Movies that Matter Festival – Asian Presence 2023

We take a look at the Asian films that will be screened at the Movies that Matter Festival which will take place from March 24 – April 1, 2023 in The Hague, satellite locations and On Demand via Picl.

*Note: the list also shows filmmakers with Asian ancestry.

– Feature Films –

Joyland by Saim Sadiq – Pakistan | 2022 – 126 minutes

Pakistani husband Haider falls in love with trans female performer Biba. At the same time, Haider’s wife Mumtaz seeks her own sexual and social liberation. Tender and brave love story and family drama from Pakistan, about finding room to breathe in a constricted, sternly patriarchal environment. (MTM 2023)


Plan 75 by Chie Hayakawa – Japan, France, Philippines | 2022 – 105 minutes

To cope with an ageing population, the Japanese government is introducing the Plan 75 programme in which it offers its citizens over the age of 75 the financial and logistical support for their wish to undergo euthanasia. The dystopian drama is Japan’s entry for the Oscar for Best International Film. (MTM 2023)


Total Trust by Jialing Zhang – Germany, The Netherlands | 2023 – 97 minutes

Total Trust takes a visceral look at digital control in China where unprecedented levels of state surveillance prevail through trust, fear, obedience and resistance. It aims to explore the changes of social behaviors caused by an all-seeing society and finds its lasting power in the people who are fighting against the abuse of state power. (MTM 2023)

While We Watched by Vinay Shukla – UK | 2022 – 92 minutes

Exciting and worrying look behind the scenes at Indian television news channel NDTV. A group of dedicated independent journalists work amid a frightening climate of nationalist extremism. At the heart is Ravish Kumar, a courageous and thoughtful journalistic giant, dealing with mounting obstacles and dangers. (MTM 2023)


– Short Films –

Lori by Abinash Bikram SHAH – Nepal, Hong Kong | 2022 – 14 minutes

A mother sings lullabies to her 12-year-old daughter in order to calm her down. But, when the lullabies end, and the daughter comes to her senses, the reality turns out to be much grimmer, and life-altering. (MTM 2023)

Same Old by Lloyd Lee Choi – US, Canada | 2022 – 15 minutes

Lloyd Lee Choi film Same Old shows a New York City delivery driver’s bad night as he spends the night trying to find his stolen e-bike. (MTM 2023)


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

After a period in New York, young Chinese filmmaker Shuli Huang returns to his hometown of Wenzhou in search of himself. Being left without his partner, who is starting an education in Belgium, he is completely dependent on his family. A long-delayed conversation with his mother about his sexuality plunges them both into a search for acceptance and love. (MTM 2023)


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