London Korean Film Festival 2018: Documentary Fortnight

Another World We Are Making

The London Korean Film Festival has always made a space for documentary in its packed out programme but for this year’s edition they’ve decided to go a little further and give it a spotlight of its own with two weekends dedicated to the art. On August 11/12, and 18/19, six short and feature lengths films will be screened with directors Kim Dong-won and Song Yun-hyeok making an appearance to present their work.

11th August – Birkbeck Cinema

11.30am: A Slice Room

slice room still 1

Song Yun-hyeok examines the social reality behind the prosperous facade of contemporary Korean society through the lives of those living in “slice rooms”. Director Song Yun-hyeok will also be in conversation with Nam In Young following the screening.

2.30pm: The Sanggyedong Olympics / The 6 Day Struggle at the Myeongdong

6 day struggle

Kim Dong-won’s 1988 documentary Sanggyedong Olympics follows the resistance movement towards urban regeneration amongst a community north of Seoul who had been unfairly evicted from their homes without proper compensation or adequate time to find new accommodation. Kim planned to stay only one day but ended up living amongst the community for three years.

The 6 Day Struggle at the Myeongdong Cathedral, completed during 1996-7, looks back at the pivotal 1987 sit-in which became a catalyst for the June democracy movement.

Following the two short docs, Kim Dong-won will also be in conversation with Nam In Young.

12th August – Birkbeck Cinema 

1.30pm: Repatriation 

repatriation still 1

In what many consider his masterpiece, Kim Dong-won examines the lives of the “unconverted” – North Korean “spies” who refuse to renounce their communist beliefs despite longterm imprisonment in the South. Refused the possibility of returning to the North on release, most were left without support in South Korea facing economic hardship and social stigma, dependent on solidarity networks to help them integrate into society. Kim follows two such men over a decade as they try to rebuild their lives in the fluctuating political climate of the ’90s.

The film will be followed by a conversation with Kim Dong-won chaired by Chris Berry.

4.45pm: Roundtable 

A roundtable panel discussion chaired by Professor Chris Berry discussing the Korean independent documentary scene from the late ’80s to the present. Nam In Young of Dongseo University will provide an overview of filmmaking collectives within the sociopolitical history of South Korea while directors Kim Dong-won and Song Yun-hyeok will be on hand to offer their personal experiences.

18th August – Korean Cultural Centre

3pm: Soseongri 

SKOREA-FILM-DIPLOMACY-DEFENCEPark Bae-il’s Soseongri follows a community of elderly farmers facing rural depopulation problems who find themselves in conflict with the police when the decision is taken to place the THAAD anti-aircraft system in their village.

19th August – Korean Cultural Centre

3pm: Jung Il-woo, My Friend 

Jung Il-woo, My Friend 

Kim Dong-won’s most recent film pays tribute to North American Jesuit priest, Jung Il-woo, who dedicated his life to improving the lives of the poor in South Korea.

All the events are free to attend but tickets must be booked in advance via the links above. Full details for all the films are available via the official website, and you can keep up with all the latest news via the festival’s  TwitterFacebookFlickrInstagram and YouTube channels

Summer Explorers! 2018 – Japan Foundation London Free Screening Series Returns Aug. 12&18

summer explorers

Following their announcement of a “Pre-Summer Explorers” series of free film screenings, The Japan Foundation London has now announced the main event which will take place on 12th and 18th of August at the Courthouse Hotel and Regent Street Cinemas.

Sunday 12th August, Courthouse Hotel Cinema

2pm / 6.40pm – His Master’s Voice

HIs Master's Voice still 1

A lowly rakugoka forced to give up his dreams returns home only to discover a new purpose through teaching rakugo to a sad little boy.

4.15pm – Giovanni’s Island

Giovanni's Island still 1Heart rending animation inspired by Kenji Miyazawa’s classic Night on the Galactic Railroad. Brothers Junpei and Kanta face the loss of their home when the northern island of Shikotan is reclaimed by Russian troops in the aftermath of the second world war.

Saturday 18th August, Regent Street Cinema

2.30pm – Chieri and Cherry

Chieri and Cherry still 1Charming puppet animation in which Chieri, who has recently lost her father, develops an intense bond with her stuffed toy, Cherry. Travelling to her grandmother’s house for her father’s funeral, Chieri experiences a fantastic adventure which helps her to cope with grief and fear of the future.

3.50pm – Cat Samurai

cat samurai still 1

A mercenary ronin accepts a commission from dog loving yakuza to wipe out the chief pet of a cat loving clan but on being faced with the adorable creature cannot go through with it!

