This is My Place – The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2021

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme is back for 2021 in a brand new online edition with another handpicked selection of recent Japanese cinema hits for you to enjoy safely in the comfort of your own home, streaming across the UK 19th February to 10th March.

Shape of Red

An unfulfilled housewife’s (Kaho) personal desire is reawakened when she runs into an old lover (Satoshi Tsumabuki) in Yukiko Mishima’s steamy adaptation of the Rio Shimamoto novel. Review.

A Girl Missing

Mariko Tsutsui stars as a veteran home care nurse whose life falls apart she after is implicated in the kidnapping of her employer’s youngest daughter in Koji Fukada’s emotional drama. Review.

Extro

In a sometimes surreal mockmentary, Naoki Murahashi lampoons the Japanese film industry but has nothing but warmth and admiration for its unsung heroes, the extras. Review.

His

Shun has been living quietly in the country keeping his sexuality a secret but is surprised one day to discover his old over from his university days who had broken up with him in the belief that there could be no future for their relationship standing on his doorstep with his six-year-old daughter.

Farewell: Comedy of Life Begins with a Lie

In a loose adaptation of an unfinished novel by Osamu Dazai, Yo Oizumi stars as a lecherous magazine editor who has realised that having so many girlfriends is a definite drain on his resources but being too cowardly to break up with them himself has enlisted the help of the brassy Kinuko (Eiko Koike) to pose as his wife.

Haruka’s Pottery

(c)2019 "Haruka's Pottery" Film Partners

An aimless young woman finds a purpose in pottery in Naruhito Suetsugu’s loving ode to the traditional craft of Bizen ware. Review.

Little Miss Period

An anthropomorphised period in the form of a giant fuzzy pink monster arrives monthly to wreak havoc on women’s lives but is also a source of warmth and solidarity in Shunsuke Shinada’s delightfully whimsical comedy. Review.

Miyamoto

A mild-mannered salaryman embarks on a pugilistic quest to assert his manhood in a discomfortingly cheerful romantic drama from Tetsuya Mariko (Destruction Babies). Review.

One Night

Adult children are forced to face the legacy of trauma and abuse when their mother returns after 15 years of exile in Kazuya Shiraishi’s raw family drama. Review.

Our 30-Minute Sessions

A mild-mannered student discovers a mysterious cassette tape which enables a recently deceased musician to possess his body for 30 minutes at a time in this college drama from Tokyo Ghoul’s Kentaro Hagiwara.

Hello World

A young man living in the Kyoto of 2027 is visited by his future self who enlists him to save the life of his soon-to-be girlfriend who will otherwise be struck by lightning at an upcoming fireworks festival in this sci-fi romance anime from Tomohiko Ito (Erased, Sword Art Online, Silver Spoon). 

Labyrinth of Cinema

A poetic advocation of the transformative power of art, Obayashi’s final film takes a surrealist odyssey through the history of warfare as three youngsters chase the image of Japan in the labyrinths of cinema. Review.

Mrs Noisy

A self-involved writer learns the error of her ways when a vendetta with a noisy neighbour becomes an online viral phenomenon in Chihiro Amano’s empathetic plea for a little more peace and understanding. Review.

Soiree

An aspiring actor/con man bonds with a traumatised young woman working at a care home and ends up on the run with her after they commit an accidental crime in Bunji Sotoyama’s sensitive drama.

A Beloved Wife

An unsuccessful screenwriter is henpecked by his understandably irate sake-guzzling wife in this autobiographical take on a toxic marriage from 100 Yen Love screenwriter Shin Adachi. Review.

Me & My Brother’s Mistress

Filled with adolescent confusion a teenage girl begins to figure out what she wants out of life while conspiring with her brother’s mistress to wreck his impending wedding in Sho Suzuki & Takashi Haga’s coming-of-age comedy. Review.

Samurai Shifters

A nerdy librarian (Gen Hoshino) is forced to take on the poison chalice of taking charge when his clan is unfairly ordered to move domains in Isshin Inudo’s egalitarian samurai dramedy. Review.

Not Quite Dead Yet

A resentful young woman comes to understand her awkward scientist dad only after he becomes temporarily deceased in Shinji Hamasaki’s delightfully zany comedy. Review.


This year’s Touring Film Programme will take place online streaming for free in the UK from 19th February to 10th March. Full details for all the films are available on the official Touring Film Programme website with streaming dates and ticketing information to be announced 22nd January. You can also keep up to date with all the year round events organised by Japan Foundation London via their main siteFacebook page, and Twitter account.

Five Flavours Confirms Complete Programme for 2020 Online Edition

Warsaw’s Five Flavours Film Festival is the latest to go online in these troubled times. Streaming in Poland 25th November to 6th December the 14th edition of the nation’s premier showcase for East Asian film once again boasts a fantastic selection of recent hits from across the region.

China

  • Wisdom Tooth – A young woman’s pain and confusion with the world around her is manifested as a dull ache in her jaw in Liang Ming’s icy coming-of-age drama. Review.

Hong Kong

  • Apart – Star-crossed lovers find themselves pulled in different directions while Hong Kong finds itself at a crossroads in Chan Chit-man’s youth drama following a group of Umbrella Movement students into the Anti-Extradition Bill era. Review.
  • Lost in the Fumes – documentary following politician and activist Edward Leung
  • Witness Out of the Blue – An eccentric policeman investigates a murder based on the testimony of the only eyewitness, a parrot, in Fung’s absurdist noir thriller. Review.
  • Memories to Choke on Drinks to Wash them Down – Leung Ming Kai & Kate Reilly’s omnibus film explores the unique culture of Hong Kong at a moment of crisis through four very different stories. Review.
  • My Prince Edward – A young woman begins to consider her choices when her controlling boyfriend proposes and she’s forced to deal with the fallout from a sham marriage in Norris Wong’s humorous exploration of contemporary relationships. Review.
  • Suk Suk – two elderly, closeted men meet by chance and fall in love.
  • Trivisa – three part omnibus directed by young directors discovered as part of Johnnie To’s Fresh Wave programme. Review.

Indonesia

  • Gundala – superhero action from Joko Anwar.
  • Impetigore – Joko Anwar horror in which a woman returns to her village to claim an inheritance but is caught up in sinister goings on.

