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    New York Asian Film Festival 2020

    Aug. 28-Sept 12, 2020



    FESTIVAL COVERAGE THREAD

    For all festival information go HERE.

    For all the films for rental during the festival via Smart Cinema go HERE.

    LINKS TO THE REVIEWS
    Beasts Clawing at Straws 지푸라기라도 잡고 싶은 짐승들 (Kim Yong-hoon 2020)
    A Beloved Wife 喜劇 愛妻物語 (Shin Adachi 2019)
    Beneath the Shadow 影裏( (Ohtomo Keishi 2019)
    Dancing Mary Y ダンシング・マリ (Sabu 2019)
    Detention 返校 (John Hsu 2019)
    Dear Loneliness 致親愛的孤獨者 (Lien Chien-hung, Sunny Yu, Liao Che-yi 2019)
    Forbidden Dream 천문: 하늘에 묻는다 (Hur Jin-ho 2019)
    Forgiven Children 許された子どもたち (Naito Eisuke 2020)
    IWeirDo 怪胎 ( Liao Ming-yi 2020)
    Kim JI-young Born 1982 82년생 김지영( Kim Do-young 2019)
    Legally Declared Dead 死因無可疑 (Yuen Kim Wai 2019)
    Lucky Chan-sil / 찬실이는 복도 많지 (Kim Cho-hee 2019)
    Memories to Choke on, Drinks to Wash Them Down (Leung Ming-kai, Kate Reilly 2019)
    Miyamoto 宮本から君へ (Mariko Tetsuya 2019)
    Moving On (Yoon Dan-bi 2019)
    One Night ひとよ (Shiraishi Kazuya 2019)
    RM (Tran Thanh Huy 2019)
    They Say Nothing Stays the Same ある船頭の話 (Odagiri Joe 2019) Centerpiece Film
    Victim(s)) 加害者,被害人 (Layla Zhuqing Ji 2020)
    Witness Out of the Blue 犯罪現場 (Andrew Fung 2019)



    Introduction. The festival goes virtual, so not tied to New York this year.

    The 19th edition of the NYAFF will be a special virtual edition from August 28 to September 12, 2020. It will be available all over the US during this period as pay-for-view for individual films. See the Smart Cinema page link above: that's where you can access individual films or buy a pass for all of them. (But you have to download the Smart Cinema app and that only works on "cross-platform devices including iOS/Android mobile phones and smart TVs." this PDF File HERE for a list of all the titles at glance giving any restrictions to availability.

    The organizers note that this year the fest features a focus on women filmmakers: WOMEN TRANSFORMING FILM, starting with the opening film, the North American premiere of The Girl and the Gun/Babae at Baril, directed by Rae Red and with a superb lead by Janine Gutierrez, produced by Iana Celest Bernardez (in a first-time producing role) and Bianca Balbuena.

    Other female-directed titles include Heavy Craving from Taiwan, Lucky Chan-sil and Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 from South Korea, My Prince Edward from Hong Kong, and Victim(s) from Malaysia, among others.

    The CENTERPIECE film marks both a departure from genre as well as the festival’s embrace of an ever-expanding range of films: They Say Nothing Stays the Same by Odagiri Joe, one of Japan’s best-known actors in a feature directorial debut. Odagiri is joined by a remarkable cast and crew including cinematographer Christopher Doyle; veteran actor Emoto Akira, with acast including Nagase Masatoshi, Asano Tadanobu and Aoi Yu, plus musician Hosono Haruomi; Oscar-winning costume designer Wada Emi; and a score by Armenian jazz pianist Tigran Hamasyan.

    FULL LINEUP (51 films) as of 8/10 (program still subject to change)
    Titles in bold are included in the "Uncaged" Competition.

