SEA at ’17 HIFF Spring Showcase
There are two films from Southeast Asia being featured in the upcoming Hawaii International Film Festival Spring Showcase. To see showtimes and purchase tickets, see the links below.
Pop Aye (Thailand & Singapore, 2017)
Showings: April 1 at 5:15pm, April 3 at 8:15pm
Thana, a once-illustrious architect, drifts ever further into existential crisis, propelled by the impending demolition of his proudest work and his wife’s waning romantic interest. Unexpectedly running into his long-lost childhood “pet” elephant Popeye, performing in the streets of Bangkok, spurs Thana on a quest across Thailand to return his displaced friend to rural Loei, the small village where they grew up. As the unlikely travelers saunter at elephant speed, they encounter fellow lost souls, like a gas station vagabond yearning for his first love and a lonely karaoke singer aching for a friend, who encourage them as a series of unfortunate mishaps impede their journey.
POP AYE is a humane ode to the power of simple acts of kindness in a world of lost innocence and missed opportunities, punctuated by well-timed bursts of deadpan absurdity. Director Kirsten Tan, in her impressive feature debut, deftly weaves the poignance and humor of Popeye and Thana’s journey with a series of indelibly beautiful cinematic images of the film’s gigantic star in this lyrical road-trip dramedy.
POP AYE won the Best Screenplay Award at the Sundance Film Festival and the VPRO Big Screen Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.
— Sundance Film Festival
Bitcoin Heist (Viet Nam, 2016)
Showings: April 7 at 6:15pm, April 9 at 7:15pm
In the age of information technology, computers and smartphones aren’t the only things advancing in complexity and mobility. BITCOIN HEIST is a riveting action-adventure that showcases how speed, data, and collaboration can lead to the dazzling expansion of crime… and crime-stopping. When a cop vows to capture a person stealing billions of dollars in bitcoins, she entrusts several criminals to find the “Ghost” and bring them to justice.
Decorated director Ham Tran (JOURNEY FROM THE FALL, HOW TO FIGHT IN SIX INCH HEELS) brings together his chops as a UCLA-educated American filmmaker, with his growing versatility in the mainstream Vietnamese film industry, captivating the audience with a flair for the caper film as innovative as the cyber-crimes onscreen. Featuring special effects and a cast of stars that announce a new era of commercial Vietnamese filmmaking, BITCOIN HEIST wows and excites, keeping the audience guessing at every turn.
— San Diego Asian Film Festival