Japan

  • Bento Harassment – a harried mother bonds with her distant adolescent daughter by trolling her with bento! Review.
  • Bittersweet – lowkey BL drama in which a young woman with an irrational loathing of vegetables is encouraged to make peace with her rural roots after falling for a gay guy who happens to be a vegetarian. Review.
  • Daughters – flatmates attempt to deal with unplanned pregnancy.
  • Kamome Diner – surreal drama in which a middle-aged woman opens a cafe in Finland and bonds with a group of similarly displaced Japanese women.
  • One Night – adult children are forced to face the legacy of trauma and abuse when their mother returns after 15 years of exile in Shiraishi’s raw family drama. Review.
  • The Takatsu River – laidback rural drama in which a middle-aged man desperately tries to preserve the art of Kagura dance.
  • The Tale of Samurai Cooking – period drama in which a moody samurai is forced to learn the culinary arts.
  • Under the Open Sky – A pure-hearted man of violence struggles to find his place in society after spending most of his life behind bars in Miwa Nishikawa’s impassioned character study. Review.

Korea

  • A Hard Day – a corrupt policeman runs a man over on the day of his mother’s funeral and comes up with an ingenious place to hide the body.
  • Beasts Clawing at Straws – An elusive Louis Vuitton bag full of cash sends a collection of disparate souls into a desperate frenzy in Kim Yong-hoon’s darkly humorous thriller. Review.
  • Beauty Water – animation in which a woman who believes herself ugly tries an experimental treatment to make herself beautiful.
  • Dust and Ashes – a young woman enduring extreme poverty finds herself dealing with the unthinkable.
  • Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 – an ordinary woman is pushed to breaking point by the cognitive dissonance of living in a fiercely patriarchal society in Kim Do-young’s sensitive drama. Review.
  • Little Forest – beautifully laidback drama in which a young woman returns to her country home after becoming weary of the city. Review.
  • Loser’s Adventure – three hapless young men chase wrestling glory.
  • Lucky Chan-sil – a producer undergoes an existential crisis when her longterm collaborator suddenly dies in Kim Cho-hee’s charmingly whimsical drama. Review.
  • Mermaid Unlimited – light comedy in which a government body decides to recruit a team of traditional Haenyo divers as a warmup act for a synchronised swimming competition.
  • Microhabitat – a young woman living in poverty couch surfs when priced out of life’s only pleasures. Review.

Malaysia

  • Geran – martial arts drama showcasing Malaysian Silat in which siblings try to find their younger brother after he runs off with the deed to their family home.
  • Sometime, Sometime – the relationship between mother and son is tested when mum gets a boyfriend.

Philippines

  • Sea Serpent – atmospheric island drama in which three siblings lose their father at sea.
  • Verdict – a woman suffering domestic abuse tries to get help after her drunken husband hurts their child but struggles to find justice in a patriarchal society.

Singapore

  • Not My Mother’s Baking – sweet rom-com in which a muslim Malay chef falls for a Chinese guy whose family run a roast pork stall.

Taiwan

  • Boluomi – a young Malaysian student bonds with a lonely Filipina migrant worker.
  • Ohong Village – a young man returns to his home village after experiencing disappointment in the city

Vietnam

  • Rom – The residents of a rundown slum awaiting demolition stake everything on lucky numbers in Trần Thanh Huy’s gritty portrait of modern Saigon. Review.

Cambodia/Laos/Myanmar/Thailand/Vietnam

  • Mekong 2030 – five directors from different nations along the Mekong River contemplate what life might be like in 10 years’ time in this five-part omnibus. Review.

Five Flavours streams in Poland 25th November to 6th December. More information on all the films as well as streaming windows and links can be found on the official website, and you can keep up with all the latest news via the festival’s Facebook PageTwitter Account, Instagram, and YouTube Channels.

Queer East Announces Lineup for Hybrid 2020 Edition

Queer East returns for 2020 with a revised hybrid edition online and in cinemas from late October into early 2021! In addition to the previously announced programme much of which remains, the festival will also be teaming up with Taiwan Film Festival Edinburgh for UK premieres of two recent Taiwanese LGBTQ+ movies, as well as Iris Prize Festival, and Barbican On Demand, while there will also be a selection of cinema screenings across the UK.

Blue Gate Crossing (35mm)

22 October | Genesis Cinema

Taiwanese classic from Yee Chih-yen starring Gwei Lun-mei and Chen Bo-lin as high school students pursuing conflicting romantic destinies.

Alifu, the Prince/ss

25 October | Genesis Cinema

Empathetic drama in which a transgender woman from an indigenous community finds herself caught between conflicting cultural mores. Review.

Between the Seasons (UK Premiere)

9 – 31 October 2020| Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival | Online

Hae-soo moves to a new city and opens a cafe where high schooler Ye-jin becomes a regular and eventually starts working. The two women draw closer but each have closely guarded secrets. Review.

The Teacher (UK Premiere)

10 – 31 October 2020| Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival | Online

A teacher’s personal and professional lives are destabilised by his support for equal marriage and relationship with a closeted, HIV+ older man. Review.

Sisterhood (UK Premiere)

23 October – 5 November 2020 | Barbican Cinema on Demand | Online

A woman returns to Macau after 15 years in Taiwan and begins reconsidering her relationship with her best friend, realising the emotions she felt for her may have been romantic in Tracy Choi’s subtly political melodrama.

Song Lang

23 October – 5 November 2020 | Barbican Cinema on Demand | Online

Beautifully tragic romance set in ’80s Saigon in which a conflicted street punk falls in love with a Cai Luong opera singer. Review.

Turning 18 

Tuesday 3 November 2020 | Riverside Studios

Thursday 26 November 2020 | HOME Manchester

Documentary following the lives of two indigenous Taiwanese girls who meet on a vocational training programme and each experience difficult family circumstances.

Funeral Parade of Roses

6 November | Catford Mews

Toshio Matsumoto repurposes Oedipus Rex to explore the impossibilities of true authenticity in an anarchic voyage through late ’60s counterculture Shinjuku. Review.

Looking For? (UK Premiere)

7 November | Catford Mews

Documentary exploring questions of intimacy in contemporary gay life interviewing men from Taipei, Beijing, New York and London to find out what it is they’re looking for.

Tracey

8 November | Riverside Studios

50-something Tai-hung is a married father of two grown-up children living a conventional life in contemporary Hong Kong, but a phone call informing him that a childhood friend has passed away forces him into a reconsideration of his life choices and a long delayed acceptance of a transgender identity in Li Jun’s moving drama. Review.

Memories of My Body (UK Premiere)

23 November 2020 | HOME Manchester

19 January 2021| Barbican Centre

A Lengger dancer looks back on his life as a tale of growing acceptance of sensuality lived against a turbulent political backdrop. Review

A Dog Barking at the Moon

November 2020 (TBC) | Curzon Goldsmiths

An expectant mother is forced to confront the idea of family while staying with her emotionally estranged parents in Xiang Zi’s melancholy indie drama. Review.

