September 17 – December 4, 2016


Wilmette, IL (August 15, 2016) –Film has the power to bridge cultural divides. With that goal in mind, the third season of ASIAN POP-UP CINEMA showcases a wide range of movies designed to connect moviegoers and broaden understanding of Asian culture. Audiences will enjoy meticulously selected films rarely shown in American theaters and meet Directors coming to the Wilmette Theatre with their films: South Korea’s Lee Ho-jae (Sori: Voice from the Heart) and Japan’s Yuki Tanada (Round Trip Heart). The Wilmette Theatre is pleased to co-host the series again, beginning September 17th through December 4th, 2016. The screenings will bring an array of award-winning and star-studded Asian language films from South Korea, Philippines, and Japan; many will be shown theatrically in Chicago for the first time. 

From a heart-warming sci-fi drama to a Cannes Film Festival honored martial arts masterpiece, this season’s lineup includes films from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan and Tibet.   “Since our inauguration in the fall of 2015, Asian Pop-Up Cinema has presented two North American premieres, twelve Chicago premieres and a total of eighteen contemporary Asian titles. Films from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam and five prominent filmmakers were presented at the Season I & II.  We are pleased to expand the horizon by adding films from the Philippines, Indonesia and Tibet in Season III,” says Festival Founder and Executive Director, Sophia Wong Boccio.  
“We are proud to co-host season III of ASIAN POP-UP CINEMA at the Wilmette Theatre,” said Wendy Sharon, Executive Director of the Theatre. “Our mission is to provide unique programming to our patrons. Sophia’s Choice does an outstanding job of curating the films, selecting a wide variety of films and representative countries.  Meeting the directors and having thought provoking film discussions make this a very special series.  We are looking forward to another successful season!” 


ASIAN POP-UP CINEMA Season III Schedule at the Wilmette Theatre: 
Saturday, September 17, 1:30 PM @ Wilmette Theatre followed by an afternoon tea party at the lobby of the theatre.  Suitable for all ages.
Directed by: Lee Ho-Jae, who will be in attendance for Intro and Q & A.  
Starring: Lee Sung-min, Lee Hee-joon and Lee Honey.  
South Korea | 2016 | 117 min | DCP| Korean w/subtitles
With the help of an artificial intelligence robot, a grief-stricken father (veteran actor Lee Sung-min) sets out to find his missing daughter. Sori: Voice from the Heart is a surprise-filled “R2-D2 Drama” that won the 2016 Audience Choice Award at the Udine Far East Film Festival.  Director Lee Ho-jae will be in attendance to share his thoughts on the making of the movie that according to the director is a drama first before being a Sci-Fi!  
Director Lee Ho-jae’s directorial debut The Scam was a breath of fresh air when it was released in 2009 and won him Best New Director from Paeksang Arts Awards and Grand Bell Awards. In The Scam, he used a financial scam as the backbone of the story and brought several fresh new characters to the big screen. Six long years later, he’s bringing his sophomore effort Sori: Voice from the Heart to his fans. “The subject matter is definitely unique but I was pulled in by the warm story and wanted to direct it myself,” said Lee. He also stated that he and his team tried to differentiate Sori from other robots in cinematic universes not with exterior design but with its behavior and expression of emotion. Possessing high level of artificial intelligence, Sori becomes the central vehicle for the protagonist in his search for his missing daughter.   “I wanted to bring a father and his daughter together and show that their strained relationship could be mended,” said Lee, stating his intended message with this film. 

Sunday, September 25, 2:00 PM @ Wilmette Theatre
Directed by: Ralston Jover
Starring: Teri Malvar, Zaijan Jaranilla, Samuel Quintana ad Bon Lentejas
Philippines | 2015 | 92 min | DCP | Tagalog w/subtitles. 
Unexpected events in their daily routine of crime and survival in the busy streets of Manila lead to dramatic changes for a gang of street kids.  Performed by the talented young cast with Teri Malvar (15-yr old) winning the Best Actress Award at the Moscow International Film Festival 2016, “the film lays bare the sad reality of an ill-ridden society but also offers some hope for the future”.  Besides winning the Outstanding Artistic Achievement Awards from the 19th Shanghai International Film Festival, the Director also won the Russian Film Critics’ Jury for the Best Film award. 

