CinemAsia Retrospective: A Look-back on 20 Years of Asian Cinema

With the beginning of the New Year 2024, the next edition of CinemAsia Film Festival is just around the corner! This March will mark 20 years of celebrating Asian cinema with fantastic films and many other exciting activities during the Festival. Save the date for 5-10 March!

It is without a doubt a nostalgic moment for the entire team at CinemAsia, but it is also a moment for you, our guests, to remember the previous editions and remember some of the earliest editions of the festival.

CinemAsia started in 2004, as an event for recognizing and celebrating queer Asian cinema. Until 2012, the festival was held biennially and screened an impressive number of 128 feature films and 112 shorts. Overall, from 2004 until 2023, CinemAsia showed 380 feature films, 150 shorts and introduced 35 films in FilmLAB. 

Looking back at the previous years, it is clear that the mission is to represent Asian cinema as a whole and showcase the beauty of diversity that can be found in these films, among directors’ invention and the dedication of the producers and actors.

In these 20 years we have screened 89 films from Indonesia, 68 from South Korea, 50 from Japan, 47 from Hong Kong as well as Taiwan, 43 from China and 19 from the Netherlands. It is also worth noting that as many as 78 films were a co-production of multiple countries, such as China, the US, Norway and Germany, India and Nepal or Hong Kong and Taiwan.

From 2004 the feature films, shorts and FilmLAB productions have been carefully selected and curated with love and aim to celebrate the diversity of Asian cinema and this year will be no different. With the 20th anniversary of CinemAsia, the reflection and appreciation for the past years bring feelings of both nostalgia and pride to showcase this year’s film selection.

It would not have been possible for CinemAsia to continue celebrating Asian cinema for so long if it were not for you, our guests, who make each and every edition the most beautiful time of the year!



Region Number
China 43
Japan 50
Indonesia 89
South Korea 68
Hong Kong 47
Taiwan 47
India 16
Singapore 15
Philippines 23
Netherlands 19
UK 4
USA 27
Australia 2
Thailand 15
Canada 9
Germany 4
France 3
Belgium 1
Bhutan 1
Pakistan 2
Malaysia 15
Myanmar 1
Hawa’i 5
Vietnam 5
Mixed productions (2 and more) 78