The Farewell, directed by Lulu Wang will screen at the 2019 San Francisco International Film Festival as a special Centerpiece event on Thursday, April 18 at the historic Castro Theatre. A crowd favorite during its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, the film is based on an “actual lie,” as labeled by director and screenwriter Lulu Wang.
“It’s really gratifying to be able to highlight breakout talent in our Big Night presentations, and there is no doubt that Lulu Wang’s second feature reveals her as a filmmaking force,” said SFFILM’s Director of Programming Rachel Rosen. “Awkwafina’s calibrated performance is sure to impress her current fans and win new ones with its dramatic nuance.”
An ebullient tale that both celebrates and gently satirizes Chinese cultural traditions, The Farewell is impossible to resist for many reasons. Chief among them is the irrepressible Awkwafina (a breakthrough in Crazy Rich Asians, 2018), a broke Asian-American artist off to China to join her family to say goodbye to her dying grandmother. Except no one is willing to tell grandma she is sick – and to complete the ruse they force her male cousin to get married to a bewildered Japanese woman to explain why this zany family is getting back together at all.
One of Variety’s 2019 “10 Directors to Watch” and the recipient of the 2014 Chaz and Roger Ebert Directing Fellowship, China-born, Florida-raised Lulu Wang graduated from Boston College with a degree in Literature and Music before turning to filmmaking. Prior to The Farewell (2019), she made a number of shorts, including Touch (2015), winner of Best Drama at the Asians on Film Festival, and one feature, Posthumous (2014). The Farewell began as a story that Wang wrote and narrated for NPR’s This American Life.