Award-winning director Naomi Kawase initiated a project in response to the devastating earthquake and tsunami which hit the Tohoku region of Japan on 11 March 2011. The result is an anthology of films, all 3 minutes 11 seconds in duration, addressing the theme of home. From Apichatpong Weerasethakula’s Monsoon, to Jia Zhang-ke’s Alone Together to Naomi Kawase’s own contribution Home, this is a deeply personal and moving dedication to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami, and a poignant reminder of the universal significance of home. The film will screen on the one year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami. –AsiaHouse
Naomi Kawase was born in 1969, at a time when Japanese cinema was thriving with vigorous underground filmmaking, the initial streak in Kawase’s own young career. While studying photography at the Osaka School of Visual Arts, she started to make films as part of a workshop: “I focus on that which interests me” (1988), a personal symphony of the city, “The concretization of these things flying around me” (1989), a silent study of the homeless, "Presently (1989), a poetic piece visualising the 4 elements (water, air, fire and earth). After graduating in 1989, she taught for 4 years.
In 1992, she made Embracing, a medium length 16mm feature in which she sets up to find her biological father (Naomi was brought up by her grandparents after her parents’ marriage broke up). In 1993, she cast her documentary eye on a striking boy-meets-girl fiction in White Moon. She dedicated her following film Katatsumori (94) to her grandmother. This film and the next one… read more
Spanish director Victor Erice made two of his country’s most important and critically lauded films, El Espiritu de la Colmena (The Spirit of the Beehive) (1973) and Sur (The South) (1983). Erice had studied political science before entering the Instituto de Investigaciones y Experiencias Cinematográficas in 1960. Shortly after graduation in 1963, he worked as a film critic and worked on the script for Antonio Eceiza’s El Proximo Otoño (Next Autumn) (1963). He also collaborated on Miguel Picazo’s Oscuros Sueños de Agosto (Dark Dreams of August) (1967). Influential producer Elías Querejeta provided Erice his first opportunity to direct by assigning him a chance to helm one of three episodes in Los Desafios (The Challenges) (1969). Following his success with El Sur, Erice became a prolific director of television commercials and worked uncredited on numerous other feature films. In 1992, Erice reemerged on the film scene with his dream-like documentary of painter Antonio Lopez’s quest for… read more
While a student at the Beijing Film Academy, Jia would make three short films to hone his skills. The first, a ten minute short documentary on tourists in Tiananmen Square entitled One Day in Beijing, was made in 1994 on self-raised funds. Though Jia has referred to his first directorial effort as inconsequential and “naive”, he also described the short day and half shoot as “excitement…difficult to express in words.” But it was Jia’s second directorial effort, the short film Xiao Shan Going Home (1995), that would bring him to the attention of the film world. It was a film that helped establish Jia’s style and thematic interests and, in Jia’s words, was a film that “truly marks the beginning of my career as a filmmaker.” Xiao Shan would eventually to screen abroad where it won a top prize at the 1997 Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards. More significantly, the film’s success brought Jia in contact with cinematographer Yu Lik-wai and… read more
Apichatpong “Joe” Weerasethakul (Thai: อภิชาติพงศ์ วีระเศรษฐกุล; born July 16, 1970) is a Thai independent film director, screenwriter, and film producer. His feature films include Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, winner of the prestigious 2010 Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or prize; Tropical Malady, which won a jury prize at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival; Blissfully Yours, which won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard program at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival; and Syndromes and a Century, which premiered at the 63rd Venice Film Festival and was the first Thai film to be entered in competition there.
Working outside the strict confines of the Thai film studio system, Weerasethakul has directed several features and dozens of short films. Themes reflected in his films (frequently discussed in interviews) include dreams, nature, sexuality (including his own homosexuality), and Western perceptions of Thailand and Asia, and his films… read more
Isaki Lacuesta was born into a family of Basque origins in Girona, Spain, in 1975. After his film studies, he took a course in Audio-visual Communication at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and later a Master Course in Documentary of Creation at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
Lacuesta was defined ‘a cineaste with a capital C, and the most promising Spanish cineaste’ (Jaime Pena, Buenos Aires Film Festival). He was included by Phaidon Press in the trend-setting book Take 100 – The Future of Film: 100 New Directors,, an overview of the 100 film-makers who will shape the future of film.
