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Southeast Asian films at this year’s Spring Showcase

Today’s blog focuses on three films from Southeast Asia. We have two HIFF alumni with films from Vietnam in this year’s Spring Showcase.  Ham Tran who made his directorial debut at HIFF with his film JOURNEY FROM THE FALL (HIFF 2006) is back with the romantic comedy HOW TO FIGHT IN SIX INCH HEELS.  Anne, a neurotic junior fashion designer from New York, becomes suspicious that her fiancé who is working overseas may be having an affair with a supermodel. With jealousy burning and her wedding date on the horizon, she conjures up a scheme to achieve the ultimate makeover, investigate the supermodels and catch him in the act. After an eight-year directorial absence it is great to see Ham back with this uproarious romantic comedy.

HOW TO FIGHT IN SIX INCH HEELS Screenings:
Saturday, April 5 at 6:15PM – Dole Cannery Theaters
Sunday, April 6 at 3:30PM – Dole Cannery Theaters

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The second alumnus, Dustin Nguyen, made his debut at HIFF in 2005 with director Rowan Woods’ film LITTLE FISH. Nguyen wowed the audience with his performance as the junkie turned thug boyfriend opposite Cate Blanchett. Now Nguyen shows his talents as the producer, director, writer, and star in the visually stunning ONCE UPON A TIME IN VIETNAM. Master Bao (Nguyen) comes from an army of warrior monks dedicated to protecting the country from its enemies. Unable to return to monastic life, he now spends his days wandering the land looking for deserters. His journey takes him to a village where local thugs are harassing a humble baker, Hien, who won’t sell his shop. He rents a room with Hien, and we discover Bao has a history with Hien’s wife, Anh. Inspired by classic American Westerns, ONCE UPON A TIME IN VIETNAM is the first sci-fi fantasy from Vietnam.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN VIETNAM Screenings:
Friday, April 4 at 8:30PM – Dole Cannery Theaters
Saturday, April 5 at 12:30PM – Dole Cannery Theaters

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BLUE BUSTAMANTE is the directorial debut of filmmaker Miko Livelo.  His light and humorous approach on the misadventures of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) makes BLUE BUSTAMANTE a delight for audiences. George Bustamante is an OFW in Japan looking to provide for his family in the Philippines.  He quickly loses his job, but in an odd turn of events, lands another as a stunt double for a Japanese TV show as a masked superhero named Blue Force. Much to his surprise, the show becomes an international hit.

BLUE BUSTAMANTE Screenings:
Sunday, April 6 at 6:00PM – Dole Cannery Theaters
Monday April 7 at 4:00PM – Dole Cannery Theaters

The Hawaii International Film Festival is a proud cinema partner with Honolulu Museum of Art Doris Duke Theatre.  As Filipino cinema becomes more prominent in the world, please make sure that you see some of these wonderful films at Doris Duke Theatre. Experience the rich culture and history of the Philippines through the country’s distinctive cinematic language. The lineup includes three favorites from the 2013 HIFF Fall Festival—SANA DATI, DOCUMENTED, AND DEBOSYON–as well as three new titles and a contemporary classic by the late “first lady” of Philippine cinema, Marilou Diaz-Abaya. For more information on the 6th Annual Filipino Film Festival, please click here.

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