The full line-up for this year’s Terracotta Far East Film Festival has been revealed ahead of its run at The Prince Charles Cinema and The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London between May 23rd and June 01st.
This will be the sixth Terracotta Far East Film Festival and it remains the best place to see the latest in Asian cinema. There are a number of different strands to the event such as the focus on the latest films from the Philippines, and the usual Current Asian Cinema and Terror Cotta Horror All-Nighter. There will be lots of stars and directors present and they will conduct Q&As and party with festival attendees in various locations! Here’s a list of the films, trailers, and some background on them. To find out more, click on the link to get taken to the festival page.
Terracotta Far East Film Festival Full Programme:
The Spotlight On strand focuses on the Philippines. It takes place at the Institute of Contemporary Arts from May 23rd and finishes on May 27th and it includes many UK premieres. Some of the actors and directors of those films will be present.
Screened: Fri May 23rd, 2014 at 20:40
Duration: 121 mins.
Director: Erik Matti
Cast: Joel Torre, Gerald Anderson, Piolo Pascual
This violent action film follows the story of inmates hired by crooked government officials to act as assassins. Young gun Daniel (Torre) seems to love the job while old hand Tatang (Anderson) wants out of prison and killing as a whole. Meanwhile, high-flying young cop named Francis (Pascual) uncovers signs of corruption in his department. This Filipino film is considered so good that the original has got a UK release and Hollywood are doing a remake.
Erik Matti will be present for a Q&A
Screened: Sat May 24th, 2014 at 16:00
Duration: 81 mins.
Director: Siege Ledesma
Cast: Yeng Constantino, Felix Roco, Matt Valena, Alex Medina
Filipina singer-songwriter Yeng Constantino stars as a dreamer named Estela who works at a call centre who falls in love with a co-worker named Trevor (Roco) who is openly gay, not that this stops her from trying to get him!
Felix Roco will be present for a Q&A
Screened: Sat May 24th, 2014 at 20:40
Duration: 92 mins.
Director: Nathan Adolfson
Cast: Felix Roco, Avy Viduya, Epy Quizon, Lance Raymundo
In this bitter-sweet comedy, a privileged but bullied ten year old boy named Maximo (Viduya) finds his apartment invaded by two small-time thieves named Nico (Roco) and his cousin Lloyd who are on the lam following a bungled jewellery heist. Despite having little in common, Maximo and Nico become friends but corrupt cops are after the thieves…
Lead actor Felix Roco, director Nathan Adolfson, and producer Gene Lacson will be present for a Q&A
Screened: Sun May 25th, 2014 at TBC
Duration: 105 mins.
Director: Veronica Velasco
Cast: Eugene Domingo, Enchong Dee, Leo Martinez, Empress Schuck,
In this comedy, three bus passengers find themselves impaled by a single steel bar. As a team of doctors try to get free them, we find out about their backstories.
Screened: Sun May 25th, 2014 at TBC
Duration: 79 mins.
Director: Raya Martin
Cast: Nonie Buencamino, Shamaine Buencamino, Ness Roque
A young girl (Roque) searches for a way to disappear from a life spent with suffocating parents more concerned with drink and religion. Her life takes a very dark turn as an unnatural presence in the forest changes her.
Screened: Tue May 27th, 2014 at 20:40
Duration: 92 mins.
Director: Andrew Leavold
Cast: Eddie Nicart, Bobby A Suarez, Rodolfo Vera Quizon, Maria Isobel
Andrew Leavold, the former owner of Australia’s largest cult video store, turned detective for three years when he tracked down the two foot nine inch tall action star Weng Weng. The name will be familiar to anyone who watches bad movies since he was big in the 80’s with James Bond parodies but the real life he led was totally different. The film is full of interviews with stars and actors from that time.
Director Andrew Leavold will be present for a Q&A
The festival then moves to the Prince Charles Cinema from May 28th to June 01st where Terror Cotta and Current Trends in Asian Cinema strands take place.
Terror Cotta is back showcasing four titles from Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia, with some of the titles getting a UK release later this year. People are encouraged to dress up and have fun and there’s the promise of exciting things taking place at the all-night screening. It starts on Saturday, May 31st from 22:40.
Duration: 129 mins.
Director: Takashi Miike
Cast: Hideaki Ito, Fumi Nikaido, Shota Sometani, Mitsuru Fukkoshi, Takayuki Yamada
The Terror Cotta Horror All-Nighter comes out swinging with the well-received and absolutely insane looking film, Lesson of Evil, one of the latest crop of titles from Takashi Miike and one that genre fans will be sure to love. It is about a cool and charismatic teacher named Seiji (Ito) who is popular with students and teachers but behind his smile lurks a psychotic killer and when a student and a teacher start to discover this… Things. Go. Bloodily. Wrong. The film will be released by Third Window Films on September 29th, 2014.
In the Dark (2014) (European Premiere)
Duration: 99 mins.
Director: Yeo Joon Han
Cast: Wang Po Chieh, Candy Lee, Jennifer Foh
Fresh from Malaysia comes a ghost story where a guy named Joseph (Wang Po Chieh) defies a fortune-teller’s warnings and proposes to his girlfriend May (Foh) who dies. In trying to contact May in the afterlife, Joseph disturbs demons…
Duration: 137 mins.
