The Osaka Asian Film Festival, Western Japan’s largest showcase of films from Asia, has announced the line-up of its 15th edition, which will unspool March 6-15 at venues in Osaka, Japan’s second-largest city.
The opening film is “The Garden of Evening Mists,” Taiwanese director Tom Lin Shu-yu’s drama about a woman who falls in love with a Japanese former soldier-turned-gardener in the turbulent early days of Malaysia’s post-colonial era. Following its premiere at last year’s Busan festival, the film played at festivals in Hong Kong and Taipei, and had opened commercially in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.
The closing film is “Kamata Prelude,” an omnibus by four up-and-coming Japanese directors about the struggles of a young actress (Urara Matsubayashi). Matsubayashi, who starred in the 2018 indie hit “The Hungry Lion,” also serves as the film’s producer.
OAFF will screen a total of 64 films – a festival record – from 23 countries and regions. They include 14 world premieres and 12 international premieres.
In competition, 15 films will vie for the Grand Prix and Most Promising Talent Award. They include Chinese hit film “Better Days” and the world premiere of Taiwanese gay romance “Your Name Engraved Herein.”
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Films from Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Southeast Asia will be the subjects of special sections, while documentaries shot in Osaka will be screened in a program co-hosted with the National Museum of Art and the Nakanoshima Museum of Art.
Finally, the festival will host Indie Forum, a 10-film sidebar for “innovative and challenging talents.” The best Japanese film in the section will receive The Japan Cuts Award.