Season 7 (September 12 - November 14, 2018) Directors & Special Guests' BIOS: (in alphabetical order)
BongKod Bencharongul (Bongkod Kongmalai - her maiden name and acting name before being married) - better known in Thailand as Tak Bongkod - started her acting career in 2000, the early days of the New Thai Cinema era, when she was only fifteen. For Sahamongkol Film, she starred in more than twenty movies, including the blockbusters Tom Yumam Goong (2003), The Eye 10 (2003) and Jan Dara (2013), plus several television series. She made her directorial debut in 2013 with Angels, which was critically praised by critics. Sad Beauty is her second feature, but her first as an independent writer-director-producer.
Chet Chan received his Bachelor’s degree from School of Communication at Hong Kong Baptist University with a major in Cinema and Television. During his university years, Chet’s passion won him an award at the Hong Kong Independent Short Film and Video Awards (now renamed as IFVA - Incubator for Film and Visual media in Asia). After a decade in media industry, Chet founded Redder Door in 2006 as the Creative Director, Director and Production Designer. Apart from years of experiences in directing TV commercials and corporate videos. In particular, Chet has been spending plenty of time and endless efforts on production design for different movie projects, which gains him more and more audience’s attention and also in the industry. For example, the main set of “Concerto of the Bully” - the Hong Kong-styled fish farmhouse which became one of the much talking points once after the movie screening. It is interesting that there are a lot of enquiries about any touring of the fish farmhouse, which people think it is a real existing structure. In fact, it was built only for the filming reason. Because of the tremendous love for movies, Chet and Director of Concerto of the Bully initiated to publish a book for Concerto of the Bully about every tiny detail of the movie production and especially the main set - the Hong Kong-styled fish farmhouse. And it is their second publication on movie production.
Production Design Works
• The Bounty (2012)
• The Midas Touch (2013)
• Break Up 100 (2014)
• Concerto of the Bully (2016)
• 29+1 (2016)
• Yuppie Fantasia 3 (2016)
• Trading Floor (Fox Networks Asian Series) (2017)
Fung Chih-Chiang is a Hong Kong director, screenwriter and novelist. He has written the screenplays for numerous acclaimed movies including Stephen Chow directing series Shaolin Soccer (2001), CJ7 (2008), Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (2013) and Mermaid (2016); and Johnnie To productions 2 Become 1 (2006), Hooked on You (2007), Sparrow (2008), Punished (2011), etc. Fung’s first directorial work The Bounty (2012) garnered him the Best New Director nomination at the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards. At the 37th Hong Kong Film Awards, his work Concerto Of The Bully (2017) received 4 nominations including Best Actor (Ronald Cheng), Best Supporting Actor (Philip Keung) and Best Original Film Score (Peter Kam), and it won the award of Best Original Film Song (An Unheard Melody). In 2018, he directed his 4th movie A Witness Out of the Blue (tentative), which is a crime thriller starred Louis Koo and Jessice Hsuan, produced by Derek Yee.
Han Jie (1977) director of Namiya, was born in the Shanxi Province of China. He graduated from the Film and TV Production Department of Beijing Normal University in 2002. In 2006, his first feature Walking On The Wild Side won a Tiger Award in Rotterdam. Hello, Mr. Tree! is his second feature film. Filmography; New Year (2002, short), Lai xiao zi/Walking on the Wild Side (2006), Being and Nothingness (2008, short), Hello, Shu Xian Sheng!/Hello, Mr. Tree! (2011).
Actor Takayuki Hamatsu - bio forthcoming.
Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi was born on Dec 16, 1978. After graduating from the University of Tokyo with a Bachelor of Art in Aesthetics in March 2003, he had been working as an assistant directors for film and TV industry for three years. Then, Hamaguchi has studied at the Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts and got the degree of Master of Film in March, 2008. Passion is his graduation work which was well-received by the professors including renowned director Kiyoshi Kurosawa and officially selected in the Zabaltegi Section of San Sebastian International Film Festival 2008 as well as Tokyo FILMeX competition. He has been constantly working on films since then. These include the Japan/Korea coproduction film The Depths (2010) screened in Tokyo FILMeX and a series of documentary Tohoku Trilogy co-directed by Ko Sakai (Sound of the Waves, Voices from the Waves and Storytellers) from 2011 to 2013. The former two of trilogy are composed by interviews of the victims of the devastating Great Japan Earthquake, and Storytellers is a documentary about research activity in Japanese regional folktales, His recent fiction films are a feature film Intimacies (2012) and Touching the Skin of Eeriness (2013) staring Premio Marcello Mastroianni winner Shota Sometani. He is now based in Kobe and Happy Hour is his first feature fiction in 3 years.
