YIDFF 2001

New Asian Currents

New Asian Currents screens the latest documentaries from Asia’s up-and-coming filmmakers. 34 works are eligible for the Ogawa Shinsuke Prize and other awards, and each film will be screened twice. Most of the directors will be taking part in the festival. Also sections like “Special Invitation” and “Filmmakers Information Center / Searching for New Contexts,” will introduce us to the many and varied approaches to filmmaking in Asia.

My Mother’s House, Lagoon (IRAN / Video / 32 min)
Dir: Mehrdad Oskouei
Everyday at dawn, a solitary woman sets out in a small boat to catch fish. With the money from the fish she sells, she spends a quiet New Year’s Eve with her beloved old mother.

Vanished With Water (TURKEY / Video / 23 min)
Dir: Dogan Karaca (and 5 others)
A student film from Ankara University. A town of historical significance is about to be lost to the construction of a dam.

Hummadruz (TURKEY / Video / 56 min)
Dir: Hasan Karacadag
Suicide is rampant amongst the many people born and raised in Turkey’s eastern districts who have relocated to Istanbul. A fresh new film from director Hasan Karacadag, our guest in 1999.
[10/4 14:00=Muse 1, 10/7 12:30=Muse 2]

Performance (INDIA / Video / 51 min)
Dir: Rahul Roy
A public square where poor men congregate. From middle-aged hawkers of suspicious medicines for sexual problems, to elderly men teaching wrestling, the tribulations of men held in the thrall of masculine delusion are laid bare.

Jari Mari: Of Cloth and Other Stories (INDIA / Video / 74 min)
Dir: Surabhi Sharma
The Jari Mari slums, directly opposite Mumbai Airport. The camera approaches these workers on the bottom rung of society, who cannot afford to disengage themselves from their labor.
[10/4 17:00=Muse 1, 10/7 15:00=Muse 2]

MAYA (JAPAN / 8mm / 66 min)
Dir: Sekine Hiroyuki
Built in 1930, now in ruins—Kobe’s Maya Tourist Hotel. A dream-like 8mm work from Sekine Hiroyuki, who fell under the spell of its serene form shrouded in early morning mist, amidst the mountain air.

The Falling Kite (FRANCE, TAIWAN / Video / 42 min)
Dir: Hsiao Mei-lingj
Chinese who traveled to France as miners a century ago. Grandparents who toiled in a gold mine in Taiwan in the days when it was a Japanese colony. A Taiwanese woman resident in France adds herself to the tradition of these nomads, estranged from their homeland.
[10/4 20:00=Muse 1, 10/8 20:00=Muse 2]

Margin (PHILIPPINES / 16mm / 20 min)
Dir: Paolo Villaluna
One gay man roams the corners of Manila.

My Friend Su (INDIA / Video / 55 min)
Dir: Neeraj Bhasin
His body is male, but psychologically female. Su gives an account of his troubled sexual identity.
[10/4 22:30=Muse 1, 10/7 20:00=Muse 2]

March of Time (THAILAND / Video / 19 min)
Dir: Uruphong Raksasad
A study of an elderly man and his quiet life in a village in northern Thailand.

My Migrant Soul (BANGLADESH / Video / 35 min)
Dir: Yasmine Kabir
Retracing the footsteps of a young man who left Bangladesh to work in Malaysia, his loss mourned in image and audio tape.

Doomealee, the Very First Step (KOREA / 35mm / 80 min)
Dir: Hong Hyung-sook
A sequel to Doomealee: A New School is Opening, which featured in 1995’s New Asian Currents Program. At first glance the battle appears to have ebbed with the flow of time, but there is no change in the hearts of the people who believe in the worth of their village.
[10/5 11:30=Muse 1, 10/8 12:30=Muse 2]

News Time (PALESTINE / Video / 52 min)
Dir: Azza El-Hassan
Ramallah, where war and the shadow of death are a part of everyday life. Nevertheless, there are still dreams, loves, and laughter to be found.

