New York Asian Film Festival returns for its 20th anniversary edition with another packed programme of recent East Asian cinema hits screening at Lincoln Center & Asia Society July 15 – 31. This year the festival will pay tribute to actress Josie Ho, while horror maestro Takashi Shimizu will receive the Screen International Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award, and Hitoshi Abe the Screen International Star Asia Award. 


  • Before Next Spring – drama following a Chinese exchange student in Tokyo.
  • Fire on the Plain – a detective reunites with a childhood friend while investigating a cold case.
  • Manchurian Tiger – black comedy starring Zhang Yu in which a truck driver, his wife, his girlfriend, and a poet recovering from mental illness are caught up in a bizarre series of events
  • One and Four – Tibetan drama in which a forest ranger is surprised by a bloodied man entering his cabin.
  • Ripples of Life – Wei Shujun’s meta odyssey follows a Beijing film crew to a small town in rural China where everyone it seems is longing for escape. Review.
  • Virgin Blue – a young woman returns to spend her last college summer holiday with her grandmother.

Hong Kong

  • Chilli Laugh Story – an attempt to monetise mum’s chilli sauce places a strain on the family unit in Coba Cheng’s pandemic-era New Year comedy. Review.
  • Far Far Away – an introverted IT guy gets a crash course in romance when he ends up dating a series of women from the far flung corners of Hong Kong in Amos Why’s charming romantic comedy. Review.
  • Finding Bliss: Fire and Ice—The Director’s Cut – actors, musicians and artists from Hong Kong go on an Icelandic roadtrip.
  • Mama’s Affair – latest drama from Kearen Pang (29+1) starring Teresa Mo as a woman who returns to work after raising her son.
  • Legendary in Action! – retro martial arts drama in which a formerly successful director gets a second shot at the big time by directing his childhood hero in a remake of a classic serial.
  • Table for Six – anarchic comedy from Men on the Dragon’s Sunny Chan in which a crisis erupts at a family dinner when one of the guests arrives with the host’s old flame.
  • We Are Family – ensemble comedy in which a struggling actor falls in with a troupe who hire themselves out as fake family members.

25th Anniversary program HKETO, CLASSIC MARATHON (presented with the support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York)

  • Happy Together – lovers on the run flee pre-Handover Hong Kong for Argentina to “start over” but discover only more loneliness and heartache in Wong Kar-Wai’s melancholy romance. Review.
  • Kung Fu Hustle – 2004 classic from Stephen Chow in which an aspiring gangster messes with the wrong community.
  • Overheard – 2009 thriller from Alan Mak and Felix Chong
  • Running on Karma – Andy Lau stars as a former monk turned bodybuilder and exotic dancer who is gifted with the ability to see other people’s karma. Encountering a policewoman (Cecilia Cheung) whose karma is particularly bad, he decides to help her.
  • The Eye – 2002 horror from Danny Pang and Oxide Pang Chun in which a woman who receives a cornea transplant realises she can see ghosts.

Josie Ho Tribute (presented with the support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York)

  • Dream Home – 2010 Pang Ho-cheung horror in which a woman goes to extreme lengths to get her hands on an apartment.
  • Full Strike – 2015 sports comedy from Derek Kwok and Henri Wong.



  • Angry Son – a resentful young man comes to a better understanding of his place in the world while searching for his estranged father in Kasho Iizuka’s sensitive coming-of-age drama. Review.
  • Broken Commandment – adaptation of Toson Shimazaki’s novel Hakai from Kazuo Maeda.
  • Grown-ups – relationship drama in which two college students attempt to deal with an unplanned pregnancy.
  • Intimate Stranger – eerie indie drama in which a middle-aged woman looking for her son takes in a young man involved in telephone fraud.
  • Lesson in Murder – chilling serial killer thriller from Kazuya Shirashi starring Sadao Abe.
  • Offbeat Cops – comedy from Eiji Uchida starring Hiroshi Abe as a maverick cop demoted to the police band.
  • Ox-Head Village – horror in which a young woman travels to a remote region in search of her doppelgänger.
  • Ribbon – Written, directed by, and starring NON, Ribbon follows art student Itsuka who finds herself at a loss when her graduation project cannot be displayed as planned because of COVID-19.
  • Shin Ultraman – big budget adaptation of the classic tokusatsu series directed by Shinji Higuchi with a screenplay by Hideaki Anno.


  • Imaginur – a man experiences strange events after taking his father to the hospital.


  • The Sales Girl – a diffident student begins to open up after befriending an eccentric middle-aged woman who runs a sex shop in Janchivdorj Sengedorj’s quirky comedy. Review.


  • Arisaka – a police officer is ordered to escort an important witness but is ambushed and forced on the run.
  • Big Night! – a happy-go-lucky beautician’s existence is turned inside out when he discovers he’s been placed on a “watch list” in Jun Robles Lana’s extremely dark comedy. Review.


  • #LookAtMe – morality tale starring Thomas Pang as a pair of identical twins.

South Korea

  • Alienoid – highly anticipated sci-fi drama from Choi Dong-hoon starring Kim Tae-ri in which aliens open a portal between feudal Korea and the present day.
  • Confession – mystery drama in which a man is accused of a locked room murder.
  • The Girl on a Bulldozer – an angry young woman attempts to turf out the forces of exploitation but discovers them to be far too well entrenched in Park Ri-woong’s steely social drama. Review.
  • Hansan: Rising Dragon – sequel to The Admiral: Roaring Currents following Admiral Yi Sun-sin (Park Hae-il).
  • Hot Blooded – gangster drama in which a low level mobster is dragged into a gang war.
  • I Am More – documentary following Itaewon drag queen More.
  • I Haven’t Done Anything – comedy following an out of work actor’s path to Instagram star.
  • The Killer – a former hitman is charged with babysitting a friend’s daughter only for her to be kidnapped by thugs
  • Next Door – comedy thriller starring Oh Dong-min as a young man who ends up investigating crimes for real while studying for the police exam.
  • Nothing Serious – A young couple meet through a hookup app and then inconveniently realise they like each other in Jeong Ga-young’s zeitgeisty rom-com. Review.
  • Stellar: A Magical Ride – dramedy in which a man comes to understand his father while on the run in his beat up Hyundae Stellar.
  • Perhaps Love – A blocked writer’s already complicated life is thrown into confusion when a young protege arrives to profess his love in Cho Eun-ji’s heartwarming dramedy. Review.
  • The Swordsman – a master swordsman is dragged back into the world of courtly intrigue years after renouncing the code of violence when his daughter is taken by slavers in Choi’s gritty action drama. Review.


  • The Funeral – folk horror in which a struggling single mother must fight for her daughter’s life.
  • Life for Sale – drama in which a struggling insurance broker decides to offer his own life on the internet.
  • Mama Boy – romantic drama in which a young man falls for a single mother working at a love hotel
  • My Best Friend’s Breakfast – campus romcom in which a young woman accidentally makes a guy think her friend has a crush on him.
  • Reclaim – drama in which a teacher’s life changes while trying to buy a bigger apartment.
  • Terrorizers – drama revolving around an angry young man who goes on a public slashing attack.


  • Fast & Feel Love – drama in which a world champion sport stacker has to learn to look after himself after his girlfriend dumps him.

The New York Asian Film Festival runs from 15th June to 31st July. Full details for all the films are available via the official website where you can also find screening times and ticketing information. You can also keep up with all the latest festival news via the official Facebook Page and Twitter account.

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