Festival Dates: July 25 – August 4
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China Institute is proud to partner with the Asian American International Film Festival, produced by Asian CineVision, and to support the AAIFF films from China. This summer marks the Festival’s 41st year in New York and will showcase an eclectic mix of films by and about Asians and Asia. The Festival runs from July 25 to August 4.
Highlights of the films from China include:
Saturday, July 28
3:00 pm | LETTER FROM MASANJIA
When a woman in Oregon opens a box of Halloween decorations and finds a shocking letter written by a political prisoner from inside a Chinese labor camp, her discovery makes waves across major news outlets worldwide. The author of the letter, Sun Yi, breaks through internet firewalls and learns that his letter has received international attention. Capitalizing on this moment, he joins forces with an underground network of journalists and Chinese dissidents to reveal the dark depths of the entire story.
4:45 pm | BADASS BEAUTY QUEEN
The story of Miss World contestant Anastasia Lin changed drastically when her father, living in China, was threatened by Chinese security forces because of Anastasia’s public stance on human rights violations in that country. Unbeknownst to her, she had been declared ‘persona non grata’ by authorities preventing her from traveling to Sanya, China to represent Canada at the 2015 Miss World Pageant. Her attempt to enter the country played out on the world stage, landing her on the front page of The New York Times, appearing on CNN, Der Spiegel, Cosmopolitan and other major media outlets. Despite not being able to compete in the finals that year, Anastasia becomes the beauty queen who captures the world’s attention.
7:00 pm | DEAD PIGS
Five lives suddenly collide when pig farmer Old Wang’s entire stock dies en masse and turns up in Shanghai’s waterways, setting off a public health crisis. Cathy Yan’s DEAD PIGS assembles a cast of characters who embody dreamers, deadbeats, and ambitious movers who must answer the question of what the individual should do in a country relentlessly marching away from its past and toward progress. Yan’s DEAD PIGS is a portrait of humanity in a country that has adopted an attitude of modernizing at all costs. Full of dark images, but paired with a jaunty, delightful humor, the film veritably bounces in contrast to the social realism that has come to characterize popular arthouse in China today.
The Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) premiered in the summer of 1978 in New York City answering a growing need for social understanding, cultural diversity in American life, and independent cinema. AAIFF is the first festival in the U.S. to showcase film and video work by artists of the Asian Diaspora. Forty years later, the AAIFF has grown to include films and video from more than 30 countries, a variety of topical panels and workshops, industry mixers, staged readings, exclusive interviews, receptions and more.