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Thread: New York Asian Film Festival 2021

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    New York Asian Film Festival 2021 (Aug. 6-22)

    New York Asian Film Festival's 20th Edition Includes Premieres, Restorations, Nationwide Virtual Screenings, and a Return to Theaters


    Dragon Inn© 2021 Seasonal Film Corporation

    LINKS TO THE REVIEWS
    A BALANCE 由宇子の天秤 (Yujiro Harumoto 2020)
    BLUE ブルー (Keisuke Yoshida 2021
    BOOK OF THE FISH 자산어보 (Lee Joon-ik 2021)
    THE FABLE: THE KILLER WHO DOESN'T KILL ザ・ファブル 殺さない殺し屋 (Kan Eguchi 2021)
    HOLD ME BACK ( Akiko Ohku 2020)
    JOINT ジョイント (Oudai Kojima 2020)
    LAST OF THE WOLVES 孤狼の血 LEVEL2 (Kazuya Shiraishi 2021)
    A LEG 腿 (Chang Yaosheng 2020)
    MY MISSING VALENTINE 消失的情人節 (Chen Yu-Hsun 2020)
    OVER THE TOWN 街の上で (Rikiya Imaizumi 2020)
    SAMJIN COMPANY ENGLISH CLASS 삼진그룹 영어토익반 (Lee Jong-pil 2020)
    SENSEI, WOULD YOU SIT BESIDE ME? 先生0、私の隣に座っていただけませんか?(Takahiro Horie 2021)
    A SONG FOR YOU 他与罗耶戴尔 (Dukar Tserang 2020)
    THREE SISTERS 세 자매 (Lee Seung-won 2020)
    TIME 殺出個黃昏 (Ricky Ko, 2021)
    UNDER THE OPEN SKY すばらしき世界 (Miwa Nishikawa 2020)
    ZOKKI (Takumi Saitoh, Naoto Takenaka, Takayuki Yamada 2020)


    On August 6, 2021, the New York Asian Film Foundation and Film at Lincoln Center will kick off the 20th edition of the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), a hybrid event with NYAFF’s largest film lineup to date. The Festival will screen over 60 films, both virtually and in person, to audiences in New York and across the country from August 6 – 22, 2021.

    NYAFF’s 2021 lineup will include two world premieres, six international premieres, 29North American premieres, eight U.S. premieres, and nine New York premieres, showcasing the most exciting action, comedy, drama, thriller, romance, horror, and art-house films from East Asia.

    Following an unprecedented year in which COVID-19 and increased violence against the Asian community in the United States presented enormous challenges, NYAFF is more committed than ever to increasing exposure of Asian representation on screen, and to providing opportunities for audiences of all communities to experience the diversity and brilliance of Asian cinema.

    Following a fully virtual 19th edition, NYAFF is delighted to present almost half of this year’s 60+ titles in person. To celebrate, as well as to mark its 20th year, the Festival will be co-hosting, with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York and Film at Lincoln Center, a free outdoor screening in Damrosch Park of Raymond Lee’s wuxia classic Dragon Inn AKA New Dragon Gate Inn on August 11. The all-star remake of King Hu’s iconic Dragon Inn is one of the wildest and most epic films ever produced by Tsui Hark.

    “It’s been tough all over, but after last year’s unprecedented all-virtual edition, we’re thrilled to be back in person,” said Samuel Jamier, Executive Director of NYAFF and President of the New York Asian Film Foundation. “We’re especially excited about all the stars aligning so we can host the outdoor screening of the Hong Kong uber-classic, Dragon Inn AKA New Dragon Gate Inn. This marks the 10th anniversary of the film’s restoration by NYAFF, and the 29th anniversary of the film, which stars two of Asia’s greatest actresses of all time, Maggie Cheung and Brigitte Lin, as well as Donnie Yen in supervillain mode. What better way is there to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the festival?”

    NYAFF is also thrilled to host the world premiere of Yu Irie’s Ninja Girl, a pointed political satire that is as sneakily subversive as its old-school superspy namesake. Japanese director Irie (8000 Miles, NYAFF 2010) has crafted a breezy, brave condemnation of racism and willful ignorance that also happens to be hilarious, action-packed, and surprisingly moving.

    Among the many other festival highlights is the North American premiere of Tough Out,by veteran social-issues documentarian Xu Hui-jing, who brings a Hoops Dreams–level depth and an admirable lack of sentimentality to this film about underprivileged youngsters in a baseball camp near Beijing. The coaches’ unwavering commitment to the children is a resounding humanist outcry that demands to be heard. NYAFF will also host the North American premiere of Maung San’s Money Has Four Legs, a satire about indie filmmaking set in Myanmar. With the ongoing political crisis in the country, and the film’s producer Ma Aeint currently detained by the military, Money Has Four Legs deserves to be seen now more than ever.

