The CinemAsia official selection brings exciting new films that are critically acclaimed or massively popular with audiences, to enable a presentation of the fuller picture of contemporary Asian cinema.


Director: Nontawat Numbenchapol
75 minutes
Thai (English subtitles)

After two documentaries about the political and economical misfortune of Thai villagers, director Nontawat Numbenchapol ventures into new territory with #BKKY: a part documentary, part fiction piece about love and hardship among the youth of Bangkok. Numbenchapol requested over a hundred teens to share their views on romance, sexuality, friendship and the future, intersplicing their anecdotes with the fictional tale …


Director: Junfeng Boo
115 minutes
Malay , English (English subtitles)
Singapore, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Qatar |

There’s a certain fascination for the macabre that permeates throughout APPRENTICE; one that reflects the complicated relationship Singapore has with the death penalty. Said punishment even deprived Aiman of his father, but that doesn’t stop him from working as a warden and titular apprentice in one of the many prisons where these sentences get carried out. When the ageing executioner …

Chongqing Hotpot 火鍋英雄 

Director: Yang Qing
94 minutes
Mandarin (English subtitles)

“Chongqing’s known for two things”, a voice-over narrates at the beginning of this ambitious crime drama. “Tunnels… and hot pot restaurants.” It’s a combination that proves to be of essential importance for a quartet of thieves who decided to rob a bank. They almost get caught, but manage to escape through a hole in the floor, leading them into Chongqing’s …


Director: Palatpol Mingpornpichit
96 minutes
Thai (English subtitles)

Gay couple Phoon and Yuke wanted nothing more than to start their own family. Their dream finally became a reality when they adopted the abandoned baby Butr, completing their happy little household. Their near-idyllic existence gets threatened when Butr starts going to school, where the previously blissfully unaware boy gets bullied for not having a “normal” parental situation. While Butr …

Hebei, Taipei 河北臺北 

Director: Nien-Hsiu Li
87 minutes
Mandarin (English subtitles)

War is more than just conflicting ideologies. A thought-provoking statement made by the director of HEBEI, TAPEI, in the form of this deeply personal documentary about her father Li, who fought for both the Nationalists and the Communists during the Chinese Civil War. He eventually ended up in Taipei, Taiwan, when the war drew to a close, far away from …

I America 

Director: Ivan Andrew Payawal
87 minutes
Filipino, Tagalog (English subtitles)

The long-lasting consequences of prostitution in an ever-globalising Asia are made painfully palpable in the tragicomedy I AMERICA. Director Ivan Andrew Payawal sketches a convincing portrait of the teenage years of Erica, the daughter of a Filipino prostitute and an American soldier. A soldier Erica never got to meet, after the Americans left their base in 1991. This seems to …

Sang Pembakar – Short Selection 2017 

Directors: Hari Suprayitno, Dwitra J. Ariana & Ucu Agustin
38 minutes


  This documentary provides an insight in the Indonesian forest burning activity, which can result in a big catastrophe for Indonesia and surrounding countries. THOSE WHO BURN shows how local palm oil plantation workers are faced with a big dilemma: even though they know the economical, ecological and political risks of forest burning, they sometimes need to do it to …

Soul Mate 七月與安生 

Director: Derek TSANG
110 minutes
Mandarin (English subtitles)
Hong Kong/China

While taking the subway home from work in Shanghai, Ansen (Zhou Dongyu) has a fateful encounter with old flame Jia-ming (Li Cheng-bin). He informs her of the existence of ‘Soul Mate’: an online, autobiographical serial chronicling Ansen’s former friendship with author July (Ma Sichun). When Ansen starts reading the serial, she gets flooded with repressed, emotional memories spanning two decades …

Suffering of Ninko 

Director: Niwatsukino Norihiro
70 minutes
Japanese (English subtitles)

IFFR@CinemAsia How agonising it must be to live a life of celibacy whilst being lusted after by men and women alike! This is the life of the young monk Ninko, whose torment takes on disturbing magnitudes after an encounter with a masked, naked woman. To cleanse himself of his impure sexual desires, the monk decides to embark on a spiritual journey …

Sunday Beauty Queen 

Director: Baby Ruth Villarama
94 minutes
Filipino (English subtitles)

“How would we live without them?”, a wealthy 63-year-old man asks himself in this documentary about Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong. It’s a question that director Baby Ruth Villarama decides not to answer, in lieu of a more obtrusive look into the lives of the actual hard- working Filipino expats. The majority of these 190.000 documented domestic workers only …

Sweet Dumplings 甜蜜的回憶 – Short Selection 2017 

Director: Lai Kin Chang
14 minutes


Yin and Lee are making dumplings in the kitchen of their restaurant. Yin is kneading dough, while Lee is cutting meat and vegetables to make the filling. They are preparing the favorite dumplings of their daughter Tim Tim who has passed away three years ago. While they are cautiously folding the dumplings, they are thinking of beautiful and painful moments. …

Taxi Stories 出租車故事 

Director: Doris Yeung
98 minutes
English (English subtitles)
China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Netherlands

The influence of globalisation becomes painfully apparent in this ensemble film situated in three Asian metropolises. Mutual incomprehension, miscommunication and exploitation complicate the lives of a homosexual taxi driver in Beijing, a wealthy pregnant woman in Hong Kong, and an impoverished teenager in Jakarta. Despite the world becoming a more economically networked place, it becomes increasingly burdensome for these individuals …

The Age of Shadows 밀정 

Director: Jee-woon Kim
140 minutes
Korean, Japanese (English subtitles)

With THE AGE OF SHADOWS Kim Jee-woon (I SAW THE DEVIL) delivers a chic spy-thriller portraying the freedom fighters of the Heroic Corps and their efforts to free Korea from their Japanese oppressors in the 1920s. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse full of intrigue, danger and deception ensues as the organisation tries to ship explosives from Shanghai to Seoul , …

The Beekeeper and his Son 養蜂人家 

Director: Diedie Weng
85 minutes
Manadarin (English subtitles)
Canada, Switzerland

Generational conflicts keep stacking up in this intimate look at a rural family of beekeepers. After a gap year in the big city, the adolescent Maofu returns home to supposedly help his father Lao Yu with the bee business, but finds himself more interested in reading marketing books. Maofu thinks the enterprise’s way forward is to reposition honey on the …

The Truth Beneath 비밀은 없다 

Director: Kyoung-mi Lee
102 minutes
Korean (English subtitles)

Schemes and plot twists galore in THE TRUTH BENEATH, a film that feels like House of Cards done by Korean thriller aficionados. When Jong- chan gets nominated to represent his political party, his career instantly becomes priority number one. Most of his time is dedicated to the garnering of votes with his wife Yeon-Hong, estranging his daughter Min-jin in the …

Train to Busan 부산행 

Director: Sang-ho Yeon
118 minutes
Korean (English subtitles)

IFFR@CinemAsia Director Sang-ho Yeon sketches an apocalyptic scenario at a frenetic pace. While the blissfully oblivious businessman Seok-woo boards the train to Busan with his daughter, zombies are mercilessly taking over the entire city. One of the undead manages to get on board, unleashing a hectic struggle between the infected and those not (yet) afflicted. As the train rolls out of …