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SPA NIGHT Reviews & Press - part 1

We are humbled and overwhelmed by the amazing reception that SPA NIGHT is getting! Here are some of our favorite reviews and press from the last few days after we opened at the Metrograph in NYC.

New York Times Review (we are a Critics' Pick!!!)
"...it would be easy to categorize this cool, exquisitely observant first feature by the Korean-American filmmaker Andrew Ahn as a gay movie. But it is much more. The film is a contemplation of the loneliness, tension and anxiety of outsiders pursuing a piece of the American dream."

The Wrap Review
"Ahn smartly enlists the talents of cinematographer Ki Jin Kim in scenes that recall Tom Ford‘s immaculate “A Single Man.” Together, Ahn and Kim approach moments of sensuality subtly, as the camera languidly wades into the steamy saunas and the monochromatic showers where David’s interest in the unknown begins to percolate. He’s simultaneously frightened and enlivened by the possibilities of touching a man. Neither obtuse nor obvious, “Spa Night” finds the perfect balance in communication. "

The Playlist Review
"Managing to track the emotions, shooting everything from a clinical point of view, “Spa Night” is beautifully executed, and marks an impressive debut from Ahn."

Film Journal Review
"An instant classic of Asian-American, gay...oh hell, just cinema. This ethnic and sexual immersion is as richly rewarding as it is quietly and impressively achieved."
"...Ki Jin Kim's handsome, richly hued cinematography is a huge asset, capturing in human detail the slightest looks which can mean so much, as well as the full seraglio-like, sweaty sensuality of the bathhouse."

Village Voice Review
"Heartbreaking coming out drama Spa Night finds liberation in the sauna"

Filmmaker Magazine Interview
“I think drama is often more interesting if it springs from love instead of hate or anger”

Jezebel Interview
"Scrubbing the myth of the asexual gay Asian man, frame by frame"

Hammer to Nail Interview
"Spa Night is exactly the feature one would hope for from the maker of Dol (First Birthday). It covers similar subject matter and thematic terrain as its predecessor, but with greater narrative complexity, a richer cinematic palette, and a more nuanced exploration of character..."

The Talkhouse - "Embracing my otherness as an Asian American gay filmmaker"
"As my producers and I searched for financing, people continually reminded us that Spa Night was a very niche project. People tried to define the project’s sense of otherness as a fault. I admit that the queer Korean-American community does not necessarily encompass a large percentage of the population. However, I find otherness a poor reason for a lack of audience. Ultimately, both filmmakers and audiences need to embrace the idea that otherness is unifying, not alienating. We express our otherness in an effort to find a community, to create a beacon for others who feel our special brand of otherness."

Angry Asian Man - It exists: Asian-American cinema
"The films exist. The makers exist. If we want people to pay attention to our community, we need to pay attention to each other."

 

SPA NIGHT opens in theaters in NYC and LA

Thrilled to announce that our movie SPA NIGHT is opening in theaters in NYC and LA later this month, distributed by Strand Releasing!!! Check out the exclusive trailer on VULTURE!!!

NYC @ The Metrograph, starting on Friday 8/19 - director Andrew Ahn, lead Joe Seo and producers Kelly Thomas and David Ariniello will be there for Q&A. Get your tickets HERE.

(Edited: due to the great response on the opening weekend in NYC, SPA NIGHT will be playing for an additional week at the Metrograph until September 1st!!! Thanks to everybody who came to see it, let your friends know!)

LA @ Sundance Sunset Cinemas, starting on Friday 8/26 - director Andrew Ahn, lead Joe Seo and Nonetheless producers Giulia Caruso and Ki Jin Kim will be there for Q&A. Get your tickets HERE.

The theatrical poster for SPA NIGHT!!!

The theatrical poster for SPA NIGHT!!!

SPA NIGHT and We've Been Around win at OUTFEST!!!

We love Outfest, most of our movies have played there, and we are beyond excited that both of our films that played at Outfest this year won an award!!!

Our feature SPA NIGHT won the US Grand Jury Prize for Narrative Feature and a special mention for our lead, Joe Seo! Congratulations to Joe and to all of our cast & crew - you are the best!!!

Our short S.T.A.R. - one of the shorts for the series We've Been Around, directed by Rhys Ernst - won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Short! Thanks to everybody who came to the (sold out) screening and voted for us!!

