Asian Film Festival Of Dallas Delivers Its Lucky 13th Full Lineup

J Hurtado, Contributing Writer
Many years ago, in the ancient year of 2006, I was fortunate enough to have the kindly overlords of Twitch publish a few of my words regarding the Asian Film Festival of Dallas. It was the first time anyone ever gave a shit about what I had to say and it was just enough recognition to encourage me to continue trying to put my thoughts into words. 

Now, eight rears later, and four years after being welcomed to the site as a contributing writer, I am grateful for the opportunity to share news about this film festival again, the festival that made me love festivals.

The Asian Film Festival of Dallas is now celebrating its 13th year. From a weekend of repertory screenings to the site of one world premiere, six North American premieres, two international premieres, and two US premieres is a long, long road that I've been happy to travel right along with everyone involved. This year's line up is strong, and features several films that have been getting great reviews, sometimes ever from us, from other festivals. Here are a few to look out for:
SAMURAI HUSTLE
Japan / 119 mins
Comedy
Click here for the full trailer

Masaatsu NAITO is the head of the small and poor clan in Northern Japan. He is ordered by the Shogun to come to Edo (capital city) in just five days with his people. The cost for the journey is incredibly high and usually takes eight to twelve days. Naito has no money, and it's impossible to get there in only five days. However, the shogun's order is a must or his land will be taken away. Will he and his men be able to achieve this impossible task?

BLACK BUTLER
Japan / 2014 / 119 mins
Director Kentaro Otani
Live Action Anime
United States Premiere

Based upon the manga written and illustrated by Yana Toboso, this live action movie stays closely to the dark tone of the story but is set in the future 130 years after the events in the manga. Shiori, (Ayame Goriki) an orphaned aristocrat summons a demonic butler Sebastian (Hiro Mizushima) to aid her, at the price of her soul. Possessing a wealth of knowledge, unbelievable skills, perfect looks and grace, he is a butler without flaws. He is also a demon from the depths of hell who will not hesitate to take lives with the skilled manipulation of dinner cutlery.

THE KING'S WRATH
Korea / 2014 / 135 mins
Director Lee Jae-Gyu
Drama/Action

In 1777, one year since he had taken reign, King Jeong-jo bears a perilous palace life with his dedicated court servant, Gap-soo, amidst opposition and threats from those around with political ambitions. Meanwhile, Eul-soo, a member of a secret assassin group, receives orders to kill Jeong-jo. Gap-soo, who had also been in the same secret assassin ring as Eul-soo, later confesses to Jeong-jo about his dark past and his motive for coming into the palace. To Gap-soo's surprise, Jeong-jo asks Gap-soo when he had given up being an assassin, then orders him to just leave the palace. However, Gap-soo finds out that there is another assassin besides him and frantically returns to the court, only to discover Eul-soo in combat with Jeong-jo.


FUNNY MONEY
Vietnam / 2013 / 96 mins
Director Thien Do in attendance
Comedy

The stars of SAIGON ELECTRIC Vân Trang and Khuong Ngoc return to AFFD in this hilarious comedy. Director Thien Do's newest film is a social satire set in modern-day Vietnam. Saigon businessman Lucky Loc makes high-end fake "ghost money" that is meant for dearly departed relatives to use in the afterlife. His good fortune comes to a sudden halt when he pays with "funny money" to an unsuspecting saleswoman, Quyen. Believing it to be his lucky charm, he's convinced that giving away the bill caused his misfortune. At the same time, Quyen's Quyen's fortune plummets and she blames the cursed "funny money" for it. When Lucky tries to retrieve the bill and Quyen holds it for ransom, Lucky must do his best to survive in this increasingly materialistic world.

BUSHIDO
Japan / 2013 / 102 min
Director Yasuo Mikami
Action Drama

A period film depicting the culture of bushidou with heart-racing action and realistic swordfights!  "Bushido" (original Japanese title : Shundou) is an authentic period film brimming with tension and bloody samurai swordfight scenes. Regarded as representing the pinnacle of Japanese independent films, this work was written and directed by Yasuo Mikami.

MAN FROM RENO
USA / 2014 / 111 min
Director Dave Boyle in attendance
Action Drama

In a small town south of San Francisco, Sheriff Paul Del Moral (Pepe Serna) is driving home through the fog one night when he accidentally strikes a pedestrian, a lone Japanese man. However, before an investigation can take place the man disappears from the hospital without a trace.  At the same time, Japanese mystery author Aki Akahori (Ayako Fujitani) takes a trip to San Francisco in order to escape the press tour for her latest book--a potboiler in her world-famous "Inspector Takabe" series. Feeling lonely and vulnerable, she begins a romantic affair with a mysterious Japanese traveler from Reno who is staying in the same hotel. Her new lover, Akira Suzuki (Kazuki Kitamura), is charismatic and charming but abruptly disappears from the hotel, leaving behind his suitcase and a trail of questions...
That's just the tip of the iceberg. With 39 features from 9 countries, this year's AFFD is one to look forward to. Don't forget to check out Nawazuddin Siddiqui's unhinged performance in Amit Kumar's Monsoon Shootout, Juno Mak's directorial debut, Rigor Mortis, a repertory screening of Hayao Miyazaki's Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro, Sion Sono's paean to filmed cinema, Why Don't You Play In Hell, and so many more! Check out the full schedule below and visit the site linked below to buy your tickets now!
13th Asian Film Festival of Dallas presented by Well Go USA Entertainment kicks off on Thursday, July 10 through Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the Angelika Film Center of Dallas in Mockingbird Station.

