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40 Days of Silence

Uzbekistan | 2014 | 88 minutes | Saodat Ismailova

In an isolated Uzbek village, young Bibicha takes a traditional vow of silence and moves into her grandmother’s old house, along with three other women, to be part of a chilla, or spiritual “quarantine.”

Beyond Beauty: Taiwan From Above

Taiwan | 2013 | 93 minutes | Chi Po-Lin

Astonishing aerial cinematography reveals the shorelines, mountaintops, cityscapes, farmer’s fields, rivers, and social life of the island nation, delivering a sweet environmentalist and humanist message.

The Bit Player

Philippines | 2013 | 111 minutes | Jeffrey Jeturian

Loida is an aging actress whose specialty is playing bit parts in Filipino soap operas. We follow a day in her life, and are shown the questionable, exploitative, and uncomfortably hilarious ways of the soap opera production.

Canopy

Australia | 2013 | 84 minutes | Aaron Wilson

During the 1942 Japanese invasion of Singapore, an Australian airman and an injured Chinese resistance fighter are stranded in the jungle as a cacophonous battle rages around them. An engrossing survival thriller ensues as they navigate the language barrier, perilous surroundings, and external enemies.

A Dream of Iron

South Korea | 2014 | 98 minutes | Kelvin Kyung Kun Park

In this “city symphony” (think Man With A Movie Camera) concentrated on Ulsan, South Korea’s immense Hyundai shipyard, director Park studies the connections between man, machine, and the search for god.

Final Recipe

South Korea | 2013 | 98 minutes | Gina Kim

Hoping to save his grandfather’s fledgling restaurant, teenage Mark uses his university savings to secretly enter Shanghai’s blockbuster cooking competition, led by Master Chef Julia Lee (international superstar Michelle Yeoh).

Firestorm

Hong Kong | 2013 | 110 minutes | Alan Yuen

Fiercely focused Inspector Lui and his police team are pushed to the limits of moral ambiguity in their quest to take down a group of Hong Kong’s canniest crooks.

Intruders

South Korea | 2013 | 99 minutes | Noh Young-seok

Slowly building menace until tensions reach the boiling point, Noh Young-seok’s follow up to Daytime Drinking (SIFF 2009) follows a writer to a cabin in the snowy woods, where he erroneously thinks he’ll find quiet time to finish his screenplay.

Lilting

United Kingdom | 2014 | 86 minutes | Hong Khaou

This delicate chamber piece addresses the universal language of grief with elegance, humor, and tenderness. Sixty-something Junn is visited by an interpreter who can help bridge the language gaps between herself and two men: a new suitor at the nursing home and the handsome “best friend” of her deceased son.

The Little House

Japan | 2014 | 136 minutes | Yoji Yamada

A country girl named Taki comes to Tokyo in the 1930s to find domestic work, observing the bourgeois goings-on and indiscretions of her employers. Adapted from the novel by Kyoko Nakajima.

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