Selections include 2019 Berlin International Film Festival Grand Prix winner

Austin, TX – Today, the Austin Asian American Film Festival (AAAFF) proudly announces the headliners for its 11th annual film festival–three debut films from women directors across the globe who have quickly established themselves as exciting new voices. The festival returns to AFS Cinema June 13-16, 2019.

Kim Bo-ra’s highly acclaimed coming-of-age drama HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD, winner of the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival Grand Prix and 2018 Busan Film Festival NETPAC and KNN Audience Awards, opens the festival. Director/Writer Andrea A. Walter, along with several members of the cast and crew, will be in attendance for the centerpiece presentation of EMPTY BY DESIGN, fresh off of its world premiere at LAAPFF 2019. The festival ends with Ash Mayfair’s Vietnamese period drama THE THIRD WIFE, winner of the TIFF 2018 NETPAC Award.

AAAFF badges and passes are now on sale here. Single tickets will go on sale along with the full program announcement on May 15.

Headliner details are as follows:

Opening Night: HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD

South Korea | 138 min | Drama, Coming of Age | Korean with English subtitles

Set against the backdrop of a rapidly expanding Seoul in 1994, lonely 14-year-old Eun-hee moves through life like a hummingbird searching for a taste of sweetness wherever she may find it. Deprived of attention from her family, she roams the neighborhood with her best friend, attempts romantic relationships with both girls and boys alike, and is sent to the hospital with an unclear diagnosis. When Young-ji, a new teacher, arrives, she becomes the first adult Eun-hee feels really understands her.

Centerpiece: EMPTY BY DESIGN

US, Philippines |  86 min | Drama | English, Tagalog

EMPTY BY DESIGN tells the story of Samantha (Rhian Ramos), who moves back home to Manila from the US after a loss in her family, and Eric (Osric Chau) who also travels back for a job.  Both ex-patriates find themselves struggling with their new identities. Despite the disconnection to their culture, they find a sense of place by confiding in each other and eventually discover what they have long been looking for.

Closing Night: THE THIRD WIFE

Vietnam | 94 min | Drama | Vietnamese with English subtitles

In 19th century rural Vietnam, 14-year-old May becomes the third wife of wealthy landowner Hung. Soon she learns that she can only gain status by asserting herself as a woman who can give birth to a male child. May’s hope to change her status turns into a real and tantalizing possibility when she gets pregnant. Faced with forbidden love and its devastating consequences, May finally comes to an understanding of the brutal truth: the options available to her are few and far between.

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ABOUT AAAFF

The mission of the Austin Asian American Film Festival (AAAFF) is to tell Asian and Asian American stories via media arts and help Asian Americans explore opportunities in cinema.

AAAFF is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department and the Texas Commission on the Arts. More information can be found at www.aaafilmfest.org.

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