10 Films you shouldn’t miss at the 15th CinemAsia Film Festival

These are ten films you shouldn’t miss at the CinemAsia Film Festival which will take place from March 7 -12, 2023 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

A Long Journey Home by Zhang Wenqian – China | 2022 – 123 minutes

Armed with a camera, director ZHANG Wenqian returns home from her studies abroad. Three generations of family members live ‘together alone’ yet on top of each other in the 120-square-metre apartment. Although Zhang and her mother share a bed, the distance between them is palpable. Topics like money, buying a house, relationships and marriage are sparks that ignite long, bitter conversations, and the arguments between her mother and father unfold in gut-wrenching honesty. (Cinemasia2023)


Demigod: The Legend Begins by Chris Huang Wen-chang – Taiwan | 2022 – 102 minutes

Su Huan-jen is an ambitious martial arts apprentice and acupuncturist in training. When he ignores his master’s advice and ventures into a palace to treat Yu Lin, the ailing Lord of the Five Mountains, his innocent mistake cascades into a series of clashes, putting Su in the centre of a storm where he must prove his abilities once and for all. (Cinemasia2023)


Hidden Letters by Violet Du Feng – China, US, Norway, Germany | 2022 – 88 minutes

In modern-day China, two women are connected by their passion for this unique language. After her marriage has fallen apart, Xin, a museum guide in Jiangyong, is eager to master the ancient language. Simu from Shanghai is a fan of music and Nüshu, but marital expectations continue to pressure and distract her from her passions. In a culture where patriarchy persists, the two women struggle to forge their own paths in life. (Cinemasia2023)


Hong Kong Family by Eric Tsang Hing Weng – Hong Kong | 2022 – 112 minutes

A seemingly innocuous winter solstice dinner marks the beginning of a family’s disintegration. A heated argument between grandmother and her son causes the latter’s brother to explode and lose his temper. This outburst prompts the grandson to turn his back to his father and run away from home.

Eight years later, the family relationship is still in a stalemate. However, when a young cousin unexpectedly returns to Hong Kong with unfortunate news, the family feels encouraged to arrange another winter solstice dinner. This invitation to a long-awaited reunion forces everyone to reconsider their relationships with their estranged loved ones. (Cinemasia2023)


Little Blue by Lee Yi-fang – Taiwan | 2022 – 97 minutes

In an attempt to win the love of Wu Miao, one of the most popular boys at school, high schooler Xiao Lan has her first sexual experience with him on the beach. When she discovers that an intimate picture of them has been leaked, her world falls apart. Shunned at school and hurt by Wu Miao’s indifference, she turns to dating apps to get attention from other men and explore her desires.


Return to Seoul by Davy Chou – France, Germany, Belgium, Cambodia, South Korea, Qatar | 2022 – 119 minutes

While on a spontaneous trip to her birth country South Korea, 25-year-old Freddie, who was adopted and raised in France, decides to look for her biological parents on a whim. The fierce young woman embarks on a journey of self-discovery that takes her from quiet villages to bustling nightclubs. In an elliptical narrative spanning eight years, Freddie’s life takes unexpected turns that challenge who she thought she was and who she could become. (Cinemasia2023)


Small, Slow but Steady by Miyake Sho – Japan, France | 2022 – 99 minutes

Keiko, a young woman with a hearing impairment, dreams of becoming a professional boxer. A cleaner in a luxury hotel by day, she trains hard and fights well under the dedicated guidance of her boxing coach. Faced with the boxing club’s imminent closure because of the COVID-19 pandemic and her coach’s—the club’s chairman—ailing health, Keiko is forced to navigate these uncertain times and find strength in herself and others. (Cinemasia2023)


Stone Turtle by Woo Ming JIn – Malaysia, Indonesia | 2022 – 91 minutes

Zahara, a stateless refugee, lives with her young niece on a small remote island in Malaysia, where she makes a living selling turtle eggs. Enter Samad, a university researcher with a particular interest in leatherback turtles. As he offers her money to show him around, Zahara and Samad fall deeper into each other’s traps, entangling themselves in a web of lies with tragic, bloody consequences. (Cinemasia2023)


The Abandoned by Tseng Ying-ting – Taiwan | 2022 – 128 minutes

Under the glittering fireworks of New Year’s Eve, the mutilated body of a Thai migrant worker is found on the outskirts of Taipei. Her heart has been carefully extracted by a mysterious serial killer targeting undocumented migrant workers. Seasoned detective Wu Jie, who is processing grief of her own, is forced to team up with illicit labour broker You-sheng to solve the slayings. These mysterious murders send her to face the city’s unspoken secrets and marginalised lives. (Cinemasia2023)


The Narrow Road by Lam Sum – Hong Kong | 2022 – 115 minutes

Chak, a middle-aged man who runs a small cleaning company all by himself, is hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Business is ongoing, but it isn’t enough for Chak to support both himself and his elderly mother. When his neighbour Candy, a young single mother, comes looking for work, Chak hesitantly takes her in. What unfolds is a tender story of care and friendship between two people left on the margins of society. (Cinemasia2023)


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