The Shepherds (UK Premiere)

30th October to 5th November | Taiwan Film Festival Edinburgh | Online

Documentary focussing on a series of pastors advocating for the rights of LGBTQ+ Christians in Taiwan often at great personal cost.

Nobody (UK Premiere)

30th October to 5th November | Taiwan Film Festival Edinburgh | Online

A lonely teenage girl processing the bourgeois hypocrisies of her upper-class family bonds with a mysterious old man with secrets of his own in Lin Chun-hua’s moving drama. Review.

Queer Japan

November 2020 (TBC)

Graham Kolbeins’ documentary exploring LGBTQ+ life in contemporary Japan including contributions from mangaka Gengoroh Tagame (My Brother’s Husband), drag queen Vivienne Sato, and Aya Kamikawa who recounts her path to becoming the first transgender elected official in Japan.

Girlfriend Boyfriend

November 2020 (TBC)

Yang Ya-che’s modern classic in which the friendship between three young people fighting for democracy at the tail end of the Martial Law era is tested by their conflicting feelings for each other.

Spider Lilies

November 2020 (TBC)

Zero Chou’s lesbian classic in which a web-cam girl visits a tattooist’s studio and becomes obsessed with the spider lily tattoo on her arm. Hoping to get to know her better, she asks her to give her the same tattoo but the experience reawakens memories which threaten to force the two women apart.

The Wedding Banquet

November 2020 (TBC)

Ang Lee’s 1993 Asian-American classic in which a gay Taiwanese New Yorker agrees to participate in a green card marriage to a Chinese artist to get his nagging parents off his back.

Lilting

Early 2021 (TBC)

A man tries to connect with the mother of his late partner who speaks only Cambodian-Chinese and remained unaware of her son’s sexuality in Hong Khaou’s deeply moving debut feature.

Malila: The Farewell Flower

Early 2021 (TBC)

Reeling from tragic loss, a young man reunites with the love of his youth only to discover he has terminal lung cancer and has chosen to forgo all treatment in Anucha Boonyawatana’s melancholy meditation on love, life, and transience. Review.

Queer East 2020 runs online and in cinemas October 2020 to January 2021. Full details for all the films as well as ticketing links can be found on the official website, while you can also keep up with all the latest news by following Queer East on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

London Korean Film Festival Announces Full Programme for 2020

The London Korean Film Festival returns for 2020 in an unprecedented digital edition bringing some of the best in contemporary Korean cinema to homes across the UK along with a few select physical cinema screenings in London. This year’s Special Focus is dedicated to Friends and Family reminding us of our essential connections as we continue to face the effects of the pandemic.

Opening

  • Pawn – tearjerking dramedy from Kang Dae-kyu in which a debt collector (Sung Dong-Il) becomes the accidental guardian of a little girl when her mother offers her up as collateral on a loan but is then deported for being an undocumented migrant.

Closing

  • Bori – the only hearing member of her family, Bori struggles with the idea of difference as she tries to adjust to communicating verbally at school eventually wishing that she too were deaf.

Special Focus: Friends and Family

  • Family Ties – tripartite family comedy from 2006 following two unusual family units which eventually merge.
  • The Happy Life – 2007 musical drama from Lee Joon-ik in which former members of a college band decide to reform after the lead singer dies.
  • Juvenile Offender – 2012 drama from Kang Yi-Kwan in which a 16-year-old delinquent reunites with the estranged mother who gave him up at birth.
  • Intimate Strangers – Korean remake of the international hit Perfect Strangers in which a collection of respectable bourgeois couples have their lives upended after they agree to share all their mobile communications during the course of a dinner party. Review.
  • Moving On – moving coming-of-age drama in which a little girl and her brother move in with grandpa in the wake of their parents’ divorce.

Cinema Now

  • Vertigo – an office worker suffering existential vertigo is comforted by the presence of a fearless window cleaner. Review.
  • Jesters: The Game Changers – Joseon-era street entertainers get into trouble for spreading fake news in a period drama from The Grand Heist’s Kim Joo-ho.
  • Ashfall – A bomb disposal expert with a baby on the way is dragged into a covert mission to the North when Mt. Baekdu suddenly erupts in Lee Hae-jun & Kim Byung-seo’s starry disaster movie. Review.
  • Me and Me – directorial debut from actor Jung Jin-young in which a policeman wakes up one day to discover he’s someone else. Review.
  • The Woman Who Ran – the latest from Hong Sang-soo starring Kim Min-hee as a married woman taking a solo vacation to visit old friends.

Women’s Voices

  • An Old Lady – hard hitting drama in which a 69-year-old woman struggles to get justice after she is raped by a nurse at a hospital.
  • Gull – a middle-aged woman faces social ostracisation while seeking justice after being raped by an influential co-worker.

Classics

  • Eul-hwa – Byeon Jang-ho drama from 1979 based on a famous story in which a shamaness finds herself at the mercy of changing times and at odds with her son who has converted to Christianity.
  • Divine Bow – Im Kwon-taek’s 1979 drama starring Yoon Jeong-hee as a former shamaness who gave up her practice after a traumatic incident.
  • Daughter of Fire – Im Kwon-taek drama from 1983 in which a man from a shamanistic background who married a Christian is visited by his mother in his dreams.

Documentary

  • My Own Breathing – final instalment in a trilogy of films featuring testimony from former comfort women.
  • Itaewon – documentary following three women living in Itaewon

Animation

  • Underdog – a collection of stray dogs finds a place without humans where they are free to become themselves in this charming family animation.

Bong Joon-ho Shorts

The festival will also be showcasing a series of rarely seen early short films from Parasite director Bong Joon-ho.

  • Incoherence – 1994 student short
  • Influenza – 30-minute short from 2004 shot in front of real CCTV cameras in Seoul.
  • Some Light? – 2009 short directed by Kang Dae-hee featuring Bong in a rare acting appearance.

The London Korean Film Festival runs 29th October to 12th November online across the UK and in London cinemas. Full details for all the films as well as screening times and ticketing information will be available shortly via the official website and you can keep up with all the latest news by following the festival on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

BFI London Film Festival Confirms Complete Programme for 2020

The BFI London Film Festival returns for 2020 a little different than you remember it, but even within the concentrated programme there are a few East Asian gems to be found. This year’s edition will be a mix of online and physical events taking place at cinemas around the country and in your living room via BFI Player.

Days (日子)

Tsai Ming-liang’s latest stars Lee Kang-Sheng as a wealthy man who ventures into the city to seek treatment for neck pain and encounters a young masseur whose life is no less lonely if much less grand.

