We present a list of ten Asian Film Festivals you cannot miss this November 2017.
We start this month in Kathmandu (Nepal) where we will attend the 11th Film SouthAsia a documentary festival. The biennial was set up in 1997 with the goal of popularizing documentaries so that it entertains, informs and changes lives. Apart from the festival the FSA also organizes screenings, discussions and workshops across South Asia to promote documentaries in the region. The 2017 edition will take place from November 2nd – 5th and will screen 45 films in competition, 12 films in a non-competition section, and 6 Student Films. The highlights of the festival are Ask the Sexpert by Vaishali Sinha (India), Burma Storybook by Petr Lom & Cornne van Egeraat (Myanmar), K2 and the Invisible Footmen by Iara Lee (Pakistan) and The Cinema Travelers by Shirley Abraham & Amit Madhesiya (India), to name a few.
Al the same time in but in Tokyo (Japan) we have the 25th Kineko International Children’s Film Festival. This kids festival feature films from all over the world targeted from 1 year old to teens. The festival’s mission is to “make kids being able to properly think for themselves, being able to express their emotions (laugh, cry, enjoy, feel surprise, afraid and anger); overcome differences of culture, language, and appearance, cultivating global perception to accept diversity and to learn how to greet and be thoughtful towards others”. This year the festival will take place from November 2nd – 6th and will screen the best films for kids and teenagers.
Another interesting festival that will start on Nov. 2nd is the 14th Asiana International Short Film Festival. The festival which is the first and most innovative international short film festival in South Korea will take place from November 2nd – 7th, in Seoul. This year Opening Films will be “The Clap” by Geoff Lindsey (UK | 2015) and “The Fish of My Life” by Julius Siciunas (Lithuania | 2014).
On November 3rd we the 54th Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival the largest festival in Taiwan. The festival started in 1980 as a non-competitive showcase and over the years it became one of the most important events in the region. The TGHFF aims at introducing prominent cinema from around the world, in order to promote cinema as an art form and to enhance intercultural understanding through cinema. This year the festival will take place from November 3rd – 24th. The Opening Film is “The bold, the corrupt, and the beautiful” by Yang Ya Che; and the Closing Film will be “On Happiness Road” by Sung Hsin-yin.
Some days later we travel to India where we are going to attend the 23rd Kolkata International Film Festival. The festival that started in 1995, was the was the culmination of a film society movement that drew its inspiration from the masters of Bengali Cinema – Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen. The festival couldn’t reach a large audience until 2011 when Honorable Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took it to whole new level in terms of publicity and reach. The KIFF grew into a larger and more inclusive celebration of cinema, a festival which is not just grand in scale, but also accessible to the common mass. It was not until 2014 that the KIFF become a Competitive Festival. This year the festival will take place from November 10th – 17th in the city of Kolkata.
On the following week we fly to Philippines for the Cinema One Originals, one of the most important independent film festivals in the country. This festival is usually held in November in Quezon City. The primary goal is to showcase the diverse talent and voices of Filipino film makers. The festival is produced by ABS-CBN, a cable television network. This year the opening film will be “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” by Martin McDonagh (UK, US | 2017) and the closing film will be “Battle of the Sexes” by Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris (UK, US | 2017). The festival will run from November 12th – 21st.
Some days later we go back to Japan for the 18th Tokyo FILMex International Film Festival. The festival was launched in 2000 by Office Kitano, Takeshi Kitano’s film company. Over the years the festival has been growing and getting more international exposure. Hayashi Kanako, festival director stated: “At this year’s TOKYO FILMeX, the 18th edition, we shall resolutely screen numerous appealing and compelling films that address the present and abound with amazing passion and power, transcending genre, space, and time”. The 2017 edition will take place from November 18th – 26th , the opening film for this year will be “Love Education” by Syvia Chang (China, Taiwan | 2017) and the closing film is “24 Frames” by Abbas Kiarostami (Iran, France | 2016).
Almost at the same time we have the 48th International Film Festival of India, one of the most significant festivals in Asia. Held annually in the state of GOA, western coast of the country, it aims at proving a common platform for cinemas from all over the world. The event is conducted jointly with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Government of GOA. This year edition will take place from November 20th – 28th in Panjim.
Some days later we have the 28th Singapore International Film Festival. Singapore’s largest and longest running film event. Founded in 1987, the Festival has become an iconic event in the Singapore arts calendar that is widely attended by international film critics, and recognized worldwide for its focus on Asian filmmakers and the promotion of Southeast Asian films. This year the festival will take place from November 23rd – December 3rd. The opening film this year will be “Wear White” by Vivian Qu (China | 2017).
Lastly we close the month in the Philippines with the 5th Salamindanaw Asian Film Festival (AFF Media Partner). The event is organized by the Mindanao Center of Cinematography Arts, and the aim is to be a mirror (salamin) of peace (salam) in Mindanao. To raise awareness and promote international cinema with emphasis on strengthening the cultural ties between Mindanao and its Southeast Asian neighbors which by tradition are linked by business and economic cooperation. It also engage the public in both popular and critical discourse on art and cinema and their transformative power to shape ideas about society, thus encouraging cultural diversity and the plurality of creative expressions. The festival will take place from November 27th until December 1st, in General Santos City and the theme will be “Encounters”, “in a global kampung, we adapt to new challenges brought by our interaction with people and cultures, development in technologies, as well as the evolution in the cinematic art form.”