    From South Korea comes The Book of Fish, a gorgeously lensed homage to classical black-and-white cinema by Lee Joon-ik (The King and the Clown). Inspired by real events and infused with poetic humanism, it stars Sol Kyung-gu and Byun Yo-han and is set on beautiful Heuksando Island during the Joseon era. In the sweet, sexy, sassy Here and There from the Philippines, Janine Gutierrez (star of NYAFF 2020 Opening Film The Girl and the Gun) and JC Santos are perfectly paired in a meditation on the COVID-19 pandemic, a wonderful blend of romantic escapism and heavier topics of family, health, and distance that have impacted us all.

    Also in store for in-person audiences are three premieres from Japan that run the gamut of styles and genres: the indescribable stop-motion masterwork Junk Head, a dystopian sci-fi tale that took seven years to complete and has become one of Guillermo del Toro’s personal favorites; a no-holds-barred send-up of the patriarchy, jigoku-no-hanazono: Office Royale, featuring brawling, bruising “office ladies” who take aim at workplace emancipation with their own fists and flying feet; and Last of the Wolves, Kazuya Shiraishi’s ferocious sequel to The Blood of Wolves (NYAFF 2018). A rousing homage to Kinji Fukasaku’s meanest pictures, it takes no prisoners and knows no bounds.

    This year’s Hong Kong Panorama—presented with the support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York, the Festival’s longest-standing partner and sponsor organization—includes 12 diverse and exciting titles, many of them by emerging directors, sending a positive message of hope for the future of cinema in Hong Kong. Among the remarkable debuts are: Shadows, Time, Zero to Hero (produced by and starring Sandra Ng, a NYAFF guest in 2014), and the documentary Keep Rolling. The lineup also includes exceptional new work by masters, such as Soi Cheang’s electrifying Limbo, a brutal thriller about the hunt for a serial killer starring Gordon Lam Ka Tung. And on a lighter note, there are Breakout Brothers, a prison escape dramedy, and All U Need is Love, an infectious (pun intended) response to the pandemic initiated by prolific superstar Louis Koo.

    Along with the Uncaged Award for Best Feature Film competition, the Festival has established exciting new sections for its 20th edition. Films will now be grouped thematically, in the following sections: Beyond Borders, Crowd Pleasers, Frontlines, Genre Masters, Next/Now, Standouts, and Vanguards (see descriptions below).

    While the festival is showcasing an unusually high number of feature debuts with this edition, it is also highlighting improved gender parity in the film industry. Commented NYAFF Associate Director Claire Marty, “After our special focus on women in front of and behind the camera at the 2020 NYAFF, we’re honored to continue championing female-forward films this year. The festival has some great films by women directors, including Taiwan’s The Silent Forest, based on harrowing true events, and Japan’s Hold Me Back, a vibrant female-driven dramedy.” Another of the highlights is Barbarian Invasion, by Tan Chui Mui, a pioneer of the Malaysian New Wave, who returns after a decade’s break to star in and direct a self-described cross between Korean art-house auteur Hong Sangsoo and the Jason Bourne action franchise.

    Following our successful virtual screenings last year, NYAFF screenings will again be available nationwide in 2021, giving Asian cinema fans who aren’t living in New York the opportunity to watch films that don’t come to their local multiplex. From the deadly serious to the gleefully absurd, from the disquieting to the freaky, NYAFF continues to celebrate the most vibrant and provocative cinema out of Asia today.

    The New York Asian Film Festival is co-presented by the New York Asian Film Foundation and Film at Lincoln Center, and takes place from August 6 – 22, 2021 at FLC’s Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th Street) and in the FLC Virtual Cinema, and from August 9 – 22 at SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street). It is curated by Executive Director Samuel Jamier, Associate Director Claire Marty, and programmers David Wilentz, Karen Severns, and Koichi Mori.

    LINEUP (60+ films) — look for more titles to be announced next week
    (Please note the program is still subject to change.)
    Dragon Inn© 2021 Seasonal Film Corporation


    SPECIAL 20TH ANNIVERSARY CLASSIC SCREENING IN DAMROSCH PARK
    Dragon Inn AKA New Dragon Gate Inn | dir. Raymond Lee, Hong Hong 1992 | In-person Only

    CROWD PLEASERS
    Films with broad appeal and titles accessible to all tastes
    – All U Need is Love | dir. Vincent Kok, Hong Kong 2021 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    – Breakout Brothers | dir. Mak Ho Pong, Hong Kong 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    – The Con-Heartist | dir. Mez Tharatorn, Thailand 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    – From Today, It’s My Turn!! | dir. Yuichi Fukuda, Japan 2020 | U.S. Premiere. Virtual Only
    – Hold Me Back | dir. Akiko Ohku, Japan 2020 | U.S. Premiere. Virtual Only
    – jigoku-no-hanazono: Office Royale | dir. Kazuaki Seki, Japan 2021 | North American Premiere. In-person Only
    – My Missing Valentine | dir. Chen Yu-hsun, Taiwan 2020 | New York Premiere. Virtual Only
    – One Second Champion | dir. Chiu Sin-Hang, Hong Kong 2020 | New York Premiere. Virtual Only
    – Tonkatsu DJ Agetaro | dir. Ken Ninomiya, Japan 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    – Zero to Hero | dir. Wan Chi-Man, Hong Kong 2021 | North American Premiere. In-person Only

