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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.

Black Coal, Thin Ice

China | 2014 | 106 minutes | Diao Yinan

This innovative, stylish, and compelling noir set among ordinary people in the northern Chinese provinces begins as disgraced detective-turned-security guard Zhang privately reopens the cold case that ended his career. Winner of the Best Picture, 2014 Berlinale.

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.

Liar’s Dice

India | 2014 | 104 minutes | Geetu Mohandas

A quietly effective debut set in a snowy border village centers on a young Indian mother, journeying with her daughter to Delhi in search of her vanished husband. Along the way she encounters an army deserter skilled in the game of liar’s dice...who says he can help.

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.

Mary is Happy, Mary is Happy

Thailand | 2013 | 127 minutes | Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit

410 consecutive Twitter updates punctuate the adventures of high school senior Mary and her best friend Suri in this unique alliance of social media and cinema.

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