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5 items from 2016

Robbie Amell, Stephen Amell Raise $1.7 Million for ‘Code 8’ Movie

25 April 2016 5:58 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Robbie Amell and his cousin Stephen Amell have raised $1,722,409 from 20,201 backers on crowdfunding site Indiegogo for their sci-fi feature “Code 8.”

Indiegogo asserted that “Code 8” is the highest-crowdfunded film of 2016 on any platform. The 30-day campaign, which closed over the weekend, had an original goal of $200,000.

“Instead of being billionaire superheroes, most ‘specials’ live in poverty and resort to crime, forcing the police to become more militarized,” the synopsis said. “The story follows a young man with special powers (Robbie Amell) struggling to find work as a day laborer. After a dispute over payment, he finds himself in a confrontation with a police officer (Sung Kang) and the autonomous robots backing him up.”

The campaign included the release of a ten-minute short film, directed by Jeff Chan from a script he co-wrote with Chris Pare.

Code 8” will be shot in Los Angeles early next year and will also star Stephen Amell, »

- Dave McNary

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World Premiere of 'The Tiger Hunter' to Open the 32nd Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

5 April 2016 4:41 PM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Visual Communications (Vc), the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, announced the Opening, Closing and Centerpiece film programs for the upcoming 32nd edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (Laapff) running April 21-28, 2016. This annual film celebration will be presented across Los Angeles from Little Tokyo to Downtown Los Angeles to Koreatown and to West Hollywood featuring 140 films from over 20 countries.

Vc will celebrate 32 years as Southern California’s largest and most prestigious film festival of its kind. The Laapff launches the pre-celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month through this year’s slate of over 130 films from both Asian Pacific American and Asian international directors from over 20 countries. For over three decades, the Festival has presented nearly 5,000 films and shorts by Asian American and Asian international artists.

Opening this year’s Festival at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo is the World Premiere of dramatic comedy "The Tiger Hunter" from an amazing new director Lena Khan. The film centers upon Sami Malik (Danny Pudi of NBC TVs - "Community"), a young South Asian man who travels to America to become an engineer in order to impress his childhood crush and live up to the legacy of his father — a legendary tiger hunter back home. When Sami's job unexpectedly falls through and he ends up living in a tiny co-op with two oddball roommates, he must resort to constructing an elaborate charade with the misfit accomplices in hopes of convincing his sweetheart that he's far more successful than he truly is...or perhaps ever could be. As Sami tries to pull off the farce of a lifetime, what ensues is a series of adventures involving outlandish schemes, an arch-nemesis in an absurd office environment, and a somewhat functional Dodge Charger with a character of its own. Together, although their plans may contradict each other with terrible consequences, Sami and his rag-tag group must work together while meeting the usual host of obstacles — the "usual," that is, if back-alley brawls, trips to prison, or catastrophic LSD-related misunderstandings are just your usual, everyday fare. The film also stars Rizwan Manji, Jon Heder, Karen David, Kevin Pollak, Sam Page and Iqbal Theba.

Jonathan Hua Lang Lim’s powerful drama "Pali Road" starring Michelle Chen, Sung Kang, Elizabeth Sung and Jackson Rathbone will close out the eight - day film extravaganza at the Directors Guild of America on April 28, 2016. "Pali Road" centers on Lily (Michelle Chen), a Chinese doctor doing her residency in a Hawaiian hospital under Dr. Kayne (Sung Kang). She had fallen in love with schoolteacher Neil (Jackson Rathbone) — at least this is what she remembers. But after a terrible car accident, Lily wakes up to discover, in horror, a married life with Dr. Kayne, that includes a 5-year-old son she has never seen. With everyone around her denying Neil's existence, Lily begins to question her own sanity, but memories of Neil force her to embark on a journey to retrace her past and discover the truth.

The Laapff Centerpiece offering this year is the moving and insightful documentary "Tyrus" from director Pamela Tom which brings the life of Chinese American painter,production illustrator, lithographer, and kite builder Tyrus Wong to the big screen. Wong is best known for his concept art for Walt Disney's feature animated film Bambi. His strikingly beautiful concept paintings and sketches continue to influence the work of generations of animators and production designers. "Tyrus" celebrates not only the beauty of his art, but reveals to a larger audience a lesser known part of the Chinese American experience — that of its artists and creators.

