East Winds Film Festival opened on Monday night with a star studded red carpet reception and we were boldly introduced to the world of East Asian cinema and what it is truly capable of. It started off in real style and this has been proven with the quality of films showcased so far.
The evening kick-started a week long line up of World Festival Premieres, and there was no one better to introduce them than acclaimed director, Victor Vu, with his action blockbuster Loi Bao.
With the legendary fight choreography of Vincent Wang, whose credits include Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Skyfall & Captain America: The First Avenger, the action scenes in the film were faultless and had the audience mesmerised from the opening scene.
Loi Bao delivers some of the most impressive action sequences I've seen this year.
Legendary action chorographer, Vincent Wang
On the surface, Loi Bao is the story of a man’s rise to become a hero. However, as the story develops, it’s also about the development of him as a father, husband and all round family member.
Dying of a terminal illness, we see him receive experimental treatment which inherits him with superhuman abilities. With the pursuit of creating a comic novel, he changes his focus to the real world villains. The tragedy of someone living with cancer really translates with the audience and the tension is perfectly executed.
Within the story of man with a truly troubled background, we see a Vietnamese twist on a standard action film. It really offers something for everyone, considering it is truly emotional while also action packed.
Director of Loi Bao, Victor Vu
A Q&A was held after the screening of the film and the cast were truly honest with their answers. When Victor Vu was asked about the help of Vincent Wang, he stated, “it was like having God on my side”.
Vu offered knowledge on the difficulties of creating such an action film and how someone could make it in the industry. He then went on to explain that he had never shot anything like this before. Something which makes Loi Bao all the more impressive!
Our main hero is played by the extremely talented Cuong Seven
The event was exceptional and this was only enhanced by the additional touches like the red carpet, East Asian music and, of course, the drinks reception.
Attending East Winds Film Festival is like attending no other film festival in the UK. The chance to network with other people before and after each screening, and during Q&A sessions, is invaluable and it offers a great chance to learn other people’s stories, building great relationships in the process. Everyone has a common interest in film and so this speaks as a universal language for all.
It offers a new perspective on what cinema can be and has left me eager to see more.
Drinks reception held at Square One
Photos by Tara Rutledge