Asian Cinema Digest #13

From a feature following a Fukushima nuclear disaster survivor to whole festivals covering non-fiction film in Taiwan and Indonesia, the medium of documentary filmmaking shines through this June.


Still from Fukushima Monologue (2021, dir Naoko Fujimura)

Fukushima Monologue 

Ten years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, this documentary follows lone town member Matsumara, the only survivor who chose not to evacuate. Free to watch  until 30 June 2021 under the Nippon Connection Film Festival, along with two other films – Kiyo in Kyoto: From The Maiko House, A Town And A Tall Chimney

Still from Suddenly In Dark Night (1981, dir. Go Yeong-Nam)

23rd Far East Film Festival

Based in Udine, Italy, this festival promotes Asian cinema in Europe. Some films are screening worldwide online from 24 June – 16 July 2021, such as Korean horror cult classic Suddenly In Dark Night and fresh Filipino release Son of the Macho Dancer.

‘In Conversation’ with Indian indie filmmakers and actors 

The London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) has put up video interviews with some of the most influential names in Indian independent film, such as Oscar-nominated director Deepa Mehta and Adil Hussain (English Vinglish). The talks are free for online viewing with an LIFF account until 19 August 2021.


Pink Screen At The Projector

Part of its ongoing annual LGBTQ+ film festival, the cinema will be screening powerful stories centred around queer representation, such as House of Hummingbird dir. Kim Bora (Singapore access only) and Javanese release Memories of My Body dir. Garin Nugroho. On-site screenings run from 17 June – 31 July 2021.

Online Conference: Southeast Asia-Pacific AudioVisual Archive Association

From 23-25 June 2021, SEAPAVAA celebrates its 25th anniversary and its annual conference virtually with discussions by international speakers on the challenges of audiovisual archiving in the new normal. There will also be a special panel to launch a new SEAPAVAA publication, Keeping Memories: Cinema and Archiving in Asia-Pacific. The conference will be livestreamed on SEAPAVAA’s Facebook page.

Taiwan International Documentary Festival (TIDF)

This biennial festival was founded in 1998 to showcase the breadth and vibrancy of the Asian documentary landscape. A small portion of its films are available for online rental.

Still from The Assassin (2015, dir. Hou Hsiao-Hsien) one of the key films discussed in Dr. Stephen Teo’s new book.

Chinese Martial Arts Film And The Philosophy Of Action 

Established author and film professor Stephen Teo will be sharing his newly published study of six martial arts films and the Chinese philosophies that underpin them in an online talk on 25 June 2021. The event is free via registration.

Still from Ballad of the Blood and Two White Buckets (2018, dir. Yosep Anggi Noen)

Webinars: Objectifs Film Club

A series of free online events are coming up between 2- 4 July 2021. Among the lineup is a film editing workshop, and a film conceptualisation webinar. Virtual screenings of the short films Ballad of the Blood and Two White Buckets (2018) dir. Yosep Anggi Noen and Shotgun Tuding (2014) dir. Shireen Seno will run until 3 July 2021, when both directors come together for an online talk.


“Tradition and Modernity, Fear and Comfort,” an excerpt from “DDLJ: A Modern Classic”

Expanding on a podcast about Aditya Chopra’s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), this article spotlights Bollywood’s longest running film, a film that has seen through years of India’s cultural changes.

Still from Norte, the End of History (2013, dir. Lav Diaz)

Understanding Democracy Through Filipino Cinema

Five film critics weigh in on issues of political struggle as explored through film in the Philippines.


Documentary Storytelling Workshop: ASIADOC 2021

As a collaboration with Docmode-France, the Forum Film Dokumenter from Indonesia is currently calling for Southeast Asian and Taiwanese documentary filmmakers to submit projects for their 2-week storytelling workshop. Applications close 20 July 2021.

Open Call: DocCross Asia

The Japan Foundation Asia Center’s newly launched DocCross Asia – a platform for Japanese broadcasters and Southeast Asian documentary filmmakers to promote multiculturalism through film – is currently calling for submissions from Southeast Asian, South Asian, Australian and New Zealand-based filmmakers. The deadline is 30 June 2021.

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