Born in 1985, Taipei, Chih-Yen Hsu became certain that he had fallen in love with film making when he was a student. After graduating from university, he won the chance to make his first music video through self-recommendation. With the lowest budget, the greatest passion and the most outstanding creativity, he created a special effect shot in which “1 person is playing 8 people at the same time”—something that normally can only be realized in the process of post-production. This was the start of his career as a director. His creative ideas for images are bold and diverse, which has made him one of the most sought-after young music video directors in Taiwan. But his desire for making more creative works didn’t stop there. His creativity in images completes director Mag Hsu’s strength in directing actors—the two clicked and the perfect director duo was born.
Born in 1966, Kaohsiung, Mag Hsu is famous for her creative writing and her role as a theater director. She is also the business owner of Dear Studio Co., Ltd. Years of writer/director experience in the theater not only solidified her enthusiasm for storytelling, but also enriched her creativity. The stories she created made her a frequent nominee for TV awards. Production companies in Korea and China buy remake rights of her stories (including, but not limited to, In Time with You. Her novel caught Japanese publisher’s attention and was adapted into comics and TV series. However, she has never forgotten the biggest dream of her life—to be a director! After having directed two TV series, Mag is making her feature film director debut in Dear EX.
Hye-won Jee is an International Emmy-nominated director who has been working in the Korean TV industry for more than 20 years. She started her career at a prominent documentary production company in 1995 and later briefly worked as a commissioning editor for TV Chosun. In 2008, she left the network and established an independent production company to focus on making stories that are dear to her heart. Singing with Angry Bird is her first feature-length documentary.
Willard "Bill" Johnson (subject of “Ritoma”) grew up outside of Seattle in Everett, WA.
After helping lead his high school to their first conference basketball championship in school history, Johnson went on to do the same at MIT, helping them as a team captain win their first conference championship in the program's 108-year history. Off the court Johnson majored in Political Science and Management Science, and after playing in a basketball tournament in Taiwan his freshman year, wrote his senior thesis analyzing the economic relationship between Taiwan and China.
Johnson graduated in 2010 and stayed on at MIT as an assistant coach for three years, helping the team reach the NCAA Division III National Semifinals and earn a #1 national ranking. During MIT's off-seasons, Johnson played internationally in Costa Rica, Australia, Iceland, and the islands of Cape Verde in Africa. Throughout his coaching and playing career, he worked part-time as an analyst for a quantitive marketing and data analytics start-up.
In 2015, Johnson's nomadic basketball journey led him to the nomads of Ritoma on the Tibetan Plateau, where he has lived and coached full-time ever since. During the day Johnson helps Norlha Textiles, a groundbreaking Tibetan social enterprise and innovative fashion brand, supporting their international sales and business analytics. In the evenings he coaches the Norlha men's and women's programs, which consists of the artisans of Norlha, nomads of Ritoma, and an advisory board of monks from the local monastery.
Since the filming of Ritoma in 2016, the Norlha's men's team has turned into a semi-professional program and one of the top teams in the region, the women's team has travelled to Hong Kong for international play, the first official youth games were held in Ritoma, and the area's first wheelchair basketball program has been established. Norlha now hosts annual international tournaments, bringing in players and teams from around the world, including NBA Players, WNBA coaches, and Paralympians.
To learn more about Norlha's innovative impact, and to order their world-class yak khullu scarves, visit www.norlha.com.
Director Kim In-seon studied Ethics Education at the Sungshin Women's University and majored in Film Directing at the Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA). A Familiar Taste (2014), which she directed while she was at KAFA, was presented at numerous Korean and international film festivals such as the Busan International Film Festival, Shanghai International Film Festival, Seoul Independent Film Festival, and Daegu Independent Film Festival. After graduation, she directed Wednesday Prayer Group (2016), shown and much celebrated at various film festivals –Seoul International Women’s Film Festival, Mise-en-scene Short Film Festival, Asiana International Short Film Festival, and Jeongdongjin Independent Film Festival. Adulthood is her first feature film, created as part of KAFA’s Advanced Program.
