When the only choices at the box office are a hot tub that takes you back to the ‘80s and a Greek tragedy (poor Beebo!) on CGI steroids, thank god for film festivals. The urban film festival for the masses that is Tribeca kicks off today, and while you may wonder, what the heck does Tribeca have to do with an AA pub like ours? Tribeca is host to several Asian and Asian American films, not to mention the festival’s director of programming has been David Kwok, who’s been in that role since the festival was founded in 2002.
Here’s a quick rundown of AA films at Tribeca, by earliest screening this week:
Poi Dogs, Short, 12 minutes (April 22)
When tough high school football player Toa’s motorcycle breaks down after a crushing defeat on the field, tuba player Anela tries to lend a hand. Can these two Hawaiian teens from such different backgrounds find common ground, and maybe even love? Writer/director Joel Moffett, who grew up on a small sugarcane plantation in Hawaii, said he wanted to create a more authentic depiction of his home state with “Poi Dogs.”
Out of Infamy Infamy: Michi Nishiura Weglyn, Short Documentary, 17 minutes (April 23)
Nancy Kapitanoff and Sharon Yamato’s documentary recounts the story of successful costume designer Michi Nishiura Weglyn who wrote a meticulously researched book about the forced incarceration of 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry (herself included). The subject is an intimate one as she later married a man who escaped the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. Narrated by Sandra Oh.
Possessed, Feature Narrative, South Korea (April 23)
Fans of Asian horror may find a new favorite with director Lee Yong-ju’s mystery/horror about a college student who returns home to find her younger sister has gone missing after a car accident and her mother a fanatically religious convert. Soon, the neighbors start showing up dead in grotesque ways that ultimately leads back to the young girl’s disappearance.
The Space Between, Feature Narrative (April 23)
On the morning of September 11, lonely flight attendant Montine McLeod finds herself grounded in Texas with a 10-year-old Pakistani-American boy. When she learns that his father – a cab driver – was working in the World Trade Center, she decides to take the boy on an unsanctioned cross-country journey back to her father and a decidedly uncertain future.
Lucky Life, Feature Narrative (April 23)
Director Lee Isaac Chung’s followup to Munyurangabo follows a group of close friends as they spend their annual vacation at a beach house in North Carolina, where they grapple with the unspoken fact that one of them is dying of cancer.