10th QCinema International Film Festival – Asian Next Wave Competition

We present the Asian Next Wave Competition of the QCinema International Film Festival which will take place from November 17 – 26, 2022 in Quezon City, Philippines.

12 Weeks by Anna Isabelle Matutina – Philippines | 2022 – 105 minutes

After ending her toxic relationship with her boyfriend Ben, 40-year-old Alice discovers she is pregnant. With her age and current relationship status, her first instinct is to have the pregnancy terminated. As her body undergoes dramatic changes, Alice struggles and needs to decide what to do. Will she slide back into the arms of Ben? What will this mean for the child growing inside her? (Letterboxd)


Ajoomma by He Shuming – Singapore, Korea | 2022 – 90 minutes

A Singaporean auntie (“ajoomma” in Korean language) lives alone with her estranged son. Her only pleasure in life is to watch Korean TV series, clumsily imitating the dialogues. She and her son book a tour in Korea for holidays, but the son excuses himself for a job interview to cancel the trip. The auntie, who has never traveled abroad alone, musters up her courage – perhaps encouraged to do so by the hefty cancellation fee – to travel to Korea. Deluded by her dreams of a Korea like that shown in television dramas, the woman finds herself surprised if not shocked. Her journey begins to take a turn for the worse from the beginning: she finds herself lost, then involved in a violent incident. Will she be able to (re)discover her new self? The debut feature of He Shuming, one of the most prominent directors from Singapore, is supported by multiple organizations including KOFIC and Seoul Film Commission. Veteran actress Hong Huifang plays the lead. Korean superstars Jung Dong-hwan, Kang Hyung Suk, and Yeo Jin-goo round out the cast of this heart-warming drama about middle-aged woman’s coming of age. (PARK Sungho)


Arnold is a Model Student by Sorayos Prapapan – Thailand, Singapore, France, Netherlands, Philippines | 2022 – 87 minutes

A new semester begins at Sawasdee High School. Arnold wins a gold medal at the International Mathematical Olympiad and becomes the school’s model student, favored by the school principal. Arnold has as his primary goal the desire to enter a reputable university (a goal shared by the school), but he begins to struggle when a dark temptation emerges. Meanwhile, an incident of violent punishment at the school is shared on social media causing outrage among students. Sorayos Prapapan, an alumni of BIFF Asian Film Academy, has been internationally promoted through his short films satirizing Thai society. His debut feature elegantly reveals his typical sarcastic yet humorous style. The actual ‘bad student’ movement against the Thai authoritative school system was taking place during the production of this feature, and enriched the texture of the film even more. The film depicts a story specific to Thailand today, but the look and feel of the film are universal. (BOO Kyunghwan)


Autobiography by Makbul Mubarak
Indonesia, France, Singapore, Philippines, Germany, Qatar | 2022 – 115 minutes

A charismatic retired military general returns to his hometown to run for an election. Rikib, a young man, succeeds in his father’s career assisting the retired general. The veteran treats Rikab as if he were his own son, giving life lessons earned by experiences. That is all about the cold and cruel reality of the world by the law of the jungle and the fear of power. One day, he finds an election poster with his face damaged, and gets furious. Rikib tries to find the offender, but this leads to an irreversible catastrophe. Director Makbul Mubarak was born in Indonesia and graduated from Korea National University of Arts. An alumnus of BIFF Asian Film Academy and Torino Film Lab, Mubarak has made a stunning debut feature. Autobiography is skillfully directed by the young director, and the two main actors give flawless performances. Although it is the Post-Suharto era in Indonesia today, the hanging echoes of violence in the absurd society and the chains of personal ironies are still entangled giving a long lingering impression and thoughts. (BOO Kyunghwan)


Elehiya by Loy Arcenas – Philippines | 2022

Elehiya (previously titled Mirador) tells the story of a grieving widow who returns home to her ancestral villa where she is haunted by memories of her failed marriage. (QCinema)

Plan 75 by Chie Hayakawa – Japan, France, Philippines, Qatar | 2022 – 112 minutes

In a near-future Japan, the government’s Plan 75 program encourages senior citizens to be voluntarily euthanized to address the country’s demographic crisis. 78-year-old Michi, a youthful Plan 75 salesman and a Filipino care worker get involved in the program in different ways. (Antalya 2022)


Return to Seoul by Davy Chou – Germany, France, Belgium | 2022 – 116 minutes

Born in Korea and raised by her adoptive parents in France, 25-year-old Frédérique Benoît, known as Freddie, lands in Korea for the first time after a typhoon causes a rerouting. With the help of her new friend/hotel worker named Tena, Freddie impulsively begins to search for her biological parents in a country where she doesn’t speak the language and knows almost nothing. She then succeeds in meeting her real father, although her mother remains a mystery…. This is the second fiction feature film following “Diamond Island” (2016) by director Davy CHOU, who was born in France to Cambodian parents. The film follows Freddie’s fascinating metamorphosis over the course of several years as she follows her own natural rhythm along a winding road, always heading in unknown directions. Elegantly shot and edited, with effective use of music in clubs and other settings, Freddie’s very presence in the moment comes strongly to us, the viewers. The film had its world premiere in the Un Certain Regard section at the 75th Cannes Film Festival. (FILMeX 2022)


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