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See you at the movies.

The Asian American International Film Festival returns to Flushing Town Hall to offer free screenings of the most recent examples of Asian and Asian American cinema this weekend.

Presented by Asian CineVision, the 40th annual endeavor has already presented 20 feature films and 63 shorts from 18 countries at the Asia Society and Village East Cinema in Manhattan. In fact, a closing ceremony was held on Saturday, Aug. 5.

However, the festival’s next and final stop is in the East Coast’s largest Asian community, Flushing, with shorts on Friday, Aug. 11, and a feature film on Saturday, Aug. 12.

Beginning at 8 p.m., the Friday night series highlights the diverse aspirations, failures, and energy of Asians in the Big Apple.

  • Distance” (12 minutes) examines loneliness through an immigrant who struggles with being away from his home and his family.
  • Deadly View” (23 minutes) follows a beautiful Indian professional woman who receives mysterious messages from an unknown caller. Two friends try to track him down, but then the spectacular view from her apartment turns deadly.
  • I See You” (10 minutes) explores the eye-for-an-eye philosophy as a suicide-vested terrorist becomes conflicted after coming face to face with an innocent child.
  • The Pleasure of Being Served” (15 minutes) is about an illegal Filipino immigrant who works as a maid for a wealthy family in Manhattan. Her future goal is to make enough money to send for her son, but her present reality involves juggling the logistics of her boss’s girlfriends.
  • Fade” (13 minutes) deals with a man’s internal struggle as he can’t let go of his love interest.
  • For the Love of Mangos” (15 minutes) is about a Chinese-American girl who tries to set up her father on a date despite his Old World traditionalism. Hilarity ensues after the father flips the script and forces her to go on a date.
  • I Don’t Make the Rules” (13 minutes) is about ex-professional football player and current club bouncer who desperately wants to work in a white collar law firm. His lucky break comes, and he goes all out to land the job.

The Saturday night movie is the NYC premiere of “I Can I Will I Did” (100 minutes, above photo), an exploration of adolescence, friendship, and maturity.

The main character is Ben, a non-Asian foster youth with a tragic family situation, who loses his ability to walk in a car accident. At the hospital, he is suicidal until he meets wheelchair-bound Adrienne, whose grandfather is Taekwondo Grand Master Ik Jo Jang. The master, whose philosophy is “I can, I will, and I did,” teaches Ben how to walk again. But Ben also learns how to take control of his life, while performing tremendous martial arts acts.

Image: Asian American International Film Festival 2017


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