The Osaka Asian Film Festival will return in March for its 18th edition with a lineup of current Asian feature and short films and a spotlight on works from Hong Kong.
The competition section, which selects from films that are currently unreleased in Japan, numbers 13 titles. These include: Kai Ko’s “Bad Education,” “December” from Japan-based Indian director Anshul Chauhan, and two Indian-made films Rima Das’ “Tora’s Husband” and Padmakumar Narasimhamurthy’s “Max, Min and Meowzaki.”
The indie section comprises a mix of Japanese feature and short films from challenging or emerging talents, with a winner set to receive the separate Japan Cuts prize.
A Spotlight section of other independent films by up-and-coming directors includes: Martika Ramirez Escobar’s “Leonor Will Never Die,” Mejbaur Rahman Sumon’s Bangladesh-France production “Hawa,” Thitipong Kerdtongtawee’s “OMG! Oh My Girl” and documentary “Jiseok.”
The Hong Kong spotlight, consisting of five titles, cuts across multiple sections and includes “Life Must Go On,” by Ying Chi-wen and “Lost Love,” by Ka Sing-fung as well as the three main competition films: Eric Tsang’s “Hong Kong Family,” Lam Sum’s “The Narrow Road,” and Lau Kok-rui’s “The Sunny Side of the Street.”
Two more films – the gala opening and closing titles – are set to be announced by programming director Teruoka Sozo in early February. The festival will play out March 10 – 19, 2023 at venues including the ABC Hall, Cine Libre Umeda, Umeda Burg 7, the Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka, and the National Museum of Art, Osaka.
The festival “aims to facilitate human resources development and exchange, to invigorate the Osaka economy, and to increase the city’s appeal, through providing opportunities to watch excellent Asian films, supporting filmmaking in Osaka and attracting filmmakers from Asian countries and regions to Osaka,” organizers said in a statement. “Promoting Osaka worldwide as a gateway city for Asian films and engaging with many people from the fields of culture, art, education, tourism and business, from Osaka and all of Asia, OAFF works as an open platform to contribute to the development of Osaka and cinema.”