Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema will return for its 14th season March 13 – April 10 in hybrid format with 17 films streaming online and 11 screening in cinemas across the city. The full programme will be revealed in early March, but to whet your appetite the festival has announced its opening, closing, and centerpiece galas as well as confirming that this season’s Bright Star Award will go to Taiwanese actor Kai Ko whose latest film Grit will also be screening.

Opening Film: Heaven: To The Land of Happiness (헤븐: 행복의 나라로, Im Sang-soo, 2021)

March 13 at AMC Niles 12 in Niles

The latest film from Im Sang-soo stars Youn Yuh-Jung alongside Choi Min-sik and Park Hae-il as a man with an incurable illness (Park) who cannot afford his treatment goes on the run with a white collar criminal (Choi) who has less than two weeks to live.

Sunday League (선데이리그, Yi Sung-il, 2020)

March 13 at AMC Niles 12 in Niles. Director Yi Sung-il scheduled to attend.

Washed up former football prodigy Jun-il makes ends meet as a temporary coach at a kids’ training centre but is about to be fired because he’s temperamentally unsuited to teaching small children. Offered the chance to coach three seemingly hopeless players for a new futsal team he unenthusiastically agrees and is promised a permanent position if only he can take the new side all the way to the league finals in Yi Sung-il’s sporting comedy.

Centerpiece Film: Arc (アーク, Kei Ishikawa, 2021)

April 3 at AMC River East 21

Inspired by a Ken Liu short story, Kei Ishikawa’s sci-fi drama follows a drifting young woman in search of immortality who encounters a mysterious cosmetics company that specialises in dead body sculptures while her mentor’s brother begins using the technology in order to prevent ageing among the living.

Closing Film: Waiting For My Cup of Tea (一杯熱奶茶的等待, Phoebe Jan Fu-hua, 2021)

April 10 at AMC River East 21

Taiwanese romance which begins on a cold Valentine’s Day when a fed-up university student hands a warm coffee to a boy shivering waiting for his girlfriend only to find herself swept into her classmate’s complicated love life and an unexpected romance of her own.

Grit (鱷魚, Chen Ta-pu, 2021)

April 10 at AMC River East 21

A young gangster named Croc goes back to work for his old boss at the city councillor’s office after his release from prison and is tasked with taking care of a stubborn farmer who flat out refuses to give up her land for redevelopment in a quirky rom-com from director-cinematographer Chen Ta-pu.

The full programme will be revealed in early March. Asian Pop-Up Cinema Season 14 runs online and in cinemas across Chicago March 13 – April 10. Full details for all the films as well as ticketing links will be available via the official website in due course and you can also keep up with all the latest news by following Asian Pop-up Cinema on  FacebookTwitter,  Instagram, and Vimeo.

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