Preview – Osaka Asian Film Festival 2020, March 6-15

The full line-up has been announced for the 15th Osaka Asian Film Festival (OAFF), which takes place from March 6-15, 2020. There are 64 selected films in total, the highest number ever for the festival, including 12 World Premieres, 12 International Premieres, and 3 Asian Premieres with films submitted from countries and regions such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Poland, South Korea, Japan, and South East Asia.

Continuing from previous editions of the festival, OAFF remains a beacon of progressive programming as 25 female directors find their works selected with over half the films in the Competition section directed by women. The festival programme features characters from across the world contesting with issues such as war, crime, bullying, LGBTQ+ rights, immigration and unionizing in the workplace. OAFF continues to give a platform to filmmakers who face challenging issues, whether the films reckon with historical injustice or paint a brighter future through showing diverse characters navigating their way in our tumultuous world.

The Garden of Evening Mists

OAFF 2020 will open with the Japan Premiere of the historical drama, The Garden of Evening Mists, directed by Tom Shu-yu Lin and featuring an international cast. The closing work is the World Premiere of Kamata Prelude, an anthology film produced by and starring Urara Matsubayashi and directed by four of the brightest talents from a new generation of filmmakers, Ryutaro Nakagawa, Mayu Akiyama, Yuka Yasukawa and Hirobumi Watanabe. OAFF will provide the world premieres of 12 titles, including Kamata Prelude, a four-part film done with the distinct styles of the directors, Your Name Engraved Herein, a romantic drama that is emblematic of the changing fate of LGBTQ+ people in Taiwan, and On the Edge of Their Seats, a coming-of-age drama centered on baseball from veteran director Hideo Jojo.

Write about Love

There are also 12 international premieres picked from across Asia at OAFF 2020 with award-winners such as Write about Love which mixes music and romance. It won seven awards at the 45th Metro Manila Film Festival including the Jury Special Award. Other titles include Apart, a sweeping romantic drama produced by Herman Yau that takes place in the middle of the Hong Kong democracy protests.

The Taste of Pho

Amongst the Asian premiers, Anshul Chauhan returns to Osaka following Bad Poetry Tokyo (screened at OAFF2018) with his latest film Kontora. The winner of the Grand Prix at the 23rd Black Nights Film Festival, it is a unique family drama that is shot in monochrome and features strong performances. It will be screened alongside, Mariko Bobrik’s The Taste of Pho, an international co-production involving Germany and Poland that depicts the life of a Vietnamese chef struggling to fit in while living in Poland. Famous cinematographer and actor Kentaro Kishi screens his short Hammock about a young girl coming to terms with changes to her family following her father’s death.

In addition to the permanent Competition and Indie Forum sections, a new “Spotlight” section has been established this year. With the careful consideration of programming director Sozo Teruoka, OAFF will shine a light on movies that may not have become popular yet but feature talents and movements in cinema that audiences will want to pay particular attention to in the future.

House of Hummingbird

There are other special events that will feature the films of “Now” from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. To mark the 101st anniversary of the birth of Korean cinema, OAFF will show a selection of works that tell the stories of important moments in the social history of Korea. These films are: Birthday, Children Gone to Poland, House of Hummingbird and Malmoe The Secret Mission.

While there are no special events to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the festival, 13 directors who have had films screened at OAFF in the past are returning, including: Tom Shu-yu Lin, Yuka Yasukawa, Derek Tsang, Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, Anshul Chauhan, Yang Lina, Kim Tai-sik, Akio Fujimoto, Takuya Misawa, Shinji Imaoka, Daisuke Miyazaki, Lee Cheuk Pan and Amos Why.

For the full schedule and ticket booking facility, visit the festival website.