    ©2021 “THE FABLE: The Killer Who Doesn’t Kill” Film Partners

    GENRE MASTERS
    Innovative new work that tweaks and twists genre conventions
    – The Fable: The Killer Who Doesn’t Kill | dir. Kan Eguchi, Japan 2021 | North American Premiere. In-person Only
    – Last of The Wolves | dir. Kazuya Shiraishi, Japan 2021 | North American Premiere. In-person Only
    – Limbo | dir. Soi Cheang, Hong Kong, 2021 | North American Premiere. In-person Only
    – Midnight | dir. Kwon Oh-seung, South Korea 2021 | International Premiere. Virtual Only
    – Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It | dir. Yernar Nurgaliyev, Kazakhstan 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    NEXT/NOW
    Highlighting emerging voices and promising works by up-and-coming directors
    – Here And There | dir. JP Habac, Philippines 2021 | North American Premiere. In-person & Virtual
    – Keep Rolling | dir. Man Lim Chung, Hong Kong 2020 | New York Premiere. Virtual Only
    – Money Has Four Legs | Maung Sun, Myanmar 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    – The Old Town Girls | dir. Shen Yu, China 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    – Shadows | dir. Glenn Chan, Hong Kong 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    – Time | dir. Ricky Ko, Hong Kong 2021 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only.



    A Song for You © 2021 Xstream Pictures

    BEYOND BORDERS
    Films that tell stories about characters confronting different cultures
    – The Asian Angel | dir. Yuya Ishii, Japan 2021 | North American Premiere. In-person Only
    – Fighter | dir. Jéro Yun, South Korea 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    – Nasi Lemak 1.0 | dir. Namewee, Malaysia 2021 | International Premiere. TBD
    – A Song for You | dir. Dukar Tserang, China 2020 | North American Premiere. In-person Only


    FRONTLINES
    Films grounded in the lives of those in marginalized communities, with narratives that examine pressing issues
    – Babi | dir. Namewee, Malaysia 2020 | North American Premiere. TBD
    – A Balance | dir. Yujiro Harumoto, Japan 2020 | North American Premiere. In-person Only
    – I Don’t Fire Myself | dir. Lee Tae-Gyeom, South Korea 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    – Ninja Girl | dir. Yu Irie, Japan 2021 | World Premiere. In-person Only
    – The Silent Forest | dir. Ko Chen-nien, Taiwan 2020 | New York Premiere. Virtual Only
    – Three Sisters | dir. Lee Seung-won, South Korea 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    – Tough Out | dir. Xu Hui-jing, China 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    – The Way We Keep Dancing | dir. Adam Wong, Hong Kong 2020 | New York Premiere. Virtual Only

    The Book of Fish © MegaboxJoongAng PLUS M & CINEWORLD

    STANDOUTS
    Exceptional films, regardless of their premiere status
    – Blue | dir. Keisuke Yoshida, Japan 2021 | U.S. Premiere. Virtual Only
    – The Book of Fish | dir. Lee Joon-ik, South Korea 2021 | International Premiere. In-person Only
    – Samjin Company English Class | dir. Lee Jong-pil, South Korea 2020 | New York Premiere. In-person & Virtual
    – Under the Open Sky | dir. Miwa Nishikawa, Japan 2020 | New York Premiere. In-person Only


    VANGUARDS
    Original films that break away from formalistic and/or narrative conventions
    – As We Like It | dir. Muni Wei, Chen Hung-i, Taiwan 2021 | East Coast Premiere. Virtual Only
    – Barbarian Invasion | dir. Tan Chui Mui, Malaysia 2021 | North American Premiere. In-person Only
    – Junk Head | dir. Takahide Hori, Japan 2021 | U.S. Premiere. In-person Only
    – Over the Town | dir. Rikiya Imaizumi, Japan 2021 | U.S. Premiere. Virtual Only
    – Zokki | dir. Naoto Takenaka, Takayuki Yamada, Takumi Saitoh, Japan 2021 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    NYAFF 2021 VENUES/VIRTUAL PLATFORM

    Virtual platform:
    Film at Lincoln Center (FLC) Virtual Cinema

    In-person venues:
    Film at Lincoln Center (FLC), August 6 – 8, 2021
    Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street

    SVA Theatre: August 9 – 22, 2021
    333 West 23rd Street

    NYAFF TICKET PRICING AND INFO:
    Tickets for the 20th New York Asian Film Festival go on sale Friday, July 23 at noon. Virtual programs are $12 each with a discounted FLC All-Access Pass available for $150 for access to over 30 virtual titles. Tickets for in-person programming are $15 for General Public and $12 for students, seniors (62+), and persons with disabilities. A discounted six-film FLC All-Access Pass for in-person programming is also available for $60. FLC members can purchase discounted tickets at $9.60 for all virtual titles and $10 for in-person tickets.

