitsuru finds life as a high school girl to be much more complicated than he expected!

“Go Ikeyamada’s hilarious comedy SO CUTE IT HURTS!! has become a major hit in Japan due to its charming ensemble cast and cheeky, fun story,” says Editor Pancha Diaz. “Revel in Megumu’s and Mitsuru’s struggle to navigate the complexities of high school life and the nuances of teenage romance while trying to keep their true identities secret. We can’t wait to for fans to fall in love with this hilarious new series in English this summer!”

Manga creator Go Ikeyamada's debut manga, Get Love!!, appeared in Japan in Shojo Comic magazine in 2002. Her current series, SO CUTE IT HURTS!!, is now published in English by VIZ Media.

For additional information on SO CUTE IT HURTS or other manga titles published by VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Romantic drama, LOST FOR WORDS available on DVD & VOD June 23rd


The multi-lingual, cross-cultural, romantic drama Lost for Words – which was well received on the international film festival circuit and in limited theatrical release in the U.S. – will be available on DVD and VOD June 23 from Green Apple Entertainment.

Against the sweeping cityscape of cosmopolitan Hong Kong, a damaged ex-Marine falls for a beautiful and talented Chinese ballerina after a chance encounter. As political, cultural and religious pressures mount, how far are they willing to go to remain together? Starring: Sean Faris (Never Back Down), Grace Huang (The Man With the Iron Fists), Will Yun Lee (The Wolverine, CBS’ Hawaii Five-0, Total Recall), Terence Yin (Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, Robin-B-Hood) and noted Hong Kong actress Joman Chiang (Fog, The Drunkard).

Monday, May 25, 2015

RANMA ½ ANIME SERIES SET 6 limited edition Blu-ray set on June 2

©Rumiko Takahashi / Shogakukan
 VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES HOME MEDIA RELEASE OF
RANMA ½ ANIME SERIES SET 6
LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY SET

Zany Comedy And Martial Arts Action Continue In
Latest High-Definition Episodes Of The Legendary
Anime Series, Available In A Special Blu-Ray
Collectable Or Standard Edition DVD Set

VIZ Media prepares a fresh round of RANMA ½ anime episodes for home media release in crisp high-definition with the debut of RANMA ½ Set 6 on June 2nd.

VIZ Media is releasing the gender-bending martial arts action comedy in the original Japanese series order across seven Limited Edition Blu-ray and Standard Edition DVD Box Sets. RANMA ½ is rated TV-14 and is based on the popular manga series originally created by Rumiko Takahashi. Notable bonus features include fan interviews highlighting the RANMA ½ phenomenon and an episode summary booklet.

The RANMA ½ Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set 6 carries an MSRP of $54.97 U.S. / $63.99 CAN. The latest set contains Episodes 116-138 on 3 discs, presented in full 1080p high-definition resolution with the series’ original, un-cropped 4:3 aspect ratio. Subtitled and English dubbed dialogue options are available. The Blu-ray edition also contains a full color art card and a 32-page booklet with individual episode summaries.

Blu-ray bonus features include clean openings and endings as well as series trailers and special “We Love Ranma Part 6 - We Love Working on RANMA ½” and “We Love Ranma Part 7 – We Love Bloopers” segments. The set comes in a gorgeously illustrated chipboard box with embossed foil stamping.

The RANMA ½ Standard Edition DVD Set 6 also features 23 episodes with the original, un-cropped 4:3 aspect ratio, with bonus features that include clean openings and endings and trailers. Subtitled and English dubbed dialogue options are available. The Standard Edition DVD set is available with an MSRP of $44.82 U.S. / $51.99 CAN.

The mayhem continues in RANMA ½ Set 6! A mysterious young man who uses pantyhose as a weapon steals the Jusenkyo guestbook and kidnaps Akane. In order to save her, Ranma teams up with Ryoga, Mousse, and Shampoo, but the young man, like Ranma, also undergoes a transformation when splashed with cold water! After that, monsters escape from strange hanging scrolls and cause chaos around town! The only way to stop them is for Ranma to go on a date with a scribbled panda that has also come out of a scroll! Finally, Ukyo stays at the Tendo Dojo to recover from the shock of a ruined okonomiyaki sauce that has been marinating for ten years. Could Ranma, who is acting strangely kind around Ukyo, have something to do with that too?

