Fest to Kick off in Culver City with Disaster Epic "Concrete Utopia" and Wrap with Mythological Blockbuster "Creation of the Gods I: Kingdom of Storm"
Asian World Film Festival (AWFF), the annual event celebrating Asian cinema from around the world, announced today the dates of its 2023 festival: November 8 – 17. The 9th Annual AWFF, which will be headquartered in Culver City, CA, will open with Um Tae-hwa’s ambitious, post-apocalyptic epic “Concrete Utopia” (Korea) and close with Wuershan’s classic mythology blockbuster “Creation of the Gods I: Kingdom of Storms” (China).
In addition, the AWFF introduced this year’s main competition jury lineup of award-winning storytellers and industry leaders. Chinese producer, director, financier and industry mogul Han Sanping, will take the helm as Jury President. The roster will also include acclaimed British film and television director Jon Amiel, Oscar®-winning film producer Donna Gilgliotti, renowned Hollywood producer and executive Paula Wagner and Kazakhstani film critic and reporter Nurgul (Nora) Zhunussova. Additional A-list jury members to be announced in the near future.
“Asian storytellers continue to make an indelible stamp on the art and business of filmmaking,'” said Georges N. Chamchoum, AWFF Executive Director, “This November, the AWFF will showcase Asian content destined to make significant contributions to the craft, to the box office and to streaming services around the world.”
The festival’s 2023 edition will be a collaborative effort with Stars Collective, an artist incubator community and pioneer in cross-medium content innovation. Stars Collective was founded by Peter Luo (“Crazy Rich Asians,” “Midway,” “Marshall,” “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark”), who is also CEO of Starlight Media. Both AWFF and Stars Collective are committed to cultivating emerging Asian filmmaking talent and to pushing the boundaries of storytelling, making this a natural partnership.
Furthermore, AWFF will continue its partnership with the Bruce Lee Foundation and bestow a 2023 Bruce Lee Award to honor an individual who has demonstrated excellence within the martial arts industry.
Stars Collective founder Peter Luo adds, “We are excited to be partnering with AWFF this year and to have a hand in uplifting and elevating Asian talent on a global scale. We take pride in empowering the next generation of filmmakers and artists in the industry, a core value of our mission.”
The 9th Annual AWFF will be comprised of 10 days of screenings of official submissions for Best International Feature Film at the 96th Academy Awards Show, critically acclaimed and commercially successful fare, and content from emerging filmmakers – all with a connection to Asia. The festival will also include activities, exhibitions, summits, and parties – many in collaboration with the Stars Collective – that will highlight Asian talent and the cross-cultural pollination of Asian artistry, ideas and themes.
“Concrete Utopia,” directed by Um Tae-hwa, is Korea’s official submission for the 96th Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film. Produced by BH Entertainment Co. Ltd. and Climax Studio, and distributed by Lotte Entertainment in South Korea, “Concrete Utopia” is a spectacular melding of social parable and genre filmmaking. The film tells the story of Min-seong’s (“Parasite’s” Park Seo-jun) and Myeong-hwa’s (Park Bo-young) efforts to carve out an existence in Seoul after an earthquake destroys the city. “Concrete Utopia” screened in competition at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival and is Korea’s third highest grossing film of the year, to date. Film will be screened at the Culver Theater.
Based on the Chinese literature classic “Investiture of the Gods,” “Creation of the Gods I: Kingdom of Storms” was directed by Wuershan and produced by Beijing Culture. Producer Shanshan Luo played a pivotal role in bringing the movie to the international market. Well Go USA Entertainment is distributing the ambitious, large-scale adaptation in North America in both standard and IMAX formats.
Starring Fei Xiang, Huang Bo and Li Xuejian, “Creation of the Gods I: Kingdom of Storms” depicts a mythical war between humans, immortals and monsters that took place three thousand years ago. The epic dominated the 2023 Chinese summer box office, earning the equivalent of $156 million the first 11 days of its release.
About the Asian World Film Festival (AWFF)
The Asian World Film Festival (AWFF), founded by Kyrgyz Public Figure Sadyk Sher-Niyaz, brings the very best of a broad selection of Asian World Cinema to Los Angeles to draw greater recognition to the region’s wealth of filmmakers and strengthen ties between the Asian and Hollywood film industries. Uniting through cross-cultural collaboration, the Festival champions films from over 50 countries across Asia, spanning from Turkey to Japan and from Russia to India and South-East Asia. The Festival is unique in that it predominantly screens Academy Award and Golden Globe submissions for Best International Feature Film and Best Motion Picture – Non-English Language respectively. All films that participate in the Festival will have a unique chance to be guided through the challenging awards season and showcased to members of various industry groups and the press for enhanced exposure, media attention and awards consideration. AWFF is a non-profit organization under Aitysh USA. Follow AWFF on: Facebook, Instagram, X (formally Twitter), and YouTube.
About Stars Collective
Founded in 2020 by Peter Luo, Stars Collective is a dynamic initiative committed to diversity, innovation, and empowerment and to pushing the boundaries of storytelling through the integration of breakthrough technologies. By combining the art of filmmaking with the power of emerging technologies, Stars Collective seeks to captivate audiences with immersive and transformative storytelling experiences. Leading the revolution is its flagship incubator program, which currently supports over 200 emerging filmmakers from diverse backgrounds, connecting them to industry-leading mentors and unparalleled resources to maximize their artistic potential. Stars Collective has since expanded into other sectors of entertainment and commenced groundbreaking initiatives, focusing on developing cross-medium content and fostering multidisciplinary collaboration, in order to unlock new narrative frontiers and redefine the storytelling landscape.
Follow Stars Collective on: Facebook, Instagram, X (formally Twitter).