Posted on August 24, 2019 at 5:53 pm

Events Featured North America

38th Vancouver International Film Festival Returns September 26

38th Vancouver International Film Festival Returns September 26

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38th Vancouver International Film Festival Returns September 26

Vancouver, B.C (August 15, 2019) – The 2019 Vancouver International Film Festival’s (VIFF) Gateway stream will once again present the largest showcase of East Asian cinema outside of that region. The programming stream, which includes the long-running Dragons & Tigers film series, transports viewers into the compelling cinematic worlds envisioned by some of East Asia’s most adventurous creators.

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This year’s Gateway selections offer audiences the chance to reconnect with several VIFF alumni who have risen to international fame since playing VIFF at a formative point in their career. This year’s returning class includes past VIFF award winners Diao Yinan with The Wild Goose Lake (China), an explosive Chinese neo-noir; Lou Ye with The Shadow Play (China), which stars celebrated Chinese actor, Michelle Chen; and Anthony Chen with Wet Season (Singapore), his beautifully told follow-up to Ilo Ilo.

“We’re very excited to showcase the latest work by some of VIFF’s most notable alumni. Especially since the likes of Anocha Suwichakornpong, Pema Tseden and Yamashita Nobuhiro have become fixtures on the international festival circuit since their first VIFF bows,” said PoChu AuYeung, Program Manager & Senior Programmer, who works closely with programmers Shelly Kraicer (Chinese language films) and Maggie Lee (Japanese and Korean language films) on the Gateway stream. “This year’s Dragons & Tigers series features an incredible collection of first features, including the North American Premiere of Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains, which displays masterful mise-en-scène for a debut,” AuYeung continued.

With film productions hailing from ten countries, Gateway delves into some of the most gripping events of 2018. Tom Waller’s The Cave (Thailand) features the real-life heroes who rescued a boys soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand. Erik Brown, a diving instructor from Vancouver, plays himself in this stirring account of how an international coalition of experts and volunteers raced against the clock to pull off the rescue. The theme of survival also plays a starring role in the Canadian Premieres of Birthday (South Korea), Lee Jong-un’s dramatization of the 2014 Sewol Ferry Accident, and Melancholic (Japan), a Yakuza thriller from Tanaka Seiji, another VIFF alumnus.

For 28 years running, VIFF’s celebrated Dragons & Tigers series has championed some of East Asia’s leading cinematic talents. The 2019 edition will see three of eight films directed by female filmmakers: Jill Li’s Lost Course (World Premiere; Hong Kong), Lau Kek Huat and Vera Chen’s Boluomi (North American Premiere; Taiwan) and Chan Oliver Siu Kuen’s Still Human (Canadian Premiere; Hong Kong). Other highlights in the series include the delicate yet explosive Another Child, the directorial debut of Korean superstar actor Kim Yoon-seok (The Chaser).

Featured Films


Balloon (dir. Pema Tseden, China)

Birthday (dir. Lee Jong-un, South Korea) – Canadian Premiere

The Cave (dir. Tom Waller, Thailand) – North American Premiere

Children of the Sea (dir. Watanabe Ayumu, Japan)

Every Day a Good Day (dir. Omori Tatsushi, Japan)

Hard-Core (dir. Yamashita Nobuhiro, Japan)

Krabi, 2562 (dirs. Ben Rivers and Anocha Suwichakornpong, UK/Thailand)

Present. Perfect. (dir. Zhu Shengze, USA/ Hong Kong) – Canadian Premiere

Samsara (dir. Moon Jeong-yun, South Korea) – World Premiere

The Shadow Play (dir. Lou Ye, China) – North American Premiere

Spring Tide (dir. Yang Lina, China) – International Premiere

Wet Season (dir. Anthony Chen, Singapore)

White Snake (dirs. Amp Wong and Zhao Ji, China)

The Wild Goose Lake (dir. Diao Yinan, China/ France)

Wild Sparrow (dir. Shih Li, Taiwan) – North American Premiere

Dragons and Tigers

Another Child (dir. Kim Yoon-seok, South Korea)

Boluomi (dirs. Lau Kek-huat and Vera Chen, Taiwan) – North American Premiere

Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains (dir. Gu Xiaogang, China) – North American Premiere

Lost Course (dir. Jill Li, Hong Kong) – World Premiere

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (dir. Pawo Choyning Dorji, Bhutan) – North American Premiere

Melancholic (dir. Tanaka Seiji, Japan) – Canadian Premiere

Still Human (dir. Chan Oliver Siu Kuen, Hong Kong) – Canadian Premiere

Vanishing Days (dir. Zhu Xin, China) – North American Premiere

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