4 Films you shouldn’t miss at the 18th FilmAsia – Asian Film Festival in Prague

These are four films you shouldn’t miss at the FilmAsia – Asian Film Festival in Prague which is taking place from December 1 – 6, 2022 in Prague, Czech Republic.

December 2, 2022 | Friday | Bio Oko | 18:00 pm (with Q&A)
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The First Girl I Loved by Candy Ng, Chiu-hoi Yeung – Hong Kong | 2021 – 93 minutes

Former classmates and perhaps lovers Nam and Yuet reunite after many years at a wedding and recall their shared past. They were very close at a catholic high school, but exactly how close is difficult for them to say. Were they best friends? Deeply in love? Or was it just infatuation? And did that feeling really stay in the past?

The First Girl I Loved does not give straight answers, but rather raises more questions. The pure and honest bond between the two girls is a reflection of general social problems and LGBTQ+ related issues. It reveals institutionalized restrictions they encounter at school defined by a dogmatic belief that love between two women is a threat to morality and could cost one of the main protagonists her scholarship. It triggers discussions with family members that prove tolerance is not the same as acceptance. This clever coming-of-age romance twists genre conventions by adding a queer theme and thanks to that may raise completely different questions. Yet the attention always remains focused on… love. (FilmAsia 2022)


December 3, 2022 | Saturday | Bio Oko | 17:00 pm (with Q&A)
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Mama’s Affair by Kearen Pang – Hong Kong | 2022 – 127 minutes

Since the birth of her son, Mei-fung had led the life of a housewife. She had been forced to give up her career as a successful talent manager to take care of her family. Now, at seventeen, her son Jonathan is very independent, and Mei-fung decides to apply for a job. That’s how she meets young Fong Ching, discovers his singing voice, and wants to become his manager. The lines between her personal and professional worlds blur, and Mei-fung, her son and her protégé must face new obstacles and confront their tragic past.

Behind the film is a director from the new generation of Hong Kong filmmakers, Kearen Pang. Her film 29+1 received critical acclaim at film festivals in 2017 and has launched her career as a promising director.

The central theme of Mama’s Affair is the uncovering of the past. The film alternates chronologically told scenes with dialogs that relate to the characters’ personal histories, and through these conversations the viewer sees what motivates their seemingly incomprehensible behavior. These sequences have a completely different pace and mood and transition into scenes from the present.Mama’s Affair gently addresses the question of women’s position in society and their duties as mothers. However, the theme is developed with great sensitivity and is closely linked to the narrative and the relationship dynamics of the characters. Therefore, the story is personal and intimate in many ways. (FilmAsia 2022)


December 4, 2022 | Sunday | Bio Oko | 17:00 pm (with Q&A)
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To My Nineteen-Year-Old-Self by Mabel Cheung – Hong Kong | 2022 – 136 minutes

From 2011 to 2021 Mabel Cheung and her crew followed a group of six student at prestigious Ying Wa Girls’ School, proudly overlooking the harbour of Hong Kong. Throughout a decade, Cheung chronicles the girls’ academic and personal achievements, as well as failures and crises. By means of observation, she lets the audience peek into their lives and shows them searching for their own paths in difficult times. Coming of age, family relationships, the search for one’s identity and unexpected confrontations with reality are the main themes of this inspiring documentary.

On the one hand, To My Nineteen-Year-Old Self portrays six individual women trying to find out who they are. At the same time and typically for Mabel Cheung, it also implicitly comments on a decade of development taking place in the city of Hong Kong. The period from 2011 to 2021 was very turbulent for the city and even more so for Ying Wa School. In 2011 the school decided to build a new campus because the old one from the 1950s had no longer met the needs for modern education. Students are moved and spend several years in a temporary campus in Kowloon district. This creates an unexpected contrast between a prestigious school and the new neighbourhood. The girls get to know a different social and urbanistic environment and gain a unique experience. To My Nineteen-Year-Old Self is the story of six women, two campuses, and one dynamic city. (FilmAsia 2022)


December 6, 2022 | Tuesday | Bio Oko | 18:00 pm
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New Normal by Jeong Beom-sik – South Korea | 2022 – 112 minutes

In 2018, director Jung Bum-shik made a breakthrough in Korean horror films with his found footage success Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum. A few years later, he returns with another genre-busting Korean treat.

New Normal shows in several stories how the pandemic changed the world. How it changed us. With his latest film, director Jung Bum-shik draws attention to how isolation intensifies our loneliness in today’s world. With smartphone in hand, we have always been somewhat disconnected from our surroundings. But even everyday things – going to lunch or meeting up with friends – can be downright frightening in this film. But is that really only the case in the film?

New Normal perfectly juggles various genres, from social horror to thriller to slapstick comedy. Perhaps most impressive, however, is the ensemble cast. Fans of Korean TV drama will notice Choi Ji-woo (Winter Sonata, Twenty Again), K-pop fans will appreciate idols turned actors Choi Minho (Shinee) and Pyo Ji-hoon (P.O. from Block B). Rounding out the entire starting cast is Lee Yoo-mi, the breakout start of Squid Game. (FilmAsia 2022)


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