Water and Atefeh
(IRAN / Video / 42 min)
Dir: Nahid Rezaii
Atefeh, a middle-aged woman begins an independent life in Iran’s drought land. Persuading local government officials and technicians, can she find water for irrigation?
[10/5 15:00=Muse 1, 10/6 12:30=Muse 2]

Along the Railroad (CHINA / Video / 125 min)
Dir: Du Hai-bin
Homeless youths live alongside the railroad tracks that run through China’s Baoji region. The harsh cold of winter, fights over food, tears at the memory of parents at home in a rural village, their bravado as they comb their hair and strike a nonchalant pose—we see all through the eyes of the director, a young man of the same generation as these youths.
[10/5 18:00=Muse 1, 10/8 15:00=Muse 2]

Sowing Seeds (PHILIPPINES / Video / 15 min)
Dir: Avic Ilagan
The director, who travels to Japan to film mail order brides from the Philippines living in Yamagata prefecture, discovers nothing less than her own preconceptions.

Koryu, Southern Women, South Korea (KOREA / Video / 75 min)
Dir: soha
Women living in the south of South Korea were the guardians of a special language used to mourn the dead. This is the tale of three of those women living today, told through long takes and kinetic images travelling through rain and fog that leave a distinct impression on the viewer.
[10/6 12:00=Muse 1, 10/7 18:00=Muse 2]

Danchizake (JAPAN / Video / 49 min)
Dir: Ono Satoshi
I live with my father, an artist, in a housing complex. Perhaps filming my father as he makes his home brew will become a chance to come to terms with my family.

More Than One is Unhappy (CHINA / Video / 45 min)
Dir: Wang Fen
A railway employee-father with a history of extra-marital dalliances with many women, and a mother who claims to have not even a single pleasant memory of married life. The two respond with unsettling earnestness as they are interviewed by their 23 year-old daughter, who calmly probes her family’s situation.
[10/6 15:00=Muse 1, 10/8 17:30=Muse 2]

Once Upon a Time (THAILAND / Video / 13 min)
Dir: Panu Aree
An amusement park in inner-city Bangkok is demolished. The memories shared by those who spent time within its gates are recreated in voices and images.

Sky-blue Hometown (KOREA / 35mm / 93 min)
Dir: Kim So-young
Many sacrifices were made by Russians of Korean descent as a result of Stalin’s forced relocation policy. We revisit this history of hardship through the life of Nikolai Shin.
[10/6 18:00=Muse 1, 10/4 16:00=Muse 2]

Chichi, The Monster (TAIWAN / Video / 10 min)
Dir: Lin Tay-jou
Following the disastrous earthquake that hit Taiwan in 1999, the children began to draw different pictures...

Farewell (KOREA / Video / 83 min)
Dir: Hwang Yun
A weak and vulnerable baby tiger born in a South Korean zoo is raised by volunteers. Today, the co-existence of humans and wild animals is approaching a critical point.
[10/7 13:30=Muse 1, 10/6 17:00=Muse 2]

Pansy and Ivy (KOREA / Video / 60 min)
Dir: Kye Un-kyoung
Two sisters, disabled since birth. Pressure from all sides manifests itself in the familiar refrain: “Isn’t it about time you got married?” However...

Soshin: In Your Dreams (AUSTRALIA / Video / 26 min)
A True Story about Love (AUSTRALIA / Video / 27 min)
Dir: Melissa Kyu-jung Lee
An honor student directs her camera at her parents, who are immigrants from South Korea. Next, the filmmaker switches the focus to herself, creating a raw chronicle of her relationship with her lovers. Two films together delve into issues of racial identity with a light touch.
[10/7 16:30=Muse 1, 10/5 19:00=Muse 2]

Chlorine Addiction (SINGAPORE / Video / 44 min)
Dir: Tang Kai-syng
From a multi-media artist who cannot rest unless she swims a kilometer everyday, comes a 10-part humorous video essay.

Variant Phases (JAPAN / Video / 51 min)
Dir: Kawaguchi Hajime
As “the reality of life” is expressed through images, a story begins to develop independently. Is the reality found within this work “for real?” The filmmaker is an instructor at Yamagata’s Tohoku University of Art & Design.
[10/7 19:30=Muse 1, 10/4 19:00=Muse 2]

King of Dreams (INDIA / Video / 30 min)
Dir: Amar Kanwar
Men and sexuality. A unique and beautiful film exploring desire, dreams, eroticism and fantasy.