RANMA ½ manga creator Rumiko Takahashi is one of Japan’s most prolific and respected manga artists and is the creator of several long running series including MAISON IKKOKU, RANMA ½, and INUYASHA – all published in North America by VIZ Media. The spotlight on her prolific career began in 1978 when she won an honorable mention in Shogakukan's annual New Comic Artist Contest for Those Selfish Aliens. Later that same year, her boy-meets-alien comedy series, Urusei Yatsura, was serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday. This phenomenally successful manga series was adapted into anime format and also spawned a TV series and half a dozen theatrical-release movies, all incredibly popular. Takahashi followed up the success of her debut series with one blockbuster hit after another— MAISON IKKOKU ran from 1980 to 1987, RANMA ½ from 1987 to 1996, and INUYASHA from 1996 to 2008. Other notable works include MERMAID SAGA, RUMIC THEATER, ONE-POUND GOSPEL, and RIN-NE (all also published in North America by VIZ Media).

For more information on RANMA ½ or other award-winning anime titles from VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sentai Filmworks announces launch of new product line SENTAI SELECTS

SENTAI FILMWORKS® LAUNCHES SENTAI SELECTS™
New Product Line to Include Classic Anime Titles

Sentai Filmworks has announced an exciting new line of products that provides fans with essential programming with a budget conscience experience.

Sentai Selects™ will showcase anime that have withstood the test of time to remain popular and memorable works of their genre. A wide variety of titles have been included in the line to assure that something fresh and different is available for every release, while also being curated specifically to give fans an opportunity to discover new experiences without breaking the bank. This new line of titles will offer reversible cover artwork and other features where applicable.

“The Sentai Selects line was created for those who have recently become interested in anime and wish to expand their libraries with classic shows, as well as those who may have missed their chance to own these titles during their first run”, said David Del Rio, Vice President of Sentai Filmworks. “Our hope is to provide an ideal situation where both new and old fans alike can enjoy these must own anime at an affordable entry price.”

The debut release will be the sci-fi action movie Appleseed and will include enhanced Blu-ray audio and double-sided cover artwork.

Appleseed explores the society of Earth's last city, Olympus, which rose from the ashes of global war on the backs of Bioroids, artificial clones who make up half the city's population. Under the guidance of a supercomputer, humanity's last survivors enjoy peace, but only on the surface. Human terrorists within the military seek a return to power and clash with the government's forces led by Deunan, a legendary soldier and Brialeos, who is more machine than human.

More titles in the Sentai Selects™ line will soon be available.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Initial details for 14th New York Asian Film Festival have been announced!!!

FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER and SUBWAY CINEMA
Announce initial details for
THE 14th NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL
June 26 – July 11, 2015

Director Ringo Lam will be presented with the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award, superstar Aaron Kwok with the 2015 Star Asia Award, and Japanese actor Shota Sometani with the 2015 Screen International Rising Star Award

Film lineup to include the North American premieres of Nobuhiro Yamashita's La La La at Rock Bottom and Yim Soon-rye's The Whistleblower and the international premiere of Namewee’s Banglasia, which was banned in Malaysia

A spotlight on Myung Films and Korean women filmmakers and a joint film tribute to Japanese legends Ken Takakura and Bunta Sugawara are among the notable sidebars

The New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), North America’s leading festival of popular Asian Cinema, is back for its 14th edition. Co-presented with Film Society of Lincoln Center and Subway Cinema, the festival will run from June 26 to July 11. The festival takes place from June 26 to July 8 at the Film Society and July 9 to 11 at SVA Theatre (333 W. 23rd Street). Initial details include notable awards to be presented to director Ringo Lam, superstar Aaron Kwok, and actor Shota Sometani. The festival will also host a slew of North American film premieres, as well as spotlight the works of Korean female directors and honor the memory of Japanese legends Ken Takakura and Bunta Sugawara with a joint tribute.

