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The 2016 New York Asian Film Festival Is Almost Here

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June 22 through July 9th

Is it really that time again already? Wow. Apparently it is. NYAFF time. For the past five years, we have been covering the latest and greatest Asian films as brought to us by the swell folks at Subway Cinema, and this year is going to be no different. Between June 22nd (next Wednesday) and July 9th (some subsequent Saturday), more than 50 films from  China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and a handful of Southeast Asian countries will be screened at either the Walter Reade Theater at the Film Society of Lincoln Center or the SVA Theater.

There's some really cool looking stuff this year, and I have it on good authority that the Southeast Asian films in particular are really interesting this year. I'm excited to check all of this out, and of course we'll be bringing you coverage of the festival, letting you know what to check out, either at the festival now or if/when (hopefully the latter) it gets some kind of broader release.

The full press release and screening schedule can be found below. More information can be found at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's website, where you can also purchase tickets for both the Walter Reade and SVA theater screenings.

FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER and SUBWAY CINEMA

Announce Full Lineup for

THE 15th NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL

June 22 – July 9, 2016

Opening Gala is the World Premiere of Kazuya Shiraishi’s Japanese crime epic Twisted Justice; Centerpiece Gala is the North American Premiere of Ralston Jover's Hamog (Haze); and Closing Gala is the International Premiere of Adam Tsuei’s The Tenants Downstairs from Taiwan

51-film festival features spotlights on the cinemas of Hong Kong, South Korean, and Southeast Asia

Festival honorees include Lifetime Achievement awardee Iwai Shunji, Screen International Rising Stars Go Ayano, Jelly Lin, andTeri Malvar, and Star Asia Award recipients Miriam Yeung, Lee Byung-hun, and John Lloyd Cruz

New York, NY (May, 2016) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Subway Cinema announced today the complete lineup for the 15th New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), which will take place from June 22 to July 5 at the Film Society and July 6 to 9 at the SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street). North America’s leading festival of popular Asian cinema will showcase 51 feature films, including one World Premiere, one International Premiere, 16 North American premieres, 2 U.S. Premieres, and 14 films making their New York City debuts. Featuring in-person appearances by more than 30 international filmmakers and celebrity guests from Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia.


The Opening Night gala will be the World Premiere of Kazuya Shiraishi’s wild crime epic Twisted Justice,based on Yoshiaki Inaba’s autobiography and starring Japan’s hottest actor (and Rising Star honoree) Go Ayano as his country’s most corrupt police detective. The Centerpiece Gala is the North American Premiere of Ralston Jover's Hamog (Haze), an empowering, thrilling and impassioned tale of a gang of street kids, headlined by (Rising Star honoree) Teri Malvar.Closing Night is the International Premiere of Adam Tsuei’s The Tenants Downstairs.Based on a screenplay and story by former NYAFF guest Giddens Ko (You Are the Apple of My Eye), the blackly comic, sexually explicit thriller features Simon Yam as a landlord spying on and manipulating the lives of his tenants. Filmmakers and cast members from the three movies will be in attendance at their respective screenings.

"We set out this year to champion a much broader range of Asian cinema," said NYAFFExecutive Director Samuel Jamier. "For example, we are particularly excited by a new breed of noir film, rooted in social issues, that is emerging in both China and Southeast Asia. With these and other selections in the lineup, we want to show that Asian films are still exploring new directions for world cinema."

Faithful to its Chinatown roots and central to its lineup, the festival will feature a Hong Kong Panorama, showcasing the most innovative films from the Special Administrative Region, with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York. From a coming-of-age drama about high-school girls who become involved in the sex trade (Lazy Hazy Crazy), to a feel-good baseball movie set within Hong Kong’s public-housing system (Weeds on Fire), to a hard-boiled gangster omnibus (the Johnnie To–produced Triviṣa), these films are revitalizing local genre staples with a fresh spin. The program also includes Nick Cheung’s Keeper of Darkness, Herman Yau’s The Mobfathers, and Adam Wong’s She Remembers, He Forgets.

The South Korean Cinema lineup includes a vibrant mix of thrillers (both supernatural and surreal) from first- and second-time directors that are daring twists on genre films (AloneThe Boys Who Cried Wolf, and The Priests), and insightful art-house dramas focusing on social issues from established directors (Jung Ji-woo’s Fourth Place about how much we demand from the next generation, and E J-yong’s The Bacchus Lady about the plight of the country’s abandoned elderly). In co-presentation with the Korean Movie Night New York Master Series,NYAFF will feature the two latest films by Lee Joon-ik, who will attend screenings of Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet (with producer and screenwriter Shin Yeon-shick) and The Throne. Together with Lee Jong-pil’s The Sound of a Flower, the triptych examines the scars of South Korea’s troubled history. The festival’s 11 South Korean films are presented with the support of the Korean Cultural Center New York.

