New York Chinese Film Festival kicks off today

Updated: 2013-11-05 09:55

By Caroline Berg in New York (China Daily USA)

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New York Chinese Film Festival kicks off today

Stills from the movie So Young, which is based on the best-selling novel To Our Youth that is Fading Away, by Yiwu Xin, and adapted by Li Qiang. Provided to CHINA DAILY

Unexpected love, lost youth, undercover cops and kung fu — you can find it all at the fourth annual New York Chinese Film Festival (NYCFF).

Seven new films from the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong will screen over the three-day event, which starts today. The festival is presented by the Chinese Movie Channel (CCTV6), the Chinese American Arts Council, the New York Chinese Film Festival Foundation and the Chinese movie download website

NYCFF is a non-profit organization that aims to promote Chinese art and culture through film for an American audience. The films chosen to participate encourage conversation and better understanding between China and the US.

The festival will begin with a red-carpet opening ceremony at 6 pm at the Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, followed by the US premiere of So Young at 7:40 pm.

The film is Vicky Wei Zhao's directing debut. Zhao is an actress and pop singer, who starred as the legendary Chinese figure Hua Mulan in Mulan: Rise of a Warrior (2009). She will take part in a question-and-answer session after the screening.

So Young is based on the best-selling novel, To Our Youth that is Fading Away, by Yiwu Xin, and adapted by Li Qiang. The story follows the ups and downs of a group of college students trying to cope with the realities of their new environment and entrance into adulthood.

The other six films will screen at the AMC Empire 25 cinema in Times Square and all seven films will include post-screening question-and-answer sessions with filmmakers and/or actors.

On Wednesday, the program will feature Sorry, I Love You at 11am, Finding Mr. Right at 2pm, Love Undercover at 5pm, and Love in the Buff at 7:30pm. Thursday, the program will feature Ip Man at 11am, and Special ID at 2pm.

Sorry, I Love You traces the story of a man with six months to live. He decides to leave his home in Vancouver to return to China, where he was born and adopted, to look for his biological parents and twin sister, and in the process falls in love. Director Larry Yang, actor Wesley Wong and producer Hang Hon will be present for the screening

Actor Xiubo Wu will attend the screening for Finding Mr. Right. The film is about a city girl, Jiajia, traveling to Seattle to give birth to the son who is going to help her win over a rich, married boyfriend. Armed with his unlimited credit card and the singular goal of bringing a little US citizen back to Beijing, Jiajia is certain she has it all figured out, until she arrives in Seattle and nothing goes right.

Love Undercover is about a woman fresh out of a police academy who is only allowed to work on some trivial missions until assigned to get close to a gangster's son to crack a case. But complications arise when she discovers herself falling for him. Actress Miriam Yeung will be present.

Yeung will also attend the screening for Love in the Buff, sequel to Love in the Puff. The story follows the new life of former lovers Jimmy and Cherie in Beijing after they ended their relationship. Despite meeting new people, they struggle to forget each other and are torn between fidelity towards their new partners and following their hearts.

The ever-present Ip Man, who has inspired a number of films about his life, will get his turn once again in Wilson Yip's Ip Man. This story of the legendary Wing Chun kung fu master takes place in Foshan, China, in the 1930s, during the Japanese invasion. General Miura, a fanatical practitioner in martial arts, demands Ip Man teach Wing Chun martial arts to the Japanese Army, but he refuses, and action ensues. Actor Donnie Yen will be present.

Yen will also attend the screening of Special ID, which is about a cop and his team who go undercover in one of China's most ruthless underworld organizations to stop a gang leader, but someone within exposes the group and puts everyone in great danger.

The festival will conclude with a closing night awards gala, from 4 pm to 8pm, at the Capitale in Manhattan's Lower East Side.