Sunday, October 9, 2:00 PM @ Wilmette Theatre. Suitable for all ages.  
Directed by:  Motohiro Katsuyuki
Starring:  Momota Kanako, Tamai Shiori, Sasaki Ayaka, Ariyasu Momoka, Takagi Reni and Kuroki Haru
Japan | 2015 | 119 min | DCP | Japanese w/subtitles. 
When The Curtain Rises focuses on the process of putting on a theatrical play by a high school drama club in a provincial town, following the growth of its actors both on stage and personally.  The five young leading actors, are members of the idol group Momoiro Clover Z, and their learning curve as actors overlaps with that of their characters in the film.  Only 24 at time of filming who plays the new coach, Kuroki Haru, has already amassed an impressive list of acting honors including the Berlin Film Festival’s Silver Bear for Best Actress Award in 2014. 

Sunday, October 30, 1:30 PM @ Wilmette Theatre
Directed by:  Na Hong-jin
Starring:  Hwang Jung-min, Kwak Do-won, Kim Hwan-hee, and Kunimura Jun
South Korea | 2016 | 156 min | Blu-ray | Korean w/subtitles
In this tense supernatural thriller, locals become suspicious after a foreigner mysteriously appears in a quiet rural village.  Suspicion turns to hysteria and investigators look to a shaman for clues after a series of brutal killing sprees. The Wailing smashed box office records when it debuted in South Korea and many audience members saw the film several times searching for new clues in this highly talked-about ending.  

Sunday, November 13, 2:00 PM @ Wilmette Theatre
Directed by:  Satoko Yokohama
Starring:  Ken Yasuda, Kumiko Aso, Shohei Uno, Hirohumi Arai
Japan | 2016 | 123 min | DCP | Japanese w/subtitles
The Actor follows a “bit parts” actor, played by Ken Yasuda, best known for Team NACS (a group of 5 actors) and many voice performances as in award-winning animation Spirited Away, who finally gets a break with a big role by an internationally known director – a basic plot that may sound familiar yet with the inspired performances and the romantic subplot, director Yokohama’s take is anything but conventional.

Closing Night Film:  ROUND TRIP HEART
Sunday, December 4, 4:00 PM @ Wilmette Theatre followed by Closing Night Reception.  
Directed by:  Yuki Tanada, who will be in attendance for Intro and Q & A.  
Starring:  Oshima Yuko and Okura Koji
Japan | 2015 | 97 min | DCP | Japanese w/subtitles
This romantic comedy follows a woman who sells food and drinks on a train push cart ends up touring a mountain resort with a failed movie producer who tried to steal from her cart.  Aside from The Actor, Round Trip Heart is the second Japanese film made by a female filmmaker presented in this season.   
Yuki Tanada studied theater in high school and filmmaking at the Image Forum Institute of the Moving Image in Tokyo.  She thought of giving up her dream to become a director, but was inspired by Jaco Van Dormael's 1991 drama Toto the Hero to continue.  In 2000 she scripted, directed and starred in her first film, Moru.  In 2008, she released the road movie One Million Yen Girl which earned critical acclaim.  After a four-year break from film director to write fiction and direct for television, she returned to the big screen with the coming-of-age drama The Cowards Who Looked to the Sky, then followed by Mourning Recipe in 2013.  

TICKETS are on sale now. Ticket prices range from $7 to $25 each with special discounts for students, seniors and groups of 10 or more. OPENING AND CLOSING NIGHT TICKETS can be purchased now at  ADVANCE TICKETS for the other four films are on sale through the Wilmette Theater and are available at the door one hour prior to the actual screening.  All programs are subject to change.  All tickets sales are final, non-exchangeable and non-refundable.   
For a complete schedule of screenings, please visit:    
Asian Pop-Up Cinema, a semi-annual Asian Film Festival, is the brain child of Sophia Wong Boccio, founder of SOPHIA’S CHOICE, a one-year old Chicago-based 501 C (3) not-for-profit with the mission of cultivating interest in Asian culture through film; connecting individuals in the film industry for professional and educational exchanges; and promoting Chicago as a premiere destination for Asian filmmakers.  More info:

All the Japanese films screenings are partially supported by Japan Foundation and Japan Information Center of Japanese Consulate in Chicago.

About The Wilmette Theater: 
More than 100 years after opening its doors, the not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) Wilmette Theatre continues to be the premiere multi-arts and performance center anchoring the downtown Wilmette business district.  The theatre plays host to an eclectic mix of film, movies, concerts and live programs and is also home to the well-respected Actors Training Center, offering classes for kids, teens and adults. 1122 Central Avenue, Wilmette, IL, 60091.  

Wilmette Theatre
Shelly Cellak
Burgeon Agency, Inc.

Asian Pop Up Cinema III
Danielle Garnier    
Garnier Public Relations