The San Diego Asian Film Festival returns for its 11th Spring Showcase April 21 – 28 bringing some of the best in recent in East Asian and Asian American cinema to the city’s UltraStar Cinemas Mission Valley. Highly anticipated Anita Mui biopic Anita will open the festival on April 21 while documentary Free Chol Soo Lee will bring the event to a close April 28. The Sunday Spotlight meanwhile is dedicated to actress/director Kinuyo Takana showcasing new 4K restorations of four of her six directorial features.


Longman Leung’s highly anticipated biopic of iconic Cantopop superstar and revered Hong Kong actress Anita Mui who sadly passed away after battling cervical cancer at the young age 40 in 2003.

Free Chol Soo Lee

Documentary focusing on the case of Chol Soo Lee who was falsely convicted of the murder of a Chinese gangster in 1973.

After the Rain (Director: Jian Fan, China, 104 min, 2021)

Documentary following two families who participated in a government scheme to help them have another child after losing their daughters in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

Big Night! (Director: Jun Robles Lana, Philippines, 105 min, 2021)

Ironic dramedy set in the slums of Duterte’s Philippines in which a gay beautician’s life is turned upside-down when he discovers his name has been added to a “watch list” for suspected drug users.

Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko (Director: Ayumu Watanabe, Japan, 96 min, 2021)

Heartwarming animation adapted from the novel by Kanako Nishi in which a teenage girl comes to accept her larger than life mother while learning a few things about herself. Review.

Maika The Girl From Another Galaxy (Director: Ham Tran, Vietnam, 105 min, 2022)

Fantastical family film from Vietnam in which a little boy who has recently lost his mother strikes up a strange friendship with a little girl from another world and takes on an evil billionaire with the help of his superrich frenemy to make sure she gets back to her people.

Nothing Serious (Director: Jeong Ga-young, South Korea, 95 min, 2021)

The first commercial feature from Jeong Ga-young (Bitch on the Beach Hit the Night, Heart), loses none of her caustic wit in a cynical yet ultimately heartwarming romantic comedy as a nerdy writer bonds with a sexually liberated yet emotionally heartbroken podcaster while preparing material for a sex column he didn’t want to write.

On The Line (Director: Kim Sun, Kim Gok, South Korea, 109 min, 2021)

Action thriller in which a former policeman turned construction worker gets back on the case when his wife and boss find themselves falling victim to complex telephone fraud.

Quickening (Director: Haya Waseem, Canada, 89 min, 2021)

A young dancer is consumed with internal conflict after falling for a fellow student in Haya Waseem’s indie drama.

Yuni (Director: Kamila Andini, Indonesia, Singapore, France, Australia, 95 min, 2021)

A young woman wanting to continue in education stuns her small conservative town by turning down a handsome suitor and thereafter finds herself in a series of impossible situations in Kamila Andini’s heartrending exploration of the lives of contemporary Indonesian women. Review.

Mystery Kung-Fu Theater 

Directed by Kinuyo Tanaka

This edition’s Sunday Spotlight shines on legendary golden age actress Kinuyo Tanaka who later became the first woman to have a career as a film director in Japan releasing six features between 1953 and 1962. The series will present four of her films in their new 4K restorations:

This year’s San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase runs April 21 to 28 at UltraStar Cinemas Mission Valley. Full details for all the films as well as ticketing links and screening information can be found on the official website where tickets and passes are already on sale. You can also keep up with all the latest news by following SDAFF on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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