    For additional information, please visit Film at Lincoln Center at filmlinc.org, New York Asian Film Festival at nyaff.org, and follow us on social media @filmlinc and @nyaff.

    Additionally, SVA will feature 25+ films for in-person screenings with All-Access Pass pricing to be announced at nyaff.org.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-22-2021 at 04:13 PM.

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    NYAFF: more detail





    TRAILER

    New York, NY (July 16, 2021) – The New York Asian Film Foundation and Film at Lincoln Center are delighted to unveil further highlights of the 2021 New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), including the Opening film, lifetime award honorees, the competition lineup, the inaugural Asian American Focus and additional films. The Festival will screen over 60 films, both virtually and in person, to audiences in New York and across the country from August 6 – 22, 2021.

    NYAFF’s 20th edition will kick off at Film at Lincoln Center on August 6 with the in-person international premiere of Ryoo Seung-wan’s tense action thriller Escape from Mogadishu, starring Kim Yoon-seok (NYAFF Star Asia winner 2018) and Zo In-sung. The film is dramatically constructed based on real events that took place in 1991 at the onset of the Somali Civil War, and depicts the perilous escape attempted by North and South Korean embassy workers who were stranded during the conflict. (Well Go USA is releasing the film in the United States and Canada.)

    Legendary filmmaker Ann Hui will be the recipient of the Variety Lifetime Achievement Award. One of the most critically acclaimed Hong Kong New Wave filmmakers for four decades, Hui has created work of great sensitivity, focusing on themes of cultural displacement, family conflict, and female perspectives. In her honor, NYAFF will be showcasing her early masterwork, The Story of Woo Viet, starring Chow Yun-fat and marking the film’s 40th anniversary, as well as Man Lim Chung’s insightful, delightful portrait of the inimitable Hui, Keep Rolling.

    NYAFF also unveiled the six wildly diverse and singular titles nominated for this year’s Uncaged Award for Best Feature Film Competition, which shines a spotlight on first- or second-time directors, celebrating their passion, their vision, and their willingness to take risks. The films are: Anima (Cao Jinling, China), City Of Lost Things (Yee Chih-yen, Taiwan), Hand Rolled Cigarette (Chan Kin Long, Hong Kong), Joint (Oudai Kojima, Japan), Ten Months (Namkoong Sun, South Korea) and Tiong Bahru Social Club (Tan Bee Thiam, Singapore).

    The winner of the Uncaged Award will be selected by a competition jury comprised of prominent personalities from the film business that bridge Asia and America: Michael Rosenberg (president, Film Movement), Evan Jackon Leong (director, Linsanity, Snakehead) and Janice Chua (VP, International Development and Production at Imagine Entertainment & Television).

    Following an unprecedented year in which COVID-19 and increased violence against the Asian community in the United States presented enormous challenges, NYAFF is more committed than ever to increasing exposure of Asian representation on screen. The festival is proud to launch a brand-new Asian American Focus, a selection of superlative films made in the US that will kick off in person with Aimee Long’s torn-from-the-headlines thriller A Shot Through the Wall. Members of the filmmaking team will be present.

    The Asian American Focus will also feature Iman K. Zawahry’s Americanish and Evan Jackson Leong’s Snakehead, with appearances by members of the films’ cast and crew. The selection also includes two new short film showcases of five films each, which will be screened in person and virtually on Eventive.

    Other festival highlights include the world premiere of the manga-inflected marital comedy Sensei, Would You Sit Beside Me? starring Tasuku Emoto (NYAFF 2018) and Haru Kuroki; and the international premieres of Stanley Tong’s celebration of classic kung-fu, Rising Shaolin: the Protector, with megastar Wang Baoqiang; Lee Woo-jung’s powerful coming-of-age debut, Snowball, starring Bang Min-a from K-Pop girl group Girl’s Day; and Min Kyu-dong’s haunting exploration of AI sentience, The Prayer. And finally, making its North American premiere, Fruit Chan’s Coffin Homes tickles the funny bone and tingles the spine, as soaring real estate prices force people in Hong Kong to share their homes with the dead.

    For NYAFF’s 20th edition poster, we have drawn from Ko Chen-nien’s The Silent Forest, an image almost tailor-made to represent how we’re feeling as we cautiously emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic: slightly dazed, but laser focused and ecstatic to be back in person at FLC and SVA with this year’s most unforgettable Asian films.

