At the School for Visual Arts Theater in New York City, the Indonesian Film Forum will present their 3rd annual festival. With support from the Indonesian Consulate in New York, the festival aims to present some of the best of contemporary Indonesian cinema, presenting short films, documentaries, and feature length narratives.
The contours of Philippine cinema’s archival crises are alarming: of over 350 films produced before the outbreak of World War II, only five Filipino films from the American colonial period survive. The dupe negative of the last surviving Filipino film on nitrate, Ibong Adarna (Vicente Salumbides and Manuel Conde, 1941), was destroyed shortly after its 2005 restoration.
The event is free and open to all. Click here for more information.
Drawing on postcolonial historiography, archival theory, and the on-the-ground realities of the Philippines’ decentralized audiovisual archive advocacy, this talk by Bliss Cua Lim examines three issues that emerge as keywords for the crises of moving image preservation in the Philippines.
Based on a famous Thai legend that has inspired movies since the silent era (not to mention plays, TV shows, comic books and even an opera), Nang Nak is, according to some, a true story illustrating the dangers of earthly attachments. It is so deeply rooted in Thai culture that to this day a shrine to its tragic heroine still exists in Bangkok. In it, a soldier goes to war, leaving behind his pregnant wife. After nearly dying in battle, he returns home to his wife and newborn son. The problem is, he’s the only one in town who doesn’t know they are both ghosts. Set in a lush jungle village, Nonzee Nimbutr’s elegant, hauntingly beautiful adaptation is the most acclaimed cinematic expression of this heartbreaking tale.
HBO Asia’s miniseries Folklore presented tales of the supernatural from six Asian countries, based on each region’s traditional legends. One standout was Thailand’s entry, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Pen-ek Ratanaurang (Last Life in the Universe, Headshot), who visited the Freer for a retrospective in 2014. Ratanaurang takes on the myth of the pob, a ghost known for devouring human intestines. When an American corporate executive is found murdered, a photojournalist covers the story, only to find himself meeting the pob who committed the crime and now wants to tell its side of the story. Shot in rich black and white tones, this film mixes horror and humor with a touch of politics. One of the the pob’s beefs, it turns out, is that the arrogant American refused to believe in ghosts.
18th New York Asian Film Festival Presents: The Pool
A nap on a rubber raft in a twenty foot deep swimming pool turns into a nightmare for a young couple after an unfortunate series of events puts their lives in danger. Filled with dark humor, nail biting thrills and seething with emotional turbulence, writer-director Ping Lumpraploeng’s film turns a seemingly mundane situation into an existential obstacle course as the protagonists face the greatest challenge of their lives. With a surprising element of suspense and metaphoric resonance, The Pool brings a fresh new style of thriller to Thailand.
The 18th New York Asian Film Festival Presents: Ma
Two tragic stories of motherhood converge in a phantasmagorically macabre tale of loss, sacrifice and evil. After his mother dies suddenly, Samuel goes into a mysterious cave that claims to grant wishes and asks for his mother’s life back. The cave wants something in exchange. Meanwhile, a childhood friend of Samuel’s mother returns to town pregnant, reeling from her fiancé’s suicide. She has what the cave wants so Samuel enlists his little brother and sister in a sinister plan to take it at any cost. Director Kenneth Lim Dagatan’s chilling feature debut proves he was born to make horror films.
An impressive feature directorial debut by veteran cinematographer Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, this mysterious, intoxicating work centers on the friendship between a fisherman and the mute refugee he rescues from a swamp. After the fisherman disappears at sea, the refugee’s mourning is interrupted by the return of the fisherman’s ex-wife, and sure enough, the past bleeds inexorably into the present. A visionary take on the refugee parable, in which mystical elements disrupt the drudgery of everyday life, Manta Ray won the Orizzonti Prize at last year’s Venice Film Festival. U.S. Premiere.
Location and Time:
Lincoln Center Walter Reade Theater | March 29, 2019 - 9:00PM
The Museum of Modern Art, Floor T2, Theater 2 | March 30, 2019 - 3:15PM
For more information click here.
Museum of Modern Arts
Ham Tran is a celebrated Vietnamese-American film director, known especially for his 2007 film about a family’s divided escape from the fall of Saigon in 1975 entitled Journey from the Fall(Viet. Vượt Sóng). Journey from the Fall opened to critical acclaim, and won numerous awards including the Best Director from the Asian Festival of first Film, the Grand Jury Prize at the Amazonas International Film Festival, the Best Feature Film at the Anchorage International Film Festival, and the Grand Jury Award at the San Diego Asian Film Festival, among many others. The film is one of the only cinematic representations of the plight of boat refugees following the fall of South Vietnam to Communist forces, and virtually the only film to represent inmate experiences of the “reeducation camps” (học tập cảo tạo/cảo tạo lao động) that were opened particularly in the south of Vietnam after 1975, and which operated as late as the early 2000s. Additionally, the film is notable for having been completely financed by the Vietnamese exile community.
The event will be moderated by John Phan, an assistant professor in the Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures at Columbia University. No registration is required for the event.
For more information, please click here.
Columbia Weatherhead East Asian Institute
MA in Film and Media Studies at Columbia University.
Explore the shadow industry of "content moderators" hired by Silicon Valley in "The Cleaners," a documentary directed by Moritz Riesewieck and Hans Block.