Blessed (JAPAN / Video / 77 min)
Dir: Takashi Toshiko
In downtown Osaka where the filmmaker spent her childhood, there are an apartment full of memories and a strip joint where her lover now performs. Here are her undying feelings toward them.
[10/7 22:00=Muse 1, 10/6 19:00=Muse 2]

Our Boys (BANGLADESH / Video / 42 min)
Dir: Manzare Hassin
Teenagers from the new Bangladeshi middle class lean into the irresistible winds of western influence sweeping through Dhaka. The honest voice of adolescence emanating from these youths, who absorb themselves in pop music and drawing.

This Winter (CHINA / Video / 90 min)
Dir: Zhong Hua
Four young soldiers from Beijing Armed Police. Their anxieties and sadness at their impending separation from their friends erupt in the days leading up to their discharge.
[10/8 11:00=Muse 1, 10/5 16:00=Muse 2]

Sales (TAIWAN / Video / 58 min)
Dir: Tseng Chi-hsienj
Meet Shi-hwei, who became a Toyota car salesman because “it looked like a job with a lot of free time.” But his customers are capricious, his boss sarcastic, and he’s far from fulfilling his sales quota. With a mobile phone in each hand, there’s no rest for the wicked.

Mixed Fruit Banana Split (Taiwan / Video / 63 min)
Dir: Catherine Wu
One summer, three girls, romance. While putting out the trash at the café where they work part-time, will they meet the boy of their dreams “by chance”?
[10/8 14:30=Muse 1, 10/6 14:30=Muse 2]

New Asian Currents Special Invitation

Silent Delta (TAIWAN / 35mm / 20 min)
Dir: Shen Ko-shang
Who is Fishing? (TAIWAN / 35mm / 16 min)
Dir: Singing Chen
The Paradise Island Tong-sha, An Isle Like a Crab (TAIWAN / 35mm / 17 min)
Dir: MJ Lee
West Island (TAIWAN / 35mm / 35 min)
Dir: Chu Hsien-jer
03:04 (TAIWAN / 35mm / 16 min)
Dir: Hwang Tin-fu

Five installments from the 12 film series “Floating Islands,” all shot on Taiwan’s remote outer islands. Military training grounds, sparsely populated villages, untouched natural beauty... Each filmmaker seizes the opportunity to flex their creativity, creating an assemblage of short works packed with variety.
[10/8 17:30=Muse 1]

Life Beyond the Noise (IRAN / Video / 13 min)
Dir: Abolfazl Sorushmehr
Eclipse (IRAN / Video / 15 min)
Dir: Ebrahim Saeedi, Mehrdad Oskouei

Two short works from Iran which tell their stories in images rather than words.

Musicians (THE NETHERLANDS, GERMANY, ARMENIA / 35mm / 76 min)
Dir: Don Askarian
A film from director Don Askarian, whose Komitas and other works have previously been screened in Japan. A journey made by two musicians—a rope-walking acrobat and an exponent of Armenian folk music.
[10/8 20:30=Muse 1]


New Asian Currents Special

Filmmakers Information Center / Searching for New Contexts

Japanese non-commercial films and filmmakers today follow in the footsteps of a long and impressive history of independent filmmaking, but nevertheless must face various problems in screening, distribution, and public recognition. Taking on the challenge, a new filmmakers’ coop called Filmmakers Information Center (FMIC) will be launched next spring by several young Japanese filmmakers. Collecting and compiling a database of films and filmmakers and assisting distribution will be the foci of the group’ s activities. FMIC head Sueoka Ichiro will present the group’ s activities in a dialogue with Thai filmmakers and curators who are engaged in similar work in Bangkok. Film critic Nishimura Tomohiro will present two screening programs as an example of how curation can present films in a different light.

Films will include: Le Cinéma (Okuyama Junichi), The Stone Steps with a Blue Handrail (Nishimura Tomohiro), The Rainbow of Odds (Sueoka Ichiro), Gestalt (Ishida Takashi), Ai (LOVE) (Iimura Takahiko), Tokyo Honeymoon (Aoi Katsumi), Rocking Chair (Kano Shiho).

[10/6 12:00=Citizens’ Hall (Small Hall)]

YIDFF News 2001-09-13