The Twentieth Edition of the Asian Film Festival has concluded. This edition welcomed the presentation, in Italian, European and world premieres, of brand new works of the best
cinematography of the Far East. During the programming of the screenings, held in the two halls of the Cinema Farnese Arthouse in Rome, space was given – in addition to screenings – to presentations, meetings and art exhibitions on tourism in the main countries involved: in fact, there were four “themed” days on Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam with their respective institutional representatives in Italy. Special guests were also present at the event, such as directors Daniel Palacio and Aaron Taranto, producers Soros Sukhum, Hilque Dairo and Vanessa Joico Tuico, composers Cao Thanh Lan and Gregor Siedl.
The jury, made up of director Enzo Aronica, journalist Marco Lodoli and screenwriter Roberto Recchioni, decreed the winners in the main categories in the competition (Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Original Film) while the Young Jury, formed by students of the UNINT University led by professor Antonio Falduto, issued the verdict for the “Newcomers” section.
Below is the list of winners with respective reasons:
Barbarian Invasion (dir. Than Chui Mui, Malaysia/Hong Kong, 2021)
“A movie that plays with genres, subverting the viewers’ expectations and destroying their certainties. The “Best movie” award goes to this movie for its being an extraordinary meditation on cinema and fiction, as well as life and reality; for its great visual taste and its actors’ excellent playing.”
Hi! My name is Woo Ming Jin and I am the producer of the film “Barbarian Invasion”. On behalf of the director Tan Chui Mui and the rest of the cast and crew, we really really thank the Asian Film Festival in Rome for awarding us the Best Film Award. We are really proud to get the reward and really happy. We hope that the audiences in Rome enjoyed the film, and we hope to come back to that city and present our new film there. In the meantime, thank you so much again, and see you soon! Bye!
A Man (dir. Kei Ishikawa, Japan, 2022)
“As the history of cinema teaches us, nobody is really as it seems. This movie invites us to visit the labyrinth that is the human identity, where we are guided by a gentle but merciless hand, that reminds us that appearance is deceiving.”
Kim Sun-young (Dream Palace, South Korea, 2022)
Kim Sun-Young, Dream Palace, directed by Ka Sungmoon (South Korea)
When the hero is a heroine, but her epic adventure suddenly turns upside down, we get the chance to witness how she will be able to rebuild her story. The actress manages to bear the burden of a Kafkaesque journey that lasts for the whole movie.”
James Blanco (The Monkey And The Turtle, Philippines, 2022)
“With passion and vivid shades of character, the actor plays the role of the hero in a corrupted, violent society.”
MOST ORIGINAL FILM
Blue Again (dir Thapanee Loosuwan, Thailand, 2022)
“A movie that manages to narrate a clever, autobiographical coming of age, that avoids trivial stereotype. The sensitivity of the story keeps the attention of the viewer high, despite the lenght of the movie.”
Director Thapanee Loosuwan acceptance speech
Melody-Go-Round (dir. Kuo-An Lai, Taiwan, 2022)
Melody-Go-Round faces an evergreen theme: an escape dimension where a teenager can find comfort and new truths. Behind the mirror of society and family, Melody discovers a fantasy realm in an abandoned amusement park. Everything seems fascinating and feral, the tribe living in that extraordinary place is welcoming but also threatening; that magical shelter can be hospitable but dangerous.
An original movie, an existential fantasy story. The risky adventure of a teenager narrated with images that mix dream and reality.
Director Kuo-An Lai acceptance speech
Award assigned by the Unit jury
The Great Distance Delivers Crane (Lhapal Gyal, China/Tibet, 2022)
This is a film that deeply moves with its delicate and engaging plot. The story tells the relationship between parents and children in an unprecedented way, presenting a conception of love from the point of view of two 10-year-old children, enriched by metaphors about nature.
The story, in fact, tells of the affectionate relationship between two children and a small crane, a symbol of freedom that coincides with the reunification with one’s origins: the wound of the crane represents their inner wound. The theme of the journey concerns the children as much as the father, who for love of the children is forced to face a journey similar to that of the liberation of the crane. A film that tells of growth and how, through travel and estrangement, one can find one’s home and oneself. The contrast between the two types of love, one instinctive and spontaneous, the other deep and unconditional, has been depicted with great sensitivity and poetry.
The attention placed on the scenography is to be appreciated, in particular on the evocative landscapes that dot the film: poor and arid landscapes in the first part which are colored and show their primordial side in the second. The direction was able to create a visual frame that manages to enhance the emotions that the characters feel.
In conclusion, “The Great Distance Delivers Crane” is a film that impressed us with its ability to arouse sincere and deep emotions, thanks to its original storyline and masterful direction. We strongly recommend its vision to those looking for an engaging and unconventional story.
“hello everyone! I am Lhapa，lthe director of the The Great Distance Delivers Crane”. We have experienced many setbacks from the pre-shooting to the post-production of this film. However, with the joint efforts and persistence of all the creators, we finally completed the tortuous road to send the crane. First of all, I am also very honored to be awarded the best film in the newcomer unit, and I am also very grateful to all the judges, teachers and the organizing committee for their affirmation. I was unable to accept the award in person due to work reasons, but I am very excited at the moment. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our producer Mr. Wanma Caidan and producer Mr. Ma Haiquan, as well as all the creators for their joint efforts and give. Thanks to several producers, and to all the friends who have given us help and support all the time, thank you everyone!“
The artistic director Antonio Termenini was satisfied with the attention, acclaim and attendance of the audience in the hall, who is making an appointment on 12 April at the Multisala Barberini Cinema in Rome for a day-event, the epilogue of the festival, with the screening, in addition to one of the winning films of the Asian Film Festival, of new feature films from China, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea: a further opportunity to learn more about the cinematography of the Far East.
We look forward to seeing you next year with a new edition of the Asian Film Festival