Young people in the city of Manila are paid to sift through and remove what they deem to be inappropriate content on the internet, moderating thousands upon thousands of troubling images and videos during the course of a ten-hour shift. In a parallel struggle, the directors met people around the globe whose lives are dramatically affected by online censorship.
Evolving from a shared vision of a global village to a dangerous web of fake news, extremism and radicalization, the film charts the rise and fall of social media's utopian ideology.
For more information, click here.
Hosted by Yale MacMillan Center and the Council on Southeast Asia Studies.
Gareth Evans and Iko Uwais followed their breakthrough Merantau with this turbocharged action opus. A monolithic slum building run by deadly criminals becomes a gauntlet of survival for a S.W.A.T. team on a mission to apprehend its drug lord overseer. After a series of daunting setbacks, the team find themselves trapped with no option other than to fight their way out. The Raid raised Asian cinema's action bar with its frenetic pace, non-stop bone-crunching battles, and innovative silat-based choreography all set against the gritty backdrop of a Jakarta ghetto and its formidable and colorful underworld denizens.
Tickets are between $5 and $15.
For more information and to register for the event, click here.
Watch Merantau, a story about martial arts prodigy Yuda who embarks on his merantau, a traditional rite of passage, in which he must leave his village to experience the big bad city. Living on the streets of Jakarta, he rescues a struggling brother and sister from the clutches of ruthless criminals, an intervention that escalates to a final deadly showdown. Director Gareth Evans discovered action star Iko Uwais (The Raid) while shooting a documentary on silat, Indonesia's indigenous martial art. Combining a literal "hero's journey" with old school exploitation movie trappings, ground-breaking action, and a little profundity for good measure, Merantau rekindled Indonesian action cinema.
Tickets range from $5 to $15.
For more information and to register, click here.
In 2006 a rush of molten mud exploded in East Java, Indonesia, flooding 16 villages and displacing more than 60,000 people; 12 years later the hot sludge is still flowing. GRIT profiles one girl’s awakening to activism as her family campaigns against the corporation responsible for the man-made catastrophe. Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander spent six years capturing the unworldly reality of East Java’s ecological disaster with breathtaking cinematography and a patient eye for the youth coming of age amid the mudflow.
Purchase tickets here.
Hosted by DOC NYC.
NYC PREMIERE Acclaimed at Telluride and the Toronto International Film Festival, this suspenseful high-seas adventure follows a team of activists who rescue modern-day slaves in Thailand’s illegal fishing industry. Thai activist Patima Tungpuchayakul was nominated for the Nobel Prize for her work rescuing thousands of victims. We follow her as she tracks down escaped slaves who live like Robinson Crusoe on remote islands, helping to bring these long-vanished ghosts back to life and to their families.
Find more information here.
Hosted by DOC NYC.
Collectively highlights groundbreaking community-based media collectives. Using audio and visual media from the Bophana Center in Cambodia, Maisha Film Lab in East Africa and Vídeonas Aldeias | Video in the Villages in the Brazilian Amazon, participants will discuss their work and its circulation. Joining us are acclaimed directors Rithy Panh, founder of Bophana Center, Vídeo Nas Aldeais’ founder Vincent Carelli, and Mira Nair, who started Maisha with the motto “If we don’t tell our own stories, no one else will.”
Co-presented by the NYU Center for Media, Culture and History, Department of Anthropology
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Join the Asian American Writers' Workshop for a night of reading and film with visiting Indonesian writer Ahmad Fuadi, whose bestselling novel Negeri 5 Menara (The Land of Five Towers), an uplifting story of a young Muslim boy’s journey from country to city to enter Islamic boarding school, became the source of inspiration for one of Indonesia’s top box office successes. Ahmad will read from the novel, the first in his trilogy about Alif’s life, and we'll watch selections from the feature film. With the English version of his book available, we'll have a chance to explore how the book was adapted to the big screen, and how translation between languages relates to translation between form. Don’t miss this movie night and discussion about literature in Indonesia, with snacks!
Find more information here.
In 2014, a transgender Filipina woman was brutally murdered and left in a motel room in the Philippines. When a U.S. Marine was identified as the primary suspect, it set off a cascading response of protests and legal action, revealing undercurrents of transphobia and deep-seated post-colonial tensions between the United States and the Philippines. Director PJ Raval follows investigative journalist Meredith Talusan as she immerses herself in the case and attempts to unravel these various tensions in the middle of a media firestorm. Meanwhile, attorney Virgie Suarez seeks to illuminate the truth from inside the courtroom, and the victim's mother finds a voice she never knew she had. Call Her Ganda examines the marginalization of transgender Filipinos throughout the country's violent colonial history and raises complex questions about sovereignty, justice, and the right to self-determination.
There will be multiple screenings in multiple locations at various dates. Find more information here.
Hosted by Tribeca Film Festival
When a group of merciless bandits arrive to pillage her home, the recently widowed Marlina must use her wit and will to enact justice upon her enemies. Humorous, bold, and unique—Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts is a revenge saga set in a sharp landscape of an eastern island in Indonesia. Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts is Mouly Surya’s third film and has received four awards and eleven nominations.
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Hosted by Indonesian Film Forum.