NYAFF’s Taiwan Cinema Now! section defies genres with first films by new directors Adam Tsuei (The Tenants Downstairs), Vic Cheng (The Tag-Along), and Lee Chung (The Laundryman) that expand the horizons of the island's genre cinema. The section, presented with the support of the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York, is completed by two powerful dramas from established filmmakers Tom Lin (Zinnia Flower) and Cheng Wen-tang (Maverick) that explore loss and redemption.

Southeast Asian Cinema receives greater focus this year, reflecting how the region is making some of the world’s most innovative films. Highlights include the Tamil-language Jagat (Brutal) from Malaysia, the acutely observed Heart Attack from Thailand, and empowering youth noirHaze (Hamog) from the Philippines. Proving that stars from the region are just as glamorous and talented as their Northern neighbors, we are joined by John Lloyd Cruz, Teri Malvar, Sid Lucero, Gwen Zamora, and Annicka Dolonius (stars of the Philippines’ sensuous surfing dramaApocalypse Child), and Apinya Sakuljaroensuk (from the social-media slasher flick Grace).

Special screenings include a full day of films on July 4 from noon until midnight celebrating the indie spirit of Hong Kong cinema. The day will conclude with the hotly anticipated 10 Years, winner of Best Film at the Hong Kong Film Awards, which examines life in Hong Kong in an imaginary future when Cantonese is a second-class language and where the island has completely fallen under Mainland controlSpecial screenings also include a Founding Fathers Tribute, a focus on the favorite films of the festival’s programmers, from Michael Arias’s madcap animated feature Tekkonkinkreet to Shinya Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo: The Iron Man and Pang Ho-cheung’s Love in the Buff starring Miriam Yeung, alongside a Surprise Screening of a contemporary classic that holds special significance to the founders of NYAFF.

The 2016 Star Asia Awards honorees are Hong Kong’s Miriam Yeung, the Philippines’ John Lloyd Cruz, and South Korea’s Lee Byung-hun, and all three box-office mega-stars will be in New York in person to discuss their newest films and their careers. Yeung, whose charismatic girl-next-door persona epitomizes the anything-is-possible spirit of Hong Kong, stars in in Adam Wong’s romantic drama She Remembers, He Forgets. The film is her return to the screen after headlining the biggest local hit of 2015, Little Big Master. Cruz, the Philippines’ most popular movie star, who broke box-office records in last year’s romantic drama Second Chance, transforms his image as a father who will do anything in festival selection Honor Thy Father,a powerful crime epic from Erik Matti. Lee, South Korean cinema’s leading man and one of the few to successfully cross over to Hollywood, stars in Inside Men, Woo Min-ho’s takedown of the corruption at the heart of South Korea’s institutions. Lee has been seen in multiple blockbuster action franchises (G.I. Joe, Red 2, Terminator Genisys), is best known for South Korean filmsThe Good, the Bad, the WeirdI Saw the Devil, and Bittersweet Life (by Kim Jee-woon); as well as the tormented soldier in Park Chan-wook’s Joint Security Area and the lowlife-turned-king in Choo Chang-min’s Masquerade.

 

In addition to the Star Asia Awards, previously announced award recipients include:

·       Lifetime Achievement Award – Iwai Shunji. The first Japanese recipient of the award, he will present his three cinematic epics—Swallowtail Butterfly (1996), All About Lily Chou-Chou(2001), and A Bride for Rip Van Winkle (2016), also starring Ayano—during the festival's opening weekend. Iwai has proven himself one of Asia’s most influential filmmakers since his mid-1990sUndoPicnic, and Love Letter. He is recognized for capturing the spirit of the times, and stretching the cinematic language of Asian cinema. Despite his early successes, he has continued to reinvent himself, recently directing his first animated feature.

·       Screen International Rising Star Asia Awards – China’s Jelly Lin, Japan’s Ayano Go, and the Philippines’ Teri Malvar. Lin made a powerful debut this year, showcasing her natural comedic skills in Stephen Chow's fish-out-of-water tale (China’s highest-grossing film) The Mermaid; 15-year-old Malvar has already proven herself one of Asia’s most naturally gifted actresses, and stars in festival selection Hamog (Haze), in which her violent street kid character is kidnapped into a twisted household to work as its maid; and Ayano, Japan’s hottest actor of 2016 is being recognized for his chameleon-like range, stars in two of the festival’s key films,Twisted Justice and A Bride for Rip Van Winkle.