5.50pm – Oshin

Oshin still1

Retelling of the classic ’80s TV drama covering Oshin’s difficult childhood. 7-year-old Oshin is sold away from her poor family and sent to work in a lumber shop where she experiences cruel injustices, finally being falsely accused of stealing. Running away, Oshin ends up in the mountains living with a kind old man and a deserter from the army who begins to teach her how to read and write.

All the screenings are free to attend but must be booked in advance. You can find more information about the screening series on the Japan Foundation’s official website and eflyer and you can keep up with all the latest news via their Twitter Account and Facebook page.

Korean Film Nights 2018: Rebels With a Cause

barefooted Youth posterFollowing on from the Novels on Screen season, the Korean Cultural Centre London is back with another series of free film screenings this time themed around those who have dared to defy the social norms of their times.

19th July – Bungee Jumping of Their Own

1024full-bungee-jumping-of-their-own-posterLee Byung-hun stars as a conflicted high school teacher who begins to see echoes of a woman he loved and lost years ago in a male student.

26th July – The Sea Knows

EWBtY1xr1lnEpnQOKim Ki-young recasts the folly of war as a romantic melodrama in which a Korean conscript to the Japanese army receives harsh treatment from his sadistic superior but later falls in love with a Japanese woman.

2nd August – A Woman Judge

71d8383407a3d1bec2d8eed51ce3a6eeMoon Jeong-suk stars as a determined young woman hellbent on becoming a judge in defiance of social convention which views marriage and motherhood as the only paths to female success. Encouraged by her father but forced to dodge her mother’s constant attempts to marry her off, she pursues her dream in spite of intense disapproval.

9th August – The Barefooted Young

barefooted Youth stillKim Ki-duk (the old one!) draws inspiration from Ko Nakahira’s Dorodarake no Junjo for a tragic tale of love across the class divide as poor boy Du-su (Shin Seong-il) and Ambassador’s daughter Johanna (Um Aeng-ran) meet by chance and fall in love. Faced with the impossibility of their “pure” love in an “impure world” the pair find themselves an impasse, unable to reconcile their true feelings with the demands of the society in which they live. Review.

16th August – Mandala 

Mandala posterIm Kwon-taek’s “artistic breakthrough” stars Ahn Sung-ki as a young man who has abandoned his girlfriend and university studies to become a Buddhist monk but later meets an older man who indulges all of life’s Earthly pleasures such as wine and women.

23rd August – Black Republic

Black Republic still 1Park Kwang-su revisits the democratisation movement in its immediate aftermath as a student who hides from the authorities in a small mining village finds himself at odds with his environment while haunted by the possibility that his longed for revolution will not come to pass.

The Rebels With a Cause season runs throughout July and August. All screenings are free but must be booked in advance and take place at the Korean Cultural Centre in central London. Reservations are currently open for all the films via the links above. You can keep up to date with all the latest screening news via the Korean Cultural Centre and London Korean Film Festival websites and be sure to follow the festival on TwitterFacebookFlickrInstagram and YouTube channels for the most up to date information.

Tickets are also currently on sale for the latest teaser screening for London Korean Film Festival – Claire’s Camera, at Regent Street Cinema on 23rd July, 7pm. The next teaser in the series has not yet been announced but will take place on 30th August.

Fantasia International Film Festival Confirms Complete 2018 Programme

Fantasia 2018 banner imageMontreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival is back for its 22nd edition with an another unbelievably packed programme of recent hits. Once again Fantasia proves itself as a place to go for East Asian cinema with a wide ranging collection of indie and mainstream efforts from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

China

Detective Dee The Four Heavenly Kings banner

Hong Kong

the brink still 1

  • Big Brother – Donnie Yen stars as an inspirational teacher ready to fight (literally) for his students’ future.
  • The Blonde Fury – 1989 kung fu classic starring Cynthia Rothrock as an American FBI agent investigating Hong Kong currency fraud
  • The Brink – mythical crime drama with intense visual flair. Review.
  • Five Fingers of Death (aka King Boxer) – rival schools face off in this HK kung fu classic from 1972.
  • The Oily Maniac – a mild-mannered man gets superpowers when he dips himself in oil in this HK classic.

Indonesia

buffalo boys 2

  • Buffalo Boys – Indonesian Western in which two brothers come back from California to avenge the death of their father.
  • Satan’s Slaves – an ordinary family is torn apart by earthly woes manifesting as supernatural anxieties. Review.

