FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema and the Gene Siskel Film Center
Present The Chicago Premiere of the Award-Winning Hong Kong feature,
Still Human for May’s Asian-American Heritage Month
Winners for Best New Director and Best New Performer at the 2019 Hong Kong Film Awards
Will Attend the Chicago Screening Monday, May 13
Chicago, Il - April 15, 2019 - In celebration of Asian-American Heritage Month this May, Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema will showcase the award-winning feature Still Human at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Helmed by new Hong Kong female director, Oliver Chan, Still Human stars Hong Kong screen sensation Anthony Wong (Infernal Affairs) and from the Philippines, newcomer Crisel Consunji. Still Human won three awards at Hong Kong’s Oscars on April 14, including the Best Actor (Anthony Wong), Best New Performer (Crisel Consunji) and Best New Director (Oliver Chan Siu-kuen).
Chan and her lead actress are set to attend the film’s Midwest/Chicago premiere followed by a Q&A on May 13, 2019 at 8:00 pm presented at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (164 N. State St.) Ticket information is below and available at www.asianpopupcinema.org/human51319.
In Still Human, a paralyzed and hopeless man meets his new Filipina domestic helper who has put her dreams on hold to come to Hong Kong to earn a living. Together, they help each other through ups and downs, twists and turns, love and loss and experience the different seasons of life. Just when they think they have lost all hope, little do they know, life still has a lot to offer.
“What is happening with domestic helpers migrated to work from the Philippines to Hong Kong as domestic helps is similar to migration of workers from Mexico to the United States. At its core is the need for tolerance and acceptance,” said Asian Pop-Up Cinema Founder and Executive/Artistic Director Sophia Wong Boccio.
After seeing a Filipina woman guiding a man while riding on the back of his wheelchair, both with smiles on their faces, Oliver Chan was inspired to write and direct this sensitive, highly personal story. Because her own mother had been paralyzed, and her elder sister had discontinued her studies to be her caretaker, the visual struck a profound chord with the director. Explained Chan, “This was how I got my inspiration. I was certain I wanted to tell a story of two people similar to the ones I saw on the streets. I wanted to question what it means to love, to dream, and all the beautiful things in life through different circumstances and relationships.”
This is the first feature film for Crisel Consunji, a Filipina actress and Hong Kong immigrant. In it she plays a caregiver, who has set aside her aspirations to earn a living, to an unhappy paraplegic. From different countries and backgrounds, the two develop a strong bond and deep friendship that helps them ultimately to rediscover themselves. With this role as her platform, Consunji hopes to break stereotypes, spark dialogue, and encourage understanding of and by people that transcends deep-rooted and often hostile cultural beliefs to create new and accepting social norms.
“Still Human” effectively employs well written supporting characters, and boldly exploits the most common stereotypes or prejudices to create a more vivid picture of the two main characters and of the groups they represent.” - Asian Movie Pulse
Released at festivals in early 2019, Still Human won Best Screenplay and Best Actor awards at the Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards. It also earned a Best New Director award from the 2019 Asian Film Awards. Nominated for eight awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards on April 14, 2019, it won in the categories for Best Actor, Best New Performer and Best New Director. The film also screened at the 2018 Hawaii International Film Festival and won the Netpac Award as Best Asian Feature Film. After its Chicago premiere, the film will travel to CAAMFest, Beijing International Film Festival, Art Film Fest Košice, and the Edinburgh International Film Festival. The film was just released in Hong Kong on April 11, 2019.
Sponsors for the event are: The Gene Siskel Film Center; Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office, New York; and Center for Asian American Media, San Francisco.
ABOUT SOPHIA’S CHOICE / ASIAN POP-UP CINEMA
Asian Pop-Up Cinema, a semi-annual Asian Film Festival, is the brainchild of Sophia Wong Boccio, founder of Sophia’s Choice, a Chicago-based 501 C (3) not-for-profit incorporated in 2015 with the multi-pronged mission of cultivating an interest in and understanding of Asian cultures via a diverse offering of Asian films; connecting the Asian film industry with local Chicago film professionals, educators and students; and promoting Chicago as a destination for international visitors.
ABOUT THE GENE SISKEL FILM CENTER
Since 1972, the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has presented cutting edge cinema to an annual audience that has grown to over 100,000. The Film Center’s programming includes annual film festivals that celebrate diverse voices and international cultures, premieres of trailblazing work by today’s independent filmmakers, restorations and revivals of essential films from cinema history, and insightful provocative discussions with filmmakers and media artists. Altogether, the Film Center hosts over 1,500 screenings and 200 filmmaker appearances every year.
The Film Center was renamed the Gene Siskel Film Center in 2000 after the late, nationally celebrated film critic, Gene Siskel. Visit www.siskelfilmcenter.org to learn more and find out what’s playing today.
Tickets screening are $12/general admission, $7/students, $6/Film Center members, and $5/Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) staff and School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) faculty, staff, and students. All tickets may be purchased at the Film Center Box Office. Both general admission and Film Center member tickets are available through the Gene Siskel Film Center’s website www.siskelfilmcenter.org/content/tickets or through the individual films’ weblinks on www.siskelfilmcenter.org. There is a surcharge of $1.50 per ticket.
The Film Center and its box office are open 5:00 to 8:30 pm, Monday through Thursday; 1:00 to 8:30 pm, Friday; 2:00 to 8:30 pm, Saturday; and 2:00 to 5:30 pm, Sunday.
ABOUT HONG KONG ECONOMIC AND TRADE OFFICE, NEW YORK
The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York is the representative office of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. In 2016, the New York ETO promoted a better understanding of Hong Kong as a vibrant international financial, trading, educational and arts and cultural hub by reaching out to the business community, political and government leaders, and arts and cultural institutions in the Eastern US, including 24 visits to 20 states. A number of film festivals were held in New York City and Chicago. Follow us on Facebook: “Hong Kong Meets America” and for more information, access our website: http://www.hketony.gov.hk/ny/
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Both English speakers, Oliver and Crisel are available for media interviews via email or Skype in advance of, and on May 13. They can discuss the film’s underscoring of the difficulties Philipine immigrants face living in Hong Kong today, and how there is a beauty in immigrants everywhere -- because they also have a humanity and dignity they’re often denied in real life.
For all media inquiries, please contact: Danielle Garnier, Garnier Public Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org 312.841.3500