The 2015 Asia House Film Festival gets underway this Friday and runs until Monday, bringing some of the most provocative and exciting films, both old and new, from Asia to London. Organised by the non-profit Asia House organisation, that seeks to ‘bring the UK and Asia closer together’, the programme is tight and compact, but offers an impressive range of works. There are UK premieres for films from Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesian, India, Japan and Uzbekistan, with a special focus and retrospective on Mongolia.
The festivals opens on Friday with the European premiere of Indonesian film In the Absence of the Sun. The film sees personal dramas unfold over the course of one night in the bustling, vital metropolis of Jakarta, which is shown in a fresh light.
There are also premieres for Cambodian film The Last Reel and Mongolian film Passion, both highlighting the changes in the film industries in their respective countries. The filmmakers will also be at the festival to talk about how their works are shaped by economic, political and social realities.
Another tantalising pick from the programme is Flashback Memories 3D, which receives its UK premiere after picking up the audience award at the Tokyo International Film Festival. The film focuses on the didgeridoo maestro GOMA, who suffers from an inability to form new memories following a traffic accident at the peak of his career.
Closing the festival on Sunday is the fascinating sounding Yangon Calling – Punk in Myanmar. This is an award winning documentary about the underground punk scene in Myanmar, which was ruled by a repressive military dictatorship until 2011. It provides a rare portrait of the rebels who really do have a cause, introducing us to their homes, their friends, their families, and their hidden world of rehearsal rooms and illicit concerts.
This is only a sample of the full programme, which also features a Kazakhstan ‘Red Western’, The Seventh Bullet, and the Mongolian Treasures, retrospective film series. We’ll have reviews of these on Gorilla in the coming days.
ASIA HOUSE FILM FESTIVAL 2015 runs from 27 – 31 March 2015. Find out more on the official site.