Japan

wilderness still 2

  • Ajin: Demi-Human – manga adaptation starring Takeru Satoh and Go Ayano in which a young man is reincarnated as an immortal demi-human.
  • Amiko – indie drama in which a young girl chases after her only friend when he abandons her to go to Tokyo with another girl.
  • Aragne: Sign of Vermillion – anime in which a shy young university student uncovers a dark conspiracy.
  • Being Natural – rural comedy in which a couple from Tokyo insist on opening a coffee shop in the middle of nowhere.
  • Bleach – hotly anticipated adaptation of the hugely popular manga directed by blockbuster master Shinsuke Sato.
  • Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura – a newlywed writer goes on a strange quest after his wife is tricked by a yokai and ends up in the afterworld. Review.
  • Fireworks – Shunji Iwai-inspired anime in which a troupe of youngsters battle adolescent romance.
  • Hanagatami – Nobuhiko Obayashi’s adaptation of the Kazuo Dan novel in which youth finds itself teetering on the pre-war abyss. Review.
  • I am a Hero – Shinsuke Sato’s adaptation of the zombie-themed manga. Review.
  • Inuyashiki – a pure hearted old man and an angry teen are mysteriously given super powers on the same day in Shinsuke Sato’s adaptation of the popular manga. Review.
  • Kasane – an aspiring actress with a facial disfigurement inherits a magic lipstick which allows her to steal the appearance of anyone she kisses.
  • Laplace’s Witch – Takashi Miike adapts the Keigo Higashino mystery.
  • Laughing under the Clouds – Meiji era fantasy starring Sota Fukushi.
  • LOUDER! Can’t Hear What You’re Singin’, Wimp! – surreal comedy from Satoshi Miki in which a veteran musician losing his voice teams up with a young girl struggling to find hers.
  • Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms – moving anime from scriptwriter Mariko Okada in which an immortal woman struggles with the idea of motherhood. Review.
  • One Cut of the Dead – hilarious zombie comedy! Review.
  • Penguin Highway – random penguins disrupt an ordinary high school boy’s life.
  • Punk Samurai Slash Down – anarchic samurai action from Gakuryu Ishii!
  • River’s Edge – adaptation of the classic ’90s manga from Isao Yukisada in which bored teens get their kicks gazing at dead bodies. Review.
  • Rokuroku: The Promise of the Witch – supernatural thrills from Yudai Yamaguchi.
  • Room Laundering – a young girl saves money by apartment hopping between homes where untimely deaths have occurred but finds her lifestyle threatened when she develops the ability to see ghosts.
  • Tokyo Vampire Hotel – cut down feature length version of Sion Sono’s anarchic vampire-themed TV series.
  • Tornado Girl – Romantic comedy from Moteki’s Hitoshi One starring Satoshi Tsumabuki and Kiko Mizuhara.
  • The Travelling Cat Chronicles – sentimental cat-themed comedy drama starring Sota Fukushi.
  • Tremble All You Want – heartbreakingly surreal comedy in which a shy woman learns to break free of her self imposed fantasy bubble. Review.
  • Violence Voyager – experimental animation in which an American boy and his Japanese best friend stumble on a mysterious abandoned theme park.
  • Wilderness – Yoshiyuki Kishi’s Double Life follow up is a five hour epic set in the near future but inspired by a classic Shuji Terayama novel in which two lost young men search for freedom and connection in the boxing ring. Review.

Korea

Last Child still 1

  • 1987: When the Day Comes – timely examination of the 1987 democracy movement retold as a tense political thriller. Review.
  • Believer – Korean remake of Johnnie To’s Drug War.
  • Champion – Ma Dong-seok stars as a Korean American returning to South Korea to pursue his sporting dreams.
  • The Fortress – historical drama starring Lee Byung-hun in which two trusted advisors try to guide the King towards an acceptable policy regarding the Qing invasion.
  • Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum – found footage horror in which a film crew seeking social media fame decide to film in a disused mental hospital.
  • I Have a Date with Spring – existential comedy in which a blocked screenwriter is interrogated by four mysterious “fans”.
  • Last Child – moving drama in which a bereaved family takes in the boy their son died saving only to discover all is not as it seems. Review.
  • Microhabitat – wistful drama in which a young woman decides to save money by staying with friends so she can afford life’s little pleasures. Review.
  • The Outlaws – crime drama starring Ma Dong-seok as a maverick cop trying to save his community from Chinese gang violence. Review.
  • True Fiction – political drama in which a shady politician gets himself into trouble after running over the wrong person’s dog.
  • V.I.P. – serial killer drama with political dimensions as the South Korean security forces consider helping a vicious killer from the North defect in return for sensitive information. Review.
  • The Vanished – thriller inspired by Spanish film The Body in which a successful career woman is murdered leaving her philandering husband the prime suspect while bumbling police do their “best” to investigate.
  • What a Man Wants – a womanising brother-in-law and faithful husband end up ensnared by the same beautiful woman.
  • The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion – A young woman who escaped from a top secret facility accidentally outs herself as a superhero and becomes a target for bad guys.

