Ciao (2008) - News Poster



Recommended Instant Watch: "Pit Stop"

Just a heads up that one of last year's best festival titles is playing on Netflix Instant Watch. Yen Tan's Pit Stop unfortunately never saw theatrical release but it won a few festival prizes along its way including from my jury at the Nashville Film Festival (Best Screenplay) and we've mentioned it a couple of times her via Glenn at New Fest and my interview with Yen Tan at Towleroad.

The romantic drama follows two lonely gay men in rural Texas named Gabe and Ernesto (Bill Heck and Marcus DeAnda) who are both struggling to move on with their lives after painful breakups. Their paths occasionally cross but they aren't aware of each other -- it's not exactly a visible or social gay community -- until the final act of the movie.  

If you've ever seen Yen Tan's Ciao (2008), which has a much different plot but a similar romantic trajectory,
See full article at FilmExperience »

Afs Grants 2013: All the Details We Could Find (Part Two)

Continuing from Part One, here are detailed descriptions of Afs Grants winners this year -- not just the blurbs from the press release, but any other material I could unearth on the web.

Again, if you have info I don't, feel free to share it in the comments. Or drop us a line if you're involved with one of the films.

Pit Stop (narrative feature)

The grant: $3,000 for distributionThe blurb: Two men. A small town. A love that isn't quite out of reach.The filmmaker: Yen Tan is a Dallas filmmaker (Ciao, Happy Birthday) who has also designed posters and title sequences for a number of local/indie films, including the short Hellion -- check out a gallery via The Austin Chronicle.

read more
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Five Questions with Pit Stop Director Yen Tan

It’s been five years since Yen Tan’s mournful, romantic drama debut Ciao, and the Texas-based filmmaker now returns with Pit Stop. If the early buzz surrounding the film is any indication, Pit Stop shares the emotional intimacy of its predecessor, this time tracking the relationship of two gay men in a blue collar small Texas town. The film premieres today in the Sundance Film Festival’s Next section. Filmmaker: Where did the inspiration for Pit Stop come from? Can you speak a bit about Gabe and Ernesto’s characters, and how you developed each? Tan: Pit Stop came about during my road trips between the …
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

Meet the 2013 Sundance Filmmakers #25: Yen Tan Explores the Oft-Forgotten Lives of Gay Men in Small-Town America in 'Pit Stop'

Born and raised in Malaysia, Austin-based filmmaker Yen Tan studied in Des Moines, Iowa before moving to Austin, Texas where he now resides. His previous film, the award-winning "Ciao," was released theatrically. He was profiled on the cover of the Austin Chronicle for his film poster designs. "Pit Stop" participated in the Outfest Screenwriting Lab and was awarded grants by the Austin Film Society, Vilcek Foundation, and United States Artists. It marks his third feature. What It's About: "Two men. A small town. A love that isn't quite out of reach." What It's Really About: "It's a story about several characters in a small Texas town, anchored by two working class gay men who are both struggling with their own loneliness. Their lives are unfulfilled for different reasons, and they all seek love and connection." Films That Inspired Me: Martin Scorcese's "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore," Lee...
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The Latest Austin Movie Success Stories: ‘Where Soldiers Come From,’ ‘Fourplay,’ ‘Pit Stop,’ ‘Black Metal’ and More…

Austin will be representin’ at the Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards. As if winning the Truer Than Fiction Award at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards weren’t enough, Austin filmmaker Heather Courtney’s Where Soldiers Come From (which was broadcast on PBS’s Pov series) just received an Emmy nomination in the “Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story – Long Form” category. The awards ceremony will take place Monday, October 1 at the Lincoln Center in New York City. If you have not seen Where Soldiers Come From, it will be rebroadcast in September. And, don’t worry, I will remind you again. Former Austinite Kyle Henry‘s Fourplay (which boasts an Austin-centric cast and crew including producer Jason Wehling, cinematographer Pj Raval and actor Paul Soileau) premiered at San Franciso’s Frameline36 in June and it just screened last night in Los Angeles at Outfest 2012. I can only assume that Fourplay will be screening at many more
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Slackery News Tidbits, February 13

Here's the latest Austin film news.