    NYAFF’s 2021 lineup will include two Japanese world premieres, six international premieres, 29 North American premieres, eight U.S. premieres, and nine New York premieres, showcasing the most exciting action, comedy, drama, thriller, romance, horror, and art-house films from Japan, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Singapore, and for the first time, Myanmar and the US.

    LATEST LINEUP (with more to come)
    (Please note the program is still subject to change.)

    Titles in bold are newly announced titles in the lineup.

    OPENING FILM
    Escape from Mogadishu | dir. Ryoo Seung-wan, South Korea 2021 | International Premiere. In-person Only

    SPECIAL 20TH ANNIVERSARY CLASSIC SCREENING IN DAMROSCH PARK
    Dragon Inn AKA New Dragon Gate Inn | dir. Raymond Lee, Hong Hong 1992 | In-person Only

    ANN HUI TRIBUTE SCREENING
    - The Story of Woo Viet | dir. Ann Hui, Hong Kong 1981 | 40th anniversary tribute screening. In-person Only

    UNCAGED AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE FILM
    The Uncaged competition section shines the spotlight on first- or second-time directors and celebrates their passion, their vision and their willingness to take risks.
    - Anima | dir. Cao Jinling, China 2021 | North American Premiere. In-person Only
    - City Of Lost Things | dir. Yee Chih-yen, Taiwan 2020 | North American Premiere. In-person Only
    - Hand Rolled Cigarette | dir. Chan Kin Long, Hong Kong 2021 | North American Premiere. In-person & Virtual
    - Joint | Kojima Oudai, Japan 2021 | International Premiere. In-person & Virtual
    - Ten Months | Namkoong Sun, 2020 | International Premiere. In-person Only
    - Tiong Bahru Social Club | dir. Tan Bee Thiam, Singapore 2020 | U.S. Premiere. In-person & Virtual

    ASIAN AMERICAN FOCUS
    Americanish | dir. Iman K. Zawahry, USA 2021 | In-person Only
    A Shot Through the Wall | dir. Aimee Long, USA 2021 | In-person Only
    Snakehead | dir. Evan Jackson Leong, USA 2021 | In-person Only
    Shorts Showcase, 10 films | In-person and Virtual

    CROWD PLEASERS
    Films with broad appeal and titles accessible to all tastes
    - All U Need is Love | dir. Vincent Kok, Hong Kong 2021 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    - Breakout Brothers | dir. Mak Ho Pong, Hong Kong 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    - The Con-Heartist | dir. Mez Tharatorn, Thailand 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    - From Today, It's My Turn!! | dir. Yuichi Fukuda, Japan 2020 | U.S. Premiere. Virtual Only
    - Hold Me Back | dir. Akiko Ohku, Japan 2020 | U.S. Premiere. Virtual Only
    - jigoku-no-hanazono: Office Royale | dir. Kazuaki Seki, Japan 2021 | North American Premiere. In-person Only
    - My Missing Valentine | dir. Chen Yu-hsun, Taiwan 2020 | New York Premiere. Virtual Only
    - One Second Champion | dir. Chiu Sin-Hang, Hong Kong 2020 | New York Premiere. Virtual Only
    - Tonkatsu DJ Agetaro | dir. Ken Ninomiya, Japan 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    - Zero to Hero | dir. Wan Chi-Man, Hong Kong 2021 | North American Premiere. In-person Only

    GENRE MASTERS
    Innovative new work that tweaks and twists genre conventions
    - Coffin Homes | dir. Fruit Chan, Hong Kong 2021 | North American Premiere
    - The Fable: The Killer Who Doesn't Kill | dir. Kan Eguchi, Japan 2021 | North American Premiere. In-person Only
    - Last of The Wolves | dir. Kazuya Shiraishi, Japan 2021 | North American Premiere. In-person Only
    - Limbo | dir. Soi Cheang, Hong Kong, 2021 | North American Premiere. In-person Only
    - Midnight | dir. Kwon Oh-seung, South Korea 2021 | International Premiere. Virtual Only
    - The Prayer | dir. Min Kyu-dong, South Korea 2021 | International Premiere. Virtual Only
    - Rising Shaolin: the Protector | dir. Stanley Tong, China, Hong Kong 2021 | International Premiere. Virtual Only
    - Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It | dir. Yernar Nurgaliyev, Kazakhstan 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only

    NEXT/NOW
    Highlighting emerging voices and promising works by up-and-coming directors
    - Here And There | dir. JP Habac, Philippines 2021 | North American Premiere. In-person & Virtual
    - Keep Rolling | dir. Man Lim Chung, Hong Kong 2020 | New York Premiere. Virtual Only
    - Money Has Four Legs | Maung Sun, Myanmar 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    - The Old Town Girls | dir. Shen Yu, China 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    - Shadows | dir. Glenn Chan, Hong Kong 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    - Snowball | dir. Lee Woo-jung, South Korea 2021 | International premiere. In-person Only
    - Time | dir. Ricky Ko, Hong Kong 2021 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only.

