New York’s Asian Film Trifecta

Jackie-Chan-ExperienceAround this time of year, I start experiencing two things. One is excitement in anticipation of the annual New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) and the JAPAN CUTS Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema. The other is a slight feeling of guilt because I get to cover and enjoy these outstanding events, but many others, who would like to, can’t. This year, the situation is compounded by the addition of a thirteen film Jackie Chan retrospective that will run from June 23-27. Oh, and as Steve Jobs would say, just one more thing:


That’s right, the great Jackie Chan will be in New York for two very, very special events. On Monday, June 10th, there will be “An Evening with Jackie Chan” at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, which will also be the site of the retrospective and once again the NYAFF. Jackie will receive the NY Asian Film Festival’s Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award and there will be an onstage Q&A that will precede a premiere screening of Chinese Zodiac (2012), Jackie’s 101st movie. The following evening, Asia Society will present “A Night with Jackie Chan.” Another onstage Q&A will precede a screening of Drunken Master 2 (1994).

Not surprisingly, both of these events sold out almost immediately, Asia Society’s in 25 minutes! (A limited number of additional tickets did subsequently become available.)

Fortunately, yours truly is set to attend one, and possibly both, of these events, as well as to participate in a Chinese and English language press conference with Jackie that will take place late in the morning on the 11th. Needless to say, there will be as much coverage here at VCinema of these events as I can manage.

As far as the Jackie Chan Retrospective goes, ten of the films will be shown as 35 mm prints; only Armour of God (1986) , Armour of God 2: Operation Condor (1991), and Miracles (a.k.a. Mr. Canton & Lady Rose, 1989) will be digital projections. Synopses of all the films that will be shown, as well as ticket and showtime information, can be found here.  For a direct link to the schedule alone, click here.

The 12th New York Asian Film Festival will run from June 28th, the day after the Jackie Chan Retrospective ends, through July 15th. Sixty-three films are scheduled to be shown (fifty nine features and four shorts). There will be three world premieres, five international premieres, twenty one North American premiers, four U.S. premieres, and thirteenn other films making their NY City debuts! Awards will be presented, directors, actors, and actresses are sure to be in attendance, and there will be five areas of special focus: Korean actor Ryoo Seung-Beom; Manilla Chronicles: The New Filipino Cinema; Hong Kong Cinema Now & Beyond; Taiwan Pulp: Tales of Gangsters, Female Avengers, and Ninjas!; and a spotlight on Asian film distributor Well Go USA. Read more about the 2013 NYAFF offerings and events here.

As I submit this article, there isn’t a great deal of information about this year’s JAPAN CUTS film festival yet, but I have been informed that it is scheduled to run from July 11-21. As has been the case in the past, JAPAN CUTS and NYAFF will co-present some films, and the two series will overlap from July 11-14.  Japan Society’s Samuel Jamier (who also is on the Subway Cinema team that puts together NYAFF) will again curate JAPAN CUTS. He expects there to be about twenty-five films altogether for this series. I’ll be providing further information about JAPAN CUTS after it becomes available.

As was the case last year, Colleen and I will be providing the lion’s share of VCinema’s onsite coverage of NYAFF and JAPAN CUTS, though other staff writers will also be contributing some reviews. Many of the films that will be screened will subsequently be shown at other festivals, get theatrical releases, and/or come out on DVD (maybe even Blu-ray!). This, in part, is why these festivals are so important.

So look forward to pretty extensive coverage here at VCinema. What with the Jackie Chan Retrospective as well, it’s going to be an intense 29 or 30 days coming up for all us Asian film fans.