New Asian Currents
Treading in New Asian Currents
Asia has depth, and breadth. This year’s entries show us that fathomless breadth anew: 664 works submitted from forty-four countries and regions. In the preliminary selection process, which included Asian works submitted to the International Competition, we pondered the happiness of being able to see this many works, while seriously wishing there were more than twenty-four hours in a day. The space unfolding underfoot and aloft that is conveyed through the filmmakers’ sincere eyes, the love brimming from the screen, is limitless.
Documentary film festivals are constantly facing new challenges, in Taiwan, Korea, China, Nepal, India, Lebanon, and elsewhere. In Southeast Asia, vast networks link independent filmmakers who cooperate as they cross film genres and national borders. In the midst of these movements, Asian films are not just increasing in quantity, they are maturing in diverse ways and are coming to display a gradation of colors. In particular, the expansion of not only film production but also screening opportunities in each locale deepens the acceptance and awareness of documentary film itself as films are exposed to many different eyes.
This year’s lineup doesn’t include a single work on film, which anticipates the end of an era and perhaps the beginning of a new one. Just because one can easily shoot on video doesn’t mean it is easy to produce a work and have other people view it. Possibly it demands a determination equal to that required for the difficult venture of shooting on film, or perhaps an even greater resolve. With all of that going through our heads, we dealt with this group of works according to the cliché that Asia contains the world, and, presumptuous though it may be, we strained to see the wriggling of each and every grain cast within.
The days of watching the works for the preliminary selection are over, but may the days of new Asian currents continue without end. We sincerely hope that this year too the New Asian Currents happening as part of YIDFF jostle all of you in the audience at Muse, and roil out to meet the many people of the expansive sea extending endlessly beyond. Finally, we express our deep appreciation to the filmmakers who submitted their work and the many people who helped in realizing this program.
—Wakai Makiko, Hama Haruka