Born in 1973 in Cambodia, Sotho Kulikar grew up during the Khmer Rouge Regime and the long-running civil war. She worked as line producer for a variety of films, including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001). Through her production company Hanuman Films, she has produced many films and documentaries, including Ruin, which won the Special Orizzonti Jury Prize at the 70th Venice Film Festival in 2013. She made her directorial debut in 2014 with The Last Reel, which won the Spirit of Asia Award by the Japan Foundation Asia Center at the 27th Tokyo International Film Festival. Kulikar is Cambodia's up-and-coming director, drawing a lot of attention from film festivals around the world.
Benny Lau, director of When Sun Meets Moon has filmed multiple music videos, advertisements and corporate promotional videos. In 2012, he filmed 4 micro movies in co-operation with Yahoo Hong Kong which attained high hit rate. One of the movies When Love Encounter has also been selected in 2013 Hong Kong Asian Film Festival -- Hong Kong First section. Wong Ka Yan is the first film directed by Lau that praised by both Hong Kong and Mainland audience and was selected in multiple film festivals around the world. The film won Golden Palm Awards of "First Time Filmmaker" in the Mexico International Film Festival.
Actress Lee Jae-in born February 6.2004, is one of the most prominent-young talents in South Korea. Lee has started her acting career through TV-dramas, movies and commercials plus voice over dubbing works since 2011-2012. Last couple of years, she has started taking leading roles in films or participated as child of the main cast in many award-winning films such as I Can Speak (2017); Sister (2017) - 2018 Worldfest Houston - Bronze Remi Award (Short Film); Da-Bin (2017) - 2017 Mise-en-scene Short Film Festival - Best Film Award; and Gyeong-eon (2016) - 2016 Korean Academy of Film Arts (Feature Film). She played Sun in Netflix original dramas: Sense 8 and Sense 8 II in addition to other child roles in many popular dramas produced by KBS, SBS etc.
LI Ruijun is a rising filmmaker in Chinese independent cinema. Born in Gansu Province of China in 1983, he graduated from the Institute of Management of China National Ministry of Radio, Film and Television in 2003 and worked as director for television stations. His feature directorial debut Summer Solstice (2007) was in competition at the Sao Paulo Int’l Film Festival and Beijing Int’l Film Festival. His next three feature films, The Old Donkey (2010), Fly with the Crane (2012) and River Road (2014), were invited to various major film festivals, including Venice, Berlin, Toronto, Tokyo, Busan, just to name a few.
Born in 1984 in the Philippines, Raya Martin has directed several features and short films – fictions, documentaries, and installations. He has been a resident of the Cannes Cinéfondation and the Berlinale Residency programs. His film Now Showing was screened at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2008. Two of his features Independencia, supported by the Berlinale World Cinema Fund, and Manila were both shown at the Cannes Film Festival 2009. Buenas noches, España premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in 2011, where he was also part of the jury for Filmmakers of the Present, and where How to Disappear Completely was also selected in 2013. Co-directed with Mark Peranson, his last film La última película (2014), stars Alex Ross Perry. Raya Martin has also been a recipient of the prestigious Thirteen Artists Awards in the Philippines in 2009. A retrospective of his works have been featured in Paris, Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Las Palmas de Gran Canarias. In 2012, his films were presented at documenta in Kassel, Germany, and a retrospective of his films has been shown at the Korean Film Archive in Seoul, the Museum of the Moving Image in New York, as well as Buenos Aires and Mexico City.
Born in 1960 in the Philippines, director Brillante Ma Mendoza founded the independent film production company Center Stage Productions in 2005, and in the same year, he won the Golden Leopard Award at the Locarno International Film Festival for his debut film Masahista (The Masseur). In 2007 he won the Caligari Film Award at the Berlin International Film Festival for Tirador (Slingshot) and in 2009 the Best Director at Cannes Film Festival for Kinatay. In 2012 he won the La Navicella Venezia Cinema Award at the Venice Film Festival with Thy Womb (TIFF 2015). In 2015 his Trap (TIFF 2015) won officially entered in Un Certain Regard at the 68th Cannes Film Festival, and his latest film Ma' Rosa won the Best Actress (Jaclyn Jose) in the competition Section at the 69th Cannes Film Festival.