Hong Kong’s legendary director Ringo Lam (City on Fire) will receive the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. One of Hong Kong’s most influential directors, Lam was directing comedies when City on Fire was released in 1987, fusing the social-protest movie with kinetic action filmmaking. It was followed by the massive hit Prison on Fire later that year, and then School on Fire, a movie so unblinking that nervous Hong Kong censors sliced it to ribbons. Lam became one of the city’s best action filmmakers, and one of the few local directors to be so deeply concerned with the price of progress, the corrosive influence of money on human relationships, and the lives of the little people crushed beneath the wheels of change. In 2003, he directed what was to be his final feature and went into semi-retirement, only to be lured out again in 2015 with Wild City, in which Lam’s tooth-and-claw vision of modern urban living remains untamed.

Hong Kong’s superstar actor-singer Aaron Kwok (Divergence, After This Our Exile, Cold War) will receive the festival’s 2015 Star Asia Award on June 26. One of Hong Kong’s Four Heavenly Kings of Cantopop, Kwok has won dozens of awards for his chart-topping albums. For over 30 years, he has performed steadily both on television and in movies and is respected for his box-office star power as well as his outstanding acting chops. Kwok has worked with some of Hong Kong’s finest directors, like Johnnie To, Jacob Cheung, Andrew Lau, and Patrick Tam. His self-described Method acting was rewarded in 2005 and 2006 when he won back-to-back Golden Horse awards for Best Actor, a feat previously achieved only by Jackie Chan. Kwok was awarded his first Best Actor prize was for his performance in 2005’s Divergence, but it was his work in the 2006 After This Our Exile, for which he won his second award, that blew audiences away. In that film, Kwok’s fearless portrayal of a gambling addict exhibited a serious commitment to his craft as well as a complete lack of vanity. He then went on to give a series of startling performances in films like Yim Ho’s Floating City, the blockbuster Cold War, as well as his upcoming tour de force, Port of Call.

Japanese actor Shota Sometani will attend the festival on July 4, on the occasion of the New York premiere of Kabukicho Love Hotel, to receive the Screen International Rising Star Award. Director Ryuichi Hiroki will also be in attendance. This marks the second year of a partnership with Screen International, with whom the NYAFF will honor an emerging talent in the East Asian film world each year. At age 22, Sometani is already a leading man in both blockbusters and indie gems and has earned critical acclaim on the international film festival circuit. In 2011, he received the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Actor at the Venice Film Festival for his performance in Himizu, along with his co-star Fumi Nikaido (last year’s recipient of the Screen International Rising Star Award).

Notable NYAFF titles this year will include the North American premieres of Nobuhiro Yamashita's La La La at Rock Bottom and Yim Soon-rye's The Whistleblower and the international premiere of Namewee’s Banglasia, which was banned in Malaysia, its home country.

The festival will also feature a section on Korea’s production company Myung Films, highlighting a few of their major works—Cart, The President’s Last Bang, The Isle, and Waikiki Brothers—as part of a greater focus on women who work behind the camera. Producer Shim Jae-myung and directors Yim Soon-rye (The Whistleblower) and Boo Ji-young (Cart) will be in attendance.

Japanese film legends Ken Takakura and Bunta Sugawara, both of whom passed away last November, will be the subject of the first joint tribute outside of Japan, which will feature the brand-new digital remaster of the 1973 classic Battles Without Honor and Humanity—screened for the time in North America—among others.

Keep up with the latest festival news at:
www.facebook.com/NYAFF, www.subwaycinema.com, twitter: @subwaycinema (#NYAFF15)

Tickets will go on sale on June 9 for Film Society Members and June 11 for general public, both at the box office and online. Discounts are available for Film Society members. Read more about the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Screenings will be held at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th Street, between Amsterdam and Broadway), and SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues).