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For Immediate Release
ASIAN POP-UP CINEMA
*Selects Herman Yau Lai-To’s THE MOBFATHERS as the
Closing Night film with director in attendance
*The North American premiere is scheduled for May 19th, 2016
Chicago, April 8, 2016 - ASIAN POP-UP CINEMA is proud to announce the North American premiere of The Mobfathers, a re-imagination of old school gangster thrillers with undercurrents of keen social commentary as its closing night film. It recently had its world premiere at the 40th Hong Kong International Film Festival. Audiences here in Chicago will be the first in North America to see Herman Yau Lai-To and his long-term cinematographer Joe Chan deliver another “grainy aesthetic that exploits Hong Kong’s glittery seediness.”
The Mobfathers follows five leading gangs who must elect a new leader to keep the balance of power and rule their underworld. Each of the candidates has strengths and weaknesses, and there is understandably a decided lack of trust amongst the gangs, as each gang is fighting for their own vested interest. Chapman To, best known for Vulgaria, also a producer of The Mobfathers, plays protagonist Chuck, one of the five gangs’ bosses. After Chuck is released from 5 years of jail time for brawling, he is immediately drawn into a volatile triad power struggle vying for the next Mobfather of the underworld. Competing against another potential candidate who is a wealthy former undercover cop, Wulf, (played by the very convincing Gregory Wong), the two are pre-nominated by the elderlies of the triad and go head to head in the Mobfather election. Fans of Hong Kong superstar Anthony Wong will not be disappointed by his ever-intimidating Dragon Head character, setting out to restructure the crime organization to his liking in spite of being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Inspired by “the very triad-like tussle for power” that Yau observed during the controversial 2012 chief executive election in Hong Kong, he admitted that “this is a time of protest, so you end up seeing more about that in the movies” during one of his recent interviews with South China Morning Post, Hong Kong.
The premiere of The Mobfathers (Cantonese with English subtitles, runtime is 94 minutes) is set for May 19th at 7:00 P.M. at AMC 21 River East at 322 East Illinois Street in Chicago. Director Herman Yau Lai-To will be present for a post screening question and answer discussion with audience members, courtesy of Cathay Pacific Airways. Ticket price is $20 with student, senior and group discounts available. To buy tickets on line: www.asianpopupcinema.org/tickets.
Audiences should be forewarned that The Mobfathers is rated Category III in Hong Kong, as it contains graphic violence, sex, and adult content that viewer discretion is advised.
The “Making of The Mobfathers A-C” and Trailer can be viewed here: https://asianpopupcinema.org/the-mobfathers
Click here for the full review by Hollywoodreporter: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/mobfathers-filmart-hkiff-review-877615
ABOUT HERMAN YAU LAI-TO
Herman Yau Lai-To was born in Hong Kong in 1961 and holds a Master’s Degree and a PhD in cultural studies from Lingnan University, Hong Kong. Throughout his career, Yau has photographed, produced and directed over 100 films, which include: The Untold Story (1993) and Ebola Syndrome (1996) both regarded as cult classics by many European and American critics; From the Queen to the Chief Executive (2001) was the opening film in the Panorama section of the 51st Berlin International Film Festival and was awarded the Golden Torch Award by the International Catholic Organization for Cinema and Audiovisual.
In 2007, Yau was honored as the Director in Focus by the 31st Hong Kong International Film Festival. That year, he was selected Fanta Master at the 11th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival. In 2014, Ip Man: The Final Fight won the Bronze Prize at the Udine Far East Film Festival, and in 2015, Charlene Choi won the Special Mention Award at the 10th Osaka Asian Film Festival for her role in Sara (2014). The Mobfathers is Yau’s 2nd film released in 2016 after Nessun Dorma, a suspense thriller. He is currently working on two more projects to be completed before end of the year.
ABOUT SOPHIA’S CHOICE AND ASIAN POP-UP CINEMA
Founded by international film and cultural curator Sophia Wong Boccio, Sophia's Choice is a new Chicago based 501 C (3) not-for-profit organization with the multiple missions of cultivating the general public's interest in Asian culture via diverse offerings of Asian films; connecting the Asian film industry with local industry for both professional and educational exchanges; and promoting Chicago as a destination for Asian film company production. Asian Pop-Up Cinema is the signature semiannual film festival taking place during the fall & spring seasons. Since its inauguration in September 2015 and by the end of its second season, Asian Pop-Up Cinema would have presented 2 North American premieres, 12 Chicago premieres and a total of 18 contemporary Asian titles including films from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam in 24 screenings. Artists attended and will be attending Asian Pop-Up Cinema include Directors Yuichi Satoh and Yukinori Makabe from Japan; Director Tom Lin Shu-Yu from Taiwan; Director/scriptwriter/producer Herman Yau Lai-To from Hong Kong; Japanese Cinema specialist Mark Schilling from Tokyo. All the films are shown in their original languages with English subtitles. Each screening is followed by a question and answer session with an invited visiting or local Asian specialist, film critic, and/or talent from the film presented. Highly rated, respected film professor, Ron Falzone from Columbia College Chicago, has been hosting the post-film Q/As as the moderator/lecturer since its inauguration.
More info: http://www.asianpopupcinema.org