Immerse Yourself at The Asian Film Festival at Angelika Film Center July 13-16

Asian Film Festival opening film
The Night Owl photo courtesy AFFD

Asian Film Festival of Dallas (AFFD) runs July 13-16 at Angelika Film Center. AFFD’s Opening Night selection is Tae-Jim Ahn’s The Night Owl, and the Closing Night selection is Park Dong-hee’s Drive. Special screenings with filmmaker Q&A’s include Linh Tran’s Waiting for the Light to Change and Sing J Lee’s The Accidental Getaway Driver.

AFFD Executive Director Thomas Schubert

“This year’s edition of the film festival will build upon the successes of our efforts to reinvigorate the film festival format here in Dallas by highlighting appearances and conversations with our filmmakers and talent, and making sure we have ways that the people who love Asian cinema and films in general can immerse themselves in that joy. AFFD has always been a signature event for Dallas film lovers, introducing exciting films and cinema to DFW, and this year we will continue to try new ways to add to the fun,” said Schubert.

Asian Film Festival at Angelika Film Center
Drive photo courtesy AFFD

Opening & Closing Night Films

Tae-Jim Ahn’s The Night Owl The thriller has been a box office sensation in Korea and is based on the mystery surrounding the death of Crown Prince Sohyeon, who returned form the Qing Dynasty in the Joseon Injo period. Park Dong-hee’s Drive, screens July 16. The driving action thriller follows a popular online streamer who is abducted and trapped in the trunk of a running car. As she tries to figure out a way to escape with her life, she broadcasts her struggle to her followers. The film will screen with Tan Ce Ding’s short film, Please Hold the Line, about a young woman who scams people over the phone who now finds herself desperately needing money for an abortion.

Sing J Lee’s The Accidental Getaway Driver won the filmmaker the Sundance Film Festival’s Directing Award in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. The film focuses on an elderly Vietnamese driver in Southern California, who unwittingly takes a job driving recently escaped convicts from an Orange County jail, thrusting him into their getaway plan. Lee will be on hand for a Q&A following the film’s screening.

Asian Film Festival at Angelika July 13-16
The Accidental Getaway Driver photo courtesy AFFD

Linh Tran’s Waiting for the Light to Change was the recipient of the Grand Jury Prize for Narrative Film at the Slamdance Film Festival. The film was recently picked up by Byron Allen’s Freestyle Digital Media as the film has burned through the regional film festival circuit since. The thoughtful and nuanced drama focuses on a group of high school friends reuniting after a year of college over the course of a week-long beachside getaway The group’s struggles to find something to do in the empty little beach town turns into an unsuccessful effort by all of them to sort through attractions to each other, as well as suppress old resentments, jealousies, and desires before they leave. Joyce Ha, one of the film’s impressive young cast members, will come to Dallas to participate in the post-screening Q&A.

Additional Asian Film Festival Highlights

Highlights of AFFD include Sung Bin Byun’s Peafowl. The film focuses on an exceptionally skilled dancer specializing in waacking – a dance style akin to voguing that emphasizes striking poses. She faces much pressure as she prepares for a dance battle final, which could win her prize money to fund her gender-affirming surgery. However, everything is interrupted when her estranged father passes, and she must perform a traditional dance ritual at his memorial service.

Hidenori Inoue’s Siren in the Shadows follows a female sniper hired to assassinate the head of a rival faction. Prior to her completing her mission, it is revealed that her assassination target is actually the head of her faction in disguise throwing everything into question.

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Jo Ann Holt
Jo Ann Holt is an award-winning journalist with 40+ years of experience as a writer and editor. She loves live performances, from country music concerts to Broadway musicals to community theatre productions. Holt also enjoys art and cultural festivals, and good food and wine. She’s toured Amsterdam, London, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and various cities in Mexico but looks forward to visiting even more countries. She has traveled by boat, plane, and train, but especially likes taking long road trips across the U.S. with her husband, retired history professor Durhl Caussey. They enjoy meeting friendly people, learning about different cultures, and visiting historic sites wherever they go.