See the full list of winners on The Hollywood Reporter.

SPA NIGHT LA Festival Premiere at Outfest!

So proud to announce that our feature SPA NIGHT will have its LA festival premiere at Outfest in July as the US Narrative Centerpiece!!!
We shot SPA NIGHT entirely on location in Los Angeles, and we are beyond excited to finally bring the film home and share it with everybody who made this possible.
We are especially proud to return to Outfest, where we screened Myrna the Monster last year and where our director Andrew Ahn's short Dol won Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Narrative Short Film in 2012.

Screening on July 11th at 7pm at the DGA 1.
Tickets go on sale on Monday, June 13th.
Following the screening, a reception in the DGA Atrium, hosted by the Outfest Emerging Leaders Council.

Hope to see you all there!!

Two Nonetheless projects screening at Frameline40 in June!

We have TWO projects screening at Frameline this year!!! So proud - thank you to Desiree and the whole programming team at Frameline!
SPA NIGHT screens at the historic Castro Theatre, and the whole team will be there - come say hi!!! Our docu-series We've Been Around screens together with Rhys Ernst's Emmy nominated series This is Me, will follow an extended Q&A with director Rhys Ernst, producer Christine Beebe and Executive Producers Giulia Caruso and Jelayne Miles.

See you all in San Francisco!!

SPA NIGHT: June 23rd, Castro Theatre @ 6:30pm 

WE'VE BEEN AROUND: June 21st, Roxie Theatre @ 7pm

SPA NIGHT Festival Screenings - NYC and European Premiere Announced!

So many exciting screenings coming up!!!

On June 25th, we will have our European Premiere at the great Edinburgh International Film Festival, amidst some great films. Second screening will be on June 26th, let your friends know!!!

On June 23rd, SPA NIGHT will screen at the historical Castro Theatre in San Francisco at Frameline, get your tickets!! The whole team will be there and we hope to see you all!

SPA NIGHT will have its NYC Premiere at BAMcinemaFest in Brooklyn on June 20th - director Andrew Ahn and star Joe Seo will be there! Honored to be part of such a great lineup!!! Buy your tickets today!

On June 12th and 13th, SPA NIGHT goes down-under for the amazing Sydney Film Festival!!! According to them Andrew is "a bold new talent".. proud of our movie!

On June 2nd, 3rd and 4th a busy SPA NIGHT weekend with some amazing screenings:
Seattle International Film Festival - June 2nd and 3rd (Andrew will be there!)
TLVFest, the Tel Aviv LGBT Film Festival - June 3rd
From the TLV website: "In his film debut, director and scriptwriter Andrew Ahn brings to the screen a cinematic aesthetic that is rarely found in contemporary American cinema. The spa scenes, in particular, are reminiscent of the atmosphere created by Tsai Ming-Liang in his exemplary I Don't Want to Sleep Alone."
OUTFilm CT in Connecticut - June 4th (Joe will be there!)

On June 4th, our director and the producing team of SPA NIGHT will speak on a panel at LAFF about "Low Budget in LA" - register for the event HERE.

Joe Seo wins Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance!!!

HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to our very own Joe Seo for winning the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance as David Cho in Spa Night!!!

Joe is a brave, daring, gentle actor, who put his all in this movie and we could not be happier for him! Hoping that this means many more great roles for him and the beginning of a wonderful career - it was an honor working with you through the laughter and pain and long nights and love. 

Congratulations Joe!!!

Congratulations Joe!!!

Check out the full list of winners on Variety, and Joe on Vulture as one of the "Best Performances of Sundance 2016"! So proud to be among these great films!!!

 

 

Reviews of Spa Night out of Sundance!

We are honored and humbled by all the great reviews and mentions that keep coming in, so we decided to share some of our favorite ones here. For the latest news and press, please follow our SPA NIGHT FACEBOOK PAGE and TWITTER, where we will keep you posted in real time!

Here is the first review of our film, that we woke up to the morning after the premiere, on Rogertebert.com, by Nick Allen:

"A new and necessary voice in indie cinema, he is a gay Korean-American filmmaker, two aspects of identity that inspire an anxious, shattering search for peace of place and identity within this incredible movie competing in Sundance’s U.S. Dramatic Competition."
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On Twitch Film, by Jeremy O. Harris:

"Much like its lead, articulation has failed me in the days since watching and processing Andrew Ahn's glorious Spa Night. The film presents itself with such ease and confidence that its easy to miss its complexities at first glance. A friend of mine who saw the movie with me said it in another way, "It's like a masterpiece painting that you could miss in a museum if you weren't looking close enough. It's not showy in it's honesty." 

