The New York Asian Film Festival is Back for its 10th Anniversary

The New York Asian Film Festival is Back for its 10th Anniversary
By Alex DiGiovanna

nyaff09 011 610x284 The New York Asian Film Festival is Back for its 10th AnniversaryLast year was the first time I ever attended the NYAFF, actually it was the first time I had ever attended any festival, and let’s just say I picked a great festival to pop that cherry.  I had a blast at the festival and all the films that I saw there were top notch pieces of Asian cinema, or at least enjoyable for that matter. 

Subway Cinema has just sent out the press release for the 2011 edition of the NYAFF and it has a few treats lined up so far.  Some of the films that I am personally looking forward to seeing include The Yellow Sea, Karate-Robo Zaborgar, Reign of Assassins and Bangkok Knockout.  Most of which I have reported on at some point or another.  The entire lineup hasn’t been revelaed yet but check out the press release below and start getting pumped for some Asian mayhem.

 “New York Asian Film Festival 2011
July 1 – 14

at Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater (July 1 – 14)


Japan Society (July 7 – 10)

The New York Asian Film Festival is ten years old! So this year’s festival
is a no-holds-barred anniversary celebration of Asian pop cultural
masterpieces, erupting out of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Japan
Society like two raging volcanoes of molten fun.

In 2001, the NYAFF held the first major retrospective of Hong Kong’s
greatest director, Tsui Hark, and so it’s with great pride that we bring
Tsui Hark himself to the festival ten years later to headline our special
focus, “Wu Xia: Hong Kong’s Flying Swordsmen.” Presented with the support of
the Hong Kong Economic Trade Office New York, we’ll be screening new and old
classics of the wu xia genre. Wu xia movies are swordplay films with a touch
of fantasy and they’re all visual marvels, teeming with flying swordsmen,
magical blades and glowering female steel-slingers. Our line-up includes
and several retrospective titles like Tsui’s astonishing, feral masterpiece,

From Korea comes “Sea of Revenge: New Korean Thrillers,” presented in
association with the Korean Cultural Service New York. The series will
feature the new school of hardcore action movies that have been setting the
Korean box office, and Cannes, on fire. Special guest, director Ryoo
Seung-wan (CITY OF VIOLENCE), will be here to present his film, THE UNJUST,
a sprawling corruption saga. and also screening will be THE YELLOW SEA from
director Na Hong-Jin whose previous thriller, THE CHASER, was Korea’s
word-of-mouth box office smash of 2008. THE YELLOW SEA will be screening at
the NYAFF fresh from its Cannes screening as part of Un Certain Regard

From Japan, there’s Takahisa Zeze’s HEAVEN’S STORY. Zeze is known as one of
Japan’s ³Kings of Pink,² and he’s one of the most famous directors of pink
films, Japan’s unique softcore porn genre that gave directors like Kiyoshi
Kurosawa (TOKYO SONATA) their start. But HEAVEN’S STORY is no skin flick.
Instead it’s a four-and-a-half-hour epic that follows the grief, pain and
redemption that spill out over the decades from two random acts of violence.
Tak Sakaguchi, Japan’s number one stuntman/actor/director and all-around
two-fisted renaissance man will be here in person with his new film, YAKUZA
WEAPON, and we’ll also be screening Noboru Iguchi’s biggest-budgeted movie
to date, KARATE-ROBO ZABORGAR, a tongue-in-cheek feature film based on a
popular 70’s series about a robot that can turn into a motorcycleŠand it
knows karate!

Exploitation cinema from the Philippines will get its due with a screening
of the festival fave documentary MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASHED, which will be
paired with the jaw-dropping 1980’s Filipino exploitation mind-blower, RAW

There’ll be a special focus on Taiwan’s great genre director, writer and
producer, Su Chao-pin, presented with the support of the Taipei Economic and
Cultural Office in New York. We’ll be screening his new movie, the wu xia
blockbuster, REIGN OF ASSASSINS, starring Michelle Yeoh and Korean star Jung
Woo-Sung, and co-directed by John Woo. We’ll also be screening some of Su’s
classic films like BETTER THAN SEX an adrenaline-propelled comedy about
first love, hand amputations and porn.

From movies about punk rock Buddhist monks (Yuji Sadai’s ABRAXAS) to
bone-breaking, stuntman-destroying Thai action extravaganzas (Panna
Rittikrai’s BANGKOK KNOCKOUT), to brain-frying Japanese whatzits (Yoshimasa
Ishibashi’s MILOCRORZE: A LOVE STORY), this tenth anniversary edition of the
New York Asian Film Festival has enough marvels to turn your mind into a
blazing inferno of fun.

The full line-up and Star Asia Awards recipients will be announced May 26.

We’re still booking and confirming major films and massive guests so keep
your eyes on subwaycinemanews for details as we get them.

And prepare yourselves for the best New York Asian Film Festival yet!!!

About the Film Society of Lincoln Center
Under the leadership of Rose Kuo, Executive Director, and Richard Peña,
Program Director, The Film Society of Lincoln Center offers the best in
international, classic and cutting-edge independent cinema. The Film Society
presents two film festivals that attract global attention: the New York Film
Festival, currently planning its 49th edition, and New Directors/New Films
which, since its founding in 1972, has been produced in collaboration with
MoMA. The Film Society also publishes the award-winning Film Comment
Magazine, and for over three decades has given an annual award‹now named
³The Chaplin Award² ‹to a major figure in world cinema. Past recipients of
this award include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Meryl
Streep, and Tom Hanks. The Film Society presents a year-round calendar of
programming, panels, lectures, educational programs and specialty film
releases at its Walter Reade Theater and the new state-of-the-art Elinor
Bunin Munroe Film Center, opening June 2011. The Film Society
receives generous, year-round support from 42BELOW, American Airlines, The
New York Times, Stella Artois, the National Endowment for the Arts, WNET New
York Public Media, Royal Bank of Canada and the New York State Council on
the Arts. For more information, visit:

Subway Cinema is a New York-based film programming, exhibition, and
marketing collective, committed to increasing exposure and appreciation for
Asia’s popular cinema with year-round events and screenings. Its flagship
event is the New York Asian Film Festival (July 1 – 14) which the New
York Times has called “…one of the city’s most valuable events…”
Launched in 2002, the NYAFF is America’s leading and most influential
showcase for popular Asian cinema. Each year, the Festival selects over 40
feature films, and only the best, the strangest, and the most entertaining
make the cut.

The NYAFF was the first North American film festival to put a spotlight on
Johnnie To, Bong Joon-Ho and Park Chan-Wook and it also held the largest
retrospective of Tsui Hark’s work outside of Hong Kong. It is widely
considered invincible.

The NYAFF is made possible through the support of the Hong Kong Economic and
Trade Office New York, the Korean Cultural Service New York, Taipei Economic
and Cultural Office in New York, Japan Foundation and the Kitano Hotel.