Philippines

neomanila still 1

  • BuyBust – a rookie female police woman is forced to fight her way out of a drug den after a bust goes wrong in Erik Matti’s high octane thriller.
  • Neomanila – neo noir in which a young man becomes an apprentice to an older woman taking out drug dealers for the government.

Vietnam

Lôi Báo banner

  • Lôi Báo – superhero inflected drama in which an aspiring comic book artist with a terminal illness is encouraged to swap bodies with a gangster!

The Fantasia International Film Festival takes place in Montreal, Canada from 12th July to 2nd August. You can find full details for all the films as well as screening times and ticketing information on the official website, and you can also keep up with all the latest news via the festival’s official Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram, and Vimeo channels.

Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) Confirms 2018 Lineup

Inuyashiki Banner

The Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) has long been a champion of East Asian cinema and returns for 2018 with another exciting selection of recent hits from China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, and Thailand.

China

Operation Red Sea

  • Operation Red Sea – a team of elite special forces soldiers handles the extraction of Chinese diplomatic staff caught up in a Middle Eastern coup in Lam’s Operation Mekong followup. Review.
  • Monster Hunt 2 – Wuba returns! When the Monster village is raided, the little radish guy finds himself on the run and is taken in by a cynical gambler and his Monster partner while he looks for his human mum and dad. Review.

Indonesia

Satan's slaves still 1

  • Satan’s Slaves – Joko Anwar revisits an Indonesian classic in which a family is torn apart by vengeful spirits. Review.

Japan

One Cut of the Dead still 1

  • Kasane – adaptation of the manga in which a young woman with a facial scar dreams of becoming an actress and inherits a magical lipstick that allows her to take on the appearance of anyone she kisses.
  • Woman of the Dunes – Hiroshi Teshigahara’s classic adaptation of the Kobo Abe novel in which a bug enthusiast finds himself trapped in a hole in the beach with a mysterious woman.
  • Hanagatami – Nobuhiko Obayashi realises a longtime ambition of filming Kazuo Dan’s 1937 tale of youth on the brink of war. Review.
  • Inuyashiki – Shinsuke Sato adapts the popular manga in which a mildmannered middle-aged salaryman unexpectedly gets superpowers. Review.
  • Laplace’s Witch – Takashi Miike adapts Keigo Higashino’s “scientific mystery” in which a series of mysterious deaths occur at a hot springs resort.
  • Mutafukaz – French/Japanese anime co-production in which a pizza delivery boy becomes embroiled in a conspiracy.
  • Liverleaf – a bullied student gets her revenge!
  • One Cut of the Dead – hilarious zombie action from Shinichiro Ueda.  Review.

Korea

Gonjian horizontal

  • Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum – a team of social media stars venture into a haunted asylum in search of additional views and find more than they bargained for…

Thailand

bad genius still

  • Bad Genius – brainy teens plan a heist to scam the exams system. Review.
  • Premika – a vengeful karaoke obsessed ghost terrorises a group of guests at hotel!

The Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival runs from 6th – 14th July 2018 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. You can find the complete programme as well as screening times and ticketing information on the official website, and you can also keep up with all the latest news via the official Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram, and YouTube channels.

 

New York Asian Film Festival Confirms Complete 2018 Lineup

NYAFF 2018 posterThe New York Asian Film Festival returns for its 17th edition with a packed programme of recent hits from East Asia. This year’s festival will open with Masanori Tominaga’s Dynamite Graffiti and close with the World Premiere of Erik Matti’s BuyBust. Hong Kong’s Dante Lam will receive the Daniel A. Craft Award for Excellence in Action Cinema, while the Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Japan’s Masato Harada and the Star Asia Awards will honour actors Kim Yun-seok and Jiang Wu.

