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Lakewood welcomes Asian Film Fest

Opening film is multiple Oscar winner The Bridge on the River Kwai

Joe Kraemer in Score: A Film Music Documentary. Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

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The Lakewood Arts Commission presents the 2017 Asian Film Fest held Aug. 11-13 at Pierce College in Lakewood.  The opening film is the beautifully restored, international box office blockbuster The Bridge on the River Kwai. This sweeping epic was the winner of seven Academy Awards to include "Best Picture," "Best Director," "Best Actor" and "Best Musical Score." It is based on a World War II action to destroy a Japanese railroad bridge being built by captured British soldiers along the Thai-Burma border.

The film ranks as the 13th greatest war film of the 20th century, according to the American Film Institute. In 1997, it was deemed historically significant and selected for preservation in the American Library of Congress.

The film stars Oscar winner Alex Guinness, Oscar-nominated Japanese star Sessue Hayakawa, American star William Holden and British actor Jack Hawkins.

The Bridge on the River Kwai is rated PG-13 for action scenes and shows at 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 11, in the Cascade Building at Pierce College, Fort Steilacoom. Admission is free.

The Film Fest continues Saturday, Aug. 12, with the gripping Australian film Rabbit Proof Fence, the true story of three aboriginal girls who escape from a relocation camp after being taken from their family by the Australian government. This film shows at 2 p.m.

Saturday evening, the high voltage thriller Airlift from India shows at 7 p.m. Airlift tells the untold true story of the world's largest wartime civilian airlift. The film was voted "Best Foreign Film of 2016" by international critics.

Sunday, Aug. 13, at 2 p.m., the award-winning Japanese film Like Father, Like Son will be featured. An emotional, deeply moving story of a family who learns their adored six-year-old son was accidentally switched at birth and is not their child.  This 2013 film was the winner of the coveted "Jury Prize" at the Cannes Film Festival.

The festivals final film event is scheduled for 7 p.m., Sunday, and features Neerja, the breathtaking, action-packed true story of a young Indian flight attendant who risks her life to save passengers from terrorists on a hijacked 747 airliner. Neerja features an award-winning cast plus pulse-pounding action. The Hollywood Reporter said, "Absolutely do not miss this film."

Prior to the showing of each film there will be live, pre-show entertainment by Ms. Jeannie Hill, plus a juried Art and Photo exhibit and a special Bonsai display by Bonsai Kaihara.

Admission to all events is free and all seating is on a first-come basis. Some films may have sub-titles and additional details are available by calling 253.861.1366.

Asian Film Festival, 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 11; 2 and 7 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 12-13, Pierce College, Fort Steilacoom, Cascade Bldg., 4th Floor, 9401 Farwest Drive SW, Lakewood, free, 253.861.1366

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