Welcome to the 11th edition of CinemAsia Film Festival
As its new Artistic Director, I’ve asked team members to define CinemAsia. One answer charmed me the most: “It’s where everybody can feel at home.” Indeed, even though I’m not Dutch, I’ve been welcomed into the fold by my teammates and board members, whose cultural diversity and eclectic taste have attracted like-minded audiences.
As Asia becomes one of the most powerful players in the world, CinemAsia strives to keep pace with its growth. We want to bring Asia to your doorstep, so that through our films and special events, you can feel at home with this region’s exquisite arts and culture, as well as dynamic social, economic and political trends.
The Official selection serves up an exciting array of critically acclaimed and audience-friendly films that reflect the vibrancy of Asian cinema.
The Competition programme consolidates our commitment to champion new talent who have directed no more than three films. They will compete for Best Film, Best Director and Best Performer. The last two awards have been newly created this year to honour filmmakers with outstanding creativity, and to raise European awareness of the huge pool of acting talent in Asia.
In line with our mission to introduce the hip, energetic face of Asia, the dominant theme this year is “Youth.” To debunk the stereotype of the wimpy, nerdy Asian student, eight films feature teen iconoclasts who challenge the social or political status quo. Our Hong Kong and Taiwan special focuses also provide an international launchpad for seven first-time directors.
CinemAsia has always cultivated a deep bond with Indonesian filmmakers, and each year, their films enjoy tremendous support from our local audiences. This year, our Focus on Indonesia proudly presents “Trailblazers of Indonesian Cinema.” We salute the achievements of our long time friends Mouly Surya and Kamila Andini on the world stage, while celebrating Joko Anwar and Edwin’s record-breaking success in the domestic market. In our new partnership with Jogja Film Academy, we are also showing shorts by their students.
In addition to the excitement of working with a team whose ideas and opinions never cease to amaze me, I sincerely thank our new advisors Kevin Ma, Donsaron Kovitvanitcha and Oggs Cruz, whose expert input on Greater China, Thailand and The Philippines helped me pull off the selection in the final stretch.
Now in its ninth edition, FilmLAB has produced five short films under the theme “Lost in Translation.” By turns hilarious, heartbreaking and sensual, their evocations of East-West exchanges span a wide spectrum of subjects and ideas.
I feel privileged to have mentors of FilmLAB support my goal of expanding our tradition of Dutch-Asian storytelling into a pan-Asian experience. The first step is a pilot internship program in cooperation with the Taipei Media School (TMS). I wish to thank TMS Principal Yuan Lee, Director Tim Chen and teachers Catherine Huang and Peifen Wang for making this possible. We welcome our interns Minna Huang and Jack Su who will spend a month in Amsterdam learning about post-production and participating in the festival with their classmate Woody Yang as Taiwan’s lm ambassadors.
Most importantly, we thank our sponsors, strategic partners and audiences, whether you are a long time friend or checking us out for the first time.
Maggie Lee, Artistic Director