Director: Kimo Stamboel, Timo Tjahjanto
Cast: Oka Antara, Kazuki Kitamura, Rin Takanashi, Luna Maya, Mei Kurokawa
This one is another title due to get a UK release. Troubled Indonesian journalist Bayu (Antara) finds himself drawn to the website of a Japanese serial killer named Nomura Shuhei (Kitamura). Bayu uploads footage of his own and both he and Nomura become closer…
Duration: 102 mins.
Director: Erik Matti
Cast: Dingdong Dantes, Lovi Poe, Joey Marquez, Janice De Belen
This is a comic book action adventure with a dark sense of humour as the world gets to see the vampires that reside in the Philippines.
In this strand, also at the Prince Charles Cinema, audiences get to see 12 of the latest films from various territories like Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. There are many different genres and ideas from many different talents like Donnie Yen, Jackie Chan, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Mao Inoue and more. Many of the films are UK and European premieres and there’s even an international premiere. Here’s the list:
Screened: Wed May 28th, 2014 at 20:15
Duration: 122 mins.
Director: Dante Lam
Cast: Nick Cheung, Eddie Peng, Mei Ting, Crystal Lee
Hong Kong directing legend Dante Lam crafts a film about MMA where a disgraced ex-boxing champion, Scumbag Fai (Cheung) seeks to rebuild his fighting career in Macau and meets others who are down on their luck and looking at a lucrative MMA tournament to raise themselves up from their bleak situations.
Screened: Thurs May 29th, 2014 at 20:30
Duration: 104 mins.
Director: Prachya Pinkaew
Cast: Tony Jaa, RZA, Jeeja Yanin, Marrese Crump
Tony Jaa is back breaking faces in another extreme action film where he finds himself framed for the murder of an elephant camp boss and forced to go on the run with the police, deadly women and a crime lord named LC on his tail. The film co-stars RZA (The Wu Tang Clan) and female fighting sensation Jeeja Yanin (Chocolate).
Remote Control (2013) (UK Premiere)
Screened: Wed May 30th, 2014 at 12:15
Duration: 90 mins.
Director: Byamba Sakhya
Cast: Enkhtaivan Bassandorj, Nergui Bayarmaa, Chagnaadorj Ganbaatar
Fresh from Mongolia comes this award-winning coming of age film about a teenager named Tsog (Baasandor) from the country who moves to the city and falls for an older woman, Anya (Bayarmaa). To make a connection, he steals a remote control and starts to manipulate her television.
Screened: Fri May 30th, 2014 at 15:15
Duration: 124 mins.
Director: Aozaru Shiao, Toyoharu Kitamura
Cast: Lung Shao-hua, Blue Lan, Amber An, Li Yi-chieh, Edison Wang, Tien Hsin
From Taiwan comes a fantastical fish story as told by an energetic named Liu Chi-sheng who retells the story of meeting his wife to their granddaughter. The film flashbacks to 1969 when Chi-sheng (Lan) was the hottest scriptwriter in Taiwan’s film industry and his wife, Mei-Yue (An) was an aspiring actress in love with a matinee idol. The film is full of egotistical directors, stars and monsters as the Taiwanese film industry of the time is brought back to life.
Screened: Fri May 30th, 2014 at 18:10
Duration: 138 mins.
Director: Hitoshi One
Cast: Kenta Niikura, Naoko Wakai, Chihiro Shibata, Yuumi Goto, Aya Kunitake, Hiroki Ueda, Daisuke Sawamura, Kenta Enya
This Japanese film is currently wowing critics on the festival circuit. It’s a low-budget film shot in a couple of locations based on a play by award-winning dramatist Daisuke Miura and it’s directed by Hitoshi One (Love Strikes! which was at the Japan Foundation’s last tour). It’s a very adult film about a group of drop-out twenty-somethings who are all flawed and caught up in damaging relationships.
Screened: Fri May 30th, 2014 at 20:55
Duration: 89 mins.
Director: Kim Ki-duk
Cast: Cho Jae-hyun, Seo Young-ju, Lee Eun-Woo
South Korea produced a crop of great directors who came to prominence during the New Waves of the early 2000s but none were or are as controversial as Kim Ki-duk, a man who never shies away from challenging subject matter and situations and a man who makes extreme films. In this one, a spurned wife wants revenge against her adulterous husband but things go wrong and their teenage son gets castrated. The father, desperate to help his son, goes to extreme lengths to try and make amends…
Screened: Sat May 31st, 2014 at 12:20
Duration: 109 mins.
Director: Jackie Chan
Cast: Jackie Chan, Kwone Sang Woo, Zhang Lanxin, Yao Xingtong, Liao Fan, Laura Weissbecker, Oliver Platt
In this family friendly fun action film, film legend Jackie Chan drops the drama for the stunts and comedy in a globe-trotting adventure that is unofficially regarded as the latest in his fun Armour of God franchise. Maverick treasure hunter JC (Chan) and his team are hired by the Max Profit Corporation to track down six missing bronze sculptures, part of a set of twelve representing the animals of the Chinese Zodiac and get involved in a global adventure.
