Takashi Shimizu, Kim Hye-yoon, Hiroshi Abe

Source: Courtesy of NYAFF

(l-r) Takashi Shimizu, Kim Hye-yoon, Hiroshi Abe

The New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) has unveiled the full line-up for its 20th edition, which will include honorary awards for Japanese horror director Takashi Shimizu, acclaimed Japanese actor Hiroshi Abe and South Korean rising star Kim Hye-yoon.

This year will mark NYAFF’s fully-fledged return to the big screen, following a virtual 2020 edition and a hybrid event in 2021. More than 60 new and classic titles from Asia, including six world premieres, will be presented as in-person screenings at Film at Lincoln Center (FLC) and the Asia Society, from July 15–31.

The festival will also see three honorary awards bestowed by NYAFF and Screen on renowned and rising talent. The Screen International Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to Japan’s Shimizu, whose horror features over more than three decades have included The Grudge franchise and Ox-Head Village, which he will also present at NYAFF in its North American premiere. He will also present a masterclass at the festival.

Receiving the Screen International Star Asia Award will be Japanese actor Hiroshi Abe, who first came to prominence in Trick in 2002, and has since starred in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Still Walking and After the Storm, and Hideki Takeuchi’s Thermæ Romæ, for which he won his first Japan Academy Film Prize for best actor. Abe also stars in Eiji Uchida’s Offbeat Cops, which will receive its world premiere at NYAFF.

NYAFF will also award a Screen International Rising Star Asia Award to South Korea’s Kim Hye-yoon, who has featured in Kim Yoon-seok’s Another Child and Kwon Oh-seung’s Midnight and takes her first leading role in Park Ri-woong’s The Girl On A Bulldozer. As previously announced, Urassaya “Yaya” Sperbund will also receive the rising star honour and will be seen in NYAFF opening film Fast & Feel Love.

Centrepiece, closing films

The festival had previously revealed several titles for this year’s edition but today announced that its Centrepiece Film will be Kim Han-min’s period action-war epic Hansan: Rising Dragon, the second in a trilogy focusing on the historic adventures of Joseon Admiral Yi Sun-Shin. It marks the follow-up to 2014’s The Admiral: Roaring Currents, the highest-grossing film in Korean cinema history, and will be released later this year by Well Go USA.

NYAFF also announced it will close its 20th edition with sci-fi feature Alienoid, from Korean director Choi Dong-hoon, who will introduce the North American premiere at the festival. The fantasy features Ryu Jun-yeol, who received the NYAFF Screen International Rising Star Asia Award in 2019, and Kim Tae-ri, whose credits include The Handmaiden. It will also be released later this year by Well Go USA.

The festival’s best feature film competition comprises eight titles including Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit’s Fast & Feel Love from Thailand and world premieres of Ken Kwek’s Singapore feature #LookAtMe and Nik Amir Mustapha’s Malaysian film Imaginur.

Further honours set to be handed out during the festival include the Daniel A. Craft Award for Excellence in Action Cinema, which will go to South Korean actor Jang Hyuk, star of Choi Jae-hun’s The Killer and The Swordsman. Korea will be widely feted at this year’s NYAFF with star Ryu Seung-ryong receiving the inaugural Best from the East Award, which honours a singularly outstanding performance in a film for his role in Perhaps Love.

NYAFF 2022 line-up

Fast & Feel Love (Thai) Opening film
Dir. Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit

Hansan: Rising Dragon (S Kor) Centrepiece film
Dir. Kim Han-min

Alienoid (S Kor) Closing film
Dir. Choi Dong-hoon

Uncaged Award for Best Feature Film Competition

#LookAtMe (Sing)
Dir. Ken Kwek

Angry Son (Jap)
Dir. Kasho Iizuka

Imaginur (Malay)
Dir. Nik Amir Mustapha

One And Four (China)
Dir. Jigme Trinley

Perhaps Love (S Kor)
Dir. Cho Eun-ji

Reclaim (Tai)
Dir. CJ Wang

The Sales Girl (Mong)
Dir. Janchivdorj Sengedorj

Fast & Feel Love (Thai)
Dir. Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit

Crowd Pleasers

Mama Boy (Tai)
Dir. Arvin Chen

Mama’s Affair (HK)
Dir. Kearen Pang

My Best Friend’s Breakfast (Tai)
Dir. Du Zheng Zhe

Offbeat Cops (Jap)
Dir. Eiji Uchida

Stellar: A Magical Ride (S Kor)
Dir. Kwon Soo-kyung

Table For Six (HK)
Dir. Sunny Chan

We Are Family (HK)
Dir. Benny Lau, Hong Kong 2022 | World Premiere

Genre Masters

Confession (S Kor)
Dir. Yoon Jong-seok

Lesson In Murder (Jap)
Dir. Kazuya Shiraishi

Ox-Head Village (Jap)
Dir. Takashi Shimizu

Preman: Silent Fury (Indo)
Dir. Randolph Zaini

Shin Ultraman (Jap)
Dir. Shinji Higuchi

The Funeral (Tai)
Dir. Dan-Guei Shen

The Killer (S Kor)
Dir. Choi Jae-hun

The Swordsman (S Kor)
Dir. Choi Jae-hun

Next/Now

Chilli Laugh Story (HK)
Dir. Coba Cheng

Fire On The Plain (China)
Dir. Zhang Ji

I Haven’t Done Anything (S Kor)
Dir. Park Sang-min

Legendary In Action! (HK)
Dirs. Justin Cheung, Li Ho

Virgin Blue (China)
Dir. Niu Xiaoyu

Beyond Borders

Before Next Spring (China)
Dir. Li Gen

Far Far Away (HK)
Dir. Amos Why

Finding Bliss: Fire And Ice - The Director’s Cut (HK)
Dirs. Kim Chan, Dee Lam

Frontlines

Arisaka (Phil)
Dir. Mikhail Red

Broken Commandment (Jap)
Dir. Kazuo Maeda

The Girl On A Bulldozer (S Kor)
Dir. Park Ri-woong

Standouts

Big Night! (Phil)
Dir. Jun Robles Lana

Hot Blooded (S Kor)
Dir. Cheon Myeong-kwan

I Am More (S Kor)
Dir. Lee Il-ha

Manchurian Tiger (China)
Dir. Geng Jun

Next Door (S Kor)
Dir. Yeom Ji-ho

Vanguards

Grown-Ups (Jap)
Dir. Takuya Kato

Intimate Stranger (Jap)
Dir. Mayu Nakamura

Life For Sale (Tai)
Dir. Tom Teng

Nothing Serious (S Kor)
Dir. Jeong Ga-young

Ribbon (Jap)
Dir. Non

Ripples Of Life (China)
Dir. Wei Shujun

Terrorizers (Tai)
Dir. Ho Wi Ding

HKETO, Classic Marathon

Happy Together (HK)
Dir. Wong Kar Wai

Kung Fu Hustle (HK)
Dir. Stephen Chow

Overheard (China-HK-Sing)
Dir. Alan Mak, Felix Chong

Running On Karma (HK)
Dirs. Johnnie To, Wai Ka-Fai

The Eye (HK-Sing)
Dir. Pang brothers

Josie Ho Tribute

Dream Home (HK)
Dir. Pang Ho-cheung

Full Strike (HK)
Dirs. Derek Kwok, Henri Wong

Asian American Focus

Dealing with Dad (US)
Dir. Tom Huang