CinemAsia Film Festival 2023 opens 7 March with RETURN TO SEOUL

This year, the festival opens its 15th edition with the premiere of the RETURN TO SEOUL (2022) by French-Cambodian filmmaker Davy Chou. Close to the heart of CinemAsia, this film explores the universal theme of identity in a bi-cultural tale that takes on a spectacular penetrating voyage by a young woman seeking home.


CinemAsia proudly presents its opening film RETURN TO SEOUL at Studio/K.

After winning the CinemAsia Grand Jury Award in 2017 for his previous film DIAMOND ISLAND, director Davy CHOU returns to CinemAsia with his second-feature film, RETURN TO SEOUL, that addresses the universal questions of life. “Who am I? What is my place? Where do I stand compared to others?” No one truly understands who they are without experiencing the real world around them. This is strongly the case for the 25-year-old Freddie, who reconnects with her origins. On an impulse she returns to South-Korea for the first time, after being adopted and raised in France. In search of her biological parents, the fierce young woman embarks on a journey of self-discovery that takes her to quiet villages and bustling nightclubs. In an elliptical narrative spanning eight years, Freddie’s life takes unexpected turns. With an extraordinary lead performance by first-time actress PARK Ji-min, this film puts the viewer in the same boat as her, and just as curious about who she becomes next.


Davy Chou, spoke from Los Angeles after winning the Los Angeles Film Critics Next Generation Award together with Park Ji-min, “It’s a tremendous honor to open CinemAsia this year with ‘Return to Seoul’. Winning the Jury Award with ‘Diamond Island’ in 2017 was of great pride for me, so coming back with this new film, which tackles topics which I hope will resonate with the audience of the festival, feels very special. CinemAsia has been doing an amazing job bringing each year the best of Asian cinema in the Netherlands, and I can’t wait to be presenting Return to Seoul at the opening this year.”


Both director Davy Chou as well as lead actress Park Ji-min are attending the opening of CinemAsia Film Festival 2023.


Award-winning coproduction nominated at the 95th Oscars

Chou’s RETURN TO SEOUL is a co-production between several countries, including France, Germany, Belgium, South Korea and Cambodia. Since it world premiered at May 2022 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section, the film picked up different awards including Best Director and Best New Performer at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Last month, the film even got selected as Cambodia’s official entry in the International Feature Film category at the prestigious 2023 Academy Awards and got nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for best international film. The film will be released by IMAGINE Filmdistributie Nederland on 13 April 2023.



CinemAsia offers a fresh take on Asia

CinemAsia is the only pan-Asian film festival in The Netherlands and returns with a hybrid festival edition. This year the Dutch audience can celebrate and explore the richness of Asian cinema and culture, both virtually as well as in person in the three film theaters Studio/K, Rialto De Pijp and Rialto VU. The eclectic festival program ranges from blockbusters, arthouse gems to exhilarating documentaries from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Japan, South-Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia and more.


Also enjoy CinemAsia’s curated selection at Home

Can’t wait until the festival? Each last Thursday of the month, CinemAsia releases a hand-picked selected film at its new online demand platform ‘CinemAsia at Home’. The upcoming film will be the premiere of MANCHURIAN TIGER by the Chinese director GENG Jun. This film will be released at CinemAsia Home on Thursday 26th of January during the Lunar New Year celebrations. Once released, the film will be available for one month.