Screenings:

  • BFI Southbank, NFT 2: 8th October, 17.30
  • BFI Southbank, NFT 3: 8th October, 17.40
  • ICA: 9th October, 19.40

Online:

  • BFI Player: available 8th October, 18.30 – 11th October, 18.30

Striding Into the Wind (野马分鬃)

Semi-autobiographical road movie from Wei Shujun in which a young film student in his final year spends his time driving around China in a Jeep Cherokee.

Online:

  • BFI Player: available 16th October 18:30 – 19.00

Genus Pan (Lahi, Hayop)

The latest from Philippine filmmaker Lav Diaz runs a trim 156 minutes but once again engages with the complex history of the nation through the story of three miners traversing the unforgiving wilderness of a mythical island as they journey towards their home village.

Online:

  • BFI Player: available 11th October, 17.30 – 14th October, 17.30

A Day-Off for Kasumi Arimura (有村架純の撮休)

The first episode of the 2020 WOWWOW TV series directed by Hirokazu Koreeda starring actress Kasumi Arimura (Sekigahara, Narratage, Flying Colors) as a fictionalised version of herself enjoying a day off between filming. Only the first episode is available here but the eight-part series of self-contained stories also includes episodes directed by Rikiya Imaizumi (Their Distance, Little Nights, Little Love), Santa Yamagishi, Satoko Yokohama (Bare Essence of Life, The Actor), and Megumi Tsuno (Ten Years Japan “Data“). Koreeda also directed the third episode, with Rikiya Imaizumi also doubling up directing episodes two and six, and Santa Yamagishi four and eight. A followup series starring actor Ryoma Takeuchi and directed by Ryuichi Hiroki, Eiji Uchida, and Hana Matsumoto, airs in Japan in November.

Online:

  • BFI Player: available 10th October 13.00 – 13th October, 13.00

So how does it work? East Asian titles aside, a number of the bigger films will be screened in cinemas around the country including London’s BFI Southbank, ICA, Curzon Soho, Curzon Mayfair, Cine Lumiere, Barbican and Prince Charles Cinema, as well as HOME, in Manchester; Watershed, in Bristol; Glasgow Film Theatre; Broadway, in Nottingham; Showroom, in Sheffield; Queen’s Film Theatre, in Belfast; and Chapter, in Cardiff. All of the East Asian titles will however be available via BFI Player within a specific window during which you will need to press play. You will then have three hours to finish watching and you can only watch once. All titles are geolocked to the UK, and you can access BFI Player via PC or Mac, iOS or Android devices (unfortunately LFF titles are not available via the Samsung TV app and are not compatible with AirPlay or Chromecast). Prices for cinema tickets vary with venue (for BFI Southbank, tickets are priced at £14 with a £2 discount for members), while BFI Player virtual premieres are priced at £12, £10 for members. Tickets can be booked online or via telephone from 14th September for Patrons, 15th September for Champions, 16th September for Members, and 21st September for the general public.

The BFI London Film Festival runs 7th to 18th October, 2020. The complete programme can be found on the official website along with full details for all the films as well as ticketing links. You can also keep up to date with all the latest news via the festival’s Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram, and YouTube channels.

Camera Japan Announces Complete Programme for 2020

Camera Japan returns for its 15th edition, not virtually but physically, with another packed screening schedule taking place as usual in Rotterdam Sept. 23 – 7, and Amsterdam, Oct. 1 – 4. With COVID-19 in mind, seating capacity in the venue has been reduced while safety measures will also be in place so everyone can enjoy the festival responsibly.

Contemporary Cinema

  • 108: Revenge and Adventure of Goro Kaiba – comedy from Suzuki Matsuo in which a man discovers his wife has had an affair through a social media post that got 108 likes so he decides to blow the money she’d get in the divorce by using it to sleep with 108 women as revenge.
  • A Girl Missing – limited perspectives and frustrated desires take centre stage as a home care nurse’s life is upended when she is unfairly implicated in a crime in Koji Fukada’s probing drama. Review.
  • Beautiful Goodbye – a nervous young man on the run and an undead woman looking for a way out find each other at the end of the road in Eiichi Imamura’s beautifully melancholic meditation on mutual salvation. Review.
  • Cry – Hirobumi Watanabe returns to the themes of 7 Days in a near wordless tale of a pig farmer’s simple existence in present day Tochigi. Review.
  • The Day of Destruction – Toshiaki Toyoda sets out to exorcise the demons of a venal city in an impassioned attack on societal selfishness and personal apathy. Review.
  • Extro – in a sometimes surreal mockmentary, Naoki Murahashi lampoons the Japanese film industry but has nothing but warmth and admiration for its unsung heroes, the extras. Review.
  • Fancy – Masatoshi Nagase stars as a postman who gets mixed up in a love triangle with amateur poet “Penguin” and his fan “Moonlit Night’s Star”.
  • The Hardness of Avocado – Pia Award-winning romantic drama in which an aspiring actor tries to pick up the pieces after his girlfriend dumps him.
  • Haruka’s Poetry – an office lady from Tokyo abruptly quits her job after falling in love with ceramics and attempts to get the closed off artist to open himself up to her enthusiasm.
  • His – years after his uni boyfriend broke up with him to lead a more conventional life, Shun is surprised to find him on his doorstep with his six-year-old daughter looking for a place to stay.
  • It Feels so Good – wounded former lovers cocoon themselves in an artificial bubble of intimacy in retreat from a world of constant anxiety in Haruhiko Arai’s steamy existential drama. Review.
  • Minori on the Brink – refusing to back down in the face of injustice, Minori finds herself on the brink of despair in Ryutaro Ninomiya’s clear-eyed takedown of an oppressively patriarchal society. Review.
  • Mother – toxic maternity drama from Tatsushi Omori starring Masami Nagasawa as a mother whose unconventional relationship with her son later leads to shocking tragedy.
  • Murders of Oiso – a series of suspicious deaths strain the toxic friendships of four young men drowning in small-town ennui in Takuya Misawa’s meta-mystery existential drama. Review.
  • My Identity – a lost young girl contemplates the “language barriers” which lead to hate and violence while finding herself on the run with an equally displaced older woman in Sae Suzuki’s indie drama. Review.
  • Not Quite Dead Yet – a young woman’s strained relationship with her father improves after he takes a drug which is intended to make him “dead” for a short while but proves more effective than intended.
  • Obake – celestial hecklers observe the life of an indie filmmaker.
  • One Summer Story – summer-themed road movie from Shuichi Okita in which a young woman convinces her friend to help her look for her estranged father.
  • The Other Home – a 17-year-old boy discovers his father has another woman and lives with her in another house. Hoping to put a stop to it, he wanders over there but it proves more difficult than he assumed it would be.
  • Romance Doll – romantic drama from Yuki Tanada adapting her own book about a man who hides the fact he sculpts sex dolls for a living from his wife.
  • Shape of Red – an unfulfilled housewife’s personal desire is reawakened when she runs into an old lover in Yukiko Mishima’s steamy adaptation of the Rio Shimamoto novel. Review.
  • Take Over Zone – after her parents’ divorce, Sari went to live with her dad and her brother Toma with their mother. After getting into a fight with a schoolmate, she discovers that her mum is now dating the other girl’s dad and decides to take her brother and run away.
  • Talking the Pictures – Masayuki Suo’s tribute to the age of the benshi silent movie narrator.
  • Taro the Fool – teen drama from Tatsushi Omori in which three aimless teenage boys discover a gun.
  • Three Nobunagas – three loyal retainers hide out in a ghost town trying to kidnap Oda Nobunaga only to end up with three of him!
  • Vampire Clay – Derivation – sequel to Vampire Clay in which students at an art school are once again terrorised by a vampiric monster.
  • Voices in the Wind – Nobuhiro Suwa returns to Japan after an 18-year absence for a tale of national catharsis as a young woman makes a painful journey home in search of making peace with the traumatic past. Review.

