NOVEMBER 1-16

Most of the films in this far-reaching festival are shorts whose subjects range from the traditional to the multiculti, and whose origins include Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, and Japan as well as Lebanon, Canada, and the U.S. Of the features, at least two have been shown in D.C. before: Shu Lea Cheang’s Fresh Kill (pictured), the opening-night film, is a visually striking, narratively slight ecotastrophe flick that puts a lesbian couple (including Mississippi Masala’s Sarita Choudhury) at the center of a global conspiracy involving sushi, TV, cat food, computers, a missing A-bomb, monopoly capitalism, and Staten Island’s Fresh Kill landfill. Much more powerful is Ha Truc Can’s never-released 1975 Land of Sorrow, a harrowing look at the last days of the Vietnam war that was shot during those chaotic days. Potentially promising are The River Chao Phraya, in which two rural brothers try to make their way in Bangkok, and Summer Snow, an unraveling-family drama by Hong Kong director Ann Hui (Boat People, Song of the Exile). Screenings will be dispersed among the University of Maryland’s Hoff Theater, the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium, American University’s Weschler Theater, and George Mason University’s Cinema. Most programs are FREE; others are $7, except for Fresh Kill, which is $9. Festival passes are $45. (See Showtimes for schedule.) (202) 966-5095. (Mark Jenkins)