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Asian Pacific films in the spotlight

Films from 26 countries will be showcased in the 25th annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, which opens tonight and continues through May 7 at various venues in L.A. including the Directors Guild of America, Laemmle’s Sunset 5 Theaters, the Downtown Independent Theatre and the Aratani/Japan America Theatre.

The festival, which also launches the celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month, includes 35 feature films and 146 shorts and videos. The opening-night program at the DGA is Tze Chun’s “Children of Invention.” The centerpiece feature, So Yong Kim’s “Treeless Mountain,” screens Sunday at the DGA. The Oscar-winning “Departures” closes the festival May 7 at the Aratani/Japan America Theatre. www.vconline.org/ff09

From Europe

The South East European Film Festival also launches tonight at the Goethe-Institut with the Los Angeles premiere of the Croatian drama “Behind the Glass.” The festival closes Sunday at the James Bridges Theater at UCLA with the L.A. premiere of “Elevator” from Romania. www.seefilmla.org

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Britfest

On Sunday, the British Film Festival hits various locations in Redondo Beach through May 8. The opening night presentation is “The Gods of Circumstance.” www.britishfilmfestival.com

Ransohoff slate

The American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre pays tribute to veteran film producer Martin Ransohoff beginning Friday with a double bill of the 1964 black comedy “The Americanization of Emily” and 1973’s “Save the Tiger,” for which Jack Lemmon won the lead actor Oscar. On tap for Saturday is the 1968 action-thriller “Ice Station Zebra,” which was supposedly Howard Hughes’ favorite film. Rounding out the festival Sunday is 1985’s thriller “Jagged Edge” and 1965’s “The Cincinnati Kid” starring Steve McQueen. Ransohoff will appear at Friday and Sunday’s programs.

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Over at the Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre “The Best of James Bond Agent 007" celebration kicks off on Friday with the first two Bond flicks starring Sean Connery, 1962’s “Dr. No” and 1963’s “From Russia With Love.” Scheduled for Saturday are 1964’s “Goldfinger” and 1965’s “Thunderball.”

Two of the better Roger Moore Bond vehicles -- 1977’s “The Spy Who Loved Me” and 1973’s “Live and Let Die” -- wrap up the festivities Sunday.

And on Wednesday, the Aero commences its five-day tribute to legendary film star Mickey Rooney with 1962’s “Requiem for a Heavyweight” and 1947’s “Killer McCoy.” Rooney will be on hand between films to discuss his career. The retrospective continues through May 10. www.americancinematheque.com --

susan.king@latimes.com


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