    ===
    Bhutan

    Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (Pawo Choyning Dorji, 2019) New York Premiere

    China

    – Gone With the Light (Dong Runnian, 2019) North American Premiere
    – Chaogtu with Sarula (Wang Rui, 2019) North American Premiere
    – Mr. Miao (Li Lingxiao, 2020) International Premiere

    Hong Kong Panorama

    Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York
    – Chasing Dream (Johnnie To, 2019) New York Premiere
    – My Prince Edward (Norris Wong, 2019) East Coast Premiere
    – Hell Bank Presents: Running Ghost (Mark Lee, 2020) World Premiere
    – The Grand Grandmaster (Dayo Wong, 2020) North American Premiere
    – Legally Declared Dead (Yuen Kim Wai, 2019) U.S. Premiere
    – Memories to Choke on, Drinks to Wash Them Down (Leung Ming-kai, Kate Reilly, 2019) North American Premiere
    – Unleashed (Ka Hei Kwok and Ambrose Kwok, 2019) North American Premiere
    – A Witness out of the Blue 犯罪現場 (Fung Chih Chiang, 2019) New York Premiere 犯罪現場
    Available: Aug. 28 - Sept. 12, All USA
    The irrepressible Louis Koo stars as a dastardly robber and prime suspect in a murder where the only witness is a talking parrot. A stoic and surprisingly principled criminal badass, he can control any situation.

    Indonesia

    – Abracadabra North American Premiere
    Abracadabra (Faozan Rizal, 2019 )
    Others | Drama | 96 mins

    In an audacious alternate universe a magician makes a boy disappear. When he can’t bring the child back it sets off a Rube Goldberg chain of misadventures. Much like Orson Wells and Fellini, cinematographer turned director Faozan Rizal equates cinematic storytelling with sleight of hand. This maverick auteur also empowers women in his refreshing take on the hero’s journey, which includes, among many other delights, an homage to Frida Kahlo. It’s a mutant mix of Jodorowsky and Wes Anderson with a dash of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure showcasing exotic locales and dazzling haute couture fashions.

    Japan

    – Family Bond 太陽の家 (aka House of the Sun) (Gonno Hajime 2019) Singer-songwriter Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi marks a singular return to film after a 20-year break with this rib-tickling, heartwarming tale of a master builder named Shingo. A fiercely individualistic type whose greatest work may be his own chiseled physique, Shingo sees no problem with chasing skirt even as he remains a devoted husband and father. But after he forms an attachment to a fatherless boy — or is it to the boy’s mother? — and starts to build a house for them, his disapproving apprentice (Eita, Monsters Club, NYAFF 2012) steps in to stop the selfish/selfless folly. Director Gonno Hajime channels Yamada Yoji in this skillfully crafted, lively story of family, friendship and woodworking. Cast: Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi, Iijima Naoko, Yamaguchi Mayu, Yunho, Eita, Hirosue Ryoko. 2020; 123 min.

    – A Beloved Wife 喜劇 愛妻物語 (Adachi Shin, 2019) From the award-winning author of the indie hit 100 Yen Love comes this supremely cringey semi-autobiographical tale of marital disaster, sure to delight fans of Sideways and Larry David, et al. A diminutive loser screenwriter awaits his big break but is mired by perennial writer’s block and the fact that he isn’t getting any.

    – Miyamoto (Mariko Tetsuya, 2019) 宮本から君へ
    Available: Aug. 28 - Sept. 12, All USA
    (Destruction Babies) takes flying fists, obsessive love and viewer discomfort to a whole new level in this must-see film. Ikematsu Sosuke (The Long Excuse) stars as overly impassioned Miyamoto, the would-be protector of Yasuko (Aoi Yu, Japanese Girls Never Die), who uses the hapless salaryman to get rid of an unwanted boyfriend, but then falls for him. New York Premiere


    – Dancing Mary (Sabu, 2019) North American Premiere

    – Forgiven Children (Naito Eisuke, 2019) International Premiere

    – One Night (Shiraishi Kazuya, 2020) North American Premiere

    – Beneath the Shadow 影裏(OHtomo Keishi, 2019)
    North American Premiere Available: Aug. 28 - Sept. 12, All USA Limited seating: The blockbuster director of Rurouni Kenshin reveals a contemplative side with his first arthouse film, set in Otomo’s hometown near the 2011 Fukushima disasters. Like its award-winning literary inspiration, the enigmatic tale of fly fishing, drinking and male bonding — between stars Ayano Go, NYAFF 2016 Rising Star Asia winner, and Matsuda Ryuhei —skirts obvious interpretation.