The programme in full:

China 

wrath of silence horizontal

  • Dude’s Manual (Kevin Ko, 2018) – the first Mainland film from Taiwanese director Kevin Ko is a ribald sex comedy in which one student attempts to teach another a lesson in love. Q&A with director Kevin Ko
  • End of Summer (Zhou Quan, 2017) – coming of age football drama in which a little boy’s obsession with the world cup irritates his headmaster dad.
  • The Ex-Files 3: The Return of the Exes (Tian Yusheng, 2017) – final film the Ex-Files series.
  • Looking for Lucky (Jiang Jiachen, 2018) – a graduate student loses his professor’s dog and ropes in his dad to help him find it.  Director Jiang Jiachen in attendance.
  • The Looming Storm (Dong Yue, 2017) – a factory worker tries to solve a serial killing case in 1997. Q&A with director Dong Yue
  • Old Beast (Zhou Ziyang, 2017) – an old man spends his final years gambling and womanising.
  • Wrath of Silence (Xin Yukun, 2017) – a mute minor searches for his missing son. ReviewQ&A with director Xin Yukun and actor Jiang Wu

Hong Kong Panorama

paradox still 1

  • Beast Stalker (Dante Lam, 2008) – Dante Lam’s 2008 thriller starring Nicholas Tse and Nick Cheung. Director Dante Lam will be in attendance
  • The Big Call (Oxide Pang, 2017) – noble policeman Ding goes in hard chasing villainous phone scammers in Oxide Pang’s high octane thriller.
  • The Brink (Jonathan Li, 2017) – Jonathan Li makes his feature debut with a metaphorical police procedural in the form of a salty sea shanty. Review.
  • The Empty Hands (Chapman To, 2018) – a young woman thinks she’s finally free of her father’s legacy only to realise he’s left half his dojo to a former pupil who says she can only have his share if she wins a fight. Q&A with actress Stephy Tang
  • House of the Rising Sons (Antony Chan, 2018) – musical biopic of ’70s Hong Kong band The Wynners directed by the band’s drummer Antony Chan. Preceded by a live performance. Q&A with director Antony Chan.
  • Men on the Dragon (Sunny Chan, 2018) – Francis Ng stars as the leader of a team of salarymen forced to join the company dragon boat team. Q&A with director Sunny Chan and actress Jennifer Yu
  • Operation Red Sea (Dante Lam, 2018) – a team of elite special forces soldiers handles the extraction of Chinese diplomatic staff caught up in a Middle Eastern coup in Lam’s Operation Mekong followup. ReviewQ&A with director Dante Lam and producer Candy Leung
  • Paradox (Wilson Yip, 2017) – Louis Koo becomes embroiled in a conspiracy when his daughter goes missing in Thailand. Review.
  • Unbeatable (Dante Lam, 2003) – Nick Cheung stars as a down on his luck boxer starting over in Macau. Director Dante Lam will be in attendance

Indonesia

buffalo boys 2

  • Buffalo Boys (Mike Wiluan, 2018) – Indonesian Western in which two brothers come back from California to avenge the death of their father. Q&A with director Mike Wiluan 

Japan

blood of wolves still 1

  • Blood of Wolves ( Kazuya Shiraishi, 2018) – Kazuya Shiraishi takes jitsuroku into the ’80s as Koji Yakusho’s rogue cop tries to keep the lid on a gang war. Review.
  • Dynamite Graffiti (Masanori Tominaga, 2018) – biopic of porn-mag mogul Akira Suei. Q&A with director Masanori Tominaga and actor Tasuku Emoto
  • The Hungry Lion (Takaomi Ogata, 2017) – a teenage girl is harassed when she is rumoured to be the girl in a sex tape featuring a high school teacher. Q&A with director Takaomi Ogata
  • Inuyashiki (Shinsuke Sato, 2018) – a mild mannered middle-aged man and an angry teen are given mysterious super powers and decide to use them in very different ways. Review.
  • Kakekomi (Masato Harada, 2015) – a small temple becomes an Edo era women’s refuge for those seeking escape from abusive marriages in Masato Harada’s light hearted drama. ReviewDirector Masato Harada will be in attendance
  • Kamikaze Taxi (Masato Harada, 1995) – Koji Yakusho plays a taxi driver taken hostage by a rage fuelled yakuza out for revenge on the politician who killed his girlfriend. Q&A with director Masato Harada
  • Liverleaf ( Eisuke Naito, 2018) – manga adaptation in which a teenage girl takes revenge on her bullies. Q&A with director Eisuke Naito
  • Midnight Bus (Masao Takeshita, 2017) – a bus driver’s second chance at life is ruined when his estranged ex-wife, salaryman son, and engaged daughter all come home. Director Masao Takeshita will be in attendance
  • One Cut of the Dead (Shinichiro Ueda, 2018) – real zombies suddenly invade a film set in Shinichiro Ueda’s hilarious madcap horror comedy. Review.
  • River’s Edge (Isao Yukisada, 2018) – disaffected teens fight ennui with a studied appreciation of death in Yukisada’s adaptation of the classic ’90s manga. Review.
  • The Scythian Lamb (Daihachi Yoshida, 2017) – a rural town opens itself up to a government backed scheme to repopulate through employing ex-cons in Daihachi Yoshida’s thoughtful drama. Review.
  • Sekigahara (Masato Harada, 2017) – historical epic starring Junichi Okada and Koji Yakusho dramatising events leading up to the famous battle. ReviewQ&A with director Masato Harada
  • Smokin’ on the Moon (Kanata Wolf, 2017) – indie slacker drama about two guys who work at a midnight bar and also deal marijuana. Q&A with director Kanata Wolf
  • The Third Murder (Hirokazu Koreeda, 2017) – Hirokazu Koreeda puts the law on trial. Review.

