Second Wave of Cinematic News for the New York Asian Film Festival, Running August 6 to August 22, 2021

Brought to you by New York Asian Film Foundation and Film At Lincoln Center

This year’s festival will open with the international premiere of Ryoo Seung-wan’s tense political thriller ESCAPE FROM MOGADISH; it will include the North American premiere of Fruit Chan’s new horror masterwork COFFIN HOMES; and it will launch a new Asian American Focus selection.

Also, the Opening Night film; the Variety Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award honoree; the competition lineup; the inaugural Asian American Focus selection; and additional titles. 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.

Things kick off 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 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 in the title city 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 Star Asia 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 now celebrating its 40th anniversary, as well as Man Lim Chung’s insightful, delightful portrait of the inimitable Hui, Keep Rolling.

Courtesy NYAFF

NYAFF also unveiled the 6 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 bridging Asia and America: Michael Rosenberg (president, Film Movement), Evan Jackson 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 U.S. 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 cast and crew of each film. The selection further 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 (a guest at NYAFF 2018 for Opening Night film Dynamite Graffiti) 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 feature 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, receiving 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, the festival has 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 U.S.

Latest Lineup with more to come. Note that
the program is still subject to change

[Titles in bold are newly announced entries 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 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 | dir. Oudai Kojima, Japan 2021 | International Premiere. In-person & Virtual
– Ten Months | dir. Namkoong Sun, South Korea 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. Jimmy Wan, 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 | dir. 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 Yaosheng, 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, China, 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

 

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 was nominated for the Golden Horse Award (GHA) 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 her four-decade career, Hui has won numerous awards for her films, including the 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 became 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 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
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter, @NYAFF, #nyaff2021

The New York Asian American Film Foundation – America’s premier 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the exhibition and appreciation of Asian film culture in all its forms, with year-round festivals and programs, and a view to building bridges between Asia and America.

The Foundation’s flagship event is the annual New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), which has been presented in collaboration with Film at Lincoln Center since 2010. Now entering its 20th year, NYAFF is North America’s leading festival of Asian cinema.

The Foundation’s other events and initiatives include special screening events and an annual Winter Showcase at the SVA Theatre.

The New York Asian Film Festival, a program of the New York Asian Film Foundation, is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

The following films are presented with the support of:

HONG KONG ECONOMIC AND TRADE OFFICE IN NEW YORK:
All U Need is Love, Breakout Brothers, Coffin Homes, Hand Rolled Cigarette, Keep Rolling, Limbo, Dragon Inn AKA New Dragon Gate Inn, One Second Champion, Shadows, The Story of Woo Viet, Time, The Way We Keep Dancing, Zero to Hero.

TAIPEI CULTURAL CENTER OF TECO IN NEW YORK:
As We Like It, City Of Lost Things, A Leg, My Missing Valentine, The Silent Forest.

KOREAN CULTURAL CENTER NEW YORK: The Book of Fish, Fighter, Escape from Mogadishu, I Don’t Fire Myself, Midnight, The Prayer, Ryuk-sa: A Teaser (short), Samjin Company English Class, Ten Months, Three Sisters.

JAPAN FOUNDATION NEW YORK: The Asian Angel, A Balance, Blue, The Fable: The Killer Who Doesn’t Kill, From Today, It’s My Turn!!, Hold Me Back, jigoku-no-hanazono: Office Royale, Joint, Junk Head, Last of The Wolves, Ninja Girl, Over the Town, Sensei, Would You Sit Beside Me?, Tonkatsu DJ Agetaro, Under the Open Sky, Zokki.

New York Asian Film Festival Media Partners: Variety

FILM AT LINCOLN CENTER: Dedicated to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema and enriching film culture. It fulfills its mission through the programming of festivals, series, retrospectives, and new releases; the presentation of podcasts, talks, and special events; and via its artist initiatives. Since its founding in 1969, this nonprofit organization has brought the celebration of American and international film to the world-renowned Lincoln Center arts complex, making the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broad audience and ensuring that it remains an essential art form for years to come.

Film at Lincoln Center receives generous, year-round support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. American Airlines is the Official Airline of Film at Lincoln Center. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.org and follow @filmlinc on Twitter and Instagram.

 

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