With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Saturday, October 26, 2019

New York City South Asian Film Festival set for November 15-17

Toyota Motor North America
New York City South Asian Film Festival (NYC SAFF)
When: November 15th - 17th, 2019

After the roaring success of the 5th annual Dallas-Fort Worth South Asian Film Festival (DFW SAFF), Toyota Motor North America presents its second film festival in the United States, the New York City South Asian Film Festival (NYC SAFF), gearing up to make its debut in mid-November at various venues around Chelsea in Manhattan.

"Cultural diversity is something we celebrate every day at Toyota,” said Vinay Shahani, vice president, integrated marketing operations, Toyota Motor North America. “After the success of our partnership with DFW SAFF, we look forward to continuing the celebration of storytelling at the first-ever NYC SAFF, and we hope that festival-goers are inspired by the films."

Produced by JINGO Media, a NYC and Dallas-based events and public relations company, the inaugural, three-day festival boasts world, U.S. and New York City premieres of more than 25 shorts, documentaries and feature films focused on the unique stories of the South Asian Diaspora and those of our brothers and sisters back home. JINGO Media is also the parent company of DFW SAFF, which was conceptualized and created in 2015.

"We are so proud to create yet ANOTHER platform for world-class independent cinema from India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan and the Maldives," said Jitin Hingorani, CEO/Principal of JINGO Media, a public relations company that launched in New York City in 2010. "We're coming full circle with this festival because Manhattan is where it all began for us almost 10 years ago. We are certain that the community-at-large will embrace us and celebrate our joyous homecoming."

NYC SAFF has also partnered with The India Center Foundation (ICF), a New York City-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the study of the Indian subcontinent, the promotion of its cultural life and the unique relationship between India and the United States. "To partner with NYC SAFF means that ICF is reaching the audience we wish to serve: contemporary, aware, woke desis and lovers of Indian and Diasporic creativity and storytelling. As a filmmaker whose film was so lovingly received at DFW SAFF, I know we are working with a staff who is dedicated and eager to give New Yorkers the film experience they deserve when it comes to screening South Asian cinema. We are looking forward to partnering on great conversations and panels around the films we see together," said Priya Giri Desai, Founding Director of ICF.

NYC SAFF's exclusive music partner is JioSaavn (founded in 2007 as Saavn), the online music streaming service and a digital distributor of Bollywood, English and other regional Indian music across the world.

“Music has always been an integral part of South Asian culture. We have all experienced a range of it in classical Indian cinema to contemporary Bollywood to regional films to completely new and independent genres. We look forward to the next generation of visual arts conceived in the South Asian Diaspora, and that's why JioSaavn is proud to partner with NYC SAFF and ICF to help create more awareness of their artists' creative work and engaging stories," said Vinodh Bhat, Co-Founder, President and Chief Strategy Officer.

The inaugural NYC SAFF will take place from November 15 to 17, 2019. The opening night film, red carpet and VIP party will be held the Altman Building (135 W 18th, between 6th and 7th). The film screenings on Saturday and Sunday will be at the AMC 34th Street (between 8th and 9th). Centerpiece party will be held at Tailor Public House (505 8th Avenue), and the closing night festivities and awards ceremony take place at the brand new Rumi Event Space (229 W 28th, between 8th and 9th). The entire festival lineup and schedule can be found at www.nycsaff.com.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

TORA-SAN'S RUNAWAY to screen at Japan Society NYC on November 1st

Japan Society NYC
© Shochiku Co., Ltd
Tora-san's Runaway
Directed by Yoji Yamada
With Kiyoshi Atsumi, Chieko Baisho, Aiko Nagayama
Japan, 1970, 88 minutes
DCP, color, in Japanese with English subtitles

When: Friday, November 1st at 7:00 PM
Where: Japan Society NYC
333 East 47th Street
Tickets: $14/$11 seniors, students & persons with disabilities, $5 members

Tora-san travels to Hokkaido to visit a former oyabun (yakuza boss) whose deathbed wish is to meet his estranged son, a train stoker in the city of Otaru whom he abandoned at birth. Affected by the situation, Tora-san renounces the yakuza lifestyle and seeks to earn an honest living as a laborer in Shibamata. He ends up downriver working at a tofu shop where he falls in love with the shop owner’s daughter Setsuko (Aiko Nagayama) and loses track of his original noble intentions. New 4K restoration.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Multinational Film Series "Tokyo Stories: Japan in the Global Imagination" at Japan Society NYC

Japan Society NYC
Family Romance, LLC © Film Constellation
Tokyo Stories: Japan in the Global Imagination
When: November 8–December 7 at Japan Society
Where: Japan Society NYC
333 East 47th Street, NYC

From the bustle of neon-lit Shinjuku and its ultramodern skyscrapers to the traditional scenery of Mt. Fuji, cherry blossoms, and Shinto shrines, Tokyo has served as a source of creative inspiration for generations of international filmmakers. Anticipating the 2020 Summer Games, when the eyes of the world will once again fall upon Japan’s dynamic capital, Tokyo Stories: Japan in the Global Imagination considers the ways Japan—and the elusive concept of “Japaneseness” —is rendered and interpreted outside its borders with a revealing selection of Tokyo-set films by foreign directors, including Japanese co-productions, Hollywood blockbusters, and European arthouse favorites.

