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University of Iowa News Release

March 26, 2004

WAVES Asian/Asian American Film Festival Runs April 2-4

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Everything from cabbies in Beijing to gang members in Singapore will be the topics of films screened during the fourth annual WAVES Asian/Asian American Film Festival Friday, April 2 through Sunday, April 4 in Room 101 of the Becker Communications Studies Building on the University of Iowa campus.

There will be a variety of feature-length, documentary and short films, including selections from other prestigious film festivals. The film screenings are free and open to the public.

The festival is sponsored by The UI Center for Asian Pacific Studies (CAPS), International Programs and the Institute for Cinema and Culture (ICC) with support from many other offices, businesses and individuals.

This year, Royston Tan's "15" (Singapore), an official selection from the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, will kick off the film festival on Friday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. This film centers on two groups of 15-year-old gang members as they deal with parents, drugs, death and each other. Tan uses actual gang members to portray themselves, and although most of the film is shot with planned events that follow a loose story, the film is punctuated with actual footage. Viewers will see real blood and hear real gang chants. The Singaporean police declared the movie a "threat to national security" and as a result, the film has screened only once in Singapore after 27 cuts by the Singaporean government.

The documentary "Repatriation" (South Korea), screening on April 3 at noon was chosen for Sundance's Freedom of the Spirit Award.

The shorts program on Sunday, April 4 will highlight cutting-edge animation, documentary and short fiction pieces.

WAVES is also hosting the Spotlight Series: "Sex, Stereotypes, and Cinema." The three films shown in this series on Saturday, April 3 are adult-oriented. Viewers under the age of 18 will not be permitted to attend the screening of "Masters of the Pillow." After the Spotlight Series there will be a panel discussion with Guy Aoki from the Media Action Network for Asian-Americans, and filmmakers James Hour, and Eric Byler. This discussion will contain sensitive material for younger audiences.

Additional sponsors of the festival include the following: Iowa City Press-Citizen; Iowa State Bank & Trust; the UI Audiovisual Department; UI Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity; Thai Flavors; Campus Activities Board (CAB); Opportunity at Iowa; Asian American Coalition; International Law Society; ACT; Alpha Phi; Three Samurai; United Association of Slater; Iowa Book & Supply; UI Center for Human Rights; Vic Inouye; Chinese Learner's Association; House of Aromas, Office of the Provost; Peking Buffet, Phyllis Noble; and the UI Community Credit Union.

WAVES was started by a group of University of Iowa graduate students to bring Asian/Asian American films to the Iowa City community. For the past four years, WAVES has drawn people from all over by being the first to bring award-winning, theater-released films like Monsoon Wedding (India), Green Dragon (USA), Robot Stories (USA) and Suzhou River (China) to the state of Iowa.

Some of the films are in English and others have subtitles. To view the complete film festival schedule, visit For more information or special accommodations to attend this festival, contact Jamie Lai at 319-331-3111, or Lisa Koizumi 319-356-5817. An e-mail message can also be sent to


Note: All films will be shown in 101 Becker Communication Studies Building ::.

Friday, April 2
7:30 p.m. Opening Night Kickoff: Royston Tan's 15 (Singapore)
9:30 p.m. Feature: The Life and Times of MC Beer Bong (USA)

Saturday, April 3
12 p.m. Documentary: Repatriation (S.Korea) Director Kim Dong-won chronicles the story of two long-term "unconverted" political prisoners sent to South Korea as spies and their journey back to North Korea after spending thirty years in prison.
2:30 p.m. Feature: Lumpia (USA)

4:30 p.m. Spotlight Series: Sex, Stereotypes, and Cinema
The Pickup, Yellowcaust: A Patriot Act, Masters of the Pillow (USA)
5:30 p.m. Special Guest: Q&A with Masters of the Pillow director James Hou

7 p.m. Feature: Charlotte Sometimes, Q&A with Charlotte Sometimes director Eric Byler

8:30 p.m. Panel Discussion: Sex, Stereotypes, and Cinema
Moderator: William Ming Liu (UI Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology)
Panelists: Guy Aoki (Media Action Network for Asian-Americans), James Hou (Masters of the Pillow) and Eric Byler (Charlotte Sometimes)

Sunday, April 4
1:30 p.m. 2004 Shorts Program
Strange>Nerve<Familiar, Educated, Day of Independence, Selling Louie's Village (Without Breaking the Yolk), Arrow, The Life of Cheng Se Tseo: In His Own Words, Mt. Head, Eternal Gaze

3:30 p.m. Feature: Bang Rajan
7 p.m. Documentary: The Last Breadbox
8 p.m. Feature Finale: Lee Kang-Sheng's The Missing

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Jamie Lai, 319-331-3111, or Lisa Koizumi, 319-356-5817; Writer: Mansi Bhatia

PHOTOS/GRAPHICS: A still from the film Bang Rajan is available at