“We are excited and proud to present these three films as our celebrations,” states Vc Executive Director Francis Cullado. “Having Lena Khan’s "The Tiger Hunter" as our opening, Jonathan Lim’s "Pali Road" as our closing night, and Pamela Tom’s "Tyrus" as our centerpiece film certainly highlights the amount of Asian American directorial talent out there. The big word this year in Hollywood has been ‘diversity’ and the Festival is one of the ways we address this issue at Visual Communications and for our community. For us, it’s not just about diversity – it’s about inclusivity. We will be releasing more of the Festival line up in the next week and everyone will be able to celebrate inclusion and diversity on the screen, as it should be.”

For program information, a complete listing of sponsors and partners, and to purchase tickets, log on to or contact Visual Communications at (213) 680-4462. Tickets are available to the general public on Monday, March 21st. The Festival is proud to be partnering with our following screening venues across Los Angeles:

●Aratani Theatre @ Japanese American Cultural & Community Center – Little Tokyo 244 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 ●Tateuchi Democracy Forum @ Japanese American National Museum – Little Tokyo 111 N. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012 ●Downtown Independent – Downtown La (Dtla) 251 S. Main Street, (between 3rd and 2nd Streets), Los Angeles, CA 90012 ●Cgv Cinemas – Koreatown – Mid-Wilshire 621 Western Avenue (between 6th Street and Wilshire Blvd.), Los Angeles, CA 90005 ●The Great Company – Downtown La (Dtla) 1917 Bay Street (between Wilson and Mateo Streets), Los Angeles, CA 90021 ●Directors Guild of America – West Hollywood7920 Sunset Blvd. (at Hayworth), West Hollywood, CA 90046 »

- Sydney Levine

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Dead Eyes Stare Back in this Teaser Trailer for Code 8

17 March 2016 3:38 PM, PDT | 28 Days Later Analysis | See recent 28 Days Later Analysis news »

The most interesting thing about Stephen and Robbie Amell's Code 8 is how much mystery surrounds the project. These cousins have release a teaser trailer, for the film. The clip shows strange events and a caption "4% of people possess abnormal abilities." Not much later, a duo of robotic police officers are dropped into Lincoln City, to investigate. The film has also been developed by writer Chris Pare (Call of Duty: Operation Kingfish) and director Jeff Chan. The film stars Robbie Amell (The Hunters), Sung Kang and Aaron Abrams. And, the film's teaser trailer is hosted here. From the Colony Pictures website, there is mention of a project, currently in post-production. Developed with Sony Pictures, this project is a feature length film. Though, a synopsis remains just out-of-reach, until March 22nd. On this date, more details will be released on Code 8 and possibly a full length trailer? Release Date: Tba. Director: Jeff Chan. »

- (Michael Allen)

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Amells Release Mysterious "Code 8" Teaser

13 March 2016 9:16 AM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Looking like something in the "10 Cloverfield Lane" & "Distirct 9" vein, a mysterious teaser trailer has arrived for "Code 8," a new project by actor cousins Stephen Amell ("Arrow") and Robbie Amell ("The Flash") and "Fast Five" star Sung Kang.

The "Arrow" leading man released this clip today on his social media page and explains some details behind the sci-fi piece. The story is set in a world where 4% of people possess abnormal abilities, but make up 60% of all arrests.

Robbie Amell, Aaron Abrams, Chad Donella and Alfred Rubin Thompson star in the project which Jeff Chan directs from a script by Chris Pare, and both will produce with the Amells, Geoff Mclean, and Tommy Dingwall. An extended trailer and more story details are expected to drop next week on March 22nd.


- Garth Franklin

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Sundance Film Review: ‘The Free World’

22 January 2016 10:40 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Remember when Boyd Holbrook was just a scrawny young thing? Born and raised in Kentucky, he did some modeling, took acting classes and sent a screenplay off to Gus Van Sant, who gave him a minor role in “Milk,” launching an acting career that’s bound to lead him, sooner or later, to play a blockbuster comic-book character. In the meantime, Holbrook is proving what a capable performer he can be, turning up in indies such as “The Free World,” where it’s hard to believe the tortured soul with the prison-scarred brow, “Deadwood” goatee and haunted eyes was ever a child. Which is the effect writer-director Jason Lew (who wrote Van Sant’s “Restless”) intends with this well-meaning, well-acted but otherwise clumsily executed parable about second chances, whose damaged-goods pairing of Holbrook and Elisabeth Moss ensures at least a small release.

Having packed on considerable heft since last we »

- Peter Debruge

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