    BEYOND BORDERS
    Films that tell stories about characters confronting different cultures
    - The Asian Angel | dir. Yuya Ishii, Japan 2021 | North American Premiere. In-person Only
    - Fighter | dir. Jéro Yun, South Korea 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    - Nasi Lemak 1.0 | dir. Namewee, Malaysia 2021 | International Premiere. TBD
    - A Song for You | dir. Dukar Tserang, China 2020 | North American Premiere. In-person Only

    FRONTLINES
    Films grounded in the lives of those in marginalized communities, with narratives that examine pressing issues
    - Babi | dir. Namewee, Malaysia 2020 | North American Premiere. TBD
    - A Balance | dir. Yujiro Harumoto, Japan 2020 | North American Premiere. In-person Only
    - I Don't Fire Myself | dir. Lee Tae-Gyeom, South Korea 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    - Ninja Girl | dir. Yu Irie, Japan 2021 | World Premiere. In-person Only
    - The Silent Forest | dir. Ko Chen-nien, Taiwan 2020 | New York Premiere. Virtual Only
    - Three Sisters | dir. Lee Seung-won, South Korea 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    - Tough Out | dir. Xu Hui-jing, China 2020 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only
    - The Way We Keep Dancing | dir. Adam Wong, Hong Kong 2020 | New York Premiere. Virtual Only

    STANDOUTS
    Exceptional films, regardless of their premiere status __
    - Blue | dir. Keisuke Yoshida, Japan 2021 | U.S. Premiere. Virtual Only
    - The Book of Fish | dir. Lee Joon-ik, South Korea 2021 | International Premiere. In-person Only
    - A Leg | dir. Chang Yao-sheng, Taiwan 2020 | US Continental Premiere. In-person & Virtual
    - Samjin Company English Class | dir. Lee Jong-pil, South Korea 2020 | New York Premiere. In-person & Virtual
    - Under the Open Sky | dir. Miwa Nishikawa, Japan 2020 | New York Premiere. In-person Only

    VANGUARDS
    Original films that break away from formalistic and/or narrative conventions
    - As We Like It | dir. Muni Wei, Chen Hung-i, Taiwan 2021 | East Coast Premiere. Virtual Only
    - Barbarian Invasion | dir. Tan Chui Mui, Malaysia 2021 | North American Premiere. In-person Only
    - Junk Head | dir. Takahide Hori, Japan 2021 | U.S. Premiere. In-person Only
    - Over the Town | dir. Rikiya Imaizumi, Japan 2021 | U.S. Premiere. Virtual Only
    - Sensei, Would You Sit Beside Me? | dir. Takahiro Horie, Japan 2021 | World Premiere. In-person Only
    - Zokki | dir. Naoto Takenaka, Takayuki Yamada, Takumi Saitoh, Japan 2021 | North American Premiere. Virtual Only

    NOTES TO EDITOR:
    Please send all NYAFF press inquiries to: Stevie Wong, stevie.wong@nyaff.org
    (Viewing links for key films are available by request)

    LINK TO STILLS

    LINK TO FESTIVAL LOGO

    LINK TO POSTER

    ABOUT ANN HUI, VARIETY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD HONOREE
    Born in Liaoning province, northeastern China, but raised in Hong Kong, legendary director, producer and screenwriter Ann Hui is one of the most critically acclaimed Hong Kong New Wave filmmakers. She made her feature debut with The Secret in 1979, which won the Golden Horse Award for Best Feature Film. She went on to create such indelible titles as The Story of Woo Viet (1981), Boat People (1982), Song of the Exile (1990), Ordinary Heroes (1999), The Way We Are (2008), Night and Fog (2009), A Simple Life (2011), The Golden Era (2014), Our Time Will Come (2017) and Love After Love (2020). Over the course of a four-decade career, Hui has won numerous awards for her films, including the Golden Horse Award (GHA) for Best Director three times (1999, 2011, 2014) and Best Director at the Hong Kong Film Awards six times (1983, 1996, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018). In 2020, she was the first female director to be honored with the Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award at the Venice Film Festival. Hui served as the president of the Hong Kong Film Director's Guild from 2004 to 2006. In 2007, she was invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

    NYAFF 2021 VENUES/VIRTUAL PLATFORM
    Virtual platform:
    Film at Lincoln Center (FLC) Virtual Cinema, August 7 - 22, 2021

    In-person venues:
    Film at Lincoln Center (FLC), August 6 - 8, 2021
    Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street

    SVA Theatre: August 9 - 22, 2021
    333 West 23rd Street

    NYAFF TICKET PRICING AND INFO:
    Tickets for the 20th New York Asian Film Festival go on sale Friday, July 23 at noon.
    Virtual tickets & passes:
    $12 each for general public, $9.60 for FLC members (discounted ticket) for all virtual titles.
    $150 discounted FLC All-Access Pass for all virtual titles.

