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Asian Film Festival begins April 9

Image from The Lunchbox.

Image from The Lunchbox.

In celebration of Asian-American Heritage Month, AsiaConnect will present the 2015 Asian Film Festival from Thursday, April 9, through Sunday, April 12, at the Normal Theater. The cost of the event is free for students with an ID and $7 for general admission.

The festival will feature four theatrically acclaimed movies from China, South Korea, India and Japan including:

  • Shadow Magic (Ann Hu, 2000) [China], at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 9. The movie is a historical drama about the introduction of motion pictures to China during the beginning of the 20th century. It follows a young photographer who struggles to start a film industry in China despite the strong anti-Western sentiment of the time.


  • Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (Kim Ki-duk, 2003) [South Korea], at 7 p.m. Friday, April 10. This film is Buddhist, but it is also universal. “It takes place within and around a small house floating on a small raft on a small lake, and within that compass, it contains life, faith, growth, love, jealousy, hate, cruelty, mystery, redemption … and nature. Also a dog, a rooster, a cat, a bird, a snake, a turtle, a fish and a frog,” stated the late film critic Roger Ebert.


  • The Lunchbox (Ritesh Bartra, 2014) [India], at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 11. Set in contemporary Mumbai, this film tells the story of Ila, a middle-class housewife who tries to rejuvenate her marriage through cooking. She prepares a special lunchbox to be delivered to her neglectful husband at work, but it is mistakenly delivered to another office worker, Saajan. This begins a series of lunchbox notes between Saajan and Ila, which leads to an emotional journey of self-discovery. They each find an anchor to hold onto in a big city that so often crushes hopes and dreams.


  • The Tale of Princess Kaguya (Isao Takahata, 2014) [Japan], at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 12. Based on a Japanese folktale, this animated fantasy drama tells the story of a young princess who must discover her past and confront her fate. Produced by Studio Ghibli, which created Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, this sweeping epic redefines the limits of animated storytelling. It also marks another triumph for director Isao Takahata, acclaimed for his war-themed animated film Grave of the Fireflies (1988). The Tale of Princess Kaguya was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 87th Academy Awards.

AsiaConnect is an affinity group established to promote Asian cultures and represent the interests, needs and concerns of Asian faculty, staff and students. This event is made possible by the generous support of Beyond Normal Films Cinema Arts Project, Downs Automotive, Inc., McLean County India Association, Normal Theater, Office of the President, Dr. and Mrs. SJ Chang, Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology, Crossroads Project, Department of Politics and Government, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, MECCPAC, Dean of Students Diversity Initiative, Office of International Studies and Programs, and Office of the Provost.


For additional information on this event, please visit or contact