Get ready for the Spring Festival! Time to clean up the house! Put up those good fortune decorations! And what about the food? Whether you celebrate the Lunar New Year according to customs of Chinese chunjie, Korean Seollal, or Vietnamese Tết, the Spring Festival is essentially a time for family and friends to be reunited again. Even in Japan, where they have officially switched over to the western (solar) calender since the Meiji period (1873), in certain areas like Okinawa, the Lunar New Year is still celebrated as Ryukyuan.
To lift your festive mood, CinemAsia is hosting a Lunar New Year Event with a sneak preview of Korean film Little Forest on 10 February at Kriterion Cinema in Amsterdam. The audience can also enjoy Korean comfort food by Korean Kitchen, video-art by Chinese artist Louis Hothothot and music by DJ Tjobo Kho. Little Forest is adapted from the wildly popular Japanese manga & 4-part TV series. The Korean film version is a healing journey about going home, enjoying mother’s cooking and eating the pure food of the land. In a festive period when one is tempted to binge eat, the “farm-to-table” concept reminds us of the blessings of simplicity in life. This inspiring film is also a promise of what’s to come in the 12th edition of the CinemAsia Film Festival from 5-10 March in Amsterdam.
Little Forest 小森林 (2018) by director Yim Soon-rye林順禮
After failing her college graduation exam in Seoul, Hye-won (The Handmaiden’s Kim Tae-ri) returns to her rural hometown with many unresolved questions in mind. Over four seasons, she grows and harvests her own ingredients, reconnects with friends and prepares hearty meals that awaken memories of her mother (Moon So-ri, Oasis, The Handmaiden).
Yim Soon-rye is considered one of the few leading female directors of Korean New Wave cinema. She adapts the Japanese manga of the same name by Daisuke Igarashi into an organic feast filled with stunning shots of artfully arranged comfort food and the Korean countryside. Named one of the 11 Best Films of the Year by the Korean Association of Film Critics, this wonderfully therapeutic drama about farming, cooking and self-discovery provides mouth-watering recipes for the audience!
Square 1: Art exhibition by Chinese artist Louis Hothothot (Yi Liu)
Combining video and photography, Square 1 explores the voice of power in public space. In European squares, statues of kings function as expressions of state power, officially reproducing histories and shaping our sense of collective belonging. Multimedia artist Louis Hothothot (China 1986) graduated at the China Central Academy of Fine Art (2008) in Beijing and the Dutch Art Institute (2014) and studied at the Netherlands Film Academy (2015-2017). He recently won the 3Package Deal Young Talent 2018-2019 in Holland. His work “Square 1” can be viewed from 10 February until 10 March in Kriterion.
Programme Sunday 10 February
18:00 Opening Art Exhibition Square 1 by Chinese artist Louis HotHotHot
18:00 – 22:00 Korean comfort food and snacks provided by Korean Kitchen
19:30 – 21:15 Introduction and Screening Little Forest
21:15 – 23:00 Afterparty with DJ Tjobo Kho and food & drinks by Korean Kitchen
Location: Filmtheatre Kriterion, Roetersstraat 170, 1018 WE Amsterdam
Come and capture the spirit of fortune and happiness for the year of the Pig!
Save the date: the 12th edition of CinemAsia Film Festival 5-10 March in Amsterdam
Each year CinemAsia showcases contemporary Asia on the big screens in The Netherlands. The upcoming 12th edition includes a vibrant selection of feature films from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Thailand, The Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam. Ranging from commercial blockbusters, to arthouse productions and documentaries. They reflect the creative, social, economic and political dynamism of the versatile continent.
New culinary section OISHII Asia
Living up to the tradition of CinemAsia’s food-themed films and gourmet stalls, OISHII, a new section showcasing the culinary cinema of Asia. Oishii is the Japanese word for “delicious.” Japan has been the pioneer of culinary cinema in Asia, starting with the classic TAMPOPO. Since then, culinary films have become a trend in Asia. In the past, CinemAsia’s food-themed films such as What’s for Dinner, Mom? and Ramen Heads have always attracted fullhouse audiences.
In addition to Little Forest, which will be playing one more time during CinemAsia, other culinary films. We open the festival with Aruna and Her Palate印尼飲食男女 (2018) by Indonesian-Chinese director Edwin. In this delightful romantic roadmovie, epidemiologist Aruna (Dian Sastrowardoyo) is sent to investigate a reported outbreak of Bird Flu all over Indonesia. Her chef friend Bono (Nicholas Saputra) comes along for the ride, steering her into a culinary tour in search of a nasi goreng (fried rice) recipe. The film reunites the beloved stars of Ada Apa Dengan Cinta I & II and is screening in The Netherlands fresh after it’s debut in the culinary section of the Berlin Film Festival in February.
The European premiere of Hong Kong film The Lady Improper非分熟女 (2019) by Jessey Tsang is the Closing Film of the festival. The highly-regarded independent filmmaker Tsang will be at CinemAsia to present her film. This empowering female-centred work boasts a breakthrough performance by Charlene Choi, from Hong Kong’s most enduring singing-acting duo Twins. It depicts a divorced nurse’s sensual and culinary journey, sparked by a Paris-trained cordon bleu chef (Taiwanese actor Wu Kang-jen), who helps her recreate the signature dishes of her father’s declining cha-chaan-teng (HK-style diner).
The Dutch premiere of the Japanese film A Tale of Samurai Cooking: A True Love Story 武士的菜單 (2013) by Yūzou Asahara is about the heir to a distinguished line of chefs in Kaga (now Ishikawa prefecture), Yasunobu Funaki (Kengo Kora, Shoplifters, Shin Gojira). While a political revolt brews around him, Yasunobu must save his lord and clan by designing a banquet to manifest the splendor of Edo’s richest domain.
And there’s much more
This year also special attention to social and humanist stories on minorities and marginalized groups, lgbtq and female-centred works. Also check out our Made in Holland documentaries by European-Asian filmmakers in CinemAsia’s own talent development program FilmLAB. Besides film, CinemAsia also hosts diverse side events with art, food, masterclasses and industry programs involving our international guests.
Wanna know more? Go to CinemAsia.nl and follow CinemAsia’s social media channels.
Asia in the blink of an eye. CinemAsia weaves Asian stories that help to enhance Asian visibility in
culture and media, through which we foster an inclusive society. CinemAsia enriches the public discourse on Asian culture by sharing knowledge and expertise about Asian identity, discovering and nurturing talent. By building communities within the media and cultural landscape, we aim to become the go-to organization for European-Asian exchange.
After 30 years away a wealthy businessman returns to a small town in Jiangsu Province, China. He is here on a mission to find the man who rescued him all those years ago and to show his gratitude with a gift of 5 million Yuan.
News of the businessman’s intentions spreads fast. Qin, the mayor of the small town, calls Teacher Zhu for help in finding the missing hero. But after days of searching no trace of the man or information about the rescue itself can be found. Too much has changed in the intervening years. Teacher Zhu and his wife Xue face a dilemma; should they continue in their search for the mysterious man or should they take advantage of the situation and the 5 million Yuan fortune.
Jiangsu Huai Opera has been travelling with this story throughout China in the past two years and has created a new wave of discussions in the theatrical world in China.