East Asia Film Festival Returns to the IFI Next Month
The third edition of the East Asia Film Festival Ireland (EAFFI) will take place in the Irish Film Institute (IFI) over four days from April 11 – 14.
Celebrating the diversity, artistry, and variety of filmmaking from East and South East Asia, the festival will feature movies from established and award-winning filmmakers. These include Hong Sang-Soo, Ying Liang, Zhang Ming and Ryusuke Hamaguchi. The event also puts a spotlight on exciting new talent including Bi Gan, plus first features from Lina Wang and Phuttiphong Aroonpheng.
This year sees two guests of honour attend the festival: acclaimed director Tsai Ming-Liang and his long-time collaborator, actor Lee Kang-Sheng. They will present rare screenings of two of Tsai’s classic films, The River and I Don’t Want To Sleep Alone, plus his latest, Your Face. Tsai and Lee will also take part in a Masterclass, supported by Screen Skills Ireland and moderated by renowned critic Tony Rayns, on Saturday 13.
A number of Irish premieres will also feature, including the festival’s opening film, Hong Sang-Soo’s latest comedy-drama Hotel by the River. With this new film, the prolific Hong has crafted an elegant tragi-comedy, a chamber piece that unfolds in less than 24 hours where an ageing poet is approaching his final days. Beautifully filmed in black and white, the IFI say the movie is a fresh, humanistic exploration on family, life, love and death.
Also featuring at this year’s festival are Lina Wang’s stunning A First Farewell, a prize winner at both the Berlin and Tokyo film festivals; Ying Liang’s A Family Tour, a moving drama that puts political pressure exerted on filmmakers under the spotlight; Bi Gan’s sumptuous Long Day’s Journey Into Night, which features a long, virtuoso single take shot in 3D; Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s modern romance Asako I & II; Zhang Ming’s The Pluto Moment; and Liu Jie’s fast-paced social justice drama Baby. The latter sees a young woman abduct an infant who has the same birth defect she herself had as a child.
Closing the festival this year will be Phuttiphong Aroonpheng’s debut Manta Ray, which focuses on the relationship between a fisherman and the Rohingyan refugee he finds unconscious in the local swamps. The IFI says the poignant film tackles the refugee experience and associated questions of identity, self, border, ethnicity and nationhood.
Full Festival Line-Up
18.30: Hotel By The River
16.10: A Family Tour
18.15: Your Face + Q&A with Tsai Ming-Liang and Lee Kang-Sheng
20.45: Asako I & II
13.00: Masterclass with Tsai Ming-Liang and Lee Kang-Sheng
15.15: I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone
17.40: The Pluto Moment
20.10: Long Day’s Journey Into Night
15.00: The River + Q&A with Tsai Ming-Liang and Lee Kang-Sheng
18.00: A First Farewell
20.00: Manta Ray