All about the 20th edition of the beloved film festival in Rome
Since 2003, the Asian Film Festival brings together the best talents of the Far East cinematography thanks to the efforts of the Cineforum Robert Bresson non-profit cultural association. Get an exclusive chance to dive into the history and culture of the East Asian countries through an artistic window of personal stories about intimacy, trauma, friendship and love. This year the festival is expected to take place at Arthouse Cinema Farnese in Rome between March 30th and April 5th, 2023 with a special event taking place on 12th of April at Cinema Barberini.
The festival will hold seven days of screenings for full-length movies and shorts directed and produced by talents from Taiwan, China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam and Philippines. The creative director of the festival, Antonio Termenini, emphasized the great contribution of the Ministry of Culture, Rome Lazio Film Commission, and Embassies of Thailand and Vietnam in Italy, as well as Korean and Japanese Cultural Institutes, in bringing his vision for the festival to life.
The festival consists of two major sections. First one, includes a competition for five prestigious awards: the best film, best director, best actor, best actress, and most original film in competition; with eighteen selected cinematography pieces being evaluated by a jury of film critics. The second section serves to present eight films by debuting directors and young talents in the industry, with UNINT (University of the International Studies of Rome) student jury selecting the best in the “Newcomers” section.
In the past the festival screened movies of some leading Asian directors like Wang Xiao Shuai, Ann Hui, Brillante Mendoza, Stanley Kwan, Peter Chan, Shinya Tsukamoto and Emily Tang. This year, some of the special guests include Daniel Palacio, director of The Monkey and The Turtle (2022), and its producers Hilque Dairo and Vanessa Joico Tuico. In addition, Cao Thanh Lan & Gregor Seidl, composers of the music for Memento Mori (2022) and the producer of the mystery drama Faces of Anne (2022), Soros Sukhum will be arriving to Rome to attend respective screenings.
The first screening, on March 30, will be the Little Blue (2022), a film in competition directed by Yifang Lee. The movie is a bold choice, focusing on the exploration of one’s body and sexuality in a moment of transition into adolescence, which perfectly matches the thematic direction of the festival. The movie takes viewers on a private, yet brave journey of the main protagonist, Xiao Lan, the journey of navigating love and lust.
Four of the seven days will be dedicated to screening movies from a particular country. First starting with Thailand Day on March 31st. Among the titles in competition, movies like: Blue Again (2022) by Thapanee Loosuwan and Six Characters (2022) by M.L. Pundhevanop Dhewakul will be screened along with hypnotic Faces of Anne (2022) by Kongdej Jaturanrasamee and Rasiguet Sookkarn, out of competition.
Korean Day is scheduled for April 1st. Among the films screened there will be Dream Palace (2022) by Ka Sungmoon, focused on overcoming trauma, and a special screening dedicated to director Kim Ki-duk’s newest Call of God (2022).
Followed by Japan Day on April 2, attendees will return to the theme of exploring sexuality with In Her Room (2022) by Chihiro Ito. Besides, among the films in competition viewers will watch the Tea Friends (2022) by Bunji Sotoyama and A Man (2022) by Kei Ishikawa – a dramatic story of investigation and revenge.
On April 4th, Vietnam Day, scheduled screenings include The elegance of Jasmine (2022) by Dang Nhat Minh, and The Brilliant Darkness! (2022) directed by Aaron Toronto. On the closing day, April 5, before the Award Ceremony there will be a screening of two films, including When The Waves Are Gone (2022) by Lav Diaz, while Feast (2022) by Brillante Mendoza will be screened immediately after.
Final screening at Cinema Barberini
The epilogue for the festival will be the event at the Cinema Barberini, scheduled for April 12, 2023. The special screening of out-of-competition films by South Korean film director and screenwriter, Lim Sang Su, Fantasy World (2022) and independent thriller movie Drown (2022).
Tickets are available to purchase on the official website. Click here to download the programme.
March 30 – April 5, 2023
Cinema Farnese Arthouse, Piazza Campo De’ Fiori 56
Evening screenings: €7 – Reduced price: €5.00 (university students and over 65s)
Afternoon screenings: €6.00 – Reduced: €4.00
Subscription: €30.00 – Reduced: €25.00
Contacts: +39 328 4112014