Feature: Ten Memories from Sophia Wong Boccio Celebrates Season Ten of Asian Pop-Up Cinema

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CHICAGO – Season Ten for Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC) will kick off on March 10th, 2020, and this cultural gift to the city has grown with each new Opening Night. The success of APUC is due to its founder – veteran film curator Sophia Wong Boccio – who coordinates her board of directors, vendors, Chicago communities and volunteers to present the screenings and events. For more information about the Opening Night film, the North American Premiere of Hong Kong’s “I’m Livin’ It,” click here.

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Sophia Wong Boccio for the Asian Pop-Up Cinema, Season Ten
Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for HollywoodChicago.com

Sophia Wong Boccio was born and raised in Hong Kong, to parents who were both in the film industry there. Her early business career was in in Hong Kong and Beijing, where she was the Asia Managing Director for a large multinational commodity firm. While in Beijing, she developed “Sophia’s Choice,” a film festival that highlighted Chinese subtitled films for expatriates and the diplomatic corp. She expanded her cinema interests when she moved to Chicago in 2000, working with the Chicago International Film Festival for seven years, and founding the Asian Pop-Up Cinema in 2015 (APUC presents two seasons per year, Spring and Fall).

To celebrate Season Ten, HollywoodChicago.com asked Ms. Wong Boccio to provide ten highlights of the Asian Pop-Up Cinema in its history …

StarFirst Asian Filmmaker Attends APUC

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Yuichi Sato of ‘Poison Berry in My Brain’ in Chicago
Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for HollywoodChicago.com



December 4th, 2015: After launching the first season in the fall of 2015, I was able to bring in the FIRST Asian filmmaker, Japanese director Yuichi Sato of “Poison Berry in My Brain.” This highlighted the Closing Night of our inaugural season.

HollywoodChicago.com coverage: CLICK HERE

StarFirst Significant APUC Tribute … Director Herman Yau Lai-to of Hong Kong

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Hong Kong Filmmaker Herman Yau Lai-to at APUC Tribute in 2016
Photo credit: APUC



May 20th, 2016: Our Closing Night Gala for Season Two – at Venue SIX10 at Chicago’s Spertus Institute – honored Hong Kong filmmaker icon Herman Yau Lai-to, featuring one of the best of his “Ip Man” franchise, “The Final Fight” AND a North American premiere his latest film at the time, “The Mobfathers.”

StarFirst Printed Program Book

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Cover Image of Program Book, APUC Season Seven
Photo credit: APUC



Season Three, 2016: Although it may not seem like a milestone, getting that first program book in print – thanks to ADG Group in Chicago – was a significant point of pride and way for us to market the Asian Pop-Up Cinema.

StarHong Kong Pop Music Legend Teddy Robin Kwan

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Rockers, LtoR: Steve Barclay, Sophia Wong Boccio, Teddy Robin Kwan & Rich Moskal
Photo credit: APUC



May 11th, 2017: In the 1960s, Teddy Robin Kwan & the Playboys hit the Asian music scene in the wake of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and afterward Teddy had a notable acting career in Hong Kong films. He came in for a Season Four tribute at the Chicago History Museum, on a celebratory and unforgettable night. The program featured Chicago’s Fulcrum Point New Music Project and local singers performing Teddy’s songs.

HollywoodChicago.com coverage: CLICK HERE

StarFirst Film from Thailand

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Director Nattawut ‘Baz’ Poonpiriya of ‘Bad Genius’
Photo credit: APUC

November 15th, 2017: The Closing Night for Season Five featured our first film from Thailand, director Baz Poonpiriya’s “Bad Genius.” This film was a huge hit all over in Asian countries, and the director was in attendance.

HollywoodChicago.com coverage: CLICK HERE

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