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Asian Pop-Up Cinema Announces Full Slate for 18th Season Festival

International, North American, and U.S. Premieres Abound; Guest Filmmakers Flock to Chicago


Chicago, Illinois (March 4, 2024) – Today, Asian Pop-Up Cinema announced the full lineup of films and programs included in its 18th edition, running March 20 - April 21, 2024. Each week throughout the festival is dedicated to works from a different region, with films screened in person on weekends at AMC Newcity 14 (1500 N. Clybourn Ave.) and available via streaming on weekdays. This year’s festival also features an inaugural partnership with Northwestern University, Asian Pop-Up Cinema at the Block Museum, featuring special screenings and guest lecturers. Screening schedules and tickets are available now at www.asianpopupcinema.org


The 18th season of Asian Pop-Up Cinema opens on March 20, 2024, with the Chicago Premiere of Charles-Olivier Michaud’s RU, the story of a young Vietnamese girl adapting to life in Quebec and featuring an in-person appearance from lead actor Jean Bui. Closing Night features the Midwest Premiere of WE ARE FAMILY, following the founder of a rent-a-family business navigating personal and professional conflicts, with director Benny Lau in attendance with star Carlos Chan, who will receive the Festival’s Bright Star Award on April 20. The season’s Centerpiece presents the Midwest Premiere of Chen Zhizhong’s GOOD AUTUMN, MOMMY, screening April 13 and starring award-winning actress Shu Qi as a woman forced to embark on a transformative journey following the disappearance of a new family member.


Each week throughout the Festival focuses on a particular country or region’s cinema. Highlights of each region’s program include: 

  • Taiwan: The International Premiere of THE YOUNG HOODLUM, following four youngsters who meet a rich runaway girl. Their simple and fun relationship leads to a shocking crime that pushes all of them to the point of no return. Director Yu Jhi Han and star Joseph Huang will participate in a post-screening discussion.

  • Taiwan: The U.S. Premiere of director Chu-chen Hsiao’s documentary feature ON THE TRAIN, exploring the stories of three generations of engineers as they share their memories of building the magnificent South Link Line prior to its electrification. 

  • South Korea: The International Premiere of Lee Won-hoi’s MY FAVORITE LOVE STORY, a whimsical Broadway-style musical telling the story of two robots falling in love.

  • Japan: The Continental U.S. Premiere of director Mitsuhiro Mihara’s TAKANO TOFU, a heartfelt father-daughter story and a love letter to the bucolic Japanese small-town life about Tatsuo and his daughter, who run the Takano Tofu Store in Onomichi, Japan.  

  • China: A bridge in the busy city of Huangque collapses in broad daylight in the North American Premiere of THE FALLEN BRIDGE from director Li Yu. The resulting investigation reveals the role law plays in an unevenly developed society and the emotional struggles and moral dilemmas of victims who go to great lengths for justice.

  • Hong Kong: Four colleagues reunite after the tragic death of a friend, and must revisit a past that haunts them in the U.S. Premiere of IT REMAINS. Director Kelvin Shum appears for a post-film discussion.

  • Hong Kong: The Midwest Premiere of ELEGIES, Venice Career Golden Lion-winning auteur Ann Hui’s documentary feature showcasing her personal encounters with some of Hong Kong’s most notable poets. 

“Continuing with the spirit of offering our audiences a diverse selection of films, this year’s 18th edition of Asian Pop Up Cinema presents four international premieres and nine North American premieres of films in multiple genres from Hong Kong, Japan, China, South Korea, Canada/Vietnam, Canada/India and Taiwan,” said Sophia Wong Boccio, Founder and Executive Director of Asian Pop Up Cinema. “With many of these films made by first and second-time directors of feature-length films, audiences will appreciate the raw and sometimes innocent reflections of the places and people that are close to their hearts.”


This season also features an inaugural partnership with Northwestern University, Asian Pop-Up Cinema at the Block Museum, which will showcase four films from China, India, Japan, and South Korea. Attending with their films are director Irfana Majumdar of SHANKAR’S FAIRIES (India), and director Yutaka Tsunermachi of DRIFTING FLOWERS, FLOWING DAYS (Japan). There will be a post-film Q&A moderated by Ron Falzone, an in-house lecturer from the festival. 


The 18th Asian Pop-Up Cinema Festival will run from March 20 - April 21, 2024, with a new selection of films available via streaming each week, and in-person screenings each weekend. For screening schedules, special guest attendees, and more information please visit www.asianpopupcinema.org


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ABOUT ASIAN POP-UP CINEMA

Asian Pop-Up Cinema, an annual Asian Film Festival, is the brainchild of Sophia Wong Boccio, founder of Sophia’s Choice, a Chicago-based 501(c)3 not-for-profit incorporated in 2015 with the multi-pronged mission of cultivating an interest in and understanding of Asian cultures via a diverse offering of Asian films; connecting the Asian film industry with local Chicago film professionals, educators, and students; and promoting Chicago as a destination for international visitors.


ASIAN POP-UP CINEMA SEASON 18 MAIN SPONSORS 

Asian Pop-Up Cinema’s annual film festival is partially supported by the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office in New York, Choose Chicago, Chicago Film Office/DCASE, Taipei Cultural Center in New York/Ministry of Culture, Taiwan, EVA Air and ADG Group plus a special organizational development grant from the ARTS WORK FUND supporting our transition to a competition film festival starting 2025.

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