Classics

  • Conflagration – Kon Ichikawa’s 1958 adaptation of the Mishima novel in which an idealistic young man becomes disillusioned with the head priest at the temple where he is studying and is eventually pushed into madness, burning down the beautiful Kinkakuji because it is simply to good for this world. Review.

Documentaries

  • I-Documentary of the Journalist- – Fake’s Tatsuya Mori follows dogged Tokyo Shimbun reporter Isoko Mochizuki as she continues to speak truth to power in an otherwise frustratingly deferent press culture. Review.
  • Prison Circle – Kaori Sakagami digs deep into the legacy of trauma in following a collection of prisoners as they undergo an experimental rehabilitation program in the hope of returning to mainstream society. Review.

Animation

  • Happy-Go-Lucky Days – three-part anime omnibus themed around love including that between two women who meet at a wedding, a teacher caught on the spot by a student’s confession, and childhood friends who find themselves drifting apart as they approach adolescence.
  • On-Gaku Our Sound – deadpan slackers decide to start a band and discover unexpected sides to themselves in the joy of making music in Iwaisawa’s infinitely charming indie animation.
  • Seven Days War – Osamu Soda’s satirical novel is updated for the present day as a young woman runs away with a gang of school friends and holes up in a warehouse where they befriend a Thai immigrant in hiding and try to protect him from the authorities.

Camera Japan 2020 takes place in Rotterdam 23rd – 27th September and Amsterdam 1st – 4th October. Full information on all the films as well as ticketing links can be found on the official website and you can also keep up to date with all the latest news via Camera Japan’s official Facebook pageTwitter account, and Instagram channel.

Asian Pop-Up Cinema Returns for Season 11!

Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema returns for its 11th season which will take place in both physical and online editions from Sept. 10 to Oct. 10 with a special Halloween sidebar. Seven movies will play at the Davis Drive-in while the remainder of the programme will be available to stream in the US via Festival Scope with a series of rotating strands featuring documentaries from Taiwan, anime and indie drama from Japan, Mainland arthouse, and comedy from Hong Kong. The festival will also be hosting its annual mid-autumn festival “Movie with Mooncakes” event with a drive-in screening of Chinese mountaineering epic The Climbers.

7-films @ Davis Drive-in at Lincoln Yards (1684 N. Throop Street). (Maximum 40 vehicles ONLY. $15 per vehicle.)

Door opens at 7:30 PM with exact showtimes based on sunset.

September 10: Paper Flower (OPENING NIGHT) – South Korea

A funeral director (Ahn Sung-ki) struggling to care for his sickly son bonds with a cheerful single mother while going against the city to assist in a public funeral for a noodle stall owner who became a hero to the homeless.

October 1: The Climbers – China (Mid-Autumn Festival “Movie with Mooncakes” FREE ADMISSIONS. RSVP is required.)

Patriotic drama starring Wu Jing as an ace mountain climber embittered by the world’s refusal to recognise his ascent to the summit of Everest and vowing to reclaim his country’s honour by going again. Review.

October 3: Edward – the Philippines – (A fundraiser hosted by FYLPRO.ORG)

A teenage boy receives a painful lesson in life and death when he’s forced to take temporary residence in a public hospital in order to care for his difficult father in Thop Nazareno’s moving coming-of-age drama. Review.

October 9: My Prince Edward – Hong Kong

(C)My Prince Edward Film Production Limited

A conflicted young woman reaches a crisis point when her controlling boyfriend makes a surprise public proposal and she’s forced to deal with the sham marriage to a Mainlander she underwent some years previously which was apparently never legally annulled. Review.

October 10: Beyond the Dream (CLOSING NIGHT) – Hong Kong

Romantic psychodrama starring Lau Chun Him as a man with schizophrenia who falls for the beautiful Cecilia Choi but suffers a relapse as he struggles with the decision of whether to disclose his condition.

October 30: Train to Busan – South Korea

A jaded workaholic dad gets a lesson in the costs of selfish and amoral capitalism when the train they’re on is plagued by zombies in Yeon Sang-ho’s live action followup to his earlier animation Seoul Station. Review.

October 31: Peninsula – South Korea

Lateral sequel to Train to Busan set four years later and following a former soldier who managed to escape overseas but is given a mission to return during which he encounters survivors.


The remaining programme will stream within the US via Festival Scope. Each film costs $5 to rent, is capped at 400 views, and can only be watched once with 30 hours available to finish watching after you press play.

September 10 – 14, South Korea Week: Diaspora: Arirang Road

Lee Kyu-chul’s documentary follows Korean-Japanese composer Yang Bang Ean as he explores the Korean diaspora through the prism of folksong Arirang.

September 15 – 19, Japan Week:

Happy-Go-Lucky Days

Three-part anime omnibus themed around love including that between two women who meet at a wedding, a teacher caught on the spot by a student’s confession, and childhood friends who find themselves drifting apart as they approach adolescence.

A Dobugawa Dream

Guild-ridden and traumatised by the death of a close friend, a young man finds himself on the run and taking refuge with a band of down-and-outs while he figures out how to deal with his rage and despair in Asato Watanabe’s indie drama. Review.

Life: Untitled

Kana Yamada adapts her own stage play dissecting the misogynistic society through the lives of a collection of sex workers trying to live as best they can in the contemporary capital. Review.

