Trailer: The Mikado Project

Sunday, May 02, 2010

This just had its premiere down at Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

The Mikado Project, a feature film directed by Chil Kong will be premiering at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) organized by Visual Communications, on May 1st at 9pm at the Directors Guild of America. This marks the world premiere of the film and cast and crew will be in attendance.

The Mikado Project is a musical comedy (based on the stage performance written by Ken Narasaki and Doris Baizley and adapted for film by Chil Kong) of a struggling Asian American theater company that, in a desperate publicity stunt to save their company, decides to produce a modern reconstruction of Gilbert and Sullivan’s, The Mikado, to stir controversy and jolt ticket sales.

The Mikado, one of the most beloved comedy operas by legendary collaborators, Arthur Sullivan and W.S. Gilbert, first opened on stage in 1885 in London. The story was set in Japan (considered an exotic land to the British during that era) which allowed Gilbert & Sullivan to satirize British politics. However, by doing so, Asians around the world and Asian Americans today have found this opera hard to embrace—making the notion of Asian American actors performing The Mikado controversial and palatable only through a comedic reconstruction.

The Mikado Project will be playing at the DGA’s Theater #1, a 600 seat state-of-the-art theater in where the LAAPFF traditionally schedules their most popular feature films throughout the festival. The feature presentation will be followed by a Q&A session with cast and crew.

“This is truly an honor to have our film premiere here at VC’s film festival,” says Director Chil Kong. “I have attended this event year after year, seen the dedicated work this group has devoted to Asian American cinema and it is incredible to know that my film will be playing here.”

The most notable component of The Mikado Project that audiences won’t be able to see but will certainly hear, are the new hip-hopera versions of the Gilbert & Sullivan’s musical compositions—outstanding beat box and rap mixes. The dance numbers are choreographed by members of the dance troupes, Kaba Modern and Jabbawockeez, from Randy Jackson’s hit show on MTV, “America’s Best Dance Crew,” giving the movie a whole new identity to an old operetta.
Learn more about the film here.