25th Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival – Asian Presence 2023

We present the Asian films that will be screened at the Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival (Greece) which will take place from in-person and online from March 2 – 12, 2023.

– Feature Films –

And, Towards Happy Alleys by Sreemoyee Singh – India | 2023 – 75 minutes

Inspired by Iranian cinema and the poetry of Forough Farrokhzad, a young female director from India journeys to Tehran to witness how resistance becomes a daily act of survival in Iranian society. Despite stringent censorship of the Islamic Regime the director collects a series of eloquent and candid interviews with filmmaker Jafar Panahi, activists and everyday women. Over six years, these conversations with the camera expertly capture the simmering anxieties, fears, hopes and dreams of a nation on the cusp of revolution. “In November 2022, a historic struggle for liberation has been shaking Iran to its very foundations for over 70 days […] a struggle by Iranian women. Over the last six years, the camera witnessed the pent-up anxieties, fears, hopes, and dreams of a society on the verge of a revolution.” This is the card that opens a passionate declaration of love for the cinema and poetry of Iran, which also offers a frank view of the precarious situation for critics of the regime and shows the uncompromising daily struggle of Iranian women against their oppression. (TIDF 2023)


Starring Jerry as Himself by Law Chen – USA | 2023 – 75 minutes

This is a story about our producer’s father Jerry: Jerry is a retired, divorced Taiwanese immigrant living in Orlando. One day, he gets an urgent call from the Chinese police. They inform him that he’s the prime suspect in an international money laundering investigation where $1.28mm was illegally moved through his Florida bank account. Under threat of arrest and extradition to China, the police force Jerry to cooperate and be an undercover agent in their case. Over the next few weeks, Jerry helps the police investigate an international money laundering case by taking surveillance photos of his bank, making top secret transfers, and even wearing a wire to spy on bank tellers. After months of keeping the investigation a secret, Jerry finally reveals everything to his family. His three sons decide to document his ordeal and discover the truth about what really happened and how it changed Jerry’s life forever. (TIDF 2023)


– Short Films –

The Man Who Couldn’t Leave by Singing Chen – Taiwan | 2022 – 35 minutes (VR Work)

Within the walls of the former Green Island prison, political detainee A-Kuen, tells the stories of imprisonment and persecution that happened in the 1950s in Taiwan. Among fellow inmates, frozen in time, he recounts his own experiences and those of his friend, A-Ching, who never made it out. Experience the time and place, and the waiting, in hope, for a chance to keep the stories alive: a work that integrates the stories of numerous political victims of the White Terror, told through the form of an undelivered family letter. An immersive VR experience of hope, fear, and camaraderie. (TIDF 2023)


Will You Look At Me by Shuli Huang – China | 2022 – 20 minutes

As a young Chinese filmmaker returns to his hometown in search of himself, a long-overdue conversation with his mother drives them into a quest for acceptance and love. (TIDF 2023)


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