Life Finds A Way

Hirobumi Watanabe once again stars as a version of himself, a self-involved filmmaker not trying terribly hard to escape his creative block while procrastinating around his beloved Tochigi in this decidedly meta comedy. Review.

September 22 – 26, Taiwan Week: Spotlight in Documentaries

Formosan B.B. Is Coming

Director and mountaineer Mai Chueh-ming takes his team deep into the Taiwanese mountains to find a researcher engaged in the study of Taiwanese black bears.

Water with Life

World’s first 8K nature documentary exploring the seas around Taiwan and Japan.

Whale Island

Documentary exploring Taiwan’s relationship with the seas which surround it.

Walking Dharma

Documentary following a group of volunteers looking after vulnerable people in Taitung.

Tsunma, Tsunma: My Summer with the Female Monastics of the Himalaya

Taiwanese photographer Lin Li-fang documents the lives of Buddhist nuns living in the Himalayas.

September 29 – October 3, China Week:

Best Director

A film director who has recently won a prize abroad and a fashion photographer decide to register their marriage and quietly go on honeymoon only for their families to insist on a traditional wedding ceremony which quickly descends into a farce of cultural and generational misunderstandings.

All About ING

A family’s life changes when the father is diagnosed with terminal cancer causing his wife to become withdrawn and his son to reconsider his plans to study abroad.

A Touch of Spring

Following the breakup of her marriage, a young woman decides to return to her hometown in China after living in Montreal for 10 years. Reconnecting with her family and an old flame helps to show her new direction in her life.

October 6 – 10, Hong Kong Week:

Men On the Dragon (Free Streaming, RSVP is required. F-C-F-S)

A collection of dejected middle-aged men can no longer avoid facing their respective crises when forced to participate in the company dragon boat team in Sunny Chan’s heartfelt comedy drama. Review.

Women Who Flirt (5th anniversary special encore)

2014 Pang Ho-Cheung comedy starring Zhou Xun, Huang Xiao-ming and Sonia Sui in which a woman’s longterm BFF surprises her by falling for a woman he met on a business trip.

Asian Pop-Up Cinema Season 11 runs Sept. 10 to Oct. 10 with a special Halloween sidebar at the drive-in Oct. 30/31. Full details for all the films as well as ticketing links can be found on the official website and you can also keep up with all the latest news by following Asian Pop-up Cinema on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Vimeo.

Taiwan Film Festival Edinburgh Announces Lineup for First Ever Online Edition

Originally scheduled to take place in physical form for the very first time this year, the Taiwan Film Festival Edinburgh has reconfigured itself as an online event showcasing a host of underseen classics from throughout the island’s cinematic history.

Taiwanese Hokkien-Language Cinema 

The Husband’s Secret (1960), dir. Lin Tuan-Chiu

A happily married woman tries to help a school friend who has fallen on hard times after becoming a single mother, but the situation is complicated when it turns out the father of her friend’s baby is actually her husband…

Six Suspects (1965), dir. Lin Tuan-Chiu

Stylishly shot noirish pro-police crime movie in which a blackmailer is offed leaving a series of suspects all annoyed by him because of his capacity to expose their dodgy dealings in the increasingly amoral post-war economy. Review.

The Bride Who Has Returned From Hell (1965), dir. Hsin Chi

Gothic mystery based on Mistress of Mellyn in which an entrepreneur believes that his wife has drowned after trying to elope with another man whose body was found after a boating accident along with a woman’s purse while she remains absent…

A Borrowed Hong Kong, the Imagined China in Taiwan, and Trans-regional Cinema 

A City Called Dragon (1970), dir. Tu Chun-Hsun

Sumptuous Taiwanese wuxia starring A Touch of Zen’s Hsu Feng as a revolutionary who ventures to the capital to meet up with a comrade and retrieve a secret map, only she later learns that he along with his whole family has already been executed…

Four Moods (1970), dir. Li Han-Hsiang, Pai Ching-Jui, Li Hsing, King Hu

Four-part portmanteau movie featuring folklore-themed contributions from Li Han-Hsiang, Pai Ching-Jui, Li Hsing, and King Hu.

Melodrama Divas

Where the Seagull Flies (1974), dir. Li Hsing 

A Taiwanese journalist encounters three identical young women but they each disappear right after he falls in love with them. In Hong Kong she is a woman attempting suicide after killing her husband, in Singapore a Filipina bar hostess, and in Taipei his younger sister’s uni friend. After discovering her identity and that she likes to play tricks on men, he plots his revenge…

Cheerful Wind (1981), dir. Hou Hsiao-Hsien

Early idol drama from Hou Hsiao-Hsien starring Fong Feifei as an independent young woman working in advertising who falls for Kenny Bee’s blind musician. Review.

Taiwan New Cinema and Its Legacy

The Sandwich Man (1983), dir. Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Tseng Chuang-Hsiang, Wan Jen

Tripartite portmanteau film inspired by the short stories of Huang Chun-Ming and exploring the changes in Cold War Taiwanese society. Features contributions by Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Tseng Chuang-Hsiang, and Wan Jen.

Kuei-Mei, a Woman (1985), dir. Chang Yi 

Melodrama inspired by the Xiao-Sa novel in which the heroine, Kuei-Mei escapes the Mainland for Taiwan to live with her cousin but is married off to a widowed Chinese refugee who already has three children and a massive gambling addiction leaving her with no choice other than to seek a better life in Japan.

When Love Comes (2010), dir. Chang Tso-Chi

A young woman living with her two mothers, father, uncle, and grandfather comes to understand more about her family when she is abandoned by her boyfriend after becoming pregnant.

God Man Dog (2007), dir. Chen Singing 

A hand model suffering from post-natal depression, a bereaved indigenous couple, their daughter in the city, and a one-legged man driving a giant Buddha bus, are brought together by a stray dog. Review.

Midi Z Selection

Jade Miners (2015), dir. Midi Z

Midi Z’s first documentary focusses on the jade miners continuing to work against the back drop of the continuing conflict with the Kachin Independence Organization which had brought the industry to a halt.

Ice Poison (2014), dir. Midi Z

When economic forces render his farm unviable, an old man sells his cow to buy a motorcycle for his son so he can make money taking people into town but he ends up becoming involved in drug trafficking to help a woman trying to bring her child back to Myanmar after being tricked into marriage in China.

The Palace on the Sea (2014), dir. Midi Z

Experimental short in which a Buddhist monk tries to free the ghost of a woman from a floating restaurant.

Docs: Exploring Diversity in Pursuing the Taiwanese Identity 

How Deep is the Ocean (2000), dir. Tang Hsiang-Chu

Documentary following a young man from the Tao indigenous minority who returns home to Orchid island after pursuing a better life on the Mainland.

