The Osaka Asian Film Festival announced the full line-up for its 13th edition (March 9th-18th) later last week. The 53-film program (hailing from 18 countries and regions) includes 13 world premieres and 7 international premieres.
The festival opens on March 9th with Lee Joon-ik’s Anarchist From Colony (박열), a biopic about Korean independent activist Park Yeol and his lover Fumiko Kaneko. Set in Japan, the film features a significant amount of Japanese dialogue.
The festival will close with the world premiere of Akihiro Toda’s The Name (名前), about a divorced former businessman who forms a bond with a mysterious high schooler. Last year, the festival also closed with the world premiere of another local title, Natsuki Seta’s Parks (PARKS パークス)
The competition section includes 15 films, including the world premiere of Derek Chiu’s 2017 HAF selection No. 1 Chung Ying Street (), the international premiere of Giancarlo Abrahan’s Paki (Please, Care), the international premiere of Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo’s Mr. and Mrs. Cruz (Bernado’s Kita Kita also played in last year’s competition), the international premiere of Taiwanese animated film A Dog’s Life (狗狗傷心誌) and the Asian premiere of Anshul Chauhan’s Bad Poetry Tokyo (東京不穏詩). The section also includes Golden Horse winner The Bold, The Corrupt and the Beautiful (血觀音), Kogonada’s Colombus, Mikhail Red’s Neomanila, Hsieh Chun-yi’s Take Me To the Moon (帶我去月球) and Sri Lanka’s Underpants Thief.
The three Philippine films in the competition section are also part of the festival’s Sandaan program, celebrating 100 years of Philippine cinema.
In addition to the opening and closing films, the special screenings section includes the world premiere of Lim Kah-wai’s No Where, Now Here (どこでもない、ここしかない), the world premiere of Japan-South Korea co-production Woozoo be Alright? (あなたの宇宙は大丈夫ですか？) and Tokyo Film Festival prizewinner Passage of Life (僕の帰る場所).
This year’s Indie Forum includes seven features and seven short films by young filmmakers. The selections include the world premieres of Hitoshi Yazaki’s Still Life of Memories (スティルライフオブメモリーズ) and Daisuke Miyazaki’s Tourism. Miyazaki was also in last year’s competition with Yamato (California) (大和（カリフォルニア）)
This edition sees the return of New Action! Southeast Asia, which highlights new trends in southeast Asian cinema. The section includes the world premiere of Japan-Myanmar co-production My Country My Home (), the international premiere of Indonesia’s PaiKau and the international premiere of Malaysia’s Think Big Big (大大噠).
This year’s Hong Kong focus programs features six films, including three films in competition – No. 1 Chung Ying Street, Tam Wai-ching’s In Your Dreams (以青春的名義) and Chapman To’s The Empty Hands (空手道).