A Hiroshima native, Yuichiro Sakashita enrolled in Graduate School of Film and New Media at Tokyo University of the Arts after getting a degree from Osaka University of Arts. His 2011 Beatles was inited to Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival in 2012, and received the Governor of Hokkaido Prize. In 2013 he directed the critically acclaimed It's Tough To Be A Monkey Widow, an episode of the omnibus, Rakugo Eiga. Kanagawa University of Fine Arts, Office of Film Research, his thesis movie from the same year, was invited to the competition category of Skip City International D Cinema Festival in 2013 and won the Special Jury Award. Any Way The Wind Blows is Sakashita's feature debut.
Born in Shiga Perfecture in 1984, Director Ueda Shinichiro began making films with a Handicap while still in junior high school. In 2009, at age 25, he formed the film production cooperative Panpokopina. To date, he has made 13 films that have been screened at more than 20 film festival sin Japan and abroad, winning a total of 46 prizes. He made his commercial debut in 2015 with a segment of Neka Bunnoyan, a cat-themed omnibus film.
Thi Vo is a Vietnamese-born Canadian who grew up in Calgary, Alberta. As a teen, he performed across Calgary’s stages breakdancing with his friends. His animated personality drew him further into the performing arts, landing acting roles in the films Tigers at the Gate, Pseudo: Blood of Our Own, American Virgins, and even as a contestant on Wipeout Canada. Behind the camera, Thi started his own media production company focusing on digital branding and design and continued his passion for visual storytelling by creating films. His first feature documentary film, Made in Vietnam, combines his experience on both sides of the camera as the lens follows his personal journey back to Vietnam in search of his biological father. Thi continues to explore innovative and forward thinking ways of telling stories.
Filmmaker Ruby Yang has worked as director, producer and editor on a range of feature and documentary films exploring Chinese themes. She won an Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject for The Blood of Yingzhou District in 2007. She is also known for her feature documentary Citizen Hong Kong and the award-winning documentary My Voice, My Life. With filmmaker Thomas F. Lennon, Yang founded the Chang Ai Media Project in 2003 to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in China. Since then, its documentaries and public service announcements have been seen by hundreds of millions of Chinese viewers. Together they made a trilogy of short documentary films about modern China, including The Blood of Yingzhou District, which won an Oscar, Tongzhi in Love, and The Warriors of Qiugang, which was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Short Subject category in 2011. Yang lived and worked in San Francisco for many years, relocated to Beijing in 2004, and now lives in Hong Kong. In 2013, she was appointed Hung Leung Hau Ling Distinguished Fellow in Humanities by the University of Hong Kong. Her recent feature documentary My Voice, My Life was named one of “Hong Kong’s five most-notable films of 2014” by The Wall Street Journal. Ritoma is her latest documentary.
Yang is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She now heads the Hong Kong Documentary Initiative (HKDI) at the University of Hong Kong, which aims to nurture the next generation of documentary filmmakers in the region. In 2017, she served as producer on two projects
with seed grants from the HKDI: China’s Forgotten Daughters and Gateless.
Born in 1968 n Kumamoto prefecture, Japan, Isao Yukisada made his feature film debut with Sunflower (2000) which won the FIPRESCI Award at the 5th Busan International Film Festival. He also won numerous awards for Go (2001), including the Japan Academy Prize. Crying Out Love in the Center of the World (2004) made the record hit with the attendance of 6.2 million people and box office takings of 8.5 billion yen. He then directed Snowy Love Fall in Spring (2005) and Parade (2010, the FIPRESCI Award in the Panorama section at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival). He made Kamome as a segment in Camellia (2011), an omnibus film produced for the Busan International Film Festival, Entaku (2014), Pink and Gray (2016), and other films. He also directs theater productions such as "Syumi no Heya" (2013, 2015) and "Tango, Fuyu no Owari ni" (2017). His Nikkatsu Roman-Porno Aroused by Gymnopedies (2016) and Narratage (2017) are to be released.
Filmmaker Thi Vo bio forthcoming.
Producer Zhang Min: Filmography:
Shadow (一個人的皮影戲, 2011)
- Nominated for Best Chinese Drama Feature at the Beijing College Student Film Festival
Factory Boss (打工老板, 2014)
- Best Actor Award at Montreal World Film Festival
- Best Original Screenplay Award at Fajr International Film Festival
- Best Original Screenplay Award at Bangaluru International Film Festival
- Silk Road International Film Festival
- Cleveland International Film Festival
River Road (家在水草丰茂的地方, 2014)
- Competition at Tokyo International Film Festival
- Competition for Silver Bear Award at Berlin International Film Festival