Deadline New York reports that a sequel to the 2010 Robert Rodriguez exploitation film Machete is tentatively scheduled to begin production in April. Machete Kills will find Danny Trejo's title character working for the U.S. government. He is sent on a mission in Mexico to take down an insane drug cartel leader and an eccentric billionare, who have teamed up to create weapon of mass destruction in space. The Deadline article does not mention whether the film will be shot in Texas. (via Film School Rejects)Beginning Feb. 17, Austin Cinematheque will screen experimental films and rare documentaries in their original formats, if available. A selection of French filmmaker and academic Rose Lowder movies will kick off the free series, now screening in Studio 4D in the Cmb building at The University of Texas.This week's Austin Chronicle cover story is about graphic designer and filmmaker Yen Tan,
See full article at Slackerwood »


Ciao Directed by: Yen Tan Cast: Adam Neal Smith, Alessandro Calza, Ethel Lung, Charles W. Blaum Running Time: 1 hour 30 min Rating: R Plot: Jeff (Adam Neal Smith) ties up the loose ends after Mark (Charles W. Blaum) dies in a car accident. When Andrea (Alessandro Calza) emails Mark to finalize plans for a visit, Jeff tells him Mark is dead. Then he invites him to visit anyway. The two men bond over the loss of Mark, a man they knew in very different ways. Who’s It For? Anyone who doesn't mind films about loss. The main characters are gay, so this is a "gay" film in the way that Sex in the City is a woman's movie. You don't have to be gay to enjoy it, but if you aren't
See full article at Scorecard Review »

Ciao—Interview With Yen Tan and Alessandro Calza

Earlier this year during Frameline 32 when I mentioned to friends that I had invited Alessandro Calza—one of the leading actors in Yen Tan’s Ciao—over to my house for wild rice sour cream waffles, they tried to invite themselves over … and it wasn’t for my infamous wild rice sour cream waffles! Fortunately, my withering glance was more than enough to keep them at bay so that I could conduct my interview with the film’s director and lead actor with a certain measure of professionalism; though I have to admit that the informal quality of our conversation made for a much more pleasant experience. Ciao was one of my favorite films from Frameline 32. It’s now in its theatrical run and though—as indicated by Dave Hudson’s aggregate of reviews at The Greencine Daily—the critical response has not been altogether favorable; I can, without hesitation,
See full article at Screen Anarchy »


Finally, a gay love story minus sex (except for some fondling) and nudity. For this we are indebted to "Ciao," directed by Malaysian-born Yen Tan.

The story is so minimal that it almost doesn't exist: Mark, a 20ish Dallas dude, is killed in an auto accident before he can meet Andrea, the hunk in Italy he's been swapping e-mails with for a year.

Jeff, Mark's best friend, invites Andrea to fly to Texas anyway; and the two spend a weekend talking, talking, talking and talking, mostly about Mark. Sometimes they're joined by Ellen, Jeff's stepsister,
See full article at New York Post »

Review | Stark Relief: Yen Tan's "Ciao"

by Eric Hynes (December 2, 2008) [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

During a time when American independent cinema either grunts elliptically under moody skies or chatters banally cross-legged on the living room floor, the purposeful, probing dialogue in Yen Tan's "Ciao" feels like a throwback to an entirely different reality. When characters talk in "Ciao," they aren't being elusive or withholding for a gradual or sudden reveal, they're honestly trying to make sense--and to help one another to make sense--of difficult circumstances and emotions. The filmmaker's faith in dialogue as crucial to narrative and character development as well as to personal recovery and romance may at first seem Clinton-era quaint, but it's really just plain effective. Nothing but cheap suspense is lost when information and honest feelings are exchanged in "Ciao," and what's gained is something more lovely, complicated, and true.
See full article at Indiewire »

Opening This Week: This year's '60s music biopic, Ron Howard's Oscar bid and one last superhero movie

  • IFC
By Neil Pedley

Providing the requisite stopgap between showy Thanksgiving distractions and award season stragglers, female directors and assorted indie debutantes are making a strong showing this week.

"The Black Balloon"

'What's Eating Elissa Down?' is the question to ask as the award-winning director of Aussie shorts makes the jump to features with this semi-autobiographical tale of a frustrated adolescent on the verge of manhood weighed down by his responsibilities to his autistic younger brother. Daytime soap star Rhys Wakefield takes the role of the Gilbert Grape-esque Thomas, a burdened army brat charged with his brother's care while his parents drag the two up and down the country until he meets Jackie, a free spirit who teaches him how to shed his bitterness. The always impressive Toni Collette anchors this teenage ensemble as the boy's mother, Maggie. Luke Ford and Gemma Ward co-star.

Opens in New York and Los Angeles.
See full article at IFC »

Regent, here! say 'Ciao'

Regent, here! say 'Ciao'
Regent Releasing and its sister company, here! Films, have picked up the North American distribution rights to Yen Tan's drama "Ciao," about two strangers living in different parts of the world who connect through the unexpected loss of a mutual friend.

"Ciao" marks the fifth film screened at the recent Outfest gay and lesbian film festival in Los Angeles that Regent and here! have acquired since the fest ended July 21.

"Ciao" recently won the jury prize for best feature at the Philadelphia international Gay and Lesbian Film Fest. Regent plans to release it in the fall. The deal was negotiated by here's Quinn Coleman and Jim McMahon of Unauthorized Films.
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

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