On IonCinema, by Nicholas Bell:

"...we can’t escape Ahn’s accomplished and beautifully human portrait of a family forced to flounder from one dream deferred to another."

On the Hollywood Reporter, by Boyd van Hoeij:

"...for those willing to fully invest themselves, Spa Night offers a carefully considered story about identity or rather identities, with David having to figure out a way to accommodate his orientation and his position as the only child of Korean immigrants in L.A."

On Variety, by Peter Debruge:

“Spa Night” serves as an homage to the sacrifices first-generation immigrants made in order that their children could achieve their full potential in the States, expanding the concept of “pride” far beyond its protagonist’s gay identity.

How the Labs made Spa Night possible - Interview with Film Independent

Check out this article about our director Andrew Ahn and the making of Spa Night on the Film Independent Blog: "5 Ways Directing Labs Can Set the Scene for your First Feature"

And if you are thinking of applying to their Artist Development Programs, check out their Guidelines and Deadlines HERE.

 

8/12/2015 - Creator Hangout: a conversation with Andrew Ahn about our Kickstarter campaign!

Ok, so running our Kickstarter campaign was tough. Extremely satisfying, exciting, depressing, exciting - a pure rollercoaster of emotions. So much work and passion went into it and so many of you were amazing and pushed us to the goal and beyond to have an AMAZINGLY SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN -- and again, THANK YOU FOR THAT!!!

Check out this Creator Hangout with director Andrew Ahn, talking about Spa Night and the campaign and more!

PS: the story about the Good-Karma yell-outs and the crying at the Griffith Observatory is very true...

 

THAT'S A WRAP ON SPA NIGHT!!!

After 3 weeks on set we are proud to announce that we just wrapped production on Andrew Ahn's debut feature Spa Night.

What a ride.

Before we pass out for a couple of weeks, we want to thank all of you who made this possible and wonderful: our amazing cast (some of whom came all the way from Korea), our hard-working talented crew who endured the hardships of independent filmmaking with us and poured their passion into this project, all the extras, location owners, grocery stores, everybody who let use their place, donated food to our production, came all the way to set at 1am to be an extra in a scene at the Korean Spa... THANK YOU.

Thank you to our investors, all the organizations that supported us through this journey (Sundance Institute, Film Independent, Cinereach, Panavision, CAAM, Visual Communication, Pacific Arts Movement) and our Kickstarter backers. Each and every one of you who believe in us. This would not be happening without you and we could not be more grateful: YOU ARE MAKING OUR DREAMS WITH US. It doesn't get more special than that.

We have so many stories to share with you all, and most of all cannot wait to share the finished movie.. but for the time being follow us on our Facebook PAGE for all updates!!!

 

SPA NIGHT - week 1!!!!

Not really sure where to start, so many things we want to share, so many emotions... On June 14th we started shooting Andrew Ahn's debut feature, Spa Night. We started working with Andrew on the story at the very beginning of Nonetheless, two years ago, and we have been together ever since through the development and fundraising process, through the Sundance Screenwriting Lab, the Film Independent Screenwriting and Directing Lab, our Kickstarter campaign. Wonderful producers Kelly Thomas and David Ariniello joined our producing team and we put everything together and... here we are!!! IT'S HAPPENING!!! It's suddenly so real.

We couldn't be more grateful to all the amazing humans (and non-humans) who made this possible and supported us in many different ways. Our investors, our backers, our crew, our cast, our interns, all the organizations who gave us grants and all the brands that donated to the project... We wouldn't be here right now if it wasn't for you.

We can't wait to share Spa Night with you.

Follow our Instagram @spanightfilm and our Facebook Page through the shoot for BTS photos and more!

If you have any questions email:

spanightfilm@gmail.com or giulia.caruso@nonethelessproductions.com

Our lead actor, Joe Seo, alias David Cho

Our lead actor, Joe Seo, alias David Cho





NONETHELESS PRODUCTIONS, INC. - 5201 Monte Vista St, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Ph: 213.281.2848 | Email: contact@nonethelessproductions.com