    In-person tickets & passes:
    In-person single tickets (for both FLC and SVA):
    $15 each for general public, $12 for students / seniors (62+) /persons with disabilities; $10 for FLC members (discounted tickets).
    In-person Passes:
    $60 for 6 films at FLC only (six-film FLC All-Access Pass).
    $250 for an in-person pass for screenings at the SVA Theatre.

    For additional information, please visit Film at Lincoln Center at filmlinc.org, New York Asian Film Festival at nyaff.org, and follow us on social media @filmlinc and @nyaff.

    ABOUT NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL (NYAFF)
    Now in its 20th year, the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) is North America’s leading festival of popular Asian cinema, which The Village Voice has called “the best film festival in New York,” and The New York Times has called “one of the city’s most valuable events.” Launched in 2002, the festival selects only the best, strangest, and most entertaining movies to screen for New York audiences, ranging from mainstream blockbusters and art-house eccentricities to genre and cult classics. It was the first North American film festival to champion the works of Johnnie To, Bong Joon-ho, Park Chan-wook, Takashi Miike, and other auteurs of contemporary Asian cinema. Since 2010, it has been produced in collaboration with Film at Lincoln Center.
    For more information, visit: New York Asian Film Festival
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    Twitter, #nyaff2021
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 07-21-2021 at 01:03 PM.

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    Centerpiece and Closing Night films of the 2021 NYAFF (Aug. 6-22)



    THE NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL UNVEILS
    LEGENDARY ACTION DIRECTOR BENNY CHAN’S
    EXPLOSIVE FINAL FILM
    RAGING FIRE
    AS THE FESTIVAL CENTERPIECE

    DISASTER-FILM MAESTRO KIM JI-HOON’S HOTLY-AWAITED
    SINKHOLE
    WILL BE THE CLOSING FILM


    The two titles complete this year’s 20th edition lineup,
    with over 70 films to screen in person and virtually.

    NYAFF 2021 logo

    Benny Chan's Raging Fire
    © 2021 Well Go USA Entertainment / Emperor Motion Pictures

    New York, NY (July 30, 2021) – The New York Asian Film Foundation and Film at Lincoln Center have announced two final titles, completing the lineup for the upcoming 20th edition of the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF). The festival will be screening over 70 films, both virtually and in person, to audiences in New York and across the country from August 6 – 22, 2021. Tickets are already on sale.

    NYAFF is thrilled to present as its festival Centerpiece the international premiere of NYAFF favorite director Benny Chan’s final work, RAGING FIRE. Completed shortly before his untimely death in August 2020, the Hong Kong-Chinese action film stars the inimitable Donnie Yen as Shan, a by-the-book cop whose past returns to haunt him. After a sting operation goes disastrously awry, Shan finds himself pitted against Ngo (Nicholas Tse), a former protégé who has turned criminal mastermind and is out for revenge. Nothing, it seems, can stop him, including his former mentor.

    Chan, a NYAFF Centerpiece guest in 2011, also produced Raging Fire along with Yen (NYAFF’s 2012 Star Asia Awardee), the superstar hero of a range of blockbusters, including Shanghai Knights, The Monkey King, Ip Man, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Chan’s hard-boiled action swan song also reunites Tse (Shaolin Soccer, Beast Stalker, Bodyguards and Assassins) with his Shaolin director.

    Raging Fire features a star studded cast that includes Qin Lan (The Last Supper), Ray Lui Leung-wai (Firestorm), Ben Lam (Flash Point) and Simon Yam (PTU, Election). The film also brings together an exciting collective of action directors; Huen Chiu Ku (Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Kenji Tanigaki (Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen, the Rurouni Kenshin franchise), and Chris Collins (Ip Man 4), as well as action choreographer Kang Yu (Chasing the Dragon, Special ID) to produce a never before seen action experience on the big screen.


    Kim Ji-hoon’s Sinkhole
    © 2021 SHOWBOX AND THE TOWER PICTURES, INC.

    NYAFF is also thrilled to announce that our Closing Film will be the North American premiere of Kim Ji-hoon’s (The Tower, Sector 7) disaster comedy, SINKHOLE, direct from its world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival. One of South Korea’s most hotly anticipated summer tentpoles, the film focuses on a small group of people who must pull together and pool their strengths in a battle against time and gravity, 500 meters underground. Sinkhole runs the emotional gamut, from Korean-style satirical comedy to tense, action-packed survivalist drama.

    Led by busy actors Cha Seung-won (Cheer Up, Mr. Lee; Night in Paradise) and Kim Sung-kyun (Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time, The Divine Move 2: The Wrathful), with beloved comic actor Lee Kwang-soo (Running Man, Busted!) and Kim Hye-jun (Kingdom) rounding out the ensemble cast, Sinkhole entertainingly highlights human tenacity in adverse circumstances, with spectacular, larger-than-life special effects and stunts that are both nail-biting and laughter-provoking.


