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L.A. Asian Pacific Film Fest to kick off with 'Shanghai Calling'

April 6, 2012 |  5:13 pm

"Shanghai Calling," a romantic comedy starring Bill Paxton and Eliza Coupe, will open the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, organizers announced Friday. The festival runs May 10–20.

The movie, a romantic comedy about an ambitious New York attorney (Daniel Henney) who is sent to Shanghai on business and stumbles into a legal mess, is the feature debut of Daniel Hsia. 

The festival will screen 46 feature films and 142 shorts from more than 20 countries at the Directors Guild of America in Hollywood, CGV Cinemas in Koreatown and, for the first time, the Art Theater in Long Beach.

"Sunset Stories," directed by Silas Howard and Ernesto M. Foronda, will be the festival’s
centerpiece presentation. It stars Sung Kang ("Fast Five") and Monique Curnen ("Contagion") in what festival organizers say is "a uniquely L.A. story of love and control." 

The international centerpiece is "Valley of Saints,"  which won the world cinema grand prize at Sundance and was directed by Musa Syeed and produced by Nicholas Bruckman. The film is an India/U.S. production bringing to the screen the landscape of Kashmir. The story follows a young tourist boatman and his best friend as they try to run away from the provincial life in their lake village.

The Saturday night gala, typically reserved for a crowd-pleasing film, will be filled by "Yes We're Open"  from Bay Area screenwriter H.P. Mendoza and director Richard Wong. Described as a "sex comedy," the film looks at liberal San Francisco lifestyles over dinner and drinks with a side of infidelity.

Tsao Jui-Yuan’s "Joyful Reunion" -- a  follow-up to Ang Lee’s "Eat Drink Man Woman," will screen as the festival closing night presentation. It's a foodie film that looks at family ties surrounding a vegetarian restaurant.

For a full list of films, click here. Tickets go on sale April 13.

-- Julie Makinen


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