Interview: Sophia Wong Boccio on Asian Pop-Up Cinema Season 11, Opening Sept. 10th, 2020

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CHICAGO – How does a film festival still go on while the pandemic continues? Sophia Wong Boccio, the Founder and Curator of Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC), has found a way … have Opening Night (and other dates) at the Drive In.

Season 11 for APUC will kick off on September 10th, 2020, with the Chicago Premiere of South Korea’s “Paper Flower,” and continue through to Closing Night “Beyond the Dream” on October 10th at the same Drive In. On October 30th and 31st, APUC will also sponsor a Halloween presentation of South Korea’s ”Train to Busan” and its new sequel ”Peninsula,” also at the Drive In. In between there will be theme weeks dedicated to South Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong, both through ONLINE ACCESS and at the Drive In. In addition, APUC will be partnering with the Filipino Young Leaders Program with a presentation of ”Edward” at the Drive In on October 3rd. Click the title links for more details.

Sophia Wong Boccio for the Asian Pop-Up Cinema, Season 11
Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for

The ongoing success of the festival is due to its founder – veteran film curator Sophia Wong Boccio – who coordinates APUC’s board of directors, vendors, Chicago communities and volunteers to present the screenings and events. Her determination to adapt to the current situation was evident in Season Ten, when after its physical screenings were canceled due to the quarantine, she created an APUC-sponsored ”Funniest Stay-at-Home Short Film Competition” and curated an online offering of Asian films not available in the U.S.

Sophia Wong Boccio talked to Patrick McDonald of via Zoom about the challenges and triumphs of Season 11.

In Part One, a look back at the pandemic adaptations for Season 10, and how that helped to create the programming for Season 11.

In Part Two, the themes of Season 11 are discussed, including the partnership with the Filipino Young Leaders Program.

Season 11 Opening Night of the Asian Pop-Up Cinema series will be September 10th, 2020, at the Davis Theatre at Lincoln Yards Drive In, 1684 North Throop Street, Chicago. For a complete overview on APUC, click here. senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

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© 2020 Patrick McDonald,

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