In September 2011, Los pasos dobles was awarded the Concha de Oro for Best Film at the San Sebastian Film Festival. —Festival dei Popoli
BONG Joon-ho studied Sociology at the Yonsei University and graduated from the Korean Film Academy. By 1995 he made three short films Memories in My Frame, White Man and Incoherence. He wrote and directed his first feature, Barking Dogs Never Bite, which won a Fipresci Award at the Hong Kong Film Festival in 2001. His second feature Memories of Murder won the Silver Shell award for the best director in San Sebastian Film Festival in 2003. In 2006 his third feature film, The Host, was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. —london.korean-culture.org
Pedro González-Rubio (b. 1976, Brussels) lived till age 16 in India where he developed a talent for anthropological photography. In Mexico he studied at the Universidad Intercontinental, graduating in media and communications; back in Europe, he studied direction at the London Film School. In 2005 he and fellow student Carlos Armella shot their first documentary, Toro negro, which, among other honors, took the Horizontes Award for Best Latin American Film at San Sebastian. Armella also worked on a second documentary with Rubio, Common Ground (La tierra compartida, 2007), which follows the work of Mexican director Alejandro González Iñarritu during the filming of Babel. As a cameraman he worked on Born Without (Nacido sin, 2007), and he served as director of photography and editor for his feature directorial debut, To the Sea, which took a Tiger Award at the Rotterdam festival. —KVIFF
Director and writer, So Yong Kim was born in Pusan, South Korea and immigrated to the US when she was twelve. She studied painting, performance, and video art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned her MFA. She has made several experimental short films including A Bunny Rabbit, shot by renowned cinematographer Christopher Doyle. Kim also produced Bradley Rust Gray’s award-winning Icelandic feature, SALT, in 2003. In 2006, Kim was featured as one of the “25 Filmmakers to Watch” in Filmmaker Magazine.
Kim’s first feature, In Between Days, was acclaimed by critics and won the Special Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival along with the International Critics’ Prize at Berlin. It was also awarded an LA Critics Prize and Best Film and Best Actress Prizes at Buenos Aires. Kino International and the Sundance Channel released the film in North America, and With Cinema released the film in Korea.
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Jonas Mekas was born in 1922 in Semeniskiai, Lithuania. He currently lives and works in New York. In 1944, Jonas Mekas and his brother, Adolfas, were taken by the Nazis and imprisoned in a forced labor camp in Nazi Germany for eight months. After the War, he studied philosophy at the University of Mainz from 1946-48 and at the end of 1949, he emigrated with his brother to the U.S. settling in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in New York. Two weeks after his arrival, he borrowed the money to buy his first Bolex 16-mm camera and began to record moments of his life. He discovered avant-garde film at venues such as Amos Vogel’s pioneering cinema 16, and he began screening his own films in 1953. He has been one of the leading figures of American avant-garde filmmaking or the “New American Cinema,” as he dubbed it in the late ‘50s, playing various roles: in 1954, he became editor and chief of Film Culture; in 1958 he began writing his “Movie Journal” column for the Village Voice; in 1962 he co-founded… read more
Kazuhiro Soda (想田 和弘 Sōda?, born 1970 in Tochigi Prefecture) is a Japanese documentary filmmaker based in New York, USA. He has lived in New York since 1993. He is known for his observational style and method of documentary film-making.
In 2005, Kazuhiro Soda shot Campaign (Senkyo) (2007, 120 minutes), depicting a political campaign in Kawasaki, Japan, by Kazuhiko Yamauchi, an inexperienced candidate officially endorsed by the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party. When completed, it was invited to the forum section of Berlin International Film Festival in 2007. PBS broadcast a 52-minute version, which won the Peabody Award in 2008. The TV version was broadcast under a different title, Campaign! The Kawasaki Candidate as part of the Why Democracy? series, a global media event co-produced by 33 broadcasters around the world, including the BBC, CBC, and NHK. The 120-minute theatrical version won the Best Documentary Award at the Belgrade International Documentary Film Festival in 2008… read more
Patricia Lee “Patti” Smith (born December 30, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist, who became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 début album Horses. Called the “Godmother of Punk”, she integrated the beat poetry performance style with three-chord rock. Smith’s most widely known song is “Because the Night”, which was co-written with Bruce Springsteen and reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1978. In 2005, Patti Smith was named a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture, and in 2007, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. —Wikipedia