Screened: Sat May 31st, 2014 at 14:45
Duration: 113 mins.
Director: Park Hong-soo
Cast: Choi Seung-hyun, Han Ye-ri, Kim Yoo-jung
In this South Korean spy thriller, a young man named Ri Myung-hoon (Choi Seung-hyun) imprisoned in a North Korean labour camp makes a deal to save himself and his sister and becomes a spy in the South where he has to track down an assassin picking off fellow agents. Pretending to be a high school boy, he befriends bullied classmate Hye-in (Han Ye-ri) and finds that his new links change his perspective on his mission.
Screened: Sat May 31st, 2014 at 17:45
Duration: 99 mins.
Director: Clarence Fok Yiu Leung
Cast: Donnie Yen, Jian Tian, Andy On
Hong Kong action hard man Donnie Yen takes to the screen in this brutal looking action film where he plays Chen Zilong (Yen), a deep undercover agent who infiltrates a Hong Kong gang and finds himself fighting for his life when asked to take out Sunny (On), an old adversary causing problems for both police and gangsters. He isn’t alone, however. His lover and fellow police officer, Fang (Tian), is ready to beat the crap out of gangsters.
Screened: Sat May 31st, 2014 at 20:00
Duration: 126 mins.
Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Cast: Mao Inoue, Go Ayano, Misako Renbutsu, Nanao
The latest box-office smash from Japan is a tale about the devastating power of social media and technology that promises that everybody is connected to everyone and everything all the time. Best on a work by the novelist Kanae Minato (writer of the award-winning Confessions) and starring two talented young stars in the form of Mao Inoue and Go Ayano, the story follows the death of a beautiful girl named Noriko (Nanao) and the scandal-hungry media make it their latest fixation. Twitter addict and newbie director Akahoshi (Ayano) gets a tip-off that dowdy Miki Shirono (Inoue) is the killer. His investigation sparks a massive sensation that turns very dark…
Screened: Sun June 01st, 2014 at 12:15
Duration: 139 mins.
Director: Han Jae-rim
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Lee Jung-Jae, Baek Yun-shik, Kim Hye-soo, Jo Jung-suk
The final South Korean film of the festival is a historical one set in the Joseon dynasty of 15th century Korea. Gifted physiognomist Nae-kyung (SONG Kang-ho) seizes the opportunity to cast off his peasant existence and tries to advance through the ranks of the warrior nobles in the capital but gets caught up in a dangerous game played between two deadly power players—Grand Prince Sooyang (LEE Jung-jae), known as “the Wolf”, simmering with menacing ambition, and Kim Jong-seo (BAEK Yoon-shik), “the Tiger”, charged with maintaining royal power.
Screened: Sun June 01st, 2014 at 15:00
Duration: 110 mins.
Director: Alan Yuen
Cast: Andy Lau, Yao Chen, Lam Ka Tung, Hu Jun
We get another explosive police thriller where Andy Lau portrays a police inspector hunting down an old adversary who has joined forces with a gang of armed robbers from mainland China who use increasingly brutal methods. In his desperation to catch the crooks, he begins to lose control.
Screened: Sun June 01st, 2014 at 17:15
Duration: 105 mins.
Director: Akira Nagai
Cast: Satoshi Tsumabuki, Keiko Kitagawa, Yosiyosi Arakawa, Lily Franky, Denden
The festival ends on a high with the hit comedy, Judge!, getting an international (!!!) premiere (!!!) with the director Akira Nagai appearing for the festival and conducting a Q&A. The film itself is a comedy about a hapless ad agency employee named Kiichiro Ota (Tsumabuki) being sent to the Santa Monica Advertising Festival to scheme, bribe and cheat as much as possible so his company’s ad wins. However, his English skills are lacking and so he drags along his brilliant colleague Hikari (Kitagawa) for support. With lots of culture clash gags and slapstick comedy, this is definitely one to attend.
Post-screening Q&A wit director Akira Nagai
Venues, Prices and Contact Details:
SPOTLIGHT ON: THE PHILIPPINES at Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA):
The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH / Box Office: +44 (0)20 7930 3647
Tickets at ICA: £10 / £8 Concessions / £7 ICA Members
CURRENT ASIAN CINEMA, TERROR COTTA HORROR ALL-NIGHTER at Prince Charles Cinema:
7 Leicester Place, London WC2H 7BY / Box Office: +44 (0)20 7494 3654
Tickets at Prince Charles Cinema: £9.50 non members, no concessions/ £6.00 (PCC Members)
(Friday afternoon: £7.50/ £5.50)
Festival Pass: £66.50 non members/ £56.50 members
EARLY BIRD PASS*: £65 non members/ £55 members (excludes Terror Cotta Horror All-Nighter and ICA Spotlight ON: Philippines)
*early bird price available for purchases before midnight, Thursday 1st May
Terror-Cotta Horror All-nighter: £22 non members/ £19.50 members
Keep an eye on the main website for updates and more information about the festival.