Foundation Cinema Asia
CinemAsia was founded in Amsterdam in 2003 by Hong Kong-American Doris Yeung. She started the festival to promote Asian cinema, give voice to the Dutch-Asian immigrant experience, as well as explore LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer) stories and issues with an Asian focus. The goals were to dispel stereotypes and open up the dialogue within Holland’s diverse social communities.
Over the years, the festival has become a popular event for Asian communities in The Netherlands to come together and celebrate their diverse heritage with film, food and other cultural activities. Not only that, it has attracted a following among Dutch audiences of all stripes who get a chance to learn about the vibrancy of Asia through its films.
From the first festival which took place in the intimate queer-run theatre Cavia in 2004, CinemAsia has expanded to larger venues, such as het Ketelhuis in 2010, The Balie in 2012 and finally settling down in two theatres: Kriterion and Rialto, in 2015. To satisfy increasing demand for the latest in Asian cinema, the festival grew from a bi-annual into an annual event.
Today, 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 program has evolved with the dynamic growth of Asian film markets over the last decade. While we continue to present Asian diaspora and LGBTQ films as significant components of our program, developing more panels and outreach activities each year, we also take pride in curating a tasteful mix of arthouse masterpieces, entertaining blockbusters, stylish genre films and edgy documentaries that mirror the captivating faces of Asia.
Less known but nevertheless of utmost importance is CinemAsia’s own talent development platform, FilmLAB. For 9 editions FilmLAB has been pivotal to the development of more diversity and inclusivity here in the Netherlands. CinemAsia FilmLAB encourages talent development amongst Dutch Asian film makers, performers, cinematographers and scenarists. Till this date CinemAsia FilmLAB has produced 29 shorts, which have been screened national and internationally at film festivals and have been awarded multiple times.
Each year Asian talents receives the opportunity to translate our theme into their Asian narrative and make an actual film. Through our FilmLAB program with a boot camp, mentoring and workshops talents are guided towards the Dutch film industry.
For more information about CinemAsia FilmLAB, please click here.