1st Asian Film Festival will run from May 17-21, 2012

While big film fests like Cinemalaya and Cinemanila have Asian film sections, there is yet to be one whole fest dedicated to Asian films in Manila.

This is what Asian Society Phil Executive Director Harvey Keh noticed, “There isn’t one festival that brings together the Asian countries in the Philippines. Kanya kanya. Korea has it’s own Japan has it’s own, China has it’s own film festival here. Pero wala yung together. At the same time it’s
great that there are these venues where these nations can learn to cooperate. And have that opportunity to interact, eventually to better their understanding of each other.”

The screenings are available to the public free of charge at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall in Mandaluyong, from May 17 to 21, 2012 at the Shang Cineplex. The Asia Society Philippine Foundation and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) organized the festival.

The festival brings more than just entertainment according to Keh, “We want to emphasize that role of bringing these different Asian nations together so that they’ll be able to cooperate and learn from each other as well.”

The Asian Festival aims to duplicate the success of Cine Europa in being able to collate films from a big group of countries. It has become a yearly tradition for film auteurs and fans to go to Shang Cineplex for the free screenings every August. Incidentally, the French film fest will also unreel in June. Shang Cineplex has earned the reputation of hosting
the most prestigious international film fests including the upcoming French Film fest this June.

Shangri La Plaza Marketing Division Head Marline Concio-Dualan said, “The Shang Cineplex is the proud home of the first Asia As Our Society film festival. Not just the home of the first but of many succeeding editions to come.”

FDCP Executive Director Teodoro Granados explained the importance of the festival, “The screening of these films will definitely increase the awareness and appreciation and understanding of the Asian culture among Filipino movie
viewers. This is truly of utmost importance since much of the culture that we have been exposed through cinema has been through the lens of Hollywood. Maybe this time it would be much different. We hope that you and your friends will come to Shang Cineplex from May 17 to 21 to watch all of these

The FDCP through the Film Cultural Exchange Program has helped international festivals such as these by exempting them from the MTRCB (Movie Television Review and Classification Board) process.

Japan Foundation Program Coordinator Roland Samson, who is also involved in this fest, thanks the organizers for mounting this event. “I’m really glad, although we’ve partnered with the FDCP in the past in the International Silent film festival. This is the first time we will be partnering full-fledged. I’m really looking forward to it. Before our concern was the MTRCB. We were really having some difficulties with the process before.”

Japan likewise showcases the best of its film creations in the series. Wanko: The Story of Me, My Family and My Dog (May 19, 5:30pm) takes on the story of the Noyama family, who lives in the small island of Miyakejima, as they are forcibly evacuated from their home when Mount Oyama
violently erupts.

Éclair (May 20, 3pm) follows the story of orphan
Akio, as he goes through life without parents at the onset of the war.

(CLICK HERE to read synopses of the films)


Catch the free screenings of all these films at the Shang Cineplex in Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong, from May 17 to 21, 2012.

Here is the schedule for the 2012 Asian Film Festival:

May 17 Thursday

Philippines: Dinig Sana Kita (8PM)
Running time: 88 minutes

May 18 Friday

Indonesia: 3 DOA 3 CINTA (12:30PM)
Running time: 114 minutes)

Vietnam: The Guava House (3PM)
Running time: 100 minutes

Laos: Only Love (5:30PM)
Running time: 125 minutes

China: Forever Enthralled (8PM)
Running time: 138 minutes

May 19 Saturday

Sri Lanka: Agni Dahaya (12:30PM)
Running time: 119 minutes

Indonesia: Laskar Pelangi (3PM)
Running time: 125 minutes

Japan: Wanko - The Story of Me, My Family, and My Dog (5:30PM)
Running time: 123 minutes

Korea: Hwang Jin Yi (8PM)
Running time: 141 minutes

May 20 Sunday

Vietnam: Nostalgia for Countryland (12:30PM)
Running time: 116 minutes

Japan: Eclair (3PM)
Running time: 107 minutes

Korea: Speedy Scandal (5:30PM)
Running time: 108 minutes

China: The Founding of a Republic (8PM)
Running time: 140 minutes

May 21 Monday

China: Glittering Day (12:30PM)
Running time: 95 minutes

Sri Lanka: Deewari (3PM)
Running time: 124 minutes

Indonesia: Jakarta Maghrib (5:30PM)
Running time: 72 minutes

Philippines: Halaw (8PM)
Running time: 75 minutes





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