Starting and finishing in Lincoln Center for the first time in many years, with a brief side trips to the Look Theater on 57th and The Barrymore Film Center in Fort Lee New Jersey, The New York Asian Film Festival returns with a vengeance.
Over the course of the last twenty three years NYAFF has changed it’s focus from wild and crazy films, primarily from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan Korea and Japan, in the early days to a more broad spectrum of films with a heavier focus on dramas and socially relevant titles with titles from all across Asia. Under the watchful eye of Sam Jamier the festival has pivoted to making it clear that there is more to Asian cinema than action and horror films. It’s a move that has reflect the broadening tastes of American audiences for films that are not just popcorn spectacles.
I’ve been attending the festival in person since 2009, though I’ve probably seen 90% of every festival over the years either through hunting down the films I missed in the early years, to being given access to everything as a member of the press. It’s been a wild and crazy ride. I can’t wait to wade in and see what goodies Sam and his programmers have in store for us
I say I can’t wait to see what the festival has in store because as this posts I’ve only seen four films. I have tickets for five more films, including the big awards night for Louis Koo, but as for the rest they have been locked away in a sealed vault.... actually I only received access to a few more films this morning so I haven't had a chance to see many of them, therefore I cannot give my usual list of films you must see largely because it feels awkward doing it having only seen a couple of films.
(Oh to hell with it if you want some unexpected gems try BAD EDUCATION, MOUNTAIN ONION, IN BROAD DAYLIGHT and A-TOWN BOYZ. They may not be the best of the year for you but they are the sort of cinematic finds NYAFF that made its reputation on.)
Since I’ve not seen anything I suggest you go to their webpage, look at the slate and buy some tickets.
Hopefully I will see you in the trenches