Out/Marriage (2012), dir. Nguyen Kim-Hong

Documentary following a Vietnamese woman who came to Taiwan to marry but endured years of domestic abuse before escaping and becoming a single-mother to her son.

The Mountain (2015), dir. Su Hung-En 

Documentary following the director’s grandfather, Teymu Teylong, a hunter from an indigenous community.

The Taiwan Film Festival Edinburgh will take place online from 18th to 27th September with all films streaming for free! Full details are available via the official website and you can also keep up with the festival via the official Facebook Page and Twitter account.

New York Asian Film Festival Confirms Lineup For 2020 Virtual Edition

Shifting from its usual spot in the early summer, New York Asian Film Festival becomes the latest to go online partnering with the Smart Cinema app to bring another fantastic selection of recent East Asian hits to homes around the US from Aug. 28 to Sept. 12.

The programme in full (titles in italics included in “Uncaged” competition):

Bhutan

  • Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom – a frustrated teacher is dismayed to learn he’s being sent to a remote mountain outpost but is eventually won over by the kids. Review.

China

  • Gone With the Light – sci-fi drama starring Huang Bo in which ordinary citizens mysteriously disappear in a flash of light.
  • Mr. Miao – animated historical adventure aimed at adults in which a team of martial artists faces an ethical dilemma caused by a plant which corrupts those who come close to it but only attracts kindhearted people.

Hong Kong Panorama

Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York

  • Chasing Dream – two crazy kids chase the Chinese Dream in the ring and on the stage in Johnnie To’s completely absurd but infinitely charming musical MMA rom-com. Review.
  • My Prince Edward – a young woman begins to consider her choices when her controlling boyfriend proposes and she’s forced to deal with the fallout from a sham marriage she entered into years earlier in Norris Wong’s humorous exploration of contemporary relationships. Review.
  • Hell Bank Presents: Running Ghost – supernatural horror comedy.
  • The Grand Grandmaster – martial arts New Year comedy. 
  • Legally Declared Dead – HK adaptation of Yusuke Kishi’s novel The Black House in which an insurance broker descends into paranoia after suspecting a client has faked his son’s suicide to collect on a policy.
  • Memories to Choke on, Drinks to Wash Them Down – four stories from contemporary Hong Kong.
  • Unleashed – boxing revenge drama starring Sam Lee.
  • A Witness out of the Blue – Louis Koo is a criminal mastermind on the run after a botched robbery while an eccentric cop tries to crack the case with the help of its only surviving witness – a parrot!

Indonesia

  • Abracadabra – charming family film in which a magician who’s lost faith in magic accidentally makes a child “disappear” and has to go on the run to figure out how to get them back.

Japan

  • Family Bond – a big hearted carpenter’s desire to help a single-mother doesn’t go down well with his family or apprentice.
  • A Beloved Wife – an unsuccessful screenwriter is henpecked by his understandably irate sake-guzzling wife in this autobiographical take on a toxic marriage. Review.
  • Miyamoto – sequel to a TV drama directed by Tetsuya Mariko (Destruction Babies) starring Sosuke Ikematsu as a shy salesman who falls for Yu Aoi’s office worker.
  • Dancing Mary – a jaded civil servant is awakened to the meaning of being alive through communing with the dead in SABU’s melancholy lament for an increasingly soulless society. Review.
  • Forgiven Children – societal bullying becomes a spiralling vortex of pain and anger in Eisuke Naito’s raw examination of the consequences of hate and the impossibility of redemption. Review.
  • One Night – drama from Kazuya Shiraishi in which grown-up siblings attempt to process the traumatic night that broke their family apart. 
  • Beneath the Shadow – friendship drama starring Go Ayano and Ryuhei Matsuda in which an introverted young man makes friends with a co-worker who abruptly disappears.
  • They Say Nothing Stays the Same – second directorial effort from actor Joe Odagiri following 2009’s 64-minute Looking for Cherry Blossoms shot by Christopher Doyle and starring Akira Emoto as a Meiji-era boatman about to be eclipsed by a bridge who rescues a young woman from the water.

Kazakhstan

  • Tomiris – historical epic inspired by the legendary Kazak warrior queen.

Malaysia

  • Geran – martial arts drama showcasing Malaysian Silat in which two men try to find their younger brother and bring him home after he runs off with a land grant
  • Soul (Roh) – A single-mother and her two children find themselves beset by darkness after taking in a little girl who wandered out of the jungle in Ezwan’s atmospheric folk horror. Review.
  • Victim(s) – Nothing is as it first appears in Layla Zhuqing Ji’s thorny interrogation of a bullying society. Review.

Philippines

  • The Girl and the Gun – a saleswoman finds a gun on her doorstep and decides to use it to take revenge on a patriarchal society.
  • John Denver Trending – A teenage boy becomes the subject of a witchhunt after a video of him beating up a classmate goes viral on Facebook in Condez’s heartbreaking exploration of growing up in the post-truth internet age. Review.

SOUTH KOREA

Presented with the support of the Korean Cultural Center New York

  • Secret Zoo – a rookie lawyer comes up with an innovative solution when he’s randomly sent to work in a zoo and discovers that actually it has no animals. 
  • Hitman: Agent Jun – action comedy in which a hitman retires to become a webtoon artist.
  • Forbidden Dream –  historical drama from Hur Jin-ho inspired by the life of legendary king Sejong
  • Lucky Chan-sil – film producer Chan-sil finds herself unemployed after the director she’d been working with suddenly dies, taking a job as a cleaning lady for an actress and bonding with a handsome French teacher.
  • Baseball Girl – sports drama following a young woman’s quest to become the first female player in the majors
  • Beasts Clawing at Straws – darkly humorous thriller in which a collection of desperate people are connected by a missing bag full of cash.
  • Beauty Water – animation in which a woman who believes herself ugly tries an experimental treatment to make herself beautiful.
  • Moving on – family drama in which a teenage girl moves in with her grandfather and divorced aunt after the breakup of her parents’ marriage
  • Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 – feminist drama following an ordinary woman’s path into middle-age in a fiercely patriarchal society.

