Being geographically located closest to the Asiatic mainland with a long history of having served Japan as its gateway of exchange to the continent, the City of Fukuoka attaches great importance to her Asian ties as she positions herself in the image of an “energetic urban center of Asia”. Fukuoka began putting on “Asian Month” in 1990, as a means to further deepen the circle of exchanges developed through the “Asian-Pacific Exposition” held in 1989 to commemorate her centennial. Every September, “Asian Month” holds over 50 events that relate to the culture, learning and arts of Asia. Inaugurated in 1991, the “Focus on Asia-Fukuoka International Film Festival” is one of the major events of “Asian Month”. The Festival Director travels throughout Asia to conduct research on Asian Films with festival staff.
In the course of exhibiting its films, the Festival also invites film directors, actors and actresses as guests to promote exchanges through discussions and symposiums.
Because most of the films shown are premiered first in Fukuoka, new prints are ordered and Japanese subtitles provided for their exhibition. The Festival also provides English subtitles to the films exhibited so that its guests and foreign students studying in Fukuoka can understand them. This has led to the films exhibited at the festival drawing wide attention.
The prints to these films have since been loaned internationally for exhibition, where they have received high praise, thereby fulfilling the festival’s role of serving as an origin from where information on Asian film is dispatched to the world. Film directors exhibiting their films at the Festival have been presented with much opportunity. Cases of films exhibited at the festival picking up Japanese distribution, and Japanese businesses recognizing the cinematographic talents of these film directors by offering to invest in their future films in the form of joint production projects, are on the increase. Because of its unique nature of focusing only on Asian films, the Festival attracts the yearly attention of Asian film fans, the press and film distributors across Japan.
1996 marked the inauguration of the new Fukuoka City Public Library. The Library maintains a film archive that conducts research on films, centered on Asian and Japanese masterpieces. Such works are collected, preserved and exhibited in the form of a film library. As of March 2013, this film archive has purchased the archival rights to 357 of the 548 films exhibited at the Festival, and preserves these prints as valuable Asian cultural heritage of a visual nature.
News & Articles:
09.17.2016 – 12 Films you cannot miss at the Focus On Asia – Fukuoka International Film Festival 2016
09.14.2016 – Focus on Asia Fukuoka International Film Festival – Opening Film