Headlining films to include “Seoul Searching” with lead actors in attendance and the award-winning documentary “The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S Ngor”

Austin, TX – From a Korean teen comedy inspired by classic John Hughes ‘80s films to a riveting documentary about a survivor of the Cambodian genocide who became the first Asian male actor to win an Oscar, the Austin Asian American Film Festival (AAAFF) brings a world of stories to Austin in one festival!

The jam-packed festival will run from November 12–15, 2015 at the Marchesa Theater, 6226 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, TX 78752. Early bird tickets go on-sale September 15, and regular tickets on-sale October 1. Individual tickets will be available in addition to festival and film passes. [$10-$65] A full line-up will be announced October 1.

Festival Programming Director Tim Tsai talks about bringing these films to Austin: “We’re excited to put on the festival again this year and bring a diverse collection of fantastic new films to Austin. These films highlight the Asian and Asian American experience through the unique visions of dozens of talented cinematic storytellers from across the globe, and we can’t wait to share these powerful and entertaining stories with the Austin community.”

Headlining the festival, “Seoul Searching,” has been described by Variety Magazine: “if the modern low-budget international indie ever needed a poster child, ‘Seoul Searching’ is it.” Lead actors Jessika Van and Justin Chon will be in attendance for opening night, Nov. 12, which will also include a Korean K-pop-themed opening night party hosted by Mandoo Entertainment.

Director Benson Lee has described “Seoul Searching” as the “most important and personal film of my career and life.”

“On the one hand, Seoul Searching is a fun and sexy romantic teen comedy that captures the beauty of youth and depicts the ‘80s in its full, stylized glory through the best of its fashion and music. On the other hand, it is a story that celebrates the diversity of the Korean diaspora and offers real Asian characters with depth,” Lee said. “… [it is a film] that I’ve yearned to see all my life.”

The festival’s centerpiece presentation, “The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S. Ngor,” tells the true story of Dr. Ngor who survived the Cambodian genocide and later starred in the critically acclaimed film, “The Killing Fields,” for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1985. Dr. Ngor would later use his celebrity as a platform for activism and he would become a worldwide ambassador for justice in his homeland until his untimely death in 1996.

Through an inspired blend of original animation and rare archival material – anchored by Ngor’s richly layered autobiography – the film serves as a personal indictment of the global politics that were thrust upon Southeast Asia, and the consequences that continue to surface today as Cambodia grabbles with corruption, poverty, and the impunity of aging former Khmer Rouge leaders still at large.

The screening will be followed by a special conversation with veteran documentary filmmaker Arthur Dong. “For me, Dr. Ngor’s life is an inspiring survivor’s story of loss and reconciliation that contextualizes the Cambodian genocide within a personal framework,” Dong said. “…it brings together topics that I have covered in my films over the past 30 years to tell a story about one of modern history’s most brutal episodes of the abuse of power.”

The full festival lineup includes films by Asian American filmmakers as well as films from the Philippines, Iran, South Korea, and more. AAAFF brings the most unique collection of Asian and Asian American films you get to experience over a weekend to Austin. Most of these films will have its Austin premiere at AAAFF, and the diverse lineup features award-winning films that cover a wide range of genres, themes and topics.

Austin Asian American Film Festival (AAAFF)
Thursday to Sunday, November 12-15
Marchesa Hall & Theater, 6226 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, TX 78752
A weekend of the most unique collection of Asian and Asian American films including “Seoul Searching” plus K-pop Korean-themed opening night party, “The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S. Ngor,” and more! Early-bird tickets go on sale Sept. 15 and regular tickets on sale Oct. 1. For details and tickets, visit www.aaafilmfest.com

The Austin Asian American Film Festival (AAAFF) showcases the best in Asian and Asian American Cinema in order to celebrate our communities, entertain and enlighten the public, and support the creative talents of Asian American and Asian artists.  www.aaafilmfest.com


Mandoo Entertainment is a full service entertainment company that focuses on bridging the entertainment industries of South Korea and North America. www.mandooent.com