The series kicks off November 8th with Werner Herzog’s latest film Family Romance, LLC, a quasi-documentary narrative feature concerning the function of role-playing in matters of love and business, screening in New York for the first time since it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. Herzog is one of several non-Japanese filmmakers in the series—along with Abbas Kiarostami, Michel Gondry, and Bong Joon-ho—with films featuring all-Japanese casts, offering outsider perspectives in the guise of native speakers.

The majority of the series, however, is made up of films that make cultural difference and discovery their central subjects: poetic essay films chronicling first encounters (Wim Wenders’s Tokyo-Ga and Chris Markers’s Sans Soleil); Western narratives of self-discovery through a figurative embrace of the Japanese “other” (Dorris Dorrie’s Cherry Blossoms and Justin Lin’s The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift); and works focused on the alienating limits of cross-cultural understanding (Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation and Alain Corneau’s Fear and Trembling).

The rarest screening in the lineup is a 35mm presentation of Tokyo Pop (1988), a largely forgotten and overlooked gem of American independent cinema co-written and directed by Fran Rubel Kuzui (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). The film follows a young New York singer (Carrie Hamilton) who moves to Tokyo and soon finds herself romantically and professionally involved with a Japanese rock ‘n’ roller (Yutaka Tadokoro aka Diamond Yukai) who enlists her as his band’s frontwoman. Unavailable on DVD or streaming, Japan Society’s November 22nd showing likely marks the first time Tokyo Pop will screen in New York since its 1988 theatrical run.

“Taken together, the films in this series offer fascinating insights into outside perceptions of Japanese values, customs, and scenery through the specific site of Tokyo, both as a constellation of symbols signifying ‘otherness’ and an actual geographic location,” says K. F. Watanabe, series curator and Deputy Director of Film at Japan Society. “From intimate familiarity and affection to degrees of exoticization and borderline xenophobia, the wide-ranging responses to foreign encounters with Japan embedded in these films also present an opportunity to consider the assumptions we bring to our own engagement with Japanese art and culture, whether as a Japanese, outsider, or someone in-between.”

Tokyo Stories: Japan in the Global Imagination is part of Japan Society’s year-long, institution-wide Passing the Torch series and is organized in conjunction with the exhibition Made in Tokyo: Architecture and Living, 1964/2020, on view through Jan. 26.

Tickets: $14; $11 seniors, students & persons with disabilities; $10 members.
3-Film Pass: Purchase tickets to at least three films in
the same transaction and save $2 off each ticket.
All-Access Pass: $77.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

THE DIVINE FURY will be debuting on Blu-ray™ Combo, DVD and Digital on November 19th

Well Go USA Entertainment
The Divine Fury / Saja
Directed by Joo-hwan Kim
South Korea, 2019, 129 minutes

An MMA fighter helps an exorcist fight evil in the action-mystery The Divine Fury, debuting on Blu-ray™ Combo, DVD and Digital on November 19th from Well Go USA Entertainment. Directed by Jason Kim (Midnight Runners), The Divine Fury stars Park Seo-joon (The Chronicles of Evil), Ahn Sung-ki (Unbowed) and Woo Do-hwan (Master), with special appearances by Choi Woo-shik (Train to Busan) and Kim Si-eun (The Beauty Inside).


After losing his father at a young age in a terrible accident, Yong-hu (Park) abandons his Christian faith and chooses to only believe in himself. Now as an adult, Yong-hu is a champion fighter and has everything he has ever wanted, that is until a mysterious wound appears in the palm of his hand. And he himself in the middle of a dangerous fight against otherworldly evil forces seeking to wreak havoc on the human world.

Section23 Films has announced its November 2019 slate of releases

Home video distributor Section23 Films has announced its November slate of releases featuring the exciting third season of Haikyu!! from Sentai Filmworks, which will be available on DVD & BD November 26th with a Limited Edition Premium Box Set later this year.