AFFD in numbers

39 film screenings total.  9 countries represented.
1 World premiere.  6 North American premieres.  2 International premieres.  2 U.S. premieres. 12 confirmed filmmakers in attendance. Parties, receptions & Q&As are sprinkled throughout the festival week.  

All  screenings will be shown at the Angelika Film Center - Dallas

FULL FILM & EVENT SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, JULY 10

7:00 pm    BLACK BUTLER (OPENING NIGHT FILM) - U.S. premiere

9:15 pm    The Five

8 pm-11 pm    Opening Night Party @ The Dram

http://www.13thaffdopeningnightparty.eventbrite.com

FRIDAY, JULY 11

2:30 pm    Experimental Shorts

2:45 pm    Reset - World premiere
**Director Takeshi Matuura and Actors Koutarou Hayashi & Tomomi Kouno
will be in attendance, Q&A to follow the film

4:30 pm    The King's Wrath

4:45 pm    Stray Dogs

7:15 pm    Go, Stop, Murder - International premiere
**Director Joon Kwon in attendance, Q&A to follow the film

7:30 pm    Bushido - North American premiere

9:30 pm    Innocent Blood
**Actor James Jeffery Caldwell in attendance, Q&A to follow the film

9:45 pm    Black Butler (2nd screening)

SATURDAY, JULY 12

12:00 pm    Student Shorts

12:15 pm    Drama Shorts

2:00 pm    Ku-On - North American premiere
**Director Takayuki Hatamura & Editor Naomi Toyama will be in attendance,
Q&A to follow

2:15 pm    Patema Inverted

3:50 pm    Boomerang Family

4:15 pm    Funny Money
**Director Thien Do in attendance, Q&A to follow the film

6:15 pm    Man From Reno
**Director Dave Boyle, Associate Producer Mye Hoang & Actor Ayako Fujitani to attend,
Q&A to follow

6:25 pm    Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro

8:35 pm    Kumu Hina

8:45 pm    The Attorney

10:30 pm    Danger Dolls - North American premiere

11:30 pm    Horror Stories 2 - U.S. premiere

SUNDAY, JULY 13

12:00 pm    Seven Souls in the Skull Castle

12:15 pm    Touch of the Light

2:30 pm    Satellite Girl and Milk Cow

3:40 pm    Sweet Alibis - North American premiere

4:15 pm    Television

6:00 pm    That Demon Within

6:30 pm    Ant Story - North American premiere

8:30 pm    SAMURAI HUSTLE (CENTERPIECE FILM) - International premiere
Centerpiece Reception to precede the film @Angelika Film Center

8:45 pm    Fall in Love

10:45 pm    Late Night Shorts

11:00 pm    Rigor Mortis

5-6:30 pm    Filmmakers Reception @ Cafe Express in Mockingbird Station

MONDAY, JULY 14

1:30 pm    Documentary Shorts

3:35 pm    Sansho the Bailiff

6:00 pm    Pretty Rosebud
**Director Oscar Torre & Writer/Actor Chuti Tiu will be in attendance
Q&A to follow 

8:00 pm    A Leading Man
**Director/Writer Steven Kung & Executive Producer/Actor Pat Tsao
Appetizers provided before the film.  Q&A to follow the film. 

10:20 pm    Monsoon Shootout

TUESDAY, JULY 15

1:00 pm    Boomerang Family (2nd screening)   

3:20 pm    Drama Shorts

5:20 pm    The King's Wrath (2nd screening)

8:00 pm    Why Don't You Play in Hell?

10:30 pm    Late Spring

WEDNESDAY, JULY 16

1:45 pm    Go, Stop, Murder (2nd screening)

3:45 pm    Experimental Shorts

5:45 pm    Kept

7:30 pm    Overheard 3

9:30 pm    Zombie TV

5:30-7 pm    AFFD Happy Hour @ The People's Last Stand

THURSDAY, JULY 17

12:00 pm    Sweet Alibis (2nd screening)

2:20 pm    Man From Reno (2nd screening)

4:45 pm    The Attorney (2nd screening)

7:30 pm    As the Light Goes Out (CLOSING NIGHT FILM)

9:45 pm    Killers

12:00 am    That Demon Within (2nd screening)

9 pm-12 am    AFFD Closing Night Party @ The Dram
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