·       Daniel A. Craft Award for Excellence in Action Cinema – Yue Song. The Chinese actor, director, and stunt choreographer will be honored for his old-school, balls-to-the-wall instant-classic kung-fu flick The Bodyguard. Yue found fame online by uploading action-packed training videos and short films that became cult hits in China, before making his first feature King of the Street. His new film has found a natural home in our anniversary edition.

 

Credits:

Curated by executive director Samuel Jamier, senior programmer Stephen Cremin, and programmers Rufus de Rham and Claire Marty.

The New York Asian Film Festival is co-presented by Subway Cinema and the Film Society of Lincoln Center and takes place from June 22 to July 5 at Film Society’s Walter Reade Theater, and July 6 to 9 at SVA Theatre.

Keep up to date with information at www.subwaycinema.com and www.filmlinc.org. Subway Cinema can be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nyaff and Twitter atwww.twitter.com/subwaycinema.

FULL LINEUP (51):
*Guests in attendance; see next section for complete list

CHINA (4):
The Bodyguard (dir. Yue Song, 2016)*
Mr. Six (dir. Guan Hu, 2015)
Saving Mr. Wu (dir. Ding Sheng, 2015)
What’s in the Darkness (dir. Wang Yichun, 2016)*

HONG KONG PANORAMA (9):
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York

The Bodyguard (dir. Sammo Hung, 2016)

Keeper of Darkness (dir. Nick Cheung, 2015)

Lazy Hazy Crazy (dir. Luk Yee-sum, 2015)

Love in the Buff (dir. Pang Ho-cheung, 2012)

The Mermaid (dir. Stephen Chow, 2016)*

The Mobfathers (dir. Herman Yau, 2016) w/short Killer and Undercover (dir. Lau Ho-Leung, 2016)

She Remembers, He Forgets (dir. Adam Wong, 2015)*

Triviṣa (dirs. Frank Hui, Jevons Au & Vicky Wong, 2016) *

Weeds on Fire (dir. Chan Chi-fat, 2016)

HONG KONG SPECIAL SCREENING (1):

10 Years (dirs. Kwok Zune, Chow Kwun-wai, Jevons Au, Ng Ka-leung & Wong Fei-pang, 2015)*

JAPAN (13):
All About Lily Chou-Chou (dir. Iwai Shunji, 2001)*
A Bride for Rip Van Winkle (dir. Iwai Shunji, 2016)*
Creepy (dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2016)
Hentai Kamen 2: The Abnormal Crisis (dir. Yuichi Fukuda, 2016)
Kiyamachi Daruma (dir. Hideo Sakaki, 2015)
Miss Hokusai (dir. Keiichi Hara, 2015)
Swallowtail Butterfly (dir. Iwai Shunji, 1996)*
Tekkonkinkreet (dir. Michael Arias, 2006)*
Tetsuo: The Iron Man (dir. Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989) 
Twisted Justice (dir. Kazuya Shiraishi, 2016) 
What a Wonderful Family! (Yoji Yamada, 2016)
Plus, an additional two titles to be announced at a later date


SOUTH KOREA (11):

Presented with the support of Korean Cultural Center New York
Alone (dir. Park Hong-min, 2015)
The Bacchus Lady (dir. E J-yong, 2016)
The Boys Who Cried Wolf (dir. Kim Jin-hwang, 2015)*
Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet (dir. Lee Joon-ik, 2016)*
Fourth Place (dir. Jung Ji-woo, 2015)
Inside Men (dir. Woo Min-ho, 2015)*
The Priests (dir. Jang Jae-hyun, 2015)
Seoul Station (dir. Yeon Sang-ho, 2015)
The Sound of a Flower (dir. Lee Jong-pil, 2015)
The Throne (dir. Lee Joon-ik, 2015)*
A Violent Prosecutor (dir. Lee Il-hyeong, 2016)

SOUTHEAST ASIA (7)
Apocalypse Child (dir. Mario Cornejo, 2015)*
Grace (dirs. Ornusa Donsawai & Pun Homchuen, 2016)*
Hamog (Haze) (dir. Ralston Jover, 2015)*
Heart Attack (dir. Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, 2015)
Honor Thy Father (dir. Erik Matti, 2015)*
Jagat (Brutal) (dir. Shanjhey Kumar Perumal, 2015)*
Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass (dir. Victor Vu, 2015)

