CHICAGO, IL (October 14, 2013) - He is a master of controversy. He is fearless. His films delve into the dark side of romance. They are bold, explicit, taboo-breaking…often explicitly so. They push all the right and wrong buttons and have been the object of censorship in Hong Kong and Taiwan (the Hong Kong censor demanded 11 cuts alone from his fourth film and 47th Chicago International Film Festival entry Love Actually…Sucks!.). Scud is more than a cult filmmaker; he is one of the most unique directors today.
The 49th Chicago International Film Festival will present the world premiere of Scud’s fifth feature-length film and his first shot in Europe, Voyage, on Sunday October 20 at 6:30 pm followed by a second screening on Tuesday October 22 at 8:30 pm at the AMC River East (322 E. Illinois St.). The Festival will also pay special tribute to Scud at the Q Hugo Film Awards to be held at the Hoover-Leppen Theatre at The Center on Halsted (3656 N. Halsted) on Monday, October 21 at 6 pm. Cast members (two of whom have worked with Scud in prior films) will join the honoree at all events: Leni Speidel (also a co-producer of the film), Haze Leung (Love Actually…Sucks!), Byron Pang (Amphetamine), and Vietnamese supermodel Chan Than San.
“Being honored in the first Q Hugo Film Awards fires up our dreams,” said Scud. “Homosexuality remains taboo in conservative Asia. GLBT films cannot be screened nor officially distributed in China, rendering any such projects financially unviable, although my films have constantly topped the sales of the underground market. The Award comes at a crossroad in our journey, making it all worthwhile.”
Scud (real name Danny Cheng Wan-Cheung) was born in mainland China during the Great Cultural Revolution and raised by his grandmother before moving to Hong Kong at the age of 13. He worked for multi-national companies, founded a publicly listed company, and acquired a bachelor’s degree thru part-time study. He then moved to Australia for a permanent residence. Realizing that he had fulfilled the dreams of others but not his own, he returned to Hong Kong in 2005 to start an independent film company, Artwalker, where he wrote and directed City without Baseball (2007), Permanent Residence (2008), Amphetamine (2009), Love Actually…Sucks! (2010), and Voyage (2012).
Young psychiatrist Ryo attempts to find catharsis by ruminating on the stories of his patients who have taken their own lives. While on a lone voyage off the coast of Southeast Asia, he writes about each patient, the film staging each of these vignettes in a beautiful surrealist landscape. As Ryo tries to find solace, he realizes that life and death are both part of the same great journey in this surprisingly playful meditation on depression.
About the Q Hugo Film Awards
Eleven films representing thirteen countries are competing for the inaugural Q Hugo Film Awards. The films were shown as part of OUT-Look, the Festival’s recently rebranded LGBTQ program. The Awards Ceremony will also feature live performances by World Music singer/songwriter Sandra Antongiorgi, the legendary Joel Hall Dancers and the reigning Miss Continental 2014 Naysha Lopez. Effen Vodka, program partner for OUT-Look, is the Lead Partner for the Q Hugo Film Awards; Center on Halsted, Lavazza Espression, Sidetrack, Stella Artois, Tres Generaciones® and the Windy City Media Group are the Evening Partners. Admission for this event is $20 and can be purchased online at www.chicagofilmfestival.com
The official Q Hugo Film Awards after-party will be held at Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted St.
The 49th Chicago International Film Festival runs October 10- 24. All film screenings will be at the AMC River East 21 Theater (322 E. Illinois St.). For a complete schedule of screenings, visit chicagofilmfestival.com.
Led by Presenting Partner Columbia College Chicago, the 49th Chicago International Film Festival's sponsors include: Official Airline - American Airlines; Headquarters Hotel - JW Marriott Chicago; Official Vehicle - Mercedes-Benz; Producing Partners: AMC Theaters, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; Major Partners: Illinois Office of Tourism and Intersites; Supporting Partners: DePaul University School of Cinema and Interactive Media, Stella Artois, Effen Vodka, WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9FM, Cultivate Studios; Participating Partners: State Farm, AARP, Tres Generaciones®, Comcast, Allstate, Spotlight Cinema Networks, Casale del Giglio, Second City Computers, Shutterbox Entertainment, Gibson’s Restaurant Group, RL Restaurant, Creative Technology and Lavazza Espression.
Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Chicago International Film Festival is part of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the International Screenings Program (May-September), the Chicago International Television Competition (April), CineYouth Festival (May), Intercom Competition (October) and year-round Education Outreach and Member Screenings Program.
For images go to http://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/press/