    – They Say Nothing Stays the Same ある船頭の話 (Odagiri Joe, 2019)] U.S. Premiere Available: Sept. 3 ONLY, All USA. Limited seating: If you expected something fashionably modern from actor Odagiri Joe’s feature debut, you’ll be surprised to find it feels more like the measured work of a classic auteur. Set in Meiji era Japan but timeless in its concerns —the sacrifices made in the name of progress, the loss of cherished traditions — it follows a lonely old ferryman (Emoto Akira), whose life is transformed when he rescues a mysterious young woman from drowning. Gorgeously lensed by Christopher Doyle, with costumes by Emi Wada, the film also features brief but potent cameos by a who's-who of Japan’s top stars.


    Kazakistan

    – Tomiris (Akan Satayev, 2019) North American Premiere

    Malasia

    Geran (Areel Abu Bakar, 2019) North American Premiere

    – Soul (Roh) (Emir Ezwan, 2020) North American Premiere
    – Victim(s) (Layla Zhuqing Ji, 2020) North American Premiere

    Philippines

    – The Girl and the Gun (Rae Red, 2019) North American Premiere
    – John Denver Trending (Arden Rod Condez, 2019) East Coast Premiere

    South Korea

    Presented with the support of the Korean Cultural Center New York
    – Secret Zoo (Son Jae-gon, 2019) New York Premiere.

    Co-Presented with the Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art
    – Hitman: Agent Jun (Choi Won-sub, 2020) North American Premiere

    – Forbidden Dream (Hur Jin-ho, 2019) International Premiere

    Lucky Chan-sil (Kim Cho-hee, 2019) North American Premiere.
    Co-Presented with the Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art

    – Baseball Girl (Choi Yuntae, 2019) International Premiere

    – Beasts Clawing at Straws (Kim Yong-hoon, 2019) n/a. Co-Presented with the Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art

    – Beauty Water (Cho Kyung-hun, 2020) U.S.

    – Moving on (Yoon Danbi, 2019)

    – Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 (Kim Do-young, 2019) US Continental Premiere

    – SF8 Series: An anthology of eight science fiction films:


    The Prayer (Min Kyu-dong, 2020) International Premiere

    Empty Body (Kim Ui-seok, 2020) International Premiere

    Love Virtually (Oh Ki-hwan, 2020) International Premiere

    White Crow (Jang Cheol-s, 2020) International Premiere

    Blink (Han Ga-ram, 2020) International Premiere

    Baby It’s Over Outside (Ahn Gooc-jin, 2020) International Premiere

    Joan’s Galaxy (Lee Yoon-jung, 2020) International Premiere.

    Manxin (Noh Deok, 2020)
    International Premiere

    Taiwan

    – Wild Sparrow (Shih Li, 2019) New York Premiere. Co-Presented with the Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art

    – Detention (John Hsu, 2019) New York Premiere
    – IWeirDO (Liao Ming-yi, 2020) US Premiere. Co-Presented with the Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art

    – Heavy Craving (Hsieh Pei-ju, 2019) East Coast Premiere

    – The Gangs, the Oscars and the Walking Dead (Kao Pin-chuan, 2019) US Premiere. Co-Presented with the Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art

    – Dear Loneliness (Lien Chien-hung, Sunny Yu, Liao Jhe-yi, 2019)
    North American Premiere

    – Miss Andy (Teddy Chin, 2020) North American Premiere

    About Opening Film, The Girl and the Gun (Rae Red)
    Cast: Janine Gutierrez, Felix Roco, JC Santos. Produced by Iana Celest Bernardez and Bianca Balbuena at Epicmedia, Cignal Entertainment and QCinema. The film won Best Director and Best Actress (Janine Gutierrez) at QCinema International Film Festival’s Asian Next Wave Competition. Rae Red’s sophomore feature and first solo directorial effort features a local department store saleslady who finds a gun right on her doorstep one night and decides that she has had enough of being the underdog. Her life drastically changes as she discovers how much power owning a gun can give you.

    The Screen International Rising Award and the Daniel A. Craft Award for Excellence in Action Cinema will be announced separately.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 09-12-2020 at 03:22 PM.

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