New Asian Currents
This program endeavors to uncover and support rising Asian filmmakers, including those whose work shows signs of nascent promise. Waves of talent from around the region continue to surge forth, gathering momentum from year to year. Get a head start on discovering the next global filmmaking sensations in Yamagata!
- Byun Young-joo (KOREA / dir. Murmuring, Habitual Sadness, My Own Breathing, Ardor, Flying Boys)
Nakazato Isao (Okinawa / Editor, Photographer, Representative of APO, Coordinator of YIDFF 2003 program Nexus of Borders: Ryukyu Reflections.)
- CHINA / 2007 / Chinese / Color / Video / 114 min
Director: Feng Yan
Many of the 1.13 million people who will be forced to move by the completion of the Three Gorges dam, currently under construction, are farmers. One of them, the gutsy Bingai, stands her ground as she clashes with government officials urging her to move.
- Dream Walking
- CHINA / 2005 / Chinese / B&W / Video / 86 min
Director: Huang Wenhai
A summer in the lives of four self-professed “famous artists”: A handstanding behavioral artist, a teacher-cum-painter, a poet, and another who films them. Give yourself over to the monochrome rhythm that wanders and traverses through life and art.
- CHINA, USA / 2007 / Chinese, English / Color / Video / 151 min
Director: Hu Xinyu
After leaving her violent husband, the director’s older sister moves to the US and remarries. Soon, her daughter moves in with them, but this only causes friction in their new life. Then the director comically intervenes . . .
- INDIA / 2006 / English / Color / Video / 11 min
Director: Santana Issar
Close sisters appear in home video footage shot over 20 years ago by their parents. One of them, the director, confronts her father over the phone about the alcoholism that drove them apart.
- Aki Ra’s Boys
- SINGAPORE, CAMBODIA / 2007 / Khmer, English / Color / Video / 57 min
Director: Lynn Lee, James Leong
Welcome to “Aki Ra’s Museum,” where Boreak, a young boy who lost his right hand to a landmine, and his pal Vannak live and play amidst a mountain of casually dismantled mines.
- Bishar Blues
- INDIA / 2006 / Bengali / Color / Video / 80 min
Director: Amitabh Chakraborty
A road movie whose traveling camera spins a tale together with the blues of Bengali fakirs and unorthodox Muslims.
- Hope Dies Last in War
- INDIA / 2007 / English, Hindi, Bengali / Color, B&W / Video / 80 min
Director: Supriyo Sen
During the third Indo-Pakistan war in 1971, numerous soldiers were taken prisoner by both countries. Families seeking the release of the Indian POWs fill the void of 30-plus years caused by their loved ones’ absence with their enduring love.
- The Drown Sea
- INDONESIA / 2006 / Indonesian, Sundanese, Javanese / Color, B&W / Video / 94 min
Director: Yuslam Fikri Anshari (Yufik)
The Segara Anakan Lagoon is transforming into land due to silt buildup. Faced with having to give up fishing, the local people search tentatively for a new lifestyle, occasionally singing as they come to terms with their new land and its scenery.
- Playing between Elephants
- INDONESIA / 2007 / Aceh, Indonesia, English / Color / Video / 90 min
Director: Aryo Danusiri
One year after the 2004 tsunami, the reconstruction of East Geunting village in Aceh began with funds from U.N. Habitat and elsewhere. Under pressure by local elders, villagers, builders, and officials, what will become of the village chief and his village . . . ?
- Golden Dances
- IRAN / 2006 / Farsi / Color, B&W / Video / 26 min
Director: Ali Kalantari
A craftsman used to make golabetoon, gold brocade for women’s clothing, using a secret technique. When he loses family to war and runs out of materials, the old man gracefully weaves with the ironies of history.
- We Corner People
- NEPAL / 2007 / Nepalese / Color / Video / 49 min
Director: Kesang Tseten
People living in the far corners of Nepal, isolated by rivers and with no shops or electricity, cheerfully build a bridge. These free-spirited residents sing the praises of their lifestyle on the border of modernity and tradition.
- Looking Through
- IRAN, AUSTRALIA / 2007 / Farsi / Color / Video / 81 min
Director: Maani Petgar
The director and a young Iranian woman studying film each take up cameras, drawing toward and moving away from the people and places they encounter in this travelogue that beckons the viewer toward another place.
- Back Drop Kurdistan
- JAPAN, TURKEY, NEW ZEALAND / 2007 / Japanese, Turkish, English / Color / Video / 110 min
Director: Nomoto Masaru
The Kazankiran family came to Japan to evade persecution as Kurds in Turkey. Witnessing the realities faced by the father, the director, once a passive observer, shows outstanding audacity by flying to Turkey!
- Fragments of depopulation
- JAPAN / 2007 / Japanese / Color, B&W / Video / 10 min
Director: Kimura Takuro, Miyoshi Hiroaki
A grandmother’s song leads toward this place in a spreading bluish monochrome glow. Cats and the elderly, and hints of the sea and the wind, lie within a feeling of comfort akin to being submerged in the sea.
- Public Blue
- JAPAN, GERMANY / 2007 / Japanese, English / Color / Video / 70 min
Director: Anke Haarmann [AHA]
Defining “homeless,” “parks,” and “public” as it focuses on forced evictions by the Osaka government in 2006, this incisive, inventive, and amusing video investigates the state of Japanese society.
- 192-399: A Story about the House Living Together
- KOREA / 2006 / Korean / Color / Video / 126 min
Director: Lee Hyun-jung
A group of high-spirited men of the “House Living Together” occupies an apartment complex marked for demolition due to redevelopment. However, as they face up to a harsh winter, something quietly begins to change . . .
- USA, QATAR / 2006 / English, Arabic / Color / Video / 10 min
Director: Sally Van Gorder
In Doha, the Qatar campuses of prestigious foreign universities form a huge academic town. This visual poem in-corporates various speeds and impressions of Qatar from the verbal fragments of fifteen Arab women.
- The Description of Bankruptcy
- KOREA / 2006 / Korean / Color / Video / 61 min
Director: Lee Kang-hyun
In economically burgeoning South Korea, individuals are expendable. Rhythmical editing and dryly ironic narration convert the arid wind evaporating individuality from society into a visual guerilla poem.
- OUT: Smashing Homophobia Project
- KOREA / 2007 / Korean / Color / Video / 110 min
Director: Feminist Video Activism WOM
A high-spirited project in which three love-torn lesbian high-school girls in Seoul talk and sing to their own cameras, to have their say to themselves, their lovers, their families, and the world.
- Somewhere over the Cloud
- TAIWAN / 2007 / Chinese, French / Color / Video / 102 min
Director: Hsiao Mei-ling
The director’s 3-year-old daughter, and the “virtual father” in France she sees via webcam. The girl’s perplexed perspective is interwoven with a letter to the director’s mentor, the late Robert Kramer, wandering freely through time, space, and perceptions.