House of Hummingbird Opening Austin Asian American Film Festival

Movies from first time filmmakers flourish in headline slots

South Korean coming-of-age drama House of Hummingbird will be this year's Opening Night film for the Austin Asian American Film Festival

The Austin Asian American Film Festival took a quick hiatus last year, and promised to come back stronger than ever. Now that promise has been fulfilled with the announcement of three headliner films from across Asia, and all three are debut features by women directors.

• This year's Opening Night film will be House of Hummingbird, the first feature from South Korean director Kim Bo-ra. Set in Seoul in 1994 – in the lead-up to the deadly Seongsu Bridge disaster – it follows 14-year-old Eun-hee (Park Ji-hu) as she attempts to find some happiness in the face of disinterested adults. This is a particular coup for the festival, as the film has already taken prizes at the Busan International Film Festival and the Berlinale.

• Taking the Centerpiece slot is Empty by Design: Andrea A. Walter's film follows two people – Samantha (Rhian Ramos) and Eric (Osric Chau) – who move back from the U.S. to the Philippines, only to find themselves contending with new questions of identity and cultural belonging.

• Finally, The Third Wife, the debut feature by writer-director Ash Mayfair, will be this year's Closing Night Film. The Vietnamese-language period drama explores the limited and dangerous options facing a young woman (Nguyen Phuong Tra My) forced into a loveless marriage.

AAAFF runs June 13-16. Tickets and info at aaafilmfest.org.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle