Pearls of the Far East
Post-screening Q&A with director Cuong Ngo
The inner lives and forbidden loves of seven Vietnamese women form the beautiful string that runs through director Cuong Ngo's feature film debut, Pearls of the Far East. The breathtaking images and spectacular landscapes from the north to the south of Vietnam, beautifully lensed by Mikhail Petrenko, show sides of the country distinct from traditional Western depictions and frame the mysteries and deep secrets of these lives.
Adapted from award-winning stories by Minh Ngoc Nguyen, Ngo weaves a vivid, timeless and unforgettable tapestry with characters brought to life by a gorgeous cast of acclaimed talent from Vietnam, US and Canada, including actresses Truong Ngoc Anh (The White Silk Dress, 2006), Nhu Quynh (Vertical Ray of the Sun, 2000), Hong Anh (Moon at the Bottom of the Well, 2009), Ngo Thanh Van (The Clash, 2010, The Rebel, 2007), Minh Ngoc Nguyen (who also wrote the screenplay based on her own stories), and the legendary Kieu Chinh (Joy Luck Club, 1993).
With a haunting and sensual musical score by composers Alexina Louie and Alex Pauk that enhances the film's quiet beauty, Pearls of the Far East invites audiences to enjoy a meditative journey that illuminates the universal thirst to love and be loved.
Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Director/Producer Cuong Ngo earned a BFA-Honours in Performing Arts for Theatre & Film in his native country (2002) before pursuing his second degree in Film Production at York University in Toronto, BFA-Honours, with specializations in Directing, Screenwriting & Editing (2009).
Cuong has directed several short films, documentaries and videos including The Hitchhiker Project (2008), and The Golden Pin (2009), which won Best Canadian Short at the Toronto Inside Out LGBT Film & Video Festival before touring at over 40 international film festivals. Pearls of the Far East (2011) is Cuong's feature film debut as director, producer and co-editor.
After graduating with a degree in political science and philosophy from the University of Guelph, Igor Szczurko (Editor/Producer) decided to pursue his passion for film and TV production. Szczurko co-wrote and directed the TV pilot Rude Awakening (2007) for Allucinari, an episodic anthology TV series. He also co-wrote and produced The Hitchhiker Project (2008) and produced the award-winning short film The Golden Pin (2009). His most recent short project as producer, The Metronome (2009), is in distribution. Pearls of the Far East is Igor's first feature film as producer as well as co-editor.
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