TAIWAN (5):
Presented with the support of the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York

The Laundryman (dir. Lee Chung, 2015)
Maverick (dir. Cheng Wen-tang, 2015)
The Tag-Along (dir. Cheng Wei-hao, 2015)
The Tenants Downstairs (dir. Adam Tsuei, 2016)*
Zinnia Flower (dir. Tom Lin, 2015)

 

AT THE FILM SOCIETY

6/22, WEDNESDAY - OPENING NIGHT

7:00pm TWISTED JUSTICE 135min

9:30pm Opening Night Party for Ticket Holders

6/23, THURSDAY

6:15pm APOCALYPSE CHILD 95 min +Q&A

9:00pm THE PRIESTS 108 min

6/24, FRIDAY

4:00pm IF CATS DISAPPEARED FROM THE WORLD 100min

6:15pm A BRIDE FOR RIP VAN WINKLE 179min Award

9:45pm SEOUL STATION 92min

6/25, SATURDAY

12:30pm THE LAUNDRYMAN 112min

2:45pm SWALLOWTAIL BUTTERFLY 146min + Q&A

6:15pm LAZY HAZY CRAZY 99min

8:30pm THE BODYGUARD Award + Q&A 90min

11:00pm TETSUO THE IRON MAN 67min

6/26, SUNDAY

12:00pm WHAT A WONDERFUL FAMILY 108min

2:15pm ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU 146min + Appearance

5:15pm TEKKONKINKREET 111min

7:30pm BRUTAL (JAGAT) 86min + Appearance

9:30pm MAVERICK 114min

6/27, MONDAY

6:15pm WHAT’S IN THE DARKNESS 98min +Q&A

9:00pm IF CATS DISAPPEARED FROM THE WORLD 100min

6/28, TUESDAY

6:00pm TWISTED JUSTICE 135min + Q&A + award

9:15pm DONGJU 110 min + Q&A

6/29, WEDNESDAY

6:00pm CREEPY 130 min

8:45pm SHE REMEMBERS HE FORGETS 110min + AWARD/Q&A

6/30, THURSDAY

6:00pm LOVE IN THE BUFF 111min + Appearance

8:30pm THE THRONE 125 min + Appearance

7/1, FRIDAY

3:30pm TOO YOUNG TO DIE 125m

6:00pm THE BACCHUS LADY 110min

8:15pm HAZE 100min Award + Q&A

7/2, SATURDAY

1:00pm YELLOW FLOWERS ON GREEN GRASS 103min

3:05pm FOURTH PLACE 116min

5:30pm THE MERMAID 94min Award + Q&A

8:15pm HONOR THY FATHER 115min Award + Q&A

7/3, SUNDAY

12:30pm THE TAG-ALONG 93min

2:30pm MISS HOKUSAI 90min

4:30pm ZINNIA FLOWER 95min

6:30pm HEART ATTACK 125min

9:00pm GRACE + Q&A 90min

7/4, MONDAY

12:00pm THE BODYGUARD 99min

2:10pm WEEDS ON FIRE 95min

4:15pm TRIVISA 97min

6:30pm THE MOBFATHERS w/ short KILLER AND UNDERCOVER 104min

9:00pm 10 YEARS + Q&A 104min

7/5, TUES

6:00pm KIYAMACHI DARUMA 115min

8:30pm INSIDE MEN 130min Award +Q&A

SVA THEATER

7/6, WEDNESDAY

 6:30pm ALONE 90min

8:30pm HENTAI KAMEN 2 117min

7/7, THURSDAY

6:15pm SOUND OF A FLOWER 109min

8:30pm MR. SIX 136min

7/8, FRIDAY

6:15pm A VIOLENT PROSECUTOR 126min

8:40pm 15th ANNIVERSARY SURPRISE SCREENING 96min

7/9, SATURDAY 

12:00pm KEEPER OF DARKNESS 103min

2:15pm BOYS WHO CRIED WOLF 80min

4:00pm SAVING MR WU 106min

6:15pm TOO YOUNG TO DIE 125min

9:00pm THE TENANTS DOWNSTAIRS + Q&A

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Alec Kubas-Meyer
Alec Kubas-MeyerReviews & Features Editor   gamer profile

Alec Kubas-Meyer signed up for Flixist in May of 2011 as a news writer, and he never intended to write a single review. Funny, then, that he is now the site's Reviews (and Features) Editor. After... more + disclosures


 


 



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