    Kim Ji-hoon’s Sinkhole
    © 2021 SHOWBOX AND THE TOWER PICTURES, INC.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-11-2021 at 09:22 PM.

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    Getting off to a late start; the festival is in its sixth day.

    OVER THE TOWN 街の上で (Rikiya Imaizumi 2020)

    Imaizumi is a prolific maker of youth-focused romantic comedies with 16 features and several TV series under his belt. This is one set in Tokyo's hip Shimokitazawa districct, Shimokita for short, an area with cool shops, miicro brew bars, art theaters, and such. The 20-something protag Ao works in a tiny secondhand clothing shop and is beginning to enjoy his increased appeal to women, but when hired to play himself in an indie film directed by a young woman probably smitten by him, he's a flop. When you get on the wavelength, this is droll stuff.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-14-2021 at 09:14 AM.

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    LAST OF THE WOLVES akA BLOOD OF THE WOLVES II 孤狼の血 LEVEL2 (Kazuya Shiraishi 2021)

    Second film in a franchise based on novels of Yűko Yuzuki that is unusual today from Japan, a yakuza genre picture. Reportedly more propulsive and violent than its predecessors. Too gruesome in places for me and at 139 minutes too long, but satisfying to fans of the genre.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-14-2021 at 09:14 AM.

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    BOOK OF THE FISH 자산어보 (Lee Joon-ik 2021)

    B&W Korean historical film set in the early 1800's about the meeting of a learned high born Christian in exile on an island and the bright fisherman he befriends.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-14-2021 at 09:15 AM.

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    JOINT ジョイント (Oudai Kojima 2020)

    The director, who is only 27 and grew up from age three to 13 in New York City then was educated in Japan, has not escaped from yakuza movie conventions but has somehow nonetheless made a completely fresh version, with a noirish, shaky cam look, documentary researched elements and a new star. The subject is an ex con who returns to Tokyo planning to be a success in straight business, but first to raise money will do just one last deep dive in data-mining scams. . .

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-14-2021 at 09:16 AM.

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    BLUE ブルー ( Keisuke Yoshida 2021)

    Meticulous, loving, brutally honest picture of boxing. Goes the extra mile. Not formally innovative in any way though.


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    2021 New York Asian Film Festival

    INTRODUCTDORY TRAILER


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    TIME 殺出個黃昏 (Ricky Ko, 2021)

    This film stars three well known Hong Kong actors of a certain age (ranging from 57 to 84) playing a team of former hitmen in a combined comedy and social commentary about the troubles of aging and poor local standards of elder care.


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    A BALANCE 由宇子の天秤 (Yujiro Harumoto 2020)

    A little over-long and with a plot parallelism that's somewhat gratuitous; but with those reservations, a brilliant, compulsively watchable investigative thriller with complex moral and social overtones that reminds one of Asghar Farhadi and Michael Haneke. The story is of a determined documentarian working on a film for television about a school sex and bullying scandal that led to the suicides of a girl student and a teacher. It is derailed by the protagonist's uncompromising desire for truth, and by other embarrassing truths that come to light touching her own family.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-15-2021 at 08:54 PM.

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    SENSEI, WOULD YOU SIT BESIDE ME? 先生0、私の隣に座っていただけませんか?(Takahiro Horie 2021)

    A cute manga-artist couple with problems of fidelity and creativity start blurring the line between reality and invention.

    Premiered at the festival today.


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    ZOKKI (Takumi Saitoh, Naoto Takenaka, Takayuki Yamada 2020)

    No, manga isn't all cute spiky-haired boys and girls like we see in Takahiro Horie's Sensei, Would You Sit Beside Me?, also in this year's NYAFF. This manga adaptation shows a far darker, gnarlier world with a whole panoply of people who aren't pretty like Horie's manga power couple. The intertwined losers and misfits in the tales gathered here reminded me of Aki Kaurismaaki and Roy Andersson.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-16-2021 at 03:17 PM.

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    UNDER THE OPEN SKY すばらしき世界 (Miwa Nishikawa 2020)

    Koreeda's former assistant's flawed, but memorable, saga of an ex-con trying to live a straight life is elevated by the lead performance of the great Koji Yakusho.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-22-2021 at 04:34 PM.

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    HOLD ME BACK ( Akiko Ohku 2020)

    Mitsuko and Tada get together - very tentatively - in this Japanese style rom-com about shy Tokyo office workers on the edge of thirty. There's a trip to Rome - and a neighbor who practices Tuval singing. This won the audience prize at the 2020 Tokyo International Film Festival - due to COVid, the only prize awarded.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-17-2021 at 10:05 PM.

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