New Asian Currents
We give you this year’s New Asian Currents program—Nineteen gems in the rough that boldly carve out new ways of expression, inviting you to worlds captured and imagined by the filmmakers.
- Lim Kah Wai (Filmmaker)
Tan Kai Syng (Artist and academic) [New]
- Above and Below the Ground
- MYANMAR, USA, THAILAND / 2023 / 84 min
Director: Emily Hong
The film follows two women activists who continue to oppose the construction of the Myitsone Dam in Northern Myanmar’s Kachin State depicting their solidarity with a like-minded young woman and musicians on a riverside journey from the past to the future.
- Broken Whispers
- SYRIA, IRAN / 2023 / 63 min
Directors: Amir Masoud Soheili, Amir Athar Soheili
Weary of the creative process, an old painter fixes a broken instrument he finds in the rubble. When his students go around looking for someone who can play the instrument, they meet other artists bearing the scars of war.
- Encounters on an Uncertain Spring
- LEBANON, PORTUGAL, HUNGARY / 2022 / 25 min
Director: Taymour Boulos
While on a quest for his father’s medicine in Lisbon, a Lebanese filmmaker acquires a secondhand video camera. In the rays of the spring sun, this short film shares the people, words and ideas he encounters on this rather trivial journey set to a relaxing rhythm.
- Flickering Lights
- INDIA / 2023 / 90 min
Directors: Anupama Srinivasan, Anirban Dutta
Electricity finally comes to a village of the Naga people on the Myanmar border, where the dream of sovereignty lives on. After all the laborious construction work, how will the light that illuminates the houses change the everyday life and the people of the village?
- JAPAN / 2023 / 53 min
Director: Oda Kaori
A storyteller of peace serves as a guide in the “Gama”—natural caves where many local people lost their lives during the Battle of Okinawa. The woman in blue standing by his side represents the intersection of the present and the past.
- Homemade Stories
- SYRIA, EGYPT / 2021 / 69 min
Director: Nidal Al Dibs
A home in Damascus awaits the return of its inhabitants. As if to seek out the light in memories of his daughter’s upbringing, the director weaves together the story of an abandoned cinema in Cairo with the sentiment of filmmakers scattered all over.
- Journey of a Bird
- MYANMAR / 2021 / 28 min
They formed a media collective together, singing freely through the streets of Yangon, spreading their wings to a popular beat with a frankness of heart. The teenagers’ revolution launches on its journey.
- Land of My Dreams
- INDIA / 2023 / 74 min
Director: Nausheen Khan
Protests rage against the Indian Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which persecutes Muslims. The director listens to the voices of the protesters and observes her own identity as a Muslim woman.
- Losing Ground
- MYANMAR / 2023 / 23 min
In a cage-like room, young people turn toward the beams of light shining through the window, painting, playing musical instruments, and shouting. This short film captures the downtrodden atmosphere of Yangon, where any sense of freedom has been stolen.
- A Lost Heart and Other Dreams of Beirut
- FRANCE / 2023 / 36 min
Director: Maya Abdul-Malak
Faint voices like a phantom can be overheard, speaking of those lost. This is everyday life in Beirut, where the thoughts of the dead dwell here and there in the quiet of the city, beaches, ruins, and streets.
- Luo Luo’s Youth
- CHINA / 2023 / 93 min
Director: Luo Luo
Luo Luo looks after her father and granddaughter while she fingers the pages of a diary from her teenage years. “The joy of expression” overflows in her home as she connects with friends and gets her family involved even while they are shut-in due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Night Walk
- KOREA / 2023 / 65 min
Director: Sohn Koo-yong
Let the murmurs of the river call you for a midnight stroll. The calm blue meandering mountainous landscape, doodle-like drawings, and old poems dialogue with each other in silence. At times lonely, the night is also brimming with excitement.
- Nowhere Near
- THE PHILIPPINES / 2023 / 96 min
Director: Miko Revereza
Policies enacted during the Obama administration were supposed to put an end to an “undocumented immigrant” status. The director heads from Los Angeles to the Philippines, and then beyond, to trace the details of how this began.
- Parallel World
- TAIWAN / 2022 / 177 min
Director: Hsiao Mei-ling
A mother has spent 12 years raising her daughter with Asperger’s syndrome, learning to accept her frank ways of expressing herself and observing her daughter’s progress toward creativity and independence. The film chronicles the relationship between mother and daughter, who at times closely embrace and other times are pulled apart, barely saved from parting.
- JAPAN / 2023 / 18 min
Director: Hatano Shuhei
“To all my dear friends.” In this diary-like record of a year with the family, small glimmering fragments of mundane daily life begin to form a magical and never-before seen landscape.
- Raise Me a Memory
- ESTONIA / 2023 / 69 min
Director: Varun Trikha
A pastoral village that lies on a borderland. Its current residents speak about their dreams, and from these recollections emerge their own personal loss. Their dreams also overlap with those of the director, who has learned of his grandfather's unknown past.
- Saving a Dragonfly
- KOREA / 2022 / 80 min
Director: Hong Da-ye
The director, a high school senior, begins to film herself and her friends as they face off with college entrance exams. The film is a sincere and moving portrayal of these candid moments, captured over the course of eight years the girls spend together that are filled with emotion and apprehension.
- Trip to Lost Days
- CHINA, SINGAPORE / 2022 / 73 min
Director: Shen Ruilan
A man who decides to become a monk after quitting his job as a train attendant boards a train . . . . The film invites us on a journey into this mysterious dream world, exploring the intertwining memories of the man and his co-passengers.
- Until the Stones Speak
- KOREA / 2022 / 100 min
Director: Kim Kyung-man
Wrongly incarcerated for crimes they did not commit during the 1948 Jeju Uprising, a group of women finally lift the veil on what actually transpired. As they tell the truth, the horrific scenes of their experiences are brought back to life.