Product details in order of release:

Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 675 min.
Street Date: 11/5/2019
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $89.98

SYNOPSIS: When Hachiman Hikigaya, who has no friends and believes that anyone who likes high school is either deluded or a liar, is coerced into joining the "Services Club" run by Yukino Yukinoshita, who's smart, attractive and considers everyone to be her complete inferior, it's a catastrophe just waiting to happen. But it's not until the THIRD ingredient… Yui Yuigahama, who's cute, bright, cheerful, and needs help baking cookies… is added to the combustible mix that the sparks really start to fly. Is this a recipe for romance or a prelude to a nuclear meltdown? Get ready for rom-com gone totally wrong as the barrage a trois of the Service Club is unleashed on an unsuspecting student body in MY TEEN ROMANTIC COMEDY ~ SNAFU and MY TEEN ROMANTIC COMEDY ~ SNAFU TOO!

Published by: Maiden Japan
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 11/12/2019
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: Sometimes when you meet someone, you just know they're going to be interesting, but when 13-year-old Yasaka Hajime meets an older girl while staying at his grandfather's house for summer vacation, he has no idea how much she's about to change his life! To begin with, while Arashi may only look a few years older than Yasaka, she's actually closer in age to his granddad! How is that possible? It seems that Arashi's not exactly human anymore, and besides being a ghost from 1945, she has an important mission that revolves around her ability to travel in time! Since Arashi can only travel temporally if she's accompanied by a living being from her current present, guess who's about to become her partner in paradoxity? It's time for everything to go a little crazy in NATSU NO ARASHI!

Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 1450 min.
Street Date: 11/19/2019
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $99.98

SYNOPSIS: Yuno has dreamed of attending Yamabuki Arts High School for years, but while it's an incredible opportunity, it also means moving away from her home and family. Fortunately, her new neighbors at the eclectic Hidamari (Sunshine) Apartments, most of whom are fellow students, will be there to help her through the transition! Soon Yuno's not only no longer feeling homesick, but she's gained a second family in second-year students Hiro and Sae, who do their best to play the role of older sisters, and her hyperactive new best friend and classmate Miyako. Add in a cosplay-obsessed homeroom teacher, her rather masculine landlady and all of the other odd denizens who inhabit Yuno's new world and there's always something fun and interesting going when new friends get creative in HIDAMARI SKETCH PICTURE PERFECT COLLECTION!

Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 250 min.
Street Date: 11/26/2019
Format: BD, DVD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $69.98, $59.98

SYNOPSIS: The Miyagi Prefecture Representative for the Spring High School National Volleyball Championship continues as the Karasuno team advances to take on the undefeated prefecture champions, Shiratorizawa Academy High School. This is the strongest opponent Karasuno has ever faced, and the deck is stacked against them with an extra ace in the form Wakatoshi Ushijima, a powerful wing spiker who's already played with the National Team! If they want to win, Hinata, Kageyama and the rest of the Crows will have to learn an entirely new playing style in order to counter Ushijima and his seemingly unstoppable spike… and that's just the first lesson the Shiratorizawa veterans have in store for the Crows. The game is on as the players hit the court in the third pulse-pounding season of HAIKYU!!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Stylish Crime Thriller WHO KILLED COCK ROBIN is coming to DVD and Blu-Ray on October 15,2019

Cheng Cheng Films
Who Killed Cock Robin / Mu ji zhe
Directed by Cheng Wei-Hao
Taiwan, 2017, 118 minutes

Fans of acclaimed filmmaker Cheng Wei-hao’s recent work on The Tag-Along movies may take a liking to the subliminal poetry that coalesces in the grim, horrific milieu of his latest thriller, Who Killed Cock Robin which is coming to DVD and Blu-Ray on October 15th, 2019.

Hand-held cinematography goes hand-in-hand with Cheng’s vision as it takes a life of its own, loosely iterating its own incarnation of an old English poem with a narrative aptly suited for the film’s title; More than a murder mystery, Cheng unravels a tale of sex, greed and malfeasance drenched in a mystique of rainy weather and dour blue filters with a dark tint that almost never lets up. ……

Needless to say, if you’re compelled to watch Who Killed Cock Robin a few more times, it wouldn’t be too much of a task. Cheng crafts a nimble story of murder and mystery that elevates into something far more consequential, mesmerizing and transformative in its own way.

Who Killed Cock Robin is a tale ripe with a number of suspense and horror tropes with a touch of sex and corruption thrown in the mix. Enthralling and stimulating in its pulp-style character development, the film recapitualtes with an ending only as cathartic as you’ll allow yourself to feel given that the imagery in the third act is not for the faint of heart. br /> br /> All in all, Cheng’s newest offering is one of the wildest and scintillating psychological thrill rides you’ll ever sit through, and after a few breaths, you’ll be back for seconds just to make sure your head is still on straight.


In this delicately scripted gut-wrenching psycho-thriller from award-winning filmmaker Cheng Wei-Hao (The Tag-Along), an ambitious journalist who witnessed a hit-and-run years ago reboots his investigation led by newly emerged clues. As he beats the clock to save the only survivor after her sudden disappearance, layers of unimaginable dark truths around a corrupted system start peeling.