ALEXIS CRUZ WRITES – Usually it’s censors who block a controversial film from domestic distribution. Not so in Quatar, at least in the case of The Danish Girl. Following online outrage at the transgender tale, the country’s Ministry of Culture tweeted out this month: “We would like to inform you…Full Article QATAR: The Freedom to Censor
ALESSANDRA DALY-JOHNSON WRITES – The highly anticipated film adaptation of the novel Fifty Shades of Grey was deemed inappropriate by the United Arab Emirates’ National Media Council (NMC) this past week. While the infamous book series, written by E. L. James, is available in stores in the UAE, the NMC has…Full Article UAE: Fifty Shades Gets Whipped by Censors
RYAN LIPPERT WRITES – Published earlier this month, Paul Fischer’s “A Kim Jong-il Production” explores the late North Korean president’s zeal for film and his attempts to make his country’s film industry the best in the world. After the controversy surrounding the release of “The Interview,” Fischer’s book could not…Full Article NORTH KOREA: Like Father, Like Son?
Join the Asia Society Southern California for an exciting evening to celebrate the U.S.-China Film Relationship. As in the past, the Gala Dinner will feature high-profile honorees and guests from China and the U.S. This year’s full-day conference will draw on the Film Summit’s roots in U.S.-China co-production.…Full Article LOS ANGELES: 2014 U.S.-China Summit & Gala Dinner
RYAN LIPPERT WRITES – This October, The Interview will give moviegoers a glimpse of what could happen if Seth Rogen and James Franco were hired by the CIA in an attempt to turn an interview with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Kong-un into an assassination attempt. Though it’s a comedy, not everyone…Full Article North Korea: New Movie Starring Seth Rogen and James Franco Sparks Controversy
E.J. DE LARA WRITES – Looks like “The Rocket” didn’t take off, at least not in Laos. Authorities have banned the distribution and showing of the internationally acclaimed film, which exposes ongoing problems in Laos caused by residual effects of the Vietnam War and government exploitation of the poor. According to the…Full Article POVERTY PROJECT: Laos Film ‘Rocket’ Soars Everywhere But Home
ANGELINA PRAT, LAUREN SAYLOR, AND ELODIE INTROIA WRITE – In a patriarchal society that has fought to keep women unheard, Haifaa al-Mansour has found her voice. The film Wadjda was not only the first Saudi film to be written and directed by a woman, but also was the first to be…Full Article WOMEN IN ASIA: A Game Changer for Saudi Women- Wadjda
ARACELI PALAFOX WRITES – Amid political conflict and social uprising, Cambodia finds a sense of solidarity in the nation’s first Oscar nomination. Cambodian director Rithy Panh’s “The Missing Picture” is among the five final nominations in the “Best Foreign Language” film category. Panh’s “The Missing Picture” is a largely autobiographical work, telling the story…Full Article CAMBODIA: Lights, Camera, Oscar Nomination!
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – With explosions and non-stop action, Pakistan’s first action blockbuster, Waar, is making waves. Indians are less excited: they are the bad guys. Reuters offered a summary of the movie: “Indian villains team up with Islamist militants to plot spectacular attacks across Pakistan. Pakistani security forces jump in…Full Article PAKISTAN: Action Movie Paints India as the Bad Guy
BRIAN CANAVE WRITES — CUT! It out local Taiwnese news media! French director Luc Besson has had enough and wrapped up location shooting in Taipei ahead of schedule. This is due to the intrusion of local media on the sets of Besson’s upcoming film, Lucy. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Scarlet Johansson…Full Article TAIWAN: Local Media Enthralled by Film Shoot in Taipei
JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – After decades in the anime and film industries, Hayao Miyazaki, co-founder of Studio Ghibli, has announced his retirement. According to The Japan Times, the shocking news came out of the Venice film festival on September 1. Koji Hoshino, head of Studio Ghibli, told reporters that Miyazaki’s…Full Article JAPAN: Iconic Anime Director Retires, Again
YVONNE EPPS WRITES – It’s been banned, but can you really keep it under wraps if it’s already been leaked onto the web? Earlier this summer, the National Cinema Department (NCD) instrumented a hasty campaign to ban Bui Doi Cho Lon (Life in Chinatown) directed by Vietnamese-American Charlie Nguyen, but…Full Article VIETNAM: Officially Banned, Unofficially a Smash Hit
FILM REVIEW BY LANI LUO – “Wake up. This is the new China. Things need to be planned and centrally controlled.” This quote comes from a short film written by Craig Rosenthal called Shanghai Love Market. Clearly, the title indicates that the story is not an academic critique on the…Full Article CHINA: Shanghai Love Market
South Korean director Byeon Young-joo is well-known for socially-critical films. Her latest, Helpless, is based on Japanese writer Miyuki Miyabe’s 1996 novel of the same name. The story addresses the “ills of contemporary society,” such as private loans, bankruptcy, and credit ratings – all of which are still relevant issues…Full Article SOUTH KOREA: Korean Film of Japanese Novel Hits Home Run
Upcoming Bollywood horror film “Kaun Hai Waha” has been spooked by an unanticipated reproach from the organization Catholic Secular Forum (CSF), which claims the film is filled with anti-Catholic imagery and symbols.Full Article INDIA: Bollywood Horror-Film Ads Shocks a Catholic Organization