Tokyo Festival: Crosscut Section Takes a Wild Ride With Southeast Asian Genre Cinema

Six Degrees of Separation From Lilia
Courtesy of Tokyo IFF

An initiative of the Japan Foundation Asia Center, Crosscut Asia is a TIFF section dedicated to films from Asia, especially from emerging markets.

Thematically, the sixth edition of Crosscut Asia takes a snapshot of Southeast Asian genre films. It presents eight horror, fantasy and dark future films from the region, together with two episodes from the HBO “Folklore” horror anthology series produced by veteran Singaporean director Eric Khoo – including one episode “Tatami” directed by Japan’s Saitoh Takumi.

Four of the films are from the Philippines where horror is a thriving genre, including “The Entity” by Erik Matti, an action and horror veteran whose 2013 thriller “On the Job” was selected for the Cannes Directors Fortnight, and the dystopian thriller “Halt” by Lav Diaz, whose work has screened at Cannes, Venice and Berlin as well as many other festivals in the Philippines and abroad.

Also showing is “The Long Walk,” a ghost story by Laotian filmmaker Mattie Do. The film premiered in the Venice Days section of this year’s Venice Film Festival.

The section has varied its focus in each of its six years. Previous editions have concentrated on films from Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia, films that were selected by other leading Southeast Asian filmmakers. Last it struck a different note with a stress on musically-themed films.