Spa Night

USA | 2016 | 93 minutes | Andrew Ahn

A young Korean-American (Joe Seo, in a Sundance-winning breakthrough performance) discovers his burgeoning sexual desires amid the steamy underground world of gay hookups when he takes a job at a spa in Los Angeles' Koreatown.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

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Friday, June 3, 2016

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Los Angeles' Koreatown is a three-square-mile block of restaurants, strip malls, and markets located halfway between the bustling city centers of Hollywood and Downtown, a tightly knit trilingual community and the city's most densely populated district. Young Korean-American David Cho (Joe Seo) has up to now lived a subdued life in this oft-ignored neighborhood, but when his immigrant parents (Youn Ho Cho and Haerry Kim) can no longer afford to keep the family restaurant open, they look to their son to find a new job and help pay for his costly SAT-prep courses. David honors his parents' wishes and shadows a successful family friend, but what starts as a university tour turns into a drunken 24-hour bender that ends at a nearby Korean spa, where the sheltered David first witnesses the underground gay hookup scene. Though he himself is shy and deeply closeted, he takes a job at the spa, learning both about this new world and his burgeoning sexuality. Spa Night, which won Seo the Sundance Film Festival's Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Performance, is an intentionally muted but deeply moving bildungsroman of discovery, and as both David and his parents come to terms with their place in this busy metropolis, Koreatown gets the spotlight it has always deserved.

Director Biography
American filmmaker Andrew Ahn was born and raised in Los Angeles and studied filmmaking at California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts). His short film DOL premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Sponsored by Babeland, 4Culture, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Washington State Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, CityArts, Seattle Weekly

  • Director: Andrew Ahn
  • Principal Cast: Joe Seo, Haerry Kim, Youn Ho Cho, Tae Song, Ho Young Chung, Linda Han
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 93 minutes
  • Producer: David Ariniello, Giulia Caruso, Ki Jin Kim, Kelly Thomas
  • Screenplay: Andrew Ahn
  • Cinematographers: Ki Jin Kim
  • Editors: Yannis Chaliadakis
  • Music: Tim Boland, Carla Patullo, Sam Retzer
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Sundance Film Festival 2016 (U.S. Dramatic Breakthrough Performance Award: Joe Seo)
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English, Korean
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Strand Releasing
  • International Sales: The Film Sales Company