Malaysia 

one two jaga still 2

  • Crossroads: One Two Jaga (Nam Ron, 2018) – corruption drama in which a straight-laced rookie turns out to be the most dangerous destabilising element in a fracturing society. Review. Q&A with director Nam Ron and actor Ario Bayu.
  • Dukun (Dain Said, 2018) – shelved for over a decade, Dukun is the controversial tale of a nightclub singer suspected of murdering a politician seeking immortality through ritual sacrifice!

Philippines 

https://www.respetomovie.com/

  • BuyBust (Erik Matti, 2018) – high octane action thriller from Erik Matti in which a young rookie police officer gets caught up in a bust gone wrong. Q&A with director Erik Matti and actors Anne Curtis & Brandon Vera
  • Neomanila (Mikhail Red, 2017) – neo noir in which a young man becomes an apprentice to an older woman taking out drug dealers for the government.
  • On the Job (Erik Matti, 2013) – a conspiracy is uncovered when a drug dealer is murdered. Director Erik Matti will be in attendance
  • Respeto (Treb Monteras, 2017) – intergenerational hip hop drama in which a young rapper comes into conflict with a Marcos-era poet. ReviewDirector Treb Monteras, actor Abra, and producer Monster Jimenez will be in attendance
  • Sid & Aya: Not a Love Story (Irene Villamor, 2018) – rom-com in which an insomniac stock broker pays a waitress to talk through his troubles. Q&A with actress Anne Curtis
  • We Will Not Die Tonight (Richard Somes, 2018) – genre thrills as a former stuntwoman is forced to defend herself against hordes of bad guys.

South Korea

korean little forest 1

  • 1987: When the Day Comes (Jang Joon-hwan, 2017) – powerful democracy movement drama. ReviewQ&A with director Jang Joon-hwan and actor Kim Yoon-seok
  • After My Death (Kim Ui-seok, 2017) – a high school girl’s disappearance raises fears of suicide and also puts her best friend in the firing line.
  • The Age of Blood (Kim Hong-sun, 2017) – period drama in which a top swordsman is demoted to prison guard.
  • Counters (Lee Il-ha, 2017) – documentary centring on anti-racist protest in Japan.
  • Hit the Night (Jeong Ga-young, 2017) – Jeong Ga-young once again stars in her Bitch on the Beach followup as a young woman unafraid to ask “inappropriate” questions while researching a screenplay. Q&A with director/actress Jeong Ga-young
  • I Can Speak (Kim Hyeon-seok, 2017) – an old woman convinces a young man to teach her English and gives voice to a dark part of her nation’s history.
  • Little Forest (Yim Soon-rye, 2018) – gentle tale in which a wounded young woman retreats to her country home to figure things out. Review.
  • Microhabitat (Jeon Go-woon, 2017) – a young woman decides rent is an unnecessary expense and commits to couch surfing her way through life. Q&A with director Jeon Go-woon and actor Ahn Jae-hong
  • The Return (Malene Choi, 2018) – two Danish-Korean adoptees return to the country where they were born for the first time.
  • What a Man Wants (Lee Byeong-hun, 2018) – social satire in which an adulterous husband and his mild-mannered brother-in-law become involved with a sexy dance teacher.