SF8 Series: An anthology of eight science fiction films

  • The Prayer (Min Kyu-dong, 2020)
  • Empty Body (Kim Ui-seok, 2020)
  • Love Virtually (Oh Ki-hwan, 2020)
  • White Crow (Jang Cheol-soo, 2020)
  • Blink (Han Ga-ram, 2020)
  • Baby It’s Over Outside (Ahn Gooc-jin, 2020)
  • Joan’s Galaxy (Lee Yoon-jung, 2020)
  • Manxin (Noh Deok, 2020)

Taiwan

  • Wild Sparrow – a mother takes her 12-year-old son with her to the city so he can attend school but is forced into a series of degrading jobs and relationships in order to make ends meet.
  • Detention – Two teens try to fight their way out of the nightmare of the White Terror in John Hsu’s dramatisation of the hit video game. Review.
  • IWeirDO – madcap OCD rom-com shot on an iPhone.
  • Heavy Craving – a lunch lady hoping to lose weight strikes up unexpected friendships with a deliveryman and cross-dressing student. Review.
  • The Gangs, the Oscars and the Walking Dead – madcap comedy in which two aspiring filmmakers end up making a zombie film with a gangster who insists that his wife play the leading role. Review.
  • Dear Loneliness – an introverted bookseller quietly supports his customers through the art of letter writing.
  • Miss Andy – a transgender woman takes in a woman and her child after they escape from an abusive relationship.

Vietnam

  • Rom – a 14-year-old boy hopes to earn enough money to reunite with his parents through running lottery numbers while living a precarious existence in a rundown tenement.

Full details regarding ticket pricing and purchasing procedure will be announced shortly via the official website while the movies will be available to stream within the US via the Smart Cinema app for iOS, Android, and Smart TVs from Aug. 28 to Sept. 12. You can also keep up with all the latest festival news via the official Facebook Page and Twitter account.

Fantasia International Film Festival Confirms Complete 2020 Programme

Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival returns for 2020 in an online edition bringing the latest genre hits from around the world to homes across Canada 20th August to 2nd September. As usual the programme features another fantastic selection of movies from East Asia both new and old.

China

  • Sheep Without a Shepherd – blockbuster Chinese remake of Indian thriller Drishyam in which a movie buff’s daughter accidentally kills a schoolmate who has powerful parents.

Hong Kong

  • Baby: Secret Diary of a mom to be – a high-flying PR executive wrestles with the idea of having it all when she suddenly becomes pregnant.
  • Chasing Dream – stylish romance from Johnnie To in which a boxer and singer fight for their respective dreams. Review.
  • A Hero Never Dies – Johnnie To classic from 1998 in which two noble hitmen find themselves at the mercy of the nihilistic underworld
  • Legally Declared Dead – HK adaptation of Yusuke Kishi’s novel The Black House in which an insurance broker descends into paranoia after suspecting a client has faked his son’s suicide to collect on a policy.
  • SPL Kill Zone – first in Wilson Yip’s SPL series starring Donnie Yen as a cop clashing with Sammo Hung’s gang boss.
  • Witness Out of the Blue – Louis Koo is a criminal mastermind on the run after a botched robbery while an eccentric cop tries to crack the case with the help of its only surviving witness – a parrot!

Japan

  • Air Doll – Kore-eda classic starring Bae Doona as a sex doll come to life.
  • Crazy Samurai Musashi – samurai action drama featuring the long-awaited return of Tak Sakaguchi.
  • Fly Me to the Saitama – absurdist comedy in which the residents of Saitama have become an oppressed minority. Review.
  • Fukuchan of Fukufuku Flats – quirky comedy from Yosuke Fujita about a cheerful man whose fear of women is challenged when an old friend returns.
  • HK: Forbidden Superhero – 2013 low-budget comedy from Yuichi Fukuda in which a nervous young man turns into a superhero after putting ladies knickers on his face.
  • HK2: The Abnormal Crisis – 2016 sequel in which the hero’s girlfriend is getting fed up with his underwear shenanigans.
  • Kakegurui – adaptation of the popular manga set in a school where heirarchy is determined by skill at gambling. Review.
  • Labyrinth of Cinema – final film from Nobuhiko Obayashi in which three youngsters find themselves lost in the movies. Review.
  • Life: Untitled – Kana Yamada adapts her own stage play set in the office of a Tokyo escort service. Review.
  • Milocroze: A Love Story – cult quirky comedy from 2011 starring Takayuki Yamada.
  • Monster Seafood Wars – comedic tokusatsu in which the son of a sushi shop’s experiments to solve world hunger through making foodstuffs giant has unexpected results.
  • No Longer Human – Mika Ninagawa’s dramatisation of the final days of Osamu Dazai along with the three women who inspired him: his wife, his mistress, and the woman he finally died with.
  • Project Dreams: How to Build Mazinger Z’s Hangar – employees at an engineering firm attempt to draft the hangar from the legendary mecha anime.
  • Special Actors – meta-narrative from One Cut of the Dead‘s Shinichiro Ueda in which a shy aspiring actor joins an unusual agency where he’s asked to play a part in other people’s “real life”. Review.
  • Tezuka’s Barbara – Macoto Tezka adapts the manga by his famous father in which a novelist (Goro Inagaki) becomes obsessed with a woman he picks up off the street (Fumi Nikaido). Review.
  • Travelling Cat Chronicles – tearjerking drama in which a young man goes on a road trip looking for someone to take care of his cat.
  • Woman of the Photographs – An isolated photographer’s life of stillness is interrupted by the arrival of a beautiful dancer in Takeshi Kushida’s gentle meditation on desire and reality. Review.
  • Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku – Yuichi Fukuda musical comedy adapted from the popular manga.

Korea

  • Beauty Water – animation in which a woman who believes herself ugly tries an experimental treatment to make herself beautiful.
  • Bring Me Home – a nurse’s tireless search for her missing son takes her to a fishing village with a dark secret.
  • Jesters: The Game Changers – Joseon-era street entertainers get into trouble for spreading fake news in a period drama from The Grand Heist’s Kim Joo-ho.
  • Me and Me – directorial debut from actor Jung Jin-young in which a policeman wakes up one day to discover he’s someone else.
  • My Punch-Drunk Boxer – a former boxer picks up the rhythms of pansori.
  • Vertigo – a young office worker is rescued from her sense of existential vertigo by the gentle presence of a chivalrous window washer. Review.

Taiwan

  • Detention – horror-inflected video game adaptation dramatising the trauma of the “White Terror” martial law era. Review
  • I WeirDo – madcap OCD rom-com shot on an iPhone.

Vietnam

  • Rom – a 14-year-old boy hopes to earn enough money to reunite with his parents through running lottery numbers while living a precarious existence in a rundown tenement.

The films will be available to stream in Canada from 20th August to 2nd September. “Tickets” for each film are limited in number comparable to the size of a physical auditorium and while much of the programme is available on demand selected films will stream live only. Full details for all the films are available via the the official website, and you can also keep up with all the latest news via the festival’s official Facebook pageTwitter account,  Instagram, and Vimeo channels.