New York Asian Film Festival Returns With Hybrid Event

·6-min read

The New York Asian Film Foundation and Film at Lincoln Center will unspool the 2021 edition Aug. 6-22 at FLC, kicking off with the premiere of “Escape From Mogadishu,” directed by Ryoo Seung-wan.

In all, 60 films will screen to audiences in person and virtually, with premieres of first and second features from directors for the feature film competition: “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).

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Hong Kong new wave director Ann Hui will receive the Variety Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award, and the festival will screen her film “The Story of Woo Viet” and Man Lim Chung’s pic on Hui, “Keep Rolling.”

The festival will introduce the section Asian American Focus, which will feature films including Aimee Long’s “A Shot Through the Wall.” The team behind the film will be present at the festival.

“Sensei, Would You Sit Beside Me?,” starring Tasuku Emoto and Haru Kuroki; Stanley Tong’s “Rising Shaolin: The Protector,” with Wang Baoqiang; Lee Woo-jung’s “Snowball,” starring Bang Min-a from K-Pop girl group Girl’s Day; and Min Kyu-dong’s “The Prayer,” as well as Fruit Chan’s “Coffin Homes” are among other highlights of the festival.

In addition, to mark the 20th anniversary of “Dragon Inn,” AKA “Dragon Gate,” directed by Raymond Lee, the film will screen at Damrosch Park.

Full list follows:

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 Kong 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. In-person 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 2020 | 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

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