Taiwan

On Happiness road banner

Thailand

tears of the black tiger

  • Premika (Siwakorn Jarupongpa, 2017) – horror comedy in which guests at a resort are terrorised by a karaoke obsessed ghost! Actress Gena Desouza will be in attendance
  • Sad Beauty (Bongkod Bencharongkul, 2018) – the friendship between two women is tested by a violent encounter. Q&A with director Bongkod Bencharongkul and producer Kongkiat Khomsiri
  • Tears of the Black Tiger (Wisit Sasanatieng, 2000) – cult classic Thai western!

The 17th New York Asian Film Festival runs from 29th June to 15th 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.

Ramen Shop, Hanagatami Bookend Japan Cuts 2018

yocho still 1

Japan Cuts returns for its 12th instalment bringing some of the best recent mainstream and indie hits to Japan Society New York from 19th to 29th July. This year’s Japan Cuts Cut Above Award goes to much loved actress Kirin Kiki who will be on hand to present the North American premiere of Shuichi Okita’s Mori, The Artist’s Habitat.

The programme in full:

Ramen Shop

ramen shop still 1

Takumi Saitoh stars in Singaporean director Erik Khoo’s cross cultural family drama in which the son of a ramen shop owner discovers a suitcase full of old photos which belonged to his late Singaporean mother and decides to travel to the place of his mother’s birth to find out more about his family history. Opening Night Gala featuring intro and Q&A with director Eric Khoo and star Takumi Saitoh.

Of Love & Law

Of love and law still 1

Hikaru Toda reunites with Love Hotel’s Fumi and Kazu who run a small law firm in Osaka specialising in representing the LGBT community. ReviewIntro and Q&A with director Hikaru Toda.

blank 13

blank 13 still 1

Actor Takumi Saitoh steps behind the camera for this atypical family drama in which a young man travels home for the funeral of his estranged father only to find himself charmed by the roguish stories of his fellow mourners. Intro and Q&A with director Takumi Saitoh.

Violence Voyager

violence voyager still 1

Experimental animation from The Burning Buddha Man director Ujicha in which an American boy called Bobby and his friend Akkun take off for the mountains but end up trapped in an abandoned theme park called Violence Voyager.

Born Bone Born

Born Bone Born still 1

Set once again in Okinawa, the second feature from comedian Toshiyuki Teruya follows a pregnant woman home to a remote island to mourn her late mother while her family continues to fall apart and neighbours gossip about the absent father of her unborn child.

Dream of Illumination

Dream of Illusion still 1

High schooler Nana has been dragged around by her divorced father Ueda who works as an immoral real estate broker facilitating cheap land sales for foreign buyers but an extended stay in Rokujo forces the pair to reassess the past and their current way of life in Thunder Sawada’s rural drama. Intro and Q&A with director Thunder Sawada, star Yuya Takagawa and producer Kazuyuki Kitaki

Last Winter, We Parted

Last Winter We Parted horizontal

Tomoyuki Takimoto adapts the award winning novel by Fuminori Nakamura in which an ambitious journalist decides to look into the mysterious case of a beautiful female model who died in a horrific fire on the set of a shoot by a famous fine arts photographer.

Passage of Life

passage of life still one

A small family from Myanmar attempts to get by undocumented only to face an uncertain future when their application for refugee status is rejected. The two children born in Japan struggle to identify with their Burmese heritage while their parents face more immediate concerns for the family’s safety and security. Intro and Q&A with director Akio Fujimoto.

The Night is Short, Walk On Girl

The night is short still

Masaaki Yuasa adapts Tomihiko Morimi’s novel in which a university student undergoes a surreal odyssey through nighttime Kyoto in search of a beloved childhood book while her not so secret admirer has a few adventures of his own in the hope of winning her heart. Review.

We Make Antiques!

We make antiques still 1

Comedy from Masaharu Take in which a smoozy antiques dealer is unwittingly sold a fake tea cup claiming to have belonged to famous tea master Sen no Rikyu only to decide if you can’t beat ’em join ’em and plan a heist with the guys who just scammed him.

Toward a Common Tenderness

Common tenderness still 1

Documentarian Kaori Oda weaves together unused footage from her time with Béla Tarr at his Film Factory in Sarajevo in 2013-2016 as well as her life in Japan to explore a path towards connection. Intro and Q&A with director Kaori Oda 

Side Job.

Sidejob banner

Ryuichi Hiroki adapts his own novel in which a young woman living in temporary accommodation following the 2011 earthquake attempts to escape the crushing inertia of her uncertain life through undertaking casual sex work in Tokyo. Review.

Sennan Asbestos Disaster

Sennan Asbestos Disaster still 1

Kazuo Hara follows the residents of Sennan, Osaka as they pursue legal compensation from the government for exposing them to pollution from asbestos factories. Intro and Q&A with director Kazuo Hara, producer Sachiko Kobayashi, and film participants 

Yocho (Foreboding)

Yocho banner

Kiyoshi Kurosawa revisits the world of Before We Vanish with a cut down of his TV companion piece in which a factory worker stumbles on the alien invasion thanks to her corrupted healthworker husband. Review.

Call Boy

call boy still 1

An apathetic student begins to find a sense of purpose when sucked into the world of the male escort in the latest from Daisuke Miura.

KUSHINA, what will you be

kushina

Okinuma took off and founded an all female colony in the woods with her pregnant 14-year-old daughter, Kagu. Now that Kagu’s daughter Kushina is approaching the same age her mother was when they first left modern society behind she is beginning to ask questions about the outside world. When an anthropologist and her male assistant stumble onto the colony Okinuma will do whatever it takes to protect it. Intro and Q&A with director Moët Hayami and star Tomona Hirota

Radiance

radiance

A young woman attempting to create audio description scripts for the visually impaired is tested by a former photographer trying to come to terms with losing his sight in Naomi Kawase’s romantic drama. Review.

Mori, The Artist’s Habitat

39415762940_128b534524_o

Shuichi Okita chronicles the later life of artist Morikazu Kumagai who has barely left his garden in the last 30 years but must prepare to bid it goodbye as a modern apartment complex nears completion. ReviewIntro and Q&A with star Kirin Kiki plus Cut Above Award ceremony.

Still Walking

stilll walking 1

Family divisions, secrets, and prejudices are brought to the surface as a family gathers for the memorial service for their eldest son who was killed trying to save a child from drowning in Koreeda’s classic family drama. Review.

Empty Orchestras and the Speed of Your Voice

Yeah still 1

Five experimental short films including Yohei Suzuki’s YEAH! ReviewIntro and Q&A with dir. Nao Yoshigai, dir. Yohei Suzuki and actress Elisa Yanagi

Abnormal Family

abnormal family still

Masayuki Suo’s only pink film takes the form of an Ozu pastiche centring on one very unusual family.

Tremble All You Want

tremble all you want still 1

Unfulfilled office lady Yoshika is still nursing a high school crush but when a colleague suddenly confesses his love for her, Yoshika’s cheerful fantasy world threatens to implode. Review.

Thicker than Water

Ken-en banner

Print shop owner Yuria is desperate to attract the attentions of client Kazunari but he only has eyes for her assistant and younger sister Mako. Meanwhile, Kazunari is also contending with his rowdy brother just released from jail and crashing at his apartment. Intro and Q&A with director Keisuke Yoshida 

Outrage Coda

outrage coda still

Kitano returns with the third and final instalment in the Outrage trilogy which finds Otomo in exile in Korea.

BLEACH

Bleach still 1

Tite Kubo’s hit manga gets a live action adaptation helmed by I am a Hero’s Shinsuke SatoSota Fukushi stars as Ichigo – an ordinary high school boy with orange hair and the ability to detect spirits, who comes to the rescue of imperilled Soul Reaper Rukia (Hana Sugisaki) and soon finds himself battling Hollows on her behalf. Intro and Q&A with director Shinsuke Sato.

Dear Etranger

Dear Etranger still 2

Divorced father Makoto has remarried and has two step-daughters but when his second wife discovers she is carrying their child, he begins to worry that the new baby may pull his blended family apart in this very modern family drama from Yukiko Mishima. Review.

Amiko

Amiko still 1

Lonely 16-year-old Amiko finds a kindred spirit in footballer Aomi, but when he abruptly takes off for Tokyo with a former student Amiko cannot help but follow him hoping to make sense of his sudden betrayal. Intro and Q&A with director Yoko Yamanaka.

TOURISM

tourism still 1

Nina wins the lottery and takes her friend Su with her on a trip to Singapore where they quickly grow bored of tourist hotspots and retreat to the global anonymity of shopping malls. When Nina loses track of her friend and her phone, the trip sends her on a different kind of odyssey through the “real” Singapore in the latest from Daisuke Miyazaki.

Hanagatami

hanagatami still 1

Nobuhiko Obayashi realises a long held ambition of filming Kazuo Dan’s 1937 novella of youth living in the shadow of an oncoming tragedy. Review.

Japan Cuts runs from 19th to 29th July at Japan Society New York. Full details for all the films along with ticketing links are available via the official website and you can also keep up with all the latest details by following the festival’s official Facebook page and Twitter account.