Chinese flicks this February at the Shang

The home of premier film festivals in the Philippines, Shangri-la Plaza, will host six masterpiece films that aims to promote Chinese language and culture this February 13-22, 2015.

The 9th Spring Film Festival is an annual event organized by by Ateneo de Manila University’s Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies, together with the Cultural Division of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Confucius Institute at the Ateneo de Manila University and the Film Development Council of the Philippines, in cooperation with the Ateneo Celadon and Shangri-La Plaza.

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This year’s headliner is the comedy-drama film Caught in the Web (running time: 121 minutes), directed by Chen Kaige. The director, who won the 1993 Cannes Palme d’Or for Farewell My Concubine, creates a story that weaves the lives of an employee and an intern. The story takes off when white-collar worker Ye refuses to give up her seat on the bus to a senior citizen and a journalist intern catches her act on videotape. The video gets aired on a news show, sparks intense debate on and off the Internet, and soon brings tremendous changes in the lives of both characters.

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There’s a movie for everyone in the family! Completing this year’s roster of featured films are:

Action

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Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar Wai also features in the festival with his film The Grandmaster (running time: 125 minutes). Starring famous Chinese thespians Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi, The Grandmaster is an epic action feature inspired by the life of the legendary kung fu master, Ip Man. The story follows the master, who is also famed for teaching martial artist Bruce Lee, on his adventures during the golden age of Chinese martial arts. The multi-awarded film promises to be a visual treat with its stunning locations and cinematography.

Awards:

  • Best Film, Best Actress (Zhang Ziyi) at the 20th Hong Kong Film Critics Society Award;
  • Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effect, Best Art Direction, Best Makeup and Costume Design, Audience Choice Award, Best Actress at the 50th Golden Horse Awards;
  • Best Non-English Language Feature, Denver Film Critics Society;
  • Best Sound Editing: Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue & ADR in a Foreign Feature Film, Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Awards;
  • Best Film, Best Director (Wong Kar-wai), Best Screenplay (Zou Jingzhi, Xu Haofeng, Wong Kar-wai), Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor (Zhang Jin), Best Cinematography (Phillipe Le Sourd), Best Film Editing (William Chang, Benjamin Courtines, Poon Hung-yiu), Best Art Direction (William Chang, Alfred YauWai-ming), Best Costume & Make-Up Design (William Chang), Best Action Choreography (Yuen Woo-ping), Best Original Film Score (Shigeru Umebayashi, Nathaniel Mechaly), Best Sound Design at the 33rd Hong Kong Film Awards

Animation

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China’s first internationally-released animated feature Legend of Kung Fu Rabbit (running time: 90 minutes) brings in the fun and laughter in this year’s festival. An ordinary rabbit named Tu, who makes pancakes for a living, telepathically gets the ultimate kung fu power after rescuing a dying kung fu master from an attack. Now, he must harness his new found gift to save the Kung Fu Academy from the hands of an evil panda.

Award: Outstanding Animation, Huabiao Award.

Romance

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Meanwhile, romance rules in the movie, Love Deposit (running time: 95 minutes). He Muyang opens a café named “Bank of Love” where people can come to record on video what they want to say to their lovers, with their lovers not knowing what the message is. If the lovers break up after a year and do not come back to pick up the tapes, the tapes will then be discarded. The story takes a sweet turn as a girl named Yu Xiaoyu sets out to retrieve her boyfriend’s video from He Muyang’s café.

Family drama

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Prepare to be touched with Sunlight on Fingertips. The heartwarming family drama explores the dynamics of parents who work in the city and their children who are left in the county. In order to be reunited with their parents, Shi Xiaohe and his sister Shi Xiaoyu join a “See Your Family” trip organized by the county. Witness the adventures of the siblings as they fight hard to see their parents again.

Drama

9thSFF-BeijingBlues

Veteran detective Huiling is at the core of the film Beijing Blues. The detective has built a name for himself for catching over 1,600 thousand criminals in the streets using his minicam technique to record evidence as he follows his suspects. An ordinary arrest leads to something more explosive as Huiling discovers a scam in which children are used to extract money in fake car accidents. As he investigates the case, Huiling hears that the famous thief Zhang is in town. Huiling sets out to hunt his most elusive prey yet which boils down to an action-packed battle of talent and wits.

Awards: Best Feature Film, Best Cinematography, and Best Film Editing at the Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards.

Screening Schedules

FEB 13 (Friday)

  • Sunlight on Fingertips 12:30PM
  • Legend of Rabbit 2:30PM
  • Love Deposit 4:30PM
  • The Grandmaster 8:00PM (by invitation only)

FEB 14 (Saturday)

  • Legend of Rabbit 12:30PM
  • Beijing Blues 3:00PM
  • The Grandmaster 5:30PM
  • Caught in the Web 8:00PM

FEB 15 (Sunday)

  • The Grandmaster 1:00PM
  • Sunlight on Fingertips 3:30PM
  • Beijing Blues 5:30PM
  • Love Deposit 8:00PM

FEB 16 (Monday)

  • Beijing Blues 1:00PM
  • Legend of Rabbit 3:30PM
  • Caught in the Web 5:30PM
  • The Grandmaster 8:00PM

FEB 17 (Tuesday)

  • Caught in the Web 1:00PM
  • Love Deposit 3:30PM
  • Legend of Rabbit 6:00PM
  • Sunlight on Fingertips 8:00PM

FEB 18 (Wednesday)

  • Love Deposit 1:00PM
  • The Grandmaster 3:00PM
  • Beijing Blues 5:30PM
  • Legend of Rabbit 8:00PM

FEB 19 (Thursday)

  • Beijing Blues 1:00PM
  • The Grandmaster 3:30PM
  • Sunlight on Fingertips 6:00PM
  • Caught in the Web 8:00PM

FEB 20 (Friday)

  • Caught in the Web 1:00PM
  • Sunlight on Fingertips 3:30PM
  • Love Deposit 5:30PM
  • The Grandmaster 8:00PM

FEB 21 (Saturday)

  • Love Deposit 1:00PM
  • Legend of Rabbit 3:30PM
  • Beijing Blues 5:30PM
  • Sunlight on Fingertips 8:00PM

FEB 22 (Sunday)

  • Caught in the Web 1:00PM
  • The Grandmaster 3:30PM
  • Sunlight on Fingertips 6:00PM
  • Beijing Blues 8:00PM

Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis. Best you come early! See you! 🙂

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