Ninth Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival to launch April 25

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The joint will be jumping when the ninth annual Silk Screen film festival kicks off with a party at the Rivers Club, Downtown, April 25 with ethnic cuisine, jazz music, Asian performers and a DJ known as Pandemic Pete.

Tickets are now on sale for the opening gala that will start at 6:30 p.m. with a VIP champagne reception featuring the four-piece jazz ensemble the Cadillac Club.

A live auction will begin at 7:45 p.m. and Asian dance groups will take the floor from 8 to 9:30 p.m., with Pandemic Pete then spinning a hybrid of traditional folk and contemporary dance music from around the world until midnight.

A VIP ticket, $125 until April 18 and $150 after, includes admission at 6:30 p.m., dinner, drinks, dessert, performances by Pittsburgh dance and martial arts groups and the night-capping dance party.

A late-night ticket, $40 before April 18 and $50 after, grants entry to the dance party starting at 9:30 p.m., along with drinks and dessert. The first 50 guests will receive a Silk Screen T-shirt.

Go to to buy tickets.

The festival, a showcase of Asian films and filmmakers with origins in Asian cultures, will open the next day, April 26, with the Oscar-nominated "Omar," from Palestine, and close with the Japanese film "Mourning Recipe." In between will be movies from around the globe, including the United States.

Films will be shown at the Regent Square Theater, 1035 S. Braddock Ave.; Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Melwood Screening Room and Classroom, 477 Melwood Ave.; and Carnegie Museum of Natural History Earth Theater, 4400 Forbes Ave. (use portal entry, rear of museum). Waterworks Cinemas will screen one movie, also.

Opening night movie, $20, and closing night, $15. A four-ticket pack is $30 and eight tickets, $60, also at

Regular tickets, $10 or $5 for students, available at the box office before screenings. Scheduled to be shown:

• "A Respectable Family" (Iran/France) -- Director Massoud Bakhshi's semi-autobiographical tale about a man haunted by the Iran-Iraq War. Screens at 7 p.m. April 29, repeats 7 p.m. May 2, both at Regent Square Theater.

"A Time in Quchi" (Taiwan) -- Drama about a 10-year-old boy from Taipei who is sent, with his sister, to rural Quchi for the summer to live with their elderly widowed grandfather in the wake of their parents' divorce. 1 p.m. April 27, Melwood; repeats 2 p.m. April 30, Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Earth Theater.

"Ankhon Dekhi" (India) -- Tale of the spiritual and ontological awakening of an ordinary man whose tenement flat in crowded old Delhi is cramped with people and personal dramas. The 55-year-old vows to believe only what he sees with his own eyes and experiences in his own life. 1:30 p.m. April 27, repeats 4:30 p.m. May 3, both Regent Square.

"Apur Panchali" (India) -- Real-life story inspired by Subir Banerjee, the child actor who played Apu in Satyajit Ray's "Pather Panchali." 9 p.m. April 29, repeats 2 p.m. May 4, both Regent Square.

"Beyond All Boundaries" (India) -- Audience favorite, about three cricket players from poor backgrounds, at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. Paired with short, "Kush." 4:30 p.m. April 27, repeats 7 p.m. May 2, both Melwood.

"Bonta" (China/USA) -- Animated sci-fi adventure. 2 p.m. April 27, repeats 6 p.m. May 1, both Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

"Confession of Murder" (South Korea) -- A young man emerges from nowhere and publishes a biography in which he admits to killing 10 women. The statute of limitations has expired, but a detective whose fiancee was a victim thinks the confessed killer is a con man and tries to find the truth. 8 p.m. April 30, repeats 9:30 p.m. May 2, both Melwood.

"Garden of Words" (Japan) -- When a young high school student decides to skip school one day in favor of sketching in a rainy garden, he has no idea how much his life will change when he encounters a young woman in this animated film from Makoto Shinkai. Paired with short, "Cheong." 7 p.m. April 26, repeats 9 p.m. April 28, both Melwood.

"Hank & Asha" (USA) -- Romantic comedy about an Indian woman studying in Prague and a lonely New Yorker who begin an unconventional video correspondence and must decide if they should meet. 4:30 p.m. April 26, repeats 7:30 p.m. May 3, both Melwood.

"Hide and Seek" (South Korea) -- The stable life of a successful businessman is upended by strange, inexplicable visions and a spike in people squatting in homes in this indie horror-mystery hit. 7 p.m. April 27, repeats 9 p.m. May 1, both Melwood.

"Jadoo" (UK/India) -- Story of two brothers, both great chefs, who fall out so badly that they rip the family recipe book in half and set up rival restaurants. Twenty years later, a daughter is determined to persuade them to cook for her wedding banquet -- together. 2 p.m. April 26, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, repeats 7 p.m. May 1 at Waterworks Cinemas.

"Liar's Dice" (India) -- Against the advice of their elders, a woman and her young daughter leave their home to search for a husband and father who has not been heard from in five months. On the road, the pair finds an unlikely ally in a free-spirited wanderer. 4 p.m. April 27, repeats 7 p.m. April 30, both Regent Square.

"Mourning Recipe" (Japan) -- A deeply depressed widower and his daughter, whose marriage is failing, are given a "recipe book" for a happy life from their late loved one in this family drama. 5 p.m. May 4, Regent Square.

"Norte, The End of History" (Philippines) -- With a running time of 250 minutes, this story of a man wrongly jailed for murder while the real killer roams free is a loose, partial adaptation of "Crime and Punishment." 2 p.m. May 3, Melwood.

"Omar" (Palestine/Belgium) -- Oscar-nominated thriller about betrayal, suspected and real. Omar is a Palestinian baker who routinely climbs over the separation wall to see his girlfriend. Arrested after the killing of an Israeli soldier and tricked into an admission of guilt by association, he agrees to work as an informant. But is he playing his Israeli handler or will he betray his cause? 7 p.m. April 26, Regent Square.

"Red Obsession" (Australia) -- Russell Crowe narrates this documentary exploring the obsession with Bordeaux by a booming and voracious Chinese wine market. 6:30 p.m. May 1, repeats 2 p.m. May 4, both Melwood.

"Sake-Bomb" (USA/Japan) -- A sarcastic and self-deprecating Asian-American must take his naive Japanese cousin on a road trip along the California coast to find his ex-girlfriend. Title also means a cocktail created by dropping a shot of sake into a pint of beer. 9:30 p.m. May 1, repeats 9:30 p.m. May 3, both Regent Square.

"The Haumana" (USA) -- Teenage boys begin a journey of self-discovery through their mastery of the hula dance and participate in a competition doubling as a rite of passage. 6 p.m. April 29, Melwood; repeats 3 p.m. May 4 at Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

"Things Left Behind" (USA/Japan/Canada) -- Linda Hoaglund explores the transformative power of the first major international art exhibition devoted to the atomic bomb. It presented Ishiuchi Miyako's color prints of clothing and personal effects that once belonged to the people of Hiroshima. 2 p.m. May 2, repeats 2 p.m. May 3, both Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

"Touch of the Light" (Taiwan) -- Drama based on the real-life experiences of blind Taiwanese piano prodigy Huang Yu-Siang, who portrays himself, and his encounter with an aspiring dancer. Paired with short, "Cheong." 7 p.m. April 28, Melwood; repeats 1:30 p.m. May 1, at Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

"Trap Street" (China) -- Kafkaesque story of a young, impressionable teen working for a digital mapping and surveying company. He falls for a mysterious young woman and becomes tangled in a web of lies, deceit and privacy issues. 8:30 p.m. April 29 at Melwood, repeats 7 p.m. May 3, Regent Square.

"Unforgiven" (Japan) -- Ken Watanabe plays an aging samurai in a Japanese adaptation of Clint Eastwood's 1992 Oscar winner. The story has been moved to Japan in the late 19th century. 9:30 p.m. April 26, repeats 7:30 p.m. April 28, both Regent Square.

"Why Don't You Play in Hell?" (Japan) -- An eager but untalented group of wannabe filmmakers discover they may be able to shoot a classic battle between yakuzas in what the director calls "an action film about the love of 35mm." 9:30 p.m. May 2 at Regent Square; repeats 9:30 p.m. May 3, Melwood.

"With You, Without You" (Sri Lanka) -- A modern adaptation of Dostoevsky's short story "The Meek One." A chance encounter between two people in post-war Sri Lanka leads to romance and cultural complications. 2 p.m. April 26, repeats 9:15 p.m. April 30, both Regent Square.

"Zinda Bhaag" (Pakistan) -- Pakistan's Oscar submission for 2013 foreign language film about three friends in Lahore trying to escape from their everyday lives and looking westward for something more than mere existence. 7 p.m. May 1, repeats 2 p.m. May 